Sunday, December 9, 2012

Showcase Sunday #5

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea! This is where each Sunday, we can "showcase" what we've gotten in the way of books; in the mail, at the bookstore, the library, or as a gift! 

As I've been doing a lot of Christmas shopping, I've only allowed myself to buy 1 physical book this past month, as she's one of my favorite Romance authors and I've been waiting for this book for more than a year. As for e-books, I guess you could say they are my weakness lately...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Still on my Mind #3

This weekly meme is hosted by Haley at YA-Aholic! It gives us a chance to reflect on a book/novel we had read in the past that still effects us today!

The last one I did was about 7 months ago (ahh!) and I wanted to do another one because it really is STILL ON MY MIND, pretty much all the time. Especially when I read a new romance novel, I compare it to this one every time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mini Reviews: e-books

I've been reading a lot of e-books lately, and while they are just as great as physical books in their own way, I tend to read them really fast and usually in one sitting. So if I find that I finish an e-book in under 3 hours, I'm going to do a mini review for them. Here's what I've read in the past couple weeks that qualify (links to Goodreads):

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Showcase Sunday #4

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea! This is where each Sunday, we can "showcase" what we've gotten in the way of books; in the mail, at the bookstore, the library, or as a gift! 

I haven't done a Showcase Sunday in months and I think it just comes down to the fact that planning these out takes more time and finesse than I'm usually able to come up with, but I think I finally found an easier system to execute this each week, or every other week. :)


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Free for All

Keeping up with the daily meme's/posts most book bloggers do each week (Teaser Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, etc.) has not been something I can keep up with. Maybe it's because my blog isn't as established and I don't feel the need to bring attention to it as some bloggers do to spread the word about the great books out there, but mostly, I think it's because it's really time consuming. I'm more of a random blogger, I can't commit to doing set posts about a book I'm excited about because it doesn't come as second nature. But what I am going to try to do is post something every Friday, whether it be a post similar to that of a weekly meme, a "weekly roundup" as some other bloggers call it, or maybe just a random topic I want to discuss. I'm calling it "Friday Free for All," because it seems I usually have the most time to blog at nights, and Fridays are the day right before the weekend. I'm more likely to blog on the weekend than during the week, even while I'm not working, because I don't feel as guilty when I could be doing something more productive.

(GIF found here)

This week, I'm going to talk about the future. The future for my book collection, that is.

Read on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I've Been Reading Lately...

Yes, I caved.

This is a cool cave image I found on this forum. It seriously reminds me of the Covenant series and also the Luxen series...I mean, look how fabulous this artwork is, all the colors and the lights and the shading. :)

I bought Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout on my kindle. And yes, I loved it. I read it in one sitting, er... laying. And then I bought Pure (Covenant #2) right after I finished Half-Blood, and I finished that in the same sitting/laying. And then I proceeded to buy Deity (Covenant #3) (which just came out a few days ago, thank my lucky stars). Just as I was about to begin, I looked at the time and saw that it was 5:30am and that it was starting to get light outside. I felt a little reckless and knew I'd be miserable if I didn't stop, so I plugged my kindle into its charger and went to sleep.

Jennifer L. Armentrout - YOU WRITE SO GOOD I DON'T SPEAK SO GOOD ENGLISH. Holy cow, your stories are fabulous. I thought this series was going to be really similar to her Luxen series, but it was on a whole other level. Very rarely did I think about the Luxen series as I read the first two books in her Covenant series, and it's clear that she is a very talented author. Her characters stand out on their own, they don't blend in to each other over different series. I just figured it would be another version of Katy/Daemon, but I was pleasantly surprised when it turns out that Alex&Aiden&Seth and everyone else are just as original and refreshing as the setting we find ourselves in. I love the Greek mythology theme in this series, and it's not over played to the fact that it feels fake. I could totally believe this was happening, just as Hogwarts & the world of Harry Potter could exist. Why weren't one of my parents a Pure-blood who got it on with a mortal? Being a half-blood seems to rock (except for all the messed up rules and how pure-bloods are just like pure-bloods in HP, they look down on the half-bloods/mudbloods (but they still need them!!!).

Review for this series to come... I'm about to take a break and have a movie marathon because all this reading in such a short amount of time has made my eyesight a little weak... guess I should make the text size bigger on my kindle. Makes me feel old just saying that!

Happy reading!
(links to Goodreads)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Obsidian & Onyx - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux series, #1) (Link to Goodreads)

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux series, #2) (Link to Goodreads) 

Released: May 8th, 2012 / August 14th, 2012
Purchased the E-books on my Kindle

Description on Goodreads for Obsidian: (Onyx under cut as to hide any spoilers)

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Link to Goodreads)
Released: June 26th, 2012
Pined over for months, finally bought it!

