Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent 0.1-0.4) by Veronica Roth

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 is a collection of novellas that are either not available yet, or only available as an e-novella.  They are kind of what you'd call prequels I guess.  Prequels to a series that many of the fans were unhappy about its ending, the Divergent series.  If you haven't yet, and aren't concerned about spoilers, you can read my review of Allegiant HERE.  Here is the blurb about the collection from Goodreads:

More Four! Fans of the Divergent series by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled this collection of short stories told from Four's perspective. Each brief story in this collection explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory and relationships.

Features the following stories: The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, The Traitor, and Free Four.

Before you leave, don't forget to stop by my Fierce Reads Giveaway, you only have one more day to enter!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Like many of the reviews I've seen on Goodreads, I must say that I'm unsure exactly what to say, or how to even review this.  Also like at least one other review, I loved Divergent, Insurgent kind of was the usual middle book, not really great, but okay to get through to the next book.  And this one, good, just not how I would have liked it to have ended.  Big alert now, there is NO WAY, I can do this review without SPOILERS, so stop reading now if you don't want to know anything until you read it for yourself.  In fact, from here on out, I can't promise when a spoiler might show up, so before that, let me remind you to go enter my Fierce Reads Giveaway, and then you won't have to read any further!


So, here goes.  I really enjoyed getting out of the "Factionless" group where Four's mother was in charge.  For some reason, that was just never something I enjoyed in the 2nd book, so of course it makes sense it wouldn't be my favorite in this book.  But once they got out of their city, and headed to the place they were supposed to go, I really began to enjoy it.  But it turns out this experiment they were part of, well, the outside may not have been quite as bad off as the video they watched led them to believe.  While I enjoyed learning about this outside society.  I also feel, like I saw another review on Goodreads again, that maybe we got into one of those back story information overloads that happen sometimes in books.  While this book was basically the same number of pages as the 2nd book, I almost felt like it was shorter in a way.  I think it could totally have been longer, but, that being said, a lot happened in the book.  We had a lot of characters that we lost, or that got injured, and not always just disposable characters.  In fact, the ending of the book, was a HUGE death.  One that changes the whole world.  Someone we began with, we don't get to finish with.  But it's okay.  It was a realistic ending.  The person that saved everyone with their sacrifice, it only made sense that they did that.  But it was so sad.  When it happened, I immediately knew what all the angry reviews I'd seen but hadn't read were about.  I wasn't angry though, just really sad.  I was at a point when I had to stop to go do something else, this was about page 500, and I was glad.  I wasn't sure how I was going to get through the rest of the book.  Whether the ending worked or not, it wasn't a happy one.  I did like how the reason the whole experiments had begun was because of genetically "damaged" people and it turns out the "Divergent" people were what they had been looking for to come out of this experiment.  And it wasn't just Chicago, it was many other cities.  The first city set up didn't even start with a faction setting, and that experiment basically was a horrible failure.  I enjoyed the genetics talk that there was.  And the dystopian society, that Tris and Four and all of the people we knew not only left, but found outside their city.  I also want to comment on the dual point of view, both Tris and Four.  I enjoyed getting the story from Four's point of view.  In fact, it really kind of helped.  Because there were times that if we'd only  had Tris's point of view, you'd probably not have been able to forgive Four for not listening to what Tris thought they should do.  
Really, a good story overall.  A good ending, or realistic ending, not the kind I'd probably read again.  I know a lot of people hated the last book of the Twilight series, and said they wouldn't have ended it that way, but I always argued with them, and said it was the author's story, it ended the way she saw it.  And I actually liked that last book, and I can read it again and again.  This book, while I will argue again with people that it ended the way the author wanted it to, unfortunately it is not a feel good, read over and over story.  But I am excited to see the movies, especially Divergent, so I'll be revisiting the end again at some point, at the theater at least.
Now, if you made it all this way, and you haven't gone and entered my Fierce Reads Giveaway yet, go do it NOW!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - October 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I haven't done this since the beginning of the month, but truly, until this past week, I hadn't really gotten many new books.  Which was kind of surprising, because there are several giveaways I won back in September that I seem to still be waiting on.  But I'll give till the end of October before I email and ask about them.  It was my birthday this past Tuesday (go enter my Fierce Reads giveaway from that if you haven't yet), and I got a gift card for Barnes and Noble from one of my sisters, which means I got a bunch of e-novellas for the challenge I'm going to hold in November.  Here is my haul:

Won in the Debut Authors 2013 Giveaways:

I won an ARC of this from Stormy at Book.Blog.Bake and the author Lauren Miller.  Very excited to read it!  And it was a choice between 2 ARCs and a hardcover, and call me crazy, but I'm always more excited with an ARC!  :-)

E-galleys from Netgalley:

The first one I featured earlier this week as my WOW, and then I got approved on Netgalley for it!  Cool!  The 2nd one just has such a great cover, and I don't feel we've had that much to read about Voodoo, so it sounds new and different.

Physical Book Purchased:

And of course I had to buy this the day it came out, since it was my birthday.  I'm almost done with it today, struggling through the last pages, as you'll understand why if  you've read it.

Purchased With My Birthday Gift Card for my Nook:

I got a ton of novellas!!  Now, to be honest, I think two of them I did end up buying with my own money.  I'm going to host a November is for Novellas challenge I think.  Check back later this week for a sign up post.  So tell me, what did you add to your shelves this week?


Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa

This is another book I got from my bookstore, and I enjoyed it as well.  Now, while it wasn't as good to me as the first in the series, it still had some parts that I did like even better than the first one.  If you haven't read the first one, there might be some spoilers, so be careful reading on.
Meghan was our main character from the first book, and she found out she was half faery, daughter of the Summer Faery King.  She also made a promise to the handsome Winter prince, Ash, that if he helped her find and save her brother, then she would let him take her back to the Winter court as he was supposed to.  So she goes back with him, but finds that he no longer seems to want to be with her, or as he tells her, there can never be a match between a Summer and Winter in their land. So she truly becomes a prisoner in the Winter palace.  And there are many dangers there, even from the fey that is supposed to be keeping her safe or guarding her.  Soon it comes time for the Summer fey to pass the season scepter to the Winter fey.  Of course this leads to a big celebration at the Winter palace.  During the celebration the Iron fey come and steal the scepter.  So now of course Meghan actually gets accused of it, or the Summer court does anyway, and Ash even gets considered a traitor because he sides with Meghan.  So now they run to try to find the scepter and save their world from war.  The Iron Horse from the last book is back, and he will help out this time, because since his Iron King is gone, he does not support the usurper for the throne.  Even if it is the Iron King's daughter.  Along the journey we meet some more great fey characters, and even learn more about Meghan's past life, the man she'd thought was her father to be exact.  She even gets a visit with her brother and mother and step-father, although not the type of visit she'd hoped for.  And with Ash seemingly gone as a possibility, Puck is still there, a loyal friend, who wants more, and Meghan isn't sure if maybe she feels that way about him too, although she does love him.
So we still have a bit of the love triangle here.  And we learn more about what caused Ash and Puck to no longer be friends.  We get a close look into the Winter court, and see that maybe Ash does really care for Meghan, even if it could ruin his life and relations with his family.
A great story, lots of suspense, it isn't a problem that is solved really quickly, and easily.  So great story!  Now I must get a copy of the 3rd book, because I've got the 4th one sitting on my shelf.

Oh yeah, don't forget to go enter into my Fierce Reads Giveaway and have the chance to be one of FIVE winners!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Friday 56 #4

Because I don't really have time once again to do the activity of Feature and Follow Friday, I'm going to participate once again in Friday 56, sponsored by Freda's Voice.  Here are the rules:


 *Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

"I didn't get into the party.  One, I wasn't in the mood, and two, dancing with the Winter fey didn't seem like such a good idea.  Especially after I saw a group of drunk, glamour-high redcaps swarm a boggart and tear it limb from limb.  It was like a mosh pit from hell."

