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Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (3) - Secret Santa Edition!





In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
 
From my Broke & Bookish Secret Santa:
 
 
 The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
a box of chai tea (yay tea!)
some cool colored pencils

Thank you Secret Santa, whoever you are!! :)
 
Bought: 


Possess by Gretchen McNeil
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (kindle)
Destined by Jessie Harrell (kindle)
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien (kindle)

For Review:
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Thank you Netgalley & HarperCollins!)

What did you find in your mailbox this week? Let me know! :)
 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

LEGEND
by Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenle
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 305 pages
Source: Received for Review at ALA

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 
I started Legend with no expectations and end up being BLOWN AWAY. Seriously y'all, I haven't loved a dystopian this much since The Hunger Games
Characters:  The story is told from the dual perspective of our main characters, Day and June. Day is a "criminal" who is wreaking havoc on the Republic while trying to protect his family and his sick little brother. June, on the other hand, received a perfect score on her Trial exam (which determines one's fate in life) and is already in her final year of military college at the young age of 15. The Republic has grand plans to utilize June's intelligence in the military. While Day and June are both incredibly intelligent teens, they are from vastly different backgrounds. I liked Day right away Sure he's a criminal, but the boy has a good heart. It took me a while to warm up to June though. She has lived a life of privilege and has been sheltered from what is really going in in the Republic, and it shows! She thinks people from Day's community are dirty homeless people who just need to get up and work. Luckily, this changes as the book goes. By the last page, June has transitioned into a fierce girl who will do whatever it takes to make things right in the Republic, even if it eventually leads to her downfall. Plus, June's love for her brother, Metias, was touching.

Plot: The action was nonstop and the chapters are relatively short. June's brother, Metias, is killed early on in the book, and the story fires off from there. Day, being the Republic's #1 most wanted criminal, is the top suspect in the murder trial. June, sick with grief and seeking revenge, takes on the mission of finding him. Once she does, things get interesting. I don't want to ruin any surprises for anyone, so I'll leave it at that. Trust me though, you want to find out what happens next! 
World Building: The world described in Legend was intriguing. We have the Republic, which used to be the Western U.S. They are fighting against the Colonies. We really don't find out very much about the Colonies in this book, but I hope we do in the next book because I am dying to know what's up with that whole situation! As for the Republic, it is divided into different city type areas. Some cities are better off than others, and some cities experience more bouts of the plague than others (like the area Day is from). One thing I found interesting was the Trial, which all children have to take at the age of 10. This trial is a Big Deal, as it determines whether you will go to college or if you even score high enough to attend a school at all. Those who score very low on their Trials are required to work menial jobs, and a fate even worse than that awaits those children who fail their trials all together. While these details about the Republic were interesting, I wanted MORE! Maybe that's just because I'm a detail oriented person. Overall though, I did feel that I got a good image of the Republic and how the nation runs. I would LOVE to have a map though, because many different locations were mentioned. 

Final Thoughts
Again I will say, Legend blew me away. Who doesn't love a book filled with action, suspense, mystery, a crazy dystopian government, and a hint of sexual tension? I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series, and I urge all of you to go out and get your own copy of Legend as soon as possible! 

5 / 5 Stars

Gift Card Giveaway Hop

 
 
Welcome to the Gift Card Giveaway Hop! This hop is being hosted by I am a Reader, Not A Writer & Attack of the Book.
The hop will run from December 9th - December 13th

Welcome to the Gift Card Giveaway Hop! I've just finished finals and am feeling pretty joyful, so I am offering ONE winner a $10 giftcard to Amazon, B&N, Starbucks, Itunes, OR for my international readers, a book from the book depository!

TO ENTER, Leave me a comment with
- Name
- Email address
- what's on your holiday wishlist this year. I'm curious :)

If you choose to follow me, that's awesome (I love making new bookish friends!),  but it is  NOT required! This is about sharing a love of books (and giftcards) with all of you :)

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, school being out, etc, I hope yours is AWESOME!

To enter more giveaways on the hop, check out either of the host blogs for the linky! 
 
ALSO: 
The winners of the Gratitude hop are commenters #54 Sylvia & #96 Mariann. You both have been emailed. Please respond within 48 hours, or I will have to pick a new winner!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the girls at The Broke and the Bookish. I'm super excited about this week's TTT. There are SO many books on my winter wishlist, and starting next week I will have a whole MONTH off from school and work to lounge around and read them. You guys don't even know how excited I am to be done with this semester. Grad school = rough. Anyway, on with the list...

Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Winter

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - A new John Green book? Umm, YES!!! I've already preordered a signed copy. Win.

2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - I've been interested in reincarnation for a long time + I've heard great things

3. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder - This one sounds like a great contemp.

4. Everneath by Brodi Ashton - A dark supernatural with a mythological twist. I've been approved for Everneath on netgalley. Can't wait to dig in!

5. Fever by Lauren Destefano - I read Wither earlier this year and thought it was gorgeous. While there wasn't as much action as I'd have liked, I'm still desperate to read Fever asap.

6. Tempest by Julie Cross - Time travel! College aged kids! Action! Romance! I'm participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge ARC tour for Tempest, so be on the lookout for a review in the next month!

7. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood - It's been compared to A Great and Terrible Beauty. That's all I need to know. Want.

8. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons - Awesome new dystopian alert!

9. Truth by Julia Karr - I really enjoyed reading XVI earlier this year. I'm ready to find out where the story will go next!

10. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen - Another cute contemp! It's been compared to Anna and the French Kiss. We'll see.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June
by Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlquin Teen
Release Date: November 22, 2011

Format: Paperback, 336 pages

Source: Received for Review through Netgalley

"If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again
    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 
 
Saving June hit me hard. It made me think. It made my cry. This book is about so many things: death, hope, love, friendship, MUSIC, learning to trust. While reading Saving June, I lost a member of my family in a similar way that Harper lost June. It was gutwerenching and tragic, and you're probably thinking that I'd never want to pick up this book again. The opposite actually happened though. I liked and related to Harper, the main character of the book, from the very beginning. She appears cold and distant to outsiders, yet she is really insecure and unsure of how to express her emotions. After losing my own family member last week, I was able to relate to Harper on such a deeper level. I understood the breathtaking pain she was going through, the questions of "why did this happen? How could this happen?", the anger and the sadness. Being able to relate to Harper on such a deep level really helped to amplify the power of this book for me. Even without the personal connection I felt, the book is amazing. While the book is tinged with sadness, it also offers many moments of humor and hope. Because I have little faith in my ability to write a coherent review of this wonderful book, I present you with the top 18 things I adored about Saving June.

Top 18 Things I Adored about Saving June

1. Harper was a three dimensional character. She's someone that I could imagine meeting and being friends with in real life.

2. Harper's best friend, Laney. This girl has some self-esteem problems and needs a great big hug, but I loved that she was always there for Harper, and her sense of humor made me smile.

3. Jake. He came off as an asshat at the beginning of the book, but I loved him more and more as I read. He has a dry sense of humor, knows way more about music than most people will ever know, and he showed great tenderness towards Harper and Laney at the end of the novel. He's not one of those love interests who fades into the background. He has a voice of his own.

4. The fact that it made me cry. A book has to be powerful to manage that. 
 
5. Saving June helped my remember why I love music so much.  
 
6. Along those same lines, after reading this book I have a new understanding of Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. After reading that particular passage in the book, I immediately downloaded the song from Itunes and listened to it twice in a row.

7. The roadtrip aspect. Who doesn't love a road trip?
 
8. Reading about Harper pushing and showing her way through a true mosh pit. I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to do that, but Harper held her own. 
 
9. The snarky, flirtatious banter between Harper and Jake. By the end, I was thinking "OMG. PLEASE just get together already!"

10. a mountain of refrigerators. That is all.

11. Harper's tenderness towards Laney was touching, especially since Harper is not a touchy feely person

12. Saving June is FUNNY. Yes, it is about suicide. Yes, it deals with grielf. The story goes way beyond that though.

13. I loved that Harper was able to capture people's emotions through spontaneous photography. (Although if she did it to me, we'd probably have issues)

14. The author captured a true sense of what grief really is

15. Best. Makout Scene. Ever.

16. Jake's van is named Joplin

17. Saving June made me happy to be alive.

18. The author included playlists at the end of the book. I will download these as soon as possible.

Do you see why I love Saving June so much? I do think the story would have been even better if some of Harper's polaroid pictures were included, as was done in Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. That's just personal preference though. Overall, Saving June was an amazing read. This book touched me in so many ways. It helped me cope with my own loss, it renewed my love of music, and it gave me a character that I was truly able to connect with. I am definitely going to purchase a finished copy of Saving June. It deserves a spot on my shelf. I hope you will give it a spot on yours as well
 
I'll leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the advance reader copy.  

