Monday, December 19, 2011

Crescendo-Review

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)

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

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

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

My Thoughts:
Crescendo is the second book in The Hush, Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick. I read Hush, Hush back when it first came out and enjoyed it. I was eager to read the next book but I had to wait a year for it to come out. When it finally did come out I bought it and it sat on my TBR pile for months. Even though, I had enjoyed Hush, Hush I had so many books that were more fresh on my mind I didn’t mind putting Crescendo off for a while (especially since I was going to have to wait another year for Silence). I finally decided to pick it up when I heard Silence was coming out. I had thought at the time that Silence would be the final book and then I could read them back to back (that’s how I prefer to read series, I think it allows you to fully invest yourself in a story). After finishing Crescendo I looked on Becca’s website to verify Silence would be the last book and was shocked to find that it wasn’t a trilogy but a four book saga so it looks like I’ll still be waiting a while to see how everything ends.
Now that you have that entire meaningless back story, here’s the actual review. Crescendo starts a little bit after where Hush, Hush left off. Nora and Patch are openly dating and seem to be having a pretty good relationship. That is until Marcie Millar comes into the picture. Suddenly, Patch is being secretive and Nora is questioning their relationship.  
I thought Crescendo was a good follow up to Hush, Hush. The story is fast paced and it keeps you guessing. However, I’m still not completely sold on the characters. Nora sometimes comes off as weak and a bit whiny. Patch on the other hand is the polar opposite. He comes off too strong and a little bit arrogant.  I believe that Patch has the best intentions for Nora even though a lot of the time it doesn’t seem like it.
Overall, I really enjoyed Crescendo. I loved the action and adventure. Fans of Hush, Hush should definitely read this installment.
Grade: B-
Monday, November 21, 2011

The Iron Knight Review

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

Goodreads Description
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts
I have to be honest. I was a little disappointed in The Iron Knight. I think most of that has to do with the fact that I loved the ending to The Iron Queen so much. I thought it was the perfect ending to the trilogy. However, I do understand why some people wanted more resolution and why Julie Kagawa decided to write Ash’s journey. Some people needed to know if/how Ash was able to keep his promise and find a way to be with Meghan. However, I was content with the resolution of The Iron Queen. But since I was such a huge fan of Ash and the series I decided to read it.
Before I go any further, I’m going to explain a little more why I loved The Iron Queen ending so well. However, this is definitely spoilery for anyone that hasn’t read it. So there’s your warning.
I loved the ending to The Iron Queen because I love strong female heroines. I love that Meghan was willing to sacrifice her wishes to become who she was destined to become. She gave up Ash to become the Iron Queen. She released Ash from his contract because she knew that he would try to stay with her and it would ultimately kill him. She grew into the person she was suppose to and accepted her destiny. Meghan Chase is definitely one of my favorite heroines.
Now, on to The Iron Kinght. If you’re not a huge fan of Meghan and you are a huge fan of Ash and Puck then this book is for you. Meghan has a relatively small role in this book, which is understandable considering that the entire book is Ash’s quest to discover a way to be with her in the Iron Realm. Puck and Ash were classic Puck and Ash; constant bickering with their relationship falling somewhere between love and hate. Then, of course, there’s Grim with his quick smart remarks. There is also a surprise character that I’ll leave as a surprise for you.
Like the other books in the series, The Iron Knight is full of action and adventure. However, the difference comes that the narrator is now Ash and you get the pleasure of being in his head. You learn a lot about Ash and Puck’s history. You also are granted the pleasure of seeing Ash grow and change as a person/faery. This book pushes Ash to the limit and tests just how much he is willing to give up to be with Meghan.
While The Iron Knight was not my favorite book in the series, I felt it was an adequate conclusion to the series. It was a good book and while I didn’t love it, I am sure that many fans of the series will. Highly recommend this book to fans of the series and if you haven’t read any of the series pick up The Iron King immediately! This book was good but the series as a whole was AMAZING!
Grade: B
Friday, November 18, 2011

My Week In a Nutshell

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My Week in a Nutshell is a weekly post I do on Friday or Saturday (depending on how busy I am) where I discuss what I’ve read this week and any other book related thoughts I have.
What I’ve Read this Week

This week I read The Iron Knight. I read it in literally two days. While I didn't love it as much as I thought I would, I still enjoyed it and read through it very quickly. It's fast paced and it constantly keeps you guessing on how it's going to end.  I'll post the review soon!

