31 July 2011

Day 2: A Week's Worth of Giveaways!



Rules:
  • One entry per person
  • US only
  • 13 years or older
  • Ends midnight, August 13!


In My Mailbox (21)


In My Mailbox is an awesome way to connect with our blogger and reader friends and share which amazing books we received, bought or borrowed during the week! This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.





Won:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (thanks to Lauren at Books From a Shelf!)

For Review: 

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bought:

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
The Dark and Hallow Places by Carrie Ryan
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Weekly Wrap-up:

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Friday: Author Interview and Giveaway!, Meet My New Guest Blogger

Saturday: True Blood Book to Show Comparison, Day 1: A Week's Worth of Giveaways

30 July 2011

Day 1: A Week's Worth of Giveaways!

I've decided to do a bunch of giveaways to show just how much I appreciate the blogging community and all my reader friends out there! I will be giving away a book a day for the next week! Even if you missed one day, they'll still be open for about a week after the last giveaway so you can always come back and enter!  I will also leave links for the previous days giveaways! Have fun guys!

Rules:

  • One Entry per person
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • US ONLY!
  • Ends August 13


Good Luck!

Guest Post- True Blood Book/Show Comparison




So to start I want to tell you what I think about the TV show. I really like the TV show. My friends and I try to get together every Sunday and watch it. I like most of the characters in the show, honestly Sookie is not quite how I pictured her from the book but she does play a good role. I think it's kind of funny how Bill gets better looking with each season. Eric is definitely my favorite character in the book and in the show, Pam is my favorite character.

So I started off watching the first season of True Blood and after I liked it I started reading the books. I even got my Mom hooked on watching the show. This season is so good that it keeps me waiting for the next episode.

Now to tell you a little about the books. I think the characters roles in the books are better told than in the show. The lives that each character lead are better in the books because the show puts little twists on each character. I'll cover that later when I compare and contrast the books and the show. The way Charlene describes Bill and what he did make you still feel for him and you want him to be happy and get what he wants (Sookie). It's like you feel sad for him and like him but at the same time don't want Sookie and Bill to be together. Its kind of funny because Sookie goes from dating no one to dating a lot of people since the world around her unfolds and she discovers the  true nature of others around her: Vampires, shapshifters, were's and many more. And the way Eric is described at first it's like you want to dislike him but you can't help but like him, he has little funny quirks and the things he does make you fall for him.

So thats basically how I feel about the books and show in a nut shell because what I really want to do is dive into is comparing the two. Lets start with Sookie: so far she is pretty on track. They make her the sweet, little innocent girl next door, but a woman of independence and can stand her ground and tell you what she thinks. Bill's character is correct because he tries to do what is right yet always having to answer to his maker, which is on track with the books. But in the books, Bill never made another vampire and in the show he made Jessica. That is actually one of the twists that I like because I have really grown to like her character a lot. Also Bill never became king and never killed the queen. In the books, the Queen dies a whole other way, because half her body was destroyed in the bombing of a hotel and then the king of Las Vegas decides to take over the Louisianna region and kills the queen while she is injured. Now Eric is pretty close to his character, being the sheriff of his region, the maker of Pam, and even his maker Godrick. But Godrick, his maker never met the sun (dies) which is obvious in the last book that was recently released, which makes me curious on how the show will play out.

Now Lafayette is a main character in the show but dies in the second book or somewhere early in the series. And Tara is correctly Sookie's best friend but she is not a main character in the books like she is in the show. She mostly just comes and goes. The background on her family the show tells with her mom could very well be true because the book says her mother was alcoholic. Also the fact about the vampire taking advantage of her was correct. Pam is the same in the book.  I like Sam in the show just as in the book, he is always such a good friend to Sookie, always being there for her. But it's his family in the show that's different. He has a brother and the show made a whole role for him and his family that is mostly kept out of the book. And Andy Bellefleur is not hooked on V in the book, but I think his role in the show is kind of funny and gives me a little chuckle when I see him. Also Sookie's brother Jason's part is true being with all the girls and stuff and it is true about him being bit by panthers but not for the reason they give. In the book one of Crystal's family is jealous so he kidnaps him and bits him. They don't bite him so that he can help impregenate the girls of Hot Shot.

