Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest Author Post by Michelle Muto

I'm very excited to have a guest post today by Michelle Muto, author of The Book of Lost Souls.

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end. - Goodreads

Five Things I’ve Learned As A Writer

5. Technology does not always make my life better or easier. I'm a die-hard geek, so this was tough for me.I try to limit how much time I spend on social media sites. These giant time-suckers will made me wonder where my time went when I should be: a) writing or reading or b) out enjoying a life.  The best advice? Get out more. Smile, live, laugh – and share it with those you love. And don’t look in the App store, because there’s just no app for that.
4. Never trust people who don’t have a sense of humor.  If they were real people, whom would you trust? Ron or Voldemort?
3. Everything you must have, owns you. For me, it was too much TV time, stuff I own, or the internet. All things that pulled me away from either writing, or spending time with those I love.
2. Keep trying.  When The Book of Lost Souls barely missed being picked up by a large agency after a more established client came up with witch story, I had two choices: let the manuscript rot on my hard drive, or self-publish it. I chose to self-publish it. Yes, I was heartbroken when the only reason my book was turned away was because someone else wanted to write a story about a witch. After all, the agents loved The Book of Lost Souls! But, sometimes things don't turn out the way we want. One of my favorite two sayings: If you think you can or think you can't, you're right. ~Henry Ford. And, When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown
1. It’s all about the experience. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking a book, a movie, vacation, dinner out, or a product you’ve purchased, It’s about the experience. See, the experience – the stuff we enjoy and seek out is not about money at all. It’s about what we get out of things – paid for or free. With books,  the reader wants to be drawn into the characters and the setting. They want to feel like they’re right there, experiencing, seeing, and feeling what the characters do. I hope that I've delivered that with The Book of Lost Souls.

Great advice, Michelle! Thanks so much for stopping by!! 
Make sure to check out her book!

Friday, May 27, 2011

THIS OR THAT with Kady Cross

Today we are joined by Kady Cross, author of The Girl in the Steel Corset that came out on May 24th from Harlequin Teen.

Kady Cross's Website | Blog | Twitter

A look at the book from Goodreads:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

Kady has been nice enough to answer some This or That questions for us today!

1. Coffee or Soda?

2. TV Shows or Movies?

3. Rock or Country?

4. Peeta or Gale?
Oh dear. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read the books yet!

5. The Glass is Half Full or Half Empty?
Depends on the day. Okay, Half Full

6. Outside or Inside?

7. Dog or Cat?

8. Actual Book or eBook?
Actual Book

9. Dressy or Casual?

10. Summer or Winter?
Fall. LOL. Summer

11. Contemporary or Paranormal?

12. Beach or Mountains? 

Thanks for stopping by Kady!! And make sure to stop back by on June 1 for a review of
The Girl in the Steel Corset!

Armchair BEA: Blogging about Blogging

So this is the last day for Armchair BEA. I've had a great time this week and so glad I got to participate! I've talked to some amazing bloggers and hope to build more relationships! Today's topic is Blogging About Blogging. Tips, tricks, and advice for other bloggers about how you run your little corner of the internet.

For me it's pretty simple - I do what I want to do. I know this might sounds somewhat selfish but it's my blog. If I want to post a meme - I post a meme. If I go a few days without posting anything - so be it. I don't stress over my blog. I have a life outside of blogging. As much as I love to read and blog I have a job, a husband, family, friends, dogs, and other responsibilities. I've been reading a middle grade 196 page book for a week now. A week! Sure it stresses me out a little since I have a tour book I need to read but I'll get it done - I always do. I have 6 reviews sitting in my draft folder that needs to be finished. Sometimes life gets in the way and that's okay.

If you want to connect with other bloggers you've gotta reach out. Twitter is the best way to meet and talk to other people. Leaving comments on other people's blogs are great but how often do we make it back to the blog to check up on the comment we left? I know I don't. My Google Reader is full as it is and sometimes I can't remember who wrote what post. But I do remember Twitter names and that definitely helps me remember blogs. Get on Twitter and put yourself out there. Respond to people and build relationships. You won't regret it!