Thoughts this Week

One or two of you may have heard that Breaking Dawn premiered last night. I was of course there...at 8:30 for a movie that started at midnight. When I got there the line was already wrapped around to the back of the building. I heard that the people at the front of the line had been there since noon! Anyways, my sister and I had come prepared being as we're Twilight opening night experts. We had blankets, snacks, and best of all my MacBook to watch Eclipse on! We made it through Eclipse and shortly after was allowed in the theater and out of the frigid air.

I'll be honest, the whole week before I was that excited about seeing it. I even considered not going opening night. After talking to my sister though we decided to go. It had become a sort of tradition. Yesterday, I kept trying to get myself pumped up and I did a pretty good job of it. However, since Breaking Dawn was my least favorite book I didn't exactly have high expectations for it.

So how did I like it? I LOVED it. It might possibly be my favorite so far. I'm going to have to see it again to be sure because I loved Eclipse. For the first time ever, I think I actually liked the movie better than the book. There were lots of funny parts that I don't remember being in the book and some of the things that were past over in the book were played out really well. (What the wedding actually looked like, the wedding night, ect.) Everyone did a really great job and I can't wait to see part 2!

Did any of y'all see it? If so, did you love it or hate it?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the movie in the comments!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel & The Dark Divine Jewelry Line

 


Story Description:

Brother Gabriel, Daniel’s mentor and an ancient Urbat, plays an important role in The Lost Saint as well as the upcoming conclusion to the Dark Divine trilogy, The Savage Grace. We were first introduced to Gabriel in The Dark Divine when Grace recieves a book of ancient letters that Gabriel (a young monk at the time) wrote to his sister during the Crusades, detailing his search to know more about the Urbat. The book of letters ends just before Gabriel falls to the Urbat curse, leaving us to wonder what happened to him in the following years to turn him into the man he is today.

Most of Gabriel’s letters were written during the thirteenth century, and later translated and compiled by an Orthodox priest in the eighteenth century. For whatever reason, some of Gabriel’s letters were lost after translation and did not make it into that original book. But good news! A few of these “lost letters,” detailing Gabriel’s fall to the Urbat curse and his quest to seek revenge on the man responsible for his demise, have recently been “discovered” by the indomitable crew at Egmont USA, and are compiled here for your reading pleasure.

I hope you enjoy The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel. I think they give a lot more depth to Brother Gabriel’s character and the mythology of the Dark Divine trilogy.

THE LOST LETTERS OF BROTHER GABRIEL was recently released as an e-book for $1.99. Bree has decided that all of her proceeds from The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel will go to Kids Need To Read (KNTR). To help spread the word, Bree has also decided to host a giveaway for some great signed books. You can check it out here!
Also, just released was The Dark Divine jewelry line. To celebrate the launch Infinite Jewelry is offering a 10% discount between Nov. 15 & Dec 15, 2011. You can get your 10% discount by using the coupon code 031312.
Here's what Infinite Jewelry has to say about it all:
INTRODUCING…The Dark Divine series of amazing, trend-setting jewelry! We are happy to present the new line of jewelry based on the incredible books, The Dark Divine trilogy, by Bree Despain! We have worked closely with Bree to bring to life the jewelry she envisioned as she wrote. We hope that you will love wearing your very own tangible connection to The Dark Divine trilogy!
To check out the pieces click here. Bree is also giving away pieces on her website to find out more about that click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Night Circus Review

