Monday, September 1, 2014

September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop

I'm excited to once again be hosting the September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop with Kathy at I Am a Reader.  It was exactly one year ago that I co-hosted a hop with Kathy, and I'm glad to get to do this with her once again.  It also coincides with my 3rd Annual September is for Sequels month long reading Challenge.  Go HERE if you are interested in joining in.  It's really simple, and there is even a prize associated with that for people who participate.  This hop started because of the challenge that I started 3 years ago.  The goal is to catch up on those sequels that often get set on the TBR pile due to all the new books bloggers get to read.  My goal was to try to get as many of those read in September as possible.  So along with that theme, this is a giveaway where you can win a sequel in any series you want from The Book Depository, and it is international as long as they deliver to your country.  Because this is a sequels hop, you cannot pick the first book in a series, but any one from the 2nd on to whatever number that series is on now!  It does need to stay below $20 though.

Once you've entered my Rafflecopter below, be sure to hop on along to the other blogs in the link-up below to see what other awesome prizes are available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 31, 2014

July/August Prequel and Sequel Challenge Wrap-Up

Once again I'm doing two months together.  Just seems to work out best for me to do it that way.

  1. Paranoia (Night Walkers #2) by JR Johansson - 2 points
  2. The White Glove War (Magnolia League #2) by Katy Crouch and Grady Hendrix - 2 points
  3. The Burnouts (Quarantine #3) by Lex Thomas - 12 points (final book in series) Book 1, Book 2
  4. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare - 12 points (final book in a series) Books 1-3, Book 4, Book 5
  5. Flawed (Perfection #2) by JL Spelbring - 2 points, Book 1

  1. Astray (Gated #2) by Amy Christine Parker - 2 points, Book 1
  2. Undead with Benefits (Eat, Brains, Love #2) by Jeff Hart - 2 points, Book 1
  3. Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman - 2 points, Book 1

Not so great the last two months.  But with my September is for Sequels Reading Challenge coming up, I should be getting a ton more points!  The trend also continued with my 2nd month being less than the first.   I had made it to 100 points back in June.  Now I'm adding 36, so 136 points now. Which makes me a Veteran, the top of the challenge!  Yay!  But I'm not done!  And if you want to join into my September reading challenge, it's simple and there will be a giveaway for those who participate, just click on the button below!

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

First, thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  For a little while today I was afraid I wouldn't get to finish the e-galley.  I set my Nook down to take my dogs outside. When I came back in and picked my Nook back up, the file was gone from my Bluefire Reader App.  But, eventually I figured it had to still be on my Nook somewhere, even if it was expired.  So I typed into the search bar and found it.  And opened it and got right back into reading it.  I only had about 60 pages left, less by the time I finished and the last 5 or so pages were acknowledgements, etc. 

The story is about a girl, we don't know her name, but she decides to tell a boy who asks that her name is Sunny.  So that is what she goes by.  The boy is Ben and she meets him in a grocery store, right after she first wakes up in the subway station.  She wakes up on the tracks, her feet tangled up in a backpack, very weak and not able to move easily.  The train does go over her, even as it is stopping, but she is able to stay low enough to the ground to not really be hurt.  She doesn't know who she is, and she finds a note in her backpack that says not to talk to the police, and gives her a phone number to call.  So she takes off.  It is on the run that she meets Ben, who offers to help her.  But she doesn't know him, and knows that she must stay off the radar.  The phone number leads her to a place that has just been robbed.  And now she is wanted for that.  She soon figures out there is a tracker in her backpack and she leaves it in a park in the exact same spot for two days, trying to draw in and trap whoever is tracking her.  It works, but the man who says his name is Ivan isn't really the bad guy she thought he was.  He had saved her earlier from a woman who had been going to shoot her.  And he ends up getting taken by two other mysterious guys, and now Sunny is worried for his safety.  As she tries to figure out who she is, while keeping two steps ahead of the cops and the others looking for her, she begins to have memories.  Of a funeral, of a boy, in a forest, of being chased.  She soon realizes, with Ben's help, that she is being hunted as part of a game.  Where people hunt other people.  And she learns something about an island that she must have begun being hunted on.  She seems to have a friend in Ben, but she doesn't want him to get hurt along the way.  Also, a girl staying next door to Ben is Izzy, and they kind of become friends, even though Sunny can't tell her anything.

Of course it all is part of an adventure, and knowing this will have a second part, of course there were also many things left hanging. While we've learned basically what is going on with Sunny, and who these people chasing her are, we don't know exactly "who" she really is.  There are things about Ben that we still need to know, and who the boy from the island really is.  Also, what funeral was she at? And will she be able to escape with her life and bring this human hunting ring down? 

