Where reading is a way of life

Friday, November 30, 2012

Giveaway from My Bookish Fairy Tale



Head over to My Bookish Fairytale for a chance to win up to $30 in books!  If you become a new follower, please leave me a comment on this post so I can get an extra entry for referral! Thanks! And Good Luck!

2013 Tea and Books Reading Challenge


Ready for a real 2013 challenge?  This one will definitely be more challenging than some of the other ones I've seen! It's being put on by The Book Garden.

This challenge was inspired by C.S. Lewis' famous words, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

Welcome to the second edition of the TEA & BOOKS Reading Challenge! Once again, you better settle in with a large cup of tea, because in this challenge you will only get to read ... books with more than 650 pages!

Here goes ...

You may pick both fiction and non fiction books!

Contrary to last year short story collections, anthologies or collected works in one volume are now allowed!

Re-reads will now also be ok (though preferably you should read one of those unread tomes that have been collecting dust on your shelves)!

Last year you had to read 700+ pages but I reduced this to 650+ for 2013 (and no, this is not further negotiable)!

And as a little incentive - books with more than 1.200 pages will count for two books (so theoretically you can read four such super-chunksters to reach the Sencha Connoisseur level)!

Last but not least - no large print editions of a book, please!
Are you ready? Go ahead and pick your level!

2 Books - Chamomile Lover

4 Books - Berry Tea Devotee

6 Books - Earl Grey Aficionado

8 or more Books - Sencha Connoisseur

Head over to the Book Garden to sign up!
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I will keep track of my progress here.  I am going for Earl Grey Aficionado!  That means 6 big books!

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Best of the Bunch for November


Best of the Bunch is put on by Always Lost in Stories.  Best of the Bunch is a monthly wrap-up and award ceremony hosted here on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month.


November Reads






The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa --- 5 stars --- My Review
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare --- 4.5 stars --- My Review
Half Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout --- 4 stars --- My Review
Hidden by PC & Kristin Cast --- 3 stars --- My Review
The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa --- 4 stars --- My Review
Rebel Heart by Moira Young --- 4 stars --- My Review


AND the Best of the Bunch is....

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa


                                                                      
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

A  great new spin off series of the Iron Fey from Julie Kagawa! I can't wait for the next one!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare



GoodReads
535 pages, YA Paranormal Romance
The Mortal Instruments #5

Synopsis

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series

My 2 cents


I did not love this book as much as the first 4 in the series.  That being said, it was still very good, and I enjoyed reading it!


I think what really bugged me in this book was Jace.  If you remember from the last book, he and Sebastian are now bound together.  And because of this spell, Jace no longer hates Sebastian.  In fact they get along like brothers.  Sebastian can even order Jace around and Jace doesn't care.  Very creepy!


I was also bugged a little bit by Alec.  His first love, and the guy whom he considers his brother is lost and in danger, and Alec is spending all his free time worrying about his and Magnus's relationship.  I understood how this might dominate his thoughts, but with Jace in such danger? It just seemed a little odd.  


I did however, like Clary a lot better in this book.  Again, she's not perfect, but she does what she does in this one for the right reasons.  She makes a pretty big mistake in this book (just like the last one), but this time she has learned her lesson and is able to make amends.


The plot and story itself is killer.  Lots of things are going on in this book, and its jam packed full of all kind of character development.  Its really interesting to watch how Clary and Sebastian are relating to each other, and how things turn out there.  We learn just how crazy Sebastian truly is!   And the writing is, as always, superb!


I give this book 4.5 stars.  If you are a fan of the series, you will want to read this one!




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feed My Reader Friday #1


Feed My Reader Friday is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Here are a few of the books that have been added to my Nook recently.

I recognize I have an Ebook addiction.  There is no way I will ever be able to read all the great ebooks I have but I love having my Nook full of wonderful books that I can choose from.  I will never be able to keep up and share all the great ebooks I receive but I'm going to attempt to share as many as I can.



Short story from The Covenant series (#0.5)


Synopsis


"Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee ' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life." For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals--pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty. According to her mother, that's a good thing.But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return-the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death... because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. The daimons have found her.









Mer Tales #1

Synopsis

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. 

Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.









Masque of the Red Death #1

Synopsis

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club--in the depths of her own despair--Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.









So Close to You #1

Synopsis

Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.

When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices--and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them . . . and herself.






Oddily #1

Synopsis

There are three things the shy, awkward Oddily knows for sure.

She would rather be anyone other than herself…
She wants to fit in at school…
And strange things are happening to her.

For Oddily, she tries to keep an open mind…
But what she discovers is too unbelievable to think about…
Too magical too consider, and too dangerous to ignore.

Oddily becomes trapped in a love story like no other.




To join the Feed my Reader blog hop, head over to I Am a Reader, Not A Writer (link above)

And don't forget to check out all the other sites listed below in the blog hop!




Paranormal Thursday


Paranormal Thursday is a new feature put on by Rather Barefoot than Bookless.  Its meant for us to highlight any book we enjoyed from the Paranormal genre.  There are so many good books out there! If you want to join in, head over to their site!

