Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays :)

Hi guys!

I'm away visiting family, eating too much and watching my daughter get spoiled by her grandparents :)

I'll be back to blogging probably right before the new year and more importantly I'll be back to visiting and commenting on other blogs! I've been so out of touch lately (are we getting books zapped directly into our brains yet? ;)

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday week! I miss you guys and I'll see you all soon!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

E-Book Deals!

Totally worth the price on these babies! Treat yourself this holiday season :)

Sourcebooks is celebrating the 25 Days of Christmas with some great deals!
If you haven't started Jessica Shirvington's series now is the time :)
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
$1.99

A holiday gift from author Anna Staniszewski - an exclusive short story from her Epic series
Jenny's First Adventure by Anna Staniszewski
FREE

From now until December 21st - THREE books in one - I love this series.
Ruling Passion (Drake Chronicles - Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud and Out for Blood) by Alyxandra Harvey
$1.99

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Birthday Tuesday (11)

It's Tuesday and that means
another flock of books are having a birthday!

Here are some that have caught my eye.

Links are to Goodreads :)

NEW


NEW IN PAPERBACK

So, what books are you adding to your shelves this week?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

"I wish there was more back story given and I wish the few twists weren't as predictable but overall, a good read."
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 354
Series: no
Acquisition: I received a free ARC e-galley for review from NetGalley

Summary:
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears. (from Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS:
The Peculiars takes place in an alternative late 1800s. While the synopsis calls it steampunk, I wouldn't necessarily put it in that category. Nor would I be hard pressed to call it a fantasy and certainly not a romance. So...I guess I'm having a hard time placing this book in any set genre. It's an alternative history for sure. Most references do come from the end of the 19th century but the author has taken some liberties - which I think is kind of cool.

The peculiars themselves are another issue I had with this book. Are they supernatural beings? Genetic abnormalities? Both? Neither? Does it really matter? For me at least, it was a little bit of a confusing aspect of the storyline. Exactly what a peculiar is or isn't is never really discussed. Some people don't believe they exist. Some think they are monsters but when we actually meet and get to know them, they are just people. Some have deformities and there may have been more to it all but it was never explained.

I did really grow to love Lena. She's had both a hard life but also a somewhat sheltered life. Undertaking the journey she does and the hardships she faces along the way really tested her fortitude and I for one was routing for her the entire way. Now the romance? Honestly, I wouldn't even say there was a romance. Sure Lena finds herself with feelings she doesn't know what to do with occasionally but it doesn't really amount to anything.

FINAL VERDICT:
With an interesting cast a characters and a storyline that was intriguing, overall I would have to say I enjoyed The Peculiars. I wish there was more back story given and I wish the few twists weren't as predictable but overall, a good read.

If you're looking for a steampunk adventure, I'm not sure The Peculiars is the way to go but if you're looking for a good adventure story in general then I would suggest you give it a try. Also, I love when historical aspects of a story are tweaked just a little bit. It gives the characters an extra something to hang onto and make their own.

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

"Unfortunately, not a book I enjoyed all that much"
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: I received a free ARC for review

Summary:
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.
Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.
Kat is tired of the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.
Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.
Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste. (from Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS:
Writing this review has been somewhat difficult as there isn't one thing I can point to that I didn't particularly like, but overall, I can't say I enjoyed this one very much.

It started out good - we get to meet Lillia, Kat and Mary and their friends (or lack there of). The story progresses fast, with POVs switching up every chapter. It's fast moving yes, but it was also a little all over the place and I found myself lost a couple of times trying to remember just who each character was and how they fit into the story line. In some cases, it turns out, they weren't even important at all.

In the end what really threw me is the fact that as reprehensible as our three character's 'enemies' are - the girls themselves weren't exactly saints and it was hard for me to feel pity for them - especially enough to condone their actions. It felt at times like a giant bully fight. The 'good' bullies were attacking the 'bad' bullies but in the end I wasn't left with much sympathy for anyone.

The exception perhaps being with Mary. BUT there is something weird going on with her character and I'm not sure I liked it at all. Book 2 might flesh out this strange twist that in my mind didn't fit into the story AT ALL but even if it does I'm not sure I like where the authors might be going with this one.

FINAL VERDICT:
Unfortunately, not a book I enjoyed all that much.

Overall? I'm disappointed with Burn for Burn. The good girls weren't good enough, some of the bad boys weren't all that bad. Something strange and totally out of left field is added in, seemingly without purpose and the ending? Yeah, there wasn't one.

Being my first book written by these 2 authors, I'm not about to give up on them just yet. I've heard others say they really enjoy the writings of Han and Vivian and I've also found people who feel the same way I do abut Burn for Burn.

