Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

While you're here be sure to enter my giveaway! $15 in books!

I got quite a few books this week - some that I'm dying to reading.

Bought:

 I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Really want to read this before the movie. It looks great!
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
I've seen this book all over the place. Very excited to read it.
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (That I just realized I already bought in hardback - I thought this was the second one.)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson
The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
An awesome Hunger Games poster for $2!

Won:
 Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
I won this during BIR 2010 from Fire and Ice 
I was so excited to see it in my mailbox this week!  

From a blogger friend:
 Not book related by they came from a blogger friend, Reagan of Miss Remmers' Reviews.  I've been dealing w/some personal stuff this week and she told me to "just keep smiling." So imagine my surprise and the smile I had this morning when I opened the door to find these beautiful flowers. Thanks so much my friend. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Wicked Lovely


All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.

My thoughts:
 I really enjoyed this book. I don't read a lot of books about the fey - not sure why - but this book really surprised me. First, I loved Aislinn. She is a girl that knows what she wants and doesn't let people manipulate her. She is one of the very few people that can see the fey - and they scare her. So when some start following her around she gets freaked out and ends up telling her best friend, Seth. 

The thing about the faeries that are following her is that one is the King of the Summer court, Kennan, and he thinks Aislinn is his Summer Queen and will be able to release the spell his mother, the Winter Queen, has placed over everyone. The Winter Queen does not want this to happen and uses everything in her power to prevent it.

One things I enjoyed the most about this book was the characters. Aislinn is a great female lead. I love that she doesn't fall for Kennan like he thinks she should. I love that she keeps Seth in her life and that he helps her and doesn't think she's insane even though he can't see the fey. I understood Kennan's desperation to find the Summer Queen - if he doesn't soon they will start to die. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Melissa Marr does a great job of keeping the reader interested and engaged but not putting so much into it that it gets unbelievable.  If you haven't read it, I suggest you pick it up.

 

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Be sure to enter my 200+ Follower's Giveaway while you're here!



This blog hop was started by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.
This weeks question is:
What book you are most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?
Okay. This question is really hard for me but there are TWO that I can narrow it down to. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan. I love both of these series so much. Jace is amazing in the Mortal Instruments and I love the world that Ryan created in the Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy. If I could pick two books to read the rest of the year it would be these two - without a doubt.
 
This meme is hosted by Parajunkee's View.
This weeks question is:
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Well, even though I majored in History in college and I love it - I also love English. But not so much the English part (learning nouns, verbs, blah blah blah) but the reading part. I also will say that I loved my Library Media Specialist classes I just finished for Grad school. They were great. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've been MIA - Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Sorry I've been MIA y'all. I've been crazy busy at work and home and really haven't had any time for reading/blogging or for that  matter being at my house. Hopefully things get back to normal soon. 

Don't forgot about my 200+ followers giveaway! Ends Monday at midnight! :)


Oh and if you're the praying type - I could use some tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

200+ Follower Giveaway!

200+ Blog Followers!

As a huge thank you to everyone that follows, comments, tweets back, and comes to the blog, I'm going to do a giveaway! 

I really hadn't planned on doing one but I was so excited to see 200+ last night that I decided to. Hope you guys enjoy it!

So, here is what's up for grabs. Winner of the giveaway can choose any book(s) of their choice up to $15. Sounds pretty good, huh? I'm also gonna give you more ways to earn more points - and if I get 300 followers by the end of the week I'll throw in another book(s) choice up to $15.  



Giveaway ends January 31, 2011! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I didn't get too many books this week - but I did download some great audio books from my library's page. I love this option. I get through books so much faster and they are free!

Audio books from the library:




Torment by Lauren Kate
White Cat by Holly Black
Matched by Ally Condie
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer 
I've already finished Nightshade which I LOVED - review coming soon.
I started White Cat which is kinda different but I'm enjoying it. 
Can't wait to get to Matched and Torment. 
I love audio books. I listen to them to and from work, while I'm cooking and cleaning, while I'm working on books in the library, and even when I'm in the shower (I have a iPod speaker in there). 