My choice today is a book I just recently finished, and loved, and now I can't wait to read the rest of the series!



GoodReads
Book #1 of the Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

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I just absolutely LOVED this book!  You can check out my review on it HERE



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2013 Finish the Series Reading Challenge



Here's another 2013 Challenge that I think will be fun and beneficial for me!  Its put on by Socrates Book Reviews.

Here's the details

It's a challenge for all those series books you started at some point and haven't finished. I know I'll start a series and read the first book, then get distracted with other books and never get back to the series. Before I know it, the series has 10 books - I get overwhelmed and don't go back to it. Now, I want to finish a couple.

Here are the rules guidelines.

1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, James Patterson's Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

2) It doesn't matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that's fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

3) The qualification period is January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Books must be read during this time frame to count.

4) Take the button above and post about it. Use the Mr. Linky below to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge. (Note: I'm not going to be using the Finishing the Series Blog I created last year. I'm going to keep everything here.)

5) If you don't have a blog, that's fine. Just leave a comment to sign up and tell us what you are reading.

IF YOU WANT TO LINK UP YOUR REVIEWS OR, FOR THOSE WITHOUT A BLOG, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

6) Any format of book counts - audio, ebook, etc.

7) You should choose the series you want to finish before the challenge begins, but it isn't necessary. It's fine to change series during the year - as long as you complete whichever series it is.

8) Choose a level....

Level 1 - Complete 1 series.
Level 2 - Complete 2 series.
Level 3 - Complete 3 or more series.


Head over to Socrates's Book Review to sign up!


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I will keep track of my progress here, as well as some ideas!  I'm going for Level 3!


1.  Sookie Stackhouse series

2. Stephanie Plum series
3. Vampire Academy series
4. Inheritance series
5. Wicked series
6. Across the Universe Series
7. Blue Bloods Series
8. Crusade series
9. Hush, Hush series

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hidden by PC and Kristin Cast



GoodReads
320 pages, YA Paranormal Fantasy
House of Night Series #10

Synopsis

At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side -- but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all.
With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together -- but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limit. To top it off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind. She saw something when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Is it possible that Heath has come back in a different form? Is that why Zoey's so intrigued by Aurox, when it's so obvious that he's dangerous? And who would believe her if she told them? Zoey knows that following her instinct about Aurox might be just what they need to defeat evil . . . but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her.
With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?


My 2 cents:

I have been dreading sitting down and doing this review that last few days.  First of all, let me say, I have a real love/hate relationship with this book.  Love--Its House of Night (been a fan forever), Zoey is finally getting the upper hand and what she wants in this book, and hello?-STARK!  Hate--this series is just getting too long I think.  

First of all, the characters are still fabulous, which is the only thing that's keeping me reading.  I know I lot of other people have given up on this series.  But I just can't.  There seems to no longer be a plot.  The last few books have not had a lot happening in them until the very end.  It seems like a few scenes stretched way out.  And for all that, we are not even getting great detail.  The things that seem to be discussed the most are: How evil Neferet is (talk about kicking a dead horse), what they are snacking on (food or blood) and Zoey's obsession with brown pop, and what a B---- Aphrodite is.  And whatever Zoey's latest crisis is.  

In this book, I wanted to know more about the whole Erin and Shawnee split.  We get one small scene where Shawnee sees Erin doing something terrible-- and some discussion between Zoey's team on the issue--but this could have been explored a lot more and made the book really interesting.  And what about Stevie Rae, Rephraim, and Kalona?  Kalona was discussed some, but Rephraim and Stevie Rae were almost nonexistent.  I just think these books could be great, if we get away from the current formula the books have taken.

Then for all this nonsense, something really tragic and exciting happens at the end.  Obviously, the best part of the book.  These scenes are usually pretty amazing, with big twists.  And this one was no exception.  But the biggest twist of all?  (this is not a spoiler if you've read the last few books!) Aurox is revealed to be Heath.  But we already knew this!  Obviously, the characters didn't--but I really wish we hadn't known either.  It made one of the best twists in the series so not much of a twist!  This was really frustrating to me.

And the last part of the book...the cliffhanger.  Just when the action is getting good, its cut short--really short in this book, the end felt really rushed.  And then we have to wait a year to find out what happens.  I'm all for a good cliffhanger--but we need a little more substance first!

So what did I think overall? Hard to say.  I love the characters, and most of the basic story.  But I think this series needs to end soon.  I would be happy if the next book was the last, but they make it 3 times the normal length and make an epic read tying up the loose ends.  Not too hopeful on that, though!  Ended up giving it 3 stars.  To anyone else who has read this series and book, what do you think?

Days of Blood and Starlight and Giveaway by Jen Ryland/YA Romantics


GoodReads
528 pages, YA Fantasy
Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2

Synopsis:
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.


Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


To enter the giveaway to win a new release from November, Click Here!

