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Word Spelunking’s temporary hiatus is now permanent. All requests are closed and there will be no new content. Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with and everyone who has read and supported this blog. Y’all are awesome!!

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tatted Thursday (1): MG Tattoos

Tatted Thursday... is a weekly meme hosted at Word Spelunking that features literary inspired tattoos based on weekly themes. You can easily participate by grabbing the picture above (or making your own) and posting your tattoo finds.

This week's theme: MG Tattoos- tattoos inspired by middle grade books

Harry Potter
The Hogwarts crest is a popular tattoo and it's easy to understand why; the crest is a great symbol of Hogwarts and an awesome why to display your Hogwarts love!

Peter Pan
I love the simplicity of this tattoo!

A Series of Unfortunate Event
This captures the tone of these books perfectly!

Super Cute

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
There's no place like home!

What do you think of these tattoos?

Next week's Tatted Thursday theme is: Book Quotes- tattoos featuring book quotes
See a list of upcoming themes HERE
***Add your Tatted Thursday post link to the linky***

Read an Exclusive Excerpt of PARTIALS by Dan Wells

You can read an exclusive excerpt of PARTIALS by Dan Wells on the 

Read my Partials review and find out why I LOVE this book!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (22): The Demigod Diaries (Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

"Waiting On" a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm super excitedly waiting on...

The Demigod Diaries 
(Heroes of Olympus)
Rick Riordan
What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads" ("who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less? 
With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection. 

*A story from Luke Castellan's point of view, from the days when he adventured with Thalia and Annabeth. Many people have asked me to write an adventure prequel to The Lightning Thief. Here it is! 

*A classic first-person Percy Jackson story, the first I've written since The Last Olympian. In this adventure, Annabeth and Percy's date is interrupted by the god Hermes, whose staff has been stolen by a fire-breathing giant. This cannot be good . . . 

*A Leo Valdez story, set at Camp Half-Blood. As Leo builds the Argo II, something goes terribly wrong. Now Leo will need the help of Piper and Jason, or the entire camp might be destroyed. 

*And, as announced on Rock Center, the anthology includes a debut short story from my son Haley. Since Haley inspired the entire Percy Jackson series, it seemed only right that I asked him to contribute his own original spin on Percy's world for this book. I was amazed at what Haley came up with. His brother Patrick, who's a tough editor, was quick to say, "Dad, his story is better than yours!" Haley ponders the question: "What happened to the demigods who fought with Kronos's army after the battle in Manhattan?" This is the story of one such demigod, and I have to admit, some of Haley's ideas are so good I wish I'd come up with them! 

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

Rick Riordan is one of my absolute favorite MG authors and I LOVE LOVE LOVE his Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Heroes of Olympus I was super excited to learn that he would be publishing this book! I cannot wait to read the short stories and learn even more about his awesomely fantabulous characters and world!!!!!!!!!! 
(yes my excitement DOES require all these exclamation points)


Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop: Win 2 YA ARCs

Welcome to my stop on the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop!

For this giveaway I am offering two ARCs-

Partials by Dan Wells

Giveaway will run from 2/29 - 3/5 11:59 pm ET
There will be one winner
US only
Fill out Rafflecopter form to enter
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • One main entry per person
  • Must be a GFC follower
  • US only
  • Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
  • I am NOT responsible for lost or damaged prizes in the mail

Review and Giveaway: Shadows (Lux 0.5) by Jennifer Armentrout

TITLE: Shadows                               SERIES: Lux #0.5
AUTHOR: Jennifer Armentrout    PUB DATE: 2/21/12
PUB: Entangled Teen                       FORMAT: Kindle ebook, 179 pgs
SOURCE: purchased

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable. Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved. Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

THREE WORDS: O.M.A! (Oh. My. Aliens!)...three more words: All Mah Cries T_T

MY REVIEW: Obsidian was one of the most fantabulous book surprises I read last year…simply put, I LOVED IT! So, I was super excited to finally read Shadows, the prequel novella to the Lux series, and admittedly a bit nervous. Obsidian was such a fab and well-crafted novel that I wasn’t sure if Jennifer Armentrout could produce such awesomeness twice…she totally did *fist bump to Jennifer*.

