Thursday, January 31, 2013

This, That or Thought Thursday (14)

Hey Y’all!

Welcome to This, That, or Thought Thursdays hosted by yours truly! Feel free to join in the fun by posting your thoughts about the topic on your blog and leaving a link in the comments or as always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

This Week’s Question: Have you ever had an author respond to a negative review? How did you handle it? Or how do you think it should be handled?

My Answer: I have yet to have an author respond to a negative review. However, I have had an author respond to a 3 cow review. She was polite but I felt that she had took it as a bad review. She wasn't rude at all. She just told me that she was sorry that I didn't connect to the story. I mean three cows is okay, obviously not great, but still it wasn't one or two cows ya know? I thought about responding and telling her that it wasn't that bad but I wasn't sure how to go about it. Instead, I just left it alone. 

Personally, I don't think authors should respond to negative reviews. Likewise though, I don't think reviewers should try to draw the authors attention with a negative review. For example, if you don't like a book and give it a negative review don't @ the author or publisher with it. Be respectful people! However, if an author asked you to review their book then I understand emailing them the link. Just use common sense and common courtesy! 

What do you think?





Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coming Soon: House Rules





I know I did a WoW post on House Rules wayyyy back in October (yes, I have been waiting on this for a while) but I wanted to remind everyone that House Rules is coming out on Feb. 5 (next week!!). I, for one, am super excited! If you haven't read The Chicagoland Vampires series you should definitely check them out! They are amazing! 

Also, the author Chloe Neill, is doing an amazing giveaway on her site right now so here's your chance to possibly win the first books in the series!! You can check it out here!!

Happy Reading!!
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Willow





Title: Willow
Author: Amy Richie
Pages: 276
Source: Author for Review
Release Date: August 2012
Rating: 3 Cows






Goodreads Description:

“Being a werewolf is harder than it looks. Everyone thinks it’s just morph at the full moon, kill, morph back. That’s not true. It’s a lot harder than that. Especially if you are seventeen years old.”

Willow has the worst luck. First she has to deal with her narcissistic foster mother, Bella; then of course there’s her horrid little sister Ivy; not to mention the pack of werewolves that belong to Bella. Now, they have to move and start a new school - again.

Just when Willow thinks things can’t get any worse, Blake shows up from a council she never knew existed to name her leader of a pack she never knew existed. How was she supposed to teach a bunch of teenagers how to be wolves when she herself hated everything about her life?


My Thoughts:

Willow was one of those books for me that were easy to read and entertaining enough but one that I never fully was able to get into. I never felt connected to the story or the characters and for me that was a problem.

One of my problems was that the e-arc from the author was cut off at the bottom of each page. I don't think a lot was cut off but still it was difficult to read and I felt like at times I was missing something. Besides that though, I was confused at the get go about Willow's relationship with all the pack members. It was confusing trying to figure out which guys liked her, liked her and which ones just liked her as their leader. I was especially confused with Jeb and Rueben. I kept thinking there was going to be a love triangle between them three but then I was thrown to find that Willow falls for Gage. Gage was another issue for me because I kept picturing him as this older guy, because he's supposed to be pretending to be her "uncle".

Those were my main problems with the story but other than those I thought the Willow was entertaining. The world was interesting and the history of the packs was fun to learn about. I liked that the packs were lead by women. Girl Power!!

I liked that Willow's character was able to develop into a strong female heroine throughout the book. In the beginning she is unsure of her decisions but in the end she has figured out who she is and is much more confident in her decisions and her ability to lead the pack. Willow goes from someone that had no interest in leading a pack to someone that is willing to risk everything to keep it.

Another thing I really liked about Willow was the suspense. There was this big puzzle that needed to be put together and Richie did an excellent job giving readers just enough information to keep them intrigued. There were a couple of revelations I was able to figure out before they were revealed but there was plenty of suspense to keep me interested.

I thought Willow was a good book. While there was room for improvement, Willow was an entertaining read. Fans of werewolf books, should check this book out.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop


Welcome Y'all!

Thanks so much for stopping by Wholly Book's stop on the Young Adult Giveaway Hop!! I'm so happy to have you here! :) I tried thinking of some awesome books to offer as a giveaway prize and decided to let YOU choose WHATEVER book you WANT as long as:

-The Book Depository ships to you
-It costs no more than $15. 
-It is a YA book

Aren't those kind of giveaways the BEST! I know I love the option of choosing whatever books I want! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below! 

Good Luck to you all and I hope to see more of you in the future! Oh, and be sure to hop along to all of the other amazing giveaways! I know I am!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway







Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop


It's hard to believe that 200 years ago today one of the most beloved novels in history was first published. Yes, I am talking about Pride and Prejudice. For 200 years, women around the world have searched for their own Mr. Darcy. 