    And just like last time I did this, I have a giveaway going on, be sure to stop by my Fierce Reads Giveaway and enter to be one of 5 winners who will get a book from the list!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Yes, I know I'm way behind everyone else on this one.  I've been meaning to read it for awhile.  But it was a big book, and I just had so many other things to read, that I just kept putting it on the back burner.  Finally I decided that it was time to read it before the movie comes out this November.  So when I finished my last book, I went ahead and checked a copy of this one out from the bookstore where I work.  And, once I picked it up, and got past the first 20-25 pages, I was hooked.
I loved this family that Liesel ended up with.  Her new mother Rosa, loved the way she was so grumpy, but you knew that it was done with love.  And her new father, Hans, just the way he stayed with her every night because of her nightmares.  And then her best friend Rudy, so funny, and what a great friend!  I've always had to read everything I could on the Holocaust.  Most of those books were told about Jewish people, and what they survived, or didn't survive.  This is truly a story of a basically "normal" German family.  They don't seem to have any reason to necessarily be against this war.  In fact Liesel is even in the Hitler Youth Organization at school.  When they do take in Max, a young Jewish man, it isn't because they are trying to fight what is going on in their country, it is because of a favor Hans owed to a friend in World War I.  It was just so interesting to read about the German side of the story.  While it is unforgivable that so much happened and nothing was done about it, this look at how it could have happened, is a great insight.  The fact that the author says he got his ideas from his family telling stories of their old days in Germany makes it even more fascinating.  The raids on the town, the fact that here the Germans were promised if all the Jews were taken care of they would be prosperous, yet here many were still living without enough food.  Most of what happened in this story just seemed so realistic in the way things happened.  Not everyone lived happily ever after.  But not everyone stayed maybe the way you would expect all Germans to stay.  Just because they were the good guys, doesn't mean they all survived.
Other parts of the book that I really liked, the books/drawings that Max made for Liesel.  The story that Liesel ended up writing.  I liked that what could have become a romance, Max and Liesel, never did, it stayed as a brother sister relationship.
This was a book that was 550 pages long.  I started reading on Sunday, and finished on Tuesday.  And I would have been finished sooner had it been summer time and I hadn't had to work Monday or Tuesday.  Now, I'm just waiting to see the movie, and I can only hope that they will not change too many things that will take away what makes the story so great.  I mean, look at what happened with the Hunger Games, while it was a great movie on its own, the parts of the book that I really liked, that made it what it was, were left out.
Anyway, I guess I am now one of the people that will just gush and gush about how wonderful this book is.  How about you?  Have you read it? What did you think?

P.S. - While you're here, make sure you go check out my Fierce Reads Giveaway HERE where there will be 5 winners!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Twisted Lit #3) by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

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 in a series that is a modern re-do of Romeo and Juliet.  While there seem to have been a few of these lately, I like how this series would be a good choice for teachers to use in their classroom alongside teaching the "real" Shakespeare stories.  As a teacher/librarian, I can think of all sorts of ideas that could be done with these in a classroom.  Without further ado, here is the blurb from

Power, passion...and pizza

The Montes love Italian food. And they hate the Caputos, That's how it is. It's been that way for sixty years. Every time the Caputos start to get a reputation for great pizza (and who knows? It could be better than the Montes!) there's "an accident" and Cap's is knocked back on its knees. What nobody knows is that the family teenagers are sick of their parents acting like schoolyard bullies, when nobody even remembers why the fight started! Gigi Caputo and Roman Monte, the son and daughter, are secretly in love. Determined to put a stop to their parents' vicious feud, they risk their parents' livelihood and their own lives. In this nod to Romeo and Juliet, will love win? Or vendetta?
Sounds fun, huh?  I've only read the 2nd one in the series, Exposure, which was supposed to be a retelling of Macbeth, and you can read my review of that HERE.

And while you're here, don't forget to enter my awesome Fierce Reads giveaway, where there will be 5 winners, so there are 5 books you could win!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's My Birthday and I'll Give Away Fierce Reads Books if I Want To!!