If you’ve already read Obsidian or if you haven’t but don’t mind being spoiled, then please continue reading. If you have not read Obsidian and do not want to be spoiled, then stop reading now…and go read book one in the Lux series! Since Shadows is a prequel to the series you may actually want to read it first; either way, you and the Lux series seriously need to get all chummy!

In Shadows we are introduced to Dawson, the third triplet in the Black trio. In Obsidian we learn that Daemon and Dee’s brother and his human girlfriend were killed and in Shadows we get to see the story of Dawson and Bethany from beginning to end *sobs*.

Armentrout’s alien filled world is so wonderfully addicting! This prequel novella had me enthralled from the heart-pounding prologue to the heart crushing last page. You’ll want to set some time aside when you begin this book because you won’t be able to put it down until you’re finished…and then once you do finish, and after you’re done simultaneously cursing and singing Armentrout’s praises, you’ll want to read/reread Obsidian…For Reals.

As with Obsidian, Shadows is hip, smart, laugh out loud funny, authentic, enchantingly, but not totally nauseatingly, romantic and deliciously sexy. Armentrout writes with a pitch perfect voice, razor sharp wit and with a clear understanding of who her audience is.
This novella is told from the POV of its different characters and this works very well. I love that Armentrout allows readers inside the heads of Dawson, Bethany, and even Daemon, especially since this is such a character driven story. The story takes place over a few months, and like in Obsidian, Armentrout uses this time frame and time lapse well. There is definitely a few months’ worth of story going on, but the story never drags; it’s perfectly paced.

There’s an excellent mix of action, romance, comedy and drama, and I’m continually impressed with Armentrout’s ability to balance all these elements effectively and captivatingly. We get to learn a bit more about the Blacks’ backstory and more about the Luxen people, their ways and history and Armentrout introduces these things naturally and without overwhelming readers.

As I stated above, this novella (and the series) is very character driven, and I’m so very much in love with all of the characters! As someone who has previously read Obsidian, I found it such an intriguing and fascinating experience to become acquainted with a pre-Obsidian and pre-Katy Daemon and Dee. I loved these two in book one, but now, knowing what they’ve gone through and being able to understand how and why they’re like they are in Obsidian, I think I love them even more. Armentrout has done a phenomenal job of showing all the apparent and subtle ways in which Daemon and Dee’s whole existence has progressed and changed from this novella to book one.

Dee is wickedly witty, undeniably charming and simply endearing. Daemon is intense, impossible to ignore, and dayumm sexy. I love and appreciate the fact that, as readers, we’ve been given this chance to intimately and intrinsically understand why Daemon is the way he is in book one. I feel even more connected and invested in both Dee and Daemon now.

But of course, this novella is about Dawson and Bethany’s story, and what a fun, romantic and heart-breaking story it is! Dawson may look just liken Daemon, but they are vastly different. Dawson is laid back, compassionate, sweetly charming and his sense of humor is more fun, versus Daemon’s more acerbic wit. Basically, Dawson is just as swoon-worthy as Daemon, but in completely different and compelling ways. Bethany is just as likable and relatable as Katy, but again in her own unique ways. Bethany has a quiet charm about her; she’s a bit reserved, but can definitely hold her own against Dawson.

Dawson and Bethany are instantly attracted to one another and feel an instant connection, but I wouldn’t classify this relationship as insta-love. There’s a definite natural progression to their relationship and I loved watching it unfold. While the spark between Dawson and Bethany is enticingly electric, there’s also something very beautiful and serene about it.
Going into this novella I knew what was coming in the end, but Armentrout still managed to take my breath away and squeeze out all my cries…and for some reason, I feel the need to thank her for that *smirks*. I also have some theories (or maybe they’re just the thoughts of a stubborn fangirl) about just what happens to Dawson and Bethany and I cannot wait to see if any of them are right…I can haz Onyx now, pwease?

