Where reading is a way of life

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday--New Series I Want To Start Reading


Top Ten Tuesday is done by The Broke and the Bookish Click to join in the fun!

Top Ten Series I Want To Start Reading

10.  Splintered by A.G. Howard


Anything Alice in Wonderland intrigues me. Plus, just look at those covers!

9.  Immortal City by Scott Speer


My friend, Jen, recommends these reads! Love the concept of angels in this one, totally unique!

8. The Luxe by Anna Godberson


 I've heard nothing but good things about these books. Plus, I love historical fiction.

7. Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima


Fantasy. Need I say more?

6. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes


Another fantasy. Enough said.

5. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger


Another recommend from my friend Jen. Really interesting concept too.

4. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini


Another recommend from Jen. And mythology. *Grabby hands*

3. Shadow Falls by C.C. Hunter


I've had these on my TBR forever, but I recently met C.C. Hunter at UtopYA in Nashville, and she was lovely! So they have been bumped up the list!

2. Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


I've heard AMAZING things about these books. Been wanting to read them since the first book released!

1. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead


I LOVED Vampire Academy, and I can't wait to see where this spin off goes! 

That's my top ten! Thoughts or comments? Leave them below!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Are You Reading Monday + October Reading Update-- 10/20


Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a meme done by Book Journey.  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

So my October Reading Challenge for myself is moving along rather slowly. My readathon starts soon, though, so hopefully that will kick me into gear!

Books I finished this week





Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers--5 stars
Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas--3 stars
The Young Elites by Marie Lu--4 stars Review

What's up the week




Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (currently reading)
Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

I will also have a new update when the readathon starts on Friday!

If you haven't joined the Chills and Thrills Reading Cram 2.0, you still can! Click HERE to sign up

Have a good week!





Friday, October 17, 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu


Goodreads
368 pages, YA Fantasy
The Young Elites #1
My Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


My 2 cents

This was an awesome fantasy read! I was so looking forward to this new book by Marie Lu, as I loved The Legend series. I was afraid I'd be comparing it to Legend the whole time, but I shouldn't have worried! The story kept me more than engaged and everything else fell away!

The thing that stands out about this book is the MC, Adelina, is actually not really the hero of the story. She definitely tries to be, but she's more the villain than anything else. Not through her own fault, more as a victim of circumstance. She is raised by a cruel father and deep down believes him when he says she is worthless.

When her powers finally start to emerge, she tries to join the "good guys" but is soon stuck between a battle between two young men--Enzo, the former crown prince and leader of the Dagger Society, and Teren, the head of the Inquisitors. Both are at cross purposes, and they both use Adelina to fight their battles.

I found this dynamic to be the best part of the story. There is no love triangle here--Adelina is realistic and can read what's really going on. But all three of these characters were so intriguing. They each thought they were doing the right thing, but they all are flawed characters. 

The rest of the characters mostly faded into the background. We really didn't get to know any of them very well. I'm hoping we learn more in upcoming books. 

The setting, the world building, and the basic plot itself were very well done. I was totally sucked into this world. Overall, this was a very good fantasy. Fans of Throne of Glass and Graceling will enjoy this one!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October Reading--Something Wicked This Way Comes


Hey fellow BOOklovers! Are you all ready for Halloween this year? I myself LOVE Halloween, and the entire month up until then! I love it so much, that some friends and I have come up with a readathon just for Halloween!  You can find out more HERE

To expand this, I'm filling my month long reading goal with spooky, paranormal, creepy and freaky books. I have lots to choose from believe me! My goal is pretty massive--I want to read 25 books this month! I'm already behind. But hopefully I can catch up! 


I started the month with The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. This is the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy. Not something you might think of as a Halloween read, but it does have plenty of aliens and evil creatures parading as men. And plenty of moments in the book were definitely chilling! I loved the read, and can't wait to read the sequel. 5 star read!


Right now I am in the middle of two different books. The first is The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I am so excited to read this one, and have been waiting awhile! I'm not far in yet, but loving it already! This series is very different, but the characters are amazing! This one has magic as its main element for this challenge.



The second book I am reading is Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. This one is actually historical fiction, but it feels like fantasy, and has ASSASSINS who are daughters of Death. Perfect read for this month! I'm farther in this one and LOVING it. This is also a second book in a series-- a common theme so far!

