Next to be reviewed:

review of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa:

Summary: My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.
♥ Favorite Line(s):
"Goodfellow?” ****** stared at Puck nervously. “Robin Goodfellow?”
“Oh, look at that, he’s heard of me. My fame grows.” Puck snorted and leaped off the roof. In midair, he became a giant black raven, who swooped toward us with a raucous cry before dropping into the circle as Puck in an explosion of feathers. “Ta-daaaaaaaaaa."- I. Love. Puck.

My thoughts:
I'm finding this review very hard to write. There are parts of this book that made me ache for the next one, parts I wanted to re-read again and again because I love them so much. Then there were parts that made me want to throw this book across the room and never speak of it again. So you see, I am in quite the review pickle. But alas, I will try, using my favored new method of reviewing to explain my feelings for The Iron Queen.

The lovely bits>
  • My dear Puck> Puck is the HBIC as far as I'm concerned and I still loved him dearly in this installment. He's sarcastic, has a bloodthirsty streak, and is my beautiful ginger prince. Whenever I felt the plot was too heavy, good ol' Puck would swoop in with a hilarious one-liner to get everything moving again. While not the main focus of the love interests anymore, he's a necessity for the story to flow the way it does and brings something fun to every party and battle. And a weapon.
  • Meghan's progression> In The Iron Daughter, Meghan Chase was still relying on others to fight the majority of her battles. She was almost in the way at some points, which is why I loved her much more in The Iron Queen. She steps up to the plate and becomes a truly great heroine. She learns what sacrifice truly means and begins to look at the general welfare rather than cling to personal loyalties as hard as she did in the first two books.
  • The ending> French the llama, guys. I have never read an ending in which nothing happened the way I wanted it to and I still loved it. Until now. I had a very clear picture in my mind of where I wanted the story to go. Nothing went the way I wanted, yet Kagawa weaved such a great closure that I didn't care one bit. The last few pages left the plot off in such a great place for the next book that I cannot wait to read The Iron Knight.

    The not-so-lovely bits>
    • The plot> Now don't get me wrong, much of the plot was fan-friggin'-tastic. I loved almost everything about the actual story, but some parts left me feeling let down. At points toward the middle of The Iron Queen I experienced some deja vu. I felt like I'd read entire chapters before in the previous books. Some of the fighting and dialogue was a little too repetitive for me and made it hard to get through a large portion in the middle of the book.
    Summing it up:

    I really am enjoying this series and the world that Julie Kagawa has created. While this wasn't my favorite book ever, I do recommend it for fans of faeries, fights, and forbidden love.

    *More like 3.75, but I don't have a graphic for that. *le shrug*

    P.S. Have you noticed my newest link in the sidebar? Click on "To Swap" to see the books I'm trying to swap for new ones. Also, don't forget to enter my contest and vote in the poll at the bottom of my blog!
    Happy Thursday!

    "Can't Go Back Now"-The Weepies,

    What I Want in My Mailbox...{12}

    What I want in my mailbox is my version of Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.
    This week I want Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman  in my mailbox!
    I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

    Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

    * * * * * * * * * * *
    I read a fourteen page preview of Why We Broke Up and now I reallyreallyreallyreallysuperduper want it. I love the writing style and voice and illustrations already. I love everything about it already.

    Why We Broke Up will be released January 2, 2012.

    What are you waiting for?

    "Dark Blue"-Jack's Mannequin,

    Flailing {a new feature}:

    Today John Green {basically my favorite author ever, I would probably be fascinated by his grocery lists} announced the title of his newest book to be published May 2012.

    Guys, it's a Shakespeare reference. And it's John Green. And it's coming out next year. Which will make it his first solo book since 2009's Paper Towns because it takes him three years to write the magical gifts called his books.

    This here feature I'm starting is one in which I will gush over any books that I reallyreallyreally need right now. The ones that make me flail, hence the name of this feature, Flailing. John Green could keyboard smash out an entire novel and I. Would. Still. Love it. This is how one man can inspire a new feature.