Now to move on to Arlene: she doesn't date the crazy Irish guy and get pregnant.  In fact, he doesn't even come from the book. Actually, once the Vampires are revealed, she becomes a vampire hater and even joins with the Fellowship of the Sun. So her and Sookie do grow apart and she tries many things to get Sookie killed. But Arlene never has to worry about an evil child. Surprisingly though, I like that twist they gave in the show. I really like Hoyt's character in the show. In the book he's not that big. He kind of gets mentioned now and then like Tara does. The whole witch thing that is going on in the show right now does indeed follow the book because a big part of the books are about Eric loosing his memory and the witches verses vampires. I'm sure the show will go into more detail soon.

The character of Alcide, being the big bad (yet caring) wolfe is true. But I am so mad that in the show he is back with Debbie Pelt. There is a big part in the book that I was hoping they would keep and I am still keeping my fingers crossed for it. But Alcide shows a lot more interest in Sookie than in the show. And in the book you really like Alcide in the beginning and truly, I was hoping that they would get together. But later on so many things happen to Alcide that harden him and change him so much that you start to not like him as much. And there is one character in the book that I can't wait for them to introduce in the show because I really like him but I don't want to give a name and give too much away.

Well I hope you liked my little compare and contrast between the movie and book. Please feel free to correct me on anything I got wrong or give your own opinion. I would love to know what you think. When I watch the show with my friend we always discuss how it compares with the book. Thanks for reading! Oh and this is my first blog I've ever written so I hope you like it!

29 July 2011

My New Guest Blogger!

Are you a fan of True Blood? Both the books and the TV show? Well, you've come to the right place! I would like you guys to meet my sister, Alyson, who has read all the books in the series so far and is a big fan of the HBO hit series True Blood.  Not much of a reader until recently, Alyson became interested in Young Adult fiction after picking up Twilight a little over two years ago.  She always believed recreational reading was equal to school reading: boring, hard and something that puts her to sleep, not the exciting, fantastical experience she has now come to love.  Among her favorite series are Twilight, Vampire Academy, House of Night and the Immortals.  When she's not reading or hanging out with her boyfriend, she's working at the Queen Mary or watching a John Travolta movie.  She has also agreed to do some guests posts where she will be doing weekly comparisons of the True Blood TV show to the books.

Alyson and I also love to go to author signings, hang out at the beach or the local bookstore and most recently we stood in line all day for the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  She's really excited about helping out with the blog but nervous about putting her words out there for everyone to read! But we hope you guys enjoy what she has to say and tomorrow her first guest post will go up and she will be comparing the first three seasons to the first three books! We hope you guys have a great Friday and come back tomorrow!

Author Interview- Aaron Patterson and Giveaway!

Today I have here at Elegantly Bound Books the author of the upcoming book Airel, Aaron Patterson! He was so great to do this interview and to giveaway an e-copy of his book!

Where did you get the inspiration to write about angels?

I got the main story idea from Genesis 6 in the Bible where there are two verses about these angels that left to be with the human women and after that not much is said about them. I thought it would make a great story and so here we are.

I really love the cover, it's just stunning! How much sway did you have in the process of creating the cover of the book?

I work with my cover artist closely and so I got final say on everything to the color to the feel it gives off. I wanted something that was irresistible and I think she did a fantastic job!

What is your favorite scene and character in the book?

I love the end as it has action, heartbreak and when I write it I get goosebumps so I hope it does the same for readers. I write for myself so if a story keeps me going as I write I figure it will have the same impact on most other people. Although I am a little weird.

How did you choose the name Airel for the main character?

Airel is the old Hebrew way of spelling her name. It is a old angel name so I thought it fit. As with every charater I write, each name has a hidden histroy and meaning. Every book I have written the names mean something so if you want to get really nerdy about them you can look up each one and try to figure out what I was going for.

The publishing process can be long and arduous, from writing the initial draft of a book to selecting the cover art to waiting for those first reviews to roll in. What the most exciting part of the process for you?

The first draft. I love getting the story out. After that I like to see how people respond even if it is bad. I try to write books that that get a reaction. Good or bad I want you to "Feel" something.

Are you ever surprised how a scene works out when you're writing it or how a character winds up acting in a scene?