Description from Goodreads:

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

At the beginning of the summer, I saw a blurb for this book in a magazine. I saved that magazine page in the back of my copy of Pure, and after months of thinking about it and wondering if I should spend the money to buy it, I went for it. I also shocked myself in reading this in 3 sittings over the past 3 days. This book helped me break out of my reading slump and I am forever grateful. Not only because this book helped me get back on the wagon, but because this story was fantastically written. I am heartbroken over this story at the same time as I am afraid.

Onto the review!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Pure - Julianna Baggott

Pure by Julianna Baggott (Link to Goodreads)
Released: February 8th, 2012
Bought the hardcover after keeping library copy overdue for weeks!

Description on Goodreads:

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Originally, I had borrowed this book from the library, but it sat on my bed side table for 2 months. Overdue fees got higher and higher, and I finally had to relinquish the book back. I then decided to just buy the darn thing, but it then too sat on my bookshelf for months. I finally picked it back up yesterday and FINISHED IT. One of the things I don't want anyone to think is that since it took me so long to finish is that it was hard to get through. Yes, it was hard to get through, but because it has so much going for it.

Onto the review!



It only took me about a million years, but I finally finished it last night and now I'm bummed because Fuse (book 2) by Julianna Baggott doesn't come out until the middle of February 2013! The book has definitely given me plenty to think about for the next book in the series. I've got lots of questions and I can't wait to see how they will be answered in Fuse.

My review for Pure by Julianna Baggott will be up soon, as well as my review for The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, which I also finished yesterday.

I was in such a slump that getting more than a few pages through any book was just too much for me. I wish I could say  it was because I was distracted with work or hobbies, but I think it was just a long span of time when I needed visual stimulation from movies/television versus the more intellectual stimulation you get from reading. It's not to say I haven't kept up with buying a few new releases that I HAD TO HAVE, but they were gathering dust on my bookshelf. I'm happy to say, I'm back in the game!

Next on my reading list is Eve by Anna Carey, which I had previously started, as well as my ARC of Splintered by A.G. Howard, which was given to me by my fabulous local indie bookseller Cindy, owner of Island Bound bookstore.

Now all I have to work on is my Showcase Sunday... for the past 2 months!

Happy Reading!

(All links for book titles to Goodreads)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You have the right to remain awesome!

How do you do it? You blog a few times a week, you read a few books a week, and you do it without fail. Blogging is a lot of work! It's practically a part time job. For some, it's a full time job. To which I applaud you. I have not acquired that type of multitasking that you have achieved so elegantly. I am still learning how much work goes into blogging, and the first thing that I need to get back into is reading regularly. At the end of the day, I have to choose between reading a few chapters or falling asleep. The sandman usually wins. But I think a schedule needs to be brought fourth for my reading. Although it's also hard when I'm not in the mood. I can read for hours on end, and some weeks, I can't sit still!

I have about 6 books I've started to read and have yet to finish. I honestly think there's a screw loose in my head that make it impossible lately to finish what I've started. Even typing this blog post up at work is difficult, the phone keeps ringing!

The books I am currently reading are as follows:

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Eve by Anna Carey
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (I caved...)
The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle (Thanks YA-Aholic!)
Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Essentially, I'd like to finish even one of these books by the end of August to have a review up. I still visit blogger to see what everyone else is up to, at least every other day. It's actually comical to me how I've been taking so long to read the books I've gotten that the sequels are either out in stores or are about to be published within the next few months. That's one of the upsides to taking so long to finish a book, once I eventually do, the sequel is already out! (Case in point: Eve/Once).

Happy Reading wherever you are!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Oh, the days.

I feel terrible. I have not posted anything in at least a month. I have been so busy with work - working full time and part time and sleeping has really come in the way of my blogging. I've still allowed myself to check out what other's have been posting, but my creative juices have been lacking lately.

I am about 75 pages from finishing Pure by Julianna Baggott (which I am LOVING), and I am going to start Eve by Anna Carey next. I was in a huge non-reading slump this past month, and a random event got me back into reading, which I was very happy about. It's really hard not to buy all these fabulous new books coming out lately, but I'm doing okay. I've only recently bought This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers, and a couple of romance novels (le sigh), so I shall be working on getting the huge stacks of books I have on my bookshelf very soon! (I hope!)

Review for Pure to come very soon, or as soon as my job allows me some free time. :)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Showcase Sunday #3

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea!