    Oh, and the best part? He's signing {not a machine copy, an honest-to-God-from-his-Sharpie signing} every single pre-ordered copy of his book. I'll let you absorb that for a while....




    Okay, I think it may have sunken in by now. You can pre-order it here or here and both will have signed copies. Go forth, my dears, and support the Green.

    So, what are you flailing over lately?

    Teaser Tuesday {8}

    Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB over @ Should be Reading. Check out her blog to get the rules! There's no way I can just share two lines, so most of these will probably more like paragraphs.
    This week's teaser is from The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa!

    "In the end, it didn't matter. A simple wish wouldn't save us from what we had to do, and my mind was made up.  "
    -pg. 131

    Last week's teaser was from The Iron Daughter, the second book in the series, so It's kind of fitting that this week's teaser is from the next installment. If you have a teaser please link below in the comments! I love reading them and would love if you shared yours. Happy Tuesday!

    P.S. Don't forget to enter my CONTEST and vote in the poll at the bottom of my blog!
    "Your Love"-Fay Wolf,

    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

    Summary:About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace-- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
    And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear....

    ♥ Favorite Line(s):

    "Exactly," Valek replied. "You have poisoned me."

    My thoughts:

    I absolutely fell in love with Poison Study. This is the first Maria V. Snyder book I've read, but certainly not the last. The characters, plot, and setting all came together in a book that is now one of my favorites.

    The lovely bits>

    • The characters> Yelena is one of the strongest, most badass voices I've ever read in. I loved every minute I was in her head and cannot wait to experience her very distinct voice in the rest of the series. Valek is also extremely badass and was probably my favorite character in the entire book. Even though I didn't really love any of the other characters {besides maybe Dilana, the always rainbow-butterflies-sparkle-glitter happy seamstress}, they were all expertly crafted. From the intensely evil Reyad to the just plain bitter Margg, I could picture every character in my head and feel like I really got to know them.
    • The plot> I've never read anything like Poison Study. From the focus on poisons, to the odd new world of the Commander's rule, everything seemed pretty original to me. The plot had tons of twists and turns with plenty of raw, uncensored backstory thrown in as well. Such a fun, fast-paced read!
    The not-so-lovely bits>
    • The world-building> While I loved the feel of the world in which Yelena lives and the settings described were great, I couldn't really figure out how the whole thing was set up or where each of the regions was located. The paperback version {the one I have} has a map in the front so I was constantly referring back to it to keep everything straight, though it was still a challenge for me. The map = godsend.
    I think the fact that the only not-so-lovely bit I mentioned was a minor world-building issue shows how much I loved this book.

    Summing it up:

    Lovelovelove Poison Study. I'm not-so-patiently waiting to get my hands on the second & third ones because the book was made of unicorn tears, rainbows, and children's smiles*. I'd recommend it for everyone!

    *FYI, this means: epicly awesome things and whatnot.

    P.S. Have you noticed my newest link in the sidebar? Click on "To Swap" to see the books I'm trying to swap for new ones. Also, don't forget to enter my contest and vote in the poll at the bottom of my blog!
    Happy Monday!

    "Creature Fear"-Bon Iver,

    Faves of 2011 (so far): {the characters}:

    The ever lovely Nomes over at Inkcrush is hosting a virtual, interactive awards show of sorts for books read in 2011. Any books read in 2011 are fair game and all "winners" are chosen respectively by the blogs participating. I thought it was an awesome idea so I've decided to join in! If you'd like to participate check out the informational post here.
    Best female POV:

    • Taylor from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Sassy, strong, and completely real. Love love love reading in her voice.
    • Yelena from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. This girl is such a badass. I loved fighting along with her through physical opponents as well as the demons in her own head. Brilliantly written!
    • Bianca from The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. She's hilarious. She's so very real I can picture her right now, hanging around her History class or in one certain boy's bedroom. ;)
    Best male POV:

    • Cassel from Red Glove by Holly Black. Can I just be appointed the president of the Cassel Sharpe fan club or...?
     Best couple <3:

    ...can you tell I like couples just a little bit? Heh.

