Current Giveaways

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop! {Win 2 YA ARCs}

This hop is hosted by

I, for one, am very glad that 2012 is over and 2013 is upon us! I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be an awesome year, with all the fab books releasing and my first niece arriving in May!!

And to celebrate this new fantabulous year I have two ARCs up for grabs for one lucky cupcake...

(click title to learn more)

Splintered by A.G. Howard
this ARC will also come with the super cute key necklace as seen on the cover!
Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton

-One winner will win both ARCS and the key necklace
-Will run from 1/1 - 1/7
-Must be 13+, One main entry per person
-Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prize in the mail
Fill out Rafflecopter form to enter...

Review: Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb
Ally Malinenko
Antenna Books
Format: ebook
Source: author
a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)
Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?
In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

THREE WORDS: Fantastically Fun & Entertaining

MY REVIEW: I'm no Shakespeare scholar or fanatic, but I do enjoy his work, and author Ally Malinenko has done something quite extraordinary with her book Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb...she's made Shakespeare fun! Fantastically fun, in fact! This adventure filled middle-grade surpassed my expectations and turned out to be an excellent read.

Twelve year old Lizzy Speare is not a normal girl; she's the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Which, she finds out on her twelfth birthday; the day she and her BFF, Sammy are kidnapped by a Muse for their own safety. Jonathan Muse reveals to Lizzy that as the last Shakespeare descendant she is the sole heir of a great fortune. But Dmitri Marlowe, the last descendant of Shakespeare's good friend and fellow writer Christopher Marlowe, is after Lizzy, the fortune, and maybe even Revenge! Jonathan introduces Lizzy and Sammy to a whole world of mythical beings and creatures, and Lizzy must confront her destiny to save everyone and everything she loves.

Malinenko has crafted such an original and imaginative story with Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. A fun, exciting middle-grade tale about the infamous Shakespeare and Marlowe relationship, and their imagined descendants  is an ingenious idea. An idea that Malinenko pulls off excellently with flair and talent that Mr. Shakespeare would be proud of.

This is a longer middle-grade book, but it has a great fast-pace full of suspense and thrills. I didn't find myself bored once while reading it and eagerly turned pages. Malinenko creates a world that is rich in history, mystery, and all things fantastical. A world that feels both modern and old-world, hip and enchanting, dark and whimsical. The work of Shakespeare is not always easy to understand or get into, but in Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb the world and work of Shakespeare is presented in a way that is both appropriate and highly entertaining for younger readers. Plus, Lizzy's journey and adventures are just so addicting and fun that younger readers won't even realize that they're also learning a great deal.

The fantasy and mythical elements are awesome! Satyrs, Cyclopses, gorgons, fairies, selkies, Muses, magical quills, talking Ravens, doors that change, and more, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb as it all. Lizzy's journey is full of compelling mystery, fascinating history, and breathless peril. But, this book also has a lot of heart and is surprisingly touching.

Lizzy is a great heroine: smart, brave, capable, and compassionate, but stubborn and sarcastic in an endearing way. Sammy is completely adorable and charming and I want him as a BFF too. Jonathan Muse and Dmitri Marlowe are wonderfully layered and complex characters. I love that I trusted and doubted both fellows at the same time and that they constantly surprised me.

My only complaint is that the ending (only like the last two pages) felt a bit abrupt and jarring, but it did leave me excited for a sequel.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is a terrific middle-grade book with a wildly entertaining and refreshing premise, compelling characters, and fantastic storytelling. Lovers of Shakespeare, the fantastical, or just fun adventure, will certainly enjoy this tale. 


Ally Malinenko: Site / Facebook / Twitter
Purchase: Amazon
Ally Malinenko, a self-proclaimed Bardolator, took her first pilgrimage to Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 and hasn’t been the same since. Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is her first children's book. Her poetry book, The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press. She blogs at Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodie Basket (33): Book Haul & Blog Recap

Goodie a weekly feature hosted here at Word Spelunking that showcases all the goodies (books, bookish things, reviews, interviews/giveaways/guest posts, blog tours, etc) that popped up in the Goodie Basket that is Word Spelunking each week.

(This meme is inspired by other book haul memes such as Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, Showcase Sunday hosted by Books, Biscuits & Tea and Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer )

Welcome back, Cupcakes! I hope everyone had a great holiday week and is ready for the new year!!!

In my mailbox this week...


