Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Dark Tower Challenge - January Discussion

Alright, one month of the year has already passed us by!  Its really crazy to think about; it feels like it was last week I was watching the New Years Eve celebrations.  But the end of the first month also means the first discussion for The Dark Tower Reading Challenge!

Now I know a lot of people have still been having a crazy month.  Its taken them a while to recooperate from the holiday season and really get things together.  So, I have a feeling that some of you may have not even started on this challenge yet, which I completey understand.
I probably wouldn't have started it myself, but the copy of The Gunslinger I bought one day was just calling me and I had to answer.  I have actually already started on the second in the series as well.

So, since I know that it is likely that many of you have not started, we'll just start off with some basic things, like Q&A type things.  Questions like:

  • Have you read The Dark Tower series before?
  • If you have, which was your favorite book from the series?  Favorite character?
  • What's your favorite King work?
  • If you've started the series, tell us what your first impressions are or if you've written any (spoiler free) reviews, post them!


My Answers:
For me, this is a reread, but I read them all so long ago that I don't think that I really got the full effect of the series and I think there were a lot of things that I missed.  I still really enjoyed them the first time I read them, but I think I will be able to appreciate them more this time around.  As far as a favorite book is concerned, I don't think I can say really.  Like I said, it has been so long since I've read them, that's a hard question to answer.  I do know that I love Jake and Oy and they might be my favorites.  Eddie, too.
A favorite King work?  I don't think I can answer that.  I've loved pretty much everything that I've ever read by him, with the exception of a few.  Some of my favorites are definitely Salem's Lot, The Stand and of course, The Dark Tower series.

Prize Alert!
Thanks to Mandy at Adventures in Borkdom, for those participants that complete the challenge at the end of the year, you will be entered to win the first 3 Dark Tower graphic novels, all brand new and in plastic!  These graphic novels tell Roland's story before the beginning of our series.  Thanks so much Mandy for your awesome contribution!

Also, if you just can't get enough of Uncle Stevie, Coffee and a Book Chick and Boarding Through Forties are hosting the Stephen King Project!  I highly encourage you to check that out as well if you haven't already!

So now, discuss, discuss, discuss!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of January 30

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
So I know I have a million other series that I need to start, but I decided that I really want to go back to this one for right now.  I'm also trying to make the three different series I'm reading right now stretch out a little bit.  I started this one Saturday night after I finished Catching Fire.  I admit, its been such a long time since I've read these books, while I remembered a lot of The Gunslinger, there's a bit in here that I'm unfamiliar with, but that's okay, because I love it.

Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo
I'm at a stand still with this.  I can't seem to make myself pick it up.  I really need to, but I'm enjoying the other books I'm reading so much I can't make myself go back to this!

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What will I be picking up next?
I think that after I finish The Drawing of the Three, I'll go back to the Abarat Series and start Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War.  I really enjoyed the first one.  After that, I think I'll finish The Hunger Games trilogy with Mockingjay and we'll see what I feel like reading when I finish that.

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: No NRT this week.  We'll be doing a dscussion post for the Dark Tower Reading Challenge and there will be a wrap up vlog of the books that I've finished for the month of January.
++  Wednesday:  Another vlog about my February TBR pile.
++  Thursday: Review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett
++  Friday: TGIF about book appeal; What makes you want to read books?
++  Saturday: Review of Abarat by Clive Barker
++  Sunday: The Sunday Salon.

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In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday (32)
++  Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  5 out of 5 stars.
++  In My Mailbox (32)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox (31)

Another edition of In My Mailbox.   As always, credit goes to Kristi at The Story Siren.




Books Mentioned:
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

REVIEW: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

book cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Title:  The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Trilogy #1)
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Date Published:  First published January 2008
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Page Count:  E-book
Challenge:  E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I know that I jumped on the bandwagon for this SUPER late, and that was partly because the movie is being close to being released and I did want to see it.  I bought this on my Nook forever ago, kept telling myself that I was going to read it and just never did.  In a way, I treated this series a lot like Harry Potter, which I didn't read until after there was so much hype you just couldn't ignore it.
This was one of those books where I was a little concerned that it just wasn't going to live up to the hype for me, but I was definitely wrong.

I don't think I need to give a synopsis, but if for some reason you live under a rock and don't know the premise of this book, you can read a synopsis here on Goodreads.

