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Saturday, July 31, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of August 1st!

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi aka
The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!


Bought:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I really think I'm the only one who hasn't read it. I need to find out who this Peeta person is...)

Won:

This IMM post took forever! I tried to do a vlog but for some reason it will never load when I attempt it. *sigh*

Oh well.

What did you guys get this week?

Unbroken Connection!

As most of you know I love Angela Morrison. Sing Me To Sleep, and Taken By Storm are two books that just stayed with me almost obsessively and I think about them all the time. If you haven't read those two you really need to.

Well, to my utter joy I got an e-mail today announcing Taken By Storm's sequel, Unbroken Connection, will be coming out next month!

Bring out the streamers and balloons!! This is super exciting for me and I can't wait to read it when it is released on Amazon for Kindle and later from Smashwords in paperback.

Here is the cover and the synopsis for Unbroken Connection. It's been a long time coming and I'm so excited it's almost here!!




Against all odds, the couple that swept you away in TAKEN BY STORM is back.
Michael is in Thailand diving his dream.
Leesie is at BYU living hers.
And they just can't leave each other alone.
Their romance rekindles, deeper than before.
They grow desperate to see one another again.
To hold one another again.
Michael decides there is only one direction their relationship can go and asks Leesie the ultimate question.
Her answer challenges everything Michael is and wants to be.
Can she change for him?
Can he change for her?


Angela's son designed this cover and I give him mad props. I think it's utterly gorgeous and it matches Taken By Storm's paperback perfectly.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Siren
by Tricia Rayburn



Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.


Rating: A+

Source: Author.
Review:

Siren essentially has everything you could want in a story. It has a mystery, a romance, a gothic vibe, a tragdey, the paranormal, an intriguing locale. Honestly, I could get lost in the world of Siren and never come out of it.

I got pulled into Vanessa's story, her feelings and emotions drew me in and wouldn't let me go. I was turning the pages frantically wanting to know what was going to happen and just how it was going to end.

From the very first chapter we're shown how important Vanessa and Justine's relationship is. It's haunting to read about, those first few chapters where we have so many questions and so little answers. All we have is Vanessa's raw emotion to pull us into the story and you're hooked from there.

I was dying to know what was going on in Winter Harbor.

The string of random deaths and constant storms added a sense of urgency to the novel while creating that haunting aspect that literally had me unable to put my book down. Winter Harbor seemed like the perfect small town where something like that would occur.

I loved Simon and Vanessa's relationship and the gradual transition they had from friend to something more. It was sweet and Simon was such an amazing character. He was protective without being overly so, and he was genuinely a good guy. I loved that about him.

It was amazing to watch Vanessa's growth from the first page to the last. She goes a long way from the scared insecure girl she started out as and I loved watching her growth process.

There's just so many things I could say about this book! I loved it and I can't wait for the sequel.

I have so many questions that need answering, plus I'm already missing Simon and Vanessa.

Next summer could not come soon enough...

-Christina

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!



The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!


This Week's Question:

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

My Answer:

This is actually quite tough for me to answer. My favorite new authors would probably be Kimberly Derting and Kody Keplinger because their debuts were awesome! New to me though ... that's a bit more difficult. Probably Tricia Rayburn because I loved Siren and I hadn't read her Maggie series, or Maggie Stievfater because we all love Shiver right? Plus, I read Shiver late as in just a couple months ago.

I feel like I went all around that question, but I hope I answered it some at least! :)

If you're here from the hop welcome to my blog, and be sure to leave your link so I can check out your site.

-Christina

:)

Follow My Book Blog Friday Host is Parajunkee.com!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!


Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish. Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?


*I just love how original this story sounds! It's a completely different take on vampires.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Glimmerglass
by Jenna Black

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie. Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .


Rating: A
Source: From Publisher

Review:
I was tentative to read this one because I don't have a very good history with Fairy books. I have tried and tried to read them but I have never found any that I could get into or like, but this one surprised me because I did really, really like it!

I can finally join in with the rest of you on this fairy thing because I'm so excited for this series!!

The book started out a little fast for me but once I got into the story I was completely hooked and I couldn't put it down. I appreciated Dana for making the mistakes she made, yes some were a bit extreme and maybe she didn't think things completely through but to me that felt real because of her home life and background. She was looking for an escape and sometimes that means not thinking things through completely.