The Night Circus


Goodreads Description
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
My Thoughts
The Night Circus is one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. Morgenstern’s word choice and descriptions are absolutely amazing. I’m typically not a huge fan of overly descriptive books but in The Night Circus, not only did I not seem to mind, I enjoyed it…for the most part.
I loved the circus environment and the dream like world that Morgenstern created. If only that world could truly exist, how entertaining that would be! It’s truly a wonder that someone could create such an enchanting world.
The story jumps around from different POVs and time periods. To be honest, in the beginning I paid little to no attention to the date at the beginning of the chapter. However, toward the end I found myself going back to check the date. It did get a little confusing at times but for the most part it was relatively easy to follow.
Also, I loved how Morgenstern gives readers bits and pieces of information and allows us to attempt to put them together ourselves. However, there are so many details and clues that actually doing so is near to impossible. The book itself is a puzzle waiting to be solved, but one that can only be solved at the puzzle maker’s will.
My biggest complaint isn’t about the book itself. It has more to do with the promotion of it and the description of the book. I just feel like the description of the book is somewhat misleading. The whole description revolves around the idea of star-crossed lovers. Yes, technically Celia and Marco do fall in love but it doesn’t happen till halfway through the book. The first quarter of the book the two have very little interaction so, in my opinion, describing the book as solely about star-crossed lovers who are forced to compete against each other is a little misleading. The book has so much more to offer than that storyline so to pin the entire plot to that does the book a disservice.
Overall, The Night Circus is an excellent read that readers of any age would enjoy!
Grade: A
Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Pick-Me-Up

Monday Pick-Me-Up is a weekly post intended to get everyone over their Monday Blues by sharing quotes I thought were funny in the books I read the previous week.

This weekend I read The Iron Knight and as always Puck can be counted on to provide some comic relief during times of peril. Both of the below quotes are from Puck. Enjoy and Happy Monday!


“Yes,” I said, repressing a sigh. “I heard you. I think the jabberwocks on the other side of the swamp heard you.”
“Oh, good! Maybe if we fight a couple you’ll start paying attention to me!” Puck matched my glare before gesturing around at the swamp. “This is crazy,” he exclaimed. “How do we even know he’s here? The Bone Marsh isn’t exactly on my list of favorite vacation getaways, prince. You sure your contact knew what he was talking about? If this turns out to be another false lead I might turn that phouka into a pair of gloves.”

“Working for Mab now, are you, Wolfman?" he smirked. "Like a good little attack dog? Will you also roll over and beg if she asks?”
Friday, November 11, 2011

My Week in a Nutshell

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My Week in a Nutshell is a weekly post I do on Friday or Saturday (depending on how busy I am) where I discuss what I’ve read this week and any other book related thoughts I have.
What I’ve Read this Week
I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. There was a lot of buzz going around about The Night Circus before it came out. I saw an article talking about it and noticed that an independent bookstore thats relatively close to where I live was mentioned for stocking up on extra copies of the book. Then I heard that she was actually going to be doing a book signing there so immediately I knew I had to go. I ended up getting there a little late and only caught the very end of her speech and Q & A session but I did manage to meet her and had a picture taken with her.  The book was amazingly well-written and I did enjoy it. I should have the review up soon. 

Thoughts for this Week
I know this is a book blog but for those of you that don't know me I'm a big college football fan. (Roll Tide!!) The past couple of days all that has occupied my mind is what a truly sad situation has unfolded at Penn State. Last night, I watched Penn State's students reaction to the firing on JoePa. It was kind of like watching a train wreck you know you should look away but you just can't. I know I couldn't anyway. 
A lot of people have criticized the students for supporting Joe Paterno but I get it. I understand the other side as well but I get it. Joe Paterno has been the face of Penn State for 46 years. During those 46 years, he won 409 games (more than any other coach in college football) and two national championships. He built a reputation for winning the "right" way and encouraging his players to graduate. His family has donated $4 million to the school and there's a library named after him. He was set to leave behind an unparalleled legacy. He had dedicated his entire life to that school and Wednesday the Board of Trustees fired him...over the phone. 
I understand that he should have done more. He should have. I read the Grand Jury report and the things that went on were horrible. I can't imagine what kind of person would do that and I don't understand why so many people didn't stand up and do the right thing and report it to the police. However, I would think that someone that had given so much to a community should be at least be granted the decency to be told in person that he would no longer be able to continue doing the one thing he had dedicated his life to. 
I honestly believe that Joe Paterno is a great man and a decent man. I believe that he made a mistake, a huge, tragic, life altering mistake. I believe that he deeply regrets that mistake and he is paying for it. 
I wish he would have done more. He should have said something else to someone else when he realized that nothing was being done. However, we don't know the entire story and we never will. It has been my experience that there are two sides to every story and when you put the two side by side they rarely look like the same story.
I hate that JoePa's legacy will forever be tarnished by this scandal. He did many great things and I hope that this one mistake doesn't negate everything else he has done and accomplished. We all make mistakes, we learn from them and move on. My question is though should we be defined by our greatest mistake? By our greatest regret?
I know I don't want to be and I'm sure you wouldn't either...