This just sounds weird, but I really loved the bleak world that Collins painted in this book.  Panem, which is really post apocalyptic America was a pretty scary place.  In a way, it kind of reminded me of the setting in 1984 just a little bit.
The characters were the other thing that I loved.  I loved Katniss's will to survive.  Sometimes, it is really hard to make a character believable, especially in a setting like this, but Collins did a fantastic job.  Since it was told from Katniss's point of view, you got to go through her thought processes with her, and it felt real, not manufactured in any way.
And then the inevitable love story with Peeta.  But I won't really say more than that for anyone that hasn't read this book.

I LOVED this book, I couldn't put it down.  I finished it way quicker than I had intended to, but it was well worth it.  I'm trying to savor the series, so I'm not reading them one after the other, but it won't be long before I pick up the second in the series.  I definitely give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   The Hunger Games

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Release Tuesday (32)

New Release Tuesday is a weekly feature where I share what I'm excited about in both books and music. Sometimes its release day is close, other times it can be several weeks or months in advance. I only feature one for each category, but there a LOADS of new and upcoming releases and you can find them by visiting B&N.com or FYE.com!
Title:  Home Front
Author:  Kristin Hannah
Release Date:  January 31, 2012
Summary:  All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .
Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life—-children, careers, bills, chores—-even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own—-for everything that matters to his family.
At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope. 
Why I'm Excited:  I actually have two books by this author that I got from a coworker and I have not had the opportunity to read them yet.  But I have heard really good things about this author and several of her works.  I actually didn't even know what this book was about until I read the description while making this post, and it looks actually really good.  Hopefully I can get to the other books of hers I have and I might then pick this one up!
Album Title:  Less Rhythm, More Booze
Artist:  Authority Zero
Release Date:  January 21, 2012
Why I'm Excited:  My good friend Robbie introduced me to this band years back because he was absolutely enamored with them and I really grew to like them.  I wish I could think of something to compare them to, but I really can't think of anything that the sound like right now.  According to the track listing, it might be a live album or it might just be a compilation of some of their music, because I actually know several of the songs on the track listing.  So, we'll just have to see what this is like.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of January 23

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

Abarat by Clive Barker
I got this one from BookPerk along with the other two in the series a while back and I'm just now getting to them.  I'm really loving the imagery that Barker puts in his work.  This is a lot more toned down that his other works that I have read, along more of a young adult theme than anything, but I am still really enjoying it so far.  Its over 400 pages, but I find that its going really quickly!

Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo
I haven't read enough of this to have a definitive opinion yet, but the beginning is lacking for me, I won't lie at all.  There's a lot of talk about football so far and I see very little hazardous choices, other than the mention that someone was in a gang.  Don't get me wrong, I love football, but not enough to read about it.  Anyway, its still very early, so I'm going to read more before I pass any sort of judgement.

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What will I be picking up next?
Next is Keeping Cooper by Sam Masone and then the rest of the Patterson books that I have.  I'm trying to read a review request and another book at the same time, so after I finish Abarat, I think that I might actually  pick up Catching Fire, the next book in The Hunger Games Trilogy.

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: New Release Tuesday
++  Wednesday: Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
++ Thursday:  Review of The Help by Katheryn Stockett
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about where our books come from.
++  Saturday: This Saturday there probably will be an IMM vlog.
++ Sunday:   The Sunday Salon

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In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday, Birthday Edition!
++  Review of The Gunslinger by Stephen King
++  Review of The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones, Jr.
++  TGIF!  Where I talk about recommendations.

Friday, January 20, 2012

TGIF: Recommend it.

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at Greadsbooks.com.  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
Recommend It: Which book from the last 10 you've read would you recommend to a friend?


