Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Book/Blog Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, I decided to make a few bookish resolutions for next year. 

  1. Review more non-YA books- Since a big chunk of what I read is adult, I figure I should start to review them more. Not on my blog, since it is strictly YA, but on other sights such as Goodreads. 
  2. Interact more with the blogging community- I've actually been doing a pretty good job with this the past month or so. Maybe not since the holidays, but before that. But I figure there is always room to grow in this area. I'll do this by 1) commenting more, and 2) talking more on twitter and such.
  3. Get reviews up in a more timely manner- Sometimes I'm good with this, sometimes I'm not. I figure I should try to be more consistent, though.
  4. Finish more books than this year- I have to add this one in; I do it every year. My goal this year was to read 200, and assuming I make that, next year will be 201. 
  5. Reach my monthly goal- This may be something along the same lines of the one above, but it is something I need to work on. Every month I have a goal of how many books I am going to read. There were many a month this year when I did not reach this goal. I wouldn't be scrambling to reach 200 this year if I had reached this.
  6. If I don't like a book, don't read it- This may seem obvious, but when I start a book, even if I don't like it, I still finish it. I'm making it a rule that if I can't get into the first 100 pages of a book, to just set it aside. There are so many other books I could be reading than one that I don't really enjoy.
  7. Expand my reading- I tend to read the same genres, so I'm going to try to get out of my comfort zone a little. A part of this is going to be trying to tackle a few classics.
What are some of your bookish New Year's resolutions?

Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Year Survey

The Perpetual Page-Turner is hosting once again the End of the Year Book Survey. I've been meaning to do a post like this, and here is one waiting for me! To participate visit here.
Best Book Read in 2011:
It's hard picking one, but if I had to this would be it. 
 Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Don't hate me. It's not that I didn't like this book, but after months and months of anticipation and all of that buzz that surrounded this book, I felt that it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I wanted to love it. But I think my expectations were too high.
Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Wasn't expecting this to be so good.
Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Very addicting and enjoyable read. I'd recommend this to anyone, even if they don't read a lot.
Best series you discovered in 2011?
I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this series. One of my favorite YA series of the year.
Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
I read both of these books in 2011, and absolutely loved them. Stephanie Perkins is amazing!
Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I started reading more adult fiction this year and loved it. I loved the Stray series, but there were several others that I read and enjoyed as well.
Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Yes, this one again. This was very addicting.
Book you most anticipated in 2011?
I was very excited for this pretty much all year. And now I'm the same way with the next one.
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
I can't deny this cover is amazing!
Most memorable character in 2011? 
I loved how much Carmen grew during this book. I really enjoyed her.
Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

 Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

 Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
I just think perfection and lasting through the ages is for Greek statues, not us mere humans.~The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 
Oh, there it is again

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
I'd have to say the end of this book about killed me

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Charming Covers [25]

Charming Covers is a feature where I show recent cover reveals/that I've recently found.
Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
July 2012

Yay! I love this series and now that the 6th one has a cover I'm even more excited for it! After the last book, I'm doing to know what happens next.
This isn't my favorite cover in the series, but it didn't fail to be absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Vicious Deep

The Vicious Deep
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida C√≥rdova
May 12, 2012

Set against the backdrop of a Coney Island summer comes The Vicious Deep, the story of sixteen year old Tristan Hart whose life is turned upside down when the mermaids make an unscheduled return to land in search of their new king. 

When a sudden storm pulls Tristan from lifeguard duty into a deadly riptide, he discovers what he really is—a prince of the Sea Court. Turns out, his girlfriend hopping and talents as a swimmer aren’t caused by his teenage prime hormones after all. 

In this modern Arthurian tale with a twist, when all a guy wants to do is get The Girl and enjoy the freak show that is a Coney Island summer, Tristan has to fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity, if he still wants it, as he’s caught in a race for a throne that is as ancient as the gods.

