Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charming Covers [33]

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off covers that have recently been revealed/ that I've recently found. 

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
October 23, 2012

Two days after Mara walks into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she is committed for psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe is a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. Someone from her past has discovered her strange, disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But she's about to discover that the price is more than she can bear.

Dark and thrilling, suspenseful and passionate, The Evolution of Mara Dyer will have readers breathlessly turning pages to find out what will become of Mara Dyer next.

I didn't absolutely love The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I still enjoyed it and can't wait for the sequel!
I don't like this cover as much as the first. I do like the blue and the how they are reaching out for each other. But I do wish we could see the whole bodies, or at least most. But it still pretty!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm taking the week off

It was been a long and terrible, terrible week for many, many reasons that I am not going to get into. And it looks like this next week isn't going to get much better since I have about a million things to do and am not in the right mind to do any of them. So, I'm taking the week off of blogging. Mostly because I haven't had the time to schedule my posts for the week which I normally do on the weekend.
But, I will be back next week and I'll have lots and lots to post! And hopefully I'll still be around a little bit to check out your blogs. But I'm not promising anything. We'll see.
See you next week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Magic Study (Study, #2)Magic Study
Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: LUNA Books
Release Date: September 1, 2006

You know your life is bad when you miss your days as a poison taster...

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies...
Magic Study was a great edition to a great series. It was full of action, magic, and romance. Even though it wasn't as good as Poison Study, it just reinstated how much I like these books. 

I love Yelena. She is pretty bad ass; I'm not going to lie. She has come a long way since the first book. In Magic Study, she is just getting used to her powers. Yelena is tough, but I still admire her loyalty. 

I do love the world that Snyder has built. It is very unique. One of my favorite high fantasy worlds. There are so many interesting characters and powers in it. 

Magic Study was a very good edition to the Study trilogy. I can't wait to pick up the final book.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charming Covers

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I highlight covers that have recently been revealed/ that I've recently found.
The Unfailing Light (The Katerina Trilogy, #2)

Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.

I have yet to read The Gathering Storm, but I'm excited to! Hopefully it's good enough to read the sequel. I know there are some mixed reviews, so I'll just have to see for myself. 
As for this cover, I like it. I don't like it as much as the first one, however. Something about this girl kind of bothers me. But, I do like the contrast in the background. And the font. I have to point out the awesome font. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for New Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more information or to participate, visit here.

Today I'm sharing some of my tips for new bloggers. These are just some things that I have learned over the years and that I wish I knew when I first started blogging. Hopefully someone will learn something new here, although I'm sure some of it will be or has been reinstated elsewhere.

  1. Participate in memes and features, but don't go overboard. Memes are a great way to get bloggers interacting with each other. It's a great way to start commenting and find new blogs. However, there shouldn't be more meme post than original content. 
  2. Comment Comment Comment. This seems obvious, but I struggled with this. I can't stress this enough. When you leave thoughtful comments on other bloggers notice you. Plus, you love getting comments, right? Share the love!
  3. Schedule your posts ahead of time. For those of you who are really busy, this may help. Schedule post a few days ahead. A week ahead. A month ahead. it really doesn't matter. I schedule all my posts for the week during the weekend. I know I get super busy during the week and don't have time for my blog. But, if posting as you go works for you, do whatever you like best. 
  4. Interact with other bloggers and book lovers. I can't stress this enough. Talk to other bloggers; make some friends. It makes blogging hundred times worth it. Don't just comment, but talk to other bloggers on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and whatever else is out there. 
  5. Make you blog design, if not pretty, than eye-catching. Your blog should look completely unique and not like any other blog. This doesn't mean it has to be pretty pretty, though. I know some blog designs that are a little, for lack of a better word, grungier, and I love them!
  6. Create content unique to your blog. On top of reviews and memes, do posts that are specific to you. Create your own feature. Write a discussion post. Rant about whatever made you angry that day. Just set yourself apart from other blogs.
  7. Show us yourself. Now, everything I'm about to say are things that I need to work on, too. But show your readers your face. Our minds like being able to connect a face to everything. Do vlogs. Or at the very least, but your picture on your blog. I did a vlog a long time ago, but have yet to do one again. Now, this is more of a lack of the right equipment (video camera), but I still need to work on it.
  8. Set aside some time for you blog.  I'm not going to lie. Blogging takes up a lot of time. But set aside some time every day or every few days in which you get done what you need to. It helps to stay organized. Like I said, I schedule all my posts on the weekends.
  9. Just have fun with it and make it your own. Why blog if you don't enjoy it? Just do what you feel like doing with your blog. It will be worth it. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Deadly Little Voices (Touch, #4)Deadly Little Voices
Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: December 6, 2012

High school junior Camelia thought her powers of psychometry only gave her the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Mean voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, and that she’d be better off dead. It’s a troubling development that has Camelia terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history just moved into the family house. More torturing, ex-boyfriend Ben, who has similar psychometric abilities, has been spending more time with their classmate Alejandra, even as her own feelings for Adam grow stronger. Still, the bond between Camelia and Ben is palpable. 
With the line between right and wrong fraying, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grasp on her emotions. She begins sculpting a beautiful figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone’s in danger. But who is the victim? And how can Camelia help them when she is on the brink of losing her own sanity
I'm not going to lie. I was ready to give up on this series. While it was interesting, it just wasn't doing it for me. But something compelled me to read Deadly Little Voices, the latest installment. And I'm really glad I did. I ended up really enjoying this book and I'm excited for the final one now. 

