Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)
By: Rae Carson
Published: September 20, 2011
Published By: Greenwillow

Description: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My Thoughts: Wow!!! That's all I really have to say here.

Elisa is a princess. A seemingly overweight (fat) princess who eats away her troubles and will soon be married to a King. She has no real self confidence it seems but is very kind and of course, she's the chosen one; the one with the Gemstone in her belly.

She soon learns that her marriage must be a secret one, for there is a lot at stake in the King's country. Even more, there are a lot of people who want the bearer of the gemstone, dead or alive, so she must keep the gemstone a secret. Add to that the mistress that very publicly has the heart of her new husband (who of course no one knows is her husband), who secretly spies and shoots daggers at her and you have the recipe for disaster. After she is kidnapped when the mistresses lady in waiting learns that Elisa bears the stone we reach a real turning point in the book.

Elisa is taken across desert and mountain to "save" a tribe of people. Of course she has no idea how she's supposed to do all this and the real treat is seeing how much Elisa changes and grows from a weak, fat, no confidence, pushover princess to...well you'll have to read and find out. Lets just say I'm no longer annoyed by this main character in the end.

There are 2 guys, the Husband/King who's handsome but I hate him because he has a mistress who he allows to be around his wife (i hate cheaters). He allows her to touch him and kiss him when his wife isn't far away, although he 's not daft (I always wanted to use that word. I hope I used it the right way) enough to show too much attraction to her. He's also pretty weak, him being a king and all.  The other guy is one of the kidnappers. He's great and I love him!!He protects her and is an all around sweet guy (if you ignore the kidnapping part). I'll admit the fact that I didn't like how quickly Elisa was willing to trust a kidnapper and see his beauty, but I let that go in the whole scheme of the book.

There's some real self discovery going on in this book, and real perseverance. Of course there was some love (this is YA after all) although not really any love triangle and not really any insta-love, but a few qualities that you could force into believing they exist. I loved it because it seemed kind of real. More like "I think I like you, so maybe I should see if I really do despite the fact that I have this husband who I don't really love, but could possibly learn to love eventually."

This is a good book that lives up to the hype. I would definitely read the next one in the series. I give it 4.5 stars.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Book: Unwind (Unwind Trilogy #1)
By: Neal Shusterman
Published: November 6, 2007
Published By: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Description: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My Thoughts: Unwind was a dystopian that I absolutely loved. It was creative and thought provoking and just all around great!!!

Unwind is told from multiple POV's, but the main characters are Connor, Risa, and Lev. All of their circumstances differ severely but through an interesting sequence of events, they join together (or so it seems) The idea in this book is that the Pro Choice and Pro Life groups began to fight with each other in a war. As a result, abortions are no longer legal. Instead, once the child reaches the age of 13 the parent has 5 years to decide whether or not they want to have them "unwound" a process by which your body is basically separated and used as parts and transplants for other people. In theory, you are never actually killed, you just exist in other forms.

Connor is a kid who messes up a lot. He doesn't do well in school and generally gives his parents a tough time. After he finds out of his parents plans to have him unwound, he sets of a crazy chain of events that cause him to meet our other main characters. Keep in mind that NOTHING in this book is arbitrary. It all happens for a reason and builds and builds and builds until there's nothing left for it to do but explode all over the place.

Risa is a ward of the state. She has been living in a state home, and is a pretty decent individual. She gets fairly good grades, plays classical piano, does well taking care of kids, but isn't spectacular in any real way. It's for this reason that she is sent to be unwound. After all, the state homes can't keep EVERY ward of the state can they? They'd be over run eventually, and for that reason, they only keep the remarkable ones.

Lev is a tithe. Apparently, since the bible says you need to tithe 10% of everything you own, which in some people's eyes include 10% of your kids. Since Lev is the 10th kid of his family, he is nominated to be tithed before he is even born. He grows up thinking it's an honor and its wonderful and all that. He is planned to be unwound following his 13th birthday.

