Waiting on Wednesday – Week 81

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on! 

This week's WoW is:
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

March 18, 2014 ● Goodreads

This one sounds CRAZY good, and I definitely can't wait for it! Love the whole idea of the bucket list, as well as the sweet romance :D GRR. 2014! WHY ARE YOU SO FAR AWAY?! Anyway...

What are you waiting on?

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Selection, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Read my review of The Selection HERE.

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

If you've read my review of The Selection, you'll know how in love I am with this series. Kiera Cass has reduced me to becoming absolutely OBSESSED with this series– which I am glad for.
After I'd read the first book, I wasn't sure of my standing. I didn't know whether to go with Team Maxon, whom I was leaning towards the whole time, or Team Aspen, who I just couldn't let go of. Going into this book was super frustrating. I think it was generally the lack of romance in The Elite. The Selection had a LOT of it (which I was glad for) but this one tamed it down a little, so it was confusing and frustrating, and made me want to tear my hair out with every encounter with Maxon. I have now fully pledged myself to the "Maxon Fan Club" and am a strong supporter. Team Maxon for the win!

I really love how America's character has grown. She's definitely headstrong, and actually has morals (compared to Celeste *shudders*). I loved her fierce determination and her beliefs in what's right. There's a lot in this book that tests America's strength and I'm glad she gets through most of it with a face of confidence.
A lot of this book is more about the rebellion that popped up every now and then in the first book, and so there was a lot more information as to how the Selection actually came to be and more about the political tensions and ties that Illéa has with other parts of the country and the world. Also pretty interesting to see the geography of this dystopian world, with places such as New Asia coming up. While I liked that there was a lot more of this background information, I felt that this took a toll on the romance and chemistry between Maxon and America or Aspen and America, BUT it was all a worthwhile cause because it's generating a lot more anticipation for me (and I'm sure fans of this series all over) for the final novel in this series.

Speaking of which... that ENDING. Oh my gosh. Definitely had me fanning myself and clutching my pearls (pshh as if I own any). I am so much more pumped up for The One because there are so many possibilities for the ending... and the cover. I've been reading what people are guessing will happen, but I have no idea. Except that I'm sure it will be as spectacular as the rest of the series and will conclude magnificently.
A lot of character changes happen in this book as well. You do get to know the other girls a lot better because the competition has narrowed down to 6 in this book. It's not very pretty sometimes, as things can get quite ugly. We also find ourselves learning more about the King and the Queen in midst of all of this and... I'm going to say much except that it's quite surprising. I'll leave it at that.

❝Usually when we were alone together, I could block out the other girls. But tonight I thought about the possibility of someone else in my place. Just imagining it: someone else in Maxon's arms, making him laugh, marrying him... It broke my heart.❞
–p. 38

•••ATTENTION. I'm sorry to announce that the reviewer has fainted due to the sheer "swoonosity" in this book.•••


Whether you love dystopians, romance, action, politics, princesses, love triangles, rebellion– you have to read this book. Kiera Cass has created this brilliant, engrossing follow-up to a fantastic debut which I'm sure readers will fall in love with as much as I did. The Elite was possibly one of the best second-in-a-series books I've ever read, and has left me desperately clawing for more: The One.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sarah from HarperCollins for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...

Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken by Erin Bowman

Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Taken, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

This one took me a while to get through, but not for the reasons that you think. The eGalley was loading SUPER slowly, so it did take me some time to read this one. Nonetheless, I loved Taken. The concept is SO original – and it gets even more so later on in the plot – and I enjoyed every second of this action-packed dystopian story.

The characters were phenomenal! They had their own faults, but I thought that's what in fact made them such great characters. For instance, Gray the main character (who, now I have a major crush on) was pretty impulsive. I probably mentally slapped my forehead so many times because of all the rash decisions he makes. But I mean, where would Gray be if he wasn't impulsive? Taken by the Heist for sure, so pretty much we owe it to his character for making the story so much more interesting. Thank you faults! On another note, I'm pretty glad though that the main character is a male, as unfortunately, we don't see too many in the world of YA fiction, and it's great to see another headstrong lead come to existence.
With Emma and Bree, I have no idea what to think. I seriously have no preference for one of them, because both have their pluses and minuses. Just when I think one's better than the other, the other does something (or the former does something) and it all changes. I have no concluded feelings of either of them, so I'll just have to wait for the second book to find out more.