I'm sensing a love triangle coming in later books and though in this one I liked Ethan I can completely see Keane being a true rival for both mine and Dana's affections. He has that distant brooding bad boy jerk exterior which is always fun in a love triangle.

I really loved how this world was set up as a kind of Vatican type city right outside of London. It seemed to be right off of reality, and wasn't a secret which I thought was great. So often we see these paranormal worlds undercover and I loved seeing one that wasn't hidden from everyone.

The Faeriewalker idea I found intriguing, and the way it was presented was great. We get pieces to why it's such a big deal throughout the book so by the end I understood at least some of what Dana may be able to do and I can't wait to see what she does with it.

All in all I really loved this book as it had everything I wanted including magic and attractive boys.

Also, I'm semi in love with this cover, it has the perfect magical feel for the story and the smoke is a great touch. It's one of my favorite covers this year for sure.

I can't wait for book number 2!

-Christina

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade
by Andrea Cremer

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all


Rating: B
Source: We Love YA ARC tours

Review:

I liked this book but I didn't absolutely adore it which I think is due in part because it is the first in a series and I wasn't in the paranormal mood while reading it.

I really loved the idea of Calla being the Alpha and of a forbidden love and a love triangle but it took me a while to get into the story and maybe it was because I hadn't read a paranormal in a while but I could just never fall into the story like I was hoping I could.

Calla is supposed to marry Ren but yet is falling in love with Shay and I had a bit of a problem understanding why. I really liked Ren, he had character, personality and even though he could be a jerk at times I believed he genuinely cared for Calla where as Shay I just didn't like. I couldn't for the life of me understand why Shay was more appealing than Ren and I'm sure many will disagree with me on this point but Shay just seemed kind of boring, too nice even.

I didn't really understand the world until about halfway through, like I had no idea who the Keepers were or why they were special or why Seekers were bad and I wish this had been explained more with the history closer to the beginning of the book.

I didn't see the twist at the end and that was interesting, the entire final chapter left me with tons of questions for the next in the series.

I really liked Andrea Cremer's writing style though throughout the book, and the inside chapter designs of the moon's phases made me freak out when I noticed them.

I'll probably read this book again when it comes out in October but I'll definitely read the next in the series as I really did like Nightshade, I just don't think I was in the proper state of mind to be fully engulfed in the story.

I really did enjoy the book and felt the story was great. I loved all of the side characters and it had enough witty banter and action to keep me reading. I liked Calla because she was a strong female which I never get tired of, though I will never understand her taste in men. :)


If we're picking teams here, sign me up for Team Ren!

-Christina

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Mailbox - July 25th

In My Mailbox!
In My Mailbox is as always hosted by Kristi The Story Siren!


This week I did several happy dances in my driveway. My mailman laughed at me quite a bit. haha

From Contests:

I got the huge stack from Nicole at Word For Teens and the Tell Me a Secret preview from Holly Cupala (it's signed!!)

I got these right before I left for Florida on Thursday so it was perfect timing but I'm back home now so back to normal posting. :D

I already had Siren (expect my review Tuesday) so perhaps a giveaway is to come? Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing a contest!

For Review:


I've already read The Duff and it's awesome, I'll have that review up sometime in August probably the first week.

What did you get this week?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!


This Week's Question:

Tell us about the book you are currently reading?


I just today started Glimmerglass by Jenna Black today and so far I really like it. I normally don't enjoy Faerie books so I'm excited to find one I like. I'm about half way through and with any luck will have my review up Saturday.
:)

Princess For Hire by: Lindsey Leavitt

Princess For Hire
by: Lindsey Leavitt



When a flawlessly dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and wants to know, like, now if you’d like to become a substitute princess, do you

a) run
b) faint
c) say Yes!

For Desi Bascomb, who’s been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C–that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?

Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don’t know? Or when a princess’s conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off–and you know she would want you to change his mind?

In this hilarious, winning debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.


Rating: B+
Review:

I knew I would like this book. The summary sounded cute and fun, plus it involved princesses and if we're being entirely truthful I have yet to give up on the hope that I may just be one secretly. You know - minus the bad attitude and fashion sense.

I didn't expect though to love this book and devour it! It was so much fun to read and I completely adored it.

The book takes you behind the scenes into some situations that involve royalty, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but the main character Desi strives to help the girls she is stationed to be by doing things they may not be courageous enough to go through with themselves. She wants to help them despite what the consequences may be which is really my favorite part of the novel.

