Top Ten Tuesday

November 29, 2011 § 7 Comments

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s them is:

Top 10 Books on my Winter Reading List

1. Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane – This fourth book in Stacia Kane’s incredible Downside series is probably my most anticipated book of 2012. I love this dark and gritty urban fantasy series and cannot wait to find out what new situations Chess and Terrible find themselves in.

 

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)

 

 

 

2. Incarnate by Jodi MeadowsFrom the stunning cover to the exciting summary, Incarnate has been at the top of my wishlist since first hearing about it. Reincarnation, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, this book seems to have it all and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

 

 Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

 

 

 

 

 

3. Article 5 by Kristen SimmonsI am dying to read this one!! Article 5 seems to be somewhere between post apocalyptic and dystopian but also a little something more. It sounds like a fascinating YA thriller about a crumbling society struggling for survival. This one has also been at the top of my wishlist since I saw it in Tor’s winter catalog!!

Article 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess RothenbergThere

are simply not enough books about death and beyond. I don’t know why, but I find the various imaginings of the afterlife to be absolutely fascinating. I am eagerly anticipating this! Plus Lauren Oliver blurbed that “You will absolutely love this book,” I believe her!

 

 

 

The Catastrophic History of You and Me

 

 

 

5. Life Is But a Dream by Brian James – This is a little outside of what I

normally read, a contemporary that focuses on characters suffering from mental illness. It sounds incredibly compelling with an unusual premise. I’m thinking it will probably be intense and emotional and have me bawling like a baby by the end, but those are the ones I love so…

 

 

 

Life Is But a Dream

 

 

 

6. Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiThis sounds like an incredible futuristic dystopian with some unusual twists. There’s already so much buzz and anticipation surrounding this that I’m feeling rather anxious about reading it. Harper Collins regularly publishes some of the most awesome YA reads so I’m sure this one will be amazing!

Under the Never Sky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Above World by Jenn Reese – I am ever on a search for an amazing mermaid book. I haven’t found any to “wow” me yet, but I’m hoping that Above World will be the one to blow me away! Since I’ll likely be spending my winter longing for the time when the weather is nice enough to visit the beach, I can at least read a book with a watery setting.  I love the water and am fascinated with mermaid myth and legend. Above World sounds like it takes that legend and adds some fantasy, adventure, and some sci-fi elements too! I can’t wait to read it!

 
Above World 

 

 

 

 

8.The Other Life by Susanne WinnackerI spent much of 2011 exploring my love for all things dystopian and post-apocalyptic, so of course I want to continue that into 2012. The Other Life sounds like its going to be a thrilling post apocalyptic adventure with possibly some zombie like creatures included!

The Other Life

 

 

 

 

 

9. Stolen Away by Alyxandra HarveyWhat better way to relax on a chilly winter evening than to curl up with a romantic adventure in the world of Faery!!!

Stolen Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Never Eighteen by Megan BosticFor some reason I am drawn to those books that I know will leave me a weeping, sobbing mess. This is exactly that kind of book, a YA Contemporary about death, fate, and saying goodbye. I can’t wait to read it, tears and all.

Never Eighteen

 

 

 

 

 

These are the top 10 books that I plan to read this winter, I’m sure I will find many more that I will be adding to my ever-growing to-read or to-buy list! Which books are on your winter reading list? Leave a comment so I can go check out your Top Ten list too or let me know which books you’re looking forward to reading!

 




Must Read Monday #3

November 28, 2011 § 5 Comments

Fans of Fiction
 
I am excited to participate in this super fun and challenging meme hosted by Fans of Fiction!
 

The goal of the Must Read Monday is to find share your love of great books with others in the hopes that they’ll add a new title to their To Be Read list.

Your job is to create intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they’ll read it?

On your post, you’ll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).
For specific ways to build your puzzle, click
here, but pretty much any style of acrostic is welcome.
When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you’re adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It’s all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week’s category: A book that made you laugh out loud.