For Review:
12.21.12 by Killian McRae
I'm going to be part of a blog tour hosted by Once Upon a Twilight in March. This book looks great and I can't wait to read it!


NookBooks:

Starlighter by Bryan Davis
Old Habits by Melissa Marr

Gift:
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
This was from a Secret Santa swap I did. Big thanks to Erin over at Aelia Reads!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:

Who do you cheer for?

Honestly, I'm not much of a sports watcher. I played volleyball and basketball in high school but if I can't play I would rather not watch. That being said though - I graduated from WVU and ALWAYS cheer for the Mountaineers. Sometimes I don't watch their games because they make me nervous but I still care if they win or lose.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Blogger's Dirty Little Secret

Y'all. I have a secret. As much as I love to read - there is something else in my life that takes up just about as much time as reading does. Shocking, I know, but it's true.  Can you guess what it is?



No?


Well, I'm a tv addict. *gasp* It's so bad that I made a Google Doc with channels and times to make sure I catch everything on my DVR two DVR's. (This is just for the Spring - I have one for Summer and Fall too.)

Monday                      Tuesday                 Wednesday 
Pretty Little Liars           Glee                      Survivor
Greek                      One Tree Hill            Cougar Town
The Bachelor           Parenthood               Modern Family
Gossip Girl                                               Mr. Sunshine
                                                                    Off The Map

Thursday                             Sunday
Vampire Diaries                 Amazing Race
Grey's Anatomy                Desperate Housewives
Private Practice                 Brothers and Sisters
                                           Big Love
                                                                    

Ridiculous, right? A lot of these shows I have watched since they first started and others I jut picked up (which I shouldn't have). That is way too much tv a week. That's just about 18 hrs of tv a week. Most of the time I do DVR it and watch it on the weekends without commercials - so that helps some. I've tried cutting some stuff out, like The Bachelor, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars - but then I get sucked right back in.

So, tell me - what keeps you from reading as much as you would like? How do you balance it?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ARC Giveaways

Yes, I'm posting again today. Larissa over at Larissa's World is having a great giveaway for some ARC's. Hop on over and check it out! There are some great ones - I want to get my hands on The Dark and Hollow Places SO BAD! Check it out!

Secret Santa #2

I wrote a little about this in my IMM this week but I didn't want it to get brushed under the rug so, I'm dedicating a whole post to it!

I participated in two Secret Santa Swaps in December. One I already received. This one came a bit late because Book Depository took forever to get it to me - but I finally got both books!

These book have been on my TBR list for a while. Erin over at Aelia Reads was my Secret Santa and sent both of these books to me! I can't wait to read them! Thanks Erin!!

Jane by April Linder
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Amazon Deal! $20 Giftcard for $10

 
I've been seeing this pop up all over Twitter today and a few times in my Google Reader and thought I would share. You can get a $20 Amazon giftcard for $10 - today only! Click on over and check it out!


Monday, January 17, 2011

iChallenges 2011

I saw this challenge over at Miss Remmer's Reviews and thought it sounded like fun and something I will definitely be able to do. Book Soulmates is actually hosting the challenge so if you want to sign up go to this page and do so! For this challenge the theme will be iVamp, iWitch, iFae, and iWere. Pretty easy since I read a ton of paranormal.

1. Firespell by Chloe Neill
2. Hexbound by Chloe Neill
3. Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
4. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
5. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
6. Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner
7. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
8. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Awakened (House of Night #8)

Welcome to the last day of House of Night Reviews!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series*
At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey—or her relationship with her super- hot Warrior, Stark—ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet—who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality—and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

My Thoughts:
This book was absolutely crazy! The Cast's keep getting a little darker and a little more crazy with each book they right. There were some things in this book that had me going "Oh my God. Seriously?!" They definitely do not care to kill off existing characters to make the story more interesting and allow it to take many twists and turns.