"June is gone. For the first time, the enormity of that hits me. Every muscle aches, my heart most of all. I am throbbing with how much I miss her. It hurts worse than anything. I don't know how I'm supposed to be expected to live day by day carrying this kind of pain. I don't know how I'm supposed to go out there, spread her ashes and let her go."

"It hurts, but it's supposed to, because that's what it means to be alive. And that's comforting, actually. The realization that I'm not some robot devoid of emotions. That I still have the ability to feel things this brutally, this immediate and sharp."
 
5/5 Stars

Friday, November 18, 2011

Re-Readathon!


I don't know about y'all, but I love re-reading my favorite books...yet never feel like I have the time to spare. Lucky, Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner came to the rescue. She's hosting an informal re-readathon this weekend, and I've been looking forward to it for weeks now. I really don't have a set goal for number of books or pages read. I just want to relax and relive my childhood and teen favorites.

My Unrealistically Long List of Re-Reads

Looking for Alaska - John Green
The Giver - Lois Lowry
Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Louis Sachar
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour -Morgan Matson
Alice in Lace - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (I've been reading this series for over 10 years now!) 
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins 
A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray 
The Nanny Diaries - Emma McLaughlin
I know that I probably won't even make it through half of these books, but I'm going to give it my best shot! I'll be updating this post periodically throughout the weekend, so if you're interested in my progress feel free to check back.

Progress

Friday - I read Sideways Stories from Wayside school in one sitting
Saturday -
Sunday -
Have a great weekend :)

2012 Debut Author Challenge!


I've just signed up for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Since I've only been blogging for a short while, this will be my first long term reading challenge. I am SUPER excited people! 

The goal of the challenge is to read at least 12 young adult or middle grade books by first time authors. I'm hoping to exceed that number by a good bit. I plan to read at least 25 books by debut authors.

I've read SO MANY amazing debuts this year, including Divergent, Other Words for Love, XVI, Saving June, Wither, and Forgotten. I'm looking forward to continuing the trend next year!

2012 Debuts I'm Impatiently Waiting For
Incarnate - Jodi Meadows
The Selection - Kiera Cass
Level Two - Lenore Appelhans
Everneath - Brodi Ashton
Tempest - Julie Cross
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

If you'd like to find out more about the Debut Author Challenge, click HERE

I *Finally* wrote an "About Me" Post


Hi :)

Welcome to my blog! I am a 22 year old girl who is completely obsessed with YA literature. I started this blog in June 2011, in an attempt to bring attention to awesome books and make friends who share the same love of reading that I do. I've only been at this for a few months, but so far I'm having a blast!

When I'm not reading, I'm busy working my butt off in graduate school. I will be graduating in May 2013 with a Master of Science in Speech Pathology. I. CANT. WAIT. I have always wanted to help people and have a challenging profession, so speech path was the perfect choice for me. I am either hoping to work with people who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TMI) or with children who have impairments related to language and literacy. I've already spent time doing literacy intervention with clients, and I LOVE it. There is nothing like seeing a reluctant reader find a book that he or she is actually EXCITED and WILLING to read! 

When I'm not reading OR working, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and the rest of my family. I have a squirrel obsessed rat terrier named Katie and an unrealistic desire to have a pet velociraptor.

I'm always looking for more people to interact with in the blogging community, so feel free to leave a comment or look for me on twitter!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gratitude Giveaway Hop! Win $10 giftcard!

Welcome to the Gratitude Giveaway Hop! This hop is being hosted by I am a Reader, Not A Writer & All Consuming Books.
The hop will run from November 17th - November 27th

After losing a family member yesterday, I am more grateful than ever that I have books to whisk me away to another time and place. I am also grateful for my blog and everyone who reads it. I LOVE interacting with all of you! Because of this, I am offering 2 winners a choice of $10 giftcard from any bookstore OR a book of $10 value or less from the book depository. 