The twist in this story was MIND. BLOWING. Seriously, did not see that one coming. I was like WOAH, WHAT?!?! This twist happens quite "early" on in the story, as there's a whole chunk of plot following it up. This whole book was full of them, surprising and shocking me with every revelation. Characters aren't what they seem, more history with the Heist than is mentioned, and a cliffhanger-y ending to top it all off.

That being said, Taken is a new series I'm definitely *hehe pun intended* taken with. Erin Bowman has created this gorgeous world with a fiery, determined male protagonist taking charge. I loved it so much I even managed to get my own copy of it (thanks to Lisa at Dizneeee's World of Books). Can't wait to read more of what happens with Gray, Emma and Bree, as well as the rest of the characters in the sequel, Frozen!

If you like this, try...

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Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark

Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Series: Snap Decision, Book 1
Rated: YA 12+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Maybe Tonight? opens as the reader is getting ready for the most exciting party of the year—Midwinter’s Night Dream, set in the frosty woods just off campus—with her roommates and best friends Annabel Snow, Spider Harris, and Libby Monroe. Choices unfold quickly and the reader must decide which risks to take in pursuit of social status, adventure, success, and love.

The blurb should have been a dead giveaway, but it was only until I'd started reading this book and started suspecting (later finding out that my suspicions were correct), that this was a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style of a book! I used to read quite a few of these when I was younger, and this prospect alone made this book appealing to me.
I enjoyed the story that I ended up with. I know it'll be a different outcome for everyone, and I've only read another review where the reader got a not-so-happy-ending– which was the complete opposite for me. So there truly is no guarantee how the story will turn out to be.

This was such a short and quick read, as the whole book is around 220 pages, so you're skipping chunks and sections of it, making it like a short story. This was okay, because I found that my story ended up fine, I still had that whole plot and characters, even though there wasn't much character development. My story included a cute nerdy guy, a celebrity, and a night of sneaking away. Pretty exciting and action-packed for 50 or so pages! With this story I wasn't trying to create the most dramatic or the most trouble-making story, I just followed my instinct. Hopefully, because I had a happy ending, that means that *wink wink* I'll probably get one to. Here's to hoping!
I would recommend, however, getting a physically copy of this one, as it was annoying as an eGalley to jump around pages to different sections. With a book it's just easy to flip to the sections, and allowing the fun to continue fluidly, not wait for me to type in the page numbers on Adobe Digital Editions, which (thank the heavens above) luckily were corresponding to the page numbers in the book for once.

Overall, this book is one I can see attracting many age groups, as the style of the book will gain the attention of younger readers, while the multiple plots to the story for young adult readers. This was a ton of fun to read, and I'm sure many will enjoy the concept of taking charge of your own story and finding out what happens when you change the course of action.

If you like this, try...

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald

Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility.

Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot in typically different styles. Shy, responsible Grace manages to make friends with an upbeat, enterprising girl named Palmer but still yearns for her old life — and the maybe-almost-crush she left behind. Meanwhile, drama queen Hallie is throwing herself headlong into life — and love — in L.A., spending every second with gorgeous musician Dakota and warding off the attention of brooding vet Brandon. But is Hallie blinded by the stars in her eyes? And is Grace doomed to forever hug the sidelines?

I really enjoyed Abby McDonald's Getting Over Garrett Delaney, so I jumped at the chance to review this one. It's got the typical McDonald touch to it: character growth, guys, and a story everyone will love.

I actually didn't realise that this was a retelling of Sense and Sensibility until after I read the book. I didn't see too much similarity while reading the book, but now that I look back at it (I've only watched the movie) I can see the total mainframe of the classic embedded into this modern update. I thought that it's quite genius as it has it's own twists, yet stays truthful to the original.

I loved Grace's character and I felt that I could really connect to her. This book is split into parts and I thought that Grace owned the first part because most of the story here was in her court. We could really see how all the events at the start impacted her, and her attitude towards her sister and her mother, as well as her step-mother and Theo.
Theo was super cute! I loved the way he handled his nephew, I loved the interactions between him and Grace – the whole time I was like DYING – and thought that he just generally had a sweet, wholesome nature to him. I really don't know who could possibly hate his character!
Hallie's character on the other hand... I just couldn't understand her. I love theatre as well, so I thought that I would be able to connect with her, but she was just so whiny and overdramatic that it made it impossible to really enjoy her story. She ignores the one guy who really does care for her, just like in Sense and Sensibility, which really put me on an edge. GRR. Frustrating, but still, her story had TONS of drama to keep me interested.

