Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Dark Tower Challenge - February Discussion

Okay, so this discussion just barely made it into February, but I usually schedule things a good bit in advance.  Things just got away from me this week and its a day late!  Thank goodness for the extra day in February.

So, we meet again to discuss our progress on the reading challenge for the year.  There are only seven books in the series, eight if you count the one that's coming out fairly soon, so there are a few of you that probably haven't started it yet.  I've actually just started The Waste Lands, the third in the series.

For January, since most of you probably hadn't started the series, we just did some basic questions about the series, and how often you read King and various other things.

Discussion topic for the month:
Characters!

One of the reasons that this series is as fantastic as it is, is the characters in it.  The Drawing of the Three is where we get our first glimpse of the characters that will carry this story, and Roland to the tower.
What are your thoughts on Roland thus far?  How do you feel about the other characters that you've met?  Who do you love and who do you hate?  Of course you may mention characters from any book, just be careful as to not spoil anything for those that may not be as far as you are!

As always, if you have any reviews, please post them!  Just designate if there are any spoilers before then.

I hope that those of you that have started are enjoying it as much as I am!  Now discuss, discuss, discuss!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of February 27

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 Waste Lands by Stephen King
Volume 3 in the Dark Tower Series.  I know that a lot of people count this one as one of their favorites as well.  I don't remember a whole lot about this one, except for a few key points.  So, that being said, I can't really say a whole lot about it, especially since I just started this today.  I'm looking forward to reading more of it though.

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What will I be picking up next?
I have a whole list of things that I'm going to be reading for this month.  I don't know exactly what I'm going to be picking up after this, but be on the look out for my March TBR vlog.

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  The Dark Tower Reading Challenge discussion post for February.
++  Wednesday:  February Rewind vlog
++  Thursday: March TBR Pile vlog
++  Friday: TGIF, talking about Book Moments
++  Saturday:  Review of Red Glove by Holly Black
++  Sunday: The Sunday Salon

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In case you missed it....
++  I've Been Tagged!
++  Review of Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
++  Review of Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo
++  TGIF: Required Reading
++  Review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Saturday, February 25, 2012

REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

book cover of mockingjay by suzanne collins
Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)  
Author: Suzanne Collins
Date Published: August 2010
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Page Count: 293 pages
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So for me, Catching Fire ended on such a crappy note that I wanted to throw the book, but I couldn't because it was my Nook.  So, I was interested to see where Collins would take us in this book.

If you haven't read the book, don't read this.  I can't talk about the book without spoiling anything.  No major spoilers, but still.

Before I even started it, everyone kept telling me OH THERE'S SO MUCH DYING YOU'RE GOING TO CRY THE WHOLE TIME!  Negative.  While I really liked this series and there were some emotional parts, I'm not a crier.  
So I'm sure most people know the premise, so I won't waste space and talk about it here, but this is basically just the actual war between the Capitol and the rest of the districts while Katinss struggles to decide if she is going to continue to be the face of the rebellion. Lots of action packed craziness and epic battles.

Peeta.  That whole nonsense really did break my heart.  I was SO HAPPY when they got him back and shocked when I found out what they did to him.  I love Peeta so much.  People kept asking are you team Gale of team Peeta?  How can you be team Gale?  You hardly know anything about him, other than he feels some kind of way about Katniss and she's all confused about her feelings, but we know how amazingly sweet Peeta is.  Therefore, that question is invalid.  You have to be team Peeta.  Not to say I didn't like Gale, because I did.

I will say that this book really made me realize even more that I freaking HATE politics.  That's all this book was if you think about it.  Military strategies, figuring out what everyone's ulterior motives were, that's politics.  And I hate them.  This book showed you what power does to people, in all the death that's sprinkled throughout.  But I loved this book.

AND THE ENDING.  OH MY GOSH.  I said I'm not a crier?  Oh buddy, I cried.  Not the full on waterworks, but I shed some tears, for multiple reasons.

