Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of Year Book Survey!

I saw this end of year survey on AnnaReads blog, ( if you're not following her, then you should @ www.annareads.com/), and it looked like lots of fun so I'm giving it a try. 

This survey is courtesy of AnnaReads via The Perpetual Page-Turner (http://www.perpetualpageturner.com/).

1.       Best Book you read in 2013?- I will probably have to say Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, since it’s the final book in the trilogy and there is just something amazing about all the loose ends finally coming together in one spectacular finale.

2.       Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?- Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- This book is just right up my alley as far as genre, but it fell way short of my expectations and most of all I just didn’t click with the characters. Also, Ignite by Erica Crouch, with a book about angels and demons, I had way higher expectations for the story.

3.       Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013?- Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This book had only been on my to-read shelf for what seemed like forever. I finally got annoyed of skipping over it and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

4.       Book you read in 2013 that you recommend to people most in 2013? Divergent by Veronica Roth. I was a latecomer to this book, but I kept asking people, have you read this???

5.       Best series you discovered in 2013? I’ve only read Bitten by Kelley Armstrong but I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, Stolen.

6.       Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? This is a 3-way tie between Veronica Roth, Kelley Armstrong, and Kristin Cashore

7.       Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? Apocalyptic Organ Grinder by William Todd Rose. This year was the 1st year I really tried to expand my reading (majority of the books I tried I gave up on within the 1st 50 pages), but this short story was actually pretty good.

8.       Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?- I would probably have to say Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, since I devoured that book. Haha.

9.       Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?  The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

10.   Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013? Ignite by Erica Crouch. Even thought I didn’t enjoy this book, I loved the cover.



11.  Most memorable character in 2013? Katniss Everdeen  from The Hunger Games.

12.   Most beautifully written book read in 2013? Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters or Green Heart by Alice Hoffman.

13.   Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?- Both Sides Now by Shawn Inmon. A great true love story.

14.   Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth

15.   Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013? “The frightened walk away when love is difficult. I know that now. You have to be willing to give everything away. You have to be willing to end up with nothing. Only then will your heart be whole.” Green Heart by Alice Hoffman

16.   Shortest & longest book you read in 2013? - Finding the shortest is hard, since I read so many books on my kindle this year, but it’s probably either Kidnapped the Wrong Sister by Marie Kelly or Apocalyptic Organ Grinder by William Todd Rose. The longest is The Books of Fell by M.E. Kerr at 608 pages. (but then again that is 3 books put into 1 book).

17.   Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about? ( a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!- The end of Clockwork Princess.

18.   Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013? (be it romantic, friendship, etc.)- Phineas and Gene in A Separate Peace by John Knowles.  This is a re-read, but I always love their friendship. Also, Jem and Will from Clockwork Princess, the love they have for each other is something that you don’t find often.

19.   Favorite book read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously? Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

20.   Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else? The Giver by Lois Lowry. My husband doesn’t read many books, but he told me that I would like this one. He was absolutely right!

21.   Genre you read the most from in 2013? Young adult

22.   Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games and Prince Po from Graceling.

23.   Best 2013 debut you read? The Blood of Whispers by Devin Madson.

24.   Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I just loved this world!

25.   Book that was the most fun to read in 2013? I read a lot of manga as filler this year, and I really enjoyed that. It really helped me move on between books and to not get bored. My two favorite mangas to read are Naruto and Death Note.

26.   Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013? Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare and A Separate Peace by John Knowles. The endings of both these books are both bitter sweet.

27.   Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out? The Everworld Series by K.A. Applegate. I love this series, but I know so few people who have read it, and that makes me sad, cause it’s amazing, and in my opinion so much better than her Animorph’s series. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Blood of Whisperers by Devin Madson

They call him the Usurper.

A man of common blood sits on the throne. At his command the last emperor was executed, but now the empire is on the brink of war.
Vengeance is coming.
Endymion is an Empath. He was born with the ability to feel another’s emotions and reach inside their hearts for their deepest secrets. Often despised, he lives a nomadic existence, but when he finds himself imprisoned for sorcery and facing death, it is his past that will condemn him. Born Prince Takehiko Otako, the only surviving son of the True Emperor, Endymion is already caught in the brewing storm. Fast losing control of his Empathy, he seeks revenge against the man who betrayed him, but for Endymion the truth will come too late.- Goodreads

I want to thank Devin Madson, Cloudburst books, and Goodreads for sending me this book to read and review!

