Saturday, September 29, 2012

Forge (Chains #2) by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is book #7 in my goal for my September is for Sequels Challenge.  Again, it wasn't on my original list of sequels to fulfill my goal, but it was one I'd been wanting to read for awhile, and I'd checked it out from my school library last May at the end of the school year, and just didn't get to again until now!  But I wasn't disappointed at all.
This time the story is told from Curzon's point of view rather than Isabel, in fact, Isabel isn't even really in the book in person until after the halfway point.  We find out that when Isabel and Curzon ran away, in order to try to find Isabel's sister Ruth who had been sold away to a couple far from where they lived, they hadn't yet made it to find Ruth.  In fact, Isabel got so mad that Curzon hadn't taken her the right direction, she ran off with the money they'd had.  Never mind the fact that Curzon had actually planned to do this himself, but only in order to try to take care of some things before he came back to her.  Also, Curzon had begun to have feelings about Isabel as more than a friend.  So her running away from him was also a huge punch in the stomach.  Now, both were slaves.  Curzon had served in the army, and had been promised freedom by his owner for serving in the war, so he feels he must be free now.  Isabel, a runaway for sure.

As Curzon is off now running away from his horrible boss Trumball, he happens to save the life of a young soldier named Ebenezer, or Eben for short, from a British soldier.  Eben assumes Curzon must be a soldier too, and so brings him back to camp with him.  And soon Curzon is once again enlisted in the army.  This even helps him out with Trumball, gets him away from him.  There are some people in their regiment that aren't as accepting of a black soldier.  And are constantly trying to get people to believe that Curzon is a runaway slave.  But for awhile this is not a problem, as Eben's uncle is in charge of the troop and believes what his nephew says.  For now.  Soon this man, Burns, gets in charge of the troop, and the uncle dies, and now Curzon's life becomes hell.  They are now in Valley Forge.  It is here that Curzon's old master, Bellingham shows up, and decides that Curzon is still his property, and even takes him to court, with the help of Burns.  Once Curzon is back as a slave, he finds that Bellingham has also captured Isabel.  And to defeat her habit of running away, he has an iron collar put around her neck, so that everyone will know who she belongs to, and that she is a slave.  Curzon has survived now through a miserable winter with the other soldiers.  And now that Isabel is back, he wants nothing more than to be with her and escape to freedom, even if it means promising her to really get her sister.  But Isabel has changed.  And Curzon must find a way to not only convince her that he is still her friend, more if he can be.  And every time it seems they may have a plan that will work, another obstacle is in their way.
I won't give more away.  But I will say the obstacles are pretty much all realistic in my opinion.  Not something the author just kept coming up with to extend the story, but they work, and do really make the story better.  Once again I loved reading about the issue of slavery not during the Civil War.  And again it seems so hypocritical that these people were fighting for their freedom from the British, yet still enslaved people because of the color of their skin!  I love that there were some people in the story, one judge included, that saw this ridiculousness.  It still makes me sad that it took people so long to realize this, and that people had to suffer this way.
Okay, I am starting my 8th sequel today, hoping I can at least get it done before bed tomorrow night and can post my final review and challenge sum-up on Monday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

As a current teacher, and a librarian wannabe, I am really glad to be participating in this Blog Hop.  I think it is very important that all people get the chance to read what they want.  No one should be able to tell another person what they can or can't read (except parents and their children) just because there is something in the book they don't like or agree with.  One of the banned books I've picked below as one of my favorites is all about a girl who is on drugs and her life is just horrible.  But reading it in high school didn't make me want to do drugs, and didn't glamorize it in any way.  It just gave me a look into that world, one that I would never have seen, and helped to give me some empathy for people who did find themselves in that situation.
This is the 30th Anniversary of Banned Book Week as put on by ALA, the American Library Association.  Some of the books I found on the list are just unimaginable as to why they could possibly be on there.  You can get more information about that from the ALA website.
For my giveaway you can choose one of my 10 favorite banned books shown below.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below that.  And be sure to go check out the other links in the Linky below for some other great giveaways and stops about Banned Books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Second Chance (The Slayer Chronicles #2) by Heather Brewer

I was so excited to get this ARC, and it came from the author herself!  When I emailed and asked if there was anything she'd be willing to do to help me celebrate my 3rd Blogoversary, she emailed back saying that she was sending me something in the mail, and this was what I got!!  The awesomeness of the author aside, I really enjoyed this book.  I think actually I'd give it a 4.5, if I was able to give half stars on Goodreads.  Not a perfect 5, because I did have one thing that bothered me a tiny bit.  As I got towards the end, it seemed almost kind of rushed, I felt that there could have been more time spent with Joss and the other Slayers in NYC.  Maybe it's just because I wanted more time with them, that their summer seemed really short to me.  And I just didn't want the book to end so soon!!!!