This was definitely a good story, and it was getting really good when I had the scare of possibly the file being gone.  But I'm not sure how I feel about the story being told in 2nd person.  All of Sunny's parts are told in 2nd person.  It feels a bit like reading one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books.  Definitely a new way to read, or unusual if not new I guess.  And once I got into it, the "you" bit didn't trip me up as much as it did at first.  Actually I think this is a great book, one that English teachers could totally use to show examples of what 2nd person means.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves August 30th, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I didn't get my post up last weekend, so this post will include two weeks worth of books.

Trades from YA Book Exchange:

So it was a good couple of weeks, for the most part, with trades from the YA Book Exchange. There are some awesome traders out there.  And as for any other issues, we'll not discuss them, as I've had a 99.9% great experience with the website.   Very excited about two of the books as they were ones I'd hoped to get when I went to BEA but wasn't able to.

Free e-books from Amazon:

Quite a few this time! These lists people share are dangerous!  But I guess I'll never run out of things to read.  As if that was ever going to be a problem.  

99 cent book from Amazon:

And that's about it for me!  But September will be a big month!  My September is for Sequels Challenge will start this week, and you can go sign up by clicking on the link below. Also, today is the last day to enter my 5 year Blogoversary giveaway, and there are some great prizes, so click on the cupcake button below!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

I honestly am mad at myself for letting this sit on my small TBR shelf in my living room under my tv for as long as it has.  I won it in a giveaway a while back, it was a book I was really interested in.  I only picked it up in a hurry because I saw an e-galley of a sequel/companion novel Tear You Apart.  So I figured I should hurry and read Kill Me Softly so that I could read the 2nd one as part of my September is for Sequels Challenge.  And I picked this up and it was a huge attention grabber!  I am a fan of the tv show Once Upon a Time and this book reminded me of it so much!  Not in a copycat way, but a good way.  It was so hard to put down, and I wanted so bad last night to finish it, but even with only like 10 pages left I was falling asleep, so tired from the last two busy nights, so I had to wait to finish until breakfast this morning. 

As you may have guessed from my description, it is basically a fairy tale retelling.  And not just one, a lot of different fairy tales.  And while it talks a little about the Disney versions, this is really a tale about the original Grimm fairy tales.  In the Grimm version of Cinderella, the two wicked stepsisters don't just try on the slipper and it doesn't fit, one cuts her big toe off in order to fit in the shoe, and the other cuts her heel off!  Much more gruesome than what Disney shows. 

The main character in this book is Mirabelle.  Her parents died when she was really young, and her two godmothers took her away from Beau Rivage, their hometown, to keep her safe.  Or to keep her from being sad supposedly.  She has no idea what kind of town this is, or that fairy tales might possibly be true.  Before her sixteenth birthday she decides that she needs to finally visit her parents' graves to be closer to them. So she sets up an elaborate plan about an online boyfriend that she is going to run away to meet.  This is to leave misleading clues for her godmothers to go on a wild goose chase trying to find her, hopefully giving her time to get to Beau Rivage and find what she needs there.  Well, once she gets there, she finds things are a little strange.  First she meets two brothers, Felix and Blue.  They are as different from each other as could be.  Felix is very straight-laced, even runs the fancy hotel and casino Mira ends up trying to hide out in for the night, Dream Casino.  But first she meets Blue.  And as his name sounds, he's a little different.  He's got all kinds of piercings and his clothes are all ripped up and written all over.  And the kicker, his spiky hair, and even his eyebrows, are blue, a bright candy colored blue.  Now Blue isn't such a nice guy it seems at first.  He's kind of rude, obnoxious, sarcastic.  And his main goal seems to be to make Mira go away, get out of town. He definitely doesn't want her to meet his brother.  Once she does meet him though, she is charmed by Felix, who is quite the romantic. 

The longer she is there, the more Mira sees strange things, and begins to learn even stranger things about herself.  The fist-sized, wheel-shaped mark on her back that she'd always thought was a birthmark, and been ashamed of, her new friends had them too. Blue, and Freddie, all of them.  While Blue's was more of a heart looking shape, Freddie's looks exactly like Mira's.  And soon she learns about curses, and fairy tales, and how Disney got things wrong.  She also learns that her parents may not have died in a fire as she's been told all her life.  And that she may have her own curse to deal with.  Falling in love with Felix, while he is charming and romantic, may not be the most healthy thing for her.  And what is it about Blue?  Will Mira have to be a part of the curse that is shown on her back?  Or can she beat it and go with what she wants?

This story is so much about choosing to make your life the way you want it, even with fate.  I love the fairy tales somewhat re-imagined.  And I love the love-hate relationship between Blue and Mira.  I am now going to be such a promoter of this book.  I will be donating my copy to the high school library where I work as well!  Not until after I loan it to my sister and another friend first though.  If you haven't read this yet, you need to get it on your TBR list. 