This one looks so interesting. Mermaids and Coney Island? Heck yeah! Can't get much better than that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wrapping Up Read-a-thon Update #1

Hosted by Jessie at Remarkable Reads.

Over Christmas and Christmas Eve, I was slacking with this read-a-thon. So, I'm just now catching up. 
Here's what I accomplished so far:
~read The Future of Us
~read Catching Jordan
~finished Lover Revealed
~read Virtuosity

Hopefully from now until Saturday I'll get a lot of reading done. Next up I'm going to read First Drop of Crimson. 
How are you doing with this?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wrapping Up Read-a-thon Starting Post

So, I'm a little late with putting this up, but never late than never, right?

Anyway, Jessie at Remarkable Reads is hosting a Wrapping Up Read-a-thon, starting today and running until January 1. For more info go here.

Even though I am just now putting this up, I still have been reading. I've already finished Catching Jordan and am off to start another.

A few books that I hope to get done:
1. Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
3. The Future of Us by Jay Ahser and Carolyn Mackler
4. Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Probably a few others but that's a good starting point.

I probably won't be doing much reading on Christmas Eve, Christmas, or New Year's Eve, but all of the other days I'll try to read as much as I can. 

I also probably won't be posting much in the mean time; between this and the holiday I'll be pretty busy. But I will when I can. I'll try to put up some wrap up posts for the read-a-thon for most days.

I'd also like to point out to everyone that I have blog survey and would love it if you could take the time to fill it out here. Thanks!

Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Blog Survey!

So, if you are not completely tired of filling out blog surveys yet, I would greatly appreciate it if you would fill out mine. I'm sure like many others, I really want to improve my blog in the new year. I would love any and all suggestions. It is anonymous, so please be honest!

And, to return the favor, if you have a survey you want me to fill out, leave a link in the comments. I've already filled out a few, but I would love to help out other bloggers.

Review: Sometimes it Happens

Sometimes It HappensSometimes it Happens
Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Pages: 320

This novel opens on the first day of Hannah’s senior year, but the story really starts on the last day of her junior year. That’s when Hannah not only gets dumped by her boyfriend, Ryan, but she also finds out her best friend, Ava, is going to be gone for the entire summer. But Ava’s boyfriend, Noah, is definitely around—and such a good guy that he snags Hannah a job at the diner where he works. Hannah and Noah move from coworkers, to friends….and one night, to something more.Now it’s back to school, where Hannah will see Ryan, Ava, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, Hannah will learn a lot about love, friendship…and herself.
I'll be the first to admit that I really don't like the 'hooking up with best friend's boyfriend' plot. I try to avoid it as much as possible. Why did I read this book, the very thing I was avoiding? Because I love Lauren Barnholdt. I'll read anything by her. And there's a reason for that. She managed to take a plot that I really don't like and turn it into a book I really enjoyed. 
The story is told through two different times: the summer, when everything happened, and the first day of school, when everything blew up. This book didn't make me mad like I thought it would. It was actually very engaging and done well for what it was.
Hannah wasn't my favorite female character, but I still liked her. Even though she was whiny at times, she was still a good person. And Noah didn't come across too shabby himself, either. Very swoon-worthy. The one who I had a problem with was Ava. She was very manipulative, always acting superior to Hannah. I also liked other characters, including Lacey, as quirky as she was. I think the characters are a big part of what made this book good. 
Another good book to add to the awesomeness that is Lauren Barnholdt. A very engaging and somewhat addicting novel, Sometimes it Happens is a great contemporary.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Charming Covers [24]

Charming Covers is a feature I have created where I highlight covers recently revealed/ that I've recently found. 

Destiny's Fire
Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe
January 10, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—a part of a nearly extinct race of Kythan descended from ancient guardians who protected the pharaohs of Egypt. As Shythe, they must keep their shape-shifting ability and electric power hidden from the humans of their steam-powered world. 

