30 December 2009

2010 Reading Challenges, fun events and New Year's Resolutions

2010 Reading challenges

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about which reading challenges would be right for me. There are so many I want to participate in, but I had to narrow it down to just a few. Even though many of the books can overlap into other challenges, I came to a solid decision to take part in just these 4. Since I prefer to read Young Adult novels in the paranormal/fantasy genre, the challenges I chose should suit me just fine. I also love supporting new authors and I also wanted to dip a little into comic books in the coming year. So without further ado, I give you my 2010 reading challenges.

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog

I am going to set my sights a little high and shoot for the Just My Size Challenge of 25 books. I am also going to try to devote the majority of this challenge to books that are not of the paranormal/fantasy genre. The first books listed are those that I have in my possession that I have not yet read.

1. Wake by Lisa McMann
2. Unleashed by Kristopher Keisz
3. Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
4. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
5. Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz
6. Tempted by P.C. Cast

Neil Gaiman Reading Challenge

For the Neil Gaiman reading challenge, participantes are required to read 5 of Gaiman’s books whether hard copy, audio or comic book.

1. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
2. Coraline

The Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren

Kristi is challenging everyone that participates to read at least 12 novels by debut authors. I’m going to make enough space for 12 and if I happen to read more then I will add them later. This is currently a tentative list and may be subject to change.

1. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
2. Brightly Woven by Alexendra Bracken
3. The Mark by Jen Nadol
4. Firespell by Chloe Neill
5. The Line by Teri Hall
6. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
7. Freaksville by Kitty Keswick

The Fantasy Reading Challenge hosted by the girls at Royal Reviews

The Fantasy Reading Challenge can include YA Fantasy or Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy or any other sub genre of Fantasy. There really are no limits to this challenge as Fantasy is such a wide and varied genre.

I will be participating in the fascinated level of 6 books but I have not chosen any yet.


Fun Events!!

As I am quickly coming up on 50 followers (wow, I didn't think anyone would want to read this) I will be hosting a giveaway to followers who decide to participate. I’m not sure what I will be giving away but I’m definitely open to suggestions. Let me know what you would like to win!

I am also teaming up the Nick from Lions and Men to do some sort of joint post as we read through The Sandman comic book series by Neil Gaiman. This is my first comic book experience so I’m really excited about what it has to bring.

As Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, I volunteered to participate in Simply Stacie's Valentine's Day event. I will be doing some kind of guest post/book review on a romance novel that I will be choosing very soon.

New Year’s Resolutions

As I was thinking about the New Year and all it has to offer, I thought I should come up with some way to better myself. I came up with these aspects in my life that I have wanted to change for some time now. And what a better way than to be held accountable through a blog; so I’ve decided to share these resolutions with you all!

1. Wake up at a reasonable hour and stop wasting away the day sleeping.
2. Finish homework in advance. I usually start my assignments at 11pm when they’re due at midnight!! No more of that.
3. Workout more and eat less dairy!!!!!
4. Write my book reviews within a week of finishing the book so I don’t forget what the book was about…..lol.
5. Read a blog post in its entirety before commenting.
6. Pay my bills on time….enough said.
7. Don’t put off oil changes
8. And last but not least…..take my vitamins EVERY DAY!!!

That about sums it up. What are some of your New Years resolution?

I’m looking forward to a new year of blogging and sharing my thoughts with you guys. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and awards!


"Waiting on" Wednesday(6)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a time when we can share which books we are eagerly waiting to be released. To participate, hop on over to Jill's blog and leave your link so we can all share in the fun. This week I selected:

Title: The Beautiful Between

Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 192

Release date: 11 May 2010

If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel, locked not in a tower by a wicked witch but in a high-rise apartment building by the SATs and college applications—and by the secrets she keeps. Connelly's few friends think that her parents are divorced—but they're not. Connelly's father died when she was two, and she doesn't know how.

If Connelly is the Rapunzel of her school, Jeremy Cole is the crown prince, son of a great and rich New York City family. So when he sits down next to her at lunch one day, Connelly couldn't be more surprised. But Jeremy has a tragic secret of his own, and Connelly is the only one he can turn to for help. Together they form a council of two, helping each other with their homework and sharing secrets. As the pair's friendship grows, Connelly learns that it's the truth, not the secrets, that one must guard and protect. And that between friends, the truth, however harsh, is also beautiful.

This sounds like a really great book and it can be used for anyone who is participating in the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren!