So today is my birthday!  Yay!  I won't really be celebrating with any of my family, already did my mom's side on Sunday, and will celebrate with my dad's side this coming Saturday.  So, I thought what could be more fun than giving YOU, my readers, the gifts?!  In fact, I got a Fierce Reads box in the mail this summer, and it doesn't seem like I'll be doing anything with it at my school library, so I will use it as a giveaway on my blog!  To go along with the box itself, I am going to get to meet some of the Fierce Reads authors on November 5th.  Unfortunately, not all of the ones that I got the books for this summer, but some!  So, I am going to have 4 winners, and depending which book you choose, I will get it autographed if that author will be at the event.  Here are your choices:

You can choose the first or second book in this series, and I will get it autographed for you because Gennifer Albin is supposed to be at the Fierce Reads Event.   

For this author, you may choose either the 1st or 2nd book in the series, Shadow and Bone, or Siege and Storm.   Leigh Bardugo is also supposed to be at the Fierce Reads Event in my town, so you will also get to have this autographed if you choose it.

The 3rd author who will be attending this event is Jessica Brody, so if you choose her book, Unremembered, you will be able to get it autographed also!! 

Unfortunately Anna Banks will not be at the Fierce Reads Event in my town, so if you choose this book, and I'm only making this 2nd one in the series available, it will not be autographed. 

And the only author I had read before I first got the Fierce Reads Box is unfortunately another author that will not be making it to my town.  I will be giving away only book 2 from this series as well, also un-autographed.  

 I also have 2 Fierce Reads bags to give away, and those I will try to get autographed by all 4 authors.

I will have 5 winners, which I came up with that number by adding the numbers in my age this year.  The giveaway will end one week before the event so that I can find out which books each winner wants, and find out who to get some of them autographed.  And to be clear, I am only offering one of each title.  For example, if someone picks the 2nd book in one of the first two series, the other 4 winners have to pick a different book.  Sorry if that sounds weird, but I don't want to have to buy more than one hardcover since I will be shipping 5 books.  And also, sorry to my international followers, with Christmas coming up, I have to be frugal with my shipping costs, since again I'm shipping 5 books from my home instead of The Book Depository.  But don't despair, I believe I'll have a giveaway later in November that will be International.  Just fill in the Rafflecopter below!  The only requirement is that your birthday gift to me is that you are a follower of my blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind by Gavin Edwards

Thanks to Edelweiss and It Books for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  Back in the day (late 80's, early 90's) I was a huge fan of River Phoenix.  I was one of the girls they talk about in this book that read about him in the teeny bopper magazines like Teen Beat.  Now, I was a very naive teenager, until his death, I had no idea he did drugs. Probably a lot came from his anti-drug messages that he gave in public to his fans.  But then I had no idea Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were using drugs either, and people tell me now just to think about how thin Haim was and that it was obvious.  Again, I plead naivete.
This book was a great biography.  Told in an almost story-like way, it really captured my attention from the start, and didn't let go till the very end.  It was like a walk down memory lane to read about all the stuff going on in Hollywood during that time.  But it was a peek at it through the eyes of an insider.  Hearing about what his childhood was actually like, learning what his family really was like, and the possible abusive conditions he spent his early life in, again, explained so much about his life.  And yet it wasn't just about him with every detail.  As the title says, it also was about the Hollywood both when he was around, and that was left after he was gone.  Learning about Johnny Depp, and musical stars like Flea and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, not to mention older stars, such as Dan Aykroyd, Sam Shepard, and Harriosn Ford, as well as famous directors like Gus Van Zant.  At times I almost felt like we were playing a game of Six Degrees of Separation, just to hear all the actors and actresses that he came in contact with at some point was amazing.  While I remembered all of his brothers and sisters, I'd forgotten that his sister Summer was married to Casey Affleck.  I remember when Joaquin Phoenix was going by Leaf Phoenix.  There was even a mention of Norman Reedus, Daryl on The Walking Dead!!
Of course the connection to Johnny Depp was not real deep, they knew each other from both being from Gainesville, Florida, as well as River hanging out at Depp's Viper Room Club.  But comparisons were drawn of their careers all through the book, and honestly, in a way there were so many similarities.  Both chose films that weren't necessarily ones that would make them big stars, they chose based on what they wanted to do.  Both had directors that they really respected and wanted to work with.  Also we followed Christian Slater, Ethan Hawke, and even Keanu Reeves through their careers as they moved along, and how River influenced them.  To know that Hawke respected River to the degree that he did.  And then, the career of Leonardo DiCaprio was discussed as it began and where it intersected.  I do think that Leo and River kind of have the same look, and even some of the same choices in what acting jobs they took, as well as their commitments to causes.  Some of DiCaprio's successes could even be somewhat considered to have come about because of River's death.  Movies that were supposedly for River, went to Leo after his death.
River is portrayed as very sensitive, yet you can tell insecure.  He was obviously very intelligent, yet as the book points out, due to his lack of normal schooling, not as knowledgeable as you would normally expect about common things. To read about his dogs and family, and other stories that I remember reading about in those teen magazines brought a smile to my face as I read.  Reading about the moments leading up to his death brought tears to my eyes.  As big of a fan as I was, I now realize, I really didn't actually see very many of his movies.  I know for sure I saw Explorers, Stand By Me, and the Indiana Jones movie he was in, and I think I saw A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon - but I may only think I did from seeing all the pictures of him in the teen magazines that were shots from the movie.  I'm now on a mission to see the movies I missed, and the final movie that he died during the last part of filming of, is now supposedly available, on YouTube no less.
My rating of the book on Goodreads was a 4 out of 5.  And I may bump that up to a 5 once I actually see the book.  What was missing from my e-galley was the pictures that I would hope are included in the final published copy.  When the books comes out this Tuesday (my birthday), I will be sure to check for pictures.  I will buy it for myself if it contains pictures, and will then go and up my rating.
I know many teens today have no idea who River Phoenix was other than Joaquin's older brother, but this would be a great book for them to read, as I said to learn about so many stars from back then, as well as those that are still around.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Booking Through Thursday #3