Books, Biscuits, and Tea just started this meme a few weeks ago, and I'm very excited to be participating!

I didn't have anything to showcase last week because I was super busy with work and by the time I got home, I usually fell right asleep! But over the past two weeks, I have gotten books... even though I'm technically on a book buying ban. :(

I bought Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I was trying to find a signed copy, but none of the places she was touring was very helpful in finding out how to get one. Then, a week after I got Insurgent from my local bookstore, Barnes and Noble in NY called saying they saved me a signed copy. I was like, really? You told me you didn't have one. It wasn't inscribed, but it was going to cost $3+ to ship, and I didn't think it was worth it to have two copies, even if one was signed. It's not that I wouldn't love a signed copy, but it's not the end of the world. I'm sure they'll have them eventually at V. Roth's local bookstore. My copy of Divergent isn't signed, so it would throw off the collection, anyways! haha

I also bought Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi from They were selling signed copies with 20% off, and shipping was only $.91, so the book came out to $13.91, which I consider a bargain, so I bought it! It shipped really quickly, and I got it about 4 days after I ordered it. I love how she signs every book with "Be extraordinary" with her name. It's a good book catchphrase for the story!

I hate saying I've been too busy to read, but it's true! That's why I haven't posted any reviews or been on here lately. Memorial Day Weekend was our big first weekend out here where I live, and we had a lot of preparation and anticipation. For the past 3 days, I've worked 8:30am - 10pm, so the end of the day usually means bed time. I'm hoping to get back into Pure by Julianna Baggott soon enough. I literally bring it everywhere with me so that if I get a spare minute, I can read it, but that hasn't happened!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Still on my Mind #2

This Thursday weekly meme is hosted by Haley at YA-Aholic! It gives us a chance to reflect on a book/novel we had read in the past that still effects us today!

My pick for this week came out in 2006, and it is STILL on my mind! I was 17 at the time, and I went into it thinking it was something completely different, and it ended up being amazing and mindblowing.

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman (link to Goodreads)
Released: January 3rd, 2006
Description from Goodreads:

From the bestselling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.

She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets--what turned one to ice and the other to fire.

A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.

What initially drew my attention was that the main character is a librarian. I went through a phase in high school where I could not get enough of the library (turns out, I never got over my love of libraries). I would be out of town and I HAD to visit the local library to see what it was like. Every new library I visited told me a lot about the town it was in, the people that lived there, and the community that frequented it. So when I read the blurb about this book by Alice Hoffman, who already was known for being a phenomenal writer, I requested it from my local library. But this story was not just about her occupation, it was about a serious event in her life that brought her to terms with other aspects of her life, as well as helping her find love in an unconvential place.

This story was a page turner, and I read it in one or two sittings, needing to know what was going to happen next. One of the main issues in the story is slowly unraveled, concerning the love interest of the main character, and when you find out, it's not a let down, it just made so much sense to me. I mean, I was 17 at the time and it was an intense love affair they had going on, so it was interesting just because of that, but it was dealing with lightning strike victims/survivors and it was something I had never been introduced to before.

Why is it still on my mind? Now that all these paranormal stories are coming out, it makes me think back to all the novels I've read in the past that could have been a paranormal story, if I had any say in it. Some adult novels are just considered a mystery or science fiction if it has a slightly different take on either human abilities or emotions. I felt that this adult novel by Hoffman was so abnormal and beyond what I was used to, it was almost supernatural to me. It's still on my mind because the material covered was not what I was used to and it opened the door for me into adult science fiction and paranormal stories. It's one of the stories that I am thankful I had read when I was younger because I learned from the experiences the main characters went through and it ignited my interest in other aspects of stories, such as relationships and the connections that bring people together.

What's On (your) Mind??

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Behind on Schedule

Dear blog,

I don't mean to abandon you a week or so at a time. But I have a full time job, and you're my very special hobby! I love visiting you and all your friends, but sometimes, I have to focus on work so I can get paid (so I can then spend more time with you!) Money does not make the world go round (although economists would say otherwise), but it definitely helps me continue to buy books and pay for internet access so I can visit you as often as I like!

I am doing my best to get through Pure by Julianna Baggott. I bring it EVERYWHERE with me, in hopes of finding a few spare minutes to crack open the spine and dive into its pages, but that's becoming harder and harder as I pick up more and more shifts (I have school loans to pay off, you understand, right?)

I just need to find my groove again, even if it means staying up all night long into the morning hours, reading under candlelight (more like a book light), and getting a few hours of sleep only after I've finished the story. What do you say?


Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still on my Mind #1

This Thursday weekly meme is hosted by Haley at YA-Aholic! It gives us a chance to reflect on a book/novel we had read in the past that still effects us today!

It came out in 2005, and I was so engrossed in this novel! I cried a few times, and even to this day, 7 years later, my mind goes back to how I felt when I was reading it and how the story continually effects me each time I read a new story.
More after the break!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Showcase Sunday #2

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea!

Books, Biscuits, and Tea just started this meme last week, and I'm very excited to be participating!

Unfortunately, my bookshelf is seriously filled to the point of BURSTING, so I haven't acquired any new books, physical or e-books. I'm also on a slight book-buying ban until I can get my finances in order. Or until I see a book that I just have to have!

This past week, I've continued to struggle with reading Pure by Julianna Baggott. It's not that I don't like it, when I can find the time and sit down with it, I breeze through chapters, but lately it's just not happening. :(
For this reason, I'm also glad I haven't gotten any new books because I am so behind on all the books I got in the past few weeks. Instead of looking at my bookshelf and being happy it's filled with amazing books, it's becoming stressful to see how much has piled up and how little time I've dedicated to reading. (I still blame this on working full time, so maybe after a couple more weeks, I can figure out how to fit reading back into my schedule.)

Until next week, happy reading!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Showcase Sunday #1

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea!

Books, Biscuits, and Tea just started this meme today, and I'm very excited to start taking part in it!

I did an IMM a month or so ago, but I never kept up with it. I'm turning over a new leaf and am going to try harder to post these each week, seeing as how I'm buying/winning more books than my bookshelf can handle, I might as well talk about them!

(Since I couldn't figure out how to get the images to behave and it ended up being a very long post, I'm going to put them under the jump break...)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: The Stalker Chronicles - Carley Moore

The Stalker Chronicles by Carley Moore (Link to Goodreads)
Released: March 27, 2012
Won on Goodreads First Reads
Description from Goodreads:
Sophomore Cammie Bliss has long been labeled a stalker by her peers, but when a cute new boy named Toby arrives at her small town high school, Cammie has a chance to be "normal." Trouble is, she can't really help herself and she's up to her old tricks of "intense observation and following" pretty quick. Making things worse, her younger brother is dating one of the most popular girls in the school, her parents have separated, and her dad has begun to watch their house most nights. Cammie has simply got to figure out why she behaves the way she does, and end it once and for all.

Find out if Cammie is successful in Carley Moore's hilrious and poignant
 The Stalker Chronicles.
HOKAY - I won this book on Goodreads First Reads, and I thought the premise of a girl dealing with being a stalker in high school was fabulous. She not only puts herself into dangerous and embarrassing situations, she is also dealing with family issues at the same time.

Onto the review!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Glimmer - Phoebe Kitanidis

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis (Link to Goodreads)
Released: April 17th, 2012
Bought from Island Bound bookstore on Block Island, RI
Description from Goodreads:
What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

HOKAY – I had been pinning over this book because the title really drew me in. I admit, it was because of the character from District 1, Glimmer, in The Hunger Games that initially drew me to look into this book. I figured this book would be about two kids losing their memory and maybe some weird scientist was behind it all. BOY, WAS I WRONG. It was completely different than I expected! I was reading this before bed last night, and I decided to put it down for a little break, and I was torn between continuing and putting it off until the next day. But one of the things I notice is that when I get into a reading mood, if I take a break and wait until the next day, I may not have as much enthusiasm to finish the story, especially if it was dragging a little.
Onto the review! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

So many books, so little time.

I need to put myself on a book buying ban. I have bought over 10 books in the past three weeks and I haven't started any of them. I've also won about 10-15 books through giveaways and Goodreads as well. I have no control over myself when it comes to brand new books sitting on pretty bookstore shelves. I feel so satisfyed when I walk to the counter with an arm full of books, but once I get home, I realize I have no where to put them! My bookshelf is doubled up on each shelf and 90% of the books of my shelves haven't been read yet.

I've been reading Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby, only about 3 quarters of the way through it, and it was the first book I won from Goodreads... about 2 months ago. Talk about slacking... I blame my lack of reading on having to work everyday.

Although, I am very excited to say I am participating in World Book Night for April 23rd! It's the first time the U.S. has participated and my local bookstore, Island Bound on Block Island, RI is supplying the books. I'm really looking forward to our meeting tomorrow afternoon about how we plan on passing out the books to non-readers. "Hey stranger, do you read? Here's a FREE BOOK. TAKE IT. ENJOY IT. PASS IT ON." I don't know how well that will go over with some of the people in my town, haha. But we shall see!