I loved this series, a lot.  I thought Katniss was prety kickass, even if I wanted to shake her a few times.  It was wonderfully written and a fantastic story.  I'm interested to see what they will do with the movies, but we'll see when those come out.  5 stars, hands down.

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

TGIF: Required Reading

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:
Required Reading: Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?


There were a few books that I was required to read in high school that I really loved.  I always hated that everyone moaned and groaned when it was time to read anything.  I only had to take an English course 3 out of my 4 years of high school, but I remember one book from each grade that I loved.

9th grade: A Separate Peace by John Knowles.  I remember that most of the kids in my class really hated this book, but then they also hated everything about the class, including the teacher, who I loved.  This was actually one of the first books that came to mind when I read today's question.

10th grade:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  OhmyGosh I love this book.  And this was actually a book that almost everyone that I knew enjoyed.  It really helped that my English teacher that was was SUPER fantastic and he made reading this FUN and I will never forget him for that.  This book will always stick with me because of how fantastic it is.

11th grade: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  Though I couldn't pronounce most of the names in this book, let alone the author's name, I still really enjoyed the story, and it stuck with me, even if it was a sad one.  This is one of those books that when I see it in a bookstore, I always say "Oh, that was a really good book, I want to reread that someday."  Maybe one day I will.

Then of course, in college there were only a few books that I had to read and actually enjoyed.  I read Dracula for my English 102 class and loved it so much that I beasted a paper on it and made one of only 2 A's in the class.  
Then for my Non-Western Literature class, we read SO MANY GOOD BOOKS.  Scarlet Song by Mariama Ba (my review), Wild Ginger by Anchee Min (my review), and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (my review).  I seriously loved that class.

As for requirements for kids today?  There is a reason that I'm not in education, because I would never be able to pick the books that kids should read.  That's what we would spend the entire year doing, screw the curriculum ;]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

REVIEW: Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo

book cover of hazardous choices by joseph rinaldo
Title: Hazardous Choices
Author: Joseph Rinaldo
Date Published: October 4, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Page Count: e-book
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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

Summary:  During his first year in college, Darnell safely resides in a small Kentucky town, playing Division Two college football and trying to make something of himself. Adjusting to the new surroundings proves tough, but a teammate and a girl give him hope that his future will be better than his past.
In the summer after his freshman year, he returns to the old neighborhood to be with his mother. The gang reasserts its hold on him, and the leader orders Darnell to kill a member of a rival gang. Nearly dying in a gang fight, Darnell shoots an enemy gangbanger. This forces Darnell to re-evaluate his future. As a result, he lies to the mercurial leader of his gang, claiming he completed his assignment. After “doing work” for his gang, Darnell receives permission to head back to school and the security of small-town life. 

When the head gangbanger learns of Darnell’s lie, the small Kentucky town isn’t so safe anymore.


My Thoughts:  I read another one of Rinaldo's books and I liked it, but this one left something to be desired for me.  It has received a lot of good reviews on several different sites, but I guess I just didn't connect with the story very well.  But, it does have a pretty sweet cover!

The very beginning of the book was a lot of talk about football, which I personally found hard to get through.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE football, especially college football, (I am from the south guys) but its something that I would much rather watch than read about.  I get that this was how Darnell was supposed to be changing his life, but I felt that some of it could have been left out.

I really liked the premise of the book, and even some of the characters I liked, but I just couldn't connect with it like I wanted to.  The ending was also pretty abrupt for me, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about that.
By no means is it a bad book, like I said, a lot of other people have really enjoyed it, but sometimes these things happen, you just can't connect with a book like you want to.  If the blurb sounds interesting to you, I suggest you get the book and give it a read yourself, maybe you will find a better connection than I did.

Like I said, its not a bad book, but I couldn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to, and for that reason it only gets 2 out of 5 stars.

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REVIEW: Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker

book cover of Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker
Title: Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
Author: Clive Barker
Date Published: First published in October 2004
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Page Count: 624 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

**Just a warning, this is the second book in this series, so there may be some spoilers for the first book.  If you'd like to read a review of the first book, you can read mine here.**

We catch up with Candy and Malingo a few weeks after the first book has ended.  They've been traveling from hour to hour trying to evade being caught by the criss cross man, who Carrion has sent to capture Candy.  While running, Candy and Malingo are separated and they spend a good bit of the book attempting to be reunited.