"You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villian." -Batman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for Twilight


Twilight is one of those series that you either love it or you hate it. I happen to keep company with the former. Don’t get me wrong I get the criticism it gets. It’s not the most well written novel. Some words are over used (chagrin, cough, cough), some characters got on my nerves, and I wasn’t thrilled about the ending. However, despite all of that, I love it. Here’s why.

Twilight is a great story. It is an entertaining story. It is an enchanting story.  I started it and became completely engrossed in it. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to put it down.

Twilight made me fall in love. I fell in love with the characters. I fell in love with the story. I fell in love with a genre. I fell in love with reading.  Again.

You see when I was young I loved reading. Then, when I got in high school I stopped. Then I read Twilight and discovered this whole new genre that I didn’t even know existed. For me, it was love at first sight or in this case at first read.

I’ve always been a fan of vampires. And I have this fear of getting old and dying. I think that’s one of the reasons I connected to it the way I did. The idea of loving someone so much and being able to spend eternity with them, you can’t get much better than that in my book.

So there it is. That’s why I’m thankful for Twilight…
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful for Pride and Prejudice

Today’s most thankful for book is Pride and Prejudice. Oh, where would the world be without Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy? I’m afraid it would be a much colder and darker world indeed. Pride and Prejudice is the first classic novel I read just for fun.
I decided to read it after watching the movie because I was so captivated by the love story between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I was not disappointed. I loved the book. Also, one of my favorite lines from all of literature comes from Pride and Prejudice.
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
To me, this quote could not be truer. The truth of the matter is that even good people do bad things sometimes. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes, and yes there are some just flat out bad people out there. The world we live in is rarely black and white, 95% of the time it’s gray. The best thing we can do is understand that and not put too emphasis on how we think someone will or should act.
The moral of the story Pride and Prejudice is a great book that I believe everyone should read.
Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for The Hunger Games

In case some of you didn’t know, Beth Revis is doing this contest. To enter, you must create a post stating one book that you are thankful for. You can find all the information about what to do here.






I’ve decided since there are so many books I am thankful for I’m going to do one a day for a week. First up this week, The Hunger Games (and by this I’m talking about the entire series). The Hunger Games is just one of those series that instantly grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until the final page. It broke my heart (more than once!) but more than that it inspired me to be a better person.  The world is full of crappy people and it’s easy to get caught up in the world’s crappiness and corruption but The Hunger Games shows that you can’t do that. When the choice comes between choosing what is easy and what is the right thing to do, you have to go with doing the right thing.
Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Katniss is that change. She sought to change the world even if it destroyed her (and in some ways it did) but she fought through it.
Another reason, I’m thankful for The Hunger Games is because it shows me how good my life actually is. I may have difficult times, I may not always love my life but The Hunger Games reminded me that my life is nowhere near as bad as it could be. So for that and so many others reasons I am thankful for The Hunger Games and forever grateful to Suzanne Collins for giving me this beautiful gift…
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo & Giveaway

I made a last minute decision to do NaNoWriMo this year. This is my first year doing it and I'm not completely sure that I'm doing it correctly. I think I have the basic premise of it and I'm just tweeking it to fit to my needs.

I believe it's really going to be good for me because while I love to write I rarely make time for it. I always tell myself that I'm going to start writing daily but never do. This is a way of forcing myself to sit down and write...everyday...for a month. I started yesterday and actually met my word count goal (Go me!) and I'm hoping to continue with this trend.

I started a new book even though I have two that I've already started (one is in the revisions stage while the other is incomplete). I'm not sure how this new book is going to turn out. (Hopefully, good.) It's very different from the other two novels I'm working on. I'm hoping to get a rough draft this month and also hoping to find some time to work on my other two as well. We will see.