I hope y'all have had a fantastic week during Armchair BEA! I know I have and I look forward to getting to know y'all better!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Gathering

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book 1)
Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 12, 2011
ARC Provided by HarperTeen
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.
- Goodreads

Well, I've never read a Kelley Armstrong book and I've gotta say - if all of her books are as good as this one I am missing out! I really loved everything about this book. The setting, the characters, the writing - it was all great and I flew through it.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Maya, who experiences the trauma of seeing her best friend drown right in front of her a year before. Talk about awful. Can you imagine that happening in front of you? I can't. That's one of my biggest fears. Well, that and spiders. So, she's a little messed up but making it through okay.

I really loved the setting in this story. I live in the mountains. We are out in them almost every weekend 4wheeling and cooking out. So, the setting of this story was fun for me. I'm also a huge animal lover and loved that Maya was too. I would totally be taking care of all the animals like Maya.

I really liked the new supernatural beings that Armstrong is creating. Right now I'm not really sure WHAT they are but its very interesting and I can't wait to find out more about what it's all about.

The characters in the story are well written and likable. Maya is a very strong girl and I was glad she didn't put up with Rafe's crap OR that the relationships in the book wasn't instalove. Yay for a believable relationship! I also really liked Daniel and think that in the next books there will be feelings for Maya coming from him. We will see. I also love Maya's parents. You don't get a lot of parent interactions in YA books and her parents were front and center in the story.

One thing that did bother me was that I felt like we got no answers with the end of the book - just a ton of questions that we have to wait to have answered. Even when books are part of a series I still feel like there should be some sort of wrap up - even if there is a big cliff hanger. The Gathering definitely leaves it wide open with us just getting a glimpse into the world Armstrong is building.

I did love the book though and can't wait to find out what happens with Maya, Rafe, and Daniel now that they are being pulled into unknown territory.

Armchair BEA: Blogging Relationships

So, today's topic is about blogging relationships - how we develop them, how we interact, and how we keep them going. At first, it is a little overwhelming - there are so many bloggers! Names to remember, twitter handles to keep straight with blog names, and people to respond to. So, where do you start?

Blogger Relationships
First, the thing I try to do the most - respond to all comments left on my blog. This can be hard sometimes but if someone leaves me a comment I always try to get back to them on their blog. While I'm there I also check out their content, see if it is something I would like, and check for a Twitter. One person I met by replying to comments is Reagan from Miss Remmers Review. I am so happy I got to be friends with this chick! She is funny and caring and one of my favorite people I've met blogging. We text and talk about other stuff besides books and I really love our conversations. I had an early miscarriage back in January and she sent me flowers. How sweet is that?! So, if you haven't checked out her blog - you need to. 

Also, I love Twitter. If you don't have one you are definitely missing out. I've met some great people on there and have found some awesome blogs because of it. One person I met through Twitter was Heidi from YA Bibliophile. She is a School Librarian as well and I really love that I met another one. We are talking about doing book clubs with our kids next year and letting them interact. My principals think it's a great idea and I'm excited to do it! Without Twitter, I might not have found her and all the awesomeness she brings to the table.

Publisher Relationships
A lot of the relationships I've made with publisher contacts have been great but I've gotta say - I think being a school librarian has helped a lot. When I started contacting publishers I made sure to include that I was a school librarian, this got my email sent to the library outreach contact and I've been able to get some great books to share with my students and other teachers. Some of my best contacts are Scholastic, Penguin, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster. All the contacts I've talked to from these companies have been friendly, helpful, and always email me back.  

Author Relationships
This is definitely one thing I need to work on and hopefully get some tips from other bloggers! I'm always so backwards about contacting them - even if I LOVE their book! Sure, I've @'ed some on Twitter telling them how amazing their book is and they've responded back but never sent an email or tried to build any type of relationship. I would love to change this though. When I went to the Breathless Reads tour I was the "official blogger" so I got to talk to all the authors for a little longer. They all said I could email them with questions anytime - so I might take them up on that. Build relationships, right? 

So, how do you build relationships with others in the book blogging world? Leave me a link to your post so I can check it out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Blogger Interviews!

