Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

***2011 Debut Author***

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 2011
Pages: 346
Series: 1st in the Shatter Me series
Acquisition: BEA 2011

Summary:
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up Shatter Me. I've heard a lot of really great things about it from readers that I trust so I had some pretty high expectations. I'm not sure it quite filled all of them but I do have to say, Shatter Me was a fantastic read.

A dystopian world that didn't always follow the rules - A romance that I felt like I was walking into the middle of before it really got started - Characters that didn't fit any norm that I had a hard time making sense of. You would think these factors might make for a less then enjoyable read but you would be very wrong! Tahereh combined everything so perfectly, making for a seamless dystopian adventure story filled with characters you won't soon forget. Especially Adam! He's almost too good to be true.

So hard to actually classify this one. Dystopian, yes. But there is also something perhaps paranormal going on? Or maybe it's entirely normal but we just don't have all the pieces yet? I really just don't know! But I loved the journey of this book. I loved watching Juliette and I loved learning about her world with her.

Final verdict:
For a dystopian novel, Shatter Me is up there among my favorites. The romance felt true, with no clichés or love triangles. A lot of memorable characters and a world that has a lot more secrets to offer up. A fantastic debut!

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Shatter Me Series:
Shatter Me
Untitled (2012)

Linkage Love:
HarperCollins
Author's Website
Goodreads
Facebook Page - READ THE FIRST CHAPTER!

Official Trailer:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday! My book giving recommendations :)

Hello brave souls who face the crazy hoards of manic holiday shoppers on this holiest of retail days!
And yes, I am one of them! 

Every year stores are opening earlier and earlier. I would never even think of shopping on Thanksgiving Day but Midnight usually works for me ;)

No matter when you shop this year, at least one person on your holiday gift giving list deserves a book! Or two! Or three! :)

Here are some of my recommendations for the book lovers in your life.

All are young adult books I've read this past year and absolutely loved!

Fantasy
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Between The Sea and The Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Thriller
 
Escape From Furnance Series by Alexander Gordon

Sci-fi
Human .4 by Mike A. Lancaster
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Skyship Academy by Nick James

Contemporary
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Paranormal
Wildfire by Karsten Knight
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Dystopian
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch


Is anyone getting books from you as gifts this year?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Day To Be Thankful!

For those of you that celebrate,

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am currently enjoying the comfort of my home town - visiting with friends and family and eating way too much food!

I'm thankful that I can enjoy this time with my loved ones and I'm hoping the same for you!

I am also currently in the land of little to no internet (the horror!) 
I'll be back next week!

What are you thankful for today?

Have a safe and happy holiday!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Between The Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2011
Pages: 240
Series: no
Acquisition: NetGalley

Summary:
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
I picked up Between the Sea and Sky and literally couldn't put it down. A couple of hours later, I was done and I wished I weren't. I very easily got lost in the world of merfolk and winged folk. What a fabulous world this is! Humans and fanatical creatures living in a Victorian like time. Such a great fantasy setting!

I pretty much fell in love with Esmerine and Alander instantly. Each is such a unique character and each has such a complex background but when it really comes down to it, they want the same things most people do. They want to be loved and accepted. They want to be happy and thankful for what life has to offer. It was so wonderful watching these two discover the possibilities that their lives could offer them if they just gave it a chance.

I very much felt transported into Esmerine and Alander's world. A fantasy world yes, but one that also felt very real to me. Fantasy at it's best!

Like I said, I really couldn't put this book down! If you're a fan of Jaclyn or really just a fan of fantasy, you'll love Between the Sea and Sky as much as I did, I'm sure!

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love
Bloomsbury
Author's Website
Goodreads
IndieBound

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On My Wishlist: January 2012 Debut Authors

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

With the new year fast approaching, it's almost time for a whole new crop of fantastic debuts!