Happy reading.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Re-Review: Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

Released: January 3rd, 2012
Bought from B&N + Signed copy from author!

Summary from Goodreads:

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Re-review after the break!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Money vs. Time

The two questions I've had since I began writing this blog and following other reviewer blogs is how reviewers choose books to review and how they manage their time doing so. 

Almost all review blogs I've visited have a Review Policy which details the types of books they will review (whether it be genre, length, series, or personal interest), a loose timeline of when their review will be posted, and where they'll post it (their blog, Goodreads, Amazon, anywhere else the author/publisher requests). 

But when do you say no? Even if you can read a book every two days, when does it become a chore? Personally, I can't force myself to read. Some bloggers say they dedicated time each day to reading, and if they can do it and enjoy it, all the best to them. Two or three weeks will pass where I won't pick up a single book, and it doesn't phase me. I have to be in the right mood to read a book. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for contemporary and others it's dystopian or paranormal, but I never try to make myself read when I just don't want to. Although there are weeks where I can read a book a day, staying up through the night and falling asleep only when I've read the last page or there's a big enough plot pause that I can wait until the next day to continue. 

There are a few blogs I follow that buy, borrow and win books every week, yet their review turnover doesn't seem up to par with how many they take in. I think this is one of the issues that most review bloggers face, because it's easier to say yes than no. It makes you realize just how many novels are published and how valuable reviews and reviewers are, when one book can be chosen over another - it goes to show what people are willing to spend time on. Because that's what it comes down to. Yes, novels cost money for the publishers and the customers, but the time that people devote to reading and reviewing is what can push that novel up to recognition. 

Money translates into time. If I buy a novel for $18 the first week it's released and I sit down and devote 2-5 hours on a novel, I am more likely than not to tell someone about that book. And weirdly enough, the worse the novel, the more people talk about it. At least that's what I've noticed. Negative reviews get infinitely more attention because people are quick to defend, which can spiral out of control even more quickly because of the phenomenon that is the internet. People are drawn to drama whether they want to admit it or not.

Even bad publicity is good publicity, I've heard many times. Doesn't matter if the talk is bad, just as long as someone is talking about it. And to be honest, even if I hear or read a negative review, it won't deter me from reading it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Shatter Me - Tarereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (link to Goodreads)
Released: November 15th, 2011
Borrowed from the library*

Description from Goodreads:

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. In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

HOKAY - *I was hesitant to get this from the library because I already have so many books on my bookshelf that I could be reading, but I decided to just go ahead and get it, since I could always return it. I hadn't read any reviews of it because I was turned off my the cover... a girl who's touch can kill you? Where's the fun in that? But after I scanned a quick review that said the story begins during her incarceration, I was hooked. (Stories about incarceration/asylums/prisons are intriguing!)

I finished this in two days, and I'm sad it's over. I definitely enjoyed reading this book because I wanted to learn more about the character and The Reestablishment that was taking over society in the story, and there were enough action scenes to keep the ball rolling, as they say. 

Since this is my first review, I'm just going to improvise a style and then hopefully over time it will become more fluid. I also don't know how else to review this without taking about plot points and character developments (but I'll learn!) so there will be spoilers... don't read if you haven't read yet! 

Review after the break...WARNING! Spoilers! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

IMM: In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren !

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby (link goes to Goodreads)
Released: March 20, 2012
Won a signed ARC through Goodreads First Reads!

Description via Goodreads:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and neighbors, allow me to change your lives! Step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show! You’ve read about them in magazines, these so-called human curiosities, this tribe of misfits—now come and see for yourselves. We’ve got a gent as tall as a tree, a lady with a beard, and don’t miss your chance to see the Wild Albinos of Bora Bora! Ask Madame Doula to peer into your future (only two dollars more if you want to know how you’re going to die). 

And between these covers behold the greatest act of our display—Portia Remini, the strangest of the menagerie because she’s a ‘normal’ among the freaks, searching for a new beginning on the bally, far away from McGreavey’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, said she could never leave . . . 

Oh, it’s not for the faint of heart folks. If you’re prone to nightmares or you’ve got a weak ticker, you’d best move on. Within these pages lies a tale of abandonment, loss, misfortune for the rich and glory for the poor (and a little murder doesn’t hurt). It’s a story for the ages, but be warned: once you enter the Wonder Show you will never be the same.

H'OKAY - So I got this in the mail on Monday and I couldn't wait to start reading it, and I'm about 1/4 of the way through it. Disclaimer: I do this weird thing where it takes me a while to read books sometimes, and even though I take long breaks from reading a book, it's more or less because I'm so overwhelmed with the book that I need time to take apart what I've read and pick through it in my mind. (This is a habit that I picked up from being an English major in college... I've learned to dissect and distinguish every little detail in a story)
Besides me being weird... so far this book is fabulous and I intend to finish it very soon. Review to come!