Desi reminds me of me at the age of fourteen. I was completely obsessed with Audrey Hepburn (she's still my favorite actress) and old movies were the only things to be found in my DVD player. This aspect of her really, really triggered some memories I had forgotten and every movie reference within the book had me dying with happy laughter and nods of agreement.

I found the idea to be original. I have read many books about princesses and becoming princesses but the idea of an agency that pays you to pretend to be a princess for a few days is awesome and makes me really wish I had some MP in me so I could join in.

Rest assured I will be scanning my Newspaper for adds from now on.

This book is on the line between Middle Grade and YA, but Desi was mature in her actions and I really, really enjoyed reading about her.

I loved Desi's world and her hilarious fiasco's. I can't wait to visit the Facade Agency world again!


-Christina

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Forget You by: Jennifer Echols

Forget You
by: Jennifer Echols

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Rating: A+
Source: from the author for review

Review:

The first book I read by Jennifer Echols was Going Too Far, and I didn't think it was possible to like a book as much as I did that one, but I was proven wrong. I love Jennifer Echols and she is definitely one of my favorite authors. Few writers can inflict such emotions in me while I'm reading, but Forget You did that perfectly and took me along for the ride.

Jennifer's writing picks you up from where you are and places you in the story. From the very first page you become a part of the setting she's describing to you and of that world. You can not convince me to this day that Zoey and Doug are not out there somewhere, it felt real to me and few authors make me feel that way.

While I was reading Forget You I had it with me everywhere and I could not put it down. Granted, I always have a book with me but I don't normally refuse to let it leave my hands.

Doug was amazing and I'm adding him to my list of literary crushes. There was nothing I didn't love about him, even his flaws were okay with me and every single interaction between Zoey and him had me swooning (yes, swooning.)

I really liked Zoey as well as I felt I could relate to her. I understood why she made the decisions she did and they all made sense to me. She was suffering and really she and Doug needed each other more than any characters I can remember.

I just adored this book. Everything about it from the characters, the dialogue, the setting, just everything had me completely enthralled in the story. I didn't want it to end. I can see myself rereading this book many times in the years to come.

If you haven't read Jennifer Echols yet you're missing out. Go read it now!

-Christina

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!


This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.


*I can't wait for this one! It looks so amazing, and the cover is gorgeous.

So, what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Which I Win an Award!



"A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. After accepting this award, recipients are asked to pass it forward to seven other deserving blogs."

Thank you Savannah from Books With Bite for the award!
Now for the seven active bloggers...

hmmm...

So, I just realized that I have two Christina's on this list... and my name is Christina but I promise I do not show favoritism, and I just happened to really love their blogs. :D

I chose each of these bloggers because they post often and never seem to run out of awesome content.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Linger by: Maggie Stiefvater

Linger
By: Maggie Stiefvater


In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past...and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves...and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love--the light and the dark, the warm and the cold--in a way you will never forget

Rating: A+

Source: Received from the publisher for review.

Review:

Oh my WOW! I loved Linger and I'm having a hard time expressing in words how much I loved it. I'm amazed and in awe at Maggie's writing, and completely blown away by the emotions that still rage inside of me when I think about this story.

This book starts out shortly after where Shiver leaves us and I had no problem at all reacquainting myself with the characters. Sometimes in series I find it hard to reconnect to the characters I know and love, but Maggie's writing was so beautiful and completely gorgeous that I instantly reconnected and it was like the first one had never ended.

Not all is right in Mercy Falls. This story is told in four points of view and each one of their stories leave me with such high emotions it's unbelievable. Sam, Grace, Cole, and Isabel's points of view all involve such struggle and growth! It's beautiful to read Maggie's words and it's amazing the emotional ties I felt while reading. Cole is a new character and he is far from perfect. One thing I love about each one of Maggie's character's is that none of them are without some type of battle to overcome inside themselves, and Cole is no exception to this. He's messed up on the inside and outside with no idea about what to do about it. His story was one I instantly became fascinated with and can't wait to revisit in the next book.


I loved the new voices in this book, hearing from Cole and Isabel gave us two new completely different stories and two new struggles to become acquainted with. Yes, it's still primarily Sam and Grace's book but it goes so much deeper than that now. Two more people's feelings and emotions become known to us which only allows us to understand everything better. We see Sam not only through Grace's eyes but through Cole's too, we learn about how Isabel feels on the inside and why she puts up such a harsh front all of the time. We get to know them in a way we didn't before.