I'm saying all of that to say this...I may be a little absent from my blog. I hope to make time for reading and blogging but I'm not entirely sure how much time I'm going to have. I do also want to say that I am currently reading The Night Circus and am really enjoying it. Hopefully, I will finish it soon and post the review. I am also going to read and review SHIEWO: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure (Book One of Shiewo’s Odyssey) by Ciye Cho sometime this month. So there's a couple of reviews to be keeping an eye out for.

Giveaway!!!

To express my apologizes for my absence, I am going to have a giveaway for a copy of Hush, Hush. This giveaway will end on 11:59 November 30 (same day NaNoWriMo ends). This giveaway is for US only. Sorry guys, it's getting close to the holidays.
To enter fill out this form!
Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Pick-Me-Up

Monday Pick-Me-Up is a weekly post intended to get everyone over their Monday Blues by sharing quotes I thought were funny in the books I read the previous week.

This week I'm doing this a little differently. I have quotes from Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instrutments, even though I've read both of them a while back. If you haven't read either of these series you should do so immediately! They are great!

"My muscles informed me they did not want to go through any more exercise today. So I suggest that maybe he should let me off this time. He laughed, and I'm pretty sure it was at me...not with me.
"Why is that funny?"
"Oh," he said, his smile dropping. "You were serious."
"Of course I was! Look, I've technically been awake for two days. Why do we have to start this training now? Let me go to bed." I whined. "It's just one hour."

"How do you feel right now?"
"I hurt like hell."
"You'll feel worse tomorrow."
"So?"
"So, better get a jump on it while you still feel...not as bad."
"What kind of logic is that?" I retorted."

-Vampire Academy

"I figured all your classes were stuff like Slaughter 101 and Beheading for Beginners."
Jace flipped a page. "Very funny, Fray."
-City of Bones

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot Topic Thursday- Paranormal Romance Books- Is any reading better than none?

z Pictures, Images and Photos

I spoke briefly in My Week in a Nutshell post about a comment I read about Paranormal Romance novels being the reason that other countries are ahead of us. My stance on this is “That’s absurd!” for starters. In this post, I’m going to go into more detail about why I think it’s absurd and why I believe that any reading is better than no reading.

I started reading at a young age, in the beginning I read Goosebumps and Fear Street. I moved on to the Hardy Boys and Sweet Valley High. In middle school, I began reading John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks. After middle school though, I just stopped. When high school hit I just didn’t have the time for reading. There were boys and parties, school work, homework, and after school practices. I didn’t have time to sleep let alone read (anything other than the assigned reading anyway). During the summer months, I did find to read, usually while laying out at the beach, but not like I had when I was younger. Then, I watched Twilight and knew I had to read the books. I devoured all four of them in five days and suddenly my love for reading was back with a vengeance. I began reading any Young Adult novel I could get my hands on. Now, two years later I’m still reading Young Adult fiction and I LOVE it. So you can understand why I might be a little offended when someone says something about my favorite genre.
As I’ve said before, I’m a firm believer in that any reading is better than no reading. Here’s why. I believe that ALL good books teach us something. If you put a book down and haven’t taken anything away from it then in my opinion it’s not a good book. Books are suppose to help us grow, teach us new things, give us a different perspective, show us something. That’s why I read. That’s why I love reading. And that’s why I believe that any reading is better than none. Name a good book (one that I’ve read) and I’ll tell you what I learned from it.
There are so many different things that books can teach us. It doesn’t necessarily have to be scientific or historical. It can be something as simple as teaching someone the importance of picking good friends or showing someone how to deal with high school or letting someone know that there is someone out there going through the same things you are and that they can get through it.
Another reason is that reading gives us an escape. When reading, you are allowed to escape your problems and instead live in someone else’s, at least for a time being. Some would argue that the same idea applies to television and movies and that’s true to an extent. The different between reading and watching movies is that reading grows your imagination. Reading is a collaboration of your mind and imagination and the writers. You have to take the words and descriptions a writer gives you and turn it into a world, a real world inside your mind.  I think a lot of people fail to emphasis the importance of this. The imagination is where our dreams begin. Those with no imagination, lack dreams and those that lack dreams, lack true meaning.
These reasons are of course in addition to the obvious ones of increased comprehension, the retention of new words and phrases, and any other historical or mythical facts learned from the book.
Since I’ve began reading Young Adult literature I have read a fair amount of Paranormal Romance and I would have to say that the good Paranormal Romance that I’ve read have taught me something.  Just because what one person likes isn’t what you like doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be learned from it. You have to find what you like and what makes you happy. And if what makes you happy is reading Paranormal Romance, well, there are worse things to be read…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eighth Grade Bites Review

Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #1)






Goodreads Description

Junior high really sucks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: his mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: he's being hunted by a vampire killer.