All the time! These people are real and do what they want. In fact, sometimes I get mad that they did something stupid or didn't react like I wanted them to, but that is the goal, make them real so they write themselves.

It must be hard to find time to relax when you're so busy writing, but everyone needs a break. Is there a particular genre or author you enjoy read when you're not writing?

I read just about everything. I like Steampunk and thrillers. I also enjoy medical thrillers but my all time favorite series is the "Black, White, Red" series by Ted Dekker... it is amazing!

For more information on Aaron Patterson, you can visit his blog or follow him on twitter!


Giveaway

Rules:

  • One entry per person
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • International participants accepted
  • Ends midnight, August 5



28 July 2011

Review- Crescendo

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased



Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect.  Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least seh got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel.  But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic.  He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant.  Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him--despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers.  But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything--and everyone--she trusts.


My thoughts:

Before I read Crescendo, it had been almost a year-and-a-half since I read Hush, Hush.  I remember absolutely loving it and wanting to continue the series, but I was really fuzzy on the details of the story.  But Becca Fitzpatrick does not give enough background in the beginning of Crescendo and I found myself somewhat lost.

Then Nora breaks up with Patch and I was so upset! And I felt like they broke up over what Dane Cook calls the nothing fight.  The nothing fight is started over literally nothing just so the couple, who by this point pretty much hates each other, can fight so much until one party breaks up with the other one.  I'm not saying that Nora and Patch hated each other, but I could tell that Nora has some issues with Patch that were just piling up and she got to the point of the last straw.  I can't even remember what the flight was about in the book, but it just seemed like she had been ready to explode and she did over something that wasn't all that important.

Patch started hanging out and messing around with Marcie Millar and it pretty much makes me want to punch Patch in the face.  I think it's really low of people or guys to hook up with your mortal enemy after right after a break up.  Way to get her back, GEEZ PATCH!!!!

The mystery was great in Crescendo.  Patch was constantly lurking around corners, doing something that he couldn't talk about.  And since he wasn't speaking to Nora either, the reader had no idea what Patch was doing so it was like we were only getting one side of the story.  So then the ending just completely came out of nowhere and I was like, "WHAT!!!!"

The ending sure left it open for an epic conclusion in the third book! I'm so nervous for Patch and Nora and I hope that they will get the ending that they deserve!


27 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (27)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

I am a big fan of the Infernal Devices series and I love Will and Jem!!  I read the prequel series before I read Mortal Instruments which is why I like Infernal Devices so much better.  I just feel like Shadowhunters belong in the steampunk world and not the modern world. I'm super excited for Clockwork Prince to be released even though it's still going to be a little bit of a wait.  December 6, 2011!

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters.  But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute.  If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street--and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal.  He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.  To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined.  When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move--and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heard drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her.  But something is changing in Will--the wall he has built around himself is crumbling.  Could finding the Magister free Will from secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what he was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest of heart.

Well, I hope that the whole story wasn't just told in the synopsis, because that is one of the longest ones I've ever read! What are you waiting for?

23 July 2011

In My Mailbox (20)


In My Mailbox is an awesome way to connect with our blogger and reader friends and share which amazing books we received, bought or borrowed during the week! This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.



Review:

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Eve by Anna Carey
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen
Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates

Paperbackswap:

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Bought:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

What's in your mailbox?

22 July 2011

Blog Tour-Interview with Angela Henry and 2 Giveaways!



Today I'd like to welcome to the blog Angela Henry, the author of the Paris Secret, an adult mystery novel set in Paris.  As her Kizmet blog tour is coming to end end, she has done an interview with me and has some big prizes to giveaway!

The publishing process can be long and arduous, from writing the initial draft of a book to selecting cover art to waiting for those first reviews to roll in.  What's the most exciting part of the process for you?


The most exciting part of the writing process for me in when I'm writing that first draft and an idea hits me out of the blue that takes the story to another level.  Sometimes it's a new subplot other times it's a change in a character's motivation.  The coll part is that I never know exactly where the idea will take me until I start writing.

How much sway did you have in the process of creating the cover of the book?