These three characters collide by Connor's actions and soon the book "unwinds" (pun intended) into a stream of issues and stories and generally brain scratching ideals that will have you believing this could actually happen. Neal Shusterman leaves no topic untouched. What happens to the mothers who don't want their kids or have them through rape, etc? They are "storked" (left on peoples doorsteps for others to legally own or dropped at the state homes. Even the idea of people who get the unwound parts and whether or not the spirit of the original owner still resides in those parts is touched.

Untouched is a wild ride of a book that you know is going to be horrible and scary and dangerous and frightening, but you just have to stay on to see how it will all end. It's freaking AMAZING!!!! I would recommend it to any and everyone who loves dystopians.

I don't have very many issues with the book. It seemed super long with a lot of different parts, and sometimes I found myself hoping I could just get to the conclusion and find out what happens, but as I stated earlier, all parts are necessary, so read them all. I give this book 5 LARGE stars.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Book: The Faerie Ring (Faerie Ring #1)
By: Kiki Hamilton
Published: September 27, 2011
Published By: Tor Teen/ Macmillan

Description: Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

My Thoughts: I have been eyeing the Faerie Ring for quite some time. After hearing all of the many reviews on it, I was worried that once I read it, it may not live up to the hype.

We follow Tiki, a recently turned orphan with a strange tattoo who lives with a family of fellow orphans in London. In order to survive they tend to pickpocket and steal, and are really quite good at it. After nearly being caught pickpocketing a drunk and ruthless man, Tiki sneaks aboard a carriage and after uncharacteristically falling asleep, she finds herself at a party. Entering the kitchen reveals platters and platters of food, which, of course, she steals some of. She nearly gets caught. It's then that she runs through the halls of the building and ends up in the library crouching below a table. One thing leads to another and soon, Tiki is slipping out of what we learn is Buckingham Palace with a ring.

We soon learn that this is no ordinary ring, it holds and binds the treaty between our world and the otherworld, and without it, destruction begins to befall our world, and danger begins to stalk Tiki. She has to make some very tough decisions if she ever plans to come out on top.

This was a good book. As I stated before, the hype over it made me expect a lot out of this book and I was a bit let down. My heart wasn't pounding and my fingers weren't glued to the pages. It was a great storyline though and I really liked it, I just didn't love it as much as I thought I would.

The ending wasn't a cliffhanger despite the fact that there will be more books and for that I was thankful. It ended with a nice bow and some sprinkles to make you feel quite hopeful. I would have hoped for a few more answers, but I suppose that's why there is another book coming soon.

In terms of the main guy, Reiker,  I didn't "swoon" over him. He was nice I guess, but he was a bit of a stalker. I did love the supporting male, Prince Leo. I'm not 100% sure why though. He just had something that Reiker didn't.

All in all, this was a good book. I will most likely read the next book in the series. My rating is 3.5 stars.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

RRT: Imagining an Imagination

Remember when you were little, and you could picture any and everything. A flying squirrel? No problem! A castle made out of candy? Easy Peasy! An Entire audience full of non-identical people who would scream your name as you amazingly belt out the words to your favorite tune? Done!

My imagination used to be wild. I was an only child for 9 years so I learned early how to keep myself busy. I could come up with immaculate stories and design everything in my head down to the smallest detail. I would have whole deep conversations with my Barbies as I took them through the house. Remember the boy from the movie Toy Story? He had those movie style play sessions with his toys. I remember a few of my friends saying how they could never remember a time when they played that hard with their toys. Well I do remember! I was exactly like him. I never bothered my parents, (actually they often had to check on me to make sure I was awake because I was so nonexistent) and could sit by myself for hours on end playing and doing things with my imagination.

Remember Barney. "With Imagination and the Barney bag, we'll see what we can make today. Yeah! We'll see what we can make today" That was me! I could imagine Barney in my room, a full size dinosaur playing and making arts and crafts. I didn't have any imaginary friends that I took around with me or anything, I knew they weren't real and I didn't make them anything else. But I still imagined they were there when I was alone.