My Thoughts

I bought these books because I saw that Heather Brewer was doing a signing close to where I live. Since not that many authors tour nearby, I decided to buy the books and go to her signing. I had seen the books around but they had never really interested me because the books start off when the main characters are still in middle school. I had the same hestitaion with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and I ended up enjoying them, (though I enjoyed the later books more) so I decided to give the books a chance.

I started Eighth Grade Bites before the signing but didn't finish it. Before I get into my review of Eighth Grade Bites, I would like to start out by saying what a wonderful person Heather Brewer is. I really enjoyed meeting her and I thought the speech she gave was amazing. She talked about her teenage years and how she was picked on and bullied throughout middle and high school. She also told us how she got into writing and offered great insight about the writing process and getting published. There were a lot of young readers there that asked the same question multiple times (just in a different way) and she always answered kindly and patiently. Bottom line: She is super awesome and if you ever have the opportunity to meet her you definitely should.

Now, for the review.

Eighth Grade Bites has the makings to be a great series. However, the first book just didn't really do it for me. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad book by any means and I'm sure the intended audience would LOVE it but for me as an older reader I just couldn't really get into it.

The story and suspense of the novel was good. My problems had more to do with the age and immaturity of the characters. I was disinterested in the whole Vlad/Meredith/Henry situation. However, I do think that the situation would be much more relateable to readers closer to the characters' age.

I did enjoy Brewer's take on vampires. There's still a lot to learn about her world of vampires though and I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

Like I said earlier, the storyline and suspense was good. I can definitely see the storyline and the characters growing and it turning out to be a great series. I have the other four books in the series and I plan to continue it.

Overall, I recommend this book to younger readers or older readers that are willing to overlook the immaturity in the characters.

Grade: C +
Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Pick-Me-Up

Monday Pick-Me-Up is a weekly post intended to get everyone over their Monday Blues by sharing quotes I thought were funny in the books I read the previous week.
I just finished Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer last night so that's where my quotes this week are coming from. I should have my review of Eighth Grade Bites up tomorrow.


“Nothing could convince Aunt Nelly to let Vlad stay home for the duration of the school year, which just goes to prove that parents and guardians don't care if they're sending you to face bloodthirsty monsters, so long as you get a B in English.”

“Because teachers, no matter how kind, no matter how friendly, are sadistic and evil to the core.”

“Whoever had decided that school should start so early in the morning and last all day long needed to be hunted down and forced to watch hours of educational televison without the aid of caffine.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Week in a Nutshell


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My Week in a Nutshell is a weekly post I do on Friday or Saturday (depending on how busy I am) where I discuss what I’ve read this week and any other book related thoughts I have.
What I’ve Read this Week
Lately, I’ve been in a reading slump. I haven’t been reading a whole lot, which is definitely out of the norm for me. I’ve just been busy with other things and haven’t found a book that has really grabbed my attention.
That being said, I have been reading off and on Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan. It is a good book, just not one that I can’t put down. It tells the story of three young adult’s life during and post 9/11.
Thoughts this Week
I read a post this week on one of my friend’s facebook page that really bothered me. Basically, what it said was that he had went into a bookstore recently and that there was a whole section of Paranormal Romance (I’m assuming it was YA) and that was the reason other countries were ahead of us.
The statement really bothered me but I refrained from saying anything rude but instead just commented saying that I disagreed and that any reading was better than no reading and that kids/teens should be allowed to read whatever interested them. Others commented on the post agreeing more with him and what they said bothered me even more. It took a lot of effort but in the end I left it at that and didn’t reply further (which I think was a good call because I tend to get a little hot-headed when someone comes after my books)
However, since this is in fact my blog and place for me to express MY opinions I am going to be doing just that. I’m not going to go into great detail today but I think next Thursday I am going to have a Hot Topic Thursday post about Paranormal Romance books and whether reading them is hurting or helping the minds of young readers. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and I may incorporate them in my post! Thanks!
And that’s my week in a nut shell. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review Paranormalcy