Well, the book I'm reading is taking me longer than planned.  I should have gone ahead and posted a Waiting on Wednesday yesterday, but didn't.  So I will have to go ahead and post this today, and maybe, hopefully, my review of my book tomorrow.  So, even though it looks like the prompt is from 2 weeks ago, here here is my third time of Booking Through Thursday: (P.S. - I like this meme, but maybe need to make a new button for it that won't be either really tiny or blurry.)

Which is better (or preferred) … stories with multiple character points of view? Or stories that stick to just one or two at most? And, why?

This is a really good question I think.  I do enjoy stories with multiple character points of view, especially when told from a first person point of view.  But, the characters must sound different enough as I read them that I don't forget who we are reading about just because I'm no longer on the first page of that section where their name is.  For example, Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys series is actually done in 3rd person, but the different character points of view are done in a way that is really great!  Unfortunately, even though I am a big fan of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, I did not enjoy his newer Kane Chronicles series, because of this very reason.  I had trouble remembering who was the chapter narrator because they sounded so close.  Now I never read on past The Red Pyramid in that series, so who knows, maybe it got better.  
So tell me what you think about this topic?  Do you like just one point of view, or multiple?  And would you prefer it be in first person, or third person?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - October 15th, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page
  •  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  •  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:

"That's what many people remember about the 1980s:  neon fashions, the jumbled faces on a Rubik's Cube, Duran Duran videos on MTV.  But the real spirit of the decade was the valorization of work:  relentless industry as the supreme virtue."

~ p. 48, "Last Night at the Viper Room:  River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind" by Gavin Edwards