29 December 2009

Award Time

I woke up this morning and found that I had recieved an award from Nina @ J'adore Happy Endings. Thank you so much, this award was so sweet and thoughtful.

List 10 things that make you happy.
Try and do at least one of them today.
Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
Link back to the person that tagged you.

10 things that make me happy:

1. Reading (duh)
2. Spending time with my family.
3. Chocolate :)
4. Cleaning and organizing my apartment (I like things a certain way...lol)
5. Blogging!
6. Walking around the bookstore
7. Seeing old friends
8. Watching hilarious 80's movies
9. The snow (when it's not to hard to manage)
10. Listening to music and having random dance parties with my friends.

10 Blogs that brighten my day

1. Books at Midnight
2. Cleverly Inked
3. I Was a Teenage Book Geek
4. Parajunkee's View
5. Story on a Page
6. Teens Read and Write
7. The Crooked Shelf
8. The O.W.L.
9. Ticket to Anywhere
10. Walking on Sunshine

I have been working really hard to get together all the reading challenges that I want to participate in. I've also been working on a few other things for this blog that you will see in 2010 and they're going to be really fun. Hopefully I will have it all finished and posted by 31 of December!

If I don't say it later, thanks to all my followers who have been supporting me and giving me the encouragement to keep pressing on. I really appreciate it and I couldn't have do it without you. I'm excited and looking forward to the new year full of weekly memes, book reviews and lots of giveaway!

28 December 2009

Review-Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

Pages: 332

Publisher: Penguin Group

Description from the back of the book:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires-the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidding love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

My thoughts (hopefully no spoilers):

It took me a long time to pick up this book. I always saw it in the bookstore even before I read Twilight. I would get to the Young Adult section, look at the book cover, think that the girl on the cover looks like Angelina Jolie, grimace and continue down the isle. Needless to say, I’m not a huge fan of Angelina Jolie and it has stopped me from reading a book that is really good (don’t judge a book by it’s cover). I finally bit the proverbial bullet and I’m glad I did.

I really enjoyed reading this book and found it interesting and addictive. Although Richelle Mead did not go into the history of the Moroi (Mead’s version of vampires) or how they were created, she really leaves the plot open for the rest of the series. I also thought it was interesting that her vampires live almost a regular life span, as humans, and to become evil, a vampire must kill a human or another vampire to become immortal.

The relationship between Rose and Lissa is very intimate, almost as though they were an old married couple. Their bond is exquisite in which Rose can feel what she is feeling, knowing whether or not she is in danger.

The chemistry between Rose and Demitri is sizzling hot. He starts out as her mentor, wanting her to be the best that she can be and then defends her honor when rumor fly of her being a blood whore. How cute is that. All girls want their honor to be defended. Although it was great that he saved her from Natalie (turned Strogoi), I really wanted Rose to prove herself and kill her.

Overall, the story was great and I’m already thinking about getting the next one. It was very unexpected and tells a very different story of vampires. I recommend this book to those who like vampire books. It will not disappoint.

It's Monday! What are you reading? (28 December 2009)

The weekly edition of "It's Monday! What are you reading?" is brought to you by J. Kaye's Book Blog. This is a weekly posting where we can share what we finished reading last week, explore what we are currently reading and highlight what we might read later in the week. To participate, hop on over to J. Kaye's Book Blog, leave a link to your post so we can all share in the fun.

Books I finished last week:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin

Currently reading:

Beyond the Valley of Thornes by Patrick Carman (Land of Elyon Book #2)

Alexa Daley thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life...a battle which she is destined to play a key role.

Sinister forces are gathering in strange and vile forms, all with the goal of bringing darkenss to the land. In order to help good defeat evil, Alexa and her friends must venture farther than the've gone before-confronting giants, bats, ravenous dogs, and a particularly ghoulish mastermind in order to bring back peace.

Also reading this week:

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

27 December 2009

In My Mailbox (Christmas Edition)

It has been such a great week with all the snow and getting to go home for Christmas. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get out of Lynchburg because I was snowed in for a couple days, but it all worked out beautifully. I am currently blogging from Long Beach, California where it has been a steady 60 degrees since Christmas Eve.

Over the past couple weeks I've had to restrain myself every time I went to the bookstore because I knew I'd be getting a lot of books that were on my Christmas list. I was estatic when I finally opened my presents and found every single book I wanted under the tree! And now it's time for me to share what I recieved with you.


Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin
Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson
Wormwood by G.P. Taylor


Beyond the Valley of Thorns (Land of Elyon #2) by Patrick Carman


1. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (my first graphic novel!)
2. Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
3. Revelations (Blue Bloods #3) by Melissa de la Cruz
4. Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz
5. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
6. Revealers by Amanda Marrone
7. Wake by Lisa McMann
8. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
And Coraline the movie. I watched it last night and it's even in 3D. So cool!

24 December 2009

I celebrate the day

Relient K, one of my all time favorites, says all that I could want to say on this Christmas day.

Lyrics from their Christmas song "I Celebrate the Day":

And with this Christmas wish I missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my own persistency
we're less than half as close as I want to be.

And the first time that You opened your eyes
Did you realize that You would be my Savior
and the first breath that left Your lips
did you know that it would change the world forever.

and so this christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior year
to what this midnight made so clear
that You have come to meet me here.

To look back and think that
this baby would one day save me
in the hope that what You did
that You were born so i might live
to look back and think that
this baby would one day save me

and I, I celebrate the day
that You were born to die
so I could one day pray for You to save my life.

Merry Christmas to all my followers and fellow bloggers!!

23 December 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday(5)

"Waiting on" wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight the books we can't wait to be released.

This week I chose:

Title: Light Beneath Ferns

Author: Anne Spollen

Publisher: Flux

Pages: 216

Release Date: 01 February 2010

Description from Amazon:

Elizah Rayne is nothing like other fourteen-year-old girls. More interested in bird bones than people, she wraps herself in silence. Trying to escape the shadow of her gambler father, Elizah and her mother move into an old house that borders a cemetery. All her mother wants is for them to have "normal" lives. But that becomes impossible for Elizah when she finds a human jawbone by the river and meets Nathaniel, a strangely hypnotic and mysterious boy who draws Elizah into his world.

Only by forgetting everything she knows can Elizah understand the truth about Nathaniel—and discover an unimaginable secret.

This book sounds interesting and mysterious and the cover is beautiful. February 1st is not that far away!

22 December 2009

Holiday Break Activity #5

Here are the rules for today:

1 - Pick up the book you are currently reading.

2 - Since it is December 22nd, turn to page 22 in your book.

3 - Count down to the 22nd line on the page. (If there is a partial word on the line you can leave it off.)

4 - Post a picture of your book cover along with the 22nd line from the 22nd page on your blog.

Here is page 22, line 22 from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead:

**Line 22 is in italics**

"That genetic combination had given me skin the same color as the inside of an almond, along with what I like to think are semi-exotic desert-princess features: big dark eyes and hair so deep brown that it usually looked black."

Currently listeneing to:

"Help I'm Alive" by Metric from their 2009 album Fantasies

21 December 2009

Book Review-Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne

Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying—and thrilling—gene that will change her life forever.

Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

My thoughts:

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne was a pretty good read. It was really quick and for the most part held my attention to the end. There were things I liked about the book and things I disliked about it. To be completely honest, I thought the first 125 pages were boring and I was just waiting for the good stuff to happen. I could tell it was boring at first because I left it at a friend’s house and I wasn’t desperate to get it back that second. But I’m glad that I kept reading because it got real exciting towards t the end.

Hawthorne was not too clear about Kayla’s past before her parents died. Was she a baby when it happened or was she older? How can she just take off for a whole summer and not talk to any of her friends back home? Did she even have any friends? A lot of books start the reader off in the main character’s life when she turns 16 or 17, she has recently moved or sent to live with another relative and the author gives almost no information of their life before the move. It’s their life has just started and they’re making friends for the first time. Moving on.

I was totally fooled by the group of “graduate research assistants” who claimed to be studying wolves in the forest. And when Mason forced himself on Kayla, I thought he was for real. I love Kayla and Lucas’s chemistry right from the start. He’s so intense and mysterious and he sounds really hot. Their chemistry only increases when they discover they’re practically soul mates and that he waited his whole life for her and will never love another female the way he loves her. *sigh*

The one complaint I have concerns the scene in which she shape shifts for the first time. Before it happened, Lucas described it as this very painful process, comparable to childbirth, in which some people don’t survive. But then Hawthorne only devotes one page to it and the only sensation she describes feeling is her skin tingling. She could have done so much more with this. It could have been this intense bonding experience in which he helps her through one of the most painful events in her life, but it only gets about one page.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good book.

