Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi  at The Story Siren that gives book bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they've received that week. You can learn more about it here.

Okay, I've been waiting for Sunday all week because I was so excited about the books I got from the library earlier and couldn't wait to share! I always go way overboard whenever I first come home and check out about a thousand books. In addition to the ones in this IMM I still have nine ready for me to pick them up at the library. Eeek. Feeling a little overwhelmed, but in a good way!

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Amazon | Goodreads)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Amazon | Goodreads)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Amazon | Goodreads)

I've wanted to read Before I Fall for a while now, and since I've been hearing such amazing things about Delirium (and just from reading the book flap it looks incredible), I figured I'd just go on a Lauren Oliver kick and read them both. Yay!
Beautiful Creatures also sounds amazing, and is another that I've been hearing good things about. The sequel, Beautiful Darkness is one of those that I have waiting for me at the library. :)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (Amazon | Goodreads)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Amazon | Goodreads)

Again, all the reviews for If I Stay made it inevitable that I was going to pick it up sooner or later. I've heard it's a tearjerker and I LOVE those.
And Anna and the French Kiss is next on my reading list, because I've been reading a lot of paranormal and dystopian stuff recently and I'm so in the mood for a fun contemporary romance.

The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti (Amazon | Goodreads)
One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt (Amazon | Goodreads)

Deb Caletti is awesome, I can't wait to read this one. And Lauren Barnholdt also wrote Two-Way Street, which I really enjoyed, so I'm looking forward to One Night That Changes Everything.

That's all for now, stay tuned for the rest of my library haul next week. :)

What fun books did everybody else get?

Friday, May 27, 2011


TGIF is hosted by the awesome Ginger at GReads

Author Love:
In 2011 which new/old authors have you discovered and loved?

Since I was so busy with school for most of 2011 so far, I've gotten waaaay behind on my reading. Because of that, my favorite authors discoveries right now are a mix of actual new discoveries and some rediscovering of authors that I haven't read for a while. I absolutely love both discovering awesome new authors, and falling in love with old ones all over again. That said, here are my picks:

Cassandra Clare - I've been aware of her ever since before the first Mortal Instruments book came out, but I never actually read any of her books until just a couple of months ago. And I devoured all of them in about a week, just in time for her newest release, City of Fallen Angels. And then I felt dumb for not reading her before because her books are AWESOME.

Holly Black - I read and fell in love with her faerie trilogy (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), but for some reason it took me forever to pick up White Cat. I am totally hooked on her again though, White Cat is the coolest. And it's different than anything else I've read, which is so refreshing.

Ally Condie - I just finished Matched about a week ago and I LOVED it. I think this whole dystopian craze is great, and Matched definitely holds it's own against the other novels out there. I can't wait for the sequel, Crossed, to come out in November.

Meg Cabot - Meg is my main rediscovery this year. I used to be completely obsessed with her, lost it for a while, then read Abandon and now I'm totally back. I love Greek mythology and this was such an awesome retelling. She also write the BEST swoonworthy guys. My review is here.

Who are some of your favorite authors from 2011 so far?

~ This Week's Blog Posts ~

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop #1

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop are awesome ways to connect with fellow bloggers and get to know them better. This is the first time I've participated and I can't wait to get started!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View, and this week's question was chosen by Louise at Book Bliss.

Question: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

It depends on the week and how absorbing the books are, but when I'm not in school (which is always, now!) I usually get through about 3 to 5 a week. In the past all the books I've read have been hard copies (either ones I own already, get from the library, or books I've been sent for review), but since I've joined NetGalley and Galley Grab I've been reading a lot more ebooks. I've been reading them on the computer because I don't have an e-reader, but I'm seriously considering getting one because I really don't like reading on the computer screen. I'm also not a fan of audiobooks, because once I've heard the words read out loud I can never hear them any other way, with any other tone or inflection, and that bugs me. Also I tend to zone out a lot. I need to see the written words in order to be fully absorbed.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books, and this week's question is from Britta at I Like These Books.

Question: What book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked? Which have you disliked?