In this book, we learn a lot more about what Carrion and his grandmother have been up to and the plans that they have for the Abarat.  Unfortunately, none of them are good plans. Bringing permanent midnight to the islands sounds like a fantastic idea to the Carrion family unit.  When Candy makes the decision to go back to Chickentown for good because she is under the impression that all she does is cause problems, this brings to conflict to a head and now not only is the Abarat in danger, but Chickentown is as well.
This is also the point where Candy learns a lot about herself and why she has such love for the Abarat, and why she is able to do magic that she has never learned before.  Candy is slowly piecing it together, but even as the second book ends, it all is not solved.

Once again, I loved the imagery in this book and I really wish I had a copy with Barker's paintings inside.  To see everything come to life would have been pretty fantastic.
The characterization in this book was also expanded quite a bit, especially in the case of the villain, which I really loved.  You got more of a sense of who Carrion was and you almost got to feel sorry for him.  And in this book we also meet up with some of the cast of characters that made an appearance in Book 1.
There were so many quotes from this book that resonated with me as well.  So much so, that once again, I flooded Tumblr with some of them, but just to give you an example:
I’ve learned only two things in my life. One, that love is the beginning and end of all meaning. And two, that it is the same thing whatever shape our souls have taken on this journey. Love is love. Is love.
Basically, what it comes down to is that I really enjoyed this book, even more than the first one.  I can't wait to get to the third!  4 out of 5 stars!

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've been Tagged!

I was tagged by Allison over at The Cheap Reader!  Sometimes its fun to get to know fellow bloggers this way.

How It Works
 1. You must post the rules.
 2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people who you have tagged.
 3. Tag ten people and link to them on your post.
 4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Here's my questions:


1.  What’s one book that you wish you could make everyone read?
There are so many.  But I guess I have to say I want everyone to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Everyone needs to read these books in my opinion!


2.  What book(s) are you a bit embarrassed to say you’ve never read?
There are a lot of these as well.  Most of them are classics that I've never gotten around to.  These include a lot of Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, and then other classics like Farenheight 451 by Ray Bradbery and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline 


3.  Are there any books that book blogging has turned you on to that you never would have read before?
Some of the review requests that I took were books that I never would have read otherwise and they were actually pretty good.  There are some fiction books that I've read because of other bloggers that I never thought I would read as well.


4.  If you had to be stuck on a deserted island, what 5 books would you bring with you?
I seriously don't know if I could answer this.  The Stand by Stephen King would be one because there is SO much to that book I think you need to read it way more than once to get everything out of it.  I would probably take my volume of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe as well.  I love his work and I need to read more of it.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because I love that book so much.  And I don't know if I can pick two more!


5.  What’s your favorite series?
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.  I read these books so many times as a child and I read them again last year and I just love them.  Even if they are full of biblical parallels.


6.  Summarize your taste in 4 books.
Salem's Lot by Stephen King, Abarat by Clive Barker, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.


7.  What’s your favorite stand alone book?
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.


8.  What book would you want to magically transported into?
Outlander.  Because I want to BE Claire Randall so I can have Jamie.  Oh my, that man.  Even if she almost dies a few times, I'm pretty sure I could hold my own.  I'm pretty kickass myself :]


9.  What character(s) would you want to be best friends with? Why?
The Hogwarts crew.  I don't think I need to explain why.


10.  What’s next on your to read list?
Actually, Mercy by Joshua Grover-David Patterson.  Look up his stuff on Amazon, its pretty flippin' sweet.