I give it a B+

Official Kissing Day-Favorite Kiss

As you all know from my post on saturday, I am snowed in. I've been at a friends house since friday afternoon which means I was unable to search through my books to find my favorite kissing scene. I really wanted to post about one of the scenes from A Sweet Far Thing between Gemma and Kartik, but since I cannot get home, I chose a scene between Stefan and Elena from the Vampire Diaries (the TV show). I have not read the book series so I don't know how they compare. Let's set the scene:

Elena lives in Mystic Falls with her brother who has suffered the loss of their parents a little over a year ago. While she goes to high school and hang out with her friends like normal teenagers do, she was very unhappy and still very sad.

Along comes the new student at Mystic Falls High school. The very hot, mysterious, brooding Stefan who is a vampire (but no one really knows that yet). Immediately, Elena and Stefan are drawn to each other and they have this intense sexual chemistry that can't be denied. Just like normal people, they have their ups and downs and after one of their downs, they try to clear the air and they have their first kiss. It's a great scene where they tell each other how they write in their diaries about their feelings. Not only is it intense but it's played Gravity by Sara Bareilles. The Vampire Diaries is a great show and its hot, hot, hot!

20 December 2009

Official Kissing Day Blogfest

Official Kissing Day Blogfest

Monday, December 21st

A Writer's Tribute to Mistletoe

Here is what to do if you want to participate in the Official Kissing Day Blogfest:

1. Write a post telling about the Official Kissing Day Blogfest. This way more writer/bloggers will get the word and be able to participate on Monday, Dec. 21st.

2. Tweet about it, using the hash tag: #kissingdayblogfest (I don't know if this will help get the word out, but I thought it might be fun to try.)

3. On Monday, December 21st, post on your blog an excerpt from your current WIP, or write a new scene that spotlights a kiss or an "almost kiss".

4. If you are not a writer, or are uncomfortable sharing your work online, post your favorite kissing scene or almost-kissing scene from any book or movie.

**Please note that you do NOT have to do #1 or #2 to participate. I was trying to think of a way to get more writers to join in on the fun, but it is NOT mandatory! Just post your kissing scene on Monday for our reading pleasure!

The official Kissing Day Blogfest is hosted over at Making A Dream Become Reality. If you want to participate, hop on over and add the link to her page so we can all enjoy which kissing scene is your favorite!

19 December 2009


I live in one of those cities where people have no idea what to do when it snows only an inch. The second the weather man says that it might snow, the schools close, people go into a panic, walmart is packed with people stocking up on canned food and purified water! ITS MADNESS! So everyone is talking about this huge storm that were supposed to get and how its going to snow about a foot. Of course my friends and I don't believe it and everyones overreacting. Well, sure enough, there was about a foot of snow blanketing the city and not a single road had been salted or plowed. And we didn't even get sleds! But we still had a nice little adventure!

Yep!! We walked all the way to Sheetz since the roads were blocked. It was good fun and great exercise with some friends. Even the baby got to experience some of the snow fun.

I'm really excited about this movie and I can't wait to see it!!

18 December 2009

Book Review- Need by Carrie Jones

Book description:

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

My thoughts:

About a week or two ago I read Need by Carrie Jones. I’m not a big fairy book fan but I decided I wanted to read this book anyway. Even after I have been thinking about this book over the past couple weeks, I still have ambivalent feelings towards it.

To start with, the story line was just okay. She’s the typical new girl at the high school who receives the attention from all the hot guys in the school. But this pisses off the leader of the popular girls; she is now hated becasue Miss Queen Bee had her eye on the hot guy. And obvious there is something different about Lucas (one of said hot guys) because he runs really fast and randomly appears at the most opportune moments.

Zara’s personality was a little dry. Maybe it was because she believed she couldn’t “feel anything” after her stepfather’s death. She didn’t seem interesting to me. What happened to her friends back home? Did she just decide to stop talking to them because her mom shipped her off to live with her grandma? She couldn’t have possible not have had any friends.
At least I was somewhat surprised when Ian and Meghan turned out to be pixies and her grandma turned out to be a were tiger. I also didn’t expect Zara’s biological father to be the king of the pixies. That was a little bit interesting because I would not have thought it would be possible to be half pixie.