The main character, Camelia has bothered me in the past. But I think she has grown since, becoming more independent. Poor Camelia. She has a lot to deal with. In Deadly Little Voices, she experiences the growing fear of the possibility of going crazy because of her psychometric powers. On top of that, she has yet another mystery on her hands and more relationship strife. 

I didn't feel that there was as much focus on Camelia's many relationship conflicts, which I was glad. It's still there, but not as intense. As for who she should choose, Ben or Adam, I can't say I have a side on this. 

As usual, while I still enjoyed the mystery in this, I can't say I was surprised. With this series, I typically have just about everything figured out before it's revealed. But it was still a fun ride. 

I can now say that I'm excited for the last book in the series. Deadly Little Voices definitely reminded me of why I started this series in the first place. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (87)

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

So this is actually several weeks worth of books. It's probably not everything that I've got over the weeks but it's pretty close. 

I did actually buy some books recently. I haven't bought any in a couple months so I was pretty excited. 

For review:
Purity by Jackson Pearce
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (Not Pictured)

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Fixing Delilah by Sara Ockler (Not Pictured)
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (Not Pictured)

When the Sea is Riding Red by Cat Hellisen
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Forgiven by Jana Oliver

I haven't been very active on my blog this week, and I apologize for that. But I'm back this week!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

John Belushi Is DeadJohn Belushi is Dead 
Kathy Charles
Publisher: MTV
Release Date: August 24, 2010

IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.
John Belushi is Dead is a very unique novel. I knew from the description that I would love it, and I did.

Hilda and her friend Benji have a very morbid hobby. They obsess over dead celebrities with tragic endings. While this is morbid, it's not over the top. There was a good balance.

What made this book amazing is the characters. There was such a colorful cast of characters. And they were all real. They all had their good and bad qualities and their quirks. 

One of my favorite characters was Hank. he was such a broken old man. I found his rudeness funny even though there was a lot of hurt behind it. I also liked uncovering his story, even though it was heartbreaking.

And Hilda. It became clear that her morbid fascination has a much more deep-rooted cause. She obsess over these tragedies because she believes if the rich and famous die like that, than it must not be so bad for her dead parents. But as she learns more and Hank and breaks away from Benji, she becomes closer to the living. 

One thing I loved about this book was all of the old movie references. I love old movies and I loved how they interacted with the story.

John Belushi is Dead is on of the better contemporaries that I've read in a while. There was heartbreak and quirkiness all wrapped in one package. This book was so unique and I loved the writing. I'm looking forward to more by Kathy Charles. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) Goddess Interrupted
Aimee Carter
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Release Date: March 27, 2012

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it. 
Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. 
As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry's first wife, Persephone.
I really liked The Goddess Test and was really excited to see where the story would take us in this book. While Goddess Interrupted wasn't as good as the first book, I still really enjoyed it. 

This book starts six months after the last book left off. A big part of what makes this series so great is the world. I love Greek mythology and Aimee Carter has taken a very unique twist on it. We get to see and learn a lot more about this world in Goddess Interrupted. 

There was a big emphasis on Kate and Henry's relationship. And not in the way you think. There was a lot of insecurity between the two--especially on Kate's part. She was constantly doubting Henry's feelings for her. And Henry had a lot of issues to work out before he could really get his feelings for Kate straight. I wish there hadn't been as much emphasis on this as it had. There were issues that needed addressing, but they could have gone quicker. 

This book was a lot more action packed. It was addicting and never boring. 

Even though Kate bothered me at times, I still liked her. She is loyal and tough. I wouldn't go as far to say that she was bad ass, but she was definitely fierce. 

I really enjoyed this book. Between the world and killer ending, I can't wait to return in the next book. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Dark Divine series giveaway winners

I'm here today to announce the winners for the Dark Divine series giveaway. 

But before I do, I'd like to thank everyone who entered. The Dark Divine series is an amazing series. Anyone who has not read it should.

Anyway. Back to the winners. 
And the two winners are...
Ashley Holt and Kat Vela. 

Congrats to both! I've already emailed the two and I'm waiting for a response. 

Again, thanks to all who entered!