Welcome to Armchair BEA day three! Today is blogger interviews!
I didn't sign up in time to be assigned another blogger to interview but through the greatness that is Twitter I found a interview partner! 
Katie from Mundie Moms is joining us today. I love their blog so I was excited when Katie said she need a partner as well!
How did you get started blogging?
I have actually been blogging for about 7 years, though for 5 of those years I was on my personal blog where I post about my family and share book recommendations. It wasn't until I started Mundie Moms (the forum) that I decided to do a book review blog. I loved the idea of being able to share book reviews with other book lovers. Though I stated the blog at the same time, the blog didn't go live until a few months later. With the blog I wanted to have a place where I could share Cassie's latest news, promote her books and discuss other YA books I was reading, as well as host live author chats, something I didn't see anyone else doing. It's been a lot of fun and over the last two years we've grown a lot and had a lot of various friends who have been apart of the blog.

What is the best experience you've had as a blogger? 
That's a hard question to answer, I've had a lot of great experiences. The most memorable experiences have been meeting Cassie and some other fabulous authors who have come to Austin, being able to meet some of the publishers at TLA, and  working at some pretty amazing events and author tours. A highlight for me is having a character named after me in Bree Despain's The Lost Saint and seeing Mundie Moms/Mundie Kids quoted on books. One of the most rewarding things as a blogger is hearing followers say they picked up a book based on one of the reviews they read on Mundie Moms.

 So, being part of Mundie Moms, I know you love Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. Besides those, what is your favorite book or series? 
I have too many to count. It's hard to love just one or two books or series. TMI and ID are definitely at the top of my list, but I also love Shannon Hale's Goose Girl series (which got my interested in reading YA again), the Curse Workers seres by Holly Black, the Shiver series by Maggie Stievfater, the Beautiful Darkness series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series and I can't leave off the Twilight series. Don't laugh, but had I not read this series back before it was popular, I wouldn't be reading YA books now. I could really keep listing series. There's a lot of great series and books I've read.

Any suggestions for new bloggers?  
The most important thing is to not compare your blog to other blogs. Do what you want to do. Let your blog be an expression of who you are. Have fun blogging. Blogging should be fun and not something that's competitive. Enjoy what you do.

Tell us something about you - any quirks or interesting tidbits we should know?
LOL I don't think I'm very interesting, but I do have a weird quirk. All my books have to be lined up in a neat order and in alphabetical order. I think I'm a little obsessed with how they're lined up. I can't handle if any of them are sticking out more than the others, like they're all seriously lined up exactly the same. I know, I have a problem. lol

 If you were on a deserted island and could only take three things - what would they be?
 I'd take my family, a suitcase full of necessities/food and of course a suitcase full of books. So technically that's three things right? LOL

 What do you think is the worst part about not getting to go to BEA? And what is the best part about Armchair BEA?
What turned out being the worst thing about not being there turned out to be the best thing about being at home, we're going to be revealing the cover for Cassie's Clockwork Prince on Wed morning at 9:15 am EST and we'll have giveaways! Everything that Simon and Schuster is unveiling and will have at their booth at BEA we will have on our site. I'm SO excited they've asked us to reveal the cover. I can't wait!!

Anything else you want to add?
This is have been a lot of fun getting to know you and I look forward to hopefully getting to meet you one day at one of the many blogger events that happen around the country. :)
Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by, Katie! Great interview and I've gotta say - I am SO EXCITED for the Clockwork Prince cover reveal on your blog today! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens by Megan

Beauty Queens 
Libba Bray 
Published: May 24, 2011
ARC Received from Scholastic
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count. -Goodreads

