Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Panic

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?

Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

Another gripping novel to add to my to-read list! This sounds amazing, and the cover doesn’t give anything away. ‘Panic‘ by Sharon Draper is one to look out for, and due for release in March 2013.

Do you agree? What are you looking forward to this week? Please share your WoW in the comments!

Book Review: A Working Theory of Love

A Working Theory of Love

A Working Theory of Love

by Scott Hutchins

Published by Viking Trade (Penguin)

Obtained: ARC via Waterstones

Challenges: Goodreads 2013 Challenge

Settled back into the San Francisco singles scene following the implosion of his young marriage just months after the honeymoon, Neill Bassett is going through the motions. When Neill’s father committed suicide ten years ago, he left behind thousands of pages of secret journals, journals that are stunning in their detail, and, it must be said, their complete banality. This was exactly what artificial intelligence company Amiante Systems was looking for. He has spent the last two years inputting the diaries into what everyone hopes will become the world’s first sentient computer. Essentially, he has been giving it language—using his father’s words. Alarming to Neill, the computer actually appears to be gaining awareness and, most disconcerting of all, has started asking questions about Neill’s childhood.

Amid this psychological turmoil, Neill meets Rachel. She was meant to be a one-night stand, but Neill is unexpectedly taken with her and the possibilities she holds. At the same time, he remains preoccupied by unresolved feelings for his ex-wife. When Neill discovers a missing year in the diaries—a year that must hold some secret to his parents’ marriage and perhaps even his father’s suicide—everything Neill thought he knew about his past comes into question, and every move forward feels impossible to make.

I received ‘The Working Theory of Love‘ by Scott Hutchins from Waterstones as a random reviewer,  so I didn’t know what book I was going to receive, if I got one. I do remember seeing the cover on the webiste and thinking it looked very cool. I love the black and white people,  and the orange background is very quirky.

Unfortunately this ARC doesn’t have a blurb on the back, so I didn’t really know what it was about. I just presumed romance, given the title. (NB- having just opened the first page to check the spelling of the lead character, there is a blurb just inside the book. Oops!).
Hence I found the book quite slow to start, as there is zero romance or action in the first 50 pages or so. But then the story gets interesting (thankfully). Neill is a computer geek, and his boss has developed a talking robot, in basic terms. He used Neill’s dead father’s diaries as a template for a computer voice. Neill’s job is to try and make it more human. I think it starts off as a funny character addition that really starts to develop when it figures out that Neill is actually his son.
Hence Neill explores his relationship with his dead father, what could have been and all the things left unsaid before he killed himself. Hence the title.
Neill is also trying to work through the idea of love in his personal life; recently divorced and his meetings with several girls. I just found the characters a bit strange in this book. I never really connected with Neill, but I’m not sure if this was the author’s intention. He seems to be drifiting since his divorce, not really making any ties or having any purpose in life. He doesn’t have any hobbies or pasttimes, or friends aside from a couple of work colleagues. So when he meets Rachel, young and full of life, he is drawn to her warmth. Their relationship is an odd one; Neill doesn’t want to commit, but he is jealous of her exciting life.

She is also part of a love cult thing on the side, which I thought was a bit of a strange plot. The only reason I can see for this is it sort of proves that Rachel isn’t a slut, and shows her vulnerability. There seems quite an apparent age gap between them, and at times it makes me feel a bit awkward. Even towards the end there isn’t anything that makes Neill appeal as a boyfriend, as he is just so dull! So their relationship didn’t make sense to me, as it isn’t one that I would imagine to occur in real life. Yes I know dull people do have girlfriends, but these aren’t the boys I want to read about!

That being said, I did feel like I enjoyed the book. It isn’t one I would read again, but I enjoyed the uniqueness of it. The concept of making a computer human is one that interests me. Thus I would recommend it to people who similarly are interested in AI and computer emotions. I thought the dialogue of the computer was witty, and it really made the book. I  am only disappointed that there was not more involvement of the computer. Perhaps if there is a sequel they can give it a partner? That would be a fun book. It is interesting to learn what makes a person human. By giving the computer his dad’s ‘thoughts’ from the journals, Neill refers to the computer as his father. But will he remain that way forever? Can computer personalities change?

Overall I would recommend this book to geeks who are interested in emotion and character development as well. This book was lacking action for me, but I know that’s not important for some. It is quirky and funny in places. I really dithered between 3.5 and 4 sofas, but I think I will settle on 3.5. While there is nothing wrong with this book and I would be interested in a sequel, this isn’t one I would considering reading again or keeping on my shelf.

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Murmurings

A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Gosh, doesn’t that cover look positively scary? Definately not one to read before bed! It sounds very suspenseful and possible a bit paranormal? ‘The Murmurings‘ by Carly Anne West is expected in March 2013. 

Do you agree? What are you looking forward to this week? Please share your WoW in the comments!

Book Review: Pivot Point

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)

by Kasie West

Obtained: Ebook from Edelweiss

Challenges: Goodreads 2013 Challenge

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

I knew as soon as I started ‘Pivot Point‘ by Kasie West that I would love it. I’ve been going through a bit of a slow book phase as I’m trying to cut down on my tbr pile, and as a consequence reading books I’ve lost some enthusiasm for. So I decided to read Pivot Point to make a dent in my ebooks, and I’m soooo glad its the one I chose.

The story follows Addie, who lives in a world where people have mind abilities. Hers is Divergence, which means that when she has a choice she can Search the future, experience both and then pick the right one.
When she finds out her parents are getting divorced, she has to make a life changing choice: stay with her mum, and her friends and school, or live with her dad in the normal world,  where people don’t have abilities.