I notice now though, that my imagination is starting to deflate. I was listening to the Leviathan audiobook (the review will probably be posted in a few weeks) and the author came up with excessive amounts of machines and animals and other stuff. I found myself completely lost. Without the pictures accompanying the actual hard copy book, I found I could not picture any of those items. I mean, obviously the author knew it would be a bit difficult to imagine some of the stuff since he decided to include the pictures in the first place, but still. I should have at least been able to picture something. But no. My mind, when the text referenced these animals and machines, put in their place a silhouette...much like the one you get on facebook before you upload a profile picture (question mark included) except they were machine silhouettes or animal silhouettes.  Its quite frustrating.

Granted, I know my imagination is still there. I can still imagine the way full conversations will go n my head, or have full on imaginative day dreams. I can still dive fully and completely into a book to the point that I can imagine I'm in there too, but sometimes I just cant picture some of the stuff. It's almost like trying to remember a dream after I've woken up. Some of it's there, but I cant imagine the way it all fits together, or remember the little details. I'm worrying I may be losing my imagination. Is such a thing even possible?

Maybe grown ups aren't allowed to have imaginations like kids, or maybe I'm overreacting, Regardless, I want my imagination back, but how? Do you just slowly but surely build it back up the way you do muscles that have disappeared or do you just tally the loss and hold on tight to what you have left.

I need tips folks. Tell me you feel the same way at times. Tell me I'm an idiot who's over thinking this. Tell me something!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bout of Books Wrap-Up Post

I suppose I am a day late with this wrap up post but so what!! Anywho, I actually successfully participated in this read-a-thon. I suppose it helped that I was on my second and last vacation of the summer so I had nothing better to do but sit and read but so what. I read more than 1 book and I am supremely proud of myself.

During this Read-a-thon, I read a total of 3 1/4 books (with a grand total of 1002 pages) and 1 audiobook (4 hours and 30 minutes listening time). They are listed below:

The Faerie Ring - Kiki Hamilton 
Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson
Blood Red Road (1/4 of book read) - Moira Young
Unwind (audiobook) - Neal Shusterman
I loved each and every one of these books for different reasons. You'll have to wait until the reviews come out to see why. I'll link up in this post as the reviews become available. Most will be posted to goodreads prior to the time they are posted on here.

I'm pretty sure (like 77% sure) that I'll participate in the next read-a-thon. It all depends on whether or not I've started classes, and all that though.

Talk to you soon!!

Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Book: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)
By: Libba Bray
Published: December 9, 2003
Published By: Simon and Schuster

Description: A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

My Thoughts: I'm not normally one to like to read historical gothic type fiction (Is that how to describe this book? I'm horrible at figuring out genres) but since I like these kind of movies, I figured I may has well give it a shot. A Great and Terrible Beauty helped bring me a bit closer to these kind of books since it had many of the elements I tend to like in books like magic and faeries and all that. Plus, it touches on a few issues we still have yet to overcome in today's society, like the role of women and the power they should or should not posses.

We start the book with Gemma and her Mother in the marketplace in India. Gemma, a 16 year old birthday girl who wants to be thought of as an adult is quite inappropriately attempting to plea her case of why she should be sent to England to school. Of course, her whiny attitude and excessive rude statements aren't helping her mother feel any better about the idea. Soon, after realizing she isn't getting anywhere and realizing that her mother has a pressing matter to attend for the evening before her party, Gemma  storms off, rudely exclaiming that she doesn't care if her mother never ever comes home. Of course, you better watch out what you wish for. Gemma ends up lost in India, and sees a man she recognizes, sexy Kartik before she is clumsily swept up in a vision where she sees her mother's death. Desperate to ensure her mother is okay, she rushes off to find her and finds out that her mother is in fact dead. Gemma then gets what she wants, she is sent to school in England.