Bruised by Sarah Skilton 
Abrams (sent from pub)

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
Pyr (sent from pub)


Splintered by A.G. Howard 
Abrams (sent from pub)

Vortex (Tempest #2) by Julie Cross
St. Martin's Press

Big THANK YOUS to Abrams, Pyr, and St. Martin's Press for the bookish awesomeness this week!!!

Weekly Recap
This week I took a bit of a break and just posted my daily Top 10 of 2012 posts, which include:

What did you get this week?!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2013

Today's list is...

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2013
(in no particular order...because picking just ten is hard enough!!!)
click titles to learn more

Unravel Me  (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Last year, Shatter Me was one of my most favorite reads and I cannot wait to see where this series goes. I'm so jelly of all those people who've already read this sequel.

Fragments (Partials Sequence #2) by Dan Wells
I really loved Partials and its intense, suspenseful dystopian setting. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer Armentrout
With the way Deity and Elixir ended, I am dying to read book four!

In the After  by Demitria Lunetta
This one sounds so deliciously creepy and intense!

House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus
Ned Vizzini + Chris Columbus + Middle-grade + that cover = me sold and excited!!!

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
I love fairytale re-tellings and re-imaginings and this one sounds fabulous.

The Ward by Jordana Frankel
That cover is so eye-catching, and the thrilling, dystopian setting sounds beyond awesome!

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan
If you've read book three, then you know that cliffhanger was a killer! I'm dying to find out how Percy and Annabeth get out of the mess they're in.

Sweet Legacy  (Medusa Girls #3) by Tera Lynn Childs
I'm so in love with this series and am impatiently awaiting book three!

Crest (Ondine Quartet #3) by Emma Raveling
After reading the novellas, Chevalier and Warrior Prince, I'm even more excited for book three in this series.


What books are you looking forward to in 2013?!?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Best Book Boyfriends and Girlfriends

Today's list is...

Best Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends
I couldn't limit the list to just my fave guys, so I included my fave gals too!
(in no particular order...because picking just ten is hard enough!!!)
click titles to learn more

Tiger Lily
from Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Tiger Lily is given such a fierce loveliness in this book that I couldn't help but be completely captivated by her. I found myself drawn to her much more than Peter Pan or that Wendy Bird.

Aiden St. Delphi from Deity (Covenant Series #3) by Jennifer Armentrout
I've been on Team Aiden since day one and I just loved him in Deity. He's such a swoon-worthy hottie *flails*

Yukiko from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
There's nothing hotter than a badass chick who kicks serious butt, slays demons, knows how to wield a weapon, and is witty to boot! 

Tristan Belicoux from Billow by Emma Raveling
I love both of the main male characters in this series (and both made this list), but I think I love Tristan just a bit more than his competition Julian. Tristan is just so sexy-sweet and honorable. He's the epitome of the knight in shining armor.

Anna Korlov from Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Since book one I have been completely enamored with this lovely ghost girl. There's something just so spellbindingly and heartachingly beautiful about her. If I were into dating ghosts, I'd totally choose her! 

Julian LeVeq from Billow by Emma Raveling
I talked about how sexy-sweet Tristan is above, and now I'm going to talk about how frustratingly sexy-snarky Julian is. Since book one, I wanted to not like him and just be totally Team Tristan, but I can't help but love Julian too. 

Zuzana from Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Zuzana really shines in this sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone! This feisty fairy-esque girl is full of spunk, spark, and sass and I have such a crush on her.

Burru from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
*le sigh*. If it's wrong to have a crush on a mythical thunder tiger/griffin then I don't wanna be right (don't judge me!). There's something so irresistibly captivating and eloquently powerful about this Buruu.

Katy from Onyx and Opal by Jennifer Armentrout
My crush on Katy has surpassed the fangirl level! She continues to be one of the best developed and written YA heroines in existence. Her strength, determination, courage and strong-will never waver. I love that she isn’t defined by her love interest and can easily stand alone as a fascinating, layered and complete character without Daemon (not that I don’t lurve them as a pair). And the acerbic and quick wit Armentrout has blessed her with continues to bake my cupcakes!

A from Every Day by David Levithan
Even with no specific gender, race or physical body of their own, A is still such a complex and layered character. I haven't felt so attached and invested in a character this much in a long time.  I was so blown away by and moved by this character, by the end of the book I felt like A was a part of me.