Of all my books, I've had the most input on the cover for the Paris Secret.  My publisher, Carina Press, had me fill out a cover art fact sheet where I answered questions about my characters looks, setting, what other covers and images I liked.  I was able to make suggestions on what I wanted it to look like.  When I saw it I was so surprised and happy because they gave me exactly the over I asked for.  The Paris Secret is so cross genre and I think the cover really conveys that well.

Are you ever surprised how a scene works out when you're writing it or how a character winds up acting in a scene?


Always.  I usually have a vague idea of how things are going to work when I start writing.  By the time I'm finished, it's never exactly how I envisioned it.  My characters don't always do what I want them to.

What is your favorite scene and character in the book?


My favorite character is actually Simon's smart and sassy 13 year-old goddaughter, Francoise.  I just think she's a hoot.  My favorite scene is when Maya and Simon have to go to a hair salon to try and retrieve a dress.  Maya is furious with Simon because of something she finds out from Francoise and he can't figure out what's wrong with her.

I read in your book that you got the idea for the Paris Secret while on vacation?  Is vacation where most of your inspiration comes from or other places as well?


The Paris Secret is actually the only book inspired by a vacation.  My inspiration comes from lots of places: dreams, new stories, and personal experiences just to name a few.

When in your life did you decide to become a writer?


I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was in my teens.  But I didn't attempt to write my first novel until I was in my late twenties.  Up until then I'd only ever written short stories.

It must be hard to find time to relax when you're so busy writing, but everyone needs a break.  Is there a particular genre or author you enjoy reading when you're not writing?


I love "time slip" novels where character either travel back in time like in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series or featuring two heroines who are connected through time by an object, like in Kate Mosse's Labyrinth and Christi Phillips's The Devlin Diary.  I also love dark, edgy YA and middle grade mystery and adventure novels.

I would like to thank Angela for conducting this interview! It has been a great pleasure and it was really fun doing my first ever interview!


The Grand Prize Giveaway!



Angela has a huge grand prize that she is giving away on her blog on Tuesday, July 26, 2011!  The grand prize consists of a beautiful Eiffel Tower pendant, delicious lip gloss, a signed poster, The Paris Secret music playlist and an Audible gift card good for two audio book downloads! WOW! That's a huge prize pack!  For your chance to win, you answer to the following question in my comments section will be valid for one entry!

Every good story must come to an end.  But not every story ends happily ever after.  Do you prefer endings that are tempered with loss or unfulfilled wishes?  Or are you someone who reads a good story FOR the happily ever after?


Rules:

1. In order to win the grand prize pack, you must answer at least one question in the comments of any of the tour stops. You may answer as many of the questions as you like, for up to 15 entries in the tour.  Only one answer per tour stop will be considered valid.
2. No purchase, affiliation, status as follower to a certain blog or any other association is required to enter.
3. Full rules for the contest can be found at The Paris Secret's tour home page.
4. Winner of the Grand Prize pack giveaway will be announced on Angela's homepage on Tuesday, July 26.

For your chance to enter the giveaway 14 more times, please visit The Paris Secret's tour home page for a complete list of all the participating blogs! GOOD LUCK!!

21 July 2011

Review- The Devouring

Title: The Devouring
Author: Simon Holt
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Library book

"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic.  But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares.  Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

My thoughts:

I loved this book! I was a little hesitant to pick it up for a couple reasons. 1. It's a little bit older of a book and I hadn't heard much about.  2. It's a bargain book on Amazon (sometimes a bad sign). 3. The synopsis makes it sound kind of weird and definitely different.  I was completely thrown off by all these factors and ended up falling in love after only a few chapters.  I was so engrossed that I read it in one sitting!

The Devouring is a horror novel so for all of you who don't like horror, you will most likely not like it.  But I love horror!  Ever since I read Carrie by Stephen King in the seventh grade, I have loved horror books! It's something about not knowing what's lurking around the next corner that sucks me right in.  Not only is the Devouring horrifying, but it's also somewhat gruesome.  Author Simon Holt does not spare on the details.  Since I read this whole book in broad daylight, I wonder if I would have had a hard time reading it at night.  It makes me think about all my worst fears and what it would feel like to be overwhelmed by them.  It kind of gives me the creeps.