The Massive List 2012 is still under construction
(*but you should still check it for the pretty pictures*)

Here is a taste of some January releases that are currently on my wishlist:

Shadow's Edge by Maureen Lipinski
January 8, 2012 from Flux
Goodreads / WebsiteIndieBound

Sixteen-year-old Leah Spencer didn't mind being a natural-born Shaman to the Créatúir. Until she broke Rule #1 and traveled to the Other Realm, where she quickly lost time. Like, a whole year of time. She missed out on everything—holidays, school, her sixteenth birthday, the boyfriend who ditched her. So Leah swore to leave all things magical behind her and lead the life of a normal high school girl.
But when a mysterious dark force starts offing the Créatúir, both Light and Dark, Leah must choose between her new life and "getting all CSI" on the Other Realm murder spree. With the help of her three sisters (each with their own magical gift), and three gorgeous guys—who may or may not be part of the evil magic—Leah must vanquish an ancient dark force that is connected to her family in unimaginable ways. (from Goodreads)

Cracked by K.M. Walton
January 3, 2012 from Simon Pulse
GoodreadsWebsite / IndieBound

Sometimes there's no easy way out.
Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.
Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better….(from Goodreads)

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
January 3, 2012 from Simon and Schuster 
GoodreadsTwitter / IndieBound

Seraphina’s first love made her immortal…her second might get her killed. After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.
Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love? (from Goodreads)

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
January 17, 2012 from HarperCollins
Goodreads / Website / IndieBound

Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.
When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all. (from Goodreads)

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
January 3, 2012 from HarperCollins
Goodreads / Website / IndieBound

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY. (from Goodreads)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
January 4, 2012 from Balzer and Bray
Goodreads / Website / IndieBound

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's... (from Goodreads)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 2011
Pages: 307
Series: 1st in the Sky Chasers Series
Acquisition: BEA 2011

Summary:
If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.
The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster. (from publisher's website)

My thoughts:
There were a lot of aspects to Glow that I really found intriguing. Space travel has always fascinated me and the well used plot is always one I seem to gravitate towards. Humans taking to the stars in search of a new Earth - a new home where the human race can survive and thrive and begin again. Doesn't matter how many authors tell this tale, I'm always draw in. So Glow had that going for it with me.

The dual aspect POV was interesting but it didn't switch around enough for me. Too many chapters focused on one set of characters had me forgetting what the other set was doing and the timeline of the entire book was thrown all out of whack. I also never got a clear view on exactly what the ships looked like so the movements of the characters sometimes didn't seem to make any sense.

The characters themselves were enjoyable. All seemed pretty flawed from the start and when the trouble begins, these flaws served as catalysts. The way the characters interacted with each other, especially the boys, was a little predictable though and a lot of actions seemed inconsistent.

Overall, I can't say that I enjoyed the last 1/4 of the book. There was this underlying religious / God aspect running through the entire book but it took a strange turn. I got the feeling that I was suppose to agree with and feel sorry for a character that really did some horrible things to his 'friends'. Waverly's reactions at the very very end were so out of line in my opinion that I lost a little respect for her.

So I can't say that I loved this book but I am glad I read it. Loved the space travel and the dystopian feel but never really connected to any of the characters. An ok read for me.

Final verdict:
I can only assume by the ending, or really the lack of ending, that this is going to be the first book in a series. I wish more loose ends had been tied up in Glow and I wish it was a standalone book. I'm not sure if I'll pick up book 2 because even though I'm curious as to what happens to these characters I'm not really all that invested in their story. I don't know though.

A science fiction, young adult thriller that I couldn't help but compare to Across the Universe by Beth Revis while reading but without the same draw, for me at least. I would still recommend Glow to fans of sci-fi. There is a lot going on in this story and I hope my indifference doesn't turn you off because I do think there are a lot of people who will really enjoy this story.

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Books in The Sky Chasers Series:
Glow
Spark (July 2012)

Linkage Love:
Macmillan / St. Martin's
Author's Website
Goodreads

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles


***2011 Debut Author***

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 2011
Pages: 352
Series: 1st in The Fury Trilogy
Acquisition: BEA 2011

Summary:
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.(from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
One of the things I loved best about Fury was the way in which the paranormal elements of the story were introduced. As a reader, I knew what was going on but the characters I was reading about didn't. I could scream at them all I wanted to 'not open that door' or to not 'run up those stairs' but in true horror movie fashion, they never listened. They were in the dark and even though their sleepy little Maine town was neck deep in some pretty freaky paranormal trouble, they never saw it coming.