So, as this series goes, we are learning about where Joss was in the summers between when the Vlad Tod books took place.  At the end of last summer (spoiler alert if you haven't read the first one yet) Joss had to kill Sirus, someone he'd grown so close to and even had gotten to be really good friends with his daughter Kat.  But as far as everyone other than Kat knew, Sirus had died in an accident.  And Joss doesn't know for sure if the others knew, but he learned that Sirus was a vampire.  The Slayers' sworn enemies.  What Joss was brought to the camp to learn how to kill.  But Joss was also in trouble for another of the Slayers that died in his negligence at the camp.  We do start the book with Joss coming home for the summer from staying with his cousin Henry.  It was there that he met Vlad Tod, and found out that vampires might not all be horrible creatures, even after he tried to kill Vlad.  I mean, he still remembers how great Sirus was to him.  So Joss has confusion still about the whole right and wrong.  I mean, his family is still messed up from losing his sister.  His father is still mean to him, and his mother is still quite out of it.  So when he gets a call from his uncle Abraham to come spend the summer with him, according to his dad to whip him into shape, but Joss knows it is for the Slayer Society, he is ready to go.  To prove himself for the mistakes he made last summer.  Plus, he is getting cryptic texts from Kat, Sirus's daughter.  She intends revenge for her father's death.  Once in NYC, it turns out there is a vampire serial killer.  One who is killing with what seems to be no rhyme or reason.  As Joss and the other slayers begin to investigate, Joss is given lead on the situation.  And he does find information.  And they follow those leads.  But once again there is confusion, when they run into a family member of the one of the Slayers that is a vampire.  And then Morgan, one of the Slayers, knows Dorian, the man who sent Joss his grandfather's stake, and Joss doesn't know how there is a connection there.

Lots of suspense in this book.  Lots of action, and lots more vampires to learn about.  I'm enjoying reading from this point of view, and relating it back to the Vlad books to fit the pieces together, although some things open more questions!  Which is good, because it means I'm ready to read on in the series!  Once again, Heather Brewer has done a great job.  One reason why I was so excited when the community resources manager at the Barnes and Noble where I work told me she was going to be coming to our store in October!  I can't wait to meet her again!  You can see in the picture below when I met her in the Spring of 2011 at the Missouri Association of School Librarians' Spring Conference, when she accepted her award for winning the Truman award in 2010.

This was my 6th book in my September is for Sequels Challenge.  I was so sure I would be able to make my goal of 8 books, as I was almost finished with this when I went to bed Monday night.  But then, I only got to read a little at breakfast on Tuesday, and then I was sick, had to leave Parent Teacher conferences early, and so no reading yesterday.  Horrible day.  I'm starting a new book today, a shorter one as well.  If I could get it done by Friday, I could sure do my best to get an 8th book done by Sunday at midnight, but we'll see!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr

I got this book as a stripped cover from the bookstore where I work.  I had read the first book, XVI, as part of doing the Debut Author Challenge through The Story Siren back in 2011, in fact, I think it might have been the first one I read for that challenge.  The story picks back up with Nina and her sister Dee living in with their grandmother and grandfather in an apartment in Chicago.  They are lower tier, but Nina is a "Creative" which means that she will have the opportunity to move up tiers later on.  Nina has her XVI tattoo, and wants to be able to add a design to it, as other Creatives are allowed to.  She is trying to get past what happened in the first book, meeting her father, who is a leader in the rebellion.  Killing her step-father, in order to save her friend.  A friend of hers from the past, Joan, who was in the FelS program has returned and is living on the streets homeless, having been turned into a sex slave and escaping.  She has her boyfriend Sal, and things seem to be going great.  Except, she's jealous of this girl named Paulette that works with him in the resistance group, and the fact that Sal seems to think that girls can't take care of themselves.  Then, the unthinkable happens.  Her grandfather, Pops, is using a scrambler while he talks to a friend, but doesn't stop talking when it quits working, and so he gets caught and arrested.  When this happens their grandmother has a heart attack.  She's taken to the hospital, where Nina and Dee once again are reminded of being lower class.  One mother is there trying to get the police to arrest a gang of boys who raped her daughter.  But because of the whole "sex-teen" image, it is not considered rape.  Something that makes Nina want to join a secret group called the Sisterhood that tries to fight against this whole system even more.  While they are waiting at the hospital, this one doctor wants to try an experimental treatment on her grandmother.  There is something about this doctor that Nina doesn't trust, but he is one of the best, so she allows him to.  When they go home to get their belongings, they find out they've been evicted from their apartment.  So now Nina and Dee move in with Nina's friend Wei and her family.  They are top tier, and own a building that has an extra apartment for Nina's family to live in, once they all get home.  Because of Pops being arrested, they also now face the government saying that Dee isn't in a fit living situation, and trying to take her away.  So now Nina has to fight for custody of her sister while her grandmother is still recovering.  And not only that, Dee has a new teacher, Ms. Maldovar, who seems to be taking an unusual interest in Dee, way beyond what a teacher normally does.  And from the first time Nina sees her, she doesn't trust her.  Even though Ms. Maldovar does come to the custody hearing and sticks up for them.  And she brings lots of Holiday gifts for both of them.  During these times, Nina learns something about Ms. Maldovar, and I figured out from this tidbit just who she was.  I won't give it away though.
All this is going on, plus Nina joins the Sisterhood, plus she begins to have doubts about Sal, and begins to feel something for Wei's brother Chris.  She works at her job at the art gallery.  She finds help in lots of situations, and does her best to help her friend Joan.  All ending up with a big scare for her, as well as a cliffhanger.
Now, from the way this book is set up, and how it talks about a "companion" novel being the first one, I kind of assumed when I began the book that the whole story was going to be concluded in this book.  Now, while it did leave at a sort of ending point, it left a ton unresolved, and I am so glad to see there is supposed to be a 3rd book coming out next year.  Because I need more!  A good book.  Really suspenseful, so much happens, it keeps you reading constantly.  I liked how we got a little bit more of the past history, how there was an all female government, and how some of the new laws probably stem a bit from that time when they were overthrown.  I also like hearing how other parts of the world fared in the situation, and knowing where might be safe for people to get away from all this.
This was my 5th sequel as part of my September is for Sequels Challenge.  So I'm glad I've passed my minimum, although I'm guessing I still won't quite reach my original goal of 8.  I've chosen another shorter book to read next, hoping I can get 6, or maybe even 7 done, and get closer to my original goal.  It's just that the first couple of sequels I picked were like almost 500 pages!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I only gave this 4 out of 5 stars. But that's more on me, than the quality of the book. It was good, but it feels like so long ago that I read the first 2 books, or maybe just so many books that I've read since, I was a little lost at first. Kind of like Nora. We get a quick flash at the beginning back to what was happening at the end of the last book, enough to make me think I needed to go back and re-read it, because I was a little unclear about some of the details. But fortunately, the author is nice enough to give us Nora's flashbacks, as she's remembering, as well as when she can get into Patch's memories through his wing scars, and that helped to catch me up. I also for some reason don't seem to remember Nora being such a goody goody as she thinks she is in this book. I may have to go back and read the first one again. I just didn't get that from her the first time I read it. But, I have to admit, that I do connect with that side of Nora a little bit more. As I was quite the goody goody as a teenager. But I like how the story goes in this one. We're introduced to some bad guys towards the beginning that I was sure would show up again, but they didn't really seem to till the end. There were some scary moments with them though, until Jev showed up. And I really want to know what Jev stands for now. Nora's best friend hides the whole thing about Patch from her, as well as her mother, who is now dating Nora's worst enemy's (Marcy Millar) father. And not only is he a car salesman, and one of the richest men in town, he is also the Black Hand. Which Nora finally starts getting clued back into after her encounter with those bad guys I was talking about, Gabe and others, and then when she meets up with her childhood friend, Scott. Who is also a Nephilim, who is hiding from Hank, because he does not want to swear fealty and have to give up his body.
The archangel we meet at the end of the story and what she has to say to Patch and Nora sets us up for the last book in the series. And I was left needing to know what would happen. Will Nora step in to take over for her "father" Hank's army, and will she end the war, or will she have to lead the rebellion as he asked? All in all this was a good next book, and now I'm ready for what I'm sure will be an awesome Finale!!

And, I have to include my picture from meeting Becca Fitzpatrick this summer at BEA.

And my blurry photos of the hot angels walking around the line we stood in while we waited to meet her!

This is my 4th sequel of the month, so I've reached my minimum I set for anyone participating, but I'm guessing in about a week or so I won't get 4 more read.  :-(

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

I'm stop 40 on the Stuck in a Good Book Hop sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Stuck in Books.  The idea is to give away a book that just grabbed you and and you couldn't put it down.  And so I've chosen to give you a few choices of my favorite books.  This will be international, as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country, click on the the link in this sentence to find out if you are unsure.