Top Ten Tuesday #5

Top Ten Tuesday is put on my Broke and Bookish.  Its a meme where we make a list of a top ten.

2013 is almost upon us and this particular Top Ten Tuesday is about all those books you are anticipating being released in 2013 that you just can't wait to get your hands on! I just keep adding them to my TBR list and am already trying to budgetize some into my spending plan (or who am I kidding, there is no spending plan, just spending). 
So without further ado: the Top Ten books (no particular order) I'm most pining for to be released in 2013!

















Lots of red cover this year! My favorite color!

What books are you looking forward to in 2013?

Monday, November 26, 2012

2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge


Welcome to the 2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge hosted by Megan Likes Books andAuntie Spinelli Reads! There are so many awesome sub-genres of paranormal books, that it's easy to find one you like and stick with it. So that's why I decided to make a reading challenge with the goal of reading about all kinds of paranormal creatures.

The goal is to read one book featuring each of the following paranormal creatures:

Vampires
Werewolves/Shifters
Fey
Angels/Nephilim
Mermaids
Dragons
Zombies
Demons
Witches/Wizards
Ghosts
Aliens
Other (ie: sirens, unicorns, centaurs, timetravel etc.)

Guidelines:
1. This challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.
2. You must have a blog to able to participate, since reviews must be added to the linky.
3. When you sign up with the linky, please put the link to your post about joining the Paranormal Reading Challenge.
4. You're welcome to list your books beforehand or just add as you go.
5. Sign-ups are open until December 1, 2013
6. At the beginning of each month, I will post a kick-start post, each month featuring a different category of paranormal creature. This post will also include a linky to include your reviews from that month.
7. Each review you link will qualify you for an entry into the monthy giveaway and if your review includes the feature paranormal creature of that month, you get a bonus entry.
8. Each book can only count for one category, even if it contains more than one paranormal creature. For example, Twilight contains both vampires and werewolves, but you can't use it for both the vampires and werewolves/shifters categories.
9. Everyone who completes the challenge will be entered into a grand prize giveaway at the end of the year.
10. If you read multiple books from one category, feel free to add them to the linkies. Don't stop at just one! 
11. Book can count for other challenges.

Each month, we'll be featuring one of the creatures on the list at both Megan Likes Books and Auntie Spinelli Reads.

January - Vampires
February - Angels/Nephilim
March - Fey 
April - Demons
May - Aliens
June - Zombies
July - Witches and Wizards
August - Mermaids
September - Dragons
October - Ghosts
November - Werewolves/Shape-shifters
December - Other




My Progress

January - Vampires



February - Angels/Nephilim

Born Wicked (magic)
Bad Taste in Boys (zombies)
The Goddess Inheritance  (mythology)
Unraveling  (Time travel)
Touch of Frost  (magic)
Bound   (magic)
Frost Fire  (demons)
Time's Twisted Arrow  (Time travel)

March - Fey

Surrender (magic, mythological creatures)
Sisters Red (werewolves)
Aura (magic)
Illuminate (angels)
Name of the Star (ghosts)
Finale (angels)
The Sweetest Dark (dragons)
Aurora Sky (vampires)

April - Demons

Boundless (angels)
Emblaze (angels)
Heaven (angels)

May - Aliens

Infatuate (angels)
Zom B (zombies)
Neferet's Curse (vampires)
School Spirits (magic)
Beautiful Redemption (magic)
Nightshade (werewolves)
Prophecy Girl (angels)
Unbreakable (time travel)

June - Zombies

Rot & Ruin (zombies)
You Are Mine (magic)
Dust & Decay (zombies)
Throne of Glass (magic)
  1. July - Witches and Wizards
  2. August - Mermaids
  3. September - Dragons
  4. October - Ghosts
  5. November - Werewolves/Shape-shifters
  6. December - Other

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa



GoodReads
379 pages, YA Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
The Iron Fey, Call of the Forgotten #1

Synopsis:
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.


My 2 cents: OMG, I forgot how much I love these books by Julie Kagawa!  Loved, loved, loved this book!

It was nice to have a new protaganist to root for.  Ethan is all grown up, and HOT.  He has developed into a bad ass of his own (or at least he acts like Mr. Tough Guy, as his love interest Kenzie likes to call him!) and has no intention of being the hero of this story.

But he slowly gets sucked into it, because of his new friends.  He's not as uncaring as he lets on!  I loved Kenzie, she was a perfect match for him!  We actually learned a lot about her in this book, which I liked.  Meghan, Ash, and Puck are not in very much of the story, but they do make appearances.  But instead of the Puck and Ash duo we get Ethan and Meghan and Ash's son, Kierran.  I read the entire story with a bid of trepidation on those two.  Why?  Read The Iron Legends to find out!  (It involves a prophecy between Ethan and Kierran!)

Overall, this was a fabulous story!  Fans of the Iron Fey will not be disappointed.  If you haven't read The Iron Fey series, its not a requirement to read this; but it will help you with the back story.  I give it 5 stars!