Awakened starts off with Zoey still on the Isle Skye with Stark - not wanting to go home and back to reality. Stevie Rae is still trying to deal with her feeling about Rephaim while not having any communication with him. Neferet has returned to the House of Night - and has supposedly banished Kalona from her side but she is evil and needs him so of course he is still around. When a devastating death comes to the House of Night, Zoey must face her fear and return to her home and help her friends deal with the devastation as well as Neferet and the Darkness she brings with her.


There is so much going on in this book - probably the best book in the series so far. The direction the Cast's are taking the characters are all sorts of crazy but it keeps the story interesting and appealing. There are some parts that I really just can not believe happened and some things that annoyed me so much. I don't want to give too much away but this book is definitely my favorite of the series. If you haven't picked it up yet definitely make time. Loved it. :)


And that's it for the House of Night reviews - for now! The next book will be out in November 2011 and I really can't wait to see what happens with Zoey, Stark, Stevie Rae, Rephaim and the rest of the vampyres and fledglings at the House of Night.

In My Mailbox (12)

I managed to get several things this week - including some Galley Grabs from Simon and Schuster! So excited about being let into the program. So, let's get to the contents of my mailbox this week.

Bought:
 Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I am so excited to read this book! It is definitely going on the top of my TBR pile.

Borrowed:
 Wither by Lauren DeStefano
My blogging friend, Kristi, over at Text and Java kindly lent me her ARC of Wither. This was before I got it from Galley Grab but I am super thankful to her and very excited to read it.

Gift:
 Jane by April Linder
This book has been on my radar for a while. Erin over at Aelia Reads got me in a Secret Santa swap I did and it finally came! Book Depository took forever to get it to me but I'm glad it's here and can't wait to read it! Thanks Erin!!

Simon and Schuster Galley Grab:


 Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Red Glove by Holly Black
Wither (again) by Lauren DeStefano
Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
Very excited about all these books and huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for the ARC's.

Swag:
I won a contest on Fire and Ice and won The Lost Saint nail polish and bookmark!

Another great week here at Hooked to Books. What did you get in your mailbox?
 



IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Burned (House of Night #7)

Welcome to Day #7 of House of Night Reviews!
*This book contains spoilers for the previous books in the series*
Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.

Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own.

My Thoughts:
The end of the previous book left us with Heath being killed by Kalona, Zoey's soul shattering when Heath died, Stevie Rae helping and falling for the Raven Mocker, Rephain, and Neferet still being pure evil. This book starts with Neferet sending Kalona into the Otherworld after Zoey to keep her from putting back together her shattered soul - resulting in her staying in the Otherworld. While this is going on Stark, Aphrodite, and Darius are looking for a way to get Stark to the Otherworld and Zoey - which is no easy task. Back in Tulsa, Stevie Rae has to find a way to keep her secret of her imprint with Rephain a secret while also finding a way to deal with the evil red fledglings and bring Zoey back. 

There is so much happening and I love that we are getting different characters perspectives - Stevie Rae is the main voice of this book since Zoey is in the Otherworld. The relationship with Stevie Rae and Rephain was not my favorite at first but after a while it pulled me in and I can see what Stevie Rae found so likable about him. I also love Stark in this book - well, I have in all the books - he is a great character and I'm so happy the Cast's introduced him to the readers and got rid of Erik. 


This book was one of my favorites in the series.The writing was so much better than the first few books and the storyline has really gotten more interesting and, sometimes, creepy evil. I did miss Zoey's voice in this book - since she has been the main narrator throughout the rest of them - but Stevie Rae was a welcome chance and made the story that much more interesting. 


I'm currently reading book #8, Awakened. Hoping to finish it tonight so I can post the final review tomorrow!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is: 
 Why do you read the genre you do? What draws you to it?
Well, I read mostly YA paranormal/fantasy. I don't really know what draws me to it exactly. I love the different worlds that all the authors create and I love how the each new character can do something new and different and exciting. For me, it takes me away from real life and anything to real. I just love it.
 
Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
 What makes up your nonhuman family?
Well, I have two dogs that are my furbabies. One is a yorkie/bichon mix names Jackson and the other is a German Shepherd named Roxie. They are so cute and loving and keep me company when S has to work. Can't imagine not having either of them.
 Jackson
 Roxie

Review: Tempted (House of Night #6)

Welcome to Day #6 of House of Night Reviews!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series*
Zoey needs a break after some serious excitement. Sadly, the House of Night school for vampyres doesn't feature breaks on its curriculum - even for a High Priestess in training and her gang. Plus juggling three guys is no stress reliever, especially when one is a sexy Warrior so into protecting Zoey that he's sensing her emotions. Wider stresses lurk too, and the dark force in Tulsa's tunnels is spreading. Could Stevie Rae be responsible for more than a group of misfit fledglings? And Aphrodite's visions warn Zoey to stay away from the immortal Kalona and his dark allure - but they also show that only Zoey can stop him. She's not exactly keen to meet up, but if Zoey doesn't go to Kalona he'll exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. She just has to find the courage to do what's necessary, or everything that's important to her will be destroyed. 

My Thoughts:
Starting with this book the Cast's add other view points to the mix - Stevie Rae's and Aphrodite's. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I was so use to being in Zoey's head that switching back and forth didn't feel right - but after a while I started to enjoy it. It definitely gives the reader a better idea of what is going on, especially for the different story lines and, since Stevie Rae is keeping secrets from Zoey, lets the reader see how events are going to effect all the characters. The reader also starts to see that Aphrodite isn't really a "hag from hell" and is actually a good person in her own way.


Since Zoey and the gang managed to make Neferet and Kalona flee from the House of Night, the think things are back to normal. But of course they're not! (Gotta keep things interesting, y'all!) Neferet and Kalona are still trying to rule the world and Zoey and the gang has gotta take a trip to stop them. Zoey is feeling a pull to Kalona because some part of her soul is connected to him from a past life but she knows she's gotta stay away from him and not get caught up in her feelings. (It really does get as crazy as it sounds.) While all that is going on Stevie Rae is hiding a Raven Mocker from Z and the gang - the one that is the favored son of Kalona. And Aphrodite is still dealing with visions and trying to be human while also still being a part of the vampyre world.


Overall, this book was more of a filler book for me. There were things that happened but it wasn't as good as the previous book (or the next one). I liked the alternating view points and was SO HAPPY that Stark was back and playing for the good side. Love him. The ending of the book really left the reader hanging - and it was a big OMG! moment. Liked it, didn't love it. On to the next one!


Come back tomorrow for day #7 of House of Night Reviews!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Hunted (House of Night #5)

Welcome to Day #5 of House of Night Reviews!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series*
 At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

My Thoughts:
The description from Goodreads is so good this time that I don't know what else I have to add. After Neferet releases Kalona from his prison of earth at the end of the previous book, Zoey and her friends go into hiding in the tunnels with the red fledglings that Stevie Rae is now leading. Because of Zoey's special powers, Neferet and Kalona are determined to find a way to get to Zoey - since she is the only one that can stop them. With Stark turning into a red vampyre but playing for the evil side, Zoey is determined to find a way to help him - even if it means going back to the House of Night and into Neferet and Kalona's grasps.

After book three, the story got much more interesting. I like where the Cast's take the story with Kalona and Neferet. The first few books you think Neferet is good but you find out fast that this is not the case at all. I was so happy to see Stark back (even though he came back at the end of the other book). I loved him from the very first scene and his place in the story just keeps getting better. The end of the book is great and it definitely solidified my love for Stark and my wish that Heath and Erik would disappear from the picture (no such luck so far).