TO ENTER, Leave me a comment with your:
- Name
- Email address
- Title of the book you are most grateful for

If you choose to follow me, that's awesome (I love making new bookish friends!),  but it is  NOT required! This is about sharing a love of books and sharing my gratitude with all of you :)

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope yours is awesome! For everyone else, thank you for stopping by!

To enter more giveaways on the hop, check out either of the host blogs for the linky!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eve by Anna Carey

Eve
by Anna Carey
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: October 4, 2011

Format: Paperback, 333 pages

Source: Received for Review through Netgalley

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life
    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 
 
Initial Thoughts: I've read so many dystopian novels this year that I've lost track. Even after being bombarded with them throughout the year, I was still excited to read Eve. I hoped to immerse myself in a new fleshed out dystopian world. Sadly, that didn't happen for me.

Our Main Character, Eve: I'm sorry, but I just could not relate to Eve AT ALL. I understand that she led a very sheltered life and was lied to day in and day out, but she still just came off as a very weak and naive character. It would have been okay if she had grown as a person throughout the story, but she really didn't. She constantly relied on others to get her out of scrapes and didn't think about the consequences of her actions. People were hurt because of this girl! 

The Romance: While I enjoyed Eve's love interest, Caleb, on his own as a character, I didn't buy their relationship at all. At the beginning of the novel Eve is terrified of men and thinks they o absolutely no good in the world. Yet almost immediately after meeting Caleb, all of her preconceived notions have changed. I just didn't buy it. This was a case of "insta love" at it's best. Caleb needs to be given a hug though. He was a great guy who really cared for his makeshift family and helped Eve get out of trouble time and time again.

The Plot: The plot made no sense to me. I know why Eve was being chased, but the REASON for it just wasn't compelling. The novel felt like one long chase scene. I'm hoping that I'll understand Ms. Carey's reasoning in the next installment. I really can't go into more detail without spoiling, but if you've read Eve and want to discuss this, let me know!

World Building: The kingdom of New America was intriguing. In New America, a lucky few live a good life, but it comes at the cost of work performed by orphaned slaves. The few children, like Eve, who aren't forced into slavery right away are sent to boarding schools to await equally awful fates. Other than these few tidbits of information, the world building was thin. I wanted to know MORE. Who is this king we hear of? How did the situation really get this bad? What happens to the children who DO still have parents alive? I asked myself these questions and many more.

Final Thoughts: While Eve definitely isn't my favorite dystopian novel, I'm still interested in finding out what happens in the next installment. Will Eve grow a spine? Will I finally get more information on New America? WHY OH WHY do they want to capture Eve so very badly? I guess I shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, don't let my lackluster review of Eve deter you from checking out this book! If you are a fan of fast paced dystopians and epic chases, give Eve a shot! I'd be interested in hearing  your thoughts.

  2.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish
This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

  1. Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling) - Yes, I know this is blasphemous. When I was younger I refused, absolutely refused, to read Harry Potter. For one, my mom' lame boyfriend gave me the first book, which was a strike against it right off the bat. And two, I didn't think I could possibly enjoy a book about a boy wizard. Oh how wrong I was. Harry,  I'm sorry for doubting you. I was oh so wrong.
2. The Scarlett Letter - I was forced to read this when I was in high school, and I hated it. As Anne Shirley would say, The Scarlett Letter and I will never be kindred spirits.

3. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)- I thought The Hunger Games was a "boy book". The book had been out for a year before I finally read it. I kicked myself for holding off on that one.

4. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) - I read this one before I even reached my teens. Sci Fi is really not my thing, but Ender's Game fascinated me for some reason. Plus, it's a classic.
 
5. Jurrasic Park (Michael Crichton) - I read this one for Accelerated Reader points when I was in high school and ended up LOVING it. I know velociraptors are evil and whatnot, but I still want one.

6. Flowers in the Attic (V.C. Andrews) - Rape? Murder? Incest? All in one book? Gee, I wonder why this one was out of my comfort zone. I read this when I was a teen and couldn't put it down. Oh V.C. Andrews, what a twisted mind you have.

7. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb) - This one is a very emotional book in the adult genre. At times, it was disturbing to read. I thought it was great though.

8. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell) - This length of this book was extremely daunting, but I do love Scarlett O'hara.