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Jennifer Armentrout has quickly become one of my favorite YA authors and her Lux series pretty much owns me…seriously, I feel like I should just hand over my heart to Jennifer and point to the sign on it that says “You break it, you buy it*”. Shadows is an awesome edition to a fantastic series and a definite MUST read!

5/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website Goodreads Twitter / Facebook
Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. When she's not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories....which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is the author of the COVENANT Series, the LUX Series, and the upcoming YA contemporary mystery/thrillers DON'T LOOK BACK (Disney/Hyperion Fall 2013) and yet untitled book (Disney/Hyperion tentative Fall 2014). 

Win a Kindle or Nook copy of Shadows!
I recently gave away 2 copies of this book, but I LOVE it so much that I'm going to give away two more copies! One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and one winner will be chosen based on a fun question I'm going to ask below for extra entries. But you MUST fill out the form to enter.
Will run from 2/28 - 3/4 at 11:50 pm ET
There will be two winners
Open to all who can receive Kindle or Nook ebooks
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • One main entry per person
  • Winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
  • I am NOT responsible for lost or damaged prizes
This is the question you may answer for extra Rafflecopter points and for a chance to win the second ebook (answer in the comments but please make sure you enter through the Rafflecopter form as well):
Q. If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by the Lux series in some way (can be inspired by one of the books, the book covers, a character, a theme, etc), what flavor would it be, what would it look like and what would you call it?

My sister and I will be choosing winner #2 based on our fave answer to the question above^^^

Teaser Tuesdays (26): Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist

Teaser Tuesdays... is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Once there was a girl with hair the color of dead leaves, teeth the size of piano keys, freckles as big as polka dots, and eyes the couldn't see squat. Everyone laughed at her and called her Polka Dot. Poor Polka Dot felt like a total weirdo, and always wished a fairy godmother would appear and cut her some slack."
Seeing Cinderella pg 1 (ARC)
Jenny Lundquist 

Be sure to come back Thursday to read my review of this book and an interview with Jenny, plus enter to win an ARC of Seeing Cinderella!


Monday, February 27, 2012

ARC Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

TITLE: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl  AUTHOR: Jesse Andrews
PUB: Amulet Books (ABRAMS)                PUB DATE: 3/1/12
FORMAT: ARC, 295 pgs
SOURCE: from publisher for review

Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.

THREE WORDS: Funny, Honest, Moving...three more words: Has Sock Puppets *giggles*

MY REVIEW: Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl took me by surprise with its ability to make me laugh, infuriate me and have me on the verge of tears, often in the span of a single page.

Seventeen year Greg Gaines has somehow accomplished the seemingly impossible- made it to his senior year of high school maintaining a “friendly” acquaintanceship with every group/clique in his school without truly belonging to any of them. Greg and his only real friend, Earl, make their own movies but don’t share them with anyone else…until Rachel happens. Greg and Rachel were friends when they were younger but haven’t spoken in years, but after Rachel is diagnosed with leukemia Greg’s mother insists he hang out with her. And somewhere along the way Greg and Earl are roped into making a film for dying Rachel, and Greg’s comfortable invisibility vanishes forever.

Moving and poignant in entirely unexpected ways, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is brash, profane, funny, relentlessly honest and at times almost hard to take, but in the best way possible. This isn’t your clichéd sappy, profound YA “cancer” book full of true love or life affirming moments…so if that’s the kind of story you’re looking for then this book probably isn’t for you.

The writing style in this book is to the point, unique and quite addicting. I read this book in one sitting, simply unable to put it down and the Greg’s story has continued to stick with me. Andrews offers readers a coming of age story that is heartbreaking and intense, but also easy and okay to laugh with and even at. With a pitch perfect voice, tone and dialogue this book feels and sounds authentic.