Here are your choices:

Soul Screamers Volume 1 by Rachel Vincent:

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz:

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer:

And finally, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry:

Or, if you've read all these, I'll allow you to choose any other book for $10 or less.  (US Dollars).  All you've got to do, is sign up on the Rafflecopter below!  And when you're done, be sure to go visit all the other links in the Linky below the Rafflecopter for more great giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Torn (The Missing: Book 4) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This is my 3rd sequel towards my September is for Sequels Challenge goal.  I don't think I'm going to make my goal of 8 books unfortunately, but I'm hoping to at least get what I set the minimum as 4.  I don't know that I included this on my original list either.  But it has been sitting on my TBR shelf since last October, when our school had the book fair and I got it for a good price.  Plus I saw there is a new one in the series after this one, so I need to get ahead and ready to read that one too.
When we left off in book 3, Jonah and his sister Katherine had been sent ahead to 1611, and didn't know where they were or why.  And it turns out they'd been sent to Henry Hudson's ship on what was his final voyage looking for the Northwest Passage.  Jonah must pose as John Hudson, Henry's son, who was one of the children taken from history.  Katherine must stay invisible.  But just as they reach the boat, a mutiny has begun, and Jonah is knocked out.  Or his tracer of John Hudson is.  And now they're thrown off the boat into the smaller boat called a shallop, with his father and the other sick and weak men from the ship.  As they're floating there, wondering if this is the end, something strange happens.  The ship comes back and pulls them back on, one of the men has overtaken the mutineers and come back to rescue Henry.  Not only that, he leaves the mutineers on the ice.  Now, this is a big change in history.  The man who did this, Prickett, seems off to Jonah.  Something about him, his voice, his actions, seems familiar.  And Jonah and Katherine soon find out he is really Second, wearing a disguise to make him look like Prickett, just like Jonah is wearing to look like John Hudson.  Eventually, they learn that time is really unraveling, there are many signs.  And they learn that at those times, there are different rules than they originally thought.  Jonah must still try to help Second in order to try to save Andrea.  And while the bargain is somewhat kept to Second's satisfaction, other things become changed.
I think the reason this was less "fun" for me, is that the story of Hudson isn't as big a story as the other books have covered.  And the last one, the story of Roanoke, was a story I was really fascinated with.  I'm glad to see another book coming out though, because I do want to know what will happen next, and what JB's last comment of "Have fun . . . while you still can." refers to.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Diverse Energies - Edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti

First of course I must thank Netgalley and Lee and Low Books for allowing me to read the egalley of this book in August.  I was really excited to read this, as I really do love dystopian books, and this was really touted as a book of short dystopian stories.  And it is.  The "Diverse" in the title, stands for the fact that the characters in these stories are not just "white", heterosexual, "normal" book characters.  So I understand why they wanted to do that.  It is made up of 11 stories.  Some I liked better than others.  I will go through and give a quick review of each story.
1.  The Last Day by Ellen Oh - I know it's supposed to be a future setting, but what happens in it really makes me think back to Hiroshima, and almost sounded to me like it was a retelling of that story in a future setting.  I wasn't a huge fan of it.
2.  Freshee's Frogurt by Daniel H. Wilson - This was not new to me, and won't be to anyone who read Robopocalypse.  It is a part of that book.  So it's good, but I skipped it because I'd already read it, and it wasn't any different than from before, at least not that I could tell.
3.  Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford - This was a bit of a time travel novel.  The main character  noticed things would change around her, but no one else seemed to notice.  Till one day her parents were gone, and she wanted them back.  I kind of liked the story.  Only I got a bit confused about what all was happening at the end.  I think when I have time, or when the book is actually published, I'll have to go back and take another look at this story.
4.  Pattern Recognition by Ken Liu - This is set in China, and I think is somewhat about all the kids that are abandoned or the fact that there are so many children.  But anyway, boys and girls have been brought to this school, saved supposedly by a Dr. that uses their ability to notice patterns in things to solve problems.  So they play these "games" and by solving these problems or playing, they help Dr. Gau, who tells them that outside the walls that they are inside of parents would strangle their kids for fear of not enough food, or kill their daughters because they weren't boys.  He said that inside it was clean and safe for them.  Of course kids will question things, and they do, and in a way, it reminds me of Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  I liked this story, although the end was a bit rushed.  I'd like to see it fleshed out a bit.
5.  Gods of Dimming Light by Greg Van Eekhout - This is a cold futuristic world.  Many people are out of work, and don't have money for food, or electricity, such as our main character.  And so he has seen a flier for a medical study.  He decides to go.  The office is full of these beautiful women.  When he passes the test to where he is going to get a "reward" the flier said was $1000, he is sent back to where he now finds out these women might be a bit crazy.  They believe they are valkyries, and that Edward's DNA shows him to be a possible one as well.  Which he doesn't think works, as he is a Muslim, or his father is, and he was born in Indonesia.  Interesting story, not really what I'd call dystopian exactly though.
6.  Next Door by Rahul Kanakia - In this future world, the people with money have become "plugged in" to their virtual implants, so they could spend time in worlds they wanted to be in, rather than what happened around them, even in their own houses.  So other people live in the garages, or even in the actual houses!  Aakash is our main character, and he lives with his mom and two younger brothers.  In a garage, with bed bugs.  Makes my skin itch just thinking about the story again.  Aakash and his boyfriend are always going out looking for other homes that they can move their families to.  Hopefully ones without bedbugs.  They wind up as part of a crime ring, with the owner of the house Aakash lives in the garage of.  Good story, interesting story!
7.  Good Girl by Malinda Lo - In this story we have a girl who just wants to find where her brother disappeared.  If he went into the Tunnels.  She goes to ask one of the people who she knows is from the Tunnels to check around for her.  She has to pay, but can't afford the full price the girl asks for, so has to offer to feed her from the restaurant where her mother works in Chinatown.  This leads to an interesting relationship, where "Kyle", our main character begins to feel an interest in Nix, the girl who is somewhat helping her to find her brother.  In this future, the government says that "mixing races" causes genetic diseases, and wants everyone to follow a "birth" plan of when to have babies, and who to have them with.  This is more of a dystopian situation to me than some of the others.
8.  A Pocket Full of Dharma by Paolo Bacigalupi - This is one of my favorite stories.  Imagine a future where a building can be created out of living material?  Just amazing that alone!  Wang Jun is our main character and he lives in China.  But that isn't all that is amazing.  Wang Jun is a beggar, he must beg for money to even get food or other things.  And one day he is sent on a mission to deliver a small cube to someone.  When that person doesn't show up to pick it up, he leaves.  He wants to know what the cube is, has an idea it is some kind of computer chip, and takes it to a person he knows.  They put it in a machine, and find out it is the Dalai Lama!  Who went to sleep for surgery, and now he has woken up inside this cube!  Wow, the story is just great!!
9.  Blue Skies by Cindy Pon - This is set in the future in Taiwan.  In this future, the air is bad.  Rich people have helmets they wear to help not breathe the bad air.  People like our main character don't.  His plan is to kidnap one of these rich girls, and get a bunch of money from her rich parents.  Enough that he can become one of the people living in a helmet.  He takes the girl out of the city to the place he'd been living, a rundown lab building where he built a garden to try to grow food to eat.  She wants to learn about this outside world as she's never seen it before.  A very good dystopian future.
10.  What Arms to Hold by Rajan Khanna - In this future boys are sent to work in robotic mining machines.  They are surgically connected to the machines.  One day Ravi's "Golly" as the robots are called, is attacked by another one, as a boy goes crazy.  Turns out as the boys get sick, they supposedly get sent away to different jobs.  He thought his older brother was sent to a better job.  Turns out when they are no longer useful, they're killed, or left to die.  And the letters from home they get?  Just form letters typed up.  Ravi is going to help a rebellion, until he also needs to help a friend, at that point, he must make a decision.  Another interesting, true dystopian story.
11.  Solitude by Ursula K. LeGuin - This was an interesting story.  Not exactly dystopian in my opinion though.  More science fiction, as the author's name should clue you in.  It is about a girl who goes with her mother and brother to live on another planet with the people and try to learn their culture.  In this culture the men live as hermits.  The women live in homes alone with their children, and only talk to the children.  Women don't talk to each other or go into each others' homes.  The daughter and son really begin to fit into the society, until the day the son, In Joy Born, must leave the village of women because he is no longer considered a child, he is now a young man, and he must live in a group of young men, until they are ready to go out and fight for a place to live as the other men do.  This isn't a good life, and he comes back and asks  his mother to take him back to the ship.  The daughter does not want to, she wants to stay part of the community.  But one day she must go to the ship for awhile, even though she soon gets to go back and be a part of the group she grew up with.
The stories were interesting, mostly quick reads.  Most were not quite my idea of dystopian, but all had their own little twist and uniqueness.  In a way there is kind of something for everyone.  I can think of many people to recommend it to, both students, and customers at the bookstore where I work.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday 9-14-12

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you get to learn about two featured bloggers each week, and then can gain new followers as well by joining in to the fun. 