Oh gosh.  Honestly, I've read some really fantastic books lately, from classics to some dystopian YA.  Of course, I've only finished 4 books this year and the last few that I read from 2011 were some simple Agatha Christie books, which of course I would recommend to anyone.  But really, I think there's only one book from the last 10 that I read where I would be like OHMYGOSH YOU NEED TO READ THIS.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I know I am SUPER late on reading this, in fact, my book club actually just finished the series, but I just hadn't gotten around to reading them.  I was in a slump when I decided to pick this up and I'm so glad that I did because I completely loved it!  I can't gush too much about it, because the review won't be posted until next week, but know that I loved it and if for whatever reason, you've been waiting to read this, don't!  It's so good!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

REVIEW: The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones, Jr.

book cover of The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones, Jr.
Title: The Stream: Discovery
Author: Bill Jones, Jr.
Date Published: September 19, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: e-book
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

**I received this book from the author in exchange for a completely honest review.**

Goodreads Synopsis: Charlie Patterson is an exceptionally bright, twelve-year-old boy, with no close friends. He spends most weekends in the company of his great-grandfather, G'pa Joe, and most weekdays trying his best to be invisible. This year, however, promises to be different. This year, all of Charlie's dreams will begin to come true - in more ways than he had hoped.
Charlie's entire summer has been filled with increasingly disturbing dreams. Most feature a strange, dark-haired girl, who watches, but does not speak. Her name is Robin LeBeaux, a lovely seventh grader from New Mexico with a tragic past, and she is quite real. Despite Charlie's insistent logic, and Robin's enthusiastic illogic, they become fast friends. Together, guided by Robin's deceased sister, they discover a singular talent - the ability to walk into and influence others' dreams.
Lurking amidst fanciful images of fur-covered dragons, deserts of colored glass, distorted history, and strange beings, there is a growing darkness in the dream world, the Stream. Within that darkness, G'pa Joe has become the Stream's latest victim, lost in a confusing world of nightmares masquerading as memories. Charlie and Robin are determined to find G'pa Joe and bring him back, no matter the cost. There is but one small problem: the dark Lord Siri, ruler of the Stream, has other plans for the dream world … and Charlie.
I feel like I spent forever reading this book because I had to stop and start it so many times, not because I didn't like it, but I started it right before I fell off the face of the planet around November. So let me get into what I thought.

I liked this book, quite a bit. I admit that it did take me a little bit to get into it, but after Charlie and Robin met and things started happening with G'pa Joe, that's when it got really interesting.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the attention to detail, the dreams described were really vivid, I had no trouble at all envisioning the creatures or the settings, and that was one of the great things about it.
The dynamic of the relationship between Charlie and Robin was another one of the things that I loved. Their dialogue was usually pretty funny, and it was interesting to see how their relationship really evolved over the course of their adventures. But one of the things that really got me was the emotion that was portrayed through the children, especially Robin, having to deal with her sister's death and dreaming about her accident. You really felt the emotion that she felt at times.

I think my only complaint, and its not even really a complaint, it was just something that I noticed. Robin and Charlie didn't exactly feel 12 and 13 to me. They did feel slightly older, maybe 14 and 15. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

 Overall, I like the book. If I hadn't had to stop and start, it would have been a quick read. If you like YA and Fantasy, you would like this. 3.5 out of 5 stars!

  Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

REVIEW: The Gunslinger by Stephen King (The Dark Tower #1)

book cover of The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Title: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)
Author: Stephen King
Date Published: First published in June 1982
Genre:  Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Page Count: 264 pages
Challenge: The Dark Tower Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

And so begins one of my favorite book series of all time and another one of Uncle Stevie's masterpieces.
Meet Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger in a world that's moved on.
Goodreads Synopsis: In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
That sums it up better than I ever could.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. There are a lot of people that complain that this book is boring, but I really don't agree with that. Well, I can see how some people would think that, but it really does set you up for the rest of the series and it sets you up very well for the next book in the series, which is equally amazing.
The book is told in alternating viewpoints, part from the present and then part of flashbacks. Through the flashbacks, we learn a little bit of why Roland is seeking the man in black, but we don't know the whole story. We also learn about Roland's coming of age, which makes you like Roland just a little bit more. The landscape of the desert and talks of how the world has 'moved on' is also one of the things that really makes this book, it gives you such a solitary feeling and you begin to see what his quest is going to be like.

One of the most memorable lines of the book comes from Jake Chambers, a boy who ends up at a way station in the desert, with no recollection of how he got there. Roland learns to love the boy, but has to decide if he is a trap that the man in black has left for him. I love Jake's character, he's strong for a child and at the thought of being abandoned by the gunslinger, he says "Go then, there are other worlds than these."

Another line I loved was from the man in black:
"Only equals speak the truth, that’s my thought on’t. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard. How tiresome!"
So basically, I love this book, love this series. This was supposed to be a revised and expanded edition that I read, and the first version I read was the original one, but I honestly didn't find too much to be different. I also read the foreword, which is something that I almost never do. Anyway, 5 stars. Read it.

  Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   The Gunslinger

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Release Tuesday: Birthday Edition!

New Release Tuesday is a weekly feature where I share what I'm excited about in both books and music. Sometimes its release day is close, other times it can be several weeks or months in advance. I only feature one for each category, but there a LOADS of new and upcoming releases and you can find them by visiting B&N.com or FYE.com!
And it's my birthday, bitches!  I'm 23 today (Ack, I can't believe it), which isn't a very exciting birthday, but I'm still being taken to dinner tonight and various other things, so hopefully today will be pretty awesome!
Title:  Insurgent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Release Date:  May 1, 2012
Summary:  One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But 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.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Why I'm Excited:  So I can't say that I have ever read this the first in this series, Divergent, but I know a lot of people that have, and a lot of people have absolutely loved it.  Also, if you can believe it, I read my first dystopian earlier this week, that being the first book of The Hunger Games and I totally loved it.  I loved dystopian concept and it really makes me eager to read more of this genre.  So I would love to get Divergent sometime between now and May so that I can be just as excited for this release as everyone else is.
Album Title:  Short Songs
Artist:  Silverstein
Release Date:  February 7, 2012
Why I'm Excited:  Okay, I'm going to gush for a minute about how much I completely love Silverstein.  I saw them a few years ago with my best friend Karen and they were beyond amazing.  They're really one of those bands from high school that I still listen to and I think I always will.  They're angsty and I'm pretty sure that Shane has been writing the same songs about the same woman breaking his heart for years, but that's okay because I still love them.  They've really evolved over the years musically.  I'm not really sure if this is a b-sides album or what this is, but I'll be getting it regardless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of January 16

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know, I know, why am I just now getting to this?  People have been telling me to read it for ages and I'm finally doing it!  I stay up pretty late last night reading and got through the entire first part.  I have to say that I'm really enjoying it and I'm enjoying Katniss's character and the setting and basically everything.  I have a feeling that this one will be finished pretty quickly, maybe even today and from there, I'll probably start the next one.

Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo
This is the next review request on my plate.  I'm not going to lie, the beginning is boring me, which is why I set it aside, opting for The Hunger Games.  I don't really have much to say about it yet, seeing as I'm not too far, I just hope it gets better.

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What will I be picking up next?
After Hazardous Choices, I have one more review request and then all of the Patterson books that he gave me to review. I don't count those as review requests, because I love his work and will gladly read them.  After I finish all those, I think I have a draft of a sequel in a series that I read that I need to read for the author, and then it will be smooth sailing, reading whatever I feel like reading, until I decide to open my review requests again.

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: New Release Tuesday!  And its my birthday, bitches!
++  Wednesday:  Review of The Gunslinger by Stephen King
++  Thursday: Review of The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones, Jr.
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about recommendations.
++  Saturday: IMM! Probably not a vlog, but IMM, nonetheless.
++  Sunday: The Sunday Salon.

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In case you missed it....
++ NRT, talking about the newest from Lauren Oliver and Attack Attack!
++ My review of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
++ Talking about Season 1 of The Walking Dead
++ TGIF!  Must reads of 2012
++ The Sunday Salon (29) Talking about blog drama!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Sunday Salon (29)

Can I just start off by saying that searching for jobs is so FRUSTRATING.  Especially when the field you want to go into wants AT LEAST 5 years of experience?  How do you suppose I get that if you don't hire me?  I have a degree people!  Cut me some slack!

And now that that's over.
Reading this week was a little slow for me.  Things have been hectic...and rather difficult to some degree.  I did finish one book, I started and finished The Gunslinger by Stephen King and kicked off my Dark Tower reading challenge.  I'll be posting a review for that next week sometime.  I also managed to finish The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones so there will also be a review of that at some point this week.