The only thing I didn't like was the cliffhanger ending, but that is because it left me wanting more.

In the end it was an emotional ride, but Linger was more than worth it.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to any of you it would be to read Shiver and Linger very, very soon.

-Christina

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of July 18th

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!


This week I got two amazing things!

I got:

  • Willow by: Julia Hoban (for 3.97!)
  • A book plate from Michelle Zink the author of The Prophecy of the Sisters and the upcoming Guardian of the Gate!


I haven't read Willow yet, but I've heard so many good things about it I had to get it, and the hardbacks just happened to be on sale. :)


What did you get this week?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

YA is Everywhere!

Today while walking around downtown I found something that made me literally jump for joy (in reality I did a dorky skip jump point thing.)

I found a sticker on a random pipe, and here is a picture of it and explanation of my excitement.

Woot YA!

I've been wanting to read The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney and just seeing this random sticker downtown for everyone to see put my excitement over the top!

I live in a town that views YA as a children's thing and seeing this sticker fills me with joy! I want those around me to hear about these books and love them and embrace them like I do, and seeing this just reaffirmed how much I love this genre! I can't wait to read The Mockingbirds and walk around downtown some more looking for secret stickers. :)

Here is some more about The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.


Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

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

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


I'm going to go search for more YA stickers now. :)
-Christina

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thief Eyes by: Janni Lee Simner

Thief Eyes

By: Janni Lee Simner

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Janni Lee Simner brings the fierce romance and violent passions of Iceland's medieval sagas into this twenty-first-century novel, with spellbinding results.

Rating: B+

Review:

I really enjoyed this book! It had everything I wanted, fantasy, adventure, romance, and an amazing location. This book has made me want to go to Iceland.

I loved how the story was based on legends and possible fact. I love when books have that type of basis because it makes things seem more plausible and more real.

I can't say I absolutely loved Haley, I'm not entirely sure why but I think it was just because I would have chosen things differently than she did but I still really enjoyed the story. Ari was my favorite character, I loved his Star Wars references and his genuine poetry writing self. He was just the type of person who I would like to befriend and have with me if I were in Haley's shoes.

The entire plotline revolves around Iceland's myths and legends which made the book completely fascinating. It blends together today's world and adds in 1000 year old magic which was very interesting to read about, but I can't say anymore for fear of ruining the plot.

The locations and setting felt real and I wish I had been there to witness the things that took place there all those years ago. I have added Iceland to my places to see because of this book.

If you enjoy a good fantasy or are fascinated by myths and legends this book is for you.

-Christina

Book Blogger Hop!



The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This weeks question: At this moment what book are you dying to get your hands on?( past, present, or future?)

This question is very difficult for me to answer because there are just so many! So, instead of trying to think of just one here's a short list:
  • Duff by: Kody Keplinger
  • Angelfire by: Courtney Allison Moulton
  • Last Sacrifice by: Richelle Mead (!!!)
  • Aces Up by: Lauren Barnholdt
  • The Eternal Ones by: Kristen Miller
  • Shadow Hills by: Anastasia Hopcus

I'm just really bad at narrowing things down but I'm so excited for all of these! It's more of a need than a want really but I can't wait to read them all!


What are you wanting to read?



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Author Interviews: Janni Lee Simner Edition

Today I have with me Janni Lee Simner the author of Bones of Faerie and Thief Eyes (which I loved and you can expect the review tomorrow!)

Hi, Christina, and thanks for having me here!

What gave you the idea for Thief Eyes? Why did you choose the setting?