    Who I so want to be best friends with:


    • Bianca because she's hilarious and we have the same sense of humor. Plus she's pretty blunt, which I also am.
    • Yelena because once again...she is too badass for words. And I totally want an excuse to own some ninja stars.
    • Cassel. Because he's Cassel. And Cassel is perfect.
    • Alec because if I can't date his wonderful self we must be BFF. Magnus too.
    Who I fell completely in love with {new literary crush} <3:

    • VALEK. *le swoon* I loved him from the first appearance, even when he was a jackass I was totes magotes a proud member of the Valek fan club.
    • Gabriel <3______<3. Helllllooooo there, Gabriel.
    Worst {best} villain:

    • Because there is no villain. The villain is inside Jonah, Jonah himself. This was a story of internal struggle. Outside stimuli affected his decisions but all in all Jonah was the truly villainous one.
    • Reyad. He's on this list because Maria V. Snyder made his crimes so real and so raw that I wanted to rip him from the pages and beat the living daylights out of him {preferably with the aforementioned ninja stars}.
    Best character twist {who you loved then hated or vice versa}:

    • Lord help me if I ever hated a human being the way I hated Cole St. Clair in the beginning of this book. And now he's my homeskillet. ;)
    Best kick-arse female:

      • Honorable mention: the girls of the TMI series...Isabelle's whip is legit.
      • Honorable mention: Taylor from Jellicoe Road. Also a badass, but not in the same way as the others.
    Best kick-arse male:

    • Valek. He and Yelena are too badass for words. And I love it oh so much.
    • COFA is full of badass boys and their deadly toys.
    Broke my heart the most:

    • Can you tell they all break my heart? A character I like could catch the common cold and I would be a blubbering mess.
    • Benny had no one but one loyal friend and a bunch of mindless undead former friends set on killing him, Bianca & Wesley's lives are being shot to hell, Jonah is killing himself, quickly. Taylor has gone to hell and back again and again. Yelena & Valek both endured some of the hardest situations I've read in YA. Those two survived more than I imagined someone could.
    Best/worst character names:

    • Best> Nix Riley from Rot & Ruin; Yelena from Poison Study; Bianca & Wesley from The DUFF; Lila from Red Glove
    • Worst> Ash from The Iron Fey Series {I cannot speak, type, or even think Team Ash without feeling like an arsonist sympathizer}; Cassel from Red Glove; Toby from The DUFF {because my aunt's dog had the same name and I always picture an odd teenage boy/black lab hybrid when characters are named Toby; frightening, I know}
    BONUS: Five fave covers:


    • Poison Study> Love the hair intermingling with the weeds. It makes me think of the poisons and such mentioned throughout the book and also the magical element. Plus in real life some of the vines are all SHINY. It's great.
    • Jellicoe Road> The orange, seemingly painted band, the kooky font, the very orange, simple flower that seems to have the essence of the entire novel trapped within it's petals. The cover designer should get a raise or a bonus or cookies; something.
    • Break> It's so simple and gritty. Completely fits the tone of the book.
    • Beauty Queens> It's such a contradiction. Pretty, blonde beauty queen with...bullets strapped across her chest like a second, hard earned sash.
    • Slice of Cherry> The bloody teacups make so much sense when you've read the book. Two serial killing girls in a charming Southern town = bloody teacups galore. Plus cool font = bonus points.
    * * * * * * * * * * *

    This has been another edition of Nomes' faves of 2011. If you participated leave a link! And don't forget to enter my CONTEST and vote in the poll at the bottom of my blog.
    Happy Sunday!

    "Pumped Up Kicks"-Foster the People,