The Devouring is also part mystery, the characters trying to figure out how the Vours work and where they come from while trying to save the life of a child.  There's also the mystery of the journal and trying to figure out if the scenes depicted actually happened or if they were just the ramblings of a crazy person.  Then there's something mysterious going on with the bookshop owner that he's not letting on just yet.  Which of course means I can't wait to read the next one so that I can find out more!

I just loved this book so much because it was a mix of the two things I love the most: mystery and intrigue with horror.  I can't wait to dive right into Soulstice and find out more about the Vours!


20 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (26)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

This week for Waiting on Wednesday, I chose Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick, the third and final book in the Hush, Hush trilogy! I am so excited for this book to come out and, lucky me, Becca Fitzpatrick is doing a release party in Huntington Beach, CA, which is not too far from my house! Silence will be released October 04, 2011!

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone.  They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds....faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth.  Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for--and their love--forever.

19 July 2011

Teaser Tuesday (12)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. It includes two sentences from your current read without any spoilers!

Today I'm reading Ariel by Aaron Patterson.

"What would he see in me?  I don't really stand out.  Then again, why would I want him to notice me?  Sure, he's hot, but what else is there to the guy?  He probably gets girls falling all over him everywhere he goes.  Especially the rechargeable kind, the ones with perky, dumb personalities and nothing to say but nonsense.  And guys are so stupid anyway--always falling for blonde hair and blue eyes and cheerleader uniforms.  He's probably just like every other guy--just let it go.  Ignore him, girl--he's bad news." Pg. 23

Review- Forgive My Fins

Title: Forgive My Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast.  Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid--she's a Thalassinian princess.  When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs.  Sure, land has its problems--like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher--but it has that one major perk--Brody.  The problem is, mermaids aren't really casual dating type--when they "bond", it's for life.

When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

My thoughts:

This book was so fun to read! I loved the Little Mermaid feel to it and it was super funny and upbeat!  After finding out that her mother is human, Lily's father decides that she should spend sometime on the shore since she is half-human.  After being above water for only a short while, she comes across Brody who she sees swimming effortlessly in the ocean.  She decides right then and there that she is in love with him and wants to bond herself to him for the rest of her life.  But the only problem is, he has a girlfriend and has never really mustered up enough courage to tell him how she feels.  Her neighbor Quince irritates the hell out of her by always showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Even though I loved the aspects of Lily and Quince's relationship, I thought it was very typical of a YA novel.  They hate each other, at least she hates him, but they spend so much time together that they decide that maybe there's something there they didn't see; maybe there's chemistry and a spark.  Then Brody turns out to be the typical popular jock and doesn't accept Lily in the way she wants him to.  I felt a lot of the themes in the book were just typical and ordinary instead of being extraordinary.

The main character Lily is very likable and I was rooting for her the whole time even during the times I was hoping she would finally find common sense and realize you can't be in love with someone you barley know.  Again with the ordinary because Quince was the typical bad boy who drives the motorcycle and kisses unsuspecting girls without their permission.

All in all the story was just so fun and that's what I keep coming back to.  I didn't not like it but it wasn't absolutely amazing.  It was enough to keep me going, made me glad that I bought it and excited to read the next one!


18 July 2011

Review- Divergent

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.  For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both.  So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen.  But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death.  And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves...or it might destroy her.  

My thoughts:

I bought this book because everyone was raving about it, pretty much saying that it is one of the best books they've every read.  I brought it home and it literally sat on my shelf for at least a month.  I was so hesitant to pick it up because I didn't really know what it was about, the raving reviews gave it a lot of expectations, it's almost 500 pages long and I didn't really like the cover.  Now I wish I had started reading it the day I bought it because I already want to read it again!

Divergent absolutely blew my mind! I was sucked in by chapter two because it's so believable and realistic that I was thinking that the world could possibly end up like this.  Dystopian novels really get me thinking about what could happen if we're not careful or if the government becomes too powerful.

I loved Tris's confidence and determination to prove herself in Dauntless especially coming from Abnegation, the selfless.  Although she had her moments of weakness where she would cry and miss her family, she continued to be true to herself through all her struggles.  I also loved that Four was there to push her every step of the way.  They seem so perfect for each other because Tris needs someone that is going to do what it takes to bring the best out of her and Four isn't going to hold her hand through the difficult obstacles.  