Thief Eyes began back in 2002, during my first trip to Iceland. I was only dimly aware of the Icelandic family sagas--stories about Iceland's first settlers--then, but we had a copy of Njal's Saga on our bookshelves, so I started reading it, mostly out of a sense of obligation--it seemed like something I should read before visiting Iceland. By the end of the first page, though, should had given way to want. I was surprised at how comfortable reading Njal's Saga felt, as if I'd been here before. In a sense I had: I'm a lifelong fantasy reader, and Tolkien was among those influenced by Iceland's sagas and eddas. One of the things that pullled me in, in the very first chapter, was meeting Hallgerd, a woman whose uncle declares--while she's still a child--that she has "the eyes of a thief." Hallgerd goes on to play a role in the deaths of her three husbands, and she's still remembered for having refused her third husband, Gunnar, two locks of her hair so he could restring his bow in battle. I was partway through Njal's Saga when we left for Iceland, and I had Hallgerd's thief's eyes very much in mind. Then, during the second half of the trip, I found myself at Thingvellir, the site of Iceland's original parliament. Thingvellir is a pretty amazing place--it's located in a rift valley where the North American and European tectonic plates meet, and you can see the cracks in the earth beneath your feet where the land is pulling apart. Thingvellir is also one of the most-visited sites in the sagas--countless battles and confrontations take place there, and Hallgerd meets Gunnar there, too. (I should mention here that the characters in the sagas are mostly real, though no one is sure how much of their stories are fact, and how much a sort of historical fiction.) So I was walking through Thingvellir, my battered half-read copy of Njal's Saga in my backpack, when I realized that the characters I was reading about had walked the same ground I was now walking. They'd walked it more than a thousand years ago, but suddenly that didn't seem so long ago--at Thingvellir, the past felt near enough to touch. And then I heard a voice in my head whisper, low and full of rage, "I will not allow it." Later--when I was safely back home--there would be time for wondering where that voice came from and whether it was real. Just then, I did what any writer would do upon hearing a voice in her head--I sat down, and I wrote down the words I heard. I kept writing, only dimly aware of the tour groups wandering around me, until I had the opening of Thief Eyes--in which Hallgerd, unhappy with the first marriage her father has arranged for her, casts a spell to change places with one of her descendants, in hopes of escaping a life she doesn't want. I took that opening home from Iceland with me, and I kept thinking about it. Five years later I returned to Iceland to research the rest of the story--and to work out what happens when Haley, one of Hallgerd's descendants, gets caught in Hallgerd's spell while visiting Iceland to search for her missing mother.

What is your writing process like?

Messy! I tend to go through at least five drafts to get to a finished novel. In the first draft, I often tell the entirely wrong story, almost as if I need to get that wrong story out of the way so that I can get to the right one. Once I have words, no matter how awful they are, down on the page, I can begin shaping those words into the right story. The right story doesn't tend to really emerge until the third draft for me, and it doesn't become readable until the fourth or fifth draft. Some writers find the thought of so much rewriting terrifying, but I find it freeing. By giving myself permission to write badly, I also give myself permission to immerse myself in and enjoy the whole writing process. Stories don't have to start off perfect. Perfect is something to work towards (and never entirely reach). It isn't a starting place. Every writer's process is different, though. I think it's worth it for new writers to try everything--from strict outlining to messy fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writing to see what works best for them.

Favorite Music?

I listen to a little of everything, but tend toward folk/pop/rock. Current favorites include Vienna Teng, Richard Shindell, and Lucy Kaplansky. Teng and Kaplansky were both part of the Thief Eyes playlist I listened to while working on the book.

Movies?

Much like Ari, the boy Haley meets once in Iceland, I love the original three Star Wars movies. (Unlike Ari, I try to pretend the more recent three movies never happened. :-))

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I can't remember ever not writing--even before I knew how to write on paper I was holding conversations with an elaborate collection of imaginary friends. By high school I was filling notebooks with the openings of stories, as well as writing fanfic with friends. It wasn't until I got out of college that I spent what remained of my student loan money on my first computer (computers were way more expensive back then) and started working on finishing some of those openings and submitting them--on seeing whether I could actually write professionally, and sell the stories I wrote so that others could read them.

How long did it take you to write Thief Eyes?

Once I took the opening I'd written at Thingvellir and started working on the rest of the book, about a year and a half. (In between, my editor's revision letter for Bones of Faerie, my first YA novel, arrived, so I took some time off to work on that.)

What is your favorite book?

I remain deeply in love with Madeleine L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet , The Arm of the Starfish, and A Wrinkle in Time, all of which have been comfort reading for me for decades now. More recently I've enjoyed Kristin Cashore's Fire, A.E. Stallings' poetry collection Archaic Smile, and Caitlin Brennan's House of the Star. (House of the Star is due out in November, and it made my inner 11-year-old horse girl happy beyond words.) And of course Njal's Saga--I've reread Njal's Saga several times since my first trip to Iceland, and I love it more each time. (Though the Victorian translation available online is pretty slow going, and I would have hated the saga had I started with it--I recommend finding one of the more recent print editions instead.)

If you could have any guest over for dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?

After spending so much time writing about her, I think it'd be fascinating to have Hallgerd over for dinner--but only if I was promised she'd be safelly escorted back to her own time afterwards, because if we didn't get along--well, I think Hallgerd would be a very dangerous enemy. After writing Thief Eyes, I find I respect her, but I doubt she'd be comfortable to be around.

