Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Roundup (8)


Merriam-Webster defines 'roundup' as a gathering in of scattered persons or things (source)

Replace 'persons or things' with 'BOOKS!' and you'll have what happens in my house every week as I try to keep control of my hoard :)

This week I got...


For Review:
January 15, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press

Bought:
Signed! I love my local indie :)

Read and reviewed this one - loved it!

I received a review copy of book 2 but haven't read book 1 - heard it's really good!



Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'm in! Bloggiesta me baby!


I'm pretty late to the party here BUT...

...I found myself with some extra time this weekend and it just so happens it's a Bloggiesta weekend AND I have been so scatterbrained and unfocused and unmotivated lately (to do a lot of things - not just blogging) that I thought - WHY NOT!?

For those of you that don't know, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon challenge, hosted by There's a Book and It's All About Books (and started nearly 4 years ago by Maw Books).

Sign up, set some goals and hopefully cross some things off of your bloggy to do list (or lists, or lists within lists as the case may be ;)

Since this is my first time officially participating I'm really not sure exactly what I'll get done but I do have a few things in mind:

*Work on my blogging calendar -- I have a paper copy in a nice binder. I find that it's easy to whip it out and see exactly what I had scheduled for the upcoming week or month - problem is - I need to actually schedule ALL THE THINGS or...nothing happens :)

*Review posting clean up -- I have a massive spreadsheet of doom where I keep track of where all my reviews are (when did it post to my blog, have I posted to Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, etc) -- it's woefully out of date at the moment and could use a little love

*WRITE the reviews -- pretty self explanatory :)

*MAKE LISTS! -- of all the things I might not have time to do  


Bloggiesta runs until tomorrow the 30th so there is still time to join in the fun - you can find all the details HERE :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

"I found myself longing to belong to this world"
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Series: no
Acquisition: I received a free e-galley for review from NetGalley

Summary:
On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.
Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape. But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run---with only one place to go.
With MAGISTERIUM, Jeff Hirsch brings us the story of a complex, captivating world that will leave readers breathless until the very last page. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
An awesome read for me. A mix of fantasy and reality. A dystopian world, a magical world, a world that's hard to believe and at the same time feels very grounded and true. Magisterium offers up all of this and more.

I found myself longing to belong to this world. Which side would I choose? Which side will Glenn fall to? There is so much going on in this story and I loved it all!

Magisterium is very action packed, with a lot of secrets to share. Glenn, her family, her friends and the people she meets along her journey all have a part to play. It a short amount of time, worlds are changed and people have to change along with it. Glenn fights this change. I was fascinated watching her struggle, not knowing exactly how her story was going to play out.

Although, Glenn did get on my nerves a few times, looking back on it, I don't know that I could have done any better (or worse) in her situation. She's a strong character for sure and one that will stay with me for a long time.

Final verdict:
A perfect mix for me. This book has a little bit of everything I love - dytopian, fantasy, magic, science fiction, characters you can't help but fall for and an ending that left me hanging on the edge of my seat.

Jeff Hirsch has done it again. Taking the fantastically and weaving it in a way that both scared and delighted me.

Magisterium is a book you begin to miss as soon as you read that last page.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars



Saturday, September 22, 2012

On My Reader (22) - September 22, 2012


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

I haven't posted a OMR in over a month! I started doing these as a way to help myself organize my digital books and since it's been so long since I posted...I can't say I've been very organized!

I also haven't posted a whole lot in general these last couple of weeks - all I can say is that allergies suck! I'm not going to jinx it by saying I think I'm feeling better but hopefully I can get back to regular posting soon :)

So! What digital books have I gotten?
I honestly have no idea...let's take a look!

Links are to Goodreads

Free


Someone recommended this one to me. I can't say that I've read anything published under Createspace but since it was free I thought I'd give it a shot.

Not sure where I heard about this one but again, it was free so I thought, why not give it a try!

Been meaning to start this series and I thought this prequel short story would help modivate me. You can read it for free on Tor's website

Another prequel short story. This one you can read on Scribd

Bought
A short story that follows Thimble and Stone after the events of book 1. I already read it and it is awesome!

I have Partials and I love short story prequels :) 

For Review
I featured this one recently but I haven't read it yet. Heard good things though so I'm excited about it.

From NetGalley
January 8, 2013 from Strange Chemistry

January 1, 2013 from Amulet Books

Awesome - that was a lot more then I thought I had :)

Hope I'm feeling better soon and can devote more time to blogging and less time to coughing, blowing my nose and trying not to OD on meds :)

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Under The Sea Giveaway Hop

I've been bitten by the giveaway hop bug it seems! I apologize if it's not your cup of tea, but I absolutely love giving books away and Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer does such a great job at organizing that I can't help but join in the fun!



The short and sweet of it:

I'm giving away one of my favorite mermaid books read this year
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

Open to everyone The Book Depository ships to

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter

Everyone can enter for 'free'

Extra entries for follows and whatnot :)

Happy hopping everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit other stops on the hop :)

DEBUT FEATURE: Tiffany Schmidt author of Send Me A Sign


A big welcome to
Tiffany Schmidt
whose debut novel
Send Me A Sign
releases on October 2, 2012
from Bloomsbury / Walker

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.