Who are your book boyfriends and/or girlfriends of 2012?!
Come back tomorrow when I list the top ten books I'm looking forward to in 2013...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Best MG Books I've Read in 2012

Today, each blogger is supposed to choose one of these categories: Villains, Contemporaries, Dual POV's, Novellas, Adult titles, New Adult titles, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys or Debuts...well, those are all great choices, but I'm going to deviate from the list and talk about middle-grade books I've read this year because 1) I LOVE mg and 2) I've read some amazing mg books this year. 

So, today's list is...

Best MG Books I've Read in 2012
(in no particular order...because picking just ten is hard enough!!!)
click titles to learn more

See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles
This book was also on my top ten books (any genre/category) or 2012 because it's seriously that good! This is such a powerfully and poignantly beautiful and soul-deep book. I cried so many much needed tears reading this book.

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
This was also on my top ten books (any genre/category) I've read in 2012 list, because I love it that much. This book has charm and heart and laughs bursting out of it , and the main character, Mo, is a true kindred spirit.

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan
If you know me, then you know how much I adore this series and the one before it. And if you didn't know that, well now you do...I lurve me some Percy Jackson! Rick Riordan is one of the best MG storytellers out there.

Dead City by James Ponti
I fell so in love with this wickedly fun and fresh zombie tale! Ponti writes with a pitch-perfect and captivating MG voice. 

Evertaster by Adam Sidwell
Smart. Refreshing. Wonderfully written. Full of superb characters and exciting adventure. These are just a few ways to describe this fantastic MG book! Evertaster is bursting with flavor, fun and fabulousness.

Storybound by Marissa Burt
Storybound enchanted me so completely! This book swept me away on a grand and epic adventure filled with edge of your seat action, fascinating characters, and a wonderfully whimsical world.

The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash
I had SO much fun reading this book! Sarvenaz Tash has created a truly unique, imaginative and special story. With a fantastically fun story full of non-stop adventure, compelling characters and superb writing, The Mapmaker and the Ghost is a definite delight.

Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks by Robert Gray
This book has everything I look for in a MG book- laugh-out-loud laughs, relatable young characters, pitch-perfect dialogue and a super fun story….oh, and pizza. Can’t forget the pizza! Robert Gray offers readers the perfect mix of the creepy, the funny and the “real” life; a mix that will delight young and older readers alike. 

One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Six pages into One for the Murphys and I was laughing out loud and already connecting with the main character. Twelve pages in and I was already in tears. From beginning to end, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, has crafted a truly engrossing and gorgeous middle grade read.

Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky
This book wasn't released this year, but I only just discovered in 2012. Juniper Berry took me on a deliciously dark, delightfully eerie and surprising journey. I love when MG authors aren’t afraid to infuse their stories with a bit of genuine scariness and spine-tingling creepiness, and Kozlowsky does this with perfect doses of each. Reminiscent of Coraline and A Series of Unfortunate Events, this book has that fantastical mix of fanciful darkness, enchanting settings and excitement.

What were some of your favorite MG reads of 2012?
Come back tomorrow when I list my top ten best book boyfriends of 2012...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Best Book Covers of 2012

First, Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate

Today's list is...

Best Book Covers on 2012
(in no particular order...because picking just ten is hard enough!!!)
click titles to learn more

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
This is such a cool cover! It represents the steampunky-fantasy elements of the story so well. It's even cooler in person.

Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff
This cover is fierce! I love everything about!

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
This one may be simple, but it conveys the creepiness of the awesome story perfectly.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
This cover is just so lovely *sighs*...I wanna being floating among those stars in a pretty dress too.

Purity by Jackson Pearce
I love how simple this cover is and how it so perfectly encompasses what the story is all about. Plus, I lurve that blue background!

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Both books in the Anna Series have such deliciously eerie and unforgettable covers. 

Storybound by Marissa Burt
This cover just radiates a magical, enchanting vibe doesn't it?!

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
This is one of the most eye-catching covers of the year! I mean, you see this cover on a shelf and you can't help but grab it, right?

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Ok, so I didn't like this book (I kinda hated it) and I'll be the first to admit that covers featuring girls in fancy-schmancy dresses are getting boring...BUT, this one is just so purrrdy. I wanna wear that blue dress. I have nowhere fancy to actually wear it, but I'd totally rock it at the grocery store!

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood
This is actually the UK cover (the US one is cute too) and, well y'all know I couldn't leave out a cover with a yummy cupcake on it ;) I just love the color scheme for this version as well.

What are some of your favorite 2012 book covers!
Come back tomorrow when I share my top ten best MG books of 2012!