What would you consider to be the hardest thing about writing?

Whatever part I''m struggling with right now. :-) The beginning of a book, when it feels like there's no story--no there--there yet can be one of the most daunting stages. The easiest? I think it varies book to book. There are always moments of grace where things seem to just work, and I love those. I also love the moments when I realize that unknowingly I've already set up the thing that needs to happen next, even though I had no idea it needed to happen until just then.

What was one of your most embarrassing moments?

Well, there was that time in eighth grade when I wore the skirt I'd made in home ec class to a school event--though I didn't realize I'd done anything to be embarrassed of until the next day. Many of my embarrassing moments are like that.Which of your characters do you feel is most like you? I think all of them--protagonists and antagonists alike--have some small piece of me in them, but that none of them is entirely me.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Be stubborn, keep writing, keep revising--don't give up and don't be afraid to write in whatever way works best for you, no matter what seems to work for other writers. Also, don't forget, amid all the hard work (and it definitely is work), to have fun with your writing, too.


*I actually finished this post and the review back in May, but when setting up posts I didn't do this one well and forgot to hit post and instead hit save as *fist palms forehead.* I'm just glad I found it yesterday! So sorry guys that this one was delayed, but I really loved Thief Eyes so check back in for my slight fan girly review tomorrow!*

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.

When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.

Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?

This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.


*I love Lauren Barnholdt! Plus this idea just sounds super original. I can't wait to read it!



So, what are you waiting on?

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up


I didn't do as well as I had hoped Lovelies...

I only finished three books, but a book a day isn't horrible right?

I finished
  • Nightshade by Andrea Creamer
  • Siren by Tricia Rayburn
  • Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
I'll have these reviews up soon.
During the Read-a-Thon I participated in the following mini challenges:

Here is my paragraph for the Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick's challenge:

(1)The first time I saw him, a heavy, gray fog clung to the cornfields, trails of mist slithering between the dying stalks. (2) Strangers never walk down this road, the sisters thought as the man trudged toward them. (3) Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her. (4) They snatched the girl off her tire swing in the backyard and dragged her into the woods.

1. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside
2. Sisters Red
4. The Body Finder
5. Shiver

So, that's all. The read-a-thon is over and I just have to say I can't wait till next year!

Read-a-Thon Update #3


This is my last update before my wrap up and I have had so much fun with this read-a-thon! I definitely hope it happens next year!

So far I have read two books:
  • Nightshade by: Andrea Creamer

  • Siren by: Tricia Rayburn

I am more than halfway through with Audrey, Wait! so hopefully I can finish it before the challenge is over.

I will update you soon but today I have participated in the mini challenge over at Book ♥ Soulmates which was alot of fun and oh so original! So go check that out!


How are you guys doing with the challenge?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Read-a-Thon Update #2


Okay so I'm not doing as stellar a job as I had hoped, but I finished Nightshade by Andrea Creamer last night and am halfway through my next book so as of right now I'm planning to finish this book tonight, then wake up early and read two books by midnight tomorrow.


That's my game plan.


Today I participated in the mini challenge at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf and posted the link to my mini review of Nightshade on Goodreads.


That's all for today so far, but I will finish these books... right after The Office goes off.


:)

Read-a-Thon Day 1 Update


As of day one I have read one book and started another. I only did one mini challenge, but today will be better as I'll be home for most of it.


So far I'm really having fun with this read-a-thon though!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Read-a-Thon Challenge #1- My Favorite Couples


The first reading challenge I'm participating in can be found over at The Eager Readers and this challenge is to list my favorite couples and crossover couples.

This is insanely difficult as I love so many different couples, but here are the ones that instantly pop into my head:


  • Anne and Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables (♥ Gil)

  • Valek and Yelena from Poison Study

  • Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever

  • Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter

  • Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy

I've never really thought about crossover couples, but if I had to pick I'd probably say:


  • Katsa and Valek simply because Katsa can kick but and I feel like Valek would find her amusing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon!



I have decided to participate in the read-a-thon hosted by Pure Imagination, Candace's Book Blog and Reading Angel. This is my first read-a-thon so I'm not sure exactly what to expect, but I'm excited because I feel like I'm majorly behind.

This read-a-thon means that I will probably only be posting to update how my reading is going so from Monday - Wednesday I'll still try to post everyday, but there won't be any reviews.