My Questions for the Tagged:
  1. How long have you been book blogging?
  2. Are you a member of any book clubs in person, or are you one of your only friends that enjoys reading?
  3. How often do you visit your local library?
  4. Favorite place to read?
  5. Do you feel that book blogging has introduced you to more and changed your taste in any way?
  6. Favorite book or series?
  7. Print books or e-books?
  8. Paperback or hardcover?
  9. Where do you get most of your books? Are the bought, borrowed, ARCs?
  10. When you're not reading, what are you usually doing?
Who I'm tagging:
The Bookscape Report


Okay, so I might be cheating and only tagging 5, but these are the only people I can think to tag!  Looking forward to reading everyone's answers!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of February 20

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: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker
I've reached the final book in the series for now.  There is supposed to be a fourth and fifth in the works, but for those of you that didn't know, Barker was very ill recently and nearly lost his life, so there's no telling when these next books will be released.  I hope that this brush with death with give him new gusto and he will finish these books sooner rather than later.  Anyway, I've started the last.  The second book left a few questions about what may have happened to a few characters, so I'm excited to get into this absolutely gorgeous volume.  I'm sure that I'm going to love it.

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What will I be picking up next?
The last two books for the month of February are Mercy by Joshua Grover-David Patterson and Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie.  I have no idea what will be beyond that, so you'll have to look out for my March TBR vlog to find out the answer to that!

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: I was tagged by Allison at The Cheap Reader!
++  Wednesday: Abarat: Days of Magic and Nights of War by Clive Barker review.
++  Thursday: Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo review
++  Friday: TGIF, talking about required reading.
++  Saturday: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins review.
++  Sunday: The Sunday Salon

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In case you missed it....
++  In My Mailbox (33)
++  Review: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
++  New Release Tuesday (34)
++  The Sunday Salon (31)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (33)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where you basically post your week in books.  Interested in participating?  Click the link to learn more!

I usually post my IMM on Saturday, but I didn't have time, so this is going to double as The Sunday Salon   as well.I really wanted to do a vlog this week so I could talk about my trip to 2nd and Charles and gush about how excited I am to read all of these books, but I haven't had the time and I'm actually sick now as well, so I would have sounded all kinds of funny.  BUT trust me guys, I'm super excited to read all of these books and I'm I'm super excited to be reading Abarat right now as well.


Books I Bought
Room by Emma Donoghue Books of Blood by Clive Barker A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Lullaby
NookBooks I Downloaded
None this week!
  Books I'm Currently Reading
Abarat: Absolute Midnight 
Books I Finished
Red Glove by Holly Black The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

REVIEW: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

book cover of The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
Title: The Drawing of the Three
Author: Stephen King
Date Published: First published in 1987
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 480 pages
Challenge: The Dark Tower Reading Challenge
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

**WARNING. I try not to post spoilers, but if you haven't read the first book in the series, there are a few giveaways from the first book in this review. You can read my review of The Gunslinger here.**

Roland's back, and this time he's bringing a few friends along with him.

The second book in the series picks up where the first book left off. Roland has held palaver with the infamous man in black and has fallen asleep for what seems like many years. When he wakes, the man in black is nothing but a laughing skeleton and Roland continues his track towards to sea. When he gets there, close to death, he comes into contact with creatures that he dubs lobstrocities, and they do nothing but cause trouble. But Roland soon finds the first door and begins drawing the three that the man and black predicted and it turns out that those he's drawing will save him just as much as he is saving them.

This is by far one of my favorite books in the series. It is in this book that we're introduced to the main cast of characters that are in the series. I think Eddie is my favorite character in the series. He and I would get along pretty well I think. I also liked this book because we learn a little bit more about Roland. Not through his past experiences, but just through the way that he interacts with Eddie and the way that he handles certain things. He is such a cold character, but we see him open up just a tiny bit in this book.

There were so many quotes that I loved so much from this book.  I ended up flooding people on Tumblr with the quotes I liked, but I'll share this one with you.
A heartless creature is a loveless creature, and a loveless creature is a beast. To be a beast is perhaps bearable, although the man who has become one will surely pay hell’s own price in the end, but what if you should gain your object?….If there is naught but darkness in your heart, what could you do except degenerate from beat to monster? To gain one’s object as a beat would only be bitterly comic, like giving a magnifying glass to an elephaunt. But to gain one’s object as a monster…
To pay hell is one thing. But do you want to own it?
I love this series. This is a reread for me, but I found that there were several things from the last half of the book that I completely failed to remember, which was a good thing, because it made reading it more interesting for me. I have to 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 Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Release Tuesday (34)

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:  The Wolf Gift
Author:  Anne Rice
Release Date:  February 14, 2012
Summary:  The time is the present.
The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.
 