I have to admit that my emotions switched around with this book in the beginning. I first started off super excited to read it. It was finally a book that I won that I really wanted, and probably would have ended up buying, just because the synopsis had me very interested. When I first started reading though, I was kind of annoyed that the point-of-view of the story switched between characters. I don't like when the point-of-view switches in a book, but I think that's more due to the fact that a lot of authors don't know how to correctly tell a story through multiple characters and have it turn out well written or understandable.

I'm so glad that I continued through my brief spot annoyance with this novel though, because I really enjoyed it! I even ended up liking the switching of point-of-view even. Devin Madson writes a story that is hard to stop reading once it's got you hooked (for me that was around page 70ish). Everything starts picking up and I had to just keep reading to see what was going to happen.

This book reminded me of the writing style of David Gemmell, and I think people who enjoyed his work (I've only read Ghost King and Last Sword of Power), would really enjoy this book. They both share a similar theme of the rightful heir regaining their crown and kingdom.

My only caution with this book would be that it does contain an awful lot of blood and killing,but then again it's a book about the fight for power, so people aren't going to be throwing flowers and lollipops at each other....actually lollipops would probably hurt....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bookcase Envy

I really want a bookshelf! I was spoiled at our old place with a HUGE built in bookcase in the living-room and now it's just so depressing looking at all my books piled up on the floor. :(

I'm really debating on whether or not I should buy a bookshelf or build one?

I'm also having a serious case of bookcase envy right now. Here's some I really like (and wish I could afford).

Wow! I can completely picture myself lounging in that window seat and relaxing with a book!

Secret door!!!! This is so awesome!

I love these stairs! If I can I am definitely doing this someday with some of my favorite book titles!

If you're into using pinterest then you should check this out for more awesome bookcases!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Will and Jace

This made me laugh. I love Cassandra Clare's books (although I'm still so angry that the The Mortal Instruments movie sucked so bad!!! I mean, Magnus didn't have pants when they first met him!!!....but that's a rant for another post). 

I love Jace and Will, but I'm not sure which one is my favorite. I think I'll reserve my judgement until the last book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, is released.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you, or destroy you.

Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

I kind of had a feeling that this book was going to end on a cliffhanger, seeing as how there's 1 more book in the trilogy, but I didn't see that ending coming! I like surprises though, and I can't wait to read the final book, Allegiant and hopefully finally go outside the fence and see what's out there! I'm so curious! Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope that Santa *(my husband)* brings me the final book for Christmas! 

Insurgent was full of action and very fast paced, way more fast paced then the 1st book, but it makes sense with the amount of stuff that happens in this book. It has to move fast, otherwise the book would have been a billion pages long and not very fun to read. This book is also full of emotional struggles and betrayal for Tris. Her life has been completely turned upside down, her faction is split, her parents are dead, and things are different and frayed between her and Tobias. 

I liked Tris in the first book, Divergent, but I loved her in this one. She's not perfect and she knows this, but she does the best that she possibly can to do what she feels is right for not only her, but for everyone else. Also, I like female characters that are tough and don't need to be saved all the time. 

And there's Tobias, aka Four, who I went back and forth with my feelings throughout this book. He's gorgeous so I guess that goes in his favor, but he annoyed me in this book for most of it with how he treated Tris. In his defense though, he was going through just as much emotional baggage as she was, so yeah, I guess I'll forgive him. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reader's Block :(

For some reason I have the hardest time reading this time of year. It's strange because I feel like I should be reading more with it being so rainy and the days getting shorter and shorter, but I just can't seem to sink into any book I pick up. It got so bad that I would rather clean than go anywhere near the books I need to review. That's when I knew I needed to take a break from reading and recharge my reading battery, but I'm reading again now and very soon will have a new review to post!

Here's some things I've done in my reading break:

I've moved from our 1 bedroom tiny apartment into a big 3 bedroom townhouse! I hate moving, but it was so worth it!!!