Here are some other books that are tentatively on my TBR list for the month. These may be changed.




Let me know what you think about any of these books, or books you might suggest for me to read! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Boil by David Estes + Review + Giveaway!

Revenge. That’s all that’s left for witch hunter Rhett Carter. The magic-born have stripped everything from him - killed his friends, cursed his warlock father, shattered his future - leaving him bare and broken, but not dead. Their mistake. When Rhett and Laney are suddenly thrust in different directions, Rhett must decide who to trust and who to kill. Backed by his trusty canine sidekick Hex, Rhett will embark on his deadliest mission yet, one that will lead him directly toward those who want him dead, pushing his unique resistance to magic to the edge and back again as he tries to remove his father’s curse. Separated from Rhett, Laney seeks to understand the strange changes to her sister, Trish, who’s believed to be the last living Clairvoyant, and what role she’s destined to play in the future of humankind. Wrapped around everything are four major groups: the Necromancers, the Changelings, the witch hunters, and New America, the remnants of humanity. When the major forces are brought together for an epic battle, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

My Rating: 5 stars
My Review:

**There will be spoilers from the first book, Brew, but none for Boil**

"As my days surround me with the bitter eyes of a betrayed wolf, my nights haunt and destroy without compassion, bruising my heart and crushing my soul"--Rhett Carter

And so the sequel starts, the situation even darker for Rhett. Trying to come to terms with the fact that Beth is gone, and contemplating Xavier's actions in the whole mess. Does he still have a best friend? The only thing Rhett knows for sure is he wants REVENGE.

This was an EPIC sequel! You are really in for the wild ride of your life with this one. The stakes are even higher than before, as Rhett, Laney, and Trish follow their own paths in this crazy mixed up world. 

First of all--Laney's POV! FINALLY! I was so wanting to get in her head all through the story of Brew, and we finally get that in this book! She was everything I'd imagined, and more. Still easily my favorite character in this trilogy. The voice of Laney was spot on, and so different from Rhett's. It was easy to tell who was really talking, something that can be hard to pull off, but was done BEAUTIFULLY in this book! My favorite Laney line: "If they ever create an award for best conversationalist, let me know and I’ll apply. Until then, have a sip from my bottle of I-Don’t-Give-A-Crap and keep on walking." Love it!

We also get Trish's POV in this, which was so enlightening, and really gave me insight into her character. Her story line is wicked crazy, and I enjoyed every minute. After you finish the read, the cover of the book will give you CHILLS!

The next best thing about this book was the twists. Like Brew, I did not see any of them coming! In fact, I was completely mind blown! I have no idea how the author pulled these off, but they were done so well. And they just kept on coming, one after the other!

The world building--AMAZING! I just love this world that David Estes has created, and it just builds and builds, something I love to see in a sequel.

The intensity of this story was on par with the intensity of Brew, if not more so. The story itself was incredibly gripping, with never a dull moment. There is still plenty of humor, though to balance it out. I loved every thrilling moment of this read! So unbelievably excited for the last book in the trilogy, Burn!

And finally, a quote from Rhett to leave you with: 

"If you'd have told me two weeks ago that one day I'd be part of a not-so-merry band of Necros seeking to exterminate a couple of other magic-born gangs, I'd have given you directions to the strait-jacket factory."

https://www.goodreads.com/series/115327-salem-s-revenge Click to purchase BREW http://www.amazon.com/Boil-Salems-Revenge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00NXFPMPC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411722568&sr=1-1&keywords=Boil+Estes
Get both Brew and its sequel, Boil, the first two books in the Salem's Revenge series, for a special price of $0.99 each for a limited time only (Amazon Kindle exclusive: Brew until October 17th; Boil until October 7th) Click on the above buttons to take advantage of this limited time deal!

Goodreads  ●  David's Blog    Twitter  ●  Facebook    Tumblr  and his  Goodreads Fan Group      
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Country-The-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00B7VTXFO https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16160701-fire-country
To celebrate the launch of Brew and Boil, David Estes is also giving away FREE Kindle copies of his popular YA dystopian AND adventure book, Fire Country. Just click the above link to nab your free copy.







Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Brew and Boil Release by David Estes + Giveaway!

Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world. Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.
But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; He has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from. And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.

