Thursday, August 26, 2010

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

It's Friday again! Time for another Follow Friday and Blog Hop!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View so head on over there to read about the featured blogger and check out some other fantastic blogs!

Book Blogger Hop

The Blog Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and this week's question is:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

My Answer: I do have a rating system, which is detailed on the right sidebar on a scale from 0/5 to 5/5. I like having it because I like having a way to show just how much I loved (or didn't love) a book. It gives people who read my reviews a better idea of what I thought. At least I think so. : )

Monday, August 23, 2010

Top 5 Tuesday

Yep, it's Tuesday again and time for another Top 5 List. This week - "Shweet!" moments. Just to clarify, it's those moments of total and complete awesomeness or badassery (yes I just made that word up) that made you say "Shweet!" out loud while you were reading. Now, there will be spoilers in this post, so I'll put the title of the book in bold so that if you haven't read the book, you have the option of skipping over that particular moment.

Top 5 "Shweet!" Moments

5. Shopaholic Ties the Knot - Becky's ability to pull of not one, but two completely fabulous weddings - on two different continents! And the fact that it all goes off without a hitch and no one is the wiser? Brilliant.

4. Linger - Cole puts Grace's father in his place. When all hell is breaking loose and her once absent parents suddenly decide to show up and start freaking out at Sam, I love that Cole jumped right in and made her father realize what an ass he was being. I loved him even more after that.

3. Beautiful Creatures - Uncle Macon's defense for Lena at the school "trial". The ignorant and hateful women and students get what exactly what they asked for when he comes in and starts spilling everyone's secrets and saves Lena from their unwarranted venom. Fantastic.

2. Shadow Kiss - Christian and Rose teaming up to kick major Strigoi ass. They went from fearing for their lives, to taking down more evil vampires than they could count. In my opinion, it's a major turning point for the students and adults at the school to realize that they don't have to just defend, they can fight back - and win. Excellent.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I'll be general and just say the entire major fight at Hogwarts. Students, ghosts, and furniture joining up to take down Voldemort and his followers. Neville finally getting his moment of glory. Harry's calm and completely awesome final showdown with Voldemort. And who can forget Molly Weasley getting all "Oh no you didn't!" with Bellatrix? Beyond fabulous.

Alright, those are my Top 5 "Shweet!" moments. Do you agree? Disagree? Wish I would have added a different moment? Feel free to share your picks in the comments below, and in the meantime, happy reading!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Catching Fire

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

This is my second time reading this book and I realized that I never reviewed it the first time through. So here it is! I think I enjoyed The Hunger Games a little more, but this book was just as good as the first. I ached for Katniss as she dealt with the aftermath of her desperate actions in the arena. Things aren't all rainbows and sunshine just because she and Peeta got out alive. In fact, things are worse than they ever were.

It was so hard to be in her head sometimes, because she's so...complex. She is able to see the bigger picture when she needs to, and do what is required of her. But she's also extremely emotional about the people in her lives and when she acts with her emotions, she's very much in the moment; future consequences completely forgotten. Her back and forth between Gale and Peeta is a perfect example of this, and it's the same with her feelings in regard to the political unrest in the country. It's so hard so see her struggle, because this is not a traditional romance. She's living in a world where fear runs deep, and both love interests came about in a way that doesn't exactly help her decide who to trust or allow her to explore those feelings and pick who she wants.

The political aspect of the book added great tension to the book, especially once they are once again thrust into the arena. Is it a setup and a deliberate attempt by the President to get rid of one or both of them? Who is really on their side? What the hell happened to Cinna? And the twist at the end practically killed me. I didn't see it coming at all and I am dying for the final book. (Sadly, I have to wait till next week, since it's shipping with another book that's not released till the 31st.) On a side note, was I the only one who was completely repulsed by the people in the Capitol at that party? The drinks to make you throw up so you can stuff your face some more - horrible. I wanted to reach into the book and smack them around a little.