Just a quick note! This is a guest review by one of my best friends in real life. Thanks so much Megan! Y'all should check her out  on Twitter @morsini or her blog. She is hilarious and will be a famous author some day. I just know it!
Dear Friends of Chelle,
Hello!  My name is Megan and I am also a friend of Chelle.  We have so much in common.  Our dear mutual friend has been so kind as to share her space (and her books) with me in order that I may review them and bring the review to you.  I'm so excited to do this.  I imagine us sitting around in our PJ's, eating popcorn, and talking about books.  That sounds fun, right?  Maybe one day we can do that.  For now I'm still in my PJ's, but alone, and I desperately WANT popcorn and also it really, really hot in my house.  So when we have our sleepover, we're going to the house with the best air conditioning, yes?
My first review for you is Libba Bray's Beauty Queens.  I've been excited to read this book for a while because it's about Beauty Queens stranded on a deserted island and in my head that just sounds AWESOME.  I'm sort of a fair weather Bray fan, having found the first of the Gemma Doyle series to be okay and liking, but not loving, Going Bovine. But based on the aforementioned I knew that if any current YA author was going to take the absurd quality of this topic and make it shine, she would certainly be the one.
If you imagined that Beauty Queens was going to be a sort of female-driven Lord of the Flies then we have even MORE in common.  That is definitely the impression that I was under, but was quickly relieved of this preconceived notion in the very first pages.  The first chapter is "A Word From Your Sponsor," and is, much to my embarrassment, laugh out loud funny.  (Though, to be clear, by "laugh out loud," I typically mean a "body-shaking giggle," but still embarrassing to be seen doing in public!)
The chapters are broken up into three types:  There are the narrative chapters, about the girls and the Corporation's compound on the island (which the girls do not know exists); the words from the Corporation (a business in charge of most of the world's media, products, and is also in the process of securing an arms trade with a foreign, Elvis-obsessed dictator), and commercial breaks (which are the funniest part of the book and a great parody of our modern commercials).  In our culture of Jersey Shore and perfection obsession, this book reads like something you would find on either the reality shows of Bravo or MTV.  And by including snippets of Corporation reality shows, I get the impression that this is exactly what Bray was going for. 
There is much to love about this book, the foremost of which being the girl-power brought on by the girls as they struggle to survive on a deserted island without food or shelter.  While the Beauty Queens could easily have turned into stereotypes, with Bray at the helm they never become cliche.  Each one is unique, and away from the societal pressures of being a teenage girl they figure out who they are, what they want, and just what they are capable of.  Every type of girl is represented and I can see this as being the kind of book a high school girl would read and cling to, knowing it's okay to be who she is because even behind the pearly whites and fake tans these beauty queens struggle with the same insecurities and confusion as any typical teenager. While I make it sound sappy and feel good, Bray makes it sharp and funny.  The message, at times, can be a little over-the-top, but just when you think, "I can't take any more of this", she brings it back to the plucky narrative with witty dialogue and real world parodies. 
For those of you looking to recommend this book, be forewarned that the issues of homosexuality and sex are addressed (yes, sex.  I know they are on a deserted island so I won't tell you HOW, but it happens).  They are dealt with in a mature manner, but I know some parents might have issues with letting their kids read this book.  Which they SHOULDN'T, but who am I to say anything?  Just saying.  It is a contemporary YA book and contemporary YA issues cannot be ignored. 
That being said, my personal opinion of the book is that I enjoyed it.  It wasn't one that I couldn't put down (like another book I read in the meantime that I finished in, like, two days because HOLY CRAP and because this isn't about that book I won't mention any names, but I'll just say again, HOLY CRAP), but it was one that I definitely didn't have trouble finishing.  I loved the characters and the situations and like where Bray took this topic.  Instead of the expected (girls fight it out and ONLY ONE SURVIVES [said in deep announcer voice]), she made a really quirky and fresh book.

Armchair BEA Giveaway Day!

Welcome to day #2 of Armchair BEA here at Hooked to Books.
Today is giveaway day and I have some great books for y'all to win.
Make sure to fill out all THREE forms!

The first two books are some of my favorite books of the year. 

First - A signed copy of Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
I was lucky enough to go to the Breathless Reads signing and get my own book sign and then I won a contest on her blog and got another signed copy. So, I'm giving that one away!
Fill out THIS form.

Second - A ARC of Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I loved this book so much! It has been read - so it's not brand new but it's amazing and I hope whoever wins loves it as much as I do.
Fill out THIS form. 

Third - You choose between ARC's of:
 Die for Me by Amy Plum
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Eona by Alison Goodman
Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates by Eva Gray
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Fill out THIS form. 