I read Pride and Prejudice when I was in high school and no it wasn't required reading. I read it for...FUN. Yes, fun. I decided that I wanted to start reading more of the classics and the first book I chose to read was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I remember later (my senior year I believe) my English teacher wanted to make everyone read Pride and Prejudice and I excitedly (and stupidly) exclaimed, "Oh yay! I've already read that!" Needless, to say my teacher decided to make us read some other book that I hadn't read and I can't even remember what it was. I do know that it wasn't as good as Pride and Prejudice, but really, few, if any, are! :)

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett's love story is one of the most well known love stories in all of literature. It's up there with Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Darcy is quite possibly the most desired man in literature and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit in love with him myself. But really, who isn't? lol. 

Pride and Prejudice is just one of those classics that stick with you. It's a book that even 200 years after it was published is relevant. There have been countless remakes and retellings. The world just can't get enough of Lizzie and Mr. Darcy. 

Some of my favorite quotes have come from Pride and Prejudice.  I'll share my all time favorite. 

“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.”

I know it's a little pessimistic but honestly it rings true more today than it did 200 years ago. 

So, Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice! I hope in 200 years people will still be celebrating your existence. 

And to you my dear, Jane Austen, thank you so very much for creating a book that has inspired so many!!

You can see a list of all the other bloggers participating by clicking here!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Insurgent






Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 525
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Rating: 4 Cows






Goodreads Description:


One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


My Thoughts:

If you don't know who the good guys are how do you know you are on the right side? You don't. Tris finds this out in Insurgent. Everyone has a secret. No one can be trusted. And some betrayals can never be forgiven. Like it's predecessor, Insurgent is full of action and suspense. Roth takes readers on a wild adventure that they won't soon forget. 

In Divergent, we saw Tris struggle in her attempts in becoming Dauntless. In Insurgent, we see Tris struggle to overcome what she endured during her quest in becoming Dauntless. In some ways, Tris is a much stronger character in Insurgent but in others she is much weaker. She's broken from everything she has lost. Her family is gone. She shot one of her best friends. Someone she thought was one of her best friends tries to hurt her then kills himself. Her best friend could very well hate her once she finds out what she did. And the boy she might just love, might not love her if he finds out her secrets or so she thinks. So yeah, Tris is a little screwed up in this book. She is haunted by the memories of shooting Will and can't bring herself to even hold a gun, much less shoot it. Yet, still she is strong. She does what she must do and puts herself in danger to save those she cares about. 

Four or Tobias as we know him more in this book, is shown in an entirely different light. We are allowed to see more of his weakness and more of who he really is. Tris and Tobias have there work cut out for them in the relationship department  in Insurgent. Neither of them is ready to fully disclose everything about their selves. Tris can't bring herself to tell Tobias about shooting Will and Tobias can't tell Tris what his plans really are. I really enjoyed seeing Tris and Tobias's relationship in this book because their relationship wasn't easy. Still, you could tell they both really loved each other. They struggled but their love for one another was pure.

One of the best parts about Insurgent is that we are able to see inside the other factions. Candor and Amity were both really interesting to learn more about. I loved how Amity was willing to lie to keep peace and Candor was more willing to tell the truth and go to war than tell a lie and not. The two factions were strikingly different. 

As I said earlier, Insurgent was full of secrets. Everyone was hiding something. Secrets will be revealed. Betrayals will be discovered. And the ending will have readers begging for book three!






Thursday, January 24, 2013

This, That or Thought Thursday (13)



Hello,

Welcome to This, That, or Thought Thursdays hosted by yours truly! Feel free to join in the fun by posting your thoughts about the topic on your blog and leaving a link in the comments or as always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

January is all about reviews. Please be sure to check out the upcoming topics and feel free to participate as well! You can see them all here!

This Week’s Question: Do you think that reviews (positive or negative) help buyers decide whether or not to buy a book?

My Answer: Absolutely! That is after all the whole point of book blogging and posting reviews, right? You are giving others information that will hopefully help them decide whether or not a certain book is for them. Not only do seeing reviews let me know about new books coming out but they help me decide whether I want to buy them or not. For example, if a blogger/reviewer that typically has the same taste in books that I do loves a book I am much more likely to buy that book than a book that the same blogger did not like. 

Also, reviews are helpful because they tell us things about the book that you wouldn't get just from reading the description. Things like writing style, grammatical errors, POV, characterization, ect. are all important to potential buyers. So if a book has a ton of grammatical errors and I hate grammatical errors that is something that I would like to know before purchasing the book. 

