Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry: Mid-Series Cover Changes

Inspired by Book Buzzers, Book Girls Don't Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don't miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:

Mid-Series Cover Changes!

I am certain I'm not  the only one who noticed a trend this past year or 2--changing the cover of a series at book 2 or 3 or 4. What is UP with that? I used to be obsessed with having matching covers, and I say "used" to be because now I just don't buy them at all. I rather buy a cheap busted used book and give it away after  reading, than having unmatched covers on my shelf! That would be a travesty, peeps! A travesty!!

Let's see some of the cover changes that garners the most vocabulatory from me >.<

 Changed to:

Now, I kind of get this one. I get why it was changed. I mean, when I first saw White Cat before I ever heard of it, I picked it up and went "WTF? A book about cats and a creepy old dude in the 60s? No dice!" So yes, as a store browser, I'm not sure the cover would attract as many readers as the new ones. However, once I got home, selective reading and all, I started seeing this series all over the place. So I caved, said eff it I'm reading creepy cat man, and you know what? It was awesome! So these are the covers I grew to love. I bought book 1 and 2, and guess what? AGSFGFAGSF *foams at the mouth* They. Change. The Covers! And they change it AFTER they had already released the planned 3rd cover to match. So why not release that freaking 3rd cover, and then release the new ones on paperback and newer editions hardcovers? I mean, is it all a marketing plot to get me to buy the first 2 books again? Not gonna happen! (!!)

Anyways, I love the new covers, I think they will sell more books, but I'm not buying em. This is me, giving the finger to cover changes!

Another series that changed recently that I have a few words for:

Changed to:

I liked the original cover of this one. It's not mind blowing, but she looks pretty evil and that's cool.  But those new ones, man, they look fan made. Or placeholders for the actual cover to come. Actually the problem I have with this one is this. The first cover is whitewashed, the protagonist is Asian, and this girl is not. I'm not sure if this was actually the reason for the cover changes but I know Kirkus commented on it as well as the general fanbase, and poof there is a new cover. BUT, instead of putting an Asian girl on it, they put none at all... I don't know, that annoys me for some reason. It's like it has to be a white girl, or none at all? 

Oh and what about this one, guys?
  Changed to ----> 

Ok this one is a little cheating because it's not even out yet, but COME ON!! That original cover is not even comparable to whatever the heck that new one is. Are those... are those happy/sad faces? *dies* This book is now for stoned people!

But honestly, why is is SO COMMON?
Look at this:


And these were just the FEW that I could think of, there are so many that I am actually surprised when a cover is not changed mid-series. I'm convinced it's a conspiracy! What? Can't they decide on a cover on the first go? They could at least release the rest, and just wait and make the paperbacks only into the new covers. The way they're going about it, it kind of feels like it's a marketing thing if I'm being completely honest. They know they can get people to re-buy the first books, I know people who do. Food for thought?

 What do YOU think of cover changes mid-series? 
Which one annoyed you the most?

Also, don't forget to leave suggestions for future topics here! :)

XOXO, Book Girls!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine 
and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

My pick this week:

Me Since You
Laura Wiess
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release date: September 3rd 2013
by MTV Books

“Laura Wiess’s masterful prose kept me turning the pages. This is the first book in a very long time that made me say, ‘Wish I’d written this’” (Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank, on Such a Pretty Girl).

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is still reeling from her father’s suicide four months ago, after he failed to stop a man from leaping off an overpass to his death. The only witness is Eli, a teenaged boy wrapped deep in mourning for his own father, killed in action in Afghanistan. When Rowan and Eli meet, they recognize kindred spirits, and begin to navigate grief and its aftermath together.

Rowan can’t understand how her father could choose to leave her, and acts out, pushing away friends and taking risks with her safety. Rowan’s mother, wracked with her own guilt and sorrow over failing to save her husband, stops going to work and collects stray cats for comfort. Grief, fractured and unpredictable, rules their lives now. Rowan is lost—and sinking. But Eli represents a lifeline for Rowan, and as they struggle to make sense of what’s gone and what is left behind, they begin to fall in love. Me Since You is Laura Wiess at her finest—a beautiful, gripping and painfully honest examination of adolescence.

I've been on a contemporary kick lately and this one caught my eye as soon as I saw the blurb from Ellen Hopkins--the queen of dark, gut wrenching contemps (or so I hear. I've never actually read her books >.<).

What are you waiting on, this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Breaking Point
Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5, #2
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publication date: February 12nd 2013
by Tor Teen

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
*A copy was provided by Macmillan for review*
As I got back into the desolation that is is Ember's world, it didn't take long until the rush of it all came right back. The first book, Article 5, was a lot of fun with tons of action and wonderful characters, leaving me dying for this one. The sequel begins where Article 5 one left off, with short recaps along the way for those of you, like me, who forget everything they've read previously. I often have difficulty getting into a sequel because don't remember the story, nor my connection to the characters, but Kristen has a great way of bringing it all back as if no time had passed.