The book alternates chapters between each possible future, and it is actually really easy to follow. Though there is some frustration when the chapter is left on a cliffhanger, and the next chapter is a completely different storyline! It started off very lighthearted, but got really gripping towards the end.

Character-wise, the author does a really good job of integrating people’s abilities into the story. Unlike the tv series ‘Heroes’, people are not given abilities just for the sake of it.  Everyone has a purpose, and especially towards the final chapters, it really comes together.  The relationship between Addie and Laila (her best friend) was really interesting. The at home chapters showed the more fun side of their relationship; boys, football games and such. However, it was quite realistic in the moving future, in that Addie and Laila still kept in touch. Though I did find it very strange where Addie would call Laila from the bathroom (why did she get in the shower? And close the curtain?!).

Of course with two different storylines there are two different guys to swoon over, and we have to pick a team. Duke, lead quarterback of the football team, is ever-popular, and when he falls for Addie she is (rightly) suspicious of him. Why would he even look at her? Their relationship shows the vulnerability of Addie. On the flipside, Trevor (like the frog from Harry Potter!) is a Norm, with no abilities, and no understanding of the world Addie has come from, and the ability she possesses. But when the worlds collide, will her lies crumble?

The only thing that did niggle me a little was that when Addie moved to the normal world out of the Compound, she had to lie about where she came from. Understandable. But then we find out that her old school competes with her new school at football. Obviously the Norms do not know about the abilities. So why is it that Addie couldn’t say she came from there?

I thought this book was amazing, with incredible pacing that gets you hooked from the start. By the end of the book I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but then I found out there is going to be a sequel, so all is well! I would recommend this for fans of character-based YA novels. The sci-fi aspect, while present and important, should not put anyone off as this is very much about human emotions. A great debut from Kasie West, and I can’t wait for her next book as well as the Pivot Point sequel! 5 sofas from me.

Letterbox Love #12

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

This is a 2 week compilation as I didn’t have time to post last week. However, my haul is tiny compared to that of my birthday-week. First the print books I received: 

P1050104

From the library I got ‘When I Fall in Love‘ Miranda Dickinson. It’s a book that my mum enjoyed, and is perfect for the snowy weather! ‘You Had Me at Hello‘ by Mhairi McFarlane has a really cute cover, and is a book that I have heard lots about. Unfortunately lots of other people think so too, as it has a huge waiting list! I better read this quick. 

My first winning book ‘Send Me a Sign‘ by Tiffany Schmidt came this week! Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict let me choose any book and it took me aaaages but I finally decided on this one, as I have heard good reviews and I LOVE YA cancer books (though that sounds pretty morbid!). A huge thank you to Aylee for this 😀

For my ebook collection:

Dear Cassie

 

 

Dear Cassie‘ and ‘The Next Forever‘, both by Lisa Burstein were sent to me to review for the author via twitter. I adore the cover for ‘Dear Cassie’ and have been waiting for it for ages so it is nice to add it to my collection. ‘The Next Forever’ is actually a sequel to ‘Pretty Amy‘ which I haven’t read, but I’m going to read it anyway so I can post my review soon.  

 

 

 

I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, #2)

Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, #1)

I also won a copy of I Choose You‘ by Bethany Lopez who sent me a copy personally. Likewise, I haven’t read the first one but fingers crossed it doesn’t make too much of a difference. 

 

Renae from Rolling With the Moments has sent me a copy of ‘Catching Jordan‘ by Miranda Kenneally from her Best of 2012 Giveaway. Thank you very much for this, and even better it is the first in the series! Yay! I just need to figure out how to send an epub to my kindle and I will be extremely happy! 

 

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for ‘Dare You To‘ by Kate McGarry. I have been dying to read ‘Pushing the Limits‘, but I stupidly sent it to my tablet instead of my kindle, and there’s no way (that I know of) to send it over. But I must force myself to read that first. The cover looks awesome, and very steamy! 

 

 

 

  What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile? I’d love to hear from you! 

Want to review for Entangled publishing?

Hop over to Kate Evangelista’s blog to see how you can become part of Entangled publishing’s reviewers.

Calling all bloggers! Calling all bloggers! Entangled needs you! *points at you* Be part of The List. Here’s what you need to know: One of my awesome publicists at Entangled is compiling a list of bloggers. Here are the requirements: Do you have a blog? Do you love to review books? Do you want access to books before they release? If your answers to these questions is a resounding “YES” then you’re the right blogger for the job. We want you! Now’s a great time to join The List. If you want to be a part of The List, here’s what you have to do:

1. Add Til Death to your Goodreads TBR pile:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16129271-til-death and

2. Leave the following in the comments section:

a. Your Name b. Your Blog URL c. Your Goodreads Name d. Your Email Address

Source

Additional Option: URL to your blog post about this call for bloggers. Priority will be given to those who help spread the word by creating a post on this call for bloggers on their blog. *smiles* If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section and I’ll reply right away. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity. Be part of The List today.

 

So head on over to add your name to the list of hopefuls! 

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

One Plus One Equals Blue

Twelve year-old Basil knows he’s special—he’s been associating numbers with colors since he was a kid. His gift (or curse) has turned him into somewhat of a loner, but his world begins to change when he meets Tenzie, the new girl in school who has similar freakisms. She, too, has synesthesia (a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another). At first, Basil is somewhat annoyed with Tenzie’s pushiness, but after Basil’s estranged mother returns, his life is turned upside down . . . and Tenzie may be the only person to help him put it back together again.

Once again, MJ Auch has written a thoughtful coming-of-age novel that explores friendship, family, and fitting in.

I think it’s great that more YA adults are tackling things like cancer, autism and synesthesia. I loved Wonder by Pallacio, so I can’t want for this! One Plus One Equals Blue due April 2013.

Do you agree? What are you looking forward to this week? Please share your WoW in the comments!