What about you? What do you think?
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.






Title: Earthbound

Author: Aprilynne Pike

Publisher: Razorbill

Expected Release Date: July 30, 2013












Goodreads Description:

Love, fate, and power collide in this new series by #1 New York Timesbestselling author Aprilynne Pike!

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon to discover that she’s an Earthbound—someone with the ability to create matter out of nothing—and that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. Tavia will ultimately have to make a choice: to come into her powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata or to choose free will and a love of her own.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike has created a heart-stopping romance built on a love triangle like you’ve never seen before and filled with epic stakes and a centuries-long conspiracy. Give it to fans of Nightshade and Fallen.

Why I'm Waiting: For the second week in a row I am featuring a book by Aprilynne Pike. Why you may ask? Well, her Wings series was great (she definitely won me over with Destined) and I am eager to see what her new books will be like. 


What are you waiting on??
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ChChChChanges...

Hello Everyone!

This post is mostly for authors & publishers (sorry everyone else, feel free to read anyway). In the past few months it has become apparent that I need to make changes in my review policy. While I love discovering new authors and books, it has gotten to the point that I am not reading the books that I have been dying to read. Books that I have been waiting to come out. Books by authors that I have read all of their books and loved them all. This simple fact I believe is why I haven't been into reading as much. Please don't misunderstand me, I was given the opportunity to read and review some amazing books from review requests I got but the bottom line is I'm not getting to read the books I really, really want to read. I am reading books I have to read. Well, not have to exactly but obligated to. I'm one of those people that like to read whatever book from my shelf that looks interesting instead of whatever book has to be reviewed first.

I have tons of books that I have bought with every intention of reading and just haven't had the time to so as of now I am no longer taking unsolicited review requests. This wasn't an easy decision for me to come to but after much deliberating I decided that this was the best option. I will still honor all requests I have accepted and I may at some point change my policy back. I am actually hoping I do.

However, that being said I still want to help promote books in some form even if I can't review them. So any author that is interested in doing a guest post, interview, and/or giveaway please email me at whollybooks1@gmail.com.

Thanks so much everyone!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Audio Review: Divergent




Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Rating: 4 Cows





Goodreads Description:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts:

Finally, I joined the rest of the world and can say that I have read Divergent! FINALLY!! While I couldn't quite give it 5 cows I must agree with popular opinion, Divergent is an excellent book.  There is plenty action and suspense to keep readers more than satisfied. 

I listened to about 90% of Divergent on audio then read the last 10% because I was in a hurry to find out what was going to happen! It took me a little bit of time to get into it. One because I really wasn't into the whole Abengation, selfless thing. That's probably because I would definitely not fit in there because I am wayyyy too selfish! Another thing that was difficult for me was the fact that it had the same narrator as the audiobook I had just finished. I kept getting my worlds confused and kept picturing the wrong protag! Of course, I really can't blame that on anyone!

I really liked Tris! I was so worried that she was going to make the wrong decision but at the end of the book she proves she made the right one. Tris was strong in mind from the beginning but throughout the book she becomes stronger physically as well. I loved how Tris allowed herself 5 seconds of weakness before she forced herself to move on. It just proves that it's okay to have weakness but it's important not to dwell on it. Give yourself time but then you have to move on. I also loved Tris's friends and Four was well, simply put sexy. And not in the over the top kind of way but in the real, unintentional kind of way. By the end of the book, Four had my heart in the palm of his hand.

I was intrigued by the Dauntless from the moment Tris watched them jump off the train. I knew right then and there that if I had to choose a Faction that would be mine. Once Tris got there though it wasn't as awesome as one might expect. There were some cool things that they did (zip lining off of the Sears Tower for instance) but a lot of the Faction was cold, hard and sometimes even cruel. Through it all Tris grows and learns and is determined to make it.

The end had a lot of action and was amazing! I was definitely on the edge of my seat and couldn't wait to see how everything played out. There is love, loss, betrayal and many surprising revelations! Divergent is a book that will leave you aching for more. Since Insurgent is out I recommend having it nearby and if you have a tendency to spill some tears you might want to have some tissues ready too!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

This, That or Thought Thursday (12)



Heyyyy There You,

Welcome to This, That, or Thought Thursdays hosted by yours truly! Feel free to join in the fun by posting your thoughts about the topic on your blog and leaving a link in the comments or as always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

January is all about reviews. Please be sure to check out the upcoming topics and feel free to participate as well! You can see them all here!

This Week’s Question: Do you think that negative reviews are helpful at creating buzz for books?