A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer . . . An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . An idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.
 
As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf” by authorities, the media, and scientists (evidence of DNA threatens to reveal his dual existence) . . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there may be others like him who are watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time who possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge. And throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

Why I'm Excited:  Okay, I will admit that I have actually never in my life read anything by Anne Rice.  Not Interview with a Vampire, not anything.  I've seen the movie, which was fantastic, but that doesn't count much.  I've always wanted to read some of her work, and it seems that either you love it or you hate it.  A good friend of mine really enjoys her work and is VERY excited for this release.  Maybe one day I'll get around to reading her, but this release has caught my attention!
Unfortunately, there is not a single new release that is coming out any time soon that I have any sort of interest in.  It's rather sad, really.  I think the next thing I have to look forward to is the new Every Time I Die.  Maybe a new release will be announced before next week that I can actually get excited about!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of February 13

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 Woman in Black by Susan Hill
I've heard good things about this book.  Its a ghost story, but some people have told me that it goes a little bit beyond that.  I will say that the beginning was just a tiny bit slow and I had trouble concentrating on the main character and the names confused me, but I finally got it.  Hill does a fantastic job with the setting in this book.  I think I'm almost halfway through.  It is reading a little bit slower than I thought it would, but we're just now getting to the meat of the story, so it should pick up from here.

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What will I be picking up next?
I actually finished 2 other books this week, other than what you saw in last week's Manic Monday post.  I'm WAY ahead on reading and way behind on reviewing.  The next two books after The Woman in Black are Mercy but Joshua Grover-David Patterson and Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker.  After that, I have one Agatha Christie left to read and I've made it through my pile for February and then some, so I'll just be picking up whatever strikes my fancy, but it will probably be another Patterson book.  There's a series of his that I have that I really need to read :]

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  New Release Tuesday, featuring new Anne Rice.
++  Wednesday: Review of The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
++  Thursday: Review of Abarat:  Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about book blogger pride.
++  Saturday:  In My Mailbox!
++  Sunday:  The Sunday Salon.

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In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday (33)
++  Review of Abarat by Clive Barker.  4 out of 5 stars.
++  Review of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  5 out of 5 stars.
++  TGIF, talking about love stories.
++  In My Mailbox (32)
++  The Sunday Salon (31)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Sunday Salon (31)

Its that time of the week again!

Honestly, things have been pretty boring here in my world.  I've been working (4 days of 9 hour shifts, which I'm not all that used to be on a concrete floor for so long) and keeping my house together and this week I've done A LOT of reading.  I actually finished 4 books this week, which is kind of a record for me.  And I think that this will be the first time that I actually will finish all the books that I set out to read in a month, plus some.  Since its February, the shortest month of the year, I set the bar low, only challenging myself to read 7 books, but I think I'll finish 9, which is usually a really good month for me.
I guess I need to start picking out the books I want to get through for next month!

However, reading so fast means that I'm reading faster than I'm writing reviews.  I'm WAY backed up.  I was 3 books backed up I think last week and I managed to get all of them finished relatively quickly.  Right now, I'm backed up 5 books, soon to be 6.  But I can't help it, I would SO much rather just read than write the reviews!  It doesn't help that all of the books I've been reading (except one) have been pretty fantastic.  I'm also trying to figure out when I'm going to have the time to actually write the reviews.

On another note, but still book related, I'm going to visit my favorite used book store ever on Monday.  And I usually go in without any kind of idea of what I need to get, but I've been making a list of things to see if they have, so I will actually be prepared.  I feel bad for those going with me, because I can spend SO much time in there.  Valentine's Day gift to myself since I don't really believe in the day.  Needless to say, no plans.  And I don't think that you need a special day to show someone you love them, that should be every day.