I decorated for the holidays! I love the holidays and so after Halloween I could barely contain my excitement to decorate (and it's only because of my husband that I didn't decorate right after Halloween)! haha

Also, I got a puppy the other day as an early Christmas present from my husband- I named him Thor, but only because my husband wouldn't let me name him Peeta or Jace haha

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Wow! I loved Divergent! I really recommend it. It was so full of action, easy to read and follow, and held my attention.

In theory the government of this book should run smoothly, having been set up with the purpose of preventing war. Corruption isn't something so easy to stamp out though. 

I can't get enough of books with strong female characters, and Tris is strong, choosing to leave her family to join another fraction, Dauntless. The Dauntless are kind of crazy, jumping from trains, jumping from roofs, and learning to fight and kill. 

Things aren't all peachy though, Tris is Divergent, which just means that her brain can't be manipulated like others, and because of that it puts her in danger. Along with being Divergent, Tris also struggles with living away from her family and adjusting to learning that she's Dauntless and trying to figure out what being Dauntless really implies. 

I loved the characters, especially Tris and Four. I also really loved Tris's mom, who I think was the strongest and most honorable person in the book. She kind of reminded me of Sarah Conner from The Terminator movies haha just more polite.

I really just can't wait to read the 2nd book in the trilogy, Insurgent. I just hope that it's as amazing as this book was. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Both Sides Now by Shawn & Dawn Inmon

* Received via Netgalley and Pertime Publishing* 

You never forget your first love. 

Just as she was flowering into her teens, life uprooted Dawn from the tanned crowds and sunny beaches of southern California. It transplanted her into rainy, rural Washington, where she strove to adjust, mature and thrive. Love came to Dawn--and was ripped from her by events and manipulations she could not control. 

But Dawn had a core of steel. An emotional castaway, she battled grimly through life's trials and sorrows, safeguarding her heart against further ravages. Then love reached out to Dawn once more--if she could find the courage and spirit to grab it with both hands, and this time, never let go. This is her story.


I don't know why, but learning that this book is based off the authors own life changed how I felt about it. According to Shawn Inmon's website he started writing this book after he wrote his first book, Feels Like the First Time. His first book chronicles his point of view of his first love in high school. In  Both Sides Now, it's told in the point of view of his wife Dawn and shows their romance through her young eyes, starting when she was just 14 years old. 

Shawn also wrote on his website that he didn't want to label this new work as a sequel, even though it tells many of the same events as his first book. He felt this book could and would stand on its own as a solitary piece. I have to agree, I haven't read his first book, and I wouldn't have even thought that this was a sequel. 

It's been hard for me to write this review, since I'm not usually one to read non-fiction, just for the reason that I hate reviewing it. It's easy to have opinions about characters in fiction works, because they aren't real and I don't have to worry about hurting someone's feelings. 

With that being said, I really did enjoy this book, even more so once I learned it was based off real events (which was about 3/4ths of the way through the book...I'm slow to catch on apparently). I liked Dawn, she was easy for me to like and connect with and by the end of the book I felt like I really knew her. 

I liked Shawn as well, he was nice, funny, and quirky (and hey, I married a quirky man myself!)

I think the main thing that this book shows is Shawn and Dawn's immaturity, which she herself even makes note to toward the end of the book. Dawn let her mom dictate everything about her life and have complete control over her. I feel so sorry for her, no one should be made to feel the way she felt by someone who is suppose to give them unconditional love. 

It was also stated within the book that Shawn and Dawn wanted to write this book as a cautionary tale, at first I felt like this was the part where the reader (me) is going to be lectured on premarital sex and teen pregnancy. When I finished the book though, I didn't feel like that was the message at all. Personally I felt like the authors were trying to tell me to be true to myself, never to let people force you into decisions you don't want, and never to just let true love walk away. 

I usually don't tell how books end because of spoilers and such, but I feel like the ending is pretty obvious by the last name of the authors. I'm glad that this real life story had a happy ending, even if it took them so many years of being apart to finally come back together. 

I really do recommend checking out Shawn's website http://www.shawninmon.com/ it's worth it just for the photos!

Monday, September 30, 2013

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness….

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?


I got this at thrift store for 99 cents, and with a price like that I just had to pick it up and give it a try. It was a pretty enjoyable book and very simple to follow.