Monday, October 14, 2013

Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan

The first book in this series was one that I just loved.  It was the kind that picked me up and hooked me right away.  In fact, you can read my review of Immortal Beloved HERE.  This book was similar, in that once I picked it up, it was hard to put it down.  In fact at work today, I really didn't want to go back from my lunch break until I finished it. But, alas, work must come first in order for me to have the money to continue to read and live, and etc.  While I had purchased the first one when Borders went out of business, I ended up checking this one out from the library.  Part of the reason is because I have the 3rd one as an ARC that I got from BEA in the summer of 2012.  Which, on that note, I bought my plane ticket to go to BEA next summer!  Can't wait!  Okay, okay, back to my review of the book.
We of course left off with Nastasya at River's farm, which is kind of like a rehab place for immortals.  While there she's learned that the really hot viking guy named Reyn, is actually part of the family that killed all of her family.  She is trying to come to terms with this, as well as her attraction to him.  But along with that, she is still dealing with learning just how selfish she had been in her past. Things she is just now starting to see that where once she told the story about the miracle of her survival, now she realizes all the people or animals that died when she could probably have saved them.  On New Year's Eve they have a circle, and each Immortal releases something into the fire that they want to work on being done with.  Nastasya decides to release her darkness into the fire.  When she does, the fire grows to immense proportions before it dies back down, and she is afraid that she didn't get rid of it, but actually released it into the world.  While she is learning about how most all of the Immortals had a bad start or past, as more and more things go wrong, eventually she decides she is the cause of it, and runs away.  Fortunately it seems, Innocencio just happens to be driving by and he finds her.  Now all this time she'd been having horrible nightmares about him, that he'd gone evil, sparked by when he'd killed the cab driver in the first book.  And in her dreams she also sees all their friends dead, killed by Incy.  But it turns out she was just dreaming.  Incy has been worried about her this whole time, he says he was unable to find her, and then today he was driving around, and he felt a strange pull, that she was going to be where he found her.  So Nastasya goes back to her friends, and a life of luxury.  But things aren't quite the same now, now that she really knows right from wrong, thanks to River.  And she must decide where she really fits in, what life she really is meant for, who are really her friends, before the wrong person decides to steal her power.
Still a good book for all the same reasons as the last one.  But, I was not happy that she ran away and went back to her old friends so quickly, and slipped back into that life style.  That's my only complaint I guess though.  Now I have to figure out when to fit in the 3rd one.  Maybe after I finish my next e-galley?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  This is my first time doing this, but since I didn't get any books this week, but I do have some future things I want to talk about, I thought this would be the way to go instead of Stacking the Shelves that I normally do.  So here goes!!

Last Week on My Blog:

  • Crewel by Gennifer Albin (review)

This Week on My Blog:

This one is harder for me than others, because I don't always plan ahead of time what I'm going to do.  Other than books that were read and reviewed way early, or if I've signed up for hops or something, it just all depends on when I finish what I'm reading, and how busy my week is.  But here are my plans as best as I can predict:

  • Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan (review)
  • Teaser Tuesday
  • Last Night at the Viper Room:  River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind by Gavin Edwards (review)
  • Booking Through Thursday
  • Feature and Follow Friday or The Friday 56
  • Stacking the Shelves

Future Plans on My Blog:

  • My birthday is October 22nd, and so I am going to do a giveaway to celebrate, as well as tying it into the Fierce Reads  event I'll get to attend in November.  So look out for that giveaway starting on the 22nd.
  • November is coming up, and I plan to participate (sort of) in National Novel Writing Month.  I can't officially join the site this time, as I am not going to start a new novel.  My plan instead is to work on maybe finishing a novel I started several years ago through NaNoWriMo.  So, with planning to do a lot of writing, that will cut in a bit to my reading.  And so, I have the plan below for this:
  • I am planning to host a challenge in November.  I think I will name it similar to my September is for Sequels Challenge, and call it November is for Novellas.  There are so many 1.5 and 2.5 stories these days, like The Prince by Kiera Cass, that is part of The Selection series.  So I plan to buy or read as many of these as I need to throughout November.  The quick reads should go well with my writing that I am planning for NaNoWriMo.  I will open it up to others like I did the Sequels Challenge, and probably even hold a giveaway.  

So, what are your plans for the upcoming week?  How did you do last week with your goals and plans?  