Overall, another great read. The Casts are definitely making the story more interesting by taking it outside of the school and the new characters are still great and a welcome change. Damien and the twins are still main characters but sometimes they get on my nervous and I would rather see Zoey interacting with the newer, more well written characters. This one leaves you hanging a bit more than the first ones did so I was happy to be able to pick up the sixth book right away.

Come back tomorrow for day #6 of House of Night Reviews!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dark and Hollow Places


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we share the upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

Goodreads Description:
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah’s world stopped that day and she’s been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn’t feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

Except, Catcher has his own secrets -- dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah’s longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah -- can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?



 This is another book that I absolutely can not wait to get my hands on! I loved the first two books, The Forest of Hand and Teeth and The Dead Tossed Waves, and can not wait to find out what happens. I read on Ryan's blog (I think?) that this is the last book she is contracted to do in the series and this makes me super sad! I never really liked zombie stories but these are more about the people and less about the zombies. Ugh. March can not get here fast enough!

Review: Untamed (House of Night #4)

Welcome to Day #4 of House of Night Reviews!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books*
Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her?  Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast's spellbinding fourth House of Night novel. 

My Thoughts:
Zoey goes into this book with a lot of problems - she lost her virginity to her teacher who turned out to be seducing her for Neferet, she broke her Imprint w/Heath who is now pissed at her, Erik saw her having sex with Loren, and the "geek squad" is pissed cause she's kept everything a secret. And on top of that Aphrodite is now unmarked and Stevie Rae is undead but a new kind of red vampyre. Throw in a new kid at the school, Stark (who I absolutely love) and evil things in the night and you have one very interesting story line and a book that is much better than the previous book.


I love that the Cast's have introduced some new characters - Stark and the nun, Sister Mary Angela - who have added a little more intrigue to the story while also making Grandma Redbird a more important part of the story. The road the Cast's are starting to take the characters down in this book are very interesting - with Aphrodite turning back human, Stevie Rae a new kind of vampyre, and Neferet definitely evil and crazy - the story just got a whole lot more interesting for me.


Overall, up to this point, this has been my favorite book in the series - definitely better than book three. They really took the characters down a whole new road and introducing new characters into the mix made the series that much better. 


Come back tomorrow for day #5 of House of Night Reviews!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Hexbound



They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

My Thoughts:
Y'all. I love this series. I really enjoyed the first book, Firespell, but the second book was great. I love the different world that Neill created - full of all the normal paranormal creatures but with a different twist. Lily and Scout's friendship is so easy and snarky and believable. The storyline is great and never dull - from dealing with boys and bratty suite mates to finding a way to stop the Dark Elite there is always something going on with the gals and their boys. I also liked that this series was clean - it would definitely be something I would not hesitate letting my middle schoolers read - no cussing or sexual content. 

*Spoilers for previous book ahead*
These two girls are St. Sophia Private School students by day but at night they are Adepts - people with magical power (which they lose after so many years) who are battling the Dark Elite (people trying to keep the magic longer by draining humans). So, this book starts where Firespell ends - with Scout dealing with her kidnapping and draining by the Dark Elite and Lily trying to learn to control her firespell (her newly discovered magical power). And if that's not enough they both have crushes on boys - Jason and Michael (who are also Adepts) - from the neighboring all boy private school. 

On duty one night the run across some creatures they have never seen before - scary creatures that ooze slime and have fangs for teeth. As they work to discover where these creatures come from and what they are doing in the tunnels beneath the school - they discover warring vampire clans that make their lives even more complicated. And then, surprisingly, Sebastian, a Dark Elite who is responsible for triggering firespell in Lily, offers her help and makes Lily think maybe things aren't as black and white as they might seem.
Overall, I loved this book. Neill ended it so that you know there is going to be another one. I can't wait to find out what happens with Lily and Scout and how the stop the Dark Elite.

Book from Star Book Tours.

The "Launch" of the Good Ship Godspeed!

