Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

It's so hard to choose a top 10 from so many great books! So here they are ...

RevolutionDivergent (Divergent, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

  1. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  2.     Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  3.     Divergent by Veronica Roth
  4.     Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
  5.     The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
  6.     Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  7.     First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
  8.     Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  9.     Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  10.     Night Road by Kristin Hannah


Want to Go Private?  Legacy (Legacy, #1) The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

  •     Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman
  •     Legacy by Cayla Kluver
  •     The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
  •     Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  •     Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
  •     Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
  •         The Day Before by Lisa Schroder
  •     River Marked by Patricia Briggs  
  • Virtuosity by  Jessica Martinez

What to look for in 2012

  •  Everneath by Brodi Ashton  (January 24, 2012)
  •     Incarnate by Jodi Meadows  (January 31, 2012)
  •     A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink (March 20, 2012)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review - Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: 2nd (Delirium)
Pages: 375 
Published: February 28th 2012 by HarperTeen 
ISBN: 9780061978067
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: 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 flame.

I Give This ...

I felt like I had to sit and think about this book for quite awhile.  It was a good follow up to Delirium.  It was well above how I usually feel for the second, but it had a different feel than the first novel.

I had the most trouble with the different time periods.  I'm horrible at reading chapter titles and it took me awhile to get use to how the novel was set up.  It felt choppy because I kept wondering how Lena got to be back in society.  I knew the story would get to it eventually, it just bugged me for some reason.  I think it would have worked just fine in a normal time line.  Was Delirium set up the same way? (I honestly can't remember.)

Lena shows some admirable characteristics when meet her in the wild.  She's injured, near death, and has lost Alex.  I think it's hard for her at first to pick up the pieces, she needs that push.  No one in the Wild can shirk his/her duties.  I liked that they gave her time to come to terms with what's happened to her, but know when she needs the push to move on.  I liked how Lena finds her place in this little band of outsiders.  When she finds what she wants to do in this group she pushed for it.
I liked the pacing of the actions while they are infiltrating the city.  I like how the don't tell Lena the whole story.  I think it was necessary for her to go in blindly even though she doesn't like it in the end.  I loved Lena's interactions with Julian.  I liked that he was able to see the other side of things.  Such a blow to his dad and the people he is connected to.  I'm curious as to how this will effect society's view on the "illness".

I was kind of disappointed in the ending.  I had been expecting it all along.  But, I really wanted it much sooner in the book.  I think it's kind of a blow to the storyline and to Lena's character to have it happen on the last pages.  It was one of those things that made me think about giving it a lower rating.  But, after much consideration, I kept it were I originally had planned.

A worthy addition to the series.  Still think it has some characteristics of the Pretty series, but it's beginning to take a life of it's own.  I'm looking forward to the next one (and such a long wait it will be).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holly Cupala Interview + Giveaway!

Thank you, Page, for inviting me to your blog to talk about Don’t Breathe a Word (coming next week!), and hello to readers! Page asked a few questions for me to answer with the Don’t Breathe a Word playlist lyrics—some of the answers may be cryptic, but I’ll do my best!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

How long have you been writing?
“You won't be seventeen forever
And we can get away with this tonight”
~Seventeen Forever, Metro Station

How are your two books different?  Same?
“But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?”
~You Are More, Tenth Avenue North

Which character have you identified most with?

She’s searching for no one (but herself)
Her eyes turn to green and she seems to be happy that she is her
And this time I think you'll know”
~You’re Not Alone, Saosin

What do you read in your spare time?
“I’m looking for a place
Searching for a face
Is there anybody here I know”
~I’m with You, Avril Lavigne

Favorite part of living in the Northwest?
“Take me to the city
Let me hear the crowds and the screams
All the flashes all that noise
And this is the night we'll be free”
~Frontload, Freezepop

Best part about being an author?
“This is your life, is it everything that you dreamed
That it would be when the world was younger,
And you had everything to lose?”
~ This is Your Life, Switchfoot

Any author you’ve loved meeting?
“You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down”
~I Will Follow You into the Dark, Death Cab for Cutie

Do you still keep in touch with baby board friends (the ones who helped inspire Tell Me a Secret)?
“In the name of love,
What more in the name of love.”
~Pride (In the Name of Love), U2

Follow the rest of the tour for more chances to win books, swag, and secrets—today you can see what Kate has to see about DBAW at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!, and find out who makes secret cameos from Tell Me a Secret at A Good Addiction—don’t forget to enter the cover recreation contest and enter the Words Have Power video contest…

Thank you, Page, for having me, and I hope readers love Don’t Breathe a Word!

Holly's website:

Don't Breathe a Word preview

And now for the Giveaway!  

There will be a weekly international winner for one copy of Don't Breathe a Word!
If winner is US you will receive a signed copy from Holly!

If winner is international you will receive a copy from book depository!

You get one initial entry just by filling out the form!!

*There will be one book given per day, drawn weekly. Everything entered by Saturday night will be put into a drawing on Sunday. So be sure and visit the other tour stops!
*The points DO accumulate, meaning entries put in for week one are still going to count for the drawings in weeks 2 and 3. (This is to reward those who follow/enter from the start, and doesn't punish them later because their entries are more spread out)

*There is one automatic entry
*For every post someone comments on, it is one entry.
*They will have to link to the blog post they commented on.
*There is an extra entry if they tweet, facebook, do a blog post or somehow include on their blog. It is one for each of these, but only 1 per type (meaning they can't tweet every day and get points for it... its just one tweet)
*They need to fill out the form EACH time they do something to enter. If there is no link, the entry does not count (beyond the first initial entry, that you can just enter to win from)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review - A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

A Temptation of AngelsTitle: A Temptation of Angels
Author: Michelle Zink
Series:  I hope!
Pages: 400
Published: March 20th 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780803737266
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel. 