I thinks the factions are so intricate and unique and so very different from one anther to their dress, haircuts and distinct attitudes toward the world.  I was so wrapped up in the story that the nearly five hundred pages flew by! Divergent is absolutely brilliant and one of the best books I've read this year!



17 July 2011

In My Mailbox (19)


In My Mailbox is an awesome way to connect with our blogger and reader friends and share which amazing books we received, bought or borrowed during the week! This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

What an awkward still YouTube chose! Well, at least I'm not picking my nose, haha!




Review:

Broetry by Brian McGackin
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates

Paperbackswap:

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Bought:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Always a Witch by Carolyn McCullough
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn
Siren by Tricia Rayburn (my review)

Library:

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Soulstice by Simon Holt
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

What's in your mailbox?


16 July 2011

Review- Past Midnight

Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness)

Let me set the record straight.  My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV...no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show.  And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed.  Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston-and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings.  Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends-and potential boyfriends-is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear.

All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive...

My thoughts:

I really like books that have to do with ghosts and hauntings.  Sometimes they're fun, light and good-natured and others are super scary and gruesome.  I would classify Past Midnight as the former because the main character is really comical about her paranormal-obsessed family and their ghost-hunting reality show.

Since I also really enjoy a good mystery, this book was right up my alley! Ghost hunters trying to figure out the mystery of why some ghosts have decided to haunt their daughter.  It was so fun to read because I always wanted to know what was going to happen next and if they had discovered more information when they were digging into the past.

Charlotte, the main character who is being haunted by ghosts, is very embarrassed about what her parents do and had been teased about it at other schools that she attended.  She prefers to keep that part of her life a secret until Halloween rolls around.  But she soon finds out that her friends are more upset with her for not telling them the whole truth than the fact that her family is a little different.

My favorite character in the book is the nerdy yet hot guy that is her partner in her AV class.  I'm a really sucker for nerdy guys.  He's a real gentleman who knows who she is, about her family and knew that she would tell him when she was ready.  And his mom being a big fan of the Silver family is really funny!

The story was set up very nicely and there was just enough character development for it to be a series! I'm super excited about the next one, which I already have waiting for me.  It's a really fun ghost story that has made me very interested to see how it continues.

13 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (25)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

I've been such a terrible blogger this week! I haven't been reading as much as usual and I haven't blogged since Saturday.  My TBR list has been looming at me lately and I feel like it's laughing in my face and saying "you'll never finish me, hahaha!"  So I've decided to take it head on and say "take that, TBR list!"

This week I'm eagerly anticipating Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough! The cover is super cute and it sounds like it's going to be a really funny book!

Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales.  And why should she?  Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the county, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life--coach father--a man she barely knows.  Happily ever after?  Yeah, right.

Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother--an f.g.--and he can prove it.  And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary.  Meaning there's a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone's fairy godmother.

But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?

Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough will be released on November 8, 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

09 July 2011

To Remember a Friend


For most of us, the Fourth of July weekend was filled with fireworks, barbecues and memorable times with friends and family.  But for a good friend of mine and her family, it was a day of tragedy, the day that Kristin Short lost her life to a fatal car accident.

I met Kristin in September of 2010 when she started at Strategic Therapy Associates where we were both counselors for at-risk youth and children.  She was always smiling and encouraging to her co-workers.  We had a few of the same classes and she would help me out with some difficult projects.  She was a good friend, confidant and a great person to work with.

The News and Advance reported this about Kristin's death:

"A Liberty University student was killed in a West Virginia car crash Monday.  Kristin Short, 25, died on I-79 after she lost control of her car, crossed a median and was hit by a tractor-trailer, West Virginia State Police said.  Short, a native of Elkins, West Virginia, was studying for a master's in professional counseling at LU and worked as a child counselor in Lyncchburg, University officials said.  She attended Brentwood Church.  'Although our hearts are heavy, we are comforted with the knowledge that to be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord,' Mark Hine, LU's vice president of student affairs, said in a statement.  Short was on her way back to Lynchburg from Elkins when the wreck happened.  Her mother, Kimberly Short-Wolfe, notified the Liberty University community through the school's Facebook page Tuesday evening.  Campus pastors and Short's family are planning a memorial service."


08 July 2011

Cover Reveal


When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern.  She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity.  She prefers hanging back, observing.  Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head...and heart.  Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns.  Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is Certain.  Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon.  Because the messages are becoming sinister and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.  