So I've been seeing a little bit of drama around the blogosphere lately, concerning some authors and reviewers. Recently, there was a reviewer who posted some of her thoughts on a book that she read.  It just so happened that she didn't like the book, and she said she didn't and why, and then said maybe I just don't see it, but other people have liked it, so I guess I'm just missing it.
Well, cue author who found the post by googling herself and proceeded to post a scathing post on her blog that attacked the blogger directly on her review to her about me section.  Hello lady, where the hell is your professionalism?  I know that it must suck to find out that not everyone likes your book, but if you're going to be that overly sensitive about it, you maybe shouldn't publish your work.  There are going to be people that like and don't like your work.  That's the thing about reading, its very SUBJECTIVE.  Of course book bloggers of all kinds rallied behind the attacked blogger and she removed the post, but the entire thing was ridiculous, no fault of the blogger.
This all happened like maybe two weeks ago, but I was just thinking about it and how ridiculous it all was.
What are your thoughts on this?  Have you ever been in a similar situation?  Share!

Friday, January 13, 2012

TGIF: 2012 Must Reads

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at Greadsbooks.com.  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list to be read this year (new or old releases)?


I have so many books that I want to read for the year!  My biggest goal is the get through the piles and piles on my bookshelves this year that I've never gotten around to.  Most of these are old books that I haven't gotten to yet, but better late than never, right?
  • The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King:  This is a re-read for me, but seeing as I'm hosting a challenge for it this year, it kind of is a must read.  I want to at least complete my own challenge!  Plus, The Wind Through the Keyhole is coming out in March, so I plan of pre-ordering that.
  • The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon: I read the first in the series and LOVED it, so I want to read the rest.  This is yet another challenge I've signed up for and hope to finish.
  • The Abarat series by Clive Barker:  I got this series from BookPerk last year and I'm DYING to read it.  I've heard so many great things about it and I really hope these are books that I can get to this year.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:  Another series that I've heard amazing things about and really would like to get to this year!
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:  Every time I see this in the bookstore I want to snatch it up, but I just haven'y yet.  I hope to get my hands on it soon though because it sounds completely phenomenal.
  • Anything by Ellen Hopkins: She's another author that I've heard great things about and never read, so I hope to be able to get to some of her work this year!

Okay, so I know that most of these are series, but I really like series and there are just a lot of things that I want to get to this year!  What are some of the things that you're dying to read in the next year?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead, Season 1

The Walking Dead logo

Okay, I'm super late on this, I know that.  This was another one of those shows that I really wanted to watch, and I watched the first episode of, and then promptly forgot about it because of my lack of time to watch television.  But the first season recently became available on Netflix, and I had a few nights of insomnia so I started watching it.  The first season is only 6 episodes, but I watched them all in 2 nights.

Rick of The Walking Dead on AMC
Like a lot of other people, I like the whole zombie concept and it has inserted itself into pop culture today.  So this show, for those of you that live under a rock is about some sort of crazy disease that gets lose and kills you, then reanimates you.  It is passed through bites and scratches.  Our main character, Rick, was a police officer in a small Georgia town and was shot on the job.  He ends up in a coma, only to wake up to what feels like the end of the world.  With no knowledge of what has happened, it's a wonder that he even makes it out of the hospital.
He makes it to his house, realizes his family is gone and it found by another set of survivors, and they explain to him exactly what has happened to the world.  SO, Rick sets out on a quest to find his family, knowing somehow that they're still alive.

This series is about zombies but its also about people, its about the dynamic between the strangers that have to come together to keep themselves from being eaten.  Of course, there's the love triangle that is forming, which I almost could have done without, but I won't say who it is between, so I don't spoil anything n case some of you haven't seen this yet.
zombie on The Walking Dead
One of the best things about the series I think is the casting, like with American Horror Story.  There are several characters that I just love and then there are the characters that you just have to hate.  For instance, I kind of am really starting to hate Shane and I hope he gets killed off at some point in the future.  I liked him at first but he's getting worse and worse to me.  I also really don't like Rick's wife.
Also, the people that do the makeup in the series are seriously fantastic.  Each of the zombies has their own story and you can see a bite or a scratch on almost all of them, the bite or scratch that killed them.

Anyway, I really liked the first series of this.  I admit, there were a few points where it was a little boring and I felt like they could have left some scenes out, it moved a little slow, but maybe that will be made up for in Season 2.  The first few episodes are on OnDemand, so I need to jump on that before they start the season up again.  If you like zombies, and you like drama, I think that this is something that you need to watch, if you haven't already!