I generally don't read books with characters this young, (they're both only 12), yet I found I liked these characters. I generally get annoyed at how author's portray younger teens, and I usually find them annoying, but the main characters in this, Lina and Doon, were interesting, and I think forced to be more mature by their life in Ember. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
- Courtesy of Goodreads.com

I really thought that this book would be far better than it turned out to be. I guess I had too high of expectations. The story started out okay and was interesting enough, but after about 30-40 pages I began to get bored, and it wasn't until at least another 60 pages later that the story finally picked up and became interesting again. I had the same feeling toward the end of the book though, where I just wanted it to be over, I was bored. 

I liked Aislinn's character well enough, she's a smart and strong willed young woman, and I like that type of character (I can't stand whiny or stupid girls). Seth and Keenan were okay too, but honestly, neither one of them were really my type of guy (or faerie), and they're supposed to both be stunningly attractive, but I just didn't feel it. 

I guess this story ended up with me struggling through it, just because I wanted it to be over. I just didn't connect enough with the characters, and I didn't really like the author's style of writing, it got kind of confusing at times (but admittedly that was probably partly due to my lack of paying attention). 

If anyone was thinking of reading this book, I wouldn't recommend it. Read Holly Black's faerie books instead, they're WAY better!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

- Goodreads.com synopsis 

I stumbled upon A Separate Peace about 5 years ago. I'd never heard of it, and had no idea what it was about, and I absolutely fell in love with this book! I just re-read this book, and I think I might love it more!

This book is told by Gene, and it centers around him and his relationship with his roommate, Phineas and some of the other boys at their all boys prep school. Gene is the complete opposite of Phineas, who is athletic, the life of the party, and no matter where he goes everyone loves him. Or at least Phineas was all those things until he "fell" out of a tree and broke his leg, crippling him. 

Gene feels horrible about Phineas's broken leg, mainly because it's his fault, but Phineas refuses to believe that his friend would betray him or hurt him, and so their relationship becomes this complicated mess of Finny being in denial and Gene, well, just being Gene and going along with it. 

I only have one question about this book and that is whether Finny and Gene are more than just friends? Or are they just in a very serious bromance? Not that it matters either way to me, but I'm still confused as to which side of the line these two young men lean to. Also, I'm really not sure if it would make me interpret the story different if they were gay.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I read this after I saw the City of Bones movie (which in my opinion sucked and wasn't even worth my time writing a review about it), but I feel it in a way shaped how I perceived this book.

This book has a much darker tone than the others, yet even though it's completely different from the other 4, it's also still the same.

In this book, Jace is under the control of Sebastian (Jonathan Morganstern) and no one knows what they're up to, but they all know that with Sebastian involved, it can't be good.

I feel like I'm getting tired of Jace and Clary...or well...maybe just Clary. I found myself more than once while reading this book thinking about how stupid Clary is, and I think if it weren't for all the other awesome characters, I would have given up on this series years ago.

I did enjoy reading more about Alec and Magnus, even if Alec is an idiot too. And even learning more about Isabelle and the Lightwoods was fun and interesting.

Overall though, I wasn't that impressed by this novel until the later half of it, but I am really looking forward to the 6th, and final, book! (although the 3rd book was supposed to be the final book, so I'm not holding my breathe haha)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I think I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to read this book and after reading it all I can think is...What the hell took me so long?!? I loved this book, and I was a little afraid that because I'd watched the movie first that my perception of the book would be off cause I'd be expecting what I saw on screen. I was glad though that the movie seemed to be a great adaption of the book, but nothing can beat reading a book, especially The Hunger Games cause you miss out on all of Katniss's inner dialogue in the movie.

I also feel like I feel different about the characters now, especially Peeta, since he appeared a lot more weak to me in the movie, but in the book I don't find him so much as weak, but just sweet and naive, and someone who wants to do what's right.

Katniss is one of the few lead female book characters that I actually like. I don't know what it is, but I generally don't like most women in books, they're either too perfect and too nice, or if the author leans in the other direction they come out as just mean and no one cares what happens to a bitch. Katniss though is likable and human, and also I found her character rather compassionate, even though she's ruthless and cunning too.