Spence Academy is the school where women go to learn how to become ladies and find husbands. Of course, during this time, a woman is nothing if she's not married, and quiet, and a nobody who stands behind her man like a good wife should. She should be seen and not heard. (ugh! I hate this, but it was the way it was). Gemma has all the normal woman classes, french, music, art, etc and is doing her best to fit in, but since she is the new girl who came to the school extremely late, she gets stuck rooming with an orphan scholarship student on the lower ends of the Status rank and on the outside of the Power clique. Gemma, being the kind of person she is, doesn't let any of this affect her. She's brusque and isn't afraid to speak her mind (I love it!!). After finding out some dirt on the head of the power clique, Felicity, she bribes her and her roommate Ann's admittance into the inner circle.

Meanwhile, Gemma is having more visions, and Kartik, who's turning into sexy creepy stalker guy (who Gemma of course starts to fall for), tells her to stop having them. (As if? Seriously, who doesn't know that visions can't be stopped. They force themselves upon you, not the other way around.) Of course, this only makes rebellious Gemma try to have them more. One thing leads to another, and Gemma realizes she holds important magical powers that allow her to travel into the Realms (A special place where dreams come from and anything you want can be made real.). Even more, she can bring the magic back with her. She learns though, that she shouldn't bring it back because she must be sure she can control it. She later brings her whole inner circle with her.

They love the Realms and want to come back night after night. This, of course, is where everything goes downhill. I won't tell you exactly what happens. Just know that friendships are tested, lies are uncovered, dark forces rise, and not everyone may come out alive. It's definitely a gothic mystery where you want to figure out what's going on, as if your own name were Gemma Doyle and your own life were on the line.

I am definitely happy I picked up this book and started reading. It was quite interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Despite my happy feelings, there were a few things I didn't like about the book. First, Gemma was panicy. She tended to panic under pressure. As a woman who seems to flourish under pressure, I just couldn't connect. Also, Gemma was a bit gullible at times. I feel like she honestly asked to be teased or to get in trouble because she made stupid decisions, although she did have a knack for getting out of those situations (which is of course a good quality if you're a person who constantly gets into trouble). Finally, there were often times when Gemma didn't seem to use her brain. You know how when you're watching a scary movie, and the killer is obvious because things just aren't quite right with them? You find yourself just sitting back waiting until everyone else figures out what you've known for a while now? Or perhaps when you're watching a movie and you know at the end that that friend is going to be the one thing to ruin everything but the main character is just too trusting to even notice the signs? That's exactly how I felt as I neared the end of the book. It made me annoyed and I wanted to shake Gemma and scream at her to stop being so stupid and pay attention. Of course, she didn't, and all hell broke loose. Shame. Then again, if I was a heroine, the book would probably be THE MOST paranoid stricken book on the planet, with no climax because I would somehow avoid it, and I would have no friends.

I liked this book despite my hangups. I'm not sure if I'll read the next books in the series, but it was exciting nonetheless. In terms of a rating, I give it 3.5 stars.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Carrier of The Mark by Leigh Fallon

Book: Carrier of The Mark
By: Leigh Fallon
Published: October 4, 2011
Published By: HarperTeen

Description: Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

My Thoughts: Carrier of the Mark was one of those books that you can't help but love. I have no idea why I left it on my shelf for so long. (Other than the fact that it was buried under a bunch of other books that I have yet to even get to...)

Carrier of the Mark follows Megan after her  Mother's death. She and her father have been moving around quite a lot and decide to settle in Ireland, where everything for the two of them just clicks. Her father has the perfect job, and meets a new woman, and Megan finally makes friends and meets Adam.

Adam is one of those guys. You know what I mean, the guy who's totally gorgeous but never ever talks to any girl  and spends his time doing swoonworthy things like taking care of his family and sailing and teaching sailing classes. All the women love him despite the fact that he barely even glances at them and he and is family are totally weird and seem to be witchy voodoo masters. Yep he's definitely one of those.

Of course, in true new girl fashion, Megan shows up at school and Adam stares at her and they have this attraction and the whole 9 yards.  Of course all her friends tell her not to waste her time and of course she does anyway. Of course, she gets the guy, what happens after that is not so normal though....

We find out that no only does Adam's family have special powers, but that Megan is tied into those powers in way's she doesn't even understand, if only she will embrace it. We also find out, that if Megan does embrace it, it may mean disaster for not only them but for the whole world.