This is the first time I read the synopsis for Perception (Clarity #2) and it makes me so excited! I loved Clarity and I can't wait to see what's in store for Clare in book 2! The cover is super pretty too!

Blog Hop and Follow Friday (16)







Follow Friday is a really fun way to network your blog and meet some other really cool bloggers in the process! This weekly event is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Q: Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

A: I feel like this question is so mean but there are a horde of terrible book out there.  I would have to say that one of the worst books that I've read and finished all the way through was Revealers by Amanda Marrone.  I read it when I first started my blog and I felt like it wasn't supposed to give bad reviews so I gave it an okay review.  But I think if I would have read it now then I would give it a terrible review.

More recently, the worst audio book that I have listened to and completed was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I just couldn't connect with the characters and most of the time I just wanted to slap Clary.




Book Blogger Hop


The book blogger hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love for the written word. The book blogger hop is brought to us by Jennifer at Crazy For Books!

The Secret Life of an Avid Reader is having a 350 follower giveaway in which her readers can win a few ARCs from BEA!





Review: Numbers

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness)

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head.  That number is a date: the date they will die. 
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships.  Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance.  But while they're waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the tourists in like flash the same number.  Today's number.  Today's date.  Terrorists are going to attack London.  Jem's world is about to explode!

My thoughts:

Numbers is a whirlwind right from the beginning.  We learn so much about Jem in the first couple chapters and begin to understand why she prefers to keep people at a distance.  Just thinking about it, it would be really hard to have a best friend if you knew the exact day they were going to die.  The details concerning the first part of her life are so heart-wrenching that you want her story to turn out good to make up for her beginning struggles.

I liked Jem and Spider's relationship from the beginning.  Their interaction and the way they support one another is so easy and comes so natural.  Which is surprising for a character like Jem who prefer's to avoid relationships. Their relationship is pure and essentially beautiful without any harsh judgments or doubt in their ability to take care of each other.  I also really like Spider's grandmother who is so wise and knowing.  She knows Jem is different from the first time she saw her and she accepted her without question.

After the explosion of the Ferris wheel, the story and plot line are constantly going until the end.  When Spider and Jem were on the run together, I was constantly torn between wanting them to go to the police and just tell them the truth or to keep running until the police lost track of them.  I couldn't decide which was the better decision.  I also wanted there to be some huge significant event that would change the course of Spider's life and therefore change the date of his death, but no such luck.

As much as I loved this story so much, I didn't like the end at all.  The whole book is about the span of one week and the end suddenly flashes forward about six years.  The book was still really good, I just wish that it would have ended different.  The fact that it was so different is what I liked about it the most.  Most supernatural books have to do with witches, vampires or werewolves, but there are not too many books dealing with a teenager who can see the date of everyone's death.  It is definitely a memorable read!


07 July 2011

Review- Witches of East End


Title: Witches of East End
Publisher: Hyperion
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC compliments of Hyperion

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult that ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

My thoughts:

I've been a long time fan of Melissa de la Cruz and I haven't come across a published work of hers that I do not like. She is a fantastic writer, the Blue Bloods series is amazing and Witches of East End is no different.

Cruz weaves such a uniquely complicated story that at first I was worried that I was going to get lost in all the details of the witches and the townspeople. But I was sucked in so completely that following along and understanding was very easy. It was so interesting and I always wanted to know what happened next.

The chemistry and tension between Freya and Killian was so intense and hot I could almost feel the heat coming off the pages. Even though she's technically cheating on her fiance Bran, in a way I was rooting for Killian because of their unusual connection. I loved Freya's centuries old love story and that she has been searching for her long lost love for hundreds of years.

While they were doing their magic, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for something bad to happen because they're not supposed to be using their powers! I was almost saying to myself, "Not so much magic. Take it down a notch, you're using too much!" The mystery and the possibility of what was lurking around the next corner was just to intriguing! And just when I thought I had the whole story figured out, the ending blew me a way and completely caught me off guard.

Anyone who loves Melissa de la Cruz and the Blue Bloods series, then Witches of East End is a must read; especially with the mysterious appearance of a few Blue Blood characters!