Wow, so the second part of this question is actually a favorite rant of mine, but I'll attempt to answer the first part first. :) My favorite book-to-movie adaptation is probably The Notebook, because I adore the movie and didn't really enjoy the book that much. However, this is one the very very rare instances where I saw the movie before I read the book, so I'm not sure how much that has to do with it. I guess I'll never know.

As for my least favorite adaptation, that's easy peasy. It's Ella Enchanted. This is one of my favorite books OF ALL TIME and I've read it so many times I can practically quote the entire thing. It has everything you could possibly want: fantasy, adventure, a fairy curse, heartbreak, a prince (Char was my first ever book crush), an awesome heroine, and a climax scene that still makes my heart beat really fast. It's by Gail Carson Levine and if you haven't read it, GO DO IT NOW. It's my number one recommendation.
But anyway, so the movie came out a few years ago and they completely butchered it. I always say it's like a Shrekified version of The Princess Diaries. Pretty much the only thing they kept from the novel are the characters' names and the fact that Ella is cursed to be obedient. The entire plot is different. And I just don't understand. The book could have made a fantastic movie, there was no need to change so much! It hurts my heart.

Okay, rant over. I tried to keep it short. :)

Happy Friday everyone! What are your thoughts on these questions?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols Book Review

By: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: S&S Galley Grab

She’s writing about him. He’s writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.

Jennifer Echols is one of the few authors on my “automatic buy” list, so you can imagine that I was THRILLED when I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Love Story. I devoured it in less than 24 hours and I’m so excited to share my thoughts.

Jennifer has such a unique writing style that just pulls you right in, you don’t even need a few chapters to get absorbed in the story. She has created the backdrops of New York and Kentucky beautifully, and I loved the details about the world of horse racing.

One of my favorite things about all of Jennifer’s novels is that her main characters already know each other and have some history when the story begins – none of this love at first sight business, because honestly that can be kind of boring to me. I love it when there’s already background and conflict and they have something to build on. It makes the end result when they finally get together even better. And hoo boy was there conflict in this book. The kind of conflict that builds into more and more tension between the characters until you’re yelling at them “Just make out already!” and people start to look at you funny.

I really liked Erin as a character, flaws and all. Jennifer’s main female characters are always so kickass – they’re feisty, hilarious, clever, witty, they can hold their own – every time I read one of her books I find myself trying to emulate them. Hunter is also completely swoonworthy, although he seems like a jerk at times. There’s a fine line between writing a love interest that’s a little bit evil and challenges the heroine and one that’s just unforgivably mean, and I think Hunter walks that line perfectly.

There is incredible chemistry between all the characters, which is another quality that I love about Jennifer’s books. Not just the chemistry between Erin and Hunter – although that is smoking, you can practically see steam rising from the pages (or in my case, the computer screen) – but also the chemistry between Erin and her roommates, Hunter and his roommates, and the group dynamic as a whole. I just want to be best friends with all of them.

I also thought it was really fun that the book was set in college, since so much of YA literature takes place in high school. As a recent college grad the change of setting was nice and familiar, although as an RA for three years, the beach party in the bathroom was slightly horrifying. :P Another awesome touch was the fact that we got to read the stories Hunter and Erin were writing throughout their class. I loved being right there with them as they exchanged barbs, and I looked forward to reading their next stories as much as the rest of the class.

The one thing I would have liked to see more of was the relationship between Erin and her grandmother. We don’t actually get to see them interact at all, and since the whole premise is that Erin has been cut off by her grandmother I felt like it would have been nice to see at least one scene where they get to have a conversation or some kind of interaction. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, just a thought.         

Overall I loved Love Story, and I literally couldn’t put it down. I started it one evening and read until about 4 in the morning when I finally forced myself to stop and get some sleep. Then the next day I picked right back up again until I was finished, even carrying my laptop with me so I could read in the car (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving :P).

Love Story doesn’t come out until July 19th, but TRUST ME when I say it’s worth the wait. Only 53 more days!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clockwork Prince Cover Revealed

The long-awaited cover of Clockwork Prince was revealed this morning at BEA and it's GORGEOUS. I love the smoky feel to it. And look at Jem! I love Jem, and I'm so glad that he's being featured on a cover.