On a side note, if you're a reader of the graphic novels, I have no idea how closely the series goes along with them, since I've never read it before.  Hopefully they stick pretty close to it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

REVIEW: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

book cover of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Title: The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Date Published: First published in 1937
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Page Count: 256 Pages
Challenge: E-book Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Everyone knows that I have struggled with reading the so-called 'classics.' This is another book that has been deemed a classic by many and one of those books that EVERYONE SHOULD READ. So, challenge accepted. Of course, this was a challenge I was very willing to take because I loved the LOTR trilogy so much and this is along the same lines. So, super easy challenge that isn't really a challenge accepted.

We follow Mr. Bilbo Baggins on his journey with 13 dwarfs and Gandalf on their way to The Lonely Mountain to defeat a dragon and steal all of his treasure. Mr. Baggins is a fairly well-to-do hobbit, very respectable, and for the most part had no desire for any sort of adventure. But on his journey he discovers that he's actually pretty good at adventures and has some pretty marvelous luck. The troop gets into a few scrapes along the way and it looks like they may not make it a few times, but our heroes somehow find a way to prevail, and that's the story pretty much.

I liked this book.  I really liked Bilbo, I loved the cast of characters that Tolkien showed us, even if I wasn't too fond of many of the dwarfs, but I loved the settings, and the dragon, and basically I just loved it.  I'm glad that I didn't wait any longer to read this book, and if you haven't read it, you should.
Thy're actually making two movies out of this little book, and that concerns me.  I was all for it when I first heard about it because I loved the LOTR movies so much, but this is a little different.  This is a pretty short book, and I'm trying to figure out how they're going to make two movies out of it.  I think that there is going to have to be some filler added and I'm really not down with that.  But, its Hollywood and they're in it to make money and they know these movies will make a lot of it.

Anyway, loved this book, if you've read LOTR and for some reason are like me and hadn't read this, I suggest you read it, and soon.  5 out of 5 stars.


Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Release Tuesday (30)

New Release Tuesday is a weekly feature where I share what I'm excited about in both books and music. Sometimes its release day is close, other times it can be several weeks or months in advance. I only feature one for each category, but there a LOADS of new and upcoming releases and you can find them by visiting B&N.com or FYE.com!
Title:  Pandemonium
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Release Date:  February 28, 2012
Summary:  I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and ?ame.
Why I'm Excited:  Okay so I can't say that I'm like super excited for this book, because I haven't read the first one yet.  However, if you watched In My Mailbox (30) then you know that I downloaded a copy of Delirium and I plan on reading it very soon.  I've seen a lot of bloggers say that it was one of their favorites of the year, and I think there are going to be some blog tours and some reviews posted for this very soon, given the close release date, so I really want to read the first one so I can get to this one!
Album Title:  This Means War
Artist:  Attack Attack!
Release Date:  January, 17, 2012
Why I'm Excited:  So here's another album that's coming out on my birthday.  I'll admit, Attack Attack! isn't a band that I've listened to a whole lot.  In fact, some of their earlier music is pretty bad in my opinion.  But when I got the Warped Tour Sampler from this year and heard their song "A is for Andrew" I kind of decided that I really liked it.  Then I sampled some of the things from this album and decided that the samples didn't sound that bad.  While its not a band that I actively listen to now, I think that I might give this new album a try when it comes out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of January 9

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
So I know I said I wasn't going to start anything else until I finished the few review requests that I have, but after I got the new copy of this book, it was just staring at me.  It was calling to me, and I just had to answer it.  It all seems vaguely familiar to me, but it has been so long since I read the series that its really a new experience.  There are more things that I'm noticing, aside from the fact that its the expanded edition.  I read this series at the end of middle school/beginning of high school, so I think I can appreciate it more now that I'm older and more well read.  I know I'm going to enjoy The Dark Tower Reading Challenge SO MUCH.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Still trucking through this.  I'm trying so hard to read just a little bit of it a day, but I really need to spend some time with it if I'm ever going to finish it.  However, I'm disappointed in myself because I happened to see a blog post about the book, and read it, and it spoiled the ending so I know how it all ends.  But I think if I can ever get into it, it will be worth the read.

The Stream: Discovery by Bill Jones
This is a review request that I've had or quite some time.  I'm almost halfway through and it took me a little bit to get into it, but we're getting into the meat of the story and I'm starting to like the characters more and more.  Hopefully I'll be able to get this one wrapped up and reviewed within the week.