Overall, I'm loving this series. It's intense and tragic and exciting and intriguing, and the second book had all of the above and more. I trembling with excitement to see how it ends. 5/5

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, Inc
$17.99 (hardcover)
400 pages

Friday, August 20, 2010

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

-Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
-Follow our Featured Bloggers -
-Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
-Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
-If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
-If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
-If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

 Book Blogger Hop

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy for Books

This week's question:

How many blogs do you follow? My number is pretty low, I'm trying to get to all the blogs that follow me, so I can return the gesture, but I like to really look around and with two very small children, my time is limited. I'm getting there though, so if you haven't seen me yet, don't worry, I'm getting to you. I also have friends' and families blogs that I follow so, probably around 30. I try to stay up to date with everyone's posts, but it's hard since the more books I read about, the more I want to buy! But I love being able to discover new books and authors, so you can bet I'll be following more people to broaden my literary horizons. : )

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at breaking the spine.

Sophie Jordan
Harper Collins
336 pages
$16.99 (hardcover)
Release date - September 7

"A hidden truth.

Mortal enemies.

Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy."

I found this book this past weekend while haunting the Barnes and Noble website for new books to lust after. I hate to say I judged this book by its cover but it's true. It was very beautiful and caught my eye so I clicked on it to read the summary, and I have to say, it sounds great! Dragons, hunters, doomed love? Count me in. And I'm all about finding new authors to love, and since I haven't read any other books by her, I'm very excited to read this one. It will be like a first date! ; ) It's coming out soon, so I won't have to wait that long!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 5 Tuesday

I'm going to try something new and every Tuesday I'm going to do a - you guessed it - Top 5 list. I would love to hear from all of you as well, so feel free to agree, disagree, or add your own list in the comments! This week's list:

Best Friends

5. Stevie Ray - House of Night series - She's sounds like a country bumpkin, but she's a total sweetheart and fiercely loyal. Not even death could keep her from her best friend, Zoey's, side.

4. Suze - Shopaholic series - She's a bit on the naive side, but she's always got Becky's back, even when she's making nothing but wrong decisions. Quick with the optomistic solutions, she never fails to help Becky get things back on track.

3. Simon - The Mortal Instruments series - He's the perfect boy next door - laid back and friendly, and always up for anything. His sarcasm is fabulous and he's very protective of his secret crush, Clary. Even when the world he thought he knew gets turned upside down, he's goes with it and helps Clary find out what she needs to know.

2. Ron - Harry Potter series - You know you saw this one coming. Full of fantastic one-liners, he is the ultimate in comic relief and while he might be a little afraid of the danger ahead, he's always up for some good old-fashioned rule breaking. Along with Hermione, Harry couldn't have picked a better friend.

1. Alice - Twilight series - Don't mock, you know you love her too. Always up for a party or a throw down with some evil vamps, she's every girls' best friend. It doesn't hurt that she can see into the future so you'll always know when your night out will be a hit or a drag.

Well, there's my list. Sound of below and let me know if you agree, disagree, or think I've forgotten someone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater

In 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 Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

I loved Shiver so I knew Linger was going to be a new favorite before I read it. And I was right. Like most "middle" novels in a series or trilogy, there's a lot of set up for the final book, so while you get some questions answered, most is left hanging to be wrapped up in the end. I'm actually ok with this. Don't get me wrong, I'm DYING for the final book, but this book was written in such a satisfying way that I was never bored.

I'm intrigued by the whole Cole/Isabelle situation. They both seem so damaged, so broken by life that I was kinda rooting for them towards the end. I think they might be able to heal each other if they would stop dancing around their issues. It was really nice to see a deeper side to Isabelle, instead of her being the bitchy rich girl - although we still saw that side too. Cole was an interesting character to read about. He craved the escape of being a wolf, yet he had the hardest time staying one. I really want to know why that is. Is there something special about him? Or did something not quite take so he changes back early? Like I said, I'm intrigued.

Sam and Grace's struggles made me sad. I won't lie - I was full on crying at the end. (How will they fix it? What's going to happen??) They're relationship is so interesting to me, because while Sam clings to humanity and all it entails, Grace longs for what he left behind. I don't know if it's because she never became a wolf and just wants to know what it's like, or if life with her oblivious parents just sucks that much that the escapism of being a wolf is alluring... But I love their relationship. They are so good together. I hated that her once completely self-absorbed parents suddenly decided to get involved and didn't even listen to her. Honestly, why did they care now? WTF? And it really didn't seem like their concern came from a place of love, which pissed me off anymore. I loved that Cole put her father in his place.