I wont tell you exactly what happens but lets just say I loved this book. Some of it reminded me a lot of a watered down version of Telesa without all the lovely culture that helped make it so amazing. It didn't go as deep as I would have hoped, but I still liked it a lot. What I didn't really like was the whole insta-love thing. It was like they met and all of a sudden they were in love. it felt too soon for me and I didn't like that really much. Nonetheless I was thoroughly entertained and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Shadow of the Mark to see what happens. I give it 4 stars.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Book: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011
Published by: Little, Brown and Company

Description: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts: The last of my beach reads, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was Great!!! How could I live so long thinking this book would be stupid. I was so wrong!!! I don't even know how to review it correctly. This review will probably be stupid and inadequate but here goes...

We follow Karou, who is mysterious to say the least. She has blue hair and tattoos all over and  speaks a ridiculous amount of languages, and follows the orders of demon (or so he seems, he and his "employees" are also her family). She runs errands for him to get teeth. (Yea, teeth). Soon strange things start happening. Black hand prints show up on the doorways to get to her demon family all across the globe, and later, her tie to them is severed. Only Akiva, knows why, and Akiva and Karou are enemies, or are they? Who is Karou really, and why on earth does she have those tattoos on her palms?

This book was awesome. It spoke of passionate soul deep love that encompasses everything. It makes you believe everything is possible and hope for everything. It was almost Romeo and Juliet, but obviously different. I loved every second of it and NEED the next book to come out. I don't want to ruin the awesomeness of this book for you, so I wont give any other details. My only advice is to do yourself a favor, stop staring at this book and deciding to think about reading it, and pick it up and actually read it. You wont be angry that you did. It's just that great. 5 Large Stars.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 Goal Post UPDATES INCLUDED

Hello Everyone. I decided, since I'm not taking classes for the summer to go ahead and participate in a read-a-thon. This particular one couldn't have come at a better time because I'm off work for the week so I have ample time to read and just relax!!!! I'm so excited to start the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon!!!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team

For this event, I have quite a few things planned:

First, I hate setting time limits for things, so I think it would be best if I say I'll read as much or as little as I want every day. That may be anything from 5 hours to 15 minutes, but I do want to commit to read every day.

The titles I want to focus on are:

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernen

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
The Dex-Files by Karina Halle (eBook)
Crossed by Ally Condie
All You Desire by Kirsten Miller
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Thanks for the recommendation Lan (The Write Obsession))

Obviously I may not get completely through all of these, but I want to get as much done as possible.

I'm hoping I get through all of them. It'll definitely help me to bring my TBR pile down a bit. It's been getting a bit excessive.

If all goes well, I hope to give at least 2 updates during the weeks to let you all know how I'm doing. Unfortunately, I'm horrible at actually doing what I've planned to do so lets just hope it works this time.

**********Daily Updates Posted Below**********
Number of books I read today: 2
Number of Pages I read today: 285
Books: The Faerie Ring and Magic Bites

Number of books I read today: 1
Number of Pages I read today: 20
Books: Magic Bites

Number of books I read today: 2
Number of Pages I read today: 257
Books: Magic Bites
Girl of Fire and Thorns

Number of books I read today: 1
Number of Pages I read today: 309
Books: Girl of Fire and Thorns

Number of books I read today: 2
Number of Pages I read today: 121
Books: Girl of Fire and Thorns
Blood Red Road

Number of books I read today: 1 audiobook 1 book
Number of Pages I read today: 1hr 30 minutes listening time; 10 pages read
Books: Unwind
Blood Red Road

Number of books I read today: 1 audiobook
Number of Pages I read today: 3 hours listening time
Books: Unwind

Talk to you soon!!!

Review: Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer

Book: Zombies Don't Cry (A Living Dead Love Story)
By: Rusty Fischer
Published: May 1, 2011
Published By: Medallion Press

Description: Maddy Swift is just a normal girl—a high school junior surviving class with her best friend and hoping the yummy new kid, Stamp, will ask her out. When he finally does, her whole life changes.