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What will I be picking up next?
In order:  Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo, Keeping Cooper by Samantha Masone, Mercy by Joshua Grover-David Patterson, Fairy Godmother-in-Law by Joshua Grover-David Patterson, Misfits by Joshua Grover-David Patterson, and after that I think all of the review requests will be finished!

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  New Release Tuesday, featuring some things that I'm excited about!
++  Wednesday:  Review of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
++  Thursday: Talking about The Walking Dead, Season 1 (Yes, I'm late on this.)
++  Friday: TGIF about what i'm most looking forward to read in 2012!
++  Sunday: The Sunday Salon.

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In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday - Talking about Beth Revis's newest and Anthony Green's newest album.
++  Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.  3 stars.
++  American Horror Story, Season 1:  Why you should watch this.
++  In My Mailbox (30) - I have an addiction!
++  The Sunday Salon (28) - Finding the balance between life and blogging.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Sunday Salon (28)

So this is a return to The Sunday Salon, where I basically just talk about bookish things.

So let's see, where to begin.
Well, we can start with the fact that I'm trying to find that balance in between life and blogging again.  Reading as well.  November and December were crazy months and the next few months will bring many more challenges, such as finding my first big girl job and starting my new life beyond college.  I hope that in spite of this I can find the balance that I had at one time and then maintain it.

As I stated before, my goal for this year is to to read a lot of my own books.  And I mean A LOT of them.  I have so many books on my bookshelves that have been waiting forever to be read, and I want this year to be the year to be the year that they get read.  I already made the decision that I'm not going to be accepting review requests aside from the ones that I still need to read, so I can focus on the things that I WANT to read.  I want to make this more fun and less like a chore, and at time it felt a little like a chore last year.

Have you ever gotten to the point where you felt like reading/reviewing was a chore rather than something you enjoyed doing?  What did you do to get over it?  Let me know!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In My Mailbox (30)

Hey guys, time for another IMM.  This one will probably be the last one for a while, as I really want to get some books read before I buy anymore or take anymore.  So enjoy it!
As always, credit for IMM goes to The Story Siren.




Books Mentioned:
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Don't forget to check out the Dark Tower Reading Challenge and The Stephen King Project!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: American Horror Story, Season 1

American Horror Story Season 1

So I have to say, I never really watch television.  I just never really get the opportunity to between all of the other things that I have to do.  Also, its hard for me to find a show that I like and actually want to keep up with.  However, I found one and I LOVED it.
American Horror Story.  For those of you that read my blog regularly, just the title sounds like it would be something that I liked, right?  I saw the ads before it began, said "Oh, that looks interesting, I think I want to watch that!" and then promptly forgot about it.  Then it was on one night, I watched the episode, got so interested that I Watched all the previous episodes on demand and was completely hooked.  I never missed an episode after that.  So let me tell you about this show and why its so amazing.
American Horror Story Tate Meet the Harmon family.  In a nutshell, Ben has had an affair after his wife suffers a miscarriage.  In an effort to save their marriage, Ben moves his wife and daughter, Vivian and Violet, all the way from Boston to LA into an old house to try and put their life back together.  However, as soon as they move, crazy things start happening and gradually the Harmon's start to learn about the past inhabitants and that once you live there, you don't get to leave.

I will warn you now that the rating on the show is TV-MA and it has that rating for a reason.  There's a good bit of sexuality, violence and a little bit of gore.  But if it didn't have all of those things, it wouldn't be as good as it is.
American Horror Story Jessica LangeI think the thing that makes the show what it is, is the casting.  The casting is simply phenomenal.  Everyone in the house or around the house is slightly crazy and the actors that they chose portrayed them perfectly.  Jessica Lange, who plays Constance, the Harmon's neighbor, was completely phenomenal.  And Evan Peters, Constance's son Tate, was another character that stole the show.  Picture the quintessential kid of the 90's, with the hair, the tortured soul and what not.   I just loved him, I don't think I would have liked the show as much if he hadn't been a part of it.
I was a little scared of the concept of the show, I thought it was going to be predictable, as most horror movies are, and there were a few points that things were predictable, but for the most part, it kept you on your toes.

I highly highly highly suggest finding this on ondemand and watching it!  There is a season 2 in the making, but from what I've read it going to be a whole new cast in a whole new house and I'm not sure how I feel about that so I may or may not be watching, but the first season was amazing.  If you love horror, please watch this!  If I were to give it a movie rating, definitely an A+!
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