The characters in Fury were interesting. Em is a pretty average high school girl - complete with flaws that most people, regardless of age, possess. We don't see much of Gabby, Em's best friend, even though she plays a huge part in what happens to Em. And the parts I did see of her, I didn't like much. It was hard to envision her and Em being as close as they say they are. But I could understand why they were friends. How they played off of each other and when it came down to it, they were there for each other. Zach is an ass and it got to me how neither Em or Gabby can see this about him. I also had some issues with what exactly happens (and doesn't happen) to him...but you'll have to read Fury for yourself to know what I'm talking about :)

There are a lot of other characters involved in the complex story behind the strangeness going on. I loved how every character has a purpose. Everyone was important and people were connected in ways that you didn't always see coming.

The entire concept of Fury was new and intriguing to me and once I really got into the story, I found it a hard book to put down. There were a bunch of unanswered questions for me and I'm really interested to find out what happens next.

Overall Rating:
4 / 5 Stars

Books in The Fury Trilogy:
Fury
Envy (Oct 2012)
Eternity (?)

Linkage Love:
Simon and Schuster / Simon Pulse
Author's Website
Goodreads

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NetGalley October - Totals and WINNERS!


NetGalley October was full of WIN!

Before I show you how much awesome actually took place, it's time to pick some winners!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Julie Witt (@jwitt33)
and

You each have won $15 worth of books from The Book Depository!
Be sure to use the US site - http://www.bookdepository.com/ - and email me your choices at WilowRaven@gmail.com

Now - on to the totals!

*******************************************************
NetGalley October Stats and Totals

A total of 70 people signed up to participate and in the end, 51 of the 70 checked back in with their totals + 3 others who hadn't initially signed up.

SO! The lists below represent the NetGalley October reading totals of 54 persons :)

TOP 3 MOST READ BOOKS FOR NETGALLEY OCTOBER
7 people read: Ashfall by Mike Mullin (with 1 other partial read) -- 3 people marked as their favorite read
8 people read: Eve by Anna Carey
9 people read: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (with 2 other partial reads) -- 5 people marked as their favorite read

The following titles were each read by 5 people:
Variant, The Iron Knight, Lord of the Abyss

The following titles were each read by 4 people:
You Are My Only, Tirs and Izzie, Touch of Power, The Butterfly Clues, Real Men Will, Lord of the Wolfyn

The following titles were each read by 3 people:
Until There Was You, The Juliet Spell,The Demon Lover, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Fracture, Demons Like It Hot, Crave, Bad Boys Do, A Vampire for Christmas

The following titles were each read by 2 people:
A Midsummer Night's Sin, A Shot in the Dark, Avenger's Angel, Beauty and the Werewolf, Blood Rights, Brass and Bone, Cinder, Dark Eden, Darker Still, Ecstasy Untamed, Enticed by His Forgotten Lover, Franklin's Halloween, Graffiti Moon, How to Save a Life, If I Tell, In Session, Lord of the Vampires, Naomi's Gift: An Amish Christmas Story, Prized, Saving June, Seers, Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, Tempest, The Edinburgh Dead, The Kingdom of Childhood, The Merchant's Daughter, Touch, Turnabout's Fair Play

An additional 193 books were each read by 1 person

That adds up to a grand total 342 books read!

That is awesome!

And remember, I didn't hear back from everyone who signed up so I'm sure the actual numbers are much higher.

This post is a little long, so I'm going to end it here - I have a few more stats to share but I'll leave that for another day.

I huge huge thank you to everyone who participated!

NetGalley January is a go and I'm hoping to make it the best one yet!
If you would like a reminder in December - fill out my form and I'll email you.

Thanks again guys!!

What is a 'noreply-comment' and why is it important?