I think what I liked most about this book is that it's not the typical teen book that just a love story. This book has something to say about society. It reminded me a lot of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, just in the sense that they both take place in a society that has complete backward morals of what most people hold today. For example, in Fahrenheit 451 firefighters no longer put out fires, but instead start them and burn books, because books are dangerous. In both it's also a story of the individual vs. government/society.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Okay, so this is the second time I've read this book, and I re-read it to refresh my memory before finally reading City of Lost Souls (which I finally got around to ordering on amazon a few weeks ago). Like all of Clare's books that I've read so far, I loved it. Although I have to admit that after reading The Infernal Devices Trilogy, I'm conflicted as to which book series I like more. But why do I have to choose? :P

City of Fallen Angels takes off where City of Glass ends, with everyone coming to terms with the death of loved ones lost in the battle to stop Valentine. Also, finally Clary and Jace are dating, (but honestly who cares about Jace and Clary when Magnus and Alec are finally together!!!!!). Of course things start to come unraveled when someone tries to kill Simon and Shadowhunters with ties to The Circle begin appearing dead and drained of blood.

This book sets a dark tone for Jace and Clary's relationship, and I actually wonder if they'll end up together at the end of the series, which is something I never wondered when reading the first 3 books. As with all of Clare's books, this one is full of action and snarky, borderline rude humor (courtesy of Jace), and of course complicated love, especially Simon's love life.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

City of Bones Almost Here!

Only 2 more weeks of waiting until The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones finally hits theaters!!!!

Check out the new extended trailer by clicking the link below!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The reason I've been MIA

I feel so bad for not posting in such a long time, but I've been super busy enjoying the summer weather. Oh, also I've been super busy getting MARRIED!!! I'm so happy to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and the most amazing man I've ever met.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Austenland? Stephanie Meyer

Okay, so Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series is a producer now? I'm really confused, and not because I don't think authors can branch out and do other things, but if she could produce a movie, then why did her books get cinematically butchered? Or was it their on screen death that prompted her into going into the film business? haha

I'm actually kind of excited for this movie though, even if it does bring back old feelings of being miffed about Kristin Stewart's lack of an acting ability.

Here's the official trailer for the movie, which will hit theaters August 16th.

Here is also a link to Stephanie Meyer's website, where she talks about this movie: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/otherprojects_austenland.html#3

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. 

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Overall, I really enjoyed Graceling, and I have only a couple of complaints. First, I didn't enjoy the ending as much as I would have liked. The ending felt very short and forced in comparison to the rest of the book. I was kind of disappointed at how it ended and how things were wrapped up so quickly. It just didn't seem to go together like how I'd pictured it would. I think I honestly was expecting more drama to play out, but everything was more-or-less hunky-dory. I was left just wanting there to be a bit more.

Second, and I'm not sure this is really even a complaint or just my opinion, but this book didn't really seem like it should be classified as YA. It felt a lot more like an adult fantasy novel, especially with the sex and violence, and granted neither were very detailed, but it makes me wonder if this book was marketed as a YA book just to sell more copies?

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book, no matter where I think it should be classified as, and I'm looking forward to reading the companion novel, Fire. Although, I'm a little sad that it has different characters, since I feel like I spent this whole book getting to know Katsa and Po and I'd love to read more of their story.

Also, Katsa is one on a list of few fictional female characters that I actually like. I find that most female characters are either way too bitchy or way too whiny, or both. I like that Katsa is able to be assertive without coming off as mean, and to be strong without coming off as overly butch or unfeminine. She is a warrior but she's also a woman, and I like that the author allows her to be both, instead of being more rather than the other.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Clockwise by Elle Strauss

*This book was received via NetGalley and All Night Reads for an honest review.*

Casey is a time-traveler and has more issues than the average teenager, especially when she accidentally time travels with her crush, Nate, to the 1860's. She lies and says they are brother and sister in order to keep up with the social protocol of the times, but she is completely in love with him, and sometimes thinks that the feelings might be mutual?

At first I found this book a little hard to get into and kind of boring, but I feel that about a 1/4 of the way through it really picked up and I really enjoyed it. I thought the story was fun and fast paced after it got going, and I always love a good complicated romance!

I really like how both realms, the past and the present are both interesting and Casey has a lot going on in both of her "lives". It sounds weird but it made it feel more realistic, rather then her having a super boring life in the present and then going back in time to have some kick-ass alter-ego.

