ARC Review: The Arctic Code by Matthew J. Kirby

ARC Review: The Arctic Code by Matthew J. Kirby

ARC Review: The Arctic Code by Matthew J. Kirby

The Arctic Code

by Matthew J. Kirby

Genres: Adventure, Futuristic, Middle Grade
Publication date: April 28th, 2015
by Balzer + Bray
Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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Perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson and Seven Wonders series, The Arctic Code is the first book in an epic, fast-paced middle grade adventure trilogy by acclaimed author Matthew J. Kirby.

It is the near future, and the earth has entered a new ice age. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, one of the most popular destinations for refugees of the Freeze. She is the daughter of a climatologist who is trying to find new ways to preserve human life on the planet. Dr. Perry believes that a series of oil deposits she has found in the Arctic may hold the key to our survival. That's when she disappears--but not before sending Eleanor a series of cryptic messages that point to a significant and mysterious discovery. Now it's up to Eleanor to go find her.

This search will launch Eleanor on a breathless race to unlock the mysteries of what has happened to our planet, solving the riddle of the cold that could be humanity's end--and uncovering a threat to the earth that may not be of this world.
I received this book for free from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review.

The Arctic Code was an interesting book to say the least but I liked the idea of it more than I liked the actual book. This is a book kid me would have loved but it pains me to say this, especially since I am just starting to get back into middle grade, but this book just didn’t work for me as an older reader. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did, but I wasn’t able to suspend my disbelief of certain things.

I don’t know if that makes my feelings towards the book ‘it’s me not you’ because what does it say about a book if I cannot manage to suspend my disbelief? I’ve done this for other middle grade books I’ve read so it is me as a reader or is it a failing of the book? I cannot say for sure.

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ARC Review: Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

ARC Review: Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

ARC Review: Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Anyone but Ivy Pocket

by Caleb Krisp

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publication date: April 21st, 2015
by Greenwillow
Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid of no importance, with a very lofty opinion of herself. Dumped in Paris by the Countess Carbunkle, who would rather run away to South America than continue in Ivy's companionship, our young heroine (of sorts) finds herself with no money and no home to go to ... until she is summoned to the bedside of the dying Duchess of Trinity.

For the princely sum of £500 (enough to buy a carriage, and possibly a monkey), Ivy agrees to courier the Duchess's most precious possession – the Clock Diamond – to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. It's not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder.

Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by Iacopo Bruno, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl's deadly comic journey to discover who she really is ...
I received this book for free from Greenwillow in exchange for an honest review.

I am not sure whether this book is absolutely brilliant or a pain in the ass. Ivy Pocket reads a little like Amelia Bedelia (who just happens to be one of my favorite characters ever) and that brings up the question of whether this book was supposed to be a satirical or if we’re actually supposed to take Ivy Pocket seriously.

I am going to go with the former because if the latter were true, I’d have some serious issues with the book.

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Review + Interview + PH Giveaway: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Review + Interview + PH Giveaway: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Review + Interview + PH Giveaway: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and Found

by Kathryn Holmes

Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Young Adult
Publication date: February 17, 2015
by Harperteen

PURCHASE:

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Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?
I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

I think Lady Luck has blessed me because I just found another awesome read that pulled the right heartstrings. My friends, I present you, The Distance Between Lost and Found, the novel-that-you-better-read-soon-or-else.

Or else what, you ask?

OR ELSE YOU’LL MISS ON A FANTASTIC BOOK, THAT’S WHAT!

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Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow

by Kristen Simmons

Genres: Adventure, Dystopia, Young Adult
Publication date: February 10th, 2015
by Tor Teen
Format: Hardcover

PURCHASE:

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The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
I received this book for free from Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review.

With all the praise that I kept hearing for this book, I was prepared to be amazed yet there was some part of me that expected this book to be just like any other dystopia I’ve ever read. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it because I chose to and this book turned out to be one of the best dystopias I’ve ever read. It’s richly developed but more importantly, it’s realistic. It’s not about some girl who is going to completely change the world and make people realize that everything is not okay within the world. It’s about a young girl who is trying to escape her fate.

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Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling

by Erika Johansen

Genres: Adult, Adventure, Fantasy
Publication date: July 8, 2014
by Harpercollins
Format: Paperback

PURCHASE:

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On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

This book has rendered me speechless. Oh, my bloody god. If you could see me now, I’m already having withdrawals, because the moment I finished, the first thing I blurted out was, “I need book two. STAT.”

I avoided this book like the plague. Shortly before its release, one star reviews were popping out left and right, many from my trusted friends who share the same likes and dislikes as me. Because of that, I didn’t want to read it. It was absolutely at the bottom of my TBR, but the other day, I went to a bookstore. I grabbed a cup of coffee from the Starbucks corner on the 3rd floor, walked around, and saw this beautiful cover reaching out to me from its lonely shelf.

And so, I bought it.

#BestDecisionEver.

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ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Things We Know by Heart

by Jessi Kirby

Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: April 21, 2015
by Harperteen
Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.
I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” –Plato

First off, you guys need to know that Things We Know by Heart will break your heart into a million shards, then tape the pieces back together (and possibly even staple the holes shut). And then the ending will… well, I’m not going to spoil you. Let’s just say my feels are all over the place.

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Recaps, Rants, Raves: The 100, Season 2 Episode 7 – The intensity. IT BURNS!

Recaps, Rants, Raves: The 100, Season 2 Episode 7 – The intensity. IT BURNS!

Recaps, Rants, Raves is a sporadic feature here at The Social Potato where we’ll share our thoughts of a TV show every Saturday! For now, we have the second season of The 100!

Disclaimer: Ahead are recaps, reactions, and rants about the CW show The 100. If you haven’t watched the episode or the series, and you plan to do so, it is advised not to proceed due to inevitable spoilers. Otherwise, enjoy!

I have a confession to make. I actually haven’t watched any more of The 100 for the simply because I am AFRAID of what will happen. Like, seriously. I’ve been trying to avoid Episode 7 because I’m too much of a wuss to see my favorite characters go through something hard. But, today I have done it, and all I can say is, HOLY. SHIT.

The Episode in a Nutshell:

Let’s do some spelling, my friends. Let’s spell “intense”. Are you ready? It’s “T-H-E 1-0-0″. What? That’s not how it’s supposed to be spelled? HAH! Could’ve fooled me!

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ARC Review: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

ARC Review: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

ARC Review: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo

by Pam Munoz Ryan

Genres: Historical, Magical Realism, Middle Grade
Publication date: February 24th, 2015
by Scholastic
Format: ARC

PURCHASE:

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Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre and form, and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. The result is an impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
I received this book for free from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.

This book. Oh my god this book. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know what I was getting into before I started reading the book but knowing how many emotions you will be bombarded with doesn’t really prepare you for them. Nothing does until you’ll sitting there yelling at the book for giving you too many feels (this happened). This book is so gorgeously written and so beautifully imagined and I don’t know where to start.

Perhaps I shall start with the one thing that didn’t work for me and then move on to all the good stuff because good stuff.

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ARC Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

ARC Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

ARC Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing

by Rhiannon Thomas

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: February 24, 2015
by Harpercollins, Harperteen
Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

review

 A Wicked Thing, quite frankly, was a huge snooze fest. It had lots of potential to become a unique, whimsical and gorgeous read, but in the end, it turned out to be dull and lame (although it was still pretty unique).

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