January 31, 2012 § 3 Comments
Here’s a chance to win one of 10 Kindle Fires and up to 75 free Kindle books from Scott Nicholson and several other best-selling authors! Here are the details:
WIN A KINDLE FIRE IN THE BIG KINDLE BOOGIE
10 Free Kindle Fires, 75 free ebooks, a $500 library donation. Entries for 10 free Kindle Fires are already underway at http://bigkindleboogie.blogspot.com. On Feb. 1-2, bestselling thriller authors J.A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, Scott Nicholson, Lee Goldberg, and Scott Nicholson are making 75 Kindle books free on Amazon. They are also making a $500 donation to the local library of one Kindle Fire winner. Contest is international, no purchase necessary. You can also join the Facebook party at http://www.facebook.com/BigKindleBoogie.
Three easy ways to enter:
- Use the entry counters at http://bigkindleboogie.blogspot.com
- You can also enter manually by tweeting: 10 free Kindle Fires. 75 free ebooks. http://bit.ly/xWOoKN #bigkindleboogie RT to enter for a Fire!
- You can email firstname.lastname@example.org ONCE PER DAY with “Boogie entry” as subject line
January 29, 2012 § 4 Comments
Top 5 Sundays is a fun meme hosted by Larissa at Larissa’s Bookish Life. If you’d like to participate, check out Larissa’s blog for all the details.
This weeks theme is: Favorite Ghostly Novels
I do love my fictional ghosts!! As a matter of fact, in both 2010 and 2011, my favorite reads of the year were ghostly books and of course, they will be Number 1 and Number 2 on my list.
1. Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Stacia Kane’s Downside series has to be my one of my absolute favorite series of all time. I’m talking up there with Harry Potter, its that good. This isn’t a YA read though; this dark & gritty urban fantasy is definitely on the adult end of the spectrum. The heroine, Chess, is employed by the Church of Truth to either get rid of ghostly disturbances as they are reported, or debunk them as false claims. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend them!
2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna is one of the scariest ghosts I’ve read in YA. This thrilling YA novel borders more on horror than paranormal. Told from the perspective of Cas, the charismatic ghost hunting main character, Anna Dressed in Blood has enough chills and thrills to satisfy any fan of ghostly fiction.
3. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
I don’t know if I’m correctly categorizing this as “ghostly” but The Witching Hour certainly centers around an invisible spirit that creates a quite bit of havoc. Set in New Orleans’ famous Garden District, The Witching Hour focuses on a family of witches and the spirit that has been “haunting” them for generations. Anne Rice has such a talent for writing hauntingly beautiful darkly gothic stories, this is definitely one of her best.
4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I LOVE this book! I listened to the audio read by Neil Gaiman and I have to say, it was perfection. The Graveyard book tells the story of a boy named Nobody “Bod” Owens who has been raised in a graveyard by the ghosts and other supernatural residents. This dark and quirky novel is one of my absolute favorites by Gaiman.
5. Shade by Jeri Smith Ready
Shade is an awesome YA read about a world where everyone born after “the shift” can see and hear ghosts. Aura, the heroine, does her best to avoid dealing with any ghosts; that is until her boyfriend suddenly becomes one of them. The world that Jeri Smith-Ready created in Shade is a darkly fascinating place, where ghosts can testify in their own murder trials and wrongful death lawsuits, and the sinister “men in black” always in the background, and death doesn’t necessarily mean goodbye.
What are your favorite ghostly reads? Leave a comment and let me know and if you participated in this weeks Top 5 Sundays, leave me your link so I can stop by. Hopefully I’ll discover some new ghostly reads to add to the ever-growing to-read pile.
January 27, 2012 § 23 Comments
Welcome to my stop on the Young Adult Giveaway Hop hosted by the wonderful Kathy at I Am a Reader Not A Writer and by Down the Rabbit Hole. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by The Happy Booker and enter the giveaway. Following is certainly appreciated but not a requirement. Leave a comment and say hi so I can pay a return visit to your blog.
This giveaway will be fairly straightforward. The winner of my giveaway will have the option to choose which prize pack they want. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Prize pack 1: USA Only
ARC of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Need by Carrie Jones
eBook copy of Angelfall by Susan Ee
Prize pack 2: US & Int
1 YA Book of your choice up to $15 from The Book Depository
(Please make sure that The Book Depository delivers to your country before entering)
Good Luck & have fun!! Please be sure to visit all of the other amazing blogs participating in this giveaway hop!! Find the linky list here
January 24, 2012 § 19 Comments
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
“Looking back, I know we were only filling in the holes in our souls, the way the tide rushes sand to fill in the crevices of a rocky shore. We–or maybe it was just I–bandaged our needs with what we declared was love. But, eventually, the tide draws out what it has swept in.” – pg 97
The Taker by Alma Katsu such a beautifully written story with some very dark themes and a hauntingly gothic feel reminiscent of Anne Rice’s earliest books.
What book is your teaser from? Leave me a message so I can go check it out.
January 20, 2012 § 7 Comments
Title – The Fault in Our Stars
Author – John Green
Narrated by – Kate Rudd
Length – 7 hours and 14 minutes
Publisher – Brilliance Audio
Audible Released Date– January 10, 2012
Kate Rudd did a phenomenal, outstanding job narrating this highly emotional read. Considering the subject matter and the emotionally charged nature of this book, it would have been so easy to overdo the narration. But Kate Rudd’s performance was perfection, bringing to life these amazing characters and telling this heart-wrenching story so naturally that it was as if I was listening to Hazels private thoughts. And yes, I could still recognize a great narration even when I don’t know how I heard anything over the sobbing mess I was reduced to throughout this book. I highly recommend this audiobook experience to anyone that is interested in reading this book.