There was a lot of racial stuff in this book, with a good portion of it taking place in the 1860's, right before the Civil War, it is understandable. I thought it was really interesting how the author played that into the book of how things were so different in this country a little over a hundred years ago, and well, just even 50 years ago.

There is nothing right in the thought that one race should have rights of ownership over another. Or that people shouldn't be allowed together just because of their skin colors. And now I find it strange to think of why people ever thought that that was acceptable.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it made for a fast, fun read. I think it would be a nice book to bring along on vacation for a nice light read. This book is part of a series of books too, although, I'm really not sure yet whether I'll keep reading, since I kind of like where the story left off.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Apocalyptic Organ Grinder (ebook) by William Todd Rose

I really wasn't planning on writing a post about this book, but seeing as how I've been so busy with other things lately, (mainly a mixture of Netflix and trying to get things ready for my wedding...mainly Netflix though) and haven't been reading much, I thought I would write a review on this.

This book was given to me by Netgalley when I signed up, and for awhile I really didn't plan on reading it. I know it's horrible to judge a book by it's cover without even taking a peak inside, but with a name like Apocalyptic Organ Grinder, I really didn't think this book would interest me, plus as much as I love paranormal stuff, I'm really not that into zombies.

I was really surprised, or well I guess more like shocked, at how well this short story was actually written and I did find myself enjoying it. It wasn't the typical zombie-apocalypse type story, but a story of a world with 2 types of people, those that are clean and unaffected by this disease, and those that are infected and are capable of spreading it.

I really liked how both sides are shown, and I think the author tries to point out that there is no right or wrong side, because each side just wants to be safe and happy.

Overall, I would recommend this short story if you're just looking for something not too long to fill your time. It really isn't a piece of work that's going to change your life, but it is enjoyable. There is some mild violence though, but honestly, it's an apocalyptic story, so what do you really expect, puppies and rainbows?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Anita Blake turning 20!

For those of you that have never heard of Laurell K Hamilton's, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, it is possibly the best supernatural series ever written. It focuses on and is told in the 1st person by Anita Blake, a necromancer/vampire executioner/paranormal consultant for the St. Louis police. So far I've read 18 of the 22 books in this series, and they are amazing!

I first started reading Laurell K. Hamilton's, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series about 7 years ago. A friend and I decided to read it after becoming enthralled with vampires after reading Twilight. We first started out with Anne Rice's vampire series, but that quickly became overshadowed by Anita Blake, since nothing really can compete with Anita! It's hard to believe and absolutely amazing to think that Anita is celebrating her 20th year in publication!

The way that Hamilton writes is so addicting, and I love how although she writes fantasy she blends it so perfectly with our own world that it seems logical for it to be real. I feel like I could go to St. Louis and find vampires lurking in the shadows or run into a werewolf at the Lunatic Cafe. 

Out of all the book series that I've read, this series is, and I'm sure always will be, the one I love the most. This is the first series that showed me that women could be bad-ass too! Also, that women don't have to be damsels in distress and are perfectly capable of saving themselves, (especially since most of the time no one but yourself is going to give a damn). 

I love Anita so much, and although this is ultimately her story, it wouldn't be complete without all of the men in her life! It's hard to pick a favorite! hehe!

The only disclaimer I would have to put about this series is that if you can't stand violence or sex, then this series isn't for you. There is plenty of both in it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento

*This book was received via NetGalley and Merit Press for an honest review.*

One pint-sized girl. Ten supersized crises. And it’s high noon. 

They call her “Twigs,” because she’ll never hit five feet tall. Although she was born early, and a stiff breeze could knock her over, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs it, as life throws a whole bucket of rotten luck at her: Dad’s an absentee drunk; Mom’s obsessed with her new deaf boyfriend (and Twigs can’t tell what they’re saying to each other). Little sister Marlee is trying to date her way through the entire high school; Twigs’ true love may be a long-distance loser after a single week away at college, and suddenly, older brother Matt is missing in Iraq. It all comes together when a couple of thugs in a drugstore aisle lash out, and Twigs must fight to save the life of the father who denied her. (Courtesy  of Goodreads)

I did not care for this book at all!!! I'm not even really sure how to give this book a review without being mean, because I really did not like it and wouldn't be one to recommend it.I found myself skimming over a lot of this, and that was just because I became so bored with the story. I really don't even know how I finished this, because before the first chapter was even over, I wanted to give up on this book, but I stuck with it hoping that it would improve. I also didn't really like the main character, Twigs, cause she was kind of rude and immature. I felt the writing itself was fairly odd as well and that the characters were kind of underdeveloped. I think that this work had so much potential, as the synopsis reveals. Overall this story was very anti-climatic and I was very, very disappointed.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ignite by Erica Crouch

*This book was received via NetGalley and Patchwork Press for an honest review.*

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed. 