I liked all the phobias that she repeated to herself in the hopes that it would make her feel better. It also allowed me to learn a few, as well. I also really liked the tie in of the gold dust with the book cover. The title is also great because it’s pretty much the premise of the book. While I was thinking about how I would review this book, I also thought about other paranormal fantasy books I have read that have werewolves. It seems throughout the books, werewolves are usually always portrayed as the protector of humankind from the pixies, fairies or vampires. I thought it was interesting that it’s never the other way around; that humankind never needs protecting from the werewolves.

If you are reading this, then you might have noticed the change in the name of this blog. As I was laying in bed last night, trying to fall asleep, I was playing the song “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab For Cutie. "I Will Possess Your Heart" appears on Death Cab's most recent album Narrow Stairs. Here is the first verse:

“How I wish you could see the potential,
The potential for you me
It’s like a book elegantly bound
But in a language you can’t read just yet.”

I thought it would make a great name for my blog because I’m always admiring how beautiful most of the book covers are. So now, this blog will be known as Elegantly Bound Books. Let me know if you like it or even if you don't!

16 December 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting on" wednesday is a weekly edition hosted @ Breaking the Spine. It's a chance to spread the word about books that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I chose to spotlight The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.

Title: The Body Finder

Author: Kimberly Derting

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 366

Release Date: 16 March 2010

Description provided by Goodreads:

"A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him."

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Review- Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

From the back of the book:

Schuler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes to the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler’s life changes dramatically. The death of a popular schoolmate haunts her in unexpected ways. And strangest of all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.

Once an outcast, Schuyler is thrust into Manhattan’s most exclusive social circle. Its members are the powerful, the wealthy, and- as Schuyler soon discovers-the unhuman. They are Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires, and for centuries they’ve been invincible. Now something is preying on this elite group, and Schuyler wants to find out the truth. But is she the most vulnerable of them all?

My thoughts:

I loved, loved, loved this book. Not only are the characters amazing but the portrayal of vampires is like nothing I’ve ever read before. The storyline is deeply rooted in the mystery intrigue that is European and Colonial American history. Even though my BA in History is concentrated in European studies, I took a colonial America class in grad school and we spent a lot of time on the lost colony of Roanoke. It’s a real place, a real event, and a true mystery of American history. Melissa de la Cruz portrayed the lost colony of Roanoke as a settlement of vampires who were escaping persecution in Europe. It’s genius!! Not only do you have these characters who are suddenly remembering themselves as if they had live many centuries in the past but there is also the modern, chic setting of New York City. And of course there’s a huge surprise that made me a little sad but opened the door for so much to happen in the future. This book is not predictable at all and I love every page of it.

I give this book an A+

15 December 2009

A Sobfest of Books

Today I would like to take the time to remember the top 5 books that made me cry. Books that leave us in tears are usually the ones that stick in our memories. When we become so attached to a book and it's characters, their passions, love or loss can move our emotions and cause us to feel as if the characters have somehwo become apart of ourselves. So, without future ado, I'd like to share the 5 books that made me cry the most (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS).

#5- A Farewell to Arms by Earnet Hemmingway

This was the first book that made me cry. I had to read it in high school for one of my english classes. It wasn't so much that I liked the book and the characters, but the ending was just so sad. I often found that I was lost in all the details and I currently forget the bulk of the story. What I mostly remember is that the main character is in a war, fall in love with a nurse (whom he knew before he went to war), got her pregnant and plans on marrying her and starting a family when he gets out of the military. But she goes into distress, gives birth to a stillborn baby and she bleeds to death. He then leaves the hospital, walks out into the pouring rain and it just ends. What kind of ending is that!!

#4- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

I remained emotionally steady through most of the Harry Potter series as it is somewhat of a quick read. But it never occured to me that Harry might die in the end. But when he made his way to the forest, ready to fight Voldermort even if it mean sacrificing himself so that others might live, I lost it. I thought, "wow, Harry thinks he might die!" But as well all know, the only part of Harry that dies is the Voldermort part and they all (well, most of them) live happily ever after!

#3- A Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Thorughout the Gemma Doyle series, I became quite attached to the relationship between Gemma and Kartik. Their love developed through their friendship and he was always there to help her out of a jam. Then when they entered the temple and were able to walk in each other's dreams, I was so excited that they were meant for each other. Their chemistry just jumped right off the pages. So imagine my disappointment when he sacrifices himself to that very large tree and can never again leave the Realms. Although their love could never survive the scrutiny of the outside world (gypsies were looked down upon) it's just not fair. They were SOULMATES and now their love can never be. Oh how I cried.

