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