Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Blast: Have No Shame by Melissa Foster (Giveaway)

Book Synopsis
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.

Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live.Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.

Monday, April 29, 2013

ARC Review: The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper

Title: The Disgrace of Kitty Grey
Author: Mary Hooper
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Release Date: May 9, 2013
Source: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand family she is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentle cows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon? Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must face the terrifying prospect of stealing in order to survive - and of being named a thief ...
Review by Nara

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Scrapbook of My Revolution by Amy Lynn Spitzley

Title: Scrapbook of My Revolution
Author: Amy Lynn Spitzley
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Curiosity Quills Press via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Book Depository | Amazon

Amber Alexander has gold-colored skin, and she doesn’t much like it. The ability to read emotions isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, either. Then she meets two unusual boys, Malians like herself, and everything changes. Super-hot Jonny, with his apple-red looks and gift of persuasion, encourages her to fight back against those who think the Malians are freaks. Lavender-toned Cam, on the other hand, is a live-and-let live kiteboarder who blends in with the shadows.

Safety is becoming more of a concern for “freaks” like Amber. Sure, Malians showed up in society the year she was born, but now that they’re teenagers nobody seems to know what to do with them. Politicians talk about sending them to Siberia, or even to colonize the moon.

When Amber is attacked by Regulars, the so-called “normal” people, she realizes how she wants to live her life; but if she does, one of her greatest supporters may become her enemy.
Finding a summer job, organizing a support group, boy trouble, beaches, and a maniacal teen idol—it’s all a year in the life of a girl who realizes she may be more than just a “golden goddess” after all…
Review by Nara

Stacking the Shelves [5]

Hi, Chantelle here and it's that time of the month again for me to Stack the Shelves with the books that I received, borrowed or bought this month!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Harlequin (UK) Ltd via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris Book Blast (Giveaway!)

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?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shower of Books Giveaway Hop and Author Interview with Kira Snyder

Recently, I (Nara) read and reviewed an interesting set of books: The Parish Mail series by Kira Snyder. The reason they were so interesting was because they were written as "active fiction" titles (basically this just means they were choose your own adventure.). Here at Looking for the Panacea, we were lucky enough to get an interview with Kira herself, and Aimee at Coliloquy has generously agreed to give away both books in the series as part of this Giveaway Hop!
If you want to check out the reviews I wrote click on the links!
Dead Letter Office
Post Mortem

ARC Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Title: School Spirits (School Spirits #1)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Disney Book Group

Goodreads rating: 4.21 out of 5.00 (220+ ratings pre-release)
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Review by Chantelle

Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where book bloggers come up with their Top Ten list for a particular book topic. Here at Looking at the Panacea, Chantelle and Nara each pick their top five to give a combined list of ten. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Post Mortem by Kira Snyder

Title: Post Mortem (Parish Mail #2)
Author: Kira Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal Fantasy

Goodreads rating: 4.71 out of 5.00
Goodreads | Amazon

Celia Macarty is back in Post Mortem, the second installment in theParish Mail saga.

Autumn in New Orleans means Homecoming, romance—and murder. When a friend vanishes, Celia believes a desperate letter about an unsolved Civil War-era murder holds the key to unraveling the mystery.

As she searches for answers, Celia enlists the help of quirky witch Tilly, and either all-American boy Donovan or, enigmatic Luc–you get to choose.

As the gang follows the missing girl’s trail, danger turns up on all fronts. A vicious stranger threatens Celia’s family. Celia’s nightmares–about a shadowy, ominous villain–get worse. And a new ghost has appeared: beautiful Angelica, who shares a past with Luc.

It will take all of Celia’s will and wit, and the faith of her friends, to solve an unspeakable crime. And no matter which path Celia takes, she will discover that sometimes the past can come back to haunt you.