But I rambled enough and now it is time to prepare myself to spend another 9 hours at Old Navy.  Someone please kill me now.  I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday and happy reading!

And once again, I leave you something that's been on my playlist lately. This is a woman who knows how to rock. Meet Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Enjoy :]

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (32)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where you basically post your week in books.  Interested in participating?  Click the link to sign up!

I decided to skip the vlog this week, as I only got one thing in my mailbox and got one other book.  Can you guys believe that I've never read A Wrinkle in Time?  I can't either.  I saw it in the NookBook store and decided to get it.  Red Glove is because I'm going to be doing an ARC tour of Black Heart in the next month I think, so I need to get the second book in the series read!  The three books in the finished category, you can expect reviews of soon!




Books I Bought
Red Glove by Holly Black
NookBooks I Downloaded
A Wrinkle in Time
Books I'm Currently Reading
Red Glove by Holly Black Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Books I Finished
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

What did you get this week?

Friday, February 10, 2012

TGIF: Love Stories

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:
Love Stories: What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?


Oh, my.  I have read a lot of good love stories.  Well, actually, I take that back.  I really haven't read that many love stories, for the simple fact that love stories aren't really my thing.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I read a lot of horror, suspense, mystery and the like.  I do love the occasional love story though.  Examples:
  • The Outlander series.  This pops up on TGIF posts of my all the time, but I just simply LOVED this book.  Why I haven't finished the series, I can't really answer that question.  However, I loved Jamie and Claire and their amazing love story.  I could seriously gush about it all day and writing this is really making me want to reread it, so I think I might do that soon.
  • The Ring by Danielle Steel.  I read this when I was honestly way too young to be reading things like this, but it was one of those books that made an impression on me.  Ariana falling in love with the German officer and the tragedy that strikes, and the way she's able to fall in love again after was fantastic.  I loved the love in this book.
  • Granny Dan by Danielle Steel.  Yes, here she is again, but this book was just amazing.  Granny Dan's legacy told through a stack of letters.  I cried so hard during this book, it was so fantastic.  Or at least that's how I remember it, its been forever since I read it.
  • Most romances in Sarah Dessen books.  I love her books and I usually fall in love with the boys in her books with the main character.


Those are honestly some of the only love stories that I can think of that I remember well.  What about you?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

REVIEW: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

book cover of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Date Published: First published 2009
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Page Count: 275 pages
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This isn't going to be a traditional review, because much like the first one, everyone has pretty much read this book.  Once again, I hopped on the bandwagon at the very end, right before the movies, but I still think that everyone should read these books.

This book picks up a little bit after where book 1 left off.  Things have started to chance in District 12, since Peeta and Katniss's victory.  There have been rumors of rebellion in other districts, rebellion that Katniss has helped begin.  And of course, there's the coming Quarter Quell, which could mean terrible things for both Peeta and Katniss.
This book threw you right back into the action.  There is a little bit of quite time in District 12, but then things begin to change again and with the Quarter Quell approaching.

While I was reading this book, there was a pretty obvious love triangle of sorts forming between Peeta and Katniss and Gale.  I mentioned this on Tumblr, and some asshole anon thought they would be a smartass and say "There is no love triangle, this is not Twilight."  Well of course I know its not Twilight, but I'm pretty sure there was a love triangle of sorts.  Now I don't know what's going to happen in the last book, so that may change, but its still a love triangle of sorts.

Anyway, the ending of this book just made me want to throw it.  Talk about leaving a cliffhanger ending.  I did enjoy this book, but not quite as much as I enjoyed the first one.  I still loved it, and I can't wait to read the third.  Definitely still 5 out of 5 stars.