My Rating: 5 stars
My Review:

 "I wonder what I'm really doing out here with a magic dog, a trigger-happy girl and her mute sister, and a trail of dead witches in my wake." 

Those are the words of Rhett Carter, the MC of this fantastically dark and creepy tale of a witch apocalypse. Rhett is a normalish teen at the start of the book--although a self proclaimed dork--but he is soon thrown into a world that is unimaginable!

Witches have taken over the world. And not the nice kind, either. All different sorts of clans banned together to kill humans and create chaos. In the aftermath, they are all fighting amongst themselves for territory. Having lost his family, and fearing his girlfriend and best friend are dead, Rhett sets out to find the Necros, the gang that attacked his friends. And he has one thing on his mind--REVENGE.

I. Loved. This. Book. There is no other way to say it! The entire story is thrilling, action-packed, and so inventive and fresh! This book brought out every emotion in me-- moments of serious rip-roaring laughter, real tears, and goosebumps and chills. I flew through the read, and I could not put it down!

What really stands out to me in this one is the characters. Its a crazy cast, from Rhett, the Book Blogger turned Witch Hunter, to Laney, the fiery kick ass girl that I loved to cheer on, to Trish, the creepy mute sister whose weirdness seems to have a purpose, to THE COOLEST DOG EVER, Hex. Did I mention he is magical? He has all kinds of talents, like shooting flashlight beams out of his mouth when they are stuck in the dark. The cast of evil witches is even more insane, from Pyros, to Sirens, to Shifters. And let's not forget the other Witch Hunters they run into! All of these characters, even minor ones are fully fleshed out, and felt so real! 

My favorite character was definitely Laney. She and Rhett have an interesting camaraderie going on throughout the book--they bicker constantly, but there is a respect and understanding going on underneath it all. They really need each other to survive. One interesting thing to note here, is there isn't romance between them in the story (yet). I predict that may come later, but for now, the only romance is the flashbacks and dreams Rhett has of his girlfriend, Beth. 

One thing that I loved that really got us into Rhett's head even more were the small snippets we got from Rhett's journal. This one was my favorite:

"Words have power, for better or worse.
Like the smell of fresh rain on cut grass,
Or the stench of a decaying corpse,
Like the soft comfort of a warm blanket on your shoulders,
Or the agony of a dagger splitting your chest in two.
Use them wisely."

These are sprinkled in throughout the story, along with some of Rhett's "Blog Posts"--turning a situation into his head into a story, and therefore, writing his review on the situation--which were so funny! I loved the creativity with these!

Besides the characters, the other thing that really stood out to me was the world building. It felt so real, with all the little details putting a picture in my head. I had no trouble imagining any of it, which is amazing, considering the premise. We get details on all the witches, what the world has been turned into, even parts of the government and society itself. It made for a very deep read, which I really enjoyed!

The best part of the story was the surprise ending! I love it when a writer can pull things out of hat, and I don't see it coming! A few twists I had kind of guessed, but I wasn't exactly right. Others I had NO IDEA they were coming! Well done, Mr. Estes!

This mishmash of fantasy, post-apocalyptic, and action is truly a gem. I loved everything about it, and I can't wait to read the sequel, Boil! 

And now I'll leave you with a final favorite quote:

"Ignorance is the worst plague of all, a form of blindness that destroys the hearts of the people who hide behind it."

Revenge. That’s all that’s left for witch hunter Rhett Carter. The magic-born have stripped everything from him - killed his friends, cursed his warlock father, shattered his future - leaving him bare and broken, but not dead. Their mistake. When Rhett and Laney are suddenly thrust in different directions, Rhett must decide who to trust and who to kill. Backed by his trusty canine sidekick Hex, Rhett will embark on his deadliest mission yet, one that will lead him directly toward those who want him dead, pushing his unique resistance to magic to the edge and back again as he tries to remove his father’s curse. Separated from Rhett, Laney seeks to understand the strange changes to her sister, Trish, who’s believed to be the last living Clairvoyant, and what role she’s destined to play in the future of humankind. Wrapped around everything are four major groups: the Necromancers, the Changelings, the witch hunters, and New America, the remnants of humanity. When the major forces are brought together for an epic battle, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

My Rating: 5 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/series/115327-salem-s-revenge Click to purchase BREW http://www.amazon.com/Boil-Salems-Revenge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00NXFPMPC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411722568&sr=1-1&keywords=Boil+Estes
Get both Brew and its sequel, Boil, the first two books in the Salem's Revenge series, for a special price of $0.99 each for a limited time only (Amazon Kindle exclusive: Brew until October 17th; Boil until October 7th) Click on the above buttons to take advantage of this limited time deal!