Will #1 follows the rules
Invisibility is what he craves
Luckily, his lovable
Larger than life

Gay best friend, Tiny Cooper
Refuses to
Allow such a wasted
Youth.
Stealing the spotlight, Tiny
Obsessively seeks love in
Neon lights

Will #2 has no use for rules
Ignominy is what he fears
Led by deception to a hard
Lesson learned

Gifts are sometimes not
Recognized
Angst became
Yesterday’s 
Song.
Once again, Tiny dreams in
Neon

This one was the hardest acrostics to write so far! I chose Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan because it certainly fit the category of a book that made me laugh out loud. This is a YA Contemporary book about two teenagers both named Will Grayson with very different lives who are both drawn to an over the top flamboyant character named Tiny Cooper who is writing a musical based on his life. This book also has the singular distinction of being one of the only books that has ever made me laugh out loud while simultaneously having tears streaming down my cheeks. This book was heartbreakingly poignant, hilariously funny, and had some of the most endearing characters I’ve ever read. If you have ever considered reading this, I urge you to do so!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

 

Review: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

November 22, 2011 § 8 Comments

Title: A Need So Beautiful

Author: Suzanne Young

Narrated by: Hannah Smith

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date: June 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Need So Beautiful introduces us to Charlotte Cassidy, an orphan living with her foster mother and several other foster children. Charlotte suffers from uncontrollable compulsions which she calls her “need” that compels her to seek out certain people and help them in some life-changing way. These compulsions come over her randomly and manifests as a physical ache deep within her that is only relieved when she completes her task. She has tried to keep all of these compulsive “needs” hidden from everyone, but her best friend seems to have an idea that something is a bit different about Charlotte. When Charlotte begins to realize that these “needs” are not only taking over her life, but may also end it, she has to come to terms with who and what she really is and decide which path to take.

I had such a difficult time writing this review. I thought the premise was incredibly fascinating and original. The compulsions that basically ruled Charlotte’s life were intriguing in the way they came upon her as well as in the way she fulfilled each task. I felt her frustration that these “needs’’ would so often take her away from what she preferred to be doing and she seemed to be powerless to control when and where these compulsions would overtake her. I can’t imagine having my life ruled by these impulses to help other people even when I didn’t particularly want to. It was almost as if Charlotte was a slave whose will was forced to follow the whims of these compulsions. Understandably, she resented this. Charlotte has the basic desires of many teenagers, to spend as much time as possible with her boyfriend and when she’s not with him, to hang out with her best friend. When her body began to show physical changes because of these impulses, she began to search for answers and a way to stop what was happening to her. As much as I would love to make a difference in the world and in other people’s lives, would I be willing to do so at the expense of my own life and my own happiness?

While I loved the premise, I often felt a bit of a disconnect with Charlottes character. Her obsession with her boyfriend was a bit much at times but some of that could be explained by the fact that, because of the “needs,” she may have naturally tended to invest that level of intensity into everything including her relationships with others. There were also quite a few holes in the plot as well as many unanswered questions about the mythology behind “The Forgotten.” Throughout the story, I alternated between being fascinated by and put off by a condition that would seem to push Charlotte toward what is essentially suicide and I really would have liked a lot more clarification about that. Then there were the secondary characters, Monroe and Onika and boyfriend Harlin. These characters seemed a bit weak and one dimensional. There was definitely a disconnect as far as they were concerned. I was left with more questions than answers by the end of this book. For some reason, all of the pieces of the puzzle didn’t quite come together for me.

With that being said, the plot and characters were certainly strong enough to hold my interest throughout the entirety of this book and after that jaw-dropping ending, I will definitely be back for more. I am eagerly anticipating reading A Want So Wicked, and I hope that what I did not understand with this book will be cleared up in the sequel.

Much of the disconnect I felt may have been due to the narration in the audio I listened to. This was one of the worst audio narrations I’ve ever listened to. It truly speaks to the strength of the plot and story that I was able to listen to this complete audio. The English? accent that this narrator used for Monroe and the Russian? accent used for Onika was painfully annoying as was the cloyingly cutesy voice used for Charlotte’s best friend Sarah. If want to get this book, choose the print or eBook.

Ultimately, I enjoyed A Need So Beautiful because of the original premise and interesting main character. While I felt the book had some definite flaws, I would still recommend it to those who have been looking for something fresh and new in YA fantasy.