I can't think of any others that were truly outside my comfort zone, so I'll leave it at 8. Which books made you go "umm, I don't know about this."? Let me know!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #2


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Bought
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (LOVED IT)
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson (Very curious about this prequel to Anne of Green Gables)
Incredibly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by  Louis Sachar (It's a classic!) 

Kindle

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday (Read in less than a day. Review can be found HERE

Review

 Wintertown by Stephen Emond (Received from Book Chic)

What did you discover in your mailbox this week? Let me know :)

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday


Deadly Cool
by Gemma Halliday
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: October 11, 2011

Format: Paperback, 320 pages

Source: Purchased on kindle

Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim
 
    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 

I don't know about you guys, but I loved watching Veronica Mars back in the day. (I sound like I'm 50). Anyway, Hartley is totally Veronica mars 2.0. She's sarcastic, funny, and isn't afraid to kick ass and take care of business when need be. She is, essentially, my favorite type of character.

The story begins with Hartley finding out that her boyfriend, Josh, cheated on her with the president of the chastity club. Cliche? Yes, but the author laid out the scene with such humor that I didn't even care. Even though her ex is a scumbag, Hartley knows in her heart  that he isn't the killer, and she isn't cold enough to let him take the fall.

Thus starts our adventure. Hartley teams up with her best friend (Sam) and resident goth bad boy (Chase) to figure out who the true murderer is. I loved Sam and her struggle throughout the book to stop "cursing like a sailor", as she called it. She was almost as snarky as Hartley and always had her back when questioning witnesses,dealing with the police, and trash talking Josh in the name of post breakup therapy. Unlike some YA books, it really felt like Hartley and Sam were true BFFs. I won't say much about Chase, since he's supposed to be a mystery, but he was definitely an interesting character who made me laugh (and swoon) a few times.

Now you might be thinking, "This is a murder mystery, so it'll be all serious and creepy, right?" No, it really wasn't. The story has a campy / humorous vibe with a few creepy moments thrown in. 

I know some people figured out who the murderer was before the book actually ended, but I didn't. I was happily surprised and creeped out when I realized whodunit. If you're looking for a fast paced murder mystery with a humorous twist, give this one a shot! Once I started reading Hartley's story, I couldn't put it down. The second book in the series, Social Suicide, will be out in April 2012. I can't wait to read about more of Hartley's escapades. 


  4 out of 5 Stars 

Have you read Deadly Cool? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Books I Had Strong Emotions Over

     


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's top is Top Ten Books I Had Strong Emotions Over

Books that made me laugh until I was breathless:



Books whose beauty made me gasp/cry/insert strong emotion her
Books that made me feel happy and warm

           

Monday, October 31, 2011

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 4, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 438 pages

Source: Purchased on kindle

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever
 
    - Summary from Goodreads 



My Thoughts *SPOILERS* FOR THE FIRST 2 BOOKS

Guys, I have been looking forward to reading Silence, the third installment in the Hush, Hush series for such a long time. SUCH a long time! Crescendo ended with a hell of a cliff hanger, and I couldn't wait to see which direction the story would go. Sadly, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Silence started off like a firecracker. Right off the bat, we find out what happened to Nora at the end of Crescendo and get the viewpoint of the villain, which I loved. Nora wakes up alone in confused in the local cemetery. She has no idea that she has been abducted, and can't remember anything that's happened in the past five months. She has to rely on others to tell her what happened to her, and of course, information gained from these folks is unreliable at best and a treacherous lie at worst.

After the bang of a beginning, Silence really stalled for me. While I emphasized for Nora and her inability to remember what happened to her and who Patch is, she really started to annoy the hell out of me. It seemed to take her so very long to piece together what happened, and while trying to figure it all out she kept making one dumb dangerous decision after the next. It was just frustrating for me.

Patch, on the other hand really stepped it up in this book. He stopped acting like such a cold jerk and really went above in beyond to help Nora and show her how much her cares for her. Believe me when I tell you, there is plenty of swoonage in Silence. While it was a bit over the top cheesy for me, I know most fans of the series will LOVE it. 

Vee was present off and on throughout the story, but she really did not play as big of a role as she did in the first two books. I missed her snarky wit. Here's hoping that she'll play a bigger part in the final installment.