WILL I CONTINUE WITH THIS SERIES?:
Unless book 2 gets raving reviews, I would have to say at this point, probably not. My feelings may change over time though - we'll see!

Overall Rating:
3 / 5 Stars

Books in the Burn for Burn Series:
#1 Burn for Burn
#2 Fire with Fire (2013)
#3 Ashes to Ashes (2014)



Saturday, December 1, 2012

On My Reader (23) - December 1, 2012

It's been for-ev-er since I've posted an On My Reader and it took for-ev-er to get myself organized in order to do it today! I need to get my act together ;)


On My Reader posts are were I highlight recent ebooks I've added to my digital collection :)

Not a whole lot considering how long it's been but I think that's because I've been very selective in what I request from NetGalley lately since I still have so many great books to read :)

Links are to Goodreads


Bought:

With book 2 coming out in a few months I need to read this one asap.

I read #0.1 and enjoyed it. I'll probably wind up buying all these short story prequels.

For Review from NetGalley

December 18, 2012 from Harlequin Teen
Reading this one now and it's fabulous so far!

February 5, 2013 from Bloomsbury
I loved Fracture and I love Megan's writing style so I'm excited about this one.

April 8, 2013 from Flux
I honestly had a hard time getting into Scott's first series but I have high hopes for this one!


So, what's on your e-reader? :)



Friday, November 30, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

May 7, 2013 from Entangled Teen

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


As a nerd that has never been afraid to shout my nerdiness from the rooftops I'm curious as to how Madelyne's story will play out.

What do you guys think?

As a bonus, Entangled is hosting a marked-to-read contest on Goodreads in April and May. Keep an eye on Leah's site for details on how to enter to win!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Take Your Child To A Bookstore Day

I read about this recently in Shelf Awareness and I think it's a fabulous idea!

Any project aimed at connecting kids with books gets my vote!


Scheduled for this Saturday December 1st the plan is simple - take your child, or any young person in your life to a bookstore!

Not that this isn't a weekly occurrence in my house but I'm going to try to make it fun for my little one :)

I'm also going to use this day as an excuse to kick start my butt into getting out of the house more with my daughter to do things she enjoys (not just running errands!). She absolutely loves books so our local indie shop and fabulous library are tops on my list.

What do you guys think? Even if you've never heard of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, will you be browsing shelves with a little one this weekend?

For more information, visit www.takeyourchildtoabookstore.org

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reviews and You - How do You Blog?

I have a system in place for review writing.

Ok...several systems.

OK! Maybe it's more like one giant system with a lot of moving parts that all work perfectly together.

You know, except when they don't.

I love to read - reading has never been a chore or even a hobby. For me, it's a way of life and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Writing on the other hand was never something I excelled in. So when it comes time to get all those lovely little thoughts I have on a book out of my head, sometimes it's a challenge.

I TRY to write a review the second I finish a book. I close the book, get up, find my computer and write. I think this works for me because my reviews tend to be more about my emotional reaction to a book rather then it's form and function. I don't analyse style and literary markers - I like talking about how a book makes me feel. My reviews aren't technical and I don't think they ever will be.

So, what happens when I don't write up that review right away?

...bad things...very very bad things....

Ok, not really but it can be a challenge at times.

Today I'm asking you, as a blogger, as a reader - 
how do you handle your reviews?

Do you take notes while you read?

Are you always on the look out for nuggets of content from a book to add to your review?

Are you not even thinking of your review while reading?

As someone who really only writes when I'm blogging, I find other people's writing styles fascinating.

If you have a minute - drop a comment :)

I'll reply below and unless 'noreply-comment' makes an appearance, I'll email you back as well :)

Seriously, I would LOVE to talk to you guys about this!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Happy Day!


For those of you that celebrate,

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm away from my home base for a while, visiting with family.

This year, more then ever, I feel that I have a lot to be thankful for.

Let's hope the next couple of months aren't as crazy as the last, shall we?


That's my little girl's very first thanksgiving in which the turkey might have weighed more then she did!
I can't believe how long ago it was - feels like yesterday :)

I'll be back sometime next week and I hope you and yours 
have a fabulous and safe holiday

Happy reading (and eating ;) everyone!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Birthday Tuesday (9) - The November Edition :)


I'm a little late in wishing some of these lovely books a Happy Birthday and a little early on a few others but nonetheless, they all deserve a shout out (and maybe some cake? :)

A BIG Happy Happy Birthday to:

NEW



CONTINUING SERIES





NEW IN PAPERBACK


Links are to Goodreads :)

So, what books are you adding to your shelves this week?