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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

REVIEW: Abarat by Clive Barker

book cover of Abarat by Clive Barker
Title: Abarat (Abarat #1)
Author: Clive Barker
Date Published: First published 2002
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Page Count: 432 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the Abarat, an amazing archipeligo where each island is stuck at a certain hour of the day, where amazing creatures live that we have never imagined.  But strange things are beginning to happen in the Abarat and dark forces are starting to come alive.
Candy Quakenbush lives in the most boring town in the world, Chickentown, USA.  A chance encounter with John Mischief in an empty field, and Candy's life will never be the same.  She's swept away into the Abarat and  it is her job to help save the Abarat.

I loved this book.  When I saw Barker's name, I thought that this was going to be some sort of horror something, based on his other books that I've read (The Hellbound Heart, Mister B. Gone).  This was very different from what I was expecting.
All of the characters had crazy names, and just the premise is a little crazy, islands that are stuck at one hour of the day?  The creatures were so fantastic that it was hard to imagine.  John Mischief and all of his brothers, Malingo, the crazy wizard, everything was so fantastic.
Candy is kind of a crazy heroine, there is some definite foreshadowing throughout the book and little clues are given to Candy's destiny on the Abarat.  The other character that I was absolutely loved was Christopher Carrion (pictured on the cover).  He is the villain of sorts in the book, but there is a lot more to him, but you don't learn it all in the first book.

The thing that I disliked the most was there were crazy adventures throughout the book, but once again, as it always is in a series, there was so much left that was unresolved.  Of course there are 2 other books and one in the works, but I just hated how he just left off.  Also there was no major crisis or anything, at this point, its just cat and mouse, but you can feel something coming.  I'm just impatient so I want to already know what it is!

Anyway, I enjoyed this book, I know I'm going to enjoy the next two.  Can't wait to get through book 2!  4 out of 5 stars.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Release Tuesday (33)

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:  Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12)
Author:  Charlaine Harris
Release Date:  May 1, 2012
Summary:  None Found.
Why I'm Excited:  Personally, I've never read any of this series and I've never seen the HBO series either. However, I know its IMMENSELY popular and so many people love it.  I have the first book in the series and its something that I keep meaning to pick up and I just haven't had the chance to do it yet, but one day I'll finally get to it!
Album Title:  Ex Lives
Artist:  Every Time I Die
Release Date:  March 6, 2012
Why I'm Excited:  Oh my gosh.  I don't even know when the last time was that I featured an album where I was genuinely excited for the release, but this I am SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR.  I would be willing to take a guess and say that this is not the type of band that most of my readers would listen to, but I'm excited about this and I want to share this!  Their last album was released in 2009 and it was freaking fantastic.  I was supposed to see them on Warped Tour 2010 and their set got rained out, but we made up for it by seeing them in a small bar in November of that year and it was by far one of the best shows I've ever been to.  SO much fun and the guys are amazingly nice.  So, needless to say, I want to see how they follow up their previous release and I need them to come back close so I can see them again!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of February 6

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: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker
I started this one Saturday night, but I only got about 20 pages in, read more last night and I'm about 70 pages in and I love it just as much as the last one.  One of the greatest things about these books is Barker's imagery and the imagination he has is just so fantastic.  I love the creatures that he creates.  I know I'm going to enjoy this book just as much as I enjoyed the last one.

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What will I be picking up next?
If you've seen my February TBR vlog, then you know that I've outline the things I want to read in that pile.  However, I need to add two books to that list.  I need to add both Red Glove and Black Heart by Holly Black.  I read the first book of The Curse Workers series quite a while ago and loved it and never got around to the second.  But now the third is coming out and I signed up for my first ARC tour for the third book.  No word on whether I'll be a participant yet, but I think I will be and I have the second book on its way to me from Barnes and Noble.  But other than that, visit the vlog to see what I'll be reading this month!

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: New Release Tuesday returns!
++  Wednesday:  Review of Abarat by Clive Barker
++ Thursday: Review of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about our favorite fiction love stories.
++  Saturday:  In my Mailbox!
++ Sunday: The Sunday Salon!


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In case you missed it....
++  Review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett
++  TGIF, talking about book appeal.
++  My February TBR Pile (Vlog)
++  January Rewind! (Vlog)
++  The Dark Tower Reading Challenge January Discussion
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