Rating 3.5

 

Must Read Monday #2

November 21, 2011 § 9 Comments

Fans of Fiction
I am excited to participate in this challenging meme hosted by Fans of Fiction!

The goal of the Must Read Monday is to find share your love of great books with others in the hopes that they’ll add a new title to their To Be Read list.

Your job is to create intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they’ll read it?

On your post, you’ll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).
For specific ways to build your puzzle, click
here, but pretty much any style of acrostic is welcome.
When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you’re adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It’s all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week’s category: Fantasy (or some book with fantastical elements)

Angels are not the benevolent guardians we once imagined
Nemesis may become ally in the fight for survival
Gone is any semblance of order
Earth lies in ruins and is ruled by chaos
Left are those wise enough to adapt
Fear motivates in unpredictable ways
An enemy broken by his own kind
Left for dead, she saves him
Love is not an option

Thanks so much for choosing me as the winner of last week’s Must Read acrostic! I have to admit to being super surprised! I love reading everyone else’s acrostics, they are all so incredibly creative! This is such an entertaining way to learn about different books!

I chose Angelfall by Susan Ee because this was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I usually don’t like books about angels, but this one was nothing like the usual angel books. Angelfall takes place in a dystopian world that has been destroyed by the archangels of the apocalypse. The story revolves around a girl, Penryn, and her small family trying to survive in a world that has gone completely mad. When she impulsively decides to save an angel Raffe from being torn apart by his own kind, things quickly get even worse. I can’t recommend this book highly enough! Click the cover below to add Angelfall to your Goodreads shelf!

Review: God’s Eye by A.J. Scudiere

November 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Title – God’s Eye

Author- A.J. Scudiere

Publisher- Griffyn Ink Publishing

Date – October 1st 2011

Pages – Paperback 419

eBook Price – $.99 at Amazon$7.99 at Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Eye introduces us to Katherine Geryon, a woman who has lived what some would call an easy life. Growing up in an affluent family with a controlling and emotionally absent father and a mother who taught her that appearances are everything, Katherine simply floated through life, turning a blind eye to what she did not want to see and letting all of her decisions be made by others. Working in her father’s company, she was viewed with envy and distrust by most people and she never put forth the effort to make any real connections or to cause people to view her as anything more than she appeared. When two gorgeous and charismatic men suddenly appeared in her life during the same time that unexplained phenomenon began happening in her home, suddenly she had no choice than to open her eyes and notice the things happening around her. Finding herself in an emotionally charged sexual relationship with both of them, Katherine knew that eventually she would have to choose, and she was slowly starting to become aware of what making the wrong choice might cost her.

It’s difficult to put my finger on the genre that God’s Eye would fit into because there are elements of so many. I would call it a Paranormal Psychological Fantasy Thriller with elements of steamy romance. The plot wound slowly around these characters, building suspense and tension as I tried to figure out which was angel and which was demon and which would Katherine choose in the end.

Ultimately, God’s Eye was about the far-reaching results of the choices that we make every day. It’s important that each person is aware that our decisions can have consequences outside of ourselves and that when we make a choice that affects others we have to acknowledge and own it. Only with awareness and accountability can we begin to change the way we think and act. When we begin to open our eyes, our mind, and our heart, we can begin to change both our own world as well as have a positive effect on the world at large, even in small ways. Katherine’s choice seemed to be between Angel and Demon, good or evil, but as shown in the book, sometimes its hard to determine which is which. Katherine had to look at the  ripple effect of what first appeared to be small, unimportant choices but even when her eyes began to see, she was still unsure which was the right path for her to take.

I want to take a minute to mention that Alistair and Zachary will probably appeal to those who love Paranormal Romance. This one does not lack in the “steamy love scenes with hot supernatural guys” department. I was immediately drawn to Alistair because it seemed that his character had more depth than Zachary, but I’m sure others will find Zachary’s alpha-ness highly attractive.