Sweet giveaways, right?
Sorry for the separate forms but you can use the same tweet for each one.
US Only.
Ends Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA - Let's Get This Party Started!

So, as must of y'all know - this week is BEA in NYC. My Google Reader and Twitter feeds are full of BEA talk - and I'm kinda bummed I'm not there! I had the chance to go - time off work, place to stay - but I had a lot of family stuff come up and decided that that was more important. 

So, here I am - participating in Armchair BEA instead - which is totally going to ROCK!

For those of those stopping by from Armchair BEA's site and don't know - My name's Michelle.
I've been blogging for about 8 months now and love it. After I finished Grad school I decided to start a blog instead of just reading them - and here I am! 
I'm a school librarian and absolutely love it. I'm currently employed at a middle school and love my kids and job. Not many people can say that so I'm truly blessed.
I mostly read YA and middle grade - and completely love anything that is paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. I will read other stuff but those are my favorites. 

This week I'll be doing Armchair BEA from a few different places. 
Monday I'll be at my twin's watching my niece while my other niece has surgery. So, I might be kinda MIA. Watching a rowdy 16 months old that likes to get into everything will keep me pretty busy.
Tuesday - Friday I'll be back home and at work. I'm a school librarian so I should have a few extra minutes during the day to sneak on and see what is going on. 

What I'm looking forward to most about Armchair BEA is interacting with other bloggers. That's one of the biggest things I'm sad to be missing out on this week. So, if you reading this - leave a comment, say hi on twitter, let me know something about you! I love meeting new people and making new friends.

Make sure to stop back by this week! I'm gonna have some giveaways posted tomorrow that you don't want to miss! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is:
"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"
Hmm.. I'm gonna have to go with Harry Potter universe for this one - Hogwart's to be specific. It's so magical and full of adventure. Who doesn't want to play quidditch or learn to brew potions or learn to fight with magic? So. Much. Fun!
 Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them... 
1. I'm a twin. That's kinda quirky right? How many people can say that? And we do twin stuff all the time - I swear I can feel what she's feeling. And we talk to each other in our sleep - responding to each other. And know what the other is talking about even when it makes no sense to anyone around us - including our husbands.
2.  I'm OCD about my light switches in my kitchen. I have 4 sets that turns on and off different sets of lights. So, you can turn them on one place and off another. My husband likes to leave one switch up and one switch down on the same pad - it drives me insane! I walk through my kitchen flipping switches until they are all going in the same direction. 
3. I'm late for EVERYTHING. It doesn't matter where I'm going or what I'm doing you can guarantee I will be late. I have no idea why I do this.
4. My husband is on nightshift - so he sleeps all day while I'm at work. Which means there is someone in my bed when I leave in the morning  and I can't make it. So, when I go upstairs to get ready for bed at night - I have to make the bed. I fluff the pillows, tuck the sheets back in, smooth out the blankets - fix it like I would in the morning - then get in and go to sleep. 

5. I'm as addicted to tv as I am to reading. Really. I own two DVR's which are usually full during the Fall and Spring viewing season. I don't know how I have time to read and watch as much as I do but I make it work.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Sapphique

Catherine Fisher
Published: December 28, 2010
Audiobook from Library

 *Contains Spoilers for Book One*

Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique. -Goodreads

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher. I listened to Incarceron on audio so when my library got Sapphique on audio as well I was ecstatic. The reader of the book is great and does a great job telling the story and keeping the listener interested. Someone on Twitter said they thought it would be hard to keep up with what was going on in the book listening to it but it wasn't at all.

With Sapphique picking up where Incarceron left off - Finn is out of Incarceron with Claudia leaving  Keiro and Attia still in Incarceron trying to find Sapphique and the mysterious glove so they can get out. While Keiro and Attia fight their way through the prison, Finn must fight a different battle - the fight for the throne and his life after another steps up and claims to be Giles.

I feel so bad for Finn - he goes from one hell to another. Even though he is out of Incarceron there are still so many things for him to learning and get to use and survive. And Claudia doesn't help the situation any - she is sorta spoiled and then starts to doubt Finn when he needs her the most.