I'm not exactly sure what the question this week is, but this is what I found on Alison Can Read, so I'll do my best to answer it:

Q: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

I would have to go with The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.  I wanted to like this book so much.  I even got it through a Random Act of Kindness giveaway.  And one of the bloggers I got to meet at BEA, loved it, and was so excited to get to see the author again.  I just couldn't get into it.  And I tried, I read quite a ways in.  Finally, I just had to decide to give up.  I have so many books to read, so many that I'm so excited about, and I just can't spend too much time on reading something that doesn't capture my attention.  Now, I'm not saying it is bad, just that I couldn't get into it.   I am giving the author another try with an egalley of her next book, The Archived

What book would you list for this question?

And hey, while you're here, you've only got until tomorrow, September 15th, at midnight to enter my September is for Sequels Challenge.  Go HERE and see if it is something you'd find a fun thing to do.  I'm behind on my goal of 8 books.  I'm only on my 3rd one right now.  :-(  But most of my sequels seem to be so long!  But I set the minimum as 4 books, and I'm guessing I'll complete that for sure!  (If you do decide to sign up, you can get the button that I made after I posted the start up post HERE.)  Hope to have more people join in and help me make my very first challenge a success!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again I am in love with Rick Riordan and his world of mythological creatures and demigods! I put off reading this for so long because when his other new series, The Kane Chronicles, came out, I couldn't wait to start reading it. And then, unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. And I love Egyptian mythology, so that was very sad to me. But the way the story was told, between the two characters, I had trouble sometimes remembering which person I was reading from their point of view. Which really made it hard to let the story take me away. But with this new Heroes of Olympus series, I was grabbed again and sucked back into the story, just like I was back with the Percy Jackson series.

We have a new group of demigods in this story to follow around, but some of the old ones, as well as other characters are back. Of course we still have all the Greek gods, but we now learn about the Roman gods and how they relate to the Greek ones and demigods. Percy Jackson has disappeared, and at the same time a new demigod, Jason, has just shown up out of nowhere. Now, the kids he is dropped in with have all these memories as if they've known him, but soon learn it is just the Mist messing with their memories. And of course, something is brewing, and there is a quest. The kids get to Camp Halfblood where it should be safe for them, but not without danger along the way! There they meet Annabeth who is looking for Percy.
One of our other new demigods is Piper, who is the daughter of a famous movie-star. What I like about this story is that we know kind of from the get-go that Piper may betray her friends. Her dad has been kidnapped, and she is being contacted by something evil. And this evil has said she must keep the quest from being successful if she wants to save her dad. The other of the three new ones is Leo, who is a son of Hephaestus. I have to say I just loved Leo. His character is so funny. I also felt him to be very relatable. He felt as if he was a nobody, that his friends had all the power. But he can withstand fire, and even create it! And he is great with fixing things. I also love how his "type" of girl are the ones that are way out of his league and he knows are not attracted to him. Again, that seems to be my "type" of guy. He also has secrets he doesn't want to share with his friends, and worries about whether he can help or if he'll be causing the quest to fail.
And finally we have our Jason. Jason can't remember who he really is, but he seems to have a lot more memories of the Roman gods as opposed to the Greek ones. At Camp Halfblood, Chiron knows he is, and tells him he should be dead. But then won't explain why? Hera, or Juno in Roman mythology, comes to the demigods saying she needs their help in order to prevent another evil from taking over, even though the Titans were defeated before. And as the story goes on, we learn more and more about Jason, but in very small doses. We're given just little tidbits that fill in some blanks, but still leave you hanging till the end to find out more.
Some great new characters/gods in this book. I loved King Midas, he was funny, as well as Aeolus, also really amusing to read his part in the book. I'm now so excited to go on with this series, and you'd think as part of my "September is for Sequels Challenge" that I'd read on in the series, but alas, I have other books on the list to get rid of. This does help me out in getting the current Truman nominees read, because I hadn't read them all yet. But doesn't help with the ones I need to help read for next year.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  This week I've chosen a book that I think almost everyone in the YA book blogging world is excited about, the sequel to Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me.  You can read my review of the first one HERE.  This was a book I gave 5 out of 5 stars.  And the funny thing is that I had the ARC sitting around my house for a couple months, and whenever I went to pick a new book to read, I always passed it over, until the day I finally picked it up.  And then, I was hooked!  Such a good book!!  Here is the blurb about the sequel from

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

The first was so good, and left me hanging to know what is next, I can't wait to read on!  How about you? What are you eagerly anticipating?  And in the same theme of how I'm waiting on a sequel, if you are like me with plenty of sequels sitting around while you read the new series starters, join up with my September is for Sequels Challenge.  You have until September 15th to join!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Button for September Challenge finally! (And my fall tv schedule plan, and an update on how I'm doing on the challenge)

Okay, I think I've made a button for my September is for Sequels Challenge.  It should be below this little paragraph, so if you'd like to add it to your blog, that would be awesome!!