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)


Goodreads Description
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.
My Thoughts
I read Paranormalcy at the same time I was reading Anna and the French Kiss and I have to say that I saw some similarities in them. Not in genre or storyline (one is paranormal and one is contemporary) but in style and sense of humor. I can definitely see how the two are critique partners.
Just like in Anna and the French Kiss, Paranormalcy is cute and witty and has a great quirky narrator. Evie is so funny. The things she does and says are just hilarious. She’s such a girly girl but she isn’t. She loves pink and boots, yet she can total kick paranormal butt. And of course, my favorite thing about her though is her pink taser. Who doesn’t love a pink taser?  I mean, seriously.
The one thing I wasn’t totally crazy about was the love triangle. Honestly, I just wasn’t really feeling either of the guys and definitely wasn’t swooning over them. Out of the two I think I liked Reth the best. I guess I do prefer the bad guys or maybe it was just the fact that I never could really figure out what was going on with him.
Overall, Paranormalcy is great read, especially if you are looking for some laughs!
Grade: A
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss


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

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

My Thoughts:
Anna and the French Kiss is a cute, witty, and just altogether fun book. I didn’t really have any idea what the book was about, all I knew what that EVERYONE was raving about it. I had heard so many great things about this book that I was worried that it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. Luckily, the book lived up to all of the hype.
I loved Anna. She was completely believable. The things she did, said, and thought are all things typical of a girl her age.  I also loved her entourage of friends. They all had such a great relationship and were all people I would love to hang out with.
The setting could not have been better. I mean, it’s Paris! The one thing I didn’t get about Anna was why she didn’t want to go to Paris to school. I get that it would be scary moving to another country, but again, it’s Paris.
Overall, the book is a wonderful story with even more wonderful characters. When I finished it I was wishing that my parents had sent me to a boarding school in Paris.

Grade: A
Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Pick-Me-Up (I'm Back!!)


Monday Pick-Me-Up is a weekly post intended to get everyone over their Monday Blues by sharing quotes I thought were funny in the books I read the previous week. 

Okay, I'm back. Hopefully, for good this time! This week's Monday Pick-Me-Up comes from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins. Enjoy!

“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

“Soap?"
"School of America in Paris" he explains. "SOAP".
Nice. My father sent me here to be cleansed.”

“Most people in Atlanta don't have an accent. It's pretty urban. A lot of people speak gangsta, though," I add jokingly.
"Fo' shiz," he replies in his polite English accent.
I spurt orangey-red soup across the table. St. Clair gives a surprised ha-HA kind of laugh, and I'm laughing too, the painful kind like abdominal crunches. He hands me a napkin to wipe my chin. "Fo'. Shiz." He repeats it solemnly.
Cough cough. "Please don't ever stop saying that. It's too-" I gasp. "Much."
"You oughtn't to have said that. Now I shall have to save it for special occasions."
"My birthday is in February." Cough choke wheeze. "Please don't forget.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Winner Announcement & Apologies

First, I would just like to apologize for my infrequency with blogging lately. I've been busy the last couple and just haven't had the time that I would like to have to devote to blogging. Hopefully, things will slow down soon so I can.

Now, on to the good stuff!

I'm also behind on announcing the winner of my giveaway for Evernight. But I finally got the time to tally up the entries and let random.org select the winner for me. With that, the winner is...

Christina M.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Bloodlines Review