Their is so much going on in these books that it is hard to talk about without giving away any of it away. The world that Fisher creates is so complex and has so much going on that it is hard to keep up at times. Sometimes I found myself rereading/listening to certain parts so I could really understand what happened.

I will say that I didn't care for the ending. It was built up so much then it just - ended. There were some resolutions but nothing like I wanted there to be.

I have The Dark City #1 (Relic Master) that came out Tuesday to read and review soon. I enjoy Fisher's writing style and world building so I'm looking forward to reading this new series.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading 
Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
This week I am reading:
The boy did not notice Juniper standing beneath her yellow umbrella, a look of pure wonder on her face. He cautiously made his way to the nearest tree and began sliding his hands up and down the trunk.
Juniper Berry, Pg. 26
M. P. Kozlowsky
From ARC provided by publisher

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So, last year I participated in the SYNC YA Literature in Your Earphones event that was being hosted by Audiobook Community. I love audiobooks and YA so what could be better than 16 free audiobooks all summer?! I got some great titles last year, including Hunger Games (which I had already read and loved - so I've listened to it a few times since).

This year, they are promoting it even more. You can sign up for text messages reminding you to download the new title - which will be very helpful since I would forget about it last year until the last day it was available.

Text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles.

So, how it works. Every week they will be offering two free audiobooks - a newer YA paired with a classic. The titles this year looks great.

SYNC Titles
Summer 2011
Available June 23 - June 29
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Available June 30 - July 6
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Available July 7 - July 13
Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
Available July 14 - July 20
The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Beowulf by Francis B. Gummere [Trans.]
Available July 21 - July 27
Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Available July 28 - August 3
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Rescue: Stories of Survival From Land and Sea by Dorcas S. Miller [Ed.]
Available August 4 - August 10
Immortal by Gillian Shields
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Available August 11 - August 17
Storm Runners by Roland Smith
The Cay by Theodore Taylor

If you are a school librarian or educator, this would be a great way to get kids to read some books (especially classics) that they might not be interested in. AND, it could work for you in your classroom. If you are doing a lesson on Wuthering Heights or The Cay - play the audio for them.

I can't really say enough good things about this program. I've been passing out info to my teachers, making bookmarks for my library, and hanging up poster everywhere I can. 

If you want more info, click on over to the Sync Information Page. There are some great resources there to help you out with promoting the event.

Review: Torment

Torment (Fallen)
Lauren Kate
Published: September 28, 2010
Audiobook from Library

Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies. - Goodreads

This review has been sitting in my draft folder since March (!!) waiting for me to finish it. I really don't know why I've put it off. I enjoyed the book but it's not one of my favorite books ever. Maybe because I've read more interesting things? I dunno...

Anyways... My thoughts on Torment. (As much as I can remember anyways) Luce is taken to California for protection - from what? You will have to read and find out. Of course there is still the tortured relationship between her and Daniel. He has to leave her there and can't be with her because of a deal he made with Cam. Luce is not happy with the situation and does everything that Daniel tells her not to do (of course!). I kinda liked it though. She starts to be her own person, choosing her own way regardless of what she is being told. On the other hand, she made me mad and I  knew she was just making the situation worse! But, my husband and parents will tell you - I'm stubborn. If I was put into the situations Luce was I'm sure I would be doing the same things.

I liked the new cast of characters in this story. Luce makes some new friends that are interesting and I like that they introduce some Nephilim to the story. Luce's new roommate is one of my favorite characters. She is not impressed with Luce and her story and makes her own decisions about Luce. I also liked that she encouraged Luce to explore her other lives and see what happened to her. I thought that was an interesting part of the book.

This was a nice edition to the series. The ending was great and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next. This was an audio book from the library and I really enjoyed listening to it. The reader was great and she held my attention. I listened to Fallen as well and hope to listen to the next one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading 
Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
This week I am reading:
My mistake was inhaling as I did. He smelled like oak and grass and wood fires. He smelled like memories. Like years and years of memories.
Die For Me
Amy Plum
ARC provided by publisher 
Page 65 - Subject to Change

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next! It's been a few weeks since I posted this so I'm going to play catch up today!