It’s the year 2040 and the Shythe Council has lowered their barrier, allowing the Narcolym—the dominant race of Kythan whose Flame ushered in the steam era—to enter their haven. As the Narcolym airships get closer, Dez secretly trains for an attack that her best friend Jace believes is coming despite the Treaty Act. Not only is Dez wary of war, and her growing affection for Jace, but she fears the change her fast-approaching birthday will bring. 

When her power rockets out of control, Dez knows she’ll never attend the Shythe Academy with her friends, and worse, her mother’s planning to run. But a Narco named Reese could change her fate . . . if she can trust him. After Dez discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, her guarded world crumbles. She’s forced to choose between the race who’s raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life. 

DESTINY'S FIRE is an emotional journey of Dez’s struggle to overcome her fear and embrace her power—her destiny

There was a different cover released for this that I didn't like. At all. But then I saw this one, and I think it may be the final cover. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Anyway, I love this cover so much more. It's pretty and it gives off a real steampunkery feel. I'm very excited for this book!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: Soul Thief

Soul Thief (The Demon Trappers #2)Soul Thief
Jana Oliver
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Pages: 339

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad.  With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever…
I liked The Demon Trapper's Daughter more than I thought I would. I enjoyed that one, and I couldn't wait to see more of Riley in this book. While I didn't find this one as charismatic as the first, I still enjoyed it. 

One thing that bothered me about this book was the romance. In the first one, there was a romance, but it took more of a backseat in the story. And I liked that. I mean, I like me my romance as much as the next person, but it was refreshing. But I felt that it took up a bigger part of the story in this book. Which would be fine. But I felt that it was more forced than it should have been. It introduced more characters liking Riley in this book, even if she doesn't know all of them do. At times it was a bit over the top, but it probably would have been a different story without it. And while I'm on the subject I must put out there that I'm team Beck all the way. 

This is one of the more creative and interesting worlds that I've read about in a while. I love the idea of it. And I feel that none of the demons seem too cheesy or overdone, which could have easily been done.

I really liked Riley. The thing about her and about this book is that we see more of the kind of person Riley is from other people, such as Beck. We still see plenty from her, but I think it adds to it. She is a very kick butt heroine. There were times in this book that the decisions she made annoyed me, but not too much. And while there are plenty of guys pining for her, her main focus is still getting her father back.

I cant' wait to see more from this world and its characters. The ending of this book left me dying for the next. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Enchanted

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
May 8, 2012

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.
The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?
I love fairy tale retellings, and this one sounds so good! I can't wait to read it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Inside

Dark Inside

Dark Inside
Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date: September 2, 2011
Pages: 368

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.
Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.
This book read like a movie. The whole time I was reading, I could just imagine actually watching this. I haven't read a book like that in a while, if ever. And that is what I really enjoyed about this book. 

This is an apocalyptic book, but in this it's during the apocalypse, which is something that hasn't been touched on as much as post-apocalyptic. And I didn't think of this much before. But I much appreciate this book for bringing a new take into this type of book--not quite dystopian, but apocalyptic nevertheless.

I also like the monsters of this book. It was something of a mix of The Crazies with a more coherent person. And something about that was frightening--that they were still people, but with a desire to hurt and kill. This is also something new that I appreciated.

I think one place that this book fell flat is the characters. While I still really enjoyed this book, it was not because of the characters. It's not that I didn't like any of the characters. It just wasn't a strong point of the book.  

Jeyn Roberts brings something new to the YA genre. I've seen these things in other places, but not in YA. And it was very refreshing and something that I really enjoyed. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (80)

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

For Review:
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
(From NetGalley)

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Considering each of these were about 2 bucks a piece, I couldn't pass them up.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: Untraceable

S.R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Pages: 315

16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. 

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. 

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. 

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
Untraceable was different than anything that I've read. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still interesting. 