I loved the change in setting as well! San Francisco is where the book starts and as the title suggests, the girls head out to LA to live with their relative and his hilariously perky wife. There they meet people who shape and impact their lives changing relationships, breaking hearts and creating smiles.
I found that the setting of LA was also crucial for Hallie's character. The whole scene of Beverly Hills with the cameras, the drama, the rich families and party scene really created this huge backdrop that carried out the events that changes her character and really brings out a lot of the emotions in this story.

Abby McDonald has done it again with this latest addition! Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood promises giggles and tears with every turn of the story. I love this author and her books, and am looking forward to the next contemporary that she writes. Loved it!

If you like this, try...


Hey everyone,

I've been kind of off-blogging for a while because I'm traveling (which means I have to put our event slightly on hold :S), BUT I was in the US!! It was SUPER exciting, cause I FINALLY GOT TO GO TO ALA!! AHHHH!! Here's a little bit about what went down:

YAY! My badge :D

On the first day, I was a little late getting there... like I arrived around 9:30-ish? This was because my dad and I got a little lost trying to find the building and then I had to go up for registration. I must admit, I was a little intimidated by the many, MANY people that were there. But then I went ahead into the exhibits.


Okay, I see people getting so many book hauls, and then talking about their experience, how they weren't able to grab certain books, so I went in thinking that I wasn't going to get anything! Hehe, I was totally wrong on that one :P I got my first book within the first 10 minutes. I just kind of stood there, wondering if I was able to just take it, kind of confused as to what I was supposed to do. By observing many others I was able to finally get what to take, like the ARCs they put out for free, swag, etc., and what not to, like the display copies. The first one I grabbed was Jessica Darling's It List #1 by Megan McCafferty (Goodreads), which is totally AMAZING because I loved Bumped and Sloppy Firsts, so getting the chance to read this was so great!

So, the signings guys, the signings!

On this lovely panel at the Lerner Publishing Group booth was Sarah Aronson, author of Believe; Ashley Hope Perez, author of The Knife and the Butterfly; and Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, author of No Crystal Stair. I was SUPER excited for this one, because not only had I read and LOVED The Knife and the Butterfly and get to meet the fab author behind the novel, but I'd heard of Sarah Aronson's book, and was pumped up to meet Vaunda Micheaux Nelson as well! BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. When I landed up getting The Knife and the Butterfly signed, I asked to get it personalised. AND GUESS WHAT??


OH. MY. GOSH. I like had a little freak out moment because she's like, "I know your name!" and I told her I was apart of the blog tour for this book and we had a little yay! moment of finally meeting. I'm telling you, there was some serious freak out moments with signings at ALA.

Um, hello? DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO THIS IS?!?! IT'S A.G. HOWARD PEOPLE. THE A.G. HOWARD. I flipped out. Seriously. One of the "longest" (because the signing lines weren't too long fortunately pour moi) lines I had to stand in, but it was totally worth it because, HELLO: A.G. Howard people! ANDDDDDD... She knew who I was. Oh my god. Like seriously, I don't know how many times I think about it and still cannot get over the fact. SHE KNEW WHO I WAS. AHHH!!!!! We talk on twitter time to time, BUT OH MY GOODNESS YES, SHE REMEMBERED ME.

This awesome person right here (well, other than me of course.... lol no) is HANNAH MOSKOVITZ! And guyssss! She KNOWS MY BLOG. I like had a total fanning-myself-saying-ohmygosh-over-and-over-again moment when she recognized the name of my blog on my badge. She's like the COOLEST person ever. Seriously. She like talks super fast and I'm like woahhh like half the time, but there was no line (cause I came towards the end of it), so we got to chat a little bit, which was awesome! hehe, seriously, if you get the chance to meet this amazing gal, DO IT. You will not regret it!

And this is the part where I'm super lame, because I totally didn't take any more pictures with authors BUT I will tell you about the other signings I went to that were memorable.

This is the whole 2 stacks of books I got signed! 
(The one hiding below Counting by 7s is Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgewick, and the one the wrong way round below Seeing Red is Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick)

Meeting Marcus Sedgewick was amazing, because I'd read his book for our independent reading unit in grade 8 (this is when I was living in Canada). He was really surprised to see Blood Red, Snow White because apparently it's not published in the US, so that was really cool :D

I'm With Stupid by Geoff Herbach was the first book I got signed at ALA, so that was pretty notable!