The story itself, well, I mean its John Green so of course it was amazing. I love this man’s writing. It’s like he effortlessly creates these wonderfully realistic characters; characters that I’d want to know, that I’d want to become friends with. And by the end of the book, I feel like I DO know them and that we’ve been friends forever and I’m so emotionally entwined in the story that its actually difficult to move on to another book when it is over. I felt like that with Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I certainly feel like that with this incredible book.
I don’t know that there are many of us whose lives have not been touched in some way by cancer, but even if it hasn’t, almost everybody has lost a loved one too early and has felt the utter unfairness of that loss. The Fault in Our Stars is the story of several kids suffering from cancer and is told from their perspective. It is unapologetically and brutally honest, morbidly humorous, simply just real. This book was so filled with unfiltered truth that it was almost uncomfortable to read in some places. But I still recommend that you do.
By the end of this book, I had cried so many tears that the front of my shirt was wet, and days later I’m still tearing up as I recall the story while I write this review. The Fault in Our stars was a powerful, emotionally intense, and incredibly important read. I highly recommend it to anyone regardless of genre.
January 19, 2012 § 6 Comments
Title – The Way We Fall
Author – Megan Crewe
Publisher – Disney-Hyperion
Date Published – January 24, 2012
When I requested The Way We Fall from NetGalley, I was under the assumption that this was another dystopian or post-apocalyptic read, this is not exactly the case. The Way We Fall is set on an island that is quarantined because of an outbreak of a dangerous flu-like virus that is killing people. It is never made clear whether this virus is world-wide or confined only to this island so I don’t know that I would describe this as either dystopian or post-apocalyptic. However, this is just the first book in what I assume will be a series, perhaps this will change in subsequent books.
With that being said, I came to really enjoy The Way We Fall. The book starts off a bit slowish and it wasn’t until almost halfway in that I really became engaged in the story. The story unfolds through a series of letters that is being written by the main character Kaelyn to a boy named Leo. It isn’t explained until much further into the book exactly who Leo is and what his significance is in Kaelyn’s life. Other than a few instances of Kaelyn mentioning Leo’s name, The Way We Fall simply reads like any other first person narrative. Kaelyn describes herself as a bit of a loner who has a difficult time making friends. Many people seem to view her as snobbish or stand offish and she makes a couple attempts to break out of her shyness a bit. During the upheaval caused by this virus, she finds herself thrown into the company of people who she had barely ever exchanged words with previously as the community tries to pull together to make sense out of the chaos. Her character learns and grows throughout the story, coming to some realizations about herself and others and changing the way she thinks and perceives the world because of it.
The romance happens a little fast, but for me it was still pretty much believable. I think that it is realistic to expect that two teenagers who may not have crossed paths before, finding themselves thrown together in a situation like this might be drawn to each other in this way. I will say there are no declarations of undying love and inability to live, breathe or otherwise function without the other, which is refreshing. I liked all of the supporting characters, Kaelyn’s mom, dad, brother, romantic interest, and friend; but I think that they were a bit one dimensional. I would have liked to have seen some more depth to them, although I recognize that this may have been difficult when I was only viewing the story via Kaelyn’s perspective through letters to her friend.
I definitely did NOT like the way it ended. I was so frustrated by the many unanswered questions and the fact that absolutely nothing seemed to be resolved by that ending. I’m not a big fan of cliffhanger endings and I feel like a story has to have at least some resolution by the end even if the story will continue.
Overall, I think that The Way We Fall is a solid and enjoyable read by Megan Crewe and I’ll be interested in seeing where she goes with the story in the next installment. I would recommend The Way We Fall to any fans of YA, Realistic Fiction, or Medical related fiction.
January 16, 2012 § 5 Comments
Title – The Reapers are the Angels
Author – Alden Bell
Narrated by – Tai Sammons
Length – 7 hours 25 minutes
Publisher – Blackstone Audio
Audio Release date – August 3, 2010
I have read so many glowing reviews of The Reapers are the Angels that I simply had to see what all the fuss was about and even though I was warned ahead of time about the bloody bits, I still wanted to read this. I decided to listen to this on audio and I think the narrator did an amazing job giving voice to the conflicted and unique character that was Temple. I would certainly recommend this audio to anyone who is planning to read this.
Temple was an intriguing character, so full of contrasts, she was kind and considerate but with the capacity to become extremely violent if provoked which made sense considering the dangerous world she grew up in. She was also extremely intelligent, logical, and self-aware but at the same time illiterate and simplistic in many ways. Her character fascinated me and reminded me, in a lot of ways, of Saba from Blood Red Road except Temple was much more complex. I was fascinated with the way she accepted the world for what it was and did her best to work within it instead of fight against what she could not control. I have to say, Temple is one of the most interesting characters I’ve read.
The writing was vividly descriptive and unapologetically raw. It brought to life a bleak and desolate world overrun by the undead who were themselves more pathetic and sad than scary. The pockets of survivors that Temple came upon showed the best and worst of humanity. It was interesting to see the many ways that desperation and hopelessness may cause people to react. There were some people and situations that pushed the boundaries of believability, even for a zombie book but for the most part, I could realistically imagine that this is what the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse would look like.
For some reason, I felt really disconnected from the story. I’m not sure whether it was the third person narration or the philosophical and highly allegorical way this was written, but while I could pick out a hundred beautifully phrased quotes, I was never truly engaged in the story. At times I felt that the writing was almost a bit pretentious and that it tried so hard to be literature as opposed to genre fiction that it overreached and ended up just being absurd. Or it could simply be that I am more interested in being entertained by a story than in trying to ponder life’s mysteries or decipher allegory.
I definitely enjoyed listening to The Reapers are the Angels and, while it wasn’t really my thing, I can certainly see where other people would appreciate the writing style and depth.