In Article 5 she created a world that was extremely dreary, yet believable for a futuristic setting; in Breaking Point, we get to see even more of that world. We're brought into conspiracies and meet rebels who are trying, like everyone else, to survive and get justice in this cruel controlled environment they've been forced to endure. And in this world, we have Ember and Chase who are on the run after faking their death. These character, who I already greatly enjoyed in the first book, go through even more development and growth in this sequel, both individually and together as a couple. Ember becomes even stronger after having to live through so much loss and pain, rediscovering who she is. Her courage and will make her a great protagonist for this story. However, I found the side characters to be the ones who really stood out for me this time. Their personalities and charisma shine through, and they're all dealing with their own personal issues which add in interesting, sometimes mysterious, subplots.

The plot does not cease either, there is action in this novel from beginning to end. We cover a lot of ground, discovering more of the workings of this world along the way. When the adrenaline finally breaks, we get to enjoy the sweet romance that mists this series. There is less of it in this sequel than its predecessor, though I never once thought there wasn't enough. I appreciate the fact that they have a believable relationships that doesn't need to be overly dramatic or mushy. It's there, it exists no doubt, and it's completely real, but it doesn't become the essence of the story. I also commend Kristen for not daring to a love triangle when it's clearly not needed.

A sequel with minimal middle book vibe is always a satisfying read. Breaking Point does just that, progressing the story to a point that is sure to bring us into an exciting finale in book 3!

4 Hot Espressos

The Article 5 Series

Find my review of Article 5, here!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

To give back to all my wonderful followers who read this blog and give it its reason to be, I'm joining in the Young Adult Giveaway Hop as a thank you for being so supportive! Special thanks to I Am A reader, Not A Writer, and BookLove101 for hosting!

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
Katja Millay
Genre: NA Contemporary
Publication date: November 13th 2012
by Atria Books

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
*A copy was provided by Artia Books for review*
Wow I did not expect this! To be completely honest the cover did not initially attract me to this novel so I never looked into it before I started getting all these recommendations. This is not always a good sign, however, since it raises my expectations, but I am happy to say that it was absolutely amazing. Not only does it involve a gritty, unapologetic story, we have characters who will tear your heart out with their grief and self destruction, leaving you feeling bruised and battered. It is not an easy story to read, I had my heart in my throat the whole way through, but it's ultimately a story of love and forgiveness, of acceptance and learning to live again. I came out of this feeling wrecked, yet completely satisfied.

Nastya is tough as nails, with an unconcerned attitude and a provocative wardrobe. Thick black eyeliner, barely there skirts, and black over black is her style. She is not what you would call a likeable character. She does everything possible to be an outcast, keeping people at arm's length, but you will be surprised how compelling a character she becomes. It's obvious that she harbors secrets, she has scars--some you can see and others you can't--and these will eat at your curiosity. Katja plays in the mystery of Nastya's past incredibly well, building it up from the beginning, and giving us fragments of it as the book progresses. Her emotional impact to this story is surreal. Her broken hopes and broken heart over her loss runs as deep as the ocean. I felt my own heart break for her on more than one occasion. I just wanted to go into the book and give her a big hug--but she'd probably punch me. Plus she scares me.

Nastya shares a narration with Josh, who is just as broken as she is. Between both of them, believe me, I was completely torn apart! Josh has lost more people in his lifetime than anyone ever should, especially at his age. Ever since I had a kid of my own I become extremely emotional when it comes to stories about parents and children being separated by death, and just thinking about a poor little 8 year old boy having his family torn apart like that broke a piece of me. When we learn about his past there is so much sorrow coming off of these pages; the way it's delivered to us through his perspective is so poignant that I could not help but developed a connection to him immediately. What he had to go through is not even something I could allow myself to emotionally grasp without having a break down.

It should not be a surprise to learn that these two find each other. They become each other's salvation throughout the story, in the very beginning of a love that is true and raw and shameless. Their relationship is as perfect as it perfectly flawed. It's also real in every way. It begins as a friendship that, yea, is a little unusual, but it's this unusualness that makes it all so irresistible. You want them to be together with every fiber of your being, and the chemistry this emits is unbelievable!

While it always comes back to the romance, friendship and family both play a large part in the story. We develop friendships that you will cherish as much as the romance. We also see the importance of family, and that a family is not only decided by blood.

Aside from characters developed to excellence, this book is filled with so much emotions ranging from heartbreak to laugh out loud funny that I turned the last page with a feeling of absolute fulfillment. This is what every books should be; bringing you in one hundred percent, mind and soul. Is there any question as to if I'd recommend this book?

5 Hot Espressos

*Note that this books is currently only available as an ebook. The paperback will be released in June, 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Xpresso Weekly: Stacking the Shelves (40)

Xpresso Weekly is my edition of Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring the books I got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week.

This week at Xpresso Reads
Wow what a week. Ok so, did you all see the new feature that we're launching next week? If you missed it, have a look here! ;) So we're all excited to start that. And honestly other than that I have not much to say this week. Hmm. So let me slather you with the cute! My devil had a haircut today:

That is all.

Reviews on the blog this week:

copyrightNew at Xpresso Book Tours

copyrightNew by Xpresso Design (click to view live)

Stacking the Shelves

 (Click on covers or title links for Goodreads)
I received for review:

Ok I went a lil crazy on EW this week, but hello!! Holy tempting!

*Big thanks to HarperCollins and Karina Halle for this epic haul!*
And... a special thanks to JL Bryan for sending me such an epic review request that I could not have said no even if I wanted to (Which I didn't because this series rocks!. This was sent last week but I forgot to put it in my StS so here it is!

That's all, muffins! 
Link me up to your book haul post! :)