Goodreads  ●  David's Blog    Twitter  ●  Facebook    Tumblr  and his  Goodreads Fan Group      
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Country-The-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00B7VTXFO https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16160701-fire-country
To celebrate the launch of Brew and Boil, David Estes is also giving away FREE Kindle copies of his popular YA dystopian AND adventure book, Fire Country. Just click the above link to nab your free copy.





Also don't miss the awesome Twitter Party taking place Oct 1st at #Brewrelease! There will be prizes and maybe a few special guest appearances!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Reading Cram 2.0: Chills and Thrills Readathon!

Last December Jenny @JuliaBabyJen'sReadingRoom and I hosted the #ReadingCram. There were 100 participants and we had so much fun. There were hosts who had challenges and giveaways. We had several twitter reading sprints. It was lots of fun.

WE ARE HOSTING A HALLOWEEN THEMED READATHON!! This time we have two more hosts Rachel @APerfectionCalledBooks and Little Red Reads

Details:
It starts October 24th and runs until Halloween October 31st.
You have to read spooky themed books:
Paranormal
Witches
Zombies
Vampires
Werewolves
Thriller
Mystery

Requirements
 You must post a Sign Up Post (Must be linked down below in the linky, this is to spread the word) Must have our graphic Links to our blogs Name, dates of the read-a-thon Any personal goals (optional) You may put up your post on your blog, Tumblr, or Youtube (if you don't have a blog)

 Please tweet using #ReadingCram. To stay updated and to share what your reading.
SIGN UP BELOW IN THE LINKY!!!!!!!
Thanks so much! We are hoping for this to be loads of fun. We had a blast last time reading with everyone!!
 WE ARE GOING TO HAVE DAILY CHALLENGES AGAIN!!
Here are the challenges that we have come up with! Use the form below if you would like to host one! The orange ones are the taken ones! There are a limited number of spots BUT if you really want to host we are doing another #ReadingCram in December to tackle those goodreads challenges! So if you don't get a challenge and really want to we can schedule you early for one of those!

Oct 24-- TBR challenge--List what booksyou are planning to read for the readathon, on your blog, YouTube, etc. You don't have to stick to the list FYI :)
Oct 25--Teaser Challenge--randomly open the book you are reading and post 2 sentences from the read ADDING 3 spooky/Halloween words of your choosing into the teaser! Post on Twitter, blogs, YouTube, etc.
Oct 26--A recreation of a book title and/or book cover (recreating in whatever way, drawing, acting, a photo, painting, etc).  Like Fangirl is fanggirl. The night circus as the fright circus. 
Oct 27--Song Challenge--Pick any of your creepy reads and pick a song that best describes that book (or feel of the book) OR make a playlist for the book! Post on any social network. You can even do a Spotify playlist and embed in your blog post!
Oct 28--Spell it out Challenge--Pick one of the following words: Ghost, Witch, Zombie, Howl--using each letter, find a title of a book they've read this year to "spell it out." FOR EXAMPLE
G  Graceling by Kristin Cashore
H  Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
O Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
S  Sanctum by Sarah Fine
T  Timebound by Rysa Walker

Q,X,and Z the letters can be anywhere in the title. Post on social media somewhere.

Oct 29. Scary Make Up Challenge--Make themselves up to look scary and share a pic! They can base if off of a character, or just go crazy! Doesn't have to be gory necessarily, whatever constitues "scary" to them! Hosted by LITTLE RED READS
Oct 30 Twitter Synopsis Challenge--Make up their own synopsis for a scary book (made up story) using 166 characters or less. Post on any social media

Oct 31 Wrap Up challenge with Costume challenge (optional)  Do a readathon wrap up on your blog, YouTube, whatever of what you read!  and also post a pic or dress up in your Halloween costume! That part is optional, only if you want to! Hosted by DANASQUARE