Greg Gaines is not always an easy character to like, nor do I think he is supposed to be, but he is always easy to relate to. Awkward (at times painfully so), unintentionally inconsiderate and insensitive, and at time abrasively humorous, he is both uniquely Greg and just like every other high school kid. I didn’t always like his choices or how he treated people, but I always felt invested in his story. Earl is an incredibly realistic and well-crafted character. There’s something oddly complex and endearing in his simplicity and unabashed honesty. Then there’s Rachel, the dying girl. I found myself neither loving nor hating Rachel, which I like to think is exactly what Andrews intended. I truly felt for her character, but I appreciated the fact that Andrews didn’t insist or force his readers to love her simply because she has cancer.

Throughout the book Greg insists that it isn’t a book where the characters all learn profound life lessons…and it really isn’t. But that’s okay. And that in itself is pretty profound.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a refreshingly eclectic, and at time weird story that explores the pain, awkwardness and unexpectedness that comes with growing up. Is this book for everyone? No. The subject matter, although approached with humor, is often intense and dark, but strikingly deep. I found Me and Earl and the Dying Girl to be an enjoyable and touching debut novel.  

4/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Jesse Andrews is a writer, musician, and former German youth hostel receptionist. He is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University and lives in Brooklyn, New York, which is almost as good as Pittsburgh. 

Musing Mondays (20): Book Series

MUSING MONDAYS…is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading where MizB will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic

  • Do you read books that are part of a series?
  •  Do you collect all the books in the series before starting? What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book one? As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books?
It seems that most new YA and MG books that come out today are part of a series (and yes, I'm probably exaggerating), not that I'm YES I definitely read books that are part of a series! It can be tempting to want to wait until all books in a series are published before actually starting that series, simply because it can be really hard to have to wait a year or more for new books to come out...but, I'm really just not that patient ;D

If a series is new and interests me then I'll go ahead and read book one and impatiently,  and hopefully eagerly, await the next book. But I must read book one before I ever read any other books in a series. I know some people have no problem reading a series out of order, but I just can't do that. And of course, I've been late to the party when it comes to many series, like The Hunger Games series, and was lucky enough to have all the books in the series available to me when I began book one. As far as re-reading earlier books in a series as newer ones are released, it really depends on how much time passes between releases. 

Annnnd speaking of book series, here a few YA and MG series that I love and you may not have heard of but really should give a read:


Sunday, February 26, 2012

In My Mailbox (16)

In My a meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and is a way for bloggers to share all the bookish (books they've won, been given, given for review, checked out from the library)  goodness that recently came into their possession.

"Here's the mail, it never fails.  
 It makes me want to wag my tail.   
When it comes I want to wail - Maillllllll!"
 (Mail Song from Blue's Clues)

In my mailbox this week....


ARC  Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) 
sent by publisher for review

Afterlife Series by T.P. Boje
sent by author for review

*signed*  Fairy Blues
by J.L. Bryan
won from author


For Review

by Steven Stickler

sent by author for review

sent by author for review


Shadows (Lux 0.5) by Jennifer Armentrout

I want to thank everyone who sent me books- Feiwel & Friends, T.P. Boje and J.L. Bryan


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winners, Winners! Cupcake Dinner!

This week I excitedly celebrated my 6 Month Blogoversary with a quick ebook giveaway!
Initially, I planned on giving away just one ebook copy of SHADOWS (Lux 0.5) by Jennifer Armentrout...but there were so many awesome entrants that I decided to have two winners and here they are...

Winner #1 (chosen by Rafflecopter)
~Brenda D~

Winner #2
As an extra entries option I asked entrants this question- if you were to bake a book inspired cupcake what book would it be inspired by, what flavor would it be and what would you call it?- and there were so many fabulous answers! I LOVED them all and couldn't possibly choose a I had my little sister pick one! And she chose...
who answered with "I could stick with my theme, I'd say brain-cake, made of brains. But that would be incredibly gross, unless of course, you were a zombie. Mmmmmmmmm brains!"

Both winners have been emailed and claimed their prizes.