I got the sampler for United We Spy by Ally Carter signed, and this was a PRETTY long line guys. I ended up waiting probably like for 20-25 minutes to get this signed, but she was super sweet, totally worth the wait.

Michael Grant was AWESOME. Like so awesome. Luckily, when I got there, it was around the end of the signing time, so there wasn't too many people ahead of or behind me. He saw my badge and got to talking about Singapore, and hopefully, he (and hopefully his amazing wife Katherine Applegate, who's line was unfortunately too long) could come over to this side of the world for a signing! AND SOME AWESOME OTHER STUFF HAPPENED. Right behind him was THE Katherine Tegan and Peter Lerangis! Peter Lerangis I caught up later with at his signing the second day, but that was super cool. This was like the signing of awesomeness, I tell ya. However, I totally regret not taking a picture with him, because I mean, HELLO. It's MICHAEL GRANT. Ugh at me -_-

I also got to meet Julie Cross! This was kind of away from the YA booths, so not too many people were there. I got a hardback (still amazes me how many books are just HANDED out) of Vortex and I'd brought my own copy of Tempest. Kind of embarrassing, because I only just noticed that my younger brother had scrawled a birthday message onto the first page. Luckily, she kind of just looked past that and signed my books :) Kind of like what happened with Marcus Sedgewick, my version of Tempest was different so she was like "oh wow! This is a different edition!" and stuff like that, so it was pretty cool.

Kind of a blurry picture, but here's Sara Zarr! Super cool meeting her, because even though I haven't read any of her books (yet) I managed to get a copy of her upcoming book Roomies as well as The Lucy Variations! Totally can't wait to get started on those :D

Speaking of meeting people... I got to meet the very awesome Lindsay from Live To Read and her mom, who was super nice :D Since I wasn't there for the 29th (which I heard was super crowded) Lindsay was AMAZING and got me these books!

I have a feeling that I'm missing out on 1 or 2 of the books she managed to grab for me, but wowie! I'm so lucky, cause seriously, all of these are on my TBR and now I can't wait to get to them :D

I also went to the Flux booth and the publicist there RECOGNIZED ME! She was then super amazing and like got me a copy of The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace! EEP! TOTALLY CAN'T WAIT TO START IT!!

The second day (the 1st of July) was a little less crowded than the first day I went, but because they were clearing out a majority of the booths, there were HUGE lines for everything. I'm not joking. For the Simon & Schuster booth I ended up waiting like for 25-30 minutes. Grrr... but was worth it, 'cause you know, clearing out books! WOOHOO! But, sadly I wasn't able to get some of the ones that I wanted like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and such, but you know, coming home with like 80 books is enough anyway, so yay!

That pretty much sums up the entire experience of ALA. And I mean, I thought this was awesome just for the 2 days I was there! I know why people get all hyped up about events like these because it's just such an amazing time. I'm totally looking forward to the next round! Hopefully I'll be studying in the US by then ;D

ANYWAY, so here are pictures of the books I managed to get at ALA! I'm not including any of the ones which I got pictured above, so yeah... these are all the unsigned + the ones Lindsay did not get me:
All the books I brought home!

ANNNDDDD here's all the swag :D

I got 8 posters, including a HUGE City of Bones one! (and a small Allegiant one! :D)

All of le swag. :D

And... some swag I forgot about for the first pic below :P

Basically, I got a gajillion Antigoddess bookmarks, so any giveaways that I host and I'm mailing it, you'll be getting some :D

So yup! That's all the books and swag I got, and the experience I had at ALA! I won't be able to attend next years, 'cause I'll be graduating from high school, but hopefully I'll be able to attend the Winter one... who knows!
Anyway, if you do get the chance to go to these events– not just ALA, but TLA, BEA, etc. – definitely go to them because they are SUCH A BLAST.

I think that's a long enough post, and that's basically the reason why I haven't been posting since a while back. I've just come back from holiday, basically visiting 25+ universities, and it's all been extremely exhausting, but I hope to be back to blogging this upcoming week! Thanks and if you went to ALA, I'm sorry I couldn't catch you, but lemme know what you thought and hey, we can always meet up next time :P