As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice. 

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Ignite is Erica Crouch's debut novel, and for a 20 year old college student I have to say that it wasn't half bad. The book centers around Penemuel, or Pen for short, who is a fallen angel and part of Lucifer's army of demons in Hell. Her and her twin brother Azael rely on one another, since neither is a fully functioning demon by themselves, Pen can kill, Azael can reap the souls of the dead. Together they make a great and formidable duo, yet it's hard work being a demon and the story starts with them fighting for a promotion. 

Then Michael is reborn and the future begins un-writing itself as the Apocalypse nears. Pen is given the assignment to befriend Michael and either convince him to join the forces of Hell or to eventually kill him. A strange friendship is born between Michael and Pen, and she starts to question her past as well as the choices she has yet to make, knowing that with each decision comes consequences. 

As soon as I started reading this book it instantly reminded me of the show Supernatural because of the darkness and gore. Instead of humans being the main characters, this is entirely from the angels and demons point of view. It's an interesting concept and it was strange at first how the characters are so flippant about human death. I guess if you've lived thousands of years though, then the human race would be little more than insects that you swat away when they're in your way. 

Overall, this book was okay and was an enjoyable enough read. I really liked the idea of Angels and Demons and the idea that humans actually might have it better than them both, because of the choice to choose whether they are on the side of the light or dark, or a little of both. I would have to give Ignite an overall rating of 2.5-3 stars, since it wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it far from the worst and it was an interesting read that held my attention for the most part. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Books of Fell by M.E. Kerr

The Books of Fell, which includes Fell, Fell Back, and Fell Down is a trilogy by M.E. Kerr following the unexpected and life-changing events in John Fell's life. John is a young working class man from Brooklyn living in a small, touristy ocean town after his father's death. With a passion for food and cooking, John has hopes of opening his own restaurant someday, but with his little sister to take care of and his mom's massive credit card debt, his plate is pretty full. Then a fatal fender-bender on the night of his prom with one of the towns elite residents changes the course of his life forever.

John is offered the chance to attend a prestigious and elite prep school, posing at the man's son, Ping. While John completes Ping's education, Ping will be attending an elite culinary school and earning John his ticket to owning his own restaurant someday. The offer is too good for John to refuse, and so assuming the identity of Ping, he leaves, but that's when things begin to unravel. He is accepted into the mysterious, cult-like club, called Sevens, which practically runs the school and pledges to protect its members for life. His life gets very interesting when one of the Sevens members mysteriously dies, and being ever the detective that his father was, John feels that he must investigate.

I think that this is probably the only book that I love and hate with equal amounts of passion. First, the things I love: The characters are probably the first that come to mind, especially John, since it's hard not to fall in love with him, since you are reading about his life. The plot and the twists that M.E. Kerr puts in, I would never have been able to guess by reading the synopsis on the back of the book that so many twists and turns would be in these books. And lastly, I have to include the mysterious Sevens! Sevens, the elite club whose members stand above and apart from everyone else. There is just something so alluring about seeing inside, or at the very least, trying to see inside a secret society.

The main reason I hate these books is strongly tied into why I love them, since the main reason I hate them is because I want so much for there to be a fourth book. I don't like the way the last book ends at all!!! I won't say more than that, for fear of giving away spoilers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman is the the first book in Green Heart, a compilation of two short novels, "Green Angel" and "Green Witch", which tell the story of Green, a 15 year old girl who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her family. Both novels are written in a modern fairy-tale style.

In Green Angel, Green looses her mother, father, and younger sister/best friend when a fire destroys the city across the river while they are there selling vegetables.