ARC Review: Partials by Dan Wells

TITLE: Partials                                    SERIES: Partials #1
AUTHOR: Dan Wells                          PUB DATE:  2/28/12
PUB: Harper Collins                             FORMAT: ARC, 372 pgs
SOURCE: from publisher in exchange for honest review

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out. 
When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask. 


THREE-ISH WORDS: Holy Post-Apocalyptic-World Batman!

MY REVIEW: With a tagline like “The only hope for humanity isn’t human”, I was expecting there to be aliens in Dan Wells’ Partials…there are no aliens *she says deadpanned and slightly disappointed*…buuut my disappointment with this book ends with a lack of aliens and thus my fangirly love begins. Partials took me on an unexpected, and at times gasp-worthy and breathtaking, post-apocalyptic thrill ride.

It’s the year 2076 and nearly 99% of the world’s population has been wiped out by the RM virus. The small group of survivors, totaling a population that’s only in the tens of thousands, lives on Long Island but their future looks bleak. New born babies only survive a mere three days; the youngest person alive is 14. Add a rebel group of survivors known as the Voice and the ever present threat of the Partials, genetically engineered super humans thought to be responsible for the RM virus, and the future of this post-apocalyptic world doesn’t look good (or even remotely okay)…but sixteen year old medic, Kira, is determined to change that. Kira, along with a group of friends and a few unlikely allies, sets out to find a cure for the RM virus and save her BFF Madison’s baby, and just maybe save humanity as well.

Dan Wells’ Partials is a captivating example of a YA dystopian teeming with innovation, superb world-building and sophisticated provocativeness. Wells offers readers a wonderful mix of sci-fi, romance, intrigue and heart pounding action.

Fast paced and action packed, this book moves quickly and packs a punch, but Wells does a fantastic job of introducing and building his world organically and without overwhelming readers. And the world building itself is awesome! This post-apocalyptic world feels believable and plausible…shockingly and scarily so…and never farfetched. The scientific explanations for and explorations of the RM virus are presented with an intelligent complexity that adds concrete layers to the story.

I was impressed, and at times blown away by Wells’ ability to create a story that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Wells offers a really powerful and provocative look at the human condition and what it means to be human.

Kira is wonderfully crafted; she makes for an awesome, kick-ass protagonist. She’s relatable, yet her intelligence and courage are awe inspiring. I love that she comes across as both the girl next door you want to be besties with and the extraordinary heroine you simply want to be. This is a character that I instantly connected with and felt intrinsically invested in her story. Marcus, Kira’s boyfriend, is pretty much made of win and awesomesauce. I tried really hard not to fangirl over him too early in the book, but I couldn’t resist. He’s charming, sweet, endearing and adorkably funny; his one- liners and humorous observations are perfectly placed and delivered. Samm, Kira’s Partial ally, makes for a fascinating character; there’s a great deal of depth to him.

Now, you’re probably thinking there’s some kind of cliché love triangle between the three characters above, simply because I made a point to mention them. Welll, you may be right and you may be wrong…this is something you’re gonna have to figure out and decide for yourself!

I must mention the villain because every story has a great villain…this story has multiple baddies and they are all untrustworthy, sketchy, fascinating and compelling in their own ways.

The story itself is full of twists, turns and “Oh noes that did NOT just happen!” moments and revelations. Your trust and loyalty will be pulled in several directions, broken, crushed and rebuilt…and trust me, you won’t want it any other way. The book ends on a frustratingly intriguing note that will leave you desperate for book two.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This book may have sucked me in with its tagline, but it kept me enthralled with its innovative, thrilling story. With a myriad of YA dystopian novels to choose from, Dan Wells’ Partials is definitely one to add to the top of the pile. A MUST read!
5/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Dan Wells is the author of the John Cleaver series: I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You. He has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Campbell Award and has won two Parsec Awards for his podcast Writing Excuses. He plays a lot of games, reads a lot of books, and eats a lot of food, which is pretty much the ideal life he imagined for himself as a child.