Lisa Loves Literature

I think it looks okay for a first try, don't you?  It's not exactly what I wanted, but I think it works.

Second, I thought I'd give you all a rundown of how I'm doing on my own challenge so far!  Well, I've got one book down, as you can see from my review I posted of Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick.  My plan was to start with an adult book, One of our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde, as I got the NEXT book in the series as an ARC, and I'm still behind.  But I had trouble getting into it.  It's been a while since I've read that series, and while it wasn't completely boring, I just need to have time to read it, and not be trying to get through as many books as I can, so I'm thinking over Christmas break maybe.  Then I had an e-galley that expired on September 10th, yesterday, that I wasted a day on, soon figuring that I wasn't going to be able to get through it.  So now I am finishing up my 2nd actual book I'm counting as part of my sequel challenge, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.  While it is the first in his new series, it is kind of a sequel to the Percy Jackson series, so I'm counting it.  However, it is over 500 pages, so taking a long time!  Yikes!  Hope I can still get to my goal of 8 this month!  Plus, I've got another e-galley that expires on Friday, hoping I get done with it quick when I finish my current book.

So, where are you right now if you are participating?  Don't forget to enter links to your reviews, you can do one a day, in the Rafflecopter form for extra entries into the gift card giveaway!!

And finally, every year I make up my TV schedule based on Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV Preview Issue. I finally did it this week, it seems this issue comes out later every year!  It does seem as if I have less shows to watch this year though.  Usually I have some days when I have recording on 2-3 channels straight from 7-10 pm.  And it really looks like I won't be giving too many new shows a chance this year.  Hope that's not a mistake, but we'll see.

  • 7 pm:  CBS-The Amazing Race, ABC-Once Upon a Time
  • 8 pm:  AMC-The Walking Dead
  • 9 pm:  ABC-666 Park Avenue

  • 7 pm:  CBS-How I Met Your Mother, Fox-Bones
  • 8 pm:  CBS-2 Broke Girls
  • 9 pm:  NBC-Revolution

  • 7 pm:  Fox-Raising Hope
  • 8 pm:  Fox-New Girl
  • 8:30 pm:  ABC-Don't Trust the B---- In Apt. 23, and maybe Fox-The Mindy Project

  • 7 pm:  CBS-Survivor, ABC-The Middle
  • 8 pm:  The CW-Supernatural, ABC-Modern Family
  • 9 pm:  FX-American Horror Story

  • 7 pm:  CBS-The Big Bang Theory
  • 8 pm:  Fox-Glee, Maybe NBC-The Office and/or The CW-Beauty and the Beast
  • 9 pm:  CBS-Elementary

  • 8 pm:  NBC-Grimm, Fox-Fringe
  • 9 pm:  Syfy-Haven
  • 10:30  pm:  NBC-Saturday Night Live - when there is a guest or music that I like

What tv shows are you looking forward to? Are there any new ones I haven't listed that you think I should give a try?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy #2) by Ilsa J. Bick