I'm making the list of books I want to read long so I have some choices.

1. Nightshade by: Andrea Creamer
2. Glimmerglass by: Jenna Black
3. Everlasting by: Angie Frazier
4. City of Bones by: Cassandra Clare
5. It's Not Summer Without You by: Jenny Han
6. Audrey, Wait! by: Robin Benway
7. Sea Change by: Aimee Friedman
8. Siren by: Tricia Rayburn (I've read more than half of this, but I had to stop for ARC tours)


I know I won't get through all of these but let me know if there are some I should definitely try out!

Thanks guys and please bear with me for the next three days... expect some scatter brained posting!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In My Mailbox - Week of July 11th

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

This week I got one book from We Love YA ARC Tours.


While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.



What did you get in your mailbox?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Book vs. Movies

Books vs. Movies


Okay, so we all know that books are always better than their movie. It's a common fact among readers that once a movie comes out, chances are we'll be slightly angry, but will still see it because we love the books so much.

I have compiled a list of my favorite books that have been turned into movies, these are the ones I love and think were done exceptionally well.


1. Lord of the Rings - This series amazes me, and the movies do it incredible justice. My father has been a huge Lord of the Rings fan since his childhood and so one of my first memories is actually of my father coming into my room dressed as Gandalf throwing flash paper into the air. It's safe to say that it was a requirement to read Lord of the Rings in my house, and when the movies came out we still adored them. Lord of the Rings was really my first introduction to epic fantasy. I loved fairy tales (I was a little girl, Beauty and the Beast was my life) but Lord of the Rings is different. I to this day can't watch the movies without wishing I was there and the movies really bring J.R.R. Tolkien's world to life.



2. BBC Pride and Prejudice - This movie/mini series and its actors capture the characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice better than I could imagine. Colin Firth is the perfect Darcy and I will declare it on the rooftops if I have to! I didn't hate the Keira Knightley version but this one just has something more. It captures the emotions so perfectly and I swear you can see love in their eyes. It's long, but it is still a perfect sick day watch for me, and it always leaves me gaping at the screen for long periods of time. I ♥ this movie.


3. Anne of Green Gables - It should come as no surprise that I adore Gilbert Blythe (because I do... a lot) and these movies portray the books and characters amazingly. Anne is exactly like I pictured her, completely dramatic and disconnected from reality, and it's just such a sweet story. I could spend hours (and often do) in Anne's world surrounded by Diana, Gil, Anne, and everyone else who comes along. I just love them, and think everyone is entitled to their Anne moments because really, when it comes down to it "the lake of shining waters" will always sound better than "the pond."


4. Harry Potter - Without Harry Potter I wouldn't be a reader. I'll admit to going through a phase shortly after the third movie where Daniel Radcliffe was a constant obsession of mine, but I digress, this is about the movies, not my celeb crushes. I was tenish when the first movie came out and I instantly fell in love. I didn't think that they would be able to get Harry, Ron and Hermione right, but when I saw the movie I thought they were perfect. Yes they leave out things I wish they hadn't (Ron plays Quiditch too guys!) and yes, sometimes that annoys me, but at the end of the day I still think they're bloody brilliant and I loves them.



5. Little Women - I don't really know why I love this book to movie so much, but I know throughout my childhood I watched it, and rewatched it until the tape tour up. I didn't grow up with sisters (or any siblings for that matter) but there was something about this book/movie that appealed to me, probably for that very reason. I read Little Women when I was around ten and though I think Laurie and Jo were perfect for eachother (that still upsets me) I still think the book and movie are fabulous. The cast in the movie was perfect and I still can't watch Christian Bale as Batman or anything else without remembering him as first and foremost, my old friend, Laurie.



These aren't in any real order as I can't really pick between them. I love all of these movies and the books that got them there. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!



The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!


This week's question: Tell us about some of your favorite authors and why they are your favorites!

My Answer: This is is an insanely hard question for me to answer. I would say the first author who I adored was J. K. Rowling and I can say without a doubt that if it wasn't for her and Harry Potter I wouldn't be a reader today.