Overall, God’s Eye is a book I think many people will enjoy. Once you get past the frighteningly awesome cover, you’ll see that this story goes much deeper than your average angel/demon paranormal romance. And the image on the cover will make sense in the context of the story. I would recommend God’s Eye to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance, horror, or psychological thrillers. The eBook is just $.99 at Amazon right now, I definitely suggest grabbing it while you can get it at this price!

Rating: 5

StarStarStarStarStar


 

Must Read Monday

November 14, 2011 § 7 Comments

Fans of Fiction
 
I am excited to participate in this challenging meme hosted by Fans of Fiction!
 

The goal of the Must Read Monday is to find share your love of great books with others in the hopes that they’ll add a new title to their To Be Read list.

Your job is to create intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they’ll read it?

On your post, you’ll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).
For specific ways to build your puzzle, click
here, but pretty much any style of acrostic is welcome.
When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you’re adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It’s all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

 This week’s category: A book so powerful that it changed you in some way.

The tale has been told
Handed down generations
Entwined in legend

Morgaine LeFay, once thought a witch
Immersed in a religious upheaval
She may be the key to save Avalon
Truth often hides in shades of gray
She may choose to destroy it all

Obeying always the Goddess
Fey magic to guide her

Accepting the burden that
Viviane placed upon her
Arthur offers a love that’s forbidden
Lancelet offers a love unrequited
Often the tale has been told
Never with a woman’s voice

Ok, so I’m not exactly creatively poetic but The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is one of my all time favorite reads. As a teen, it made me really step back and consider what I believed as far as religion and motivated me to research where many of Christianity’s practices originally stemmed from. It was also fascinating to see how different a story could be when told from a feminine perspective. Finally, it began my interest in all things Fey which I continue to enjoy as an adult. Mists of Avalon was definitely a book that changed me.

 

 





2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

November 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

 

2011 was not a good year for reading challenges for me. I had some ‘real life’ responsibilities that overwhelmed me at the beginning of the year that caused me to take an extended break from blogging and, as a result, many of my reading challenges were left uncompleted. Needless to say, my TBR pile has become quite an intimidating stack! I have been lucky enough to win so many books from some incredible blogs and I am determined to read each and every one of them. So I’ve decided to join the TBR Pile Reading Challenge that is being hosted by Evie’s Bookish and quite a few others where there promises to be a monthly review linkup, mini challenges, and monthly giveaways as an incentive to keep going. This should be a fun challenge that will help me get through those books I’ve been dying to read anyway! I’m starting off small since the rule is I can go up but not down in the challenge so I’m going to commit to A Friendly Hug which is the second level requiring me to read 11-20 books! Wish me luck!!
 
Want to join in the fun? Here’s the details!
 
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it’s unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It’s open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice – we will be checking 😉
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you’ll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway – 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.
  11. You don’t have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!

Levels:


1-10 – A Firm Handshake

11-20 – A Friendly Hug

21-30 – A Sweet Kiss

31-40 – Love at First Sight

41-50 – Married with Children

Hosts:

Evie from Bookish – http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Readhttp://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Homehttp://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions


Wrap-Up POST Schedule:


January – Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February – Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March – Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April – Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May – Christa (Theme: MayDay – Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June – Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July – Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August – Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September – Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October – Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November – Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December – Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)

Sounds great right?? Evie left the option open to change and rearrange the TBR books I’ve chosen for the challenge which is great! Here is a tentative list of what I plan to read for this challenge:

1. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

2. Shine by Laruen Myracle

3. 20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

4. Moonbeams by Lakisha Spletzer

5. Chime by Franny Billingsley

6. Jenny Pox by JL Bryan

7. Dracula In Love by Karen Essex

8. Whirl by Emma Raveling

9. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

10. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

11. Feed by Mira Grant

12. After by Amy Efaw

13. Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

14. Flat – Out Love by Jessica Park

15.My Fair Godmother by Jannette Rallison

16.The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

17. Birthmarked by Caragh M Obrien

Well, this is enough of a list to get started. This is likely to change, for one reason because I am hoping to read at least a few of these before the end of the year!! Do you plan to sign up? Do you also have an overwhelming to-read pile?Are there any on my to-read list that are also on yours or that you’ve read and think I should move to the top of the list (or the bottom)? Leave me a comment and let me know!





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