So, today is the day! The release of Across the Universe! I've been wanting to get my hands on this book for a few months now - and guess what? I got it a day early!
Amazon must have shipped it early cuz I got it in my mailbox Monday!
In case you guys haven't seen it - here is the trailer for the book.

So to promote the book, I received some special video to post for you guys from the author, 
Beth Revis!

Doesn't the ship look awesome? I'm excited to read the book and find out all about the different levels - especially the bottom level where everyone lives and everything is done. Must be a huge ship to include all that!

Penguin is also posting 111 pages of ATU on the web for you to check out! 
You can do so here!
This will only be available from 11:11am on Tuesday morning until 11:11pm on Tuesday night so make sure you check it out!

To show Beth your support - check out the Facebook page for ATU and the ATU website.
You can also let Beth know how you feel about the book directly by adding her to Twitter, checking out her blog, or going to her website.
Also, check out Penguin's website, Facebook, and Twitter and let them know how much you like ATU!

After all that I'm sure you want to buy the book - so here ya go!
Go to Amazon and get your copy!

Review: Chosen (House of Night #3)

Welcome to Day #3 of House of Night Reviews!
*This review contains spoilers for the previous books*
Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn.  Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies.  And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends.  So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before.  Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity.  Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster.  Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey’s horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres.  But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…

My Thoughts:
The third book in the series is another fun read - put probably my least favorite in the series. There are some things that bother me - like how the authors go back and tell the read everything that has happened in the previous books. Really - I remember what happened. Why would I start a series with book three? I tend to skip over these parts but they are still annoying.

Okay - rant over.


This book picks up where book two ended - with Zoey dealing with three boyfriends (and she called Aphrodite a slut? really?) while also dealing with an undead best friend and figuring out what to do about the evil Nefertiti. Even though Zoey has all this to deal with most of the book is pretty slow - not a lot happening and a lot of worrying about the three boyfriends. I also do not understand her infatuation with Loren Blake - her teacher - and the ending of the book really caught me by surprise. 


I do love Zoey's relationship with Stevie Rae and how she doesn't give up on her BFF even though she is an undead kid. Their relationship is probably one of my favorite things about the books. Stevie Rae keeps Zoey grounded and helps her deal with all the drama in her life.


Overall, not my favorite book in the series. Kinda slow - with really no Nefertiti causing drama (even though we do see that she's behind a lot of the drama that does happen.) This one is kinda hard for me to review - not much happened and I can't really remember the details. This book was more like a lead in into the next book and building up backstory for the rest of the series. 

Come back tomorrow for book #4!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Betrayed (House of Night #2)

Welcome to Day #2 of House of Night Reviews!
*Spoilers for previous book are included in this review*

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night.  She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

My Thoughts:
After taking over as the leader of the Dark Daughters, Zoey has even more problems to face. There are murders taking place that are pointing to the House of Night and Zoey and her friends try to figure out how to stop it - by dealing with normal teenage drama like too many boyfriends and the mean girls that have been bumped down a few notches since book one.


This book was more fast paced and better developed than the first book. The author's really seemed to be developing the story more and giving the characters a little more depth. The writing was better in this book too - they stopped putting the random thoughts of the narrator in parenthesis every other sentence. (Or the audiobook just allowed for me to not realize it like I did in the first one - either way - it was much better).


I liked the road the Cast's put Zoey and her friends on - leader and council of the Dark Daughters, making it a community service group, and even making Aphrodite seem not so horrible. 


I will say though that even though these are YA I think a lot of the language and sexuality is a bit much. I have middle schoolers and we are combined with the public library so these books are available to them since they are in the YA section. Some of the younger students I try to recommend other books instead of these. The 8th graders still seem a little to young for them IMO. 


Overall, I think the second book of the series was better than the first. More action, more character development, and better writing made it a fun, easy read and had me reaching for the third one as soon as I closed the book.


Come back tomorrow for Day #3 of House of Night Reviews!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: Marked (House of Night #1)

I read all of the House of Night books in December so I didn't have very long to wait for the next one! It finally came in at the library so I thought I would do reviews of all the previous books leading up to the review for Awakened!