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)
Description from Goodreads
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.
My thoughts
I absolutely adored the Vampire Academy series. And my favorite character? Adrian! So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Richelle Mead was writing a spin-off series set in the Vampire Academy world and that Adrian was going to play a large role in it. I couldn’t wait for it to come out! And I think that’s why it kind of let me down. I had such high expectations it was impossible to measure up. That being said Bloodlines is a good book. I really did enjoy it, just not as much as I thought I would.
To me, Bloodlines started off slow. Aside from the cameo appearance of Rose, the beginning is somewhat dull. I understand the need to introduce readers to the life of the Alchemists but I found myself disinterested in it. Things do begin to pick up toward the end but the action from Vampire Academy just wasn’t there. 
Also, I found myself figuring out what was going to happen way before it happened. It was obvious to me at the very beginning exactly what happened at the court and what was going on between Jill and Adrian.
There were some things I liked. For starters, Adrian was in it! I enjoyed watching Adrian and Sydney go back and forth. Adrian is still hilarious. I also liked Eddie. I really see potential for an Eddie & Jill relationship. I think I would enjoy that a lot more than any of the other guys Jill was interested in. I also saw potential for Adrian and Sydney but I am curious to see how that will pan out. Sydney despite befriending and realizing that Moroi aren’t all bad, still has some deeply engrained beliefs about them. I’m just not sure how that’s going to play out.
Overall, I thought Bloodlines was a good book. I was hoping for more action and a better relationship for Adrian. However, I loved how the story ended and I can’t wait for the next book. Still have high hopes for this series!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WWW Wednesday

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MizB @ Should Be Reading hosts WWW Wednesdays...
To play along just answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?
Nothing. I finished Anna and the French Kiss last night and haven’t started anything new yet.


What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished Anna and the French Kiss and Paranormalcy. Both were really funny!

What do you think you’ll read next?
I brought Wildefire by Karsten Knight to read during my lunch so that’s what I’m starting now.

What have you been reading?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Pick-Me-Up

 
 
Monday Pick-Me-Up is a weekly post intended to get everyone over their Monday Blues by sharing quotes I thought were funny in the books I read the previous week. 


Sorry, it’s so late. I am definitely feeling a little sluggish today. I finished Paranormalcy  by Kiersten White last night and it’s hilarious. Here’s a couple of my favorites.


"Yes, I have a driver's license."

I leaned back against the wall, sighing. "Man, that must be so cool."

"It ranks right up there with lockers. In fact, sometimes I put my license inside my locker, and it's so cool I worry that the whole thing might explode with the sheer coolness of it all."


****

"I can’t see through clothes or anything. Just glamour skin. Except I can see through all of you, since your clothes aren’t real.” I stopped, horrified. “I mean, I don’t look—It’s hard to see you, and I like looking at your real face, but I don’t try to see anything, because—Oh gosh, this sounds terrible.”
He had a funny look on his face, like he wasn’t sure what to think. “Huh. That’s never been an issue before. Maybe next time you could bring me some shorts."




What’s your Monday Pick-Me-Up? Leave me a comment letting me know. I need all the laughs I can get!
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sisterhood Everlasting Review

Sisterhood Everlasting (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #5)

Goodreads Description
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

My Thoughts
Sisterhood Everlasting is a difficult book to read. It takes you on this crazy journey where you go from laughing to crying and back again. It is a beautiful story about friendship, growing up, and realizing that there are some things in your life that have to change and some things that never will.
I loved this book. I didn’t read the other books in the series but I did watch the two movies. I don’t think that it’s imperative that you’ve read the other books or seen the movies but I think that it definitely helps.
There are four main characters: Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget. They have been best friends since they were born (literally). They are all four about to turn 30 and have fallen out of touch a bit, especially with Tibby. Then they all receive a package from Tibby with airline tickets to Greece.
However, they soon realize that their reunion is the not happy trip they had planned. Afterwards, they all go their separate ways and try to get their lives back on track.
This book is painful. There are times when you want to scream at the characters, “What are you doing?” But you can’t. They have to figure it out on their own. And the beautiful thing is they do. It may take a while, they may take a few detours, but eventually they all end up exactly where they are suppose to be. Together.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

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MizB @ Should Be Reading hosts WWW Wednesdays...
To play along just answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. I’m about halfway through it and it’s okay so far. I had very high expectations for this book, which is why it’s just okay right now. I’m still hoping things will pick-up and I’ll love it!


What did you recently finish reading?
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares.  It’s the 5th book in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series. I LOVED it. I am hoping to have the review up tomorrow. It’s definitely a difficult read but well worth it.

What do you think you’ll read next?
This question is the one that always gets me. I’m bad about not having a reading schedule. I just pick-up whatever books I have on a whim. Right now, I’m leaning toward Anna and the French Kiss but I still have The Near Witch and Wildefire that I haven’t read yet.

What have you been reading?

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