#2- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

One of my top 10 favorite book of all time, this book had me hooked from page 1. The two main character's (Henry and Claire) love for each other was so pure. He was the love of her life and he became the man she needed him to be. And they went through so much together. She always waited for him to come back when he was time travelling. And then he gets shot while traveling and the thing is, he gets shot by Claire's dad, back when she was 12 years old. He dies and it's so sad but she saw him a couple more times from when he time traveled to the future. Their reunions were so emotional.

#1- Tuesday's With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Now this is a very different kind of book. It's not specifically about one thing, but about all things; life. Its about a dying man who passes on his life advice to one of his former students. Its just so sad because every page is about death and dying and how to make your life better. And then of course the old man dies in the end. This book is number one on my list because I cried through every page of this book.

Well, that's my current list of books that made me cry the most but I'm sure there will be many more to come. If you're looking for a good sobfest book, I'm sure any Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult book will do the trick.

14 December 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

On this sunny, beautiful monday morning I have lost myself in the history and excitment that is Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods. I knew I would love this book from page 1. Although I am only half way through, the plot is already set up for the rivalry, romance and surprise that will most likely occur throughout the series. After I finish Blue Bloods tonight, I want to get a quick jump on Wicked and then later this week, hopefully, Moonlight. I've only set my goal for these three books this week because I have a couple of papers that need to be finished by sunday night (wish me luck!)

As always, the weekly edition of It's Monday! What are you reading? is brought to you by J. Kaye's Book Blog. If you are participating, be sure to head over and sign the link! Happy Monday!

13 December 2009

SNL- Taylor Lautner

Saturday Night Live was hilarious as usual, but it was extra fun because it was hosted by Taylor Lautner (GO TEAM JACOB)! There were so many funny sketches but this on, by far, was definitely my favorite. I hope you all enjoy it too!

If you want to see more of Taylor Lautner hosting SNL, then hop on over to YouTube and you can find all his funny little skits.

12 December 2009

In My Mailbox (5)

I usually get most of the books I read from the InterLibrary Loan system through my school but I didn't recieve any this week. I actaully haven't gotten any in a little while now. I must be on some pretty long waiting lists. Sooo, since I had a little extra money this week (even after buying christmas presents) I stocked for my upcoming christmas break. Which means I bought these books.

So, here we go:

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think. Could those vampire legends really be true?

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Dark Angel, Gillian is saved from drowning by her guardian angel. Only visible to Gillian, Angel will fulfill her heart's every desire. But when Angel starts making strange and sinister requests, Gillian must question who he truly is and where he came from.

Armed with a wooden stake, martial arts, and the will to resist a vampire's mind control, Rashel struggles to avenge her mother's death in The Chosen. Then she meets Quinn, her soulmate, who is part of the world she has vowed to destroy.

Hannah receives notes warning her of incredible danger in Soulmate. But if death is her destiny, is the Lord of the Night World's love strong enough to save her?

"I Know Your Secret . . ."
Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore. Her nightmares come true. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To try and protect her, Stacey's working with what she knows-candles, cards, incantations, and spells...

At the start of this breathtaking novel, Damen and Ever travel to Summerland in search of an antidote to reverse a powerful poison. But instead of the cure they seek, they find something far more sinister: the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal’s soul. Now, with Damen fighting to save them from the Shadowland, Ever turns to magick, hoping to break Damen’s curse. Along the way Ever encounters the mysterious Jude, finding herself drawn to him in a way that will test her love for Damen like never before . . .

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

I also recieved an email letting me know that I won a copy of Lauren Kate's Fallen but it hasn't come in the mail yet, but I can't wait! I'm so excited to get it!

The very popular weekly edition of In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

Book Review-The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

My thoughts:

This book was definitely something that was unexpected. But not unexpected bad, unexpected good. At first I was not really sure what it was about. Is it about seeing dead people or is it about witches and sorcery. And then toward the end I was thinking, “oh so there’s werewolves in this book too.” But I guess in the book’s defense I was fore warned because one of the main characters called “their kind” the “supernatural.” But the werewolf thing definitely came out of left field; it was excited and I was totally surprised.

So I was thinking, “What’s up with this whole group home thing and why were her guardians so quick to send her there.” To me, being sent to a group home, especially at her age, would be a last resort; there are no parents around, parent kicked the child out or it is the other option than jail. Certainly getting sent to a group home for having a freak out moment at school seems pretty extreme.