06 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (24)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

I only recently finished Anna and the French Kiss and I posted my review today. If you read it then you would know how much I love it! Which means I can't wait until Lola and the Boy Next Door comes out! So I just devoted an entire day to Stephanie Perkins!

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins! Release date: September 29, 2011:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


What are you waiting for?

Review- Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Publisher: Dutton
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness)

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris-until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna-and readers-have long awaited?

My thoughts:

I loved Anna and the French Kiss from the very first chapter! I remember what it was like being wrapped in high school with everything that's going on and all that you hope to accomplish before high school is over. I would have been pretty upset too if I was pulled out of my life to complete the last year of high school in a foreign country. Anger, frustration, betrayal and loneliness is what you get from the main character in the beginning and rightly so.

The relationship between St. Clair and Anna is so intense right from the beginning so it becomes a little frustrating that they remain just friends for so long. But the writing is exquisite and Perkins describes every little flirty detail between the two of them; every slight touch of the hand, all the phone calls and emails and every small and meaningful look. Even Anna's tone changes when their relationship changes. Instead of calling him St. Clair she, more intimately, calls him Etienne.

Stephanie Perkins writes teenagers so perfectly from both the male and the female perspective. Anna over analyzes every look and every word that passes between her and St. Clair. He likes me but he doesn't; he wants to be my friend, well maybe he wants more. St. Clair is struggling over reasons why he should and shouldn't break up with his current girlfriend. Neither are sure if the other one likes them so there's constant flirting and unspoken words.

I really loved Anna and the French Kiss and Stephanie Perkins really knows how to weave a story of love and heartbreak; making cry in one chapter and completely bringing me back up in the next. I just hope that Lola and the Boy Next Door is just as good!

05 July 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. It includes two sentences from your current read without any spoilers!

Today, I've been reading Want to go Private? by Sarah Littman. It's about a teenage girl who falls victim to an internet predator. I'm almost halfway through and it's crazy good and a little scary!

"That night, Luke asks me if I have a webcam so we can video chat. I tell him there's one build into my computer.
BlueSkyBoi: Well, what are we waiting for?
Abyangel99: I don't know. Nothing, I guess. Hold on a sec.
I throw a bathrobe over my camisole and pajama bottoms and make sure my hair looks okay. Then I click on the video icon so he can see me, and wait for him to start his. When Luke turns his on, his face is half in shadow. I put in my earbuds, so no one at my house can hear the conversation."

03 July 2011

In My Mailbox (18)


In My Mailbox is an awesome way to connect with our blogger and reader friends and share which amazing books we received, bought or borrowed during the week! This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.



For review:

Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Want to go Private by Sarah Littman
Ariel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White
She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens

Netgalley Review:

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Circle 9 by Anne Heltzel

What's in your mailbox?

01 July 2011

Blog Hop and Follow Friday (15)


Follow Friday is a really fun way to network your blog and meet some other really cool bloggers in the process! This weekly event is hosted at Parajunkee's View. This week's featured blogger is Erika at Let's Talk About Books!

Q: Your favorite book/movie character (example: Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room. Who is it and what would be your first reaction?

I love, love, love Harry Potter and all the movies and if Ronald Weasley/Rupert Grint walked into the room, I'm pretty sure my heart would stop and I wouldn't be able to breath! Once I regained control of myself (which would take so long he probably would have left the room), I would probably walk up to him and not be able to say a single word. It would also include a few other things like smiling awkwardly, continuing to nod my head and staring at him like I was his creep stalker. But if Patch from the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick walked into the room, I would try as fast as I can to shove my hands up the back of his shirt, touch the scars of his wings and see where it would take me! It would be amazing just to touch Patch!


Book Blogger Hop


The book blogger hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love for the written word. The book blogger hop is brought to us by Jennifer at Crazy For Books!

Q: What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

A: The main reason I continue reading a book after the first few pages is that it usually sucks me in and I'm already wanting to know what happens next. That's how it is when I'm starting the first book in a series. If it's a series that I really love, then I give the next few book more time than I usually would to get the story going. I already love the characters and I've already invested my time in them, so I already know that I'm going to enjoy the story. I put a book down after 50 pages or so when I don't feel an emotional connection with them and I don't care what happens to them in the story.
 
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