The end of the novel finally picked up speed again. Bella eventually figures out what the hell is going on, and the action escalated from there. Of course, the book ended in a large cliff hanger. We have to be kept on our toes for the final book :)

Overall, this book was a letdown for me. Nora drove me insane, the plot felt muddled, and I missed the lighthearted moments with Vee. That being said, you better believe I'll pick up the final installment as soon as its available. I have to find out how all of this ends. I just have to.

3 out of 5 Stars 



* SO SORRY for changing my rating system all the time. I'm still trying to find one that feels natural!*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wonderfully Wicked Readathon


Hey guys! I know it's been a while since I've written a review. I'm still trying to learn how to manage going to graduate school + working + running this blog at the same time. Howeeever, I'm declaring this a HOMEWORK FREE weekend, so that I can participate in the 
Wonderfully Wicked Readathon
  being hosted by the ladies at Kindle Fever and My Shelf Confessions
If you'd like to participate, there is still plenty of time. Just stop by one of their blogs to sign up. There will be fun challenges and plenty of chances to win prize packs! 

During this 3 day readathon, I'm hoping to read as many pages as possible from:
 I'll be updating my progress on this blog, as well as on twitter. Please join us in this readathon if you have time!!!



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Banned Books Giveaway WINNER!!



The winner of my Banned Books Week giveaway is...
20. Courtney Renee
She was chosen to win a $10 giftcard to the bookstore of her choice by www.random.org.
Courtney, you have 48 hours to reply to my email :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop September 24 - October 1


Hey guys. I am very excited to be participating in the Banned Books Week Hop, running from September 24th through October 1st. The hop is hosted by I Read Banned Books and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Some info on Banned books Week from the ALA:
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

My giveaway:
I am offering ONE winner a $10 giftcard to the bookstore of his or her choice (book depository, B&N, books a million, amazon, etc) to buy a banned or challenged book.

Need some ideas of awesome banned or challenged books? Here are some of my favorites:
  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • Gone with the wind - Margaret Mitchell
  • Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
  • Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler
  • Matilda - Ronald Dahl
  • Crank - Ellen Hopkin

To Enter:
Leave a comment with 
- your name
- email address
- name of your favorite creepy or scary book

If you choose to follow me, that's awesome (I love making new bookish friends!),  but it is  NOT required! This is about sharing information about banned books! 

Now, hop on over to the other blogs participating.







Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spooktober Reads

SPOOKTOBER READS!

I don't know about y'all, but there are a TON of creepy / paranormal / downright scary books that I've been wanting to read, SO I've decided to make October "Spooktober Reads Month" on my blog. I'm going to post my reading list here for you to check out, and you can expect to see reviews throughout the month of October. Feel free to make your own lists if you're in the Halloween mood! Now, what I'm dying to read next month....

 1. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
(I've been waiting on this one all year!)
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

2. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
(This one sounds delightfully creepy...plus I've heard great things!)
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
(This has been on my shelf for a few months, and I've heard AMAZING things;  time to sit down and read it!)
Around the world, black handprints 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 grown 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?

4. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
(Edgar Allan Poe!!! Need I say more?)
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when s5he is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.

5. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce 
( I love retellings of fairy tales! )
SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.
Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.
Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.
Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
(I'm reading this one a second time, because 1. It's NEIL GAIMAN and 2. This is the best children's book I've EVER read, EVER.) 
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages

 
7. Beautiful Chaos ( Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
(This is another one that I've been waiting on for a year now)
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.


8. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
(this middle grade book looks cute)

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable
Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.


9. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
(This one might end up being just another angel book, but it looks interesting and is set in Colorado!)
On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.


10. Every You, Every Me by David Levithan 
(A book about a stalker that also includes color photos? Count me in.)
In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.
 
 
11. Don't Breathe A Word by Jennifer McMahon
(Just an FYI, this book is not YA! I've heard it's SERIOUSLY creepy, so I'm excited to start it!)
On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.


12. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon 
(I've never read a book set in Ireland before, so this sounds great)

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 DeRĂ­s.
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.


13. Carrie by Stephen King 
( My boyfriend said I had to put a Stephen King book on the list, so here it is.)
The story of misfit high-school girl, Carrie White, who gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Repressed by a domineering, ultra-religious mother and tormented by her peers at school, her efforts to fit in lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom.


If there are any other books you think I should add to the list, just let me know!
 
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