I have to say, Grace is very kick-butt. It's refreshing to see a heroine who can take care of herself. From the beginning she was the only one who believed her father was still alive. She may have been tough on the outside, but as we read through the book we see that she has a heart filled with loyalty and compassion. When she set her mind to something, she didn't give up, even when everyone told her otherwise. She also has amazing survival and tracking skills. We could probably all learn a lesson from her. On some level, however, I never really connected with her. This usually causes problems but I was able to over look it here. 

Untraceable a lot in it: mystery, romance, danger. Not everything was completely unforeseeable, but there were also quite a few surprises that I din't see coming. I quite enjoyed watching Grace on her journey to find her father. And I must say I quite enjoyed Mo, too. I got kind of worried about about that toward the end, but it was okay in the end. 

Overall, Untraceable was a refreshing and thrilling ride. Very different from what I've read before, in a good way. An interesting story to go with a beautiful cover. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (8): Childhood Favorites

Top ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. For more information, visit here

This week is Top Childhood Favorites. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't a huge reader when I was a kid. I liked to read, but I didn't read nearly as much as I do now. I had this nasty habit of reading about halfway through a book and stopping, leaving it never to be finished. Thankfully, I've gotten over that and actually read a whole book now. 
Anyway, here are some books that I actually got through in entirety. 
(Some of them are series, not specific books)
  1. Goosbumps by R.L. Stine- I read through these books like no other. I've always been into horror, whether it be books or movies. I've read a ton of these, but few really scared me. I remember the ones that did creep me out, though were the Night of the Living Dummy ones (there was 4 or 5 of them). Dolls have always freaked me out. 
  2. Animal Ark by Ben M. Baglio- I've always been an animal person. Anything with an animal in it, I absolutely adored. I loved this series, too. I had a million of them, but how many I actually read, I couldn't tell you. 
  3. Bud not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis- This is one that my teacher had read to the class in about fourth grade, I believe. I remember I loved it. Now, I had a couple other teachers read it to me in later years, so it got a little old, but I still remember liking it the first time. 
  4. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo- This is one that I read when I was a little bit older, but I still loved it. It's been a while since I've read it, but from what I remember, I still think it was amazing. 
  5. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo-Another DiCamillo book. These are the only two books I've read by her, but based on them, I wish I had read more. Edward Tulane is my favorite, but this one was pretty good, too. 
  6. There's a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Suess- This list wouldn't be complete without Dr. Suess. And while everyone else loved The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, There's a Wocket in my Pocket was and remains my favorite Dr. Suess book. 
  7. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner- Who didn't read these? I remember a time when I read through several in no time at all. 
  8. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park- I remember my mom reading these to me before bed every night. There are a lot of memories along with these books. 
  9. The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne- These are classics. I remember reading and owning a ton of these. 
  10. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume- This is another that the teacher read to my class. I read some of the other Fudge books, but none of them compared to the first. 
Wow, I'm feeling really nostalgic after making this list. I kind of wish that I had some of these now. 
Anyway, what books did you love as a kid?

Monday, December 5, 2011

November Wrap Up

I know this is a few days late, but better late than never. 
I didn't get as much reading done in November as I would have like. But that may have something to do with NaNoWriMo. And yes, I am a NaNoWriMo winner. So, I'm using that as an excuse for not read as much. 

Books Read:
1.) Amplified by Tara Kelly
2.) The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
3.)Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
4.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
5.) The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
6.) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfator
7.) Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent
8.) Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
9.) Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
10.) Legend by Marie Lu
11.) Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty
12.) Untraceable by S.R. Johannes
13.) The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry
14.) Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Other Reviews:
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Touch of Frost by Jenifer Estep

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (79)

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

So, I tried something different this week. I want to do an actual vlog, but every time I try the sound gets jacked up on the computer. I don't know if it would just be on my computer, or if the sound is too quiet for everyone to hear, because it's fine on my camera. So, I figured this would be something different, a video, but not quite what I want. 

Anyway, if you don't like it, let me know and I won't do it again. If you do, tell me that, too!
And I promise there will be better music next time if I do it again!