Sneaking out to meet Stamp at a party one rainy night, Maddy is struck by lightning. After awakening, she feels lucky to be alive. Over time, however, Maddy realizes that she’s become the thing she and everyone else fear most: the living dead.

With no heartbeat and no breath in her lungs, Maddy must learn how to survive as a zombie. Turns out there’s a lot more to it than shuffling around 24/7 growling, “Brains.” Needing an afterlife makeover is only the beginning of her problems. As Barracuda Bay High faces zombie Armageddon, Maddy must summon all of her strength to protect what matters most—just as soon as she figures out exactly what that is.

My Thoughts: The second of my books for my vacation, Zombies Don't cry was a pretty light fun poolside book. Thanks to the Bookish Brunette and one of its bloggers, Carrie Harris, I've grown a bit interested in Zombie Books and the campy stories as well. Zombies don't cry was definitely campy. Not too serious and not too gory. It's just sort of Take it as it is and don't give it too much pressure to make a bunch of sense.

We begin with Maddy, a normal girl with normal issues which of course includes boy issues. Unfortunately, many of her classmates have recently died but whatever, they've all been accidents right? Any who, she meets a guy, Stamp who I guess is an okay guy and she wants to impress him. He invites her to a party and that's where the tides turn. She gets hit by lightning, and then "dies, and undies" (A statement I like to use now that I have been reading many of the House of Night novels). That's when everything starts to really turn rotten (pun intended).

She's dead, but living, and looks pretty dead. There are the good guys, and the bad guys and rules and things she has to do, people she has to meet, all the while figuring out if the supermarket even sells brains because she wants them so badly.

The worst thing about dying and then coming back is that you lose all your friends for some reason. (Lets just say, she needed to lose those friends. I hated the best friend with a passion.) You gain new, uncool ones, and lose your boyfriend and pretty much everything else you hold near. Beyond that, being a good Zombie means the bad ones want to ruin you, and they will use everyone and anyone to do it.

Like I said before, this book is kind of take it like it is. It's not serious and kind of unbelievable, but it's fun and a great book to break up the tension between reading other soul shattering books. I would recommend it to zombie lovers who want something campy. 3 Stars.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

RRT: I cant help it if books are more Interesting than you!

Hello everyone. I hope you've enjoyed all of my reviews for the past few weeks. I've moved out of my parents house and thus have less distraction from my beloved reading, except perhaps my dog who likes to force his way into my arms, or my boyfriend who likes to have my undivided attention when we hang out.

Speaking of my boyfriend, the other day (which was really like quite a few months years eve...I'm only thinking about it now again), he called me a loser (which is a term we volley back and forth to each other for deeds the other feels are "less than exciting" or "uncool") because I thought it was a good idea to catch up on my reading before a party he had at his place. Let me just note that the only people who were there were me, him, his roommate, and one of his frat brothers, the usual people who occupy his apartment. Apparently, I should be spending this time "having fun" instead of doing boring reading stuff. Granted, the guests would have been arriving in about 30 minutes, but what's wrong with doing a little reading before the party. Especially when I know my main task is to ensure people don't underage drink, or, legally drink entirely too much. And definitely no drinking and driving!!! I am also to ensure the violence stays away (since of course when drinks are involved, violence has a way of sneaking in through people's nostrils), no one accidentally on purpose cheats on their girl/boyfriend while they're on the other side of the room. I am pretty much the "mother" of the party. For some reason, I can focus a lot easier on calming people down when they're frantic, or can slip into the mother role easily. It's a somewhat stressful job I must admit, but I tend to succeed, which is why it seems to always be my job. You can see now though why I would prefer to read for a little bit and relax myself before all the excessive excitement right?

If you know me, you know I don't really do the whole party scene. I'm perfectly content with sitting home in my apartment, reading a book, having 1 nice glass of wine, and watching a few movies on TV. I like to play with my dogs, have little gatherings where people don't get wild and crazy but we play a game or two and maybe some cards. Most of all though, I like to read.