Before her family left for the city on the day of the fire, being jealous that she was being left behind to do chores, Green ignores her family's goodbyes and essentially gives them the silent treatment. I related to this so much, not because I've given people the silent treatment, but because this made me think about all the things I wished I would have said to the people I've lost while they were still living. It's easy to get caught up in the angst of life, but one small action, such as not telling someone goodbye and that you love them when you have the chance, can bring you a world of regret later. Even though it seems so simple and meaningless at the time.

The fire that burns the city causes Green to go partially blind from ash getting in her eyes. Instead of healing herself, she instead wallows in her pain and grief, changing her name to Ash. She learns to cope with being orphaned and blind, her only companion her sister's dog, Onion. She also begins tattooing herself with vines, bats, roses, and practically anything else she can imagine.

I really enjoyed this book and how the author, Alice Hoffman, weaves in so many emotions within such a short story. Green is so complex of a character, and her pain is so raw, and yet it's not a depressing story, but uplifting. It's telling the story of the balance between the need to move on and embrace the you that you've become and yet not forgetting the you that you used to be. Because whether or not Green goes by Green or Ash, she really is the same person, and there's nothing that she can do about it, but embrace it. It also shows that no matter how dark things get, there will always be a sun on the horizon, it just takes some time to rise.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I'm excited that so many good books are finally making their way onto the big screen...or well at least on to a channel to be viewed on millions of littler screens as is the case with the show Bitten, which should air sometime early next year in Canada. (Hopefully it won't take too long for it to reach the States, since I'm really interested in watching it.)

The show hopefully will be good and stick true to it's literary counterpart. This isn't the first time someone has tried to make an adaption of Kelley Armstrong's book. Bitten was once opted as a movie by Warner Bros. in which Angelina Jolie was approached to play the lead role as Elena, a woman bitten and turned into a werewolf and struggling to keep hold of her humanity. 

Years ago a friend suggested I read this book, the first book in a series about werewolves by Kelley Armstrong. It's taken me a lot longer than I'd like to admit to finally get around to picking this book up and reading it for myself, but as my friend guessed, I did enjoy it. 

As I mentioned, Bitten follows the story of Elena, who was bitten and turned into a werewolf, and is the only female werewolf. She's tired of being a werewolf and wants instead to live on her own among normal humans, but she is called back to her old life by her pack leader in order to hunt a rouge werewolf who's killing humans and endangering the packs survival. Things get more complicated when one rouge werewolf turns out to be a band of rouge werewolves set on destroying her pack. 

I can't wait to read more of the books in this series and to watch the new tv show.   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Dark Artifices

Cassandra Clare, author of the widely popular Mortal Instruments series and her spin-off prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, has made plans to come out with yet another series following her race of shadowhunters. 

Her new series, The Dark Artifices, set to be released in 2015, is set in LA, California five years after The Mortal Instruments took place. This new story follows Emma Carstairs, an orphaned shadowhunter, and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn as they investigate demonic plots. 

Of course, Emma has romantic feelings for Julian, which can never be actualized, because it is against Clave law for parabatai to have romantic relations. 

On the one hand, I'm super excited for this new series from Cassandra Clare, because I've really enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, but on the other hand I kind of have to wonder how many more books can be written about shadowhunters. I love shadowhunters, but honestly, I really don't see how Cassandra Clare can keep popping out series about shadowhunters and demons and have them actually be good.

Evil Cat?

This was too funny not to share!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones teaser trailer

The Mortal Instruments teaser trailer released last November. The official movie trailer should be released this month! I can't wait for this movie to hit theaters August 23rd, and my only hope is that it doesn't get f****ed up like Twilight did....

The Clockwork Princess

We’re just one week away from the long awaited release of The Clockwork Princess, the third and final book in Cassandra Clare’s bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

The Infernal Devices trilogy is a prequel to Cassandra Clare’s bestselling Mortal Instruments series, which was also supposed to be a trilogy, but ended up being so widely popular that she expanded it and the sixth and final book in the series will be released in September of next year.

The Infernal Devices trilogy follows the story of Tessa Gray, a young American girl sent to live in Victorian England with her brother after her aunt’s death. Little does she know that she’s walking into a world full of darkness, betrayal, and shadowhunters.