I'm posting a really large version of it so you can see all the pretty details. :)

Clockwork Prince is the second book in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy, which is the companion series to the Mortal Instruments series. Both series are excellent and highly recommended. If you love anything paranormal (seriously anything, these books have warlocks, faeries, demons, angels, nephilim, werewolves, vampires... they're a melting pot of awesome), you should give them a try. There's also a forbidden romance that's pretty smoking. :)

Clockwork Prince comes out December 6 - such a long wait but totally worth it!

First Trailer for 'Torchwood: Miracle Day'

Okay, so this isn't book related, but I just found out about it and so I had to post something.

The first trailer for Torchwood: Miracle Day has been released!! The series premieres on Starz on July 8th and I. Can't. Wait. Getting to see this footage has just made the wait that much harder.

Here it is!

For those of you who don't know, Torchwood is a spin-off of the famous long-running British show Doctor Who. Torchwood focuses on a team of special agents that deal with extraterrestrials on earth, protecting the human race and at the same time harvesting the alien technology and finding ways to use it themselves. The show ran for two seasons and a miniseries in the UK, and now it's come to America. Both Doctor Who (which is still running) and Torchwood are amaaaaaazing - they're two of my favorite shows of all time. If you're at all into sci-fi (or even if you're not, because to be totally honest sci-fi isn't usually my go-to genre), you should definitely check them out. They're funny, clever, thought-provoking, emotional, sexy (Torchwood more so than Doctor Who) and at times heart-wrenching. I can't recommend them enough.

As excited as I am that Captain Jack is going to be back on my screen, I'm not 100% thrilled about the new American setting. One of the reasons I love these shows is because of how British they are. And they're calling it a "Starz Original Series" which also bugs me. HOWEVER, I am not going to let myself be bothered by these things, and I'm going to focus on how excited I am, and then I'll judge it after I've seen it. :D

Is anyone else a Doctor Who/Torchwood fan? How do you feel about the American makeover?

"Waiting On" Wednesday #2: Crossed

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW pick for this week is Crossed by Ally Condie, which is the sequel to Matched and the second book in the trilogy. Since it's a sequel, here's your SPOILER WARNING!! If you haven't read Matched yet, I'd recommend that you not read the rest of this post, because even the synopsis of Crossed has spoilers. If you're interested in reading Matched (and I'd recommend it), I'll be posting my review of it soon.

Crossed (Matched Trilogy Book 2)
By: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: November 1, 2011

From Amazon:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to questions much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty abut her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Oooooh I want it now! I just finished Matched a couple of days ago, so I know I have a much shorter wait than those who read it way back in November, but still.

I especially love the cover - both the symbolism of Cassia breaking out of the bubble, and the fact that the colors of the book covers coordinate with the three tablets that the citizens carry around. This means that the third and final book will have a red cover, and I'm so excited to see what that one looks like.

Is anyone else looking forward to Crossed? What else is on your wishlist?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi  at The Story Siren that gives book bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they've received that week. You can learn more about it here.

Normally I'm going to try to post IMM on Sundays, but I was traveling this weekend so everything is a little off schedule right now. But no worries, better late than never, right? :)

The main excitement for me this week is that I'm now part of both NetGalley and Galley Grab, so I got a lot of e-galleys through those programs, some of which I'm SUPER excited about. But more on that later. On to the loot!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
I picked this up because I've heard so many good things about it and the sequel, Shift, and I'm really excited to finally read it and find out what all the hype is about.


Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1) by George RR Martin
I've been meaning to read this for a while now, and the great reviews that the television series adaptation has been getting have been the motivation I needed to finally get started.

From Bookmooch:

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
I've heard good things about it, so when someone posted it on Bookmooch I decided to go for it. I'm discovering now that I'm hesitant to actually start reading it because the entire premise is based around cheating, so we'll see how long it takes for me to get to it.

Won on Goodreads:

I won two romance novel ARCs on Goodreads recently (The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane and The Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan), both of which I'm looking forward to reading because sometimes you're just in the mood for a good romance novel, you know? And it's been ages since I've let myself do that. I won't be posting reviews of them on this blog, but I'll probably post my thoughts on my Goodreads account if anyone is interested.