Review by Nara

Friday, April 19, 2013

ARC Review: Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Title: Zenn Scarlett
Author: Christian Schoon
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Goodreads rating: 3.87 out of 5.00 (pre-release)
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

Review by Nara

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wating on Wednesday [4]

It's time for Nara's monthly Waiting on Wednesday post! This one will feature books which will be released in May. Here they are, the books that I would love to be reading right now:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: True Love Story By Willow Aster

Title: True Love Story
Author: Willow Aster
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads rating: 4.23 out of 5.00 (5, 300+ ratings)

Goodreads | Amazon

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn't so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

Review by Chantelle

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: Dead Letter Office by Kira Snyder

Title: Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail #1)
Author: Kira Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal Fantasy

Goodreads rating: 4.37 out of 5.00
Goodreads | Amazon

When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

This is an Active Fiction title
"Active fiction" is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways.

Kira has written Parish Mail like a TV series–there are over-arching mystery and romantic story arcs that extend between the episodes, while each episode has a smaller case that is presented and solved. Along the way, she asks you, the reader, to make several small decisions as you read. These choices do not impact the overarching storyline, but certain combinations “unlock” clues to the series’ mystery, which are embedded in the text. Kira also asks you to cast a vote at the end of the episode, to get additional feedback from her fans about their preferred love interests in future episodes.

Review by Nara

Friday, April 12, 2013

ARC Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Drama
Release Date: 7 May, 2013
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARC Review: Enamoured by Shannon Curtis

Title: Enamoured
Author: Shannon Curtis
Genre: Fairytale, Mystery & Thriller (Novella)

Goodreads rating: 3.50 out of 5.00 (2 ratings pre-release)
Goodreads | Amazon

Once Upon a Crime…

Melanie wants to get incriminating information on her evil stepfather and she’ll get it – even if it means giving in to an odious toad’s demands. Cole is undercover, and when the opportunity arises for him to get closer to the criminal he’s investigating using the man’s beautiful stepdaughter, he grabs it.

Esmerelda is a Fairy Godmother Enforcer charged with getting the Frog Prince fairytale back on track. But fate has saddled her with a partner, and Rumpelstiltskin – with his sexy bad boy swagger – has a hidden agenda of his own.

In the Fairy Isle, nothing is as it seems…

Review by Chantelle

Waiting on Wednesday [3]

Hi! And welcome to Chantelle's post for Waiting on Wednesday, where I'll be spotlighting my most anticipated releases over the next month! So without further delay,

This month, I am going completely crazy waiting for...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

Title: On Every Street (The Artist's Trilogy #0.5)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: New Adult Erotic Contemporary

Goodreads rating: 4.76 out of 5.00 (290+ ratings)
Goodreads | Amazon

When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she's set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.

This 50K word (100+ pages) novella takes place six years before Sins & Needles. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone.

Review by Chantelle

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Titanic Giveaway Hop and Author Interview with Jodi Lamm

Recently, Chantelle and I reviewed a very interesting and unique book: Chemistry by Jodi Lamm. It is a retelling of The Hunchback of the Notre Dame written from the perspective of Claude Frollo, notoriously the villain of the tale. We liked it so much that when the Titanic Blog Hop came up, we really wanted to share it with our readers as it is both a Tragic Disaster and an Epic Love Story. We were lucky enough to be able to interview Jodi herself and we'll be giving away two copies of Chemistry as well as a $10 book from the Book Depository!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [4]

It's time for Stacking the Shelves with Nara again! This time I'll be showing you some of the books I've collected in March.

Friday, April 5, 2013

ARC Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

Title: Pretty Dark Nothing
Author: Heather L. Reid
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy

Goodreads rating: 4.07 out of 5.00 (pre-release)
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

Review by Nara

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Title: Butter
Author: Erin Jade Lange
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Source: Faber and Faber Ltd

Goodreads rating: 3.74 out of 5.00 (700+ ratings)
Goodreads link

A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? 

With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

Review by Chantelle

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where book bloggers come up with their Top Ten list for a particular book topic. Here at Looking at the Panacea, Chantelle and Nara each pick their top five to give a combined list of ten. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character