**Everything below relates to Blogger blogs and profiles. Other blog platform may handle comments differently**

As most bloggers do, I adore comments on my posts. I'm proud of my blog and I work hard at it and when people comment, it makes me happy :)

I use Blogger and I have all comments emailed to me. I love this because I'm always checking my email and I know right away when someone has stopped by.

Another cool feature to having your comments emailed to you is being able to reply back via email.

What makes me sad and often a little frustrated, is when I receive a comment and I really want to respond back and maybe even a question has been asked that I would very much like to answer. So, I move my little mouse pointer up and get ready to click on that wonderful 'Reply' button and this is what I see...


What is this noreply-comment@blogger.com?

Basically, when you comment with your Blogger account - meaning you signed in via Google to make your comment - your account is now linked to your comment.


Depending on how you set up your account, when you comment on blogs, your email address either WILL or WILL NOT appear.

On my end, as a blog owner, I'll either see your email address - (WilowRaven@yahoo.com) OR I'll see Blogger's default email address (noreply-comment@blogger.com)

Your email won't appear on your comment, but it will (or will not) appear as the Sender on comment relayed emails.

SO! Why is this important?

You may, for reasons your own, wish to remain as anonymous as you possibly can in an on-line environment. You don't have a blog yourself and / or you don't want people to ever be able to contact you for any reason and your Blogger Profile only has the barest of information on it. And you know, that's fine!

BUT! Don't most of you want people to be able to contact you? 

It is my belief that a lot of people don't realize their account is set up to NOT SHOW their email address. 

Here is an easy way to find out - and change it if you wish! (please?)

1. Log into your account and view your Dashboard (here's mine with some info blanked out for privacy reasons)

*I'm using the old Blogger interface - if you updated to the new one, you can easily switch back - it's a little easier that way*

2. Click on Edit Profile


3. Click on the box next to "Show My Email Address" and set an email address - it can be any email address you want. So if you're worried about privacy - create a new email account for yourself and use that one. OR, if you're a blogger, use the one on your contact page so all bloggy related things are all in once place :)



4. Scroll down, save your settings and - DONE!

Now when you comment, blog owners will see:


And all will be right with the world!
Ok, maybe not ALL but I know, I'll be a lot happier :)

Hope this makes sense to everyone and I hope it's at least a little helpful.
Let me know if you have any questions! AND if you do have your account set to not show your email address on purpose, I'm curious to know why, so let me know :)

Thanks guys!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review: Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2011
Pages: 224
Series: no
Acquisition: received for review

Summary:
Hannah's parents are glamorous Hollywood royalty, and sometimes she feels like the ugly duckling in a family of swans. After her mother's tragic death, Hannah's grief is compounded by her desperate need to live up to her mother's image. She tries to control her weight through Bulimia, and her devastated father is too distracted to notice. The secret of her eating disorder weighs heavily on Hannah, but the new eighth grade Beverly Hills clique she's befriended only reinforces her desire to be beautiful. The only one who seems to notice, or care, that something is wrong is Jasper, the quirky mistfit. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
A contemporary story about a girl grieving for her mother's death and her father's indifference. She turns to food as a way to coping. She finds friends in unlikely places and after a lot of struggles, she also finds herself. A good read, but not as heartwarming as I had hoped.

Hannah's mother and father are movie stars. Their faces are all over billboards and on the sides of buses. But her mom has cancer and dies a few chapters into the book. Her father looses it and becomes a Hollywood statistic - he drinks and he looses movies deals and he winds up in jail and then rehab. At the same time, Hannah develops an eating disorder. She steals food from her elite, perfect private school - complete with kids way to rich for their own good, security to fend off the paparazzi and of course, the poor charity, scholarship kid. She eventually goes to Africa to help her aunt film another award winning documentary about starving orphans. And in the end everything falls into place.

My main issue with Reasons to be Happy was its extremely unrealistic setting. Eating disorders are very serious and Hannah's experiences are no exception. What was exceptional was her life in general. Her parents are famous, she's rich, she's never had to really worry about anything in life, she goes to Africa which helps heal her, making life long friends along the way and reconnecting with her father who also gets his life back on track and gets nominated for an Emmy. Not a whole lot there to relate to.