Marked (House of Night #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

My Thoughts:
As the first book in the series, this book sucked me into the world that the Cast's created and had me picking up the next books in the series before I even finished the first one.

The book starts with Zoey being Marked and having to leave her life as a human to move to the House of Night and live with the other fledglings. If that's not bad enough, she's been given special powers by Nyx (the vampyre's goddess) and has to deal with everything that comes with that. She becomes fast friends with her roommate, Stevie Rae, and her group of friends that include the "twins," Shaunee and Erin, and Damien. There is, of course, a group of mean girls that make up the Dark Daughters - a special fledgling group on campus for only the most special of fledglings on campus. Zoey and the leader of the Dark Daughters, Aphrodite,  do not get along - causing normal teenage shenanigans throughout the book. When Zoey discovers what evil things the Dark Daughters are really up to it takes Zoey, her special powers, and her group of friends to stop some deadly events from taking place.

I really enjoy the world that the Cast's start to create in the first book of this series. It is full of crazy teenage drama but it was just one of those stories that you can escape into and not worry about anything else for a few hours.

Come back tomorrow for my review of Betrayed!

100+ Reading Challenge

I saw this challenge over at Miss Remmers' Reviews and thought I would join. It is hosted by My Overstuffed Bookshelf. I have more than enough books waiting for me to read to be able to do this. Let's see how it goes!

1. Firespell by Chloe Neill
2. Hexbound by Chloe Neill
3. Awakened by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
4. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
6. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
7. Matched by Ally Condie
8. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
9. White Cat by Holly Black
10. Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter
11. Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner
12. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
13. Enclave by Anna Aguirre
14. 12.21.12 by Killian McRae
15. Torment by Lauren Kate
16. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
17. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
18. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
19. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
20. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
21. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
22. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
23. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
24. Divergent by Veronica Roth
25. Die for Me by Amy Plum
26. Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates by Eva Gray
27. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
28. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
29. Juniper Berry by M. P. Kozlowsky
30. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

31. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 
32. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
33. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
34. Red Glove by Holly Black
35. Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
36. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
37. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
38. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
39. Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
40. Enthralled by Various Authors
41. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
42. Fire by Kristin Cashore
43. Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
44. Fracture by Megan Miranda
45. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
46. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
47. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
48. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
49. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
50. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

In My Mailbox (11)

Well, I got a ton more books this week! I really need to quit buying/bringing books home from the library and read what I have but I just can't help it! So, on to the goodies!

Bought:

XVI by Julia Karr 
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (not pictured)
I picked these up w/a giftcard that I got from the public librarians I work with. I'm so excited to read them. I've heard nothing but great things. I already have Shiver as a ebook so I wanted the hard cover to go with Linger and Forever when it comes out.

Library:

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Goddess of Legend by P.C. Cast
I'm SO EXCITED for Awakened. It is definitely moved to the top of my reading pile - right after I finish a book I got from a book tour. I have the first three in the Mercy Thompson series, so I picked this one up when it came back in and I just thought the other Cast book might be good since I like the House of Night series so much. 

Book Tour:

Hexbound by Chloe Neill 
I got this from Star Book Tours. I just finished Firespell and enjoyed it so I'm excited to read this. I'm about 50 pages in and it's not disappointing!

Nookbooks:


 Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Daniel X by James Patterson
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
Reaper by Rachel Vincent
Remedial Magic by Jenna Black
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz
The Wild's Call by Jeri Smith-Ready
Almost all of these were free or a dollar. Can't beat that!

And in sort of book related news - I got my desk in!
Definitely need to get some stuff up on the wall and figure out a way to hide the cord but I LOVE it! :)
My lil sis suggested some sort of plant in front of it and I think I'm going to buy a decal from etsy to put on the wall. And I have another piece coming for it that won't be here until February. So excited to get this room finished!

What did you get this week?


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