Of course it was obvious that there was going to be a sort of romantic connection between Chloe and Simone. I’m sure that they would be cute together and all but they’re chemistry just didn’t seem to jump off the page to me. I’m hoping that Derek is going to grow out of his puberty acne, develop a personality and become the hunky hero that saves the day and gets the girl.

But then again, these are just my thoughts and I will most likely be reading the Awakening and the Reckoning. I hope in the future book that Armstrong will delve more into the history of the “supernaturals” and more into Chloe, Simon and Derek’s family histories.

11 December 2009

Holiday Break reading challenge

The holidays are always a great time to catch up on reading and have a little down time because there's no school. No textbooks to read, assignments to finish, papers to write or deadlines to worry about. The only thing I'm going to have to think about it which book I'm going to read next. Which is great because I came across this awesome reading challenge hosted by the Library Lounge Lizard. Not only is it pick your own books and read at your own pace, but it's also interactive with giveaways everyday. If you want to sign up, go through her blog, not mine. Here is some more info about the challenge:

1) Anyone can participate. I'm focusing on teachers and students, but if you want to cram a little extra reading in during the holiday season, please join us.

2) The Reading Challenge is designed to be self-paced. I will ask for you to set a goal for the number of books you want to read, but if you don't reach the goal - no big deal. This is for fun.

3) You don't have to provide a list of books you plan to read in advance. You can, but it isn't required. My mood determines what I read so I usually don't stick to a list. If I can't do it, I don't want to force others to do it.

4) The Holiday Break Reading Challenge corresponds with my time off from school. So, it starts on Friday, December 18, 2009 and ends on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at Midnight.

5) I'll have a section set up on the blog for reviews. Please link your reviews of the books you complete during the challenge.

6) Everyday there a new "Challenge" will be posted. These "Challenges" are designed to help you get to know other bloggers, talk about what you are reading, and share information about books. A new Mr. Linky (if I can figure it out) will be used in each post to record everyone's responses.

7) HERE IS THE BIG ONE! At least one prize will be given out everyday during the Reading Challenge. This might be a book, a bookmark, or other swag. No specifics lined up yet.

8) Be sure to follow the Reading Challenge on Twitter. New challenges and prize information will be announced there, too.

9. Grab the button to put on your blog.

10 December 2009

Book Review-Night World Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shape shifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

My thoughts:

I loved Night World: Vol. 1. It was so exciting and faced paced I could hardly put it down. I thought it would take me a little while to get through because it is 700+ pages but I flew right through it. There was a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter which made it hard to take a break because I had to know what happened next. I was also unsure how the book was going to flow with three separate stories in it, but I thought it was very interesting how the three stories were tied together.

The first story in Night World: Vol. 1 was my favorite. It really set the stage for what type of book it is and even gave a little background history of the characters. The two main characters are passionate and I definitely found myself rooting for their love. What I also really like about this book is that it is not strictly vampires or werewolves; it’s all of them put together and more.

The Night World series has my full recommendation for those who enjoy vampire book or the paranormal genre in general. I will definitely be continuing in the series and will probably pick up L.J. Smith’s other books, as well.

Blogsplash and Surprised Kitten

Fiona Robyn is an author and she needs some help getting the word out about her new book Thaw. Here is an exert from her blog with more information.

"Ruth is 32 and she doesn't know if she wants to be 33. She commits to writing a journal for three months before she make her final decision.

Ruth's diary is my novel, Thaw, and on March the 1st 2010 I will start blogging the entire thing here.

I'd like as many people as possible to hear about the opportunity to read Thaw for free. I'm asking bloggers to participate in a Blogsplash on the 1st of March 2010. They'll publish the first page of Ruth's diary on their blogs, with a link on the bottom to my blog so people can continue reading.

If you're a blogger and you'd like to join in, email me at fiona@fionarobyn.com or leave a comment here. Once you're on the list I'll add your blog to Friends of Thaw.
If you'd like to read Thaw online, put your email in the box below and sign up to 'Fiona Robyn's Quarterly Newsletter' and I'll send you a reminder just before it gets going.
If anyone has any other ideas for getting the word out (i.e. if you want to interview me or if you have any contacts in the media) I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you, wonderful bloggers and blogreaders."

So this week has been a rough one. I came across this video about a week ago and not matter how mad, sad or frustrated I feel, it never fails to make me smile. It is by far the cutest kitten I have ever seen. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do!