I Give This ...

I've only read the first in Michelle's previous series.  But, since I enjoyed it, I was willing to give this one a shot.  I didn't set my expectation too high, because I often feel the angel books fall short of their marks.  I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this book.

I found Helen to be an interesting character.  She knows nothing of who she really is.  Everything that has been taught to her has been secretly done.  Her father tried to teach her skills by turning them into games.  I liked learning about the games he use to play with such as finding the two quickest exits out of places and how to go unnoticed in a group.  When it came time to use these skills, I think she was surprised at how much she remembered.  I admired how much she kept her head despite all she has gone through.  I also liked that she didn't readily believe what everybody told her.  It sometimes feels like characters are willing to accept that paranormal without batting an eye.  

The brother's Quinn and Darius rounded out the story nicely.   I had a feeling one of them would turn out to be a love interest and I really enjoyed the tension between them.  I also liked how the other brother liked to call their feelings out.  I'm not sure what he's deal is exactly.  I get the sense there might be more to that story as well.  I also liked how there's almost a love triangle.  It played a pivotal role in the story, but not how one might think.  And, I loved how Helen made a definite choice!

I actually enjoyed the mythology behind the angels, the decedents, and their demon counterparts.  It's explained enough that you understand what's going on.  But, I also liked that there's plenty of room for more books.  I don't think we've learned enough about the Dictata.  I'm also curious to see what the descendents actual duties might be.  Most of this book is about finding who is hunting them and putting everything right.

The book also has a very Victorian feel to it.  But, it also has some modern tendencies. I found that I enjoyed it very much!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review - Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: 1st
Pages: 394
Published: December 20th 2011 by Mira
ISBN: 9780778313076 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.   Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

I Give This ...

I've been eagerly awaiting this book for several reasons.  First, I've yet to come across a book Maria has written that I didn't like.  Second, this sounded more like the type of story in The Study series which is my favorite.  I was not disappointed.
I was immediately drawn to Avry's character.  I liked that she's a healer, which has put her on the run for the past years.   But the fear of death doesn't overpower her need to help people.  She's especially drawn to children close to death.  When she's "rescued" from prison, she doesn't know what to expect.  And it's definitely not the idea of traveling across half the country to heal a man she's has no intention of healing.  But, it's either that or risk being caught by the bandits chasing them.  She's got a hefty bounty on her head, and she's worth more if she's brought in alive.

I loved learning about the world Avry lives in.  It's in complete turmoil since the plague devastated most of the population.  There are a few people willing to go to great lengths to control it all.  Turns out these people are connected in ways you wouldn't imagine, and they're playing a game for the ultimate prize.  Avry has to decide who to trust, what previous notions she has to let go, and most of all what might be best for the country as a whole.  Imagine being able to influence something on that level.

The story is full of characters I loved.  I enjoyed Kerrick and his band of men.  I think Avry was so use to being alone, that this group showed her what it was like to have people care about you.  I also enjoyed their devotion to Ryne not matter what it cost them.  It's truth faith in some, even if it can be some what blinded.   I enjoyed the intrigue and even the deviousness of the "bad" guys.  I never knew what to expect.

It's a wonderful fantasy story full of magic, suspense, and romance.  I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed The Study series!


Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday!  My family enjoyed it.  Now to enjoy the rest of our break from school (and me from work).  Not much planned, maybe a movie, some shopping, and some reading!

Read Last Week:
  • Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
  • A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
  • Irish Moon by Amber Scott
Currently Reading: 
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Up This Week:
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays 
 From my house to yours!  I hope you have a very wonderful holiday fully of family, laughter, and love!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

A Temptation of Angels
  • A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink 
    Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1) Irish Moon
    • Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
    • Irish Moon by Amber Scott

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review - When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

When the Sea is Rising RedTitle: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 288
Published:  February 28th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN:  9780374364755
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.  

I Give This ...

I don't mind fantasy.  In fact, I usually really like it.  But, every once in awhile I come across a book that just seems so far out there that it's hard for me to enjoy.  I think this was one of those.

The basic story line, I think I would have enjoyed.  Rich girl fakes death to avoid arranged marriage (not to mention horrible brother and checked-out mom).  I liked the idea of her living and working with people far below her station.  It's was also interesting to watch her battle with the idea that life on the other side.  She's debates several times about swallowing her pride and dealing with everything just to have the comforts of home (and the rich life).  I actually really liked Felicity for all that she goes through in this book.

What really fell flat for me was the paranormal/fantasy aspect of this novel.  I understood the superstitions but thought it should be something that stayed in the background.  The sea witch that's brought to life was just too much.  But, I guess you can't have vampires (loved that Felicity called them bats) etc, without other paranormal elements.   That storyline was also a little hard to follow.

I also had a hard time with Dash.  I wanted to like him, but something about him just didn't sit well with me.  I'm glad I never did because there was a reasoning behind that feeling.  I also thought the book was a little heavy in reference to drugs and sex.  For a young adult book, it seems to be tossed around very nonchalantly.  I don't mind it usually, but it bothered me in this one.

So, in the end I was left with very mixed feelings.  It wasn't what I had hoped it would be.


Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
 Read Last Week:
  • Pandemomium by Lauren Oliver
  • Touch of Power by Maria Snyder
Currently Reading: 
  • Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
Up This Week: 
  • A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
  • Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

A Blue So Dark
  • A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

And an early Christmas present ....

A Kindle Fire!!   I was unsure of it as first, but the more I play with it, they more I like it.  Sorry for the blurry pic.  My phone wasn't cooperating. 


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