Some of my other favorites include:
  • Sarah Dessen (because I adore her and she rocks)
  • Maria V. Snyder (because fantasy is my favorite)
  • Sarah Maclean (because Regency never gets old)
  • Richelle Mead (because I ♥ vampires)
  • Jane Austen (because she thought of Mr. Darcy)
  • Margaret Mitchell (because Scarlett + Rhett = Frantic page turning)
  • Jennifer Echols (because she makes me believe the story I'm reading)

There are so many other authors that I love and adore, but these are just a few that come to the top of my head. :)

What are some authors you adore?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday





Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!


While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

*I'm obsessed with this book! I love the idea of a strong girl protagonist, and wolves don't exactly hurt. I can not wait to read it.


What books are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Season by: Sarah Maclean

The Season
by: Sarah MacLean


Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn’t fit into the world of Regency London — she’s strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance. Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It’s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process? Romance and danger fill the air, as this year’s Season begins!

Rating: A

Review:

I have always believed that I belong in the Regency era (no seriously, go check my about me - it's in there) and this book let me live my ultimate fantasy because I felt like I was there.

This book is not just about pretty dresses and society, it has a mystery plot as well that keeps you guessing, and of course some extremely funny banter with gossipy members of the ton, because every regency needs those.

I loved the characters in this book, Alex felt real to me partly because she felt so out of place in her regency world, she was not one of those girls who can be pushed aside, and she was definitely not a push over, she wasn't afraid to say exactly what she felt and I loved her for it. Her friends were a bit chatty at times, but I felt a connect with them, it was like they just got each other and it was fun to listen in on their secret conversations.

My favorite aspect of this novel was of course Gavin and Alex's emerging relationship. Sarah MacLean really took time to establish the relationship between them to the point where you're begging for it to happen.

All in all The Season has everything and more, witty banter, mystery, romance, what more could you want? It comes highly recommended.

I have also read Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake which is also amazing, Sarah MacLean is very quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

-Christina

It's Monday, What Are You Reading



It's Monday, what are you reading? Is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books!

What I read last week:
13 To Life by Shannon Delany (review)
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (review)
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols (review to come)


What I'm reading this week:
Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I'm about halfway through Siren and it is good so far, I'm worried about this upcoming week as college is calling my name and I actually have to do stuff on Wednesday to prepare me for the coming semester. During school I'm a work aholic... summer is my escape.

You can probably tell I have been being lazy, and enjoying every second of it!

I have also noticed a strange thing about me this week. I'm a refresher, meaning when I'm bored I pray for e-mails and updates and refresh and scurry off to read whenever things come. This is how I spent my yesterday. haha

Anyway, What are you guys reading this week?

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Abundance of Katherines by: John Green

An Abundance of Katherines
by: John Green


When it comes to relationships, everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. He has dated–and been dumped by–19 Katherines. In the wake of The K-19 Debacle, Colin–an anagram-obsessed washed-up child prodigy–heads out on a road trip with his overweight, Judge Judy- loving friend Hassan. With 10,000 dollars in his pocket and a feral hog on his trail, Colin is on a mission to prove a mathematical theorem he hopes will predict the future of any relationship (and conceivably win the girl).


Rating: B+

Review:

I love John Green. Even if he didn't post insanely funny YouTube videos, have an adorable dog named Willy, or have amazing banter with his brother Hank I would still love him because his books rock.

Plain and simple, I don't know if I can say it any better than that.

What I really loved about An Abundance of Katherines was the characters, Green has a real knack at knowing his characters and they're hilariously funny people.

Colin is a child prodigy but is obsessed with becoming a genius and leaving something behind to change the world. His relationship math theorem may just be what he's looking for. I loved Colin, for his socially awkward, can't tell stories self, and I felt sorry for him. 19 Katherines. That's intense, and he blames himself completely for all of the breakups.

Hassan was a best friend that I myself wish I had. He was at times completely mental, but he had a good heart and was loyal to Colin even when he didn't deserve it.

John Green always makes his characters feel human. He shows us the human things about them, things that make someone, someone. Like Hassan and his borderline obsession with Judge Judy, and how Lindsey chews her thumb when she's stressed, little things like that make them feel real.

This book had everything from romance, to humor, to a feral hog and hornets. It has something for everyone, and it's the perfect introduction for those who haven't yet read John Green.


-Christina

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In My Mailbox - Week of July 4th

In My Mailbox
This week I bought two titles I am super excited for!


Insatiable by: Meg Cabot

Sick of vampires?

So is Meena Harper. But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own. And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . If she even has one.


Paper Towns by: John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar.

So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.


After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery.

But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

*I love John Green, and this one seems like it shall not dissapoint.


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