Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions

I've decided to set some goals for the new year for my blog. There are definitely some things that I can do to improve, both as a blogger and a reader, so here they are:
  1. Read 200 books in 2011. That's my goal. I really started getting into reading back in 2008, when I read 62 books. In 2009, I read 140 books. 2010: 179 books. I think it's fair to say that I can read 200 books in 2011.
  2. Review more books. In the past year that I've had my blog, I haven't reviewed as many books as I would have liked. I think the problem is that I wait to long to write a review for a book, then I forget everything important, so I just don't write it. Most of all my reviewing/blogging gets done during the weekend, so I'm going to make it a goal that every weekend I review most, if not all, the books I read that week. Which also brings me to my next goal:
  3. Put more thought behind my reviews. This isn't to say that I don't put any thought or time into them, because I do. But I would like to get more in depth when I review a book. For instance, not just talk about the main character and plot, but also get into character development, sub-plots, writing, etc.
  4. Socialize more in the blogosphere. I've noticed that in a lot of people's resolutions this year, they say comment more. This isn't really my problem (thought I could do that more) but I just need to actually start a conversation or give my opinion more.
What are your New Year's resolutions?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out with a Bang Read-a-Thon Update

I've gotten a fair amount done in the past 2 days.
Yesterday I read:
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

And so far I've read today:
A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede
The Ruby Notebook by Laura Resau

The day is still young though, so hopefully I'll finish at least one other book today. I doubt I'll read very much tomarrow, considering it's New Year's Eve and I've got plans. but, I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out with a Bang Reading List

Out With a Bang Read-a-Thon (hosted by The Bookish Type) starts tomarrow!
It's not to late to sign up. To sing up, go here, or click on the image.

Here's my reading list:
The Ruby Notebook by Laura Resau
Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson
Dark Water by Laura Mcneal
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Meagan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian 
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

I'm only putting six on there, but I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, I'll read more. But it never works out that way so I'm just going to focus on finishing those first.
The first 3 are library books that I still need to read, and the last 3 are on my TBR shelf, and have been for some time so I'll finally finish them.

Review: Something Like Fate

Something Like Fate
Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Published:  May 4th 2010

Lani and Erin are lifelong best friends — and total opposites. Lani’s a down-to-earth Taurus; Erin’s a fiery Leo. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. They’ve always had wildly different tastes, from pizza toppings to guys.
That is, until Erin starts dating Jason.
From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can’t deny the amazing connection she feels with him. It’s like they’ve known each other their whole lives. She’s not sure if he feels it, too — but even if he does, he’s off-limits. Lani’s determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than hurt her best friend.
Then Erin goes away for the summer — and Jason seems to appear everywhere Lani turns. How long can she keep running from the guy who just might be the love of her life?

I wasn't sure what I'd get out of Something Like Fate, this being me third novel by Susane Colasanti. The other two books: one I loved, one I was disappointed in, so it could have gone either way. What I ended up getting was a fun and sweet story that I enjoyed.

I usually hate these kind of stories. I just don't do the whole girl-in-love-with-her-best-friend's-boyfriend thing. For what ever reason I always end up getting mad at all of the characters. But, this one was done very well.

ONe reason I liked it was because Erin wasn't a total phsyco super-snot like a lot of best friends are in books. For whatever reason, best friends are usually snots who I can't stand. But Erin was a descent person. I sympathized with her, yet still liked the main character Lani.

I also liked Lani. Even though what she did wasn't totally right, she was still a sweatheart and wanted everyone to be happy. She was incredibly ignorant. But she was a good person.

This was an easy book to get into. The plot developed appropriatly. It's a sweet and clean read. There's no sex or cussing. It's clean, but not in a way that you're wondering if it's really young adult.

Something Like Fate may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it. It was cheesey, but just the right amount. It's not going to blow your mind, but it's enjoyable. It wasn't perfect, but there were no big, obvious flaws either. If it looks like something you might like, I'd say give it a try.

3.5 hearts

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blanks 2010

I've been seeing this around this year and last, and I thought it would be fun to do!

Rules: It's simple, really. Just answer the questions using the name of a book you've read in 2010. You can go for serious answers that most closely match what your real answers would be, or you can go with the funniest ones you can come up with for your available titles. Try not to repeat any titles. Have fun!

Describe Yourself: Extraordinary 

How do you feel:  Pretty Dead
Describe where you currently live: The Clearing
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Dead-Tossed Waves
Your favorite form of transportation: The Mermaid's Mirror
Your best friend is: The Iron Daughter
You and your friends are: Bright Young Things
What's the weather like:
Favorite time of day: Moonlight
What is life to you: Anything but Normal
Your fear: Tormant
What is the best advice you have to give: Swoon at your Own Risk
Thought for the Day: Early to Death, Early to Rise
How I would like to die: Angelfire
My soul's present condition: The Beautiful Between
I love reading these, too, so if you want to do one youself leave a link and I'll check it out!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Tomarrow is Christmas so to spread a little holiday spirit, I've decided to share a music video with you.

Shake Up Christmas by Train
I, personally, love Train and I think this video is supre cute!

Also, I know I've been MIA for the past couple weeks. I'm super behind on reviews, and a ton of other stuff. Starting next week I'm back and I'll have a ton of stuff to share!

Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Graveminder

Graveminder by Melissa Marr
May 17, 2010

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk

I'm a big fan of Melissa's young adult series, so I'm super excited to see what else she will do. I first heard about this book when I went to one of her signings, and I've been dying to read it ever since. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading 12-20

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Last Week I read:
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Curently Reading:
Aces Up by Lauren Banholdt

Reading Next:
Populazzi by Elise Allen
XVI by Julia Karr
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So here's Why

So here's why Book Fanatics has been pretty much dead for the last couple weeks: finals. Yes, as I'm sure some of you are too, I am up to my ears with finals. But, as of next Thursday, I will be on break. I'm super excited, so I would really appreciate it if you could just bare with me for four more days. Then, I will be a free woman! I'll finally get some reviews and other posts done.
Thank y'all for your patience and I'll be back and posting soon enough!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Out with a Bang Read-a-thon

I've been looking for a read-a-thon for a while now, and I finally found one!

The Bookish Type is hosting the read-a-thon from December 29-31.

(from original post)
The Readathon will run from December 29 - 31 and participants will be reading as many books as they can during that time! This Readathon is mainly to finish off the fabulous debuts for the Debut Author Challenge, but participants don't have to focus on that category if they have non-debut books that they would like to finish before 2010 ends.

And, if you need an extra incentive to participate, we'll also be giving away tons of swag and books during the Readathon (and a lot of it will be signed!)

Several awesome authors have been kind enough to donate items! I will do a special thank you post once we have all the details so that I don't miss anyone!

I'm super excited and hopefully I'll get a lot of reading done!

To sign up, go here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: Once a Witch

Once a Witch
Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: September 14, 2009

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

I've seen this book around a lot, but I've never really looked at it. When I finally did pick it up, I really did enjoy it. Witch stories always have compelled me. This one was a fun and cute adventure.

Tamsin Greene was a relatable character. I could feel how out of place she felt, being the only one in her family who isn't Talented (powers). Trying to live up to her sister, she goes on a quest that causes more trouble than good. I didn't exactly agree with all her decisions, but I could see why she made them. I wasn't a fan of Tamsin's sister, Rowena. For whatever reason she rubbed me the wrong way. On the other hand, Gabrielle was swoon-worthy and sweet.

One a Witch was a real adventure. It was fun and a fast read. At some points it was predictable, but it had a few surprises, too.

Once a Witch was a sweet surprise. It has action, adventure, mystery, romance, good characters, and magic. A super-cute story, and I can't wait for the sequel.

3.5 hearts

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Off the Shelf Challenge 2011

Off The Shelf!

I'm going to participate in the Off the Shelf Challenge this year. I think it will be really good, considering I really want to read all the many books on my shelf.

This challenge is to read those books you own copies of, but have never got around to reading. If you don't have many that you own, but have a massive TBR shelf you're welcome to read those ones as long as you don't add new ones. You don't need to actually get rid of your books after you've read them, this is just to read them.

to sign up for the challenge, go here.

Challenge Levels:

1.Tempted– Choose 5 books to read
2.Trying – Choose 15 books to read
3.Making A Dint – Choose 30 books to read
4.On A Roll – Choose 50 books to read
5.Flying Off – Choose 75 books to read

For extra hard challenges:
1.Hoarder – Choose 76-125 books to read
2.Buried – Choose 126-200 books to read

Here's my list:
  1. Numbers by Rachel Ward
  2. Arson by Estavan Vega
  3. Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
  4. Matters of the Heart
  5. One Last Wish 
  6. Jonas (Beautiful Dead)
  7. Ash by Melina Lo
  8. The Ivy
  9. XVI by Julia Karr
  10. Abused Werewolf Rescue Group
  11. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
  12. Girl, Stolen
  13. Hex Hall
  14. Hearts at Stake by Alexandra Harvey
  15. Jessica's guide to Dating on the Dark Side
  16. Daughters of the Moon
  17. The Fallen
  18. Give Up the Ghost by Meagan Crewe
  19. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
  20. The Replacement
  21. Looking for Alaska
  22. How I Found the Perfect Dress
  23. The Red Necklace
  24. Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
  25. Lipstick Apology
So I've got 25 books to read. I'll be crossing them off as I read them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

In My Mailbox (49)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week. 

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney-
Some schools have honor codes.

Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

Torment by Lauren Kate- Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede- When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.

Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right. Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England.

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper- Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life.

His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee's), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee's!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It's like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can't figure out what's going on.

To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring "what love is, why love is, and why we're stupid enough to keep going back for more." Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri's sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father's mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.

Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz- Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.

Her mother, though, is actually the one getting the dates, and business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time….

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta- Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, along, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

The Ninth Key by Meg Cabot- Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad... particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status--not to mention apparent disinterest in her--make him unattainable.

What Suze can#146;t ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past.

What did you get this week?

Books Read in November

Here's what I accomplished in November:
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Beautiful Darkness by
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithian & Rachel Cohn
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
Night Star by Alyson Noel
Take Me There by Carolee Dean
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusem-Coloma
Infinate Days by Rebecca Maizel
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Other Reviews:
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Overall, I think it was a pretty succusful month. I probably could have done more reviews, so I've got a lot to catch up on this month. Oh, well. I did get a lot of reading done, so that was good.

What did you read in October?