As many of you know, I went to the Dominican Republic 2 weeks ago (and I have a lovely tan to go along with it). In my suitcase were 7 books, of which I read 4. My boyfriend would see me and ask, "did you finish another book, and just shake his head, because I should probably be enjoying the vacation and he doesn't see that I am. I can read anytime (except while in a car...motion sickness). Night time (I don't fall asleep if its a good book), daytime, while on the beach, while in the pool, during a movie, at work, in the middle of a party, during the Superbowl, at church (my mom won't let me though). It doesn't matter how much noise is going on, or even if someones talking about me. I can focus on my book anywhere.

Books take me places I've never been, and help me experience things I'll never experience. They help me be a better, more exciting person. They make me feel good, and feel sad. They make me laugh, and make me cry. People just don't seem to understand why I can read a book when they're in the room. Non-book-readers see books as boring things that you only read when you have too. They don't see the things they make me feel. They don't understand why I would prefer to read a few more pages than get up and go downstairs to see that new movie, or to answer that question you asked but I didn't hear you because I was caught up. They just don't understand, so for those non-book-readers, who don't understand, I'll just say this:
I can help it if books are more interesting than you!!!
Sound Harsh? Maybe it is, but compare it to guy's (or girls) when they're watching the (US) football  game. "Hold on honey, just let me see this last 2 minutes" (we all know the 2 minute warning means there's at least 20 more minutes left in the game by the way. Done try to sneak it by us guys...) In that instant, the game is more interesting than we are. Or to that person who wants a little more time out with his/her friends. Or to the movie watcher who wants to just watch it until the end of this scene. In that instant, nothing is more important than seeing what happens.

Books are my friends, the characters help me ease my sadness and get over big tough things sometimes. Some books feel like movies and you just have to see what happens at the end of this chapter. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's boring. Besides, in a sticky situation, and used properly, books (hardcover's mostly, but maybe even some soft covers) can be used as a weapon when in danger.Oh and just because you don't like it doesn't mean you can't listen when we rant on and on about how wonderful this book is and "Oh my gosh I cant believe she did that!" I know I've feigned interest when you talked about how number such and such did something or other while the defense had him completely covered and still made the touchdown, so you should at least feign interest in my stuff too. (and make it believable)How about when that best friend is going on and on about that guy and you really don't want to hear it but you're a good friend so you listen and offer support anyway. They should do the same when we talk about our books, because honestly,
In a choice between you and my books, my books will always win!!!!

What do you think? Anything to add? What about any non-book-readers? Do you have anything to offer in your defense? Maybe I'm an imaginative, over excessive, book reading freak? Let me know! I'd love your input. For now, I'll leave you with this quote...
“She remembered one of her boyfriends asking, offhandedly, how many books she read in a year. "A few hundred," she said.

"How do you have the time?" he asked, gobsmacked.
She narrowed her eyes and considered the array of potential answers in front of her. Because I don't spend hours flipping through cable complaining there's nothing on? Because my entire Sunday is not eaten up with pre-game, in-game, and post-game talking heads? Because I do not spend every night drinking overpriced beer and engaging in dick-swinging contests with the other financirati? Because when I am waiting in line, at the gym, on the train, eating lunch, I am not complaining about the wait/staring into space/admiring myself in reflective surfaces? I am reading!
"I don't know," she said, shrugging.” Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters
See Ya Later Lovelies!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Book: Everneath (Everneath #1)
By: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

Description: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s...

My Thoughts: Everneath was a wonderful view into the Persephone myth. It portrayed love and life and heartbreak in a very intriguing manner.

We begin the book following Nikki Beckett's century long stay  in the Everneath feeding her emotions to an Everliving named Cole. Due to her overwhelming ability to survive the Feed,  she is invited to remain in the Everneath with Cole as his queen, but due to the love she has for her boyfriend Jack (the man who initially caused the despair that made her head to the Everneath to begin with), she refuses Cole choosing to instead return to the mortal world. That choice, however, comes with a price. She can only return for 6 months, and at the conclusion of the 6 months, must return to the Everneath, and be placed in the Tunnels--a place where she will be fed off of for the rest of her life.