I did really enjoy Hannah's reasons to be happy list. She finds joy in the simplest of things. So although, I really couldn't relate to her outward life, I did fell a connection to her secret inner most thoughts, wishes, hopes and dreams.

An ok read for me. Readers who are more in tune with and bigger fans of contemporary YA would probably enjoy this one better then I did. I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by Katrina as I did really enjoy the writing and style of Reasons to be Happy. It's actually inspired me to stat my own reasons to be happy list.

Overall Rating:
3 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Sourcebooks
Author's Website
Goodreads

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NetGalley October - MY TOTALS :)

Almost all of you have reported back in with your NetGalley reads for October 
Woo hoo!
I'm holding out for a few more days and then I'll post the massive list of books read and I'll pick giveaway winners!


In the mean time, I thought you all might want to see what I read last month.

I basically read nothing but NetGalley books for all of October and I was really able to catch up. 
I started out with my Nook but found that reading on my iPad wasn't as hard on my eyes as I thought it would be.

Ok, here we go!




The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
Flyaway by Helen Landalf
On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
The Flying Beaver Brothers and The Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton III
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
May B. by Carolin Starr Rose
Cinder by Marissa Meyer


****************************************************************


I tried a few new things in October - most of them behind the scences but I've been getting tons of feedback about what you guys want for January!

October participants have been given the option of receiving a NETGALLEY JANUARY EMAIL REMINDER from me. If you didn't participate in October but want to in January and would like an email reminder as well then please
I never share and I'll only be contacting you one time! I'll also have the sign-up sheet ready in mid December to give you time to prepare.

Check back in a few days for October's totals and winners!
Thanks guys!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

***2011 Debut Author***

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2011
Pages: 281
Series: 1st in the Covenant series
Acquisition: BEA 2011

Summary:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Half-Blood is a book I wish I had had the time to read in one sitting. I really did not want to put it down! Drawn into the story from page 1, I soon fell in love with the characters and really just could not get enough of the world Jennifer created. I'm writing this after just turning that last page and I wish I had book 2 in my hands already.

Paranormal elements that were new and fresh and a setting that felt very much real. You might be reminded of other paranormal YA books while reading Half-Blood - the boarding school like setting, the hidden family secrets, the ridiculously hot guy(s?) that aren't as out of reach as they should be - BUT - the story itself and the characters were very unique. I never felt like I was reading the same old thing and I was never bored with the story.

I was engaged as a reader and I fell for the characters very quickly. Nerve racking at times, not sure who's side I should be on, full of mystery and hidden meanings; rules that just beg to be broken and characters that you will not be able to stop thinking about, Half-Blood is a thrill ride of a tale that fans of YA paranormal romance will absolutely love!

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Covenant Series:
0.5 Daimon
1.0 Half-Blood
2.0 Pure (April 2012)
3.0 Deity (November 2012)
4.0 Untitled (2013)

Linkage Love:
Spencer Hill Press
Author's Website
Goodreads

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What book are you most grateful for?

Whenever I'm asked what my all time favorite book is I always know what my answer will be. It's strange because although I remember the story well, if I had to write up a full review of the book, or even give a detailed account on why I like it so much, I would fall short.

The reason The Great Gatsby is the book I'm most grateful for starts long ago, in high school. Now, I have always been a very active reader. I have my parents to thank for that. I read for pleasure - everything and anything I could get my hands on. But when I started high school I was suddenly faced with reading deadlines. There were books I had to read and I had to read them now! I hated this and I found myself blaming the books. It wasn't until I was forced to read The Great Gatsby that I finally started to actually pay attention. There was a reason these books were being forced on us. I'm not saying I suddenly became a huge fan of every classic out there but I defiantly began to pay more attention to them. I no longer dismissed my required reading list and just another chore to get done and I have The Great Gatsby to thank for that!

So, what book are you most grateful for? Beth Revis wants to know and she's holding a fabulous contest to find out. Head on over to her site and find out how you can give thanks and enter to win some awesome books!