My Answer: As those in the entertainment biz say, "All publicity is good publicity." So yes, I think that negative reviews are helpful because the things that one person hates in a book might be the very thing another person craves for in a book. As I stated in a past TToTT (my new abbreviation for This, That or Thought Thursday), just because I hate a book doesn't mean it's a terrible book. It just means that it wasn't the right book for me. Negative reviews still get the word out about a book. They still help promote it. They still help potential readers decide if a book is for them. 

Sorry this week's answer is kind of short but that's my thoughts. 

What do you think?? 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (23)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.





Title
: Life After Theft
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Release Date: April 30, 2013






Goodreads Description:

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimperne.

Why I'm Waiting:

I really enjoyed Pike's Wings series and I am curious to see what this book is going to be about. It sounds like  an interesting book so I'm excited to see what Life After Theft is all about!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Author Interview: Liz Fichera


The Interview


Hi Liz,

Thanks so much for taking a minute to answer some questions for me.  Before we get started, I would like to congratulate you on having your first novel published. I can’t imagine how excited you must be! 

Thank you!  Yes, I am very excited.  It’s been a long time coming. J

Hooked is your debut novel. Could you explain to us how the process worked for you? It seems like everyone’s experience is a little different.

HOOKED is my first young adult novel.  Previously I published two other novels (women’s fiction) through Carina Press.  My journey is very similar to other writers who choose the traditional publishing path:  write, write, write, query, query, rejection, rejection, find an agent, more writing, more rejection, waiting, sell a novel.  Then write some more.  It’s a very tough business.

Tell us something interesting about Hooked that we should know before reading it that we won’t get from the description.

One of the main characters in HOOKED is a Gila Indian.  The Gila River Indian Reservation borders my home in Phoenix, Arizona, so I drew a lot of inspiration from there.  I’m fortunate to be surrounded by so many Native American cultures and influences.

When I first read the description for Hooked I immediately was reminded of Catching Jordan, which is one of the reasons I was so intrigued by it. I think what reminded me of it was that there’s a girl playing golf on the guys’ team and Catching Jordan has a girl playing football. How did you come up with the idea to have a girl playing golf with the guys?

I was driving down a long stretch of desolate desert road near my home called Pecos Road.  Pecos Road is the dividing line between Phoenix and the Gila River Indian Reservation and, coincidentally, figures prominently in HOOKED.  This girl with long dark hair and equally dark eyes popped into my head and a story was born.  For some reason, she came to me with a golf club in her hand and lots of fire and toughness and I thought that was cool. 

What can we expect from you next? Are you working on something now?

I wrote a companion novel to HOOKED called PLAYED.  PLAYED takes two characters from HOOKED and develops their stories—specifically Riley and Sam.  I’m also in the process of finishing up two more young adult novels that are completely separate from HOOKED and PLAYED.  I’m always writing a novel.  It’s what I love to do.

Is there a moment that you can pinpoint and say, “that’s why I decided I wanted to be a writer?” If so, when was that moment? What happened?

My moment came when I was ten years old.  I had written a story about my collie dog.  My mother and fifth grade teacher gushed over the story and I knew then that I wanted to be a writer; however, then life got in the way as it likes to do.  I wasn’t able to begin writing full-time until about seven years ago.

If being a writer wasn’t an option, what would your dream job be?

 I love art.  I would love to have an art studio and paint all day.  If that’s not an option, I would definitely choose to be a taster at a chocolate factory.  Any factory will do.

Avid readers’ favorite books seem to change week to week based on what they’ve read recently or what kind of mood they are in (at least that’s how I am) What’s your favorite book right now?

I can’t get enough of YA contemporaries.  I love realistic stories with lots of angst, emotion and conflict.  More contemporaries, please! 

Now, on to the this or that portion of the interview. If at any time you don’t have a preference you can choose neither.

This or that:

Coke or Pepsi
Neither. I’m more of a water and lemon fan. *hides*
Chocolate or Vanilla
Chocolate!!
Early Bird or Night Owl
Night Owl
Harry Potter or Twilight
I confess to reading the entire Twilight series.
Answer to Previous or The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games! Loved the toughness that was Katniss.
Vampires or Werewolves
Werewolves. I’m a sucker for that TEEN WOLF show.
Zombies or Unicorns
Zombies
Twitter or Facebook
Twitter
MAC or PC
PC
Ebook or print
These days, I never leave home without my nook. 

About the Author


Me?

I'm an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.  

Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong.  It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too. 

Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place.  Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals.  There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.  

When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon.  I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.  Would love to connect with you there too!

About the Book


When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. 

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

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