Released: September 27, 2011
Won a signed copy through Goodreads First Reads!

Description via Goodreads:
Jacob Clark has just returned from the world of Eklaron, where he frustrated the evil plans of the Lorkon and returned the magical Key of Kilenya to its rightful owners. His quest is far from over, though—Aloren is trapped in Maivoryl City by the Ember Gods, and Jacob can't return to save her until he receives the potion that will protect his team from the corrosive influence of the Lorkon.

Balancing between this new world and his own proves tricky. Not only has he started his first year of high school, but his magical abilities are bringing him too much attention. He feels pulled by both sides, hoping he'll figure out his special powers to save Aloren in time.

H'OKAY - I got this amazing little beauty in the mail today, and despite it being the second book in the series, (the first being, The Key of Kilenya) I was still interested in reading it. I had looked at the information for the first book and no matter how many stories that are about a dystopian universe, I'm always interested in when a character from contemporary times finds themselves in a different universe along side theirs. It makes me feel like it's possible and I'm always intrigued at how authors come up with new and innovative ways to explain how they found this time/parallel universe "rip". Since this is the second book in the series, I decided to get the first book on my Kindle, so the review for this one might take a little longer, because even though the author, Andrea, offered to send me an outline of what happened in book one, I'd much rather read it so I can get the full experience!

Happy reading !!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Let's talk about Goodreads

And how awesome it is! (Goodreads)

I only joined the site maybe 3 or 4 months ago, but boy does it have a lot to offer authors/readers! Not only are you able to keep track of your personal reading accomplishments in the form of currently-reading, to-read, and read (which makes keeping track of the bazillion of books I read quite handy), you can also become a fan of author's goodreads pages which allow users to comment about their favorite books, see when authors update their blogs/twitters/facebooks with new stuff, and learn more about them (most of the authors update their own profiles quite regularly).

But another really great opportunity Goodreads offers its users is the Giveaway section. I stumbled on this by accident and I am SO GLAD I DID. Pretty much what happens is publishers/authors/whoever else has access to books, they offer one of their books (whether it's the first of the series because the sequel is out soon) or it's the sequel which doesn't come out for weeks or months and they want to get their novel out there, or there are signed copies available that they want to giveaway. Sometimes they offer ARC's (Advance Reading Copies), sometimes it's a Galley (a bound/unbound version of a formatted novel printed on computer paper) and sometimes its the finished copy of the book, whether it has been published yet or not. The main objective for these Giveaways are for these books to get to readers before or during the books release so that in return for this awesome (DID I SAY FREE?) gift, the winner(s) will in turn write reviews on the novels Goodreads page.

While some of the novels are kind of obscure, they offer novels of all genre's from self-help to YA to memoirs. At the moment, there are about 33 pages of giveaways, with each page having about 15-25 giveaways you can enter. Entering for these giveaways is as simple as selecting a shipping address (for the book to be sent to) and agreeing to the terms of the Goodreads Giveaways (which are very easy to follow). I think it's pretty awesome of the authors/publishers to do this, and in order for it to continue happening, the winners are encouraged to write honest reviews (minus spoilers for the books not published yet) so that the novel gets a good amount of publicity from readers who are the target for these novels. I mean, how many times have you read a publishers description of a book and after reading it thought, "eh... I wouldn't go so far as saying it's the top 10 book of this year"?? It's because they want you to read it, and while they may think it's awesome, it's ultimately up to readers to discover this for themselves. So reading reviews by other readers/Goodreads users like myself, it's easier to see if I'll find a novel interesting enough to pick up. For the most part, even novels with the worst reader reviews are still enjoyable, but it all depends on who's the reader!

SO... the reason for this whole post comes down to the fact that over the past couple of days, I have won 4 giveaways... 2 novels are yet to be released and the other 2 are currently available in bookstores. If you do happen to win, (if you enter as many giveaways as I do, you're bound to win at least once), shipping takes about 4-6 weeks, depending on who's shipping the novels (usually the publisher) and when I receive mine in the mail, I'll be doing a very happy happy joy joy post with pictures included. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Preview Catalogs... Who knew?

I've been discovering amazing new things about the publishing world these past few months, and I'm getting more and more envious of those who work at publishing companies especially for these reasons. Not only do they get to develop literature when it's still undercover from the public eye, they get advanced reader copies and they get to talk to the authors and meet with them and just be in their awesome presence. I mean, for a book lover, authors are pretty much top shelf celebrities. Movie stars are sub-par compared to authors, especially the authors who have written works that I love.