06 December 2009

Review- Why I let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

Description from back of book

Sometimes you have to break away…

When my boyfriend dumped me on the last day of school, it was just the icing on a ten-layer my-life-sucks cake. Hacking off all my hair and dying the stubble orange seemed like the next logical step. Okay, I was acting out. But my parents freaked and called the travel agent, and before you could say “Let’s fix Morgan,” I was being sent on a bike tour of Ireland. As if pedaling my way across the entire country with a bunch of losers in padded shorts is supposed to cheer me up?

…to find your way.

So I’m hating the Emerald Isle, hating my tour mates, liking-yet-hating the cute redheaded guy who drives the luggage van-when a most unusual bike accident tosses me headfirst into some crazy, once-upon-a-time corner of the past…I’m talking faeries and wee folk and a hunky warrior dude names Fergus, who knows how to treat a girl who’s part goddess. (Hmm, wonder who that might be?) Now, in addition to biking across the country, I have to help undo some evil curses and perform an impossible rescue. Some vacation, right? But in the middle of all this becoming-a-legend stuff, I’m realizing there’s some growing I need to do-and I don’t just mean my hair…

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this light-hearted, comedic journey of a young teenage girl. It’s sort of what I expected it would be. It’s a quick read and really fun the whole way through. The main character, Morgan, is a typical teenager; low self-esteem, her whole world revolving around her boyfriend and her world almost ending when he dumps her. But I can really relate to her too, even though she’s only sixteen. I changed my hair almost every time my heart was broken.

Although I read the whole book, I was unsure if the dream sequences of the story were supposed to be real. It could have been her unconscious mind trying to understand the mythical legend that Colin had told the night before or maybe it was real and she showed up just when she was needed like the prophesy predicted.
In the beginning, Morgan commences the trip with her teenage angst attitude which hurts some of the people around her. But throughout the book, she realized what an amazing trip she’s on and that she should be having fun instead of sulking. I guess she finally begins to understand that the world does not revolve around her and that she should be a little nicer to her little sister.

I also really loved this book because I too have visited the Emerald Isle. Her descriptions of the beautiful countryside brought me back to my too short vacation nearly a year and a half ago. But I don’t think I would enjoy a bicycle tour in Ireland because it did rain everyday and that was during the summer. Not only do I love Ireland but I am mostly Irish and I love anything that reminds me of that trip. *Picture of me chasing some sheep in Ireland*

05 December 2009

Vampire Love

Vampire fiction is my most favorite genre of books and it's always great to find a place or website that loves what you love. While I was surfing the web the other day, I came across this website that is completely devoted to vampire fiction novels. The website's artwork is dark and beautiful and it every vampire piece of information that you could want. It's full of book reviews, videos, author interview, contests and giveaways, newsletters and even vampire merchandise. This website sells any piece of vampire paraphernalia that you could possible imagine. Twilight books, Blue Blood books, Twilight Saga movie soundtracks, Vampire Weekend cd's (which I am currently listening to), Interview with a Vampire (movie), seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and much, much more.

Although the website is very dark and almost morbid, it has a review for almost every vampire book I have ever thought about reading. Anyone who has any kind of interest in vampires will find this website intriguing and worthy of being explored.

LoveVampires.com is loved by The Great Escape!

Soon to be posted this weekend:

Book reviews of Night World Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith and Why I let my Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood! Stay tuned.....

02 December 2009

Blah! That's how I feel

This week has been a rough one and it's only Wednesday! I've had the worst sinus infection, NyQuill induced comas have left me sleeping until almost 11 in the morning and I feel like I've got nothing done. Not only that but I looked at my schedule of assignments for my class and I missed a whole paper last week! But on the other hand, I finished Night World Vol. 1 (700+ pages) and I am moving right along with Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood. My class will be over in about 2 weeks which means a whole christmas break for reading and blogging! I'm so excited. I have a lot of books waiting to be opened and read and I almost don't know where to start.

Well, today is wednesday and I wanted to give my two cents and post my "Waiting On" Wednesday. This week I chose to highlight My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxendra Harvey. This books sounds very interesting with a well though through history that makes the characters seem almost real. I normally wait for books to be released in paperback (it's just what I prefer) but I am considering buying this one is hardcover when it becomes available. We don't have to wait too long for this book since it's release date is in January!

The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

"Waiting on" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
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