As you can imagine, a century long stay should mean all her friends have died, but time moves differently in the Everneath so she's only been missing for a short time. Nonetheless, she is changed, aged, and has lost many emotions. She doesn't quite fit in anymore and all her classmates seem to believe she has been gone off and hooked on drugs. She seems to be fighting a losing battle, a factor only reaffirmed when she finds out that Cole has followed her and is doing everything in his power to bring her back before she can find love again, and before she can be lost to the Tunnels for good.

I enjoyed this book. I like seeing the growth in Nikki, although she annoys me at times. It all makes sense though. Jack is the sweetest guy imaginable, but I cant tell you too much about him or It may be spoilery. Just know that I love him!!! Cole is a tortured man who I want to love, but can't. He just need to learn right from wrong in my opinion and grow up. I do love his bad boy image though. (Bad Boys are always my weakness. Shame.)

This book explains the true power of love and how it can anchor you in all times of turmoil. I would suggest it to hopeless romantics, those who love stories about myth and ancient lore, and those who love stories that describe the afterlife. 4 Stars

Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
By: Michelle Hodkin
Published: September 27, 2011
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Description: Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

My Thoughts: I went on a Trip to the Dominican Republic Last week and brought many books with me. (Immigration definitely annoyed me on my return home trip when they pulled all of my books out of my suitcase to check between the pages for anything illegal. Bending a few covers and pages in the process. *tear* I mean come on. Is it that strange to bring books on vacation. Geez! Annnd, can you be a little more delicate with the books. Anyone who brings 7 books on a week long vacation obviously has an obsession. Respect it!) This is the first of my beach side reads and might I say, how could I have ignored this book for so long. I feel like a fool. It was great and scary and weird and all around wonderful.

In the beginning we meet Mara, a teenager who has no idea what happened to her and why she is in the hospital. She soon learns that her friends are dead....and the reason behind it is one that haunts her to her very core. Due to the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Mara is a She hallucinates and cant quite focus, endangering her life over and over again. Hocking's writing brings you inside the book and makes you feel exactly what Mara feels. You won't know what's going on or how. For some reason, this book brought back memories of the recent movie Black Swan where you weren't quite sure what was real and what wasn't and everything seemed out to get her but still wasn't. I felt so bad for her, but also confused, and even a little psycho myself. What happened, why, and why do weird things keep happening when she's alone.

We soon learn that Mara is very special. She has gifts (or curses, depending on how you look at it) which cause her most dangerous thoughts to miraculously play out. We're not quite sure how or why, but it's certainly interesting. Soon, we meet Noah, an equally interesting guy with a few secrets of his own. Secrets that may just help Mara, or get him killed. Regardless, a bond grows that makes my heart ache and hope build in my chest for Mara and Noah to work. You'll just have to read to find out what happens. Beware, the ending leaves you at a cliff, and makes you feel a little sad, and confused. That's all the hint you get.

I would recommend this book to people who like reading about books with people with sixth senses, mental disabilities, and people who are generally misunderstood. It's a wonderful book that will make you really feel and understand. 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: Chosen by P.C and Kristin Cast

Book: Chosen (House of Night #3)
By: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Publication Date: March 24, 2008

Description: Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn.  Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies.  And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends.  So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before.  Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity.  Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster.  Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey’s horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres.  But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…

My Thoughts: This is a short review because of course this is a super long series. I'm not sure If I'll even continue to write them. I'm kind of liking the series. It's okay. I mean I get annoyed more and more at the "teen talk," and Zoey's decisions, and the way she seems to know exactly what to do at every second of every day. I also get annoyed when I constantly hear the same things over and over again. I mean, they seem to "remind you" of things you know already like multiple times in one book. Like, seriously, my mind's not that slow. I can remember basic things. Nonetheless, I like the stories and will continue to read the series (even if I dont review every book.) 3.5 stars.