Tiffany Schmidt is a YA writer / reader, living and creating mischief in Doylestown, PA. Married to St. Matt, mother of impish twin boys, and chaser of mischievous puggles. She is represented by Joe Monti of Barry Goldblatt Literary.
Her debut novel, Send me a Sign, releases on October 2, 2012 and Bright Before Sunrise will follow Winter, 2014.
(picture and text from www.tiffanyschmidt.com)

Today Tiffany is here to share her thoughts on Books and Memories...


What book makes you think of...your childhood?
Anne of Green Gables.  I was the luckiest child in the world because I spent part of each childhood summer on Prince Edward Island. But beyond just sharing a location with Anne, I share her unintentional mishief-magnet ways as well. And her over-active imagination. I don't have her red hair, though I always wished I did and couldn't understand how she'd possibly want to trade it! She totally deserved it when the hair-dye turned it green!

What book makes you think of...your scariest memory?
Any of the Baby-sitter's Club Mysteries --because my scariest memory occurred one of the first times I babysat. I was so proud to be graduating from mother's helpering that I didn't factor in that this job was in an old house. Next to a graveyard. At night. I'd forgotten a book and needed something to hide the creaky old-house noises, so turned on the TV. Single White Female sounded like a cute romantic comedy. It's not. Cue two hours of terror and a VERY embarrassing tearful call to the parents when I started hearing scary moaning sounds -- yup, it was totally the baby fussing... I didn't realize the monitor was hidden by the curtain on the window ledge behind the couch. 

What book makes you think of...your road to publication?
Savvy. This may sound like a strange pick, but just hang with me for a second. Like Mibs, I had an end goal in sight -- granted mine was publication and hers was discovering her savvy. But we each had something we were fixated on, but not so fixated that we couldn't enjoy our journeys. Mine was full of unexpected, magical moments and so many, many fabulous people. While I didn't gain an extra-special ability along the way, I certainly felt like a superhero when Send Me A Sign sold. 

What book makes you think of...your family?
Beezus and Ramona mashed up with Superfudge. For one thing, there were four kids in my family: my older sister, me, and then my two younger brothers. And for another, while my older sister, and older-younger brother are good, my youngest brother and I seemed to be wired for mischief and driving our siblings crazy. It wasn't usually intentional, but like Fudge and Ramona, trouble found us. Often.

What book makes you think of...high school?
Flowers in the Attic (cringe). This book made me feel so grown up and scandalous. My friends and I passed it around and giggled and whispered. Our mothers rolled their eyes and tried not to laugh. Also, A Separate Peace --- this was assigned for English class, but I was so captivated by it that I couldn't stop reading. I finished the book in chemistry class while I was supposed to be watching a movie. When the teacher turned the lights back on, I had a hard time explaining why a movie about chemical reactions had me bawling my eyes out.

What book makes you think of...snow days?
The Vampire Academy series. These books do have quite a few mentions of snow -- in fact, part of book 2 (Frostbite) takes place at a ski lodge -- but that's not why they remind me of winter. I started VA #1 during a snow day a few years ago. It was unexpected, so I hadn't brought home extra grading or planning to keep me company. Instead I made cocoa and read the book cover to cover. Downloaded #2, and read that too. Mother Nature cooperated by sending MORE snow the next day and, although I had to take breaks to shovel and refill my cocoa mug, I was able to make through the first four books before I had to step back in the classroom. 

Thank you so much Tiffany!


Book Review: The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau

" Suspense and mystery are at the heart of this story..."
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Illustrated by: Jason Beene
Pages: 256
Series: no
Acquisition: I received a free e-galley for review from the NetGalley

Summary:
Max’s village is absolutely normal in every single way and on every single day—except Wednesday.
Most of the townsfolk shutter their windows and lock their doors to hide away from the many peculiar things that happen—things like cats getting stuck in the vacuum cleaner and birthday cakes meeting fiery and horrific ends. But Max is too curious for that, and so, breaking every rule in the village, he searches out the cause of all the Wednesday weirdness.
What he uncovers is a secret so devious—so dastardly and mischievous—that life as he knows it will never be the same. Max himself is not the same. Suddenly the mysterious little accidents so common on Wednesdays are happening to him on Thursdays, Fridays—even Saturdays!
What’s come over Max? And more importantly, is there any cure for a case of the Wednesdays?
Mystery, magic, mischief and monsters abound in this slightly fantastical story of a human kid who wants to stay that way. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
What an awesomely fun and cute book! I can really see young readers eating this one up.

Max lives in a town where every Wednesday it is perfectly normal for all townsfolk to close up shop, shut the blinds and stay inside no matter what! Misfortune abounds and it's much safer to stay indoors. When Max angers his mother and is sent out of the house one fine Wednesday afternoon, all the rules seem to change.

What are the Wednesdays exactly? Why are they tormenting the town? Why hasn't anyone tried to stop them before? Max yearns to know but when he seeks out his answers, he soon discovered that while he's been searching for Wednesdays the Wednesdays have been watching him.

Final verdict:
A real joy to read. Suspense and mystery are at the heart of this story and I for one was left guessing until the very end. I loved Max and I loved his friends. A motley group of people who, if it weren't for the Wednesdays would never have come together. They work together to help not only Max but the entire town as well.

I really got sucked into this story! I read an e-galley via NetGalley but this is one that I will be buying for sure. As soon as she's old enough to read it, I can really see my little one loving this story.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars


Tuesday, September 11, 2012