But what I'm coming to realize is, even though it's completely necessary for publishing companies to market certain books/novels to certain age groups, I always find myself amazed at what I actually read. I've read Jane Yolen past the age that was considered "appropriate" and I still believe some of her books were what truly got me into reading for REAL. Not just to get it over with, but because I enjoyed the characters development and I enjoyed being scared enough to sleep with the light on, even if it was just a chapter book.

Besides that one book that was written by a 12 year old about how to talk to girls, almost all literature/novels/books are written by adults. So there is always that underlying theme of adult entertainment. Now wait a minute, "adult entertainment" sounds raunchy and X rated. But what I mean is that just when you watch a movie when you're a child and then you grow up and happen to watch the movie again, things are different. You notice what the characters are really saying, and how their actions have consequences. For an author to write a story, for an ADULT to write a story targeted for a younger audience, there's always room for an older audience too. There's not one chapter book or young adult novel I've read that wasn't written by someone older than 16. Most YA novels star main characters around the age 15-18. But what most people don't truly think about is how the authors are anywhere from 16-50+. It's such a wild and vulnerable time in a persons life that I think most people are drawn to those years of adolescence because we're as impressionable as can be. But what I've learned is that I can appreciate these stories more as an older person, not too far off from the YA novel target age, but far enough that that time has passed for me, and I'm able to mourn for it just a little.

I used to be upset with authors when I was younger, because I thought, what do they think they know? They're not my age. But what I failed to understand is that in order to truly understand something, you have to have lived past it. I experimented with writing frequently when I was in high school, and while I felt that I had a voice and I wanted to be heard, I also knew that my credibility as a young adult was yet to be achieved. I had to grow out of that, "I write in my diary because I'm original" phase and move on with what was going on to appreciate what was actually going on during those years. I don't look back and think, my goodness, I was so lucky to have experienced a healthy and angsty teenage youth.

I'd like to say that I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my teen years were not the best I could have made them, but I tried, and that's the best that I could have done.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Breathless Reads Tour 2012

I am completely and utterly envious of those who are able to attend (or have attended) these fabulous tour sites. Not only because these cities are themselves awesome and fun to visit, but because of the amazing authors that will be there! Signing copies of their books! Letting you bask in their amazingness! Taking photos with you! Talking to crowds of their spectacular literature and their personal journeys that brought them here!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Closer, yet still far away

So, I've been at my sister's in MA for exactly a week, and what have I accomplished? Watching about 5 movies and reading 3 romance novels on my kindle. I feel ashamed!

What better way to spend my time then catch up on the other 5-10 books I have hidden in my suitcase? Oh right, I sleep in all day and stay up all night reading author blogs. I really need to work on reversing my time schedule so people stop thinking I'm a vampire with a blog addiction.

During my blog perusals, I've come across book reviewer blogs that have short and long reviews. (I'm a sucker for those longer reviews.)

There are so many different types of reviews available, and the worst part of them? I feel like they don't really get to say what they want to say. I'm still sort of new to the blogging world, but I've read a hefty amount of reviews and most of them are really peachy and enthusiastic. (I can't really disagree, because most books I've read also happen to be fabulous and all I want to do is gush about them.)

I had the pleasure of reading a fantastically brutal review the other day, where the reviewer really set the story apart from others because of their dislike of the main character. Sometimes it's the way the characters act in the heat of the moment or their choices, or the fact that it's just really difficult to see how two strangers can fall in love and promise themselves to each other in less than a week. I mean, I know novels only have so much space before they become epic novels and then a series, but you've got to give your characters a little more depth and friction then just an instant, "omg, we're made for each other." Because honestly, no one wants to hear about how perfect two people are for each other, we want to hear about their struggles and only then can we appreciate what they have after everything they've gone through. Avoid instant connections at all costs.

Unless of course, we're talking about friendships. Although, I'll have to admit, I'm also a sucker for friendships that come from a long back and fourth discourse between two people. Especially when you put those two people together in a dangerous environment, you know who you can trust after you've been through a life or death situation, which is usually the case in most novels. If there isn't a monumental scene in a novel where the chances of a character dying or being severely injured aren't present, I don't really want to read it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The cat won't stop meowing

I fly out in less than 10 hours... I haven't gone to sleep yet for the night and it's already morning.
I leave in about 4 hours to go to the airport. My carry on suitcase is super heavy, I hope they don't weigh it. I've got a mini library in there. 
I haven't read anything in a few days and it's making me feel crappy. How can I call myself an avid reader if I avoid my stack of books? I'm a terrible book lover sometimes. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I can't change how I feel...