This is one of the awesome ARCs I got at BEA this summer, and I was so excited to get it!  It turned out to be my first book on my September is for Sequels Challenge because the one I had decided to start I was having trouble really getting into.  If I put a book down, and it isn't hard to do, and then I'm not thinking about when I can pick it back up and start again, then I know it's not time to read it.  I hope to go back to the other one soon, as it was a series I did really enjoy.  But anyway, on with my review of this book!
I have to admit that it has been awhile since I read the first book, Ashes, since I got to read it as an e-galley from Netgalley before the book was actually published.  But I remembered really liking it.  Unfortunately, I was a little unclear on where it had ended, the whole ending in fact was a little fuzzy in my mind.  So as I was reading this sequel I had to read every detail as it filled in my memory, without a whole "recap" sequence at the beginning.  And while I'm still going to go back and look through the end of the first one again, I eventually was able to remember pretty much what had happened, enough that I could get back into the story and just be grabbed.  This was a huge roller coaster of a story!  We followed Alex, the girl from the first book that I remember the most about.  And we also get to see what happened to Tom, who had been with Alex up until the gas station part in the last book, and that was all I remember for sure about Tom.  And then we had Chris, who I thought I remembered something about, but now I realize I was confusing that with another book I read, I think.  Like I said, I need to go back and read the end of the first one again.  But in this book we are seeing where they all ended up after the big conclusions of the first book.  Both Tom and Chris are kind of wanting to find Alex, especially Tom.  But Alex gets captured by some of the Changed, or Chuckies as they are sometimes called by people in the book.  And for some reason, they are keeping her alive.  One of the Chuckies looks really familiar to her, like Chris actually, could be his brother/twin.  And he seems to be the reason she is being kept alive.  But Alex can still sense or smell things with a heightened sense.  And she also begins to see the things that some of the Changed are imagining.  Which includes Wolf, Chris's twin, being sexually attracted to her.  And it's not just his thoughts about her.  All the Changed seem to be going through what might be called a mating season, they all seem to be about lust and getting busy with each other.
Tom has been living with this nice older couple who are helping him get better, as well as hiding him.  You see young people who haven't changed are highly sought by many different groups.  Militias for fighting or some for experimenting to see why they haven't changed like the others below a certain age.  But of course, he has been found, and so must leave, which he had planned anyway so that he could go search for Alex.  On his travels he stops in to what seems to be a friendly farm couple, only to find they've got one of the Changed locked up in their barn. And it is at this point they decide to keep him, and turn him in to the same people that they are keeping the Changed for.  He is saved once again by an older couple, although they have been looking for him.  Alex had told everyone about Tom's military past and explosive expertise, and this couple is looking for him to help with their fight against Rule, the town where Chris came from.
Chris has finally found out what has been going on in Rule, yet his grandfather is using him as a scapegoat.  And he must escape from Rule.  And so he goes out to try to find what he can do to solve this issue.  His way is not easy either.  He is with Lena and also Nathan, who has been trying to help them escape when they get sent to the prison.  Lena is feeling sick, actually thinks she might be pregnant from an encounter with Peter, who was lost in the big fiasco at the end of the first book.  Or so we thought lost, he also gets part of the story in the book, when he is captured by one of the militia and basically being experimented on.
Like I said, a roller coaster ride, full of nonstop action.  The end, another cliffhanger, but man, now how will I wait till the next book?!  Great sequel, if you haven't read the series yet, you really need to try it out!  I mean, if I hadn't been in school and had to work at my part time job last night, I'd have finished this over 500 page book in 2 days probably!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #4, Wrap Up of Blogoversary Celebration Month, and Giveaway Winners

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  This is being hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  I only  have two books to share this week, but I was pretty excited to get them!  I got Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate.  It was a contest I entered through Shelf Awareness newsletter from MacMillan publishing.  And I was so excited to see it come in the mail!

The other book was from Netgalley:  Broken by A.E. Rought, a modern take on the Frankenstein story.  Which sounded interesting to me!
Okay, let's get to talking about last month.  First let me wipe my forehead and say WHEW!!!  Posting something every day, especially when I was back to school and teaching, was a lot of work!!  I'm glad I did it.  But, don't expect me to keep it up while school is going on.  I did really enjoy featuring my friends' blogs.  I hope I was able to get them some new followers.  I also enjoyed giving away prizes, and was glad that I reached at least my 600 follower goal so that I bumped up the award amount on the Barnes and Noble gift card.  I have decided to try hosting a challenge this month, so if you are interested in participating, it only requires that you pledge to read 4 books (sequels) to participate.  And once again I'll be giving away a Barnes and Noble gift card, but only to people who sign up to participate.  If you want to help me be successful, you can sign up HERE and then go encourage your followers and blogger friends to come try it out too.  I'd love to make it a yearly event!  Unfortunately I've also learned how far behind other bloggers I am, as I really wanted to make a button for the contest, and I even had an idea, but didn't know how to make it.  I need to learn more about Photoshop, and if I even have it on any computers I am able to use.  Not to mention this past week or two Blogger has been really acting funny.  I no longer have my comment link on the drop down menu on my Dashboard, which I loved to be able to go reply to all my comments without having to go back to all my posts to see which  had comments.  And I also can't change any of the layout on my page, so the book that it says I'm reading now I haven't been reading for a couple weeks!!  So I have thought about moving, but then, the money, and not knowing html, just all that scares me away.  So, still dealing with that kind of stuff too. Okay, enough whining from me!  Thanks to all of you who stopped by and helped make my month long blogoversary celebration a good one!  I'm so glad for all my followers.  And now, onto the list of winners for the contests that ended at the end of August:

  • The winner of my Featured Blogger The Confounded Cook - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is:  Lacey T.  I have contacted and heard back from her, so her book will be shipped from The Book Depository this week.
  • And the winner of my month long 3rd Blogoversary Celebration for a $40 gift card to Barnes and Noble is:  Erika Anderson Williams!  She has also been contacted and I've heard back from her.  Her gift card will also be in the mail this week.

Thanks again to all my new and old followers!  Keep hanging out!