Now, for the exciting stuff!

From Galley Grab:
Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Love Story by Jennifer Echols - I just about fainted from excitement when I got this and I'm still not quite over it. It's next on my to-read list and I can't wait!

From NetGalley:
This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Queens of All the Earth by Hannah Sternberg
Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

I know, I know, maybe I went a bit overboard. My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach as far as books are concerned. I'm really excited to read all of these though!

What fun things have you gotten recently?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday #1: Dearly, Departed

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release that we’re eagerly anticipating.

There are so many books that I’m looking forward to that it was so difficult to pick just one! BUT, my “Waiting On” Wednesday pick for this week is:

Dearly, Departed
By Lia Habel
Publisher:  Del Rey Books
Release Date: October 18, 2011

From Amazon:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead – or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria – a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible – until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead – and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble… and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Oh my, doesn’t it just sound amazing? I’ve never actually read a zombie romance before, so I’m quite intrigued. And the cover is just gorgeous. October, hurry up and get here already!

What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot Book Review

By: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Pages: 320
Source: Barnes & Noble

New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world… and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone… because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away… especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Ok you guys, about ten or so years ago Meg Cabot was one of my absolute favorite authors. I read and reread every single thing she wrote, forced my friends to read her books so we could gush over the guys together, obsessively checked her blog for new updates, I even wrote fan fiction for her Mediator series. Then as I got older something happened, and I found that I wasn’t connecting to her newer books as much.

So when I decided to pick up Abandon I was a little nervous that the same thing would happen, but I needn’t have worried! This is the first Meg Cabot book I’ve read in ages, and I can honestly say that I LOVED it.

One of the things that I really like about Abandon is that it fits into the ever popular paranormal genre of young adult fiction without actually including vampires, werewolves, zombies, faeries, fallen angels, etc. Not that I don’t love books about any of those things, but there are so many out there these days that this is a refreshing change. I’ve always loved the myth of Hades and Persephone and this is such a fun modern retelling.

Pierce is a likeable heroine, and her relationship with John is one of the highlights of the novel for me. Meg sure knows how to write a love interest (Jesse and Rob, anyone?) and every time John showed up I got excited. That element of danger and mystery just never gets old! He didn’t have many appearances in this book, but since this is the start of a trilogy I have faith that we’ll get to know him much better. ;)

I will say that I felt like the beginning dragged a bit, with Pierce constantly alluding to things that had happened without ever giving us the full story until midway through the book. This got frustrating after a while, but once everything was revealed the last half of the book was pretty much a whirlwind right up until the riveting cliffhanger conclusion.

I’m so glad I decided to read Abandon, I think it might be just the thing I needed to get me back on my Meg Cabot kick. And now I can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy, Underworld!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren which gives book bloggers the chance to showcase the books they've received that week, whether they’re from the library, bookstore, publisher, or wherever.

These first few books are from my university’s library, because now that classes are done I actually have time to take advantage of the great collection we have. I’m also very behind on my reading, so these aren’t exactly new books, but I’m pretty excited to read them.

Matched by Allie Condie (Amazon)
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (Amazon)
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (Amazon)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Amazon)

The next two were bought from Borders, and they came from a bin that was both clearance and "buy one get one free," so really, how could I resist?

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead (Amazon) - I haven't read any of this series yet, but I've been meaning to for a while and when I saw that this was hardcover for $3.99 I figured it was as good a time as any to start :)
Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant (Amazon) - I don't actually know anything about this except that it takes place during the Crusades, but it looks really interesting.

That's it for this week! What was in your mailbox?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aaaaaannd we're back!

So, in light of my soon-to-be graduation from college (next week!) and all the free time that this is going to give me, I've decided to restart this blog. The desire has always been there, but it just wasn't realistic while I was in school since I barely had any time to read during the semester. However, now I'm free and I'm so excited to start reading and reviewing and blogging again!

In the next few weeks I'm going to be doing some major revamping of the blog's layout and look, but in the meantime I figured that since I've been reading I could go ahead and start posting some reviews. The first one will probably go up in the next couple of days.

Happy summer everyone!
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