I fly back to RI on Wednesday, and I haven't gotten through nearly as many books as I would have liked. It's less weight to carry back with me... but I guess it'll keep me busy while I'm staying with my sister.

I'm addicted to buying things. Mostly books. I'll even buy a book I already own, just because I can't find it right away or it's currently somewhere else that is not in my hands. I have a bookshelf at home full of books to read, and yet I keep buying more and more books. It's like I can't satisfy this empty feeling in my heart that I will not be able to read all the books I'd like to read in my lifetime, and that makes me extremely sad.

I was thinking about how, the day after I die, anything could happen. The movie I've been waiting for could come to theaters, the book I've been desperately waiting to come out will finally reach bookshelves, and I won't be around for it. It's extremely depressing how deep my thoughts go into how much I will miss when my life hasn't even really begun.

You could say I'm obsessed with books. I like every aspect of them. I like their heaviness, and their formation. I could spend hours just watching book bindings being produced - if that's even possible to watch them doing that. I love the way the pages shlef (yes, I made this word up - it's part onomonopia part ridiculousness) from the right to the left when you finish and move on from page to page. I love the flap cover on hardcover books and how they keep the dust away but they are themselves so fragile and bendable. I love the creativity and original design that goes into each cover design/image and how the font of the title just suits the story so well, or sometimes, so terribly wrong.

I obsess and I hoard books, I don't let others touch books I haven't read yet, and I reserve the right to say, "No, you may not put your grubby heads on my precious novel." These stories, these individual memories, these handheld lifelines, they surround me and make me feel vulnerable, and they comfort me and keep me warm at night. These books are my own, but they are also everyones. What I hold in my hands is a connection to another who also loves the way it feels in their hands when they open to page one, and how fulfilled they feel when they turn the last page at the end.

But why, oh why, are there so many blank pages at the end of books?!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let's do this!

As of 2012, these are the books I have read:

Alice in Deadland ebook - Mainak Dhar
Lothaire - Kresley Cole
The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3) - James Dashner
Blood Red Road - Moira Young
Away (The Line #2) - Teri Hall
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

These are the books I have on my bookstand:

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) - Beth Revis
The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) - Suzanne Collins
Prized (Birthmarked #2) - Caragh M. O'Brien
Crossed (Matched #2) -Ally Condie
Zone One - Colson Whitehead
Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9) - J.R. Ward

Note: I do this very weird thing where, even though I count down the days until a book is released to the public, the day I buy it and it's nestled in my hands as I safely travel back home, it happens to stay on my bookshelf for a good amount of time before I am ready to crack it open. It started with Breaking Dawn, and I held onto it for about a year and a half, before I could finally open it and start reading. It drives my local bookseller crazy! It doesn't keep me from buying new books that have come out, but the really special ones, just like wine, they get better with age, I guess I'm trying to say. The longer they sit on my bookshelf, the more I want to read them, but I don't want the illusion to end, I want their story to continue on and on and by reading them, they eventually come to an end.

End weird and ridiculous disclaimer.

Never enough Tour Dates

One thing that really grinds my gears is how authors have book tour dates, just like concerts, only they sign your books and talk about their work and you can usually get a photo with them. But they NEVER come to Rhode Island! I would go to every single one of them if they did. At least the authors that I like... I mean, Providence is just as much as a capital as any other in the United States, and just because we're the smallest state we get the shaft! Wouldn't touring in Rhode Island be like, kind of an exciting thing?

For one thing, almost every event I go to, it's usually packed, because being in the smallest state, EVERYONE within the states lines is able to attend, because it only takes 30 minutes to get everywhere. Rhode Islanders would PACK that bookstore like no other. Wouldn't that make an author feel loved and appreciated? I'd think so.

End rant.

You have to start somewhere..

I like to think of myself as an avid reader and apart of the reading community, but it seems I'm quite behind on the blogging aspect of reading/writing. I've read more than anyone I know, and I definitely have opinions about each of them, but creating a blog for reviewing books was never really an objective, until recently. I've noticed how there are tons of people out there who do this as a hobby, and I'm realizing that just reading books isn't a hobby, but the process of reading, blogging a review and letting others gain from the experience is a much more involved hobby, and that's what I'm going to slowly start to do.

While my reading goals are never really scheduled or timed, I was thinking about giving myself a specific goal. While I'm capable of reading more than one book a week, I should stick to it and do my best to work my way down this huge list of books I own, as well as the ones I'd like to buy in the near future.