Random Acts of Kindness Wishlist

Isalys and Vanessa from Book Soulmates have started something I think it pretty awesome. It's called Random Acts of Kindness or R.A.K. -- an awesome (did I say that already?) -- an AWESOME way to brighten a fellow book lovers day with a surprise gift.

As Isalys and Vanessa have said "There's nothing like the feeling you get when doing something thoughtful for another person without expecting something in return." I couldn't agree with them more!

Here are the rules:
• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
{Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes :)

Check out their blog for more information
Thanks Isalys and Vanessa for coming up with such a terrific idea!

For those participating in R.A.K. or looking to trade here is
MY R.A.K. WISHLIST
In no particular order :)
(last updated: 11/6/11)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
Bloodborn (Other #2) by Karen Kincy
Dark Angel by Eden Maguire
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Envy by Gregg Olsen
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Damage by Anya Parrish
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
The Vision by Jen Nadol
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I Am J by Cris Beam
Errant by Diana Peterfreund
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
Away by Teri Hall
Ghost Huntress #4 by Marley Gibson
Challenge (Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales #2) by Melissa Marr
Sea by Heidi Kling
So Many Boys (The Naughty List #2) by Suzanne Young
Crossing Over by Anna Kendall
The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike
One Hundred Candles (Past Midnight #2) by Mara Purnhagen
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Island Sting by Bonnie Doerr
Stakeout by Bonnie Doerr
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Fire by Kristin Cashore

More books are listed on my Goodreads Wishlist :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In My Mailbox - October 5, 2011


In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

3 weeks worth this time! Cause I've been a very lazy weekend blogger ;)

Vlog in which I am very sleepy but the BOOKS ARE AWESOME!




Links are to Goodreads

Traded with Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari - ARC - I've heard great things about this one!

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann - ARC - Love middle grade fantasy

I just now noticed that Shanyn included a bunch of bookmarks and postcards and stickers in the books :) So very awesome- THANK YOU SHANYN!


Bought from Amazon
The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan #3)) by Kelly Gay - awesome awesome awesome UF series. ...and I just got totally sidetracked typing up this post because I started reading it....hehehe

Daniel X The Manga Vol 2 by James Patterson  - read the first Vol and really loved it

Seizure (Virals #2) by Kathy Reichs - Love love love Kathy and book 1, Virals was fabulous

The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner - 3rd and final book in the series. I cannot wait to see how it ends!


For Review
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - OMG I love this series! Can't wait to get started on this one!

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff - ARC November 15 from Razorbill

Big thank you to Big Honcho Media and Razorbill!


Other Awesomeness
A post card from Michelle Zink because she is the sweetest person ever!

Beautiful Creatures swag pack I won from @Figmentfiction

Big thank you to Michelle and Figment!


EXTRA EXTRA!!!
I still have books to trade if anyone is interested :)

There is still time to enter for a chance to win Beautiful Chaos

Is over :( But I still need your responses! Let us know what you read!!


Ok - done! :)
What's in your mailbox? Tell me! Tell me! :)

Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Can't wait to get my hands on...

My little contribution to your ever growing wishlists and TBR piles :)


These 2 are both 2011 Debut Authors that I'm defiantly going to sneak out once they hit the shelves.

Are either of these on your wishlist? Let me know what you think!

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
November 1, 2011 from Simon and Schuster
(from Goodreads)

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everyday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.
Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.


Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
December 8, 2011 from Penguin / Philomel
(from Goodreads)

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger
Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NetGalley October -- The End Has Arrived!


Can you guys believe it? It's November 1st already!

I hope everyone had a wonderful October and I can't wait to see what yummy NetGalley books everyone read!
In the past I've asked you to post about your reads and leave me the link. This month, I've tried to make it a little easier by using a form. Feel free to post if you'd like though! You can leave the link in the comments.

More posts will follow including an easy links page to all things NetGalley at Red House Books, tallies of everyone's reads (including mine :) and our WINNERS (which will include July winners).

So!

What are you waiting for?

There is a form below with your name on it ;)

Any questions - ask in the comments or email me!