Anyway, all in all, I LOVED this book and I will be waiting VERY impatiently for the last book. I can't wait to see how everything ends up. 5/5

Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic, Inc
YA Fiction
$17.99 (hardcover)
362 pages

Friday, August 13, 2010

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list

Follow our Featured Bloggers -

Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments

Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers

If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question comes from Michelle from Michelle’s Book Blog!

How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’? My Answer: I honestly have no idea. I try not to count because it overwhelms me and I don't want what I read to turn into a To Do list. I also re-read books in a series in anticipation of new releases. I like to have at least the last released book fresh in my mind when I get a new one, and it gets me even more excited for the new book. Example: I'm reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire right now for the release of Mockingjay. So I have a "new book" TBR pile and a "read again" TBR pile. If I had to guess, I would say that together, it's around 80 books. And it's growing everyday because I'm reading about all these amazing titles from other blogs. So many books, so little time! : )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Heart You, You Haunt Me - Lisa Schroeder

"Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back...

...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she'scrazy, but she knows he's here.

Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds."

I discovered this book at the signing I went to in Beaverton. I met the author and she was so nice that I wanted to see what her books were like, so I bought one that she very graciously signed for me. It's written in verse, which took me a few pages to get used to, but I liked it. It cut out almost all physical descriptions (people, places, etc) and what you were left with was just dialogue and Ava's emotions, which were very powerful and poignant. And given the storyline, I felt the verse really fit how Ava was thinking. I mean, if I was grieving over my first love, I think my mind would sound very much like hers.

Her obsession with Jackson and her withdrawal from the real world is, in my opinion, very realistic. And while at times I was mad at Jackson's "actions", when I got to the end, it all made sense. I wish she could have written more about Ava at the end, since I wanted to keep reading about how she was doing. That's my only issue with this book - I felt it ended too early. And that's mostly a compliment since the book was so good that I wanted more. Over all, I found it to be a great book, and I look forward to reading her other books. 5/5

I Love You, You Haunt Me

Lisa Schroeder
Simon & Schuster Children
YA Fiction
240 pages
$7.99 - paperback

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The reason for my comeback

Ok, I feel like I need to explain a bit about why, after over 4 months, I'm suddenly getting this blog up and going with a vengeance. So, I will. This last Monday, I went with my fabulous friend Andrea to Portland to see Richelle Mead in person and wonder at her pure awesomeness. And let me just say, it was completely worth it. She was incredibly nice and answered a bunch of questions (I got to ask one!) and just inspired me in so many ways. And then there was just the aura of the event itself. The people there were just as crazy about the books as we were, and they were incredibly knowledgeable about books in general. They had blogs and sites and talked about other events they went was very motivating.

So that got me thinking. I love to read and tell people about what I'm reading. And I'll be honest, if people then read those books and love them too, I feel so proud. Like I've given that book some more friends to play with. (I know, I'm a total dork.) So, why wasn't I keeping this blog updated? Well, I couldn't really come up with a good answer to that question, so I decided to get it going again. (It needs a lot of work, so be patient with me while I fix everything.) And I'm super excited about it.

If I am going to be completely honest, there's also a bit of an ulterior motive as well. I LOVE to write. If I'm not ignoring my housework with reading, I'm ignoring it with writing. And it's a HUGE dream of mine to someday get something I write published. My original plan had been to kind of check out other blogs and what not for research and just keep everything to myself until I was ready. But, it seems silly to not be a part of this wonderful literary community right now. I can connect to others who love books, *maybe* some authors and publishers will find out about me, and when I finally do get published, I will have friends who will not only be happy for me, but will spread the word about whatever it is that I've written. So, that's my hope, to become a part of this wonderful online community who loves the same things I do.

Anyway, there's my long explanation about my sudden reappearance. I really hope you all come back and check out my reviews and pass the word along about me. And if you know of other blogs - let me know. I know there are TONS of books out there that I'm not aware of how awesome they are, and I would love to expand my reading horizons. Thanks, and until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm back!!

I know, I know, I disappeared for awhile. But, I'm glad to announce that I'm back and I have read a ton of books that I'm ready to post my reviews for. I'm in the middle of reworking this blog, so be patient while I get it going, and I promise to not disappear for so long again. Until the next post, happy reading!