Finished Reading (the last couple weeks):

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 
Currently Reading:
Die for Me by Amy Plum

Planning to Read Next:
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Bumped by Megan Mccafferty

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April THANKS and May RAK

RAK is hosted by Book Soulmates. Its a way to pass on the book love.
I got some GREAT books this month from some wonderful bloggers! Y'all were so generous. I was completely blown away with your awesomeness! THANK YOU SO MUCH! 

I received:

I also sent out a few RAKs this month
Firespell (Dark Elite, Book 1)  to Jessica Bowes (Can't find a link here either!)

I really feel like I need to catch up with sending RAKs this month! Y'all are completely awesome! Really. Thanks so much!

If you want to participate this month sign up is HERE.
And this is my RAK for May.


• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
{Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes :)

Review: The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning)
John Stephens
Published: April 5, 2011
Received ARC from Random House

John Stephens' aptly-titled new fantasy trilogy begins auspiciously with a nimble, fast-paced tale of three siblings. Kate, Michael, and Emma have suffered through ten years of odious orphanage "care"; now they have slipped into the care of the eccentric, disturbingly mysterious Dr. Pym. While exploring their new home, the children discover a magical green book. With that discovery, a decade of tedium dissolves into cascades of dangerous time travel adventures and struggles with a beautiful witch and decidedly less attractive zombielike Screechers. High early reader marks for strong characterization and battle scenes. -Goodreads

When I first started seeing this book around the web I knew I had to get my hands on it. I love fantasy/adventure stories and kept hearing this was Harry Potter-like. And this book did not disappoint.

From the very beginning, Stephens pulls you into the story with non-stop action. Kate, Michael, and Emma's parents send them off when they are babies to protect them - from what we have no idea. Over the next ten years they are bounced around from orphanage to orphanage - getting in trouble and meeting some very crazy would be parents. When they are kicked out of the worst orphanage of all, they end up at a huge house under the care of Dr. Pym. The new town and house they move to is odd and there's something that just isn't right. When they explore the house, they come across a secret room with a mysterious book. When they open the book and figure out it's secret they are sent on an adventure through time - one that is full of witches, dwarfs, Screechers, and giants - that might just lead them back to their parents.

The world that Stephens creates is wonderful and the characters are real and relate able. There is so much mystery and depth to Stephen's world and so much more left to explore. I'm sure has he gets further along in the series there is going to be more questions answered and more of the world and mystery explored. I hate that I have to wait so long to find out what happens next!

I loved the main characters in the story. Kate, the oldest, tries to be strong for her siblings and cares about everyone. She promised her parents that she would take care of her younger siblings and has spent the last 10 years doing just that. Michael, the only boy and second in line, is a very sweet and smart. He loves dwarfs and is always writing down and investigating - very studious young man. And Emma, the youngest, is just so funny and tough and sarcastic. I think she was my favorite of the three. She tries to put on a front but underneath she is struggling just as much as the other two.

I really loved this book. It was a wonderful middle grade read that I will definitely be recommending to my students. I have one copy on the shelves that has been checked out several times - and I will definitely be pushing it for my fantasy/adventure loving students. It was nice to get away from the love triangles and high school drama and just enjoy a wonderfully written fantasy adventure book.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading 
Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
This week I am reading:
Warm Bodies by Issac Marion, Page 72
I lie down again and fold my hands behind my head. Embarrassed, I keep my face mirthless until Julie falls asleep. Then I slowly let it creep back, smiling at the ceiling as the stars flicker to life outside.
Book courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Monday, May 2, 2011

Forever Contest

So, I love Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver series. I read the first two before I started blogging but they are some of my favorite books.

Maggie is holding a contest on her blog for a chance to win all kinds of great FOREVER related stuff - including a early copy of the book. If you have not read these books, what are you waiting for? They are great!

Here is the video for FOREVER that Maggie made:

Looks awesome, huh?

You can preorder FOREVER here. I did months ago!
Or you can get an autographed copy here.
You won't be disappointed!

In My Mailbox #25

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I forgot to flip it again. Oh well. It takes too long to upload!

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