While you're here, there's only 1 day left to enter my awesome 5th Blogoversary giveaway by clicking on the button below!

Or you can still sign up to take part in my September is for Sequels Challenge on the button below. There will be prizes possible for participants as well!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

First I must say thank you to Harper Collins and Balzer and Bray for allowing me to read an e-galley of this from Edelweiss.  Gretchen McNeil is an author that I heard lots of buzz about with her book Ten, before I even read any of her books.  So far 3:59 is my favorite of her books, but Get Even is a close 2nd!  At first as I was reading I though, oh, it's going to be a contemporary romance type of book.  But of course, it was more, and boy did it even get to be more than I'd expected. 

There are four main characters:  Kitty, Olivia, Bree, and Margot.  They aren't friends in "real" life, no one has ever really seen them together.  But ever since a project their 9th grade year, they decided to form a group called DGM for short, or Don't Get Mad.  All of them have dealt with bullying in some way in their past.  Margot used to be overweight, and was bullied, so badly that she tried to kill herself.  Kitty knew about it from a friend who got kicked off their volleyball team.  Olivia is one of the popular girls, and so is around friends who do it all the time.  And Bree's best friend is a boy named John, who gets teased a lot, because his last name could rhyme with a bad term for gay people.  They all go to a Catholic school where the bullying seems to be rampant, to the point that the adults often ignore name calling and even somewhat support the bullies at times.  DGM has a goal to stop the bullying.  They don't make stuff up, they only take what is already out there about these bullies and make it clear to everyone else.  The other students for the most part are fans of the DGM.   But not the administrator, Father Uberti, or F.U. as the girls call him snidely.  And also not one of the teachers, Coach Creed, who is really a big bully himself.

Something has changed now, someone is sending the four girls manila envelopes with pictures and other clues in them.  They are being led to a military school where the Coach used to be. And then one of their new students, a douche-bag type of guy named Ronny dies.  Right after DGM gets things to try to humiliate him for what he's done.  Some of the clues paint their fellow DGM members in a suspicious light, taking away what trust they have for each other.  Secrets start being kept from each other, while other secrets from the past start to get revealed.  The girls of DGM must decide if they can still trust each other to do what is right, the mission of DGM, or if the person behind all the secretive notes is one of them. 

Let me just say this ended on such a HUGE cliffhanger!  I had to go to the author's Facebook page and tell her that there was no way I'd be able to wait a whole year to know what happens next.  She said next summer is when the next book comes out, and that ARCs could be out as soon as December.  Believe you me, I'll be keeping my eyes wide open for it on both Netgalley and Edelweiss, as well as possibly researching to see who the publicity person is that I might be able to talk to so that I can make sure to get this read as soon as possible.  What a great mystery that totally kept me guessing, and with that ending, left me guessing still!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Infected by Sophie Littlefield

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I've chosen a book this week that is by an author that I've enjoyed other books by, Sophie Littlefield.  She had a zombie series that I liked, Aftertime, and from the title of this book, I assumed it might be set in the same world, which now that I read the description below, I'm not sure that it is.  I did get to meet the author at BEA this year, unfortunately the book that I got at the time was not my type of book, but I passed it on to someone who I think would enjoy it.

The race-against-the-clock feel of TV’s popular show 24 meets the action-packed romance of the film Run Lola Run. This high-concept teen thriller sends readers on the race of their lives.

Carina’s senior year is spiraling downward. Fast. Both her mother and her uncle, the only two family members she’s ever known, are dead. Their deaths were accidents, unfortunate results of the highly confidential research they performed for a national security organization. Or so she’s been told.

She’s not buying it.

After finding a unique code hidden beneath the stone in a ring her mother left to her, Carina goes straight to the only family she has left: her boyfriend, Tanner.

The people Carina loved kept dangerous secrets. Secrets that make her question the life she’s been living up to now. Her life is on the line, but more importantly, so is Tanner’s. And if she fails? He dies.

Here I am with the author at BEA:
Sophie Littlefield and me

 While you're here, there's still time to enter my 5th Blogoversary Giveaway by clicking on the button below:

And you can clear your shelves of those sequels you've been sitting on by signing up for my September is for Sequels Challenge, which will also have prizes for those who participate.  Just click on the button below to go sign up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cover Characteristics - August 26, 2014 - Bare Feet

Cover Characteristics is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I always try to pick books I've already read,  plus, since it is Tuesday, instead of 5 covers, I'm going to do a top 10, in no particular order.

This week's characteristic:  Bare Feet











 While you're here, don't forget to enter my 5th Blogoversary Giveaway, just click on the picture below.
5th Blogoversary Giveaway

And I also have a sign up for a Blog Hop which closes today, and my September is for Sequels Challenge which closes September 15th, for you to sign up for with the buttons below.