Friday, October 11, 2013

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Before I get too far into my gushing about how much I loved this book, let me thank who made it possible for me to read an e-galley of it, Netgalley of course, and then Disney Publishing also.  Obviously I've told you before about how I used to be a science teacher, and how I love science fiction because of that.  I've also always been a fan of time travel.  Partly because some of it intrigues me, like all the paradox things.  I figure you'd always have to go ahead in time, because if you went back in time, you could mess things up, like in A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury.  That was my first book I think that clued me in to this issue.  Then of course The Time Machine by H.G.  Wells, was another book I'd read that I learned about this same issue.  And of course, one of the best time travel movies (or just best movies) of all time, Back to the Future.  Now while I've heard some people lately talking about how they didn't like the 2nd movie in that series, I have to disagree, because I feel like it really showed all those bad things that could happen.  Some clues in that movie though, that work with this book, is that seeing yourself doesn't seem to really cause a huge explosion or something terrible to happen.  While the book started out and I was unsure if I would be so into it, that didn't last long.  I immediately got into what was going on, and rooting for the main characters, Em and Finn.  When the book starts, they are in two cells right next to each other.  They can hear each other, but not see each other.  Hearing each other means they can hear when the other is getting tortured, which is part of the torture of the Doctor and the Director, the two evil people they are trying to change the world because of.  Then we jump to a girl named Marina, and her best friend James, who she also has a crush on, and he is also a Congressman's brother.  The relationship between her and James, and even the bit of animosity between her and James's new best friend, Finn.  Once things start happening, I began to realize that Finn must be Finn from the future, and Em, well, that must be Marina.  I believe the cover of the book, while obviously it is a clock/time piece of some sort, it also reminded me of the drain that Em/Marina was so obsessed with at the beginning of the book that was in her cell.  The drain turned out to have a clue in it.  A paper her future self (or maybe that was her past self?) had left that listed all the ways they'd gone back in time to fix what was happening, and how all of them were crossed out because they'd failed.  The last thing left says the only option left is "to kill him".  They don't want to do it, but Em and Finn go back to the past to try to fix it, and while they're supposed to kill the Doctor before he becomes the Doctor, it is not quite so easy.  You see the Doctor, is James.  And he will create the time machine, that he will then use to "make the world a better place."  Only the things he does don't always lead to a better future.  And some of the things he does, well, while less people die because of him, there are still innocent lives lost, and it makes the future world much worse than ours with security checks, and becomes a bit of a police state.
I have to say I was on the edge of my seat with this.  I could barely put it down to go do anything else, work, sleep, watch tv, etc.  I will be again ordering this for the library I work in as soon as I know I have the money to get it.  Now, while the ending was a bit ambiguous in knowing exactly how much had changed and whether it changed for the better or not, I still feel it ended well.  I think this was the perfect type of ending for this story.  I'm not sure I think there should be a sequel, although there is a part 2 listed for next year on Goodreads, and this says it is part of a series.  The writing was so good, that I will definitely be reading on when/if the sequel comes out, I just hope it will be as good as this one, and not mess up the story and how good it was in this first book.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Altered (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  My choice this week is one that I just finished the first book in the series less than a week ago, because I'm ready to see where it goes next!

Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

I will actually be getting a copy of this when the Fierce Reads Tour comes to my town the beginning of November.  While I will probably give my copy of the first book in the series, as well as this one after I'm done reading it, to my school library, I will still want to go see the author and get my picture taken with her.
So what book or books are you anticipating eagerly this week? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin

I got this book last May for free at the Romantic Times Convention Teen Day Event.  And I finally picked it up to read because the author will be coming to my town in November as part of the Fierce Reads tour, along with Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, and Ann Aguirre.  So far I'd only read Jessica Brody's Unidentified, because I'd gotten it with a Fierce Reads box earlier this summer.  Which, I do intend to hold a Fierce Reads giveaway after this event, and will probably be posting a Rafflecopter a week or two before the event when I go see the authors.  But anyway, back to my review of Crewel
As you probably know if you've been following and reading my reviews for awhile, I'm a big fan of dystopia.  And this is definitely a dystopian story.  And the story I really enjoyed, I truly cared about the characters and learning more about this "perfect" society.  The only problem I had with the story was my science teacher brain had trouble really following what would be called the "science" behind this world.  I don't feel it was ever quite explained to the point that I could grasp it really.  But really, once I just forgot about that and read the story, and let my science teacher brain go sit in the back, I loved the story. 
In the story, the world is planned and supplies are created in order to create a "perfect" world.  No one should go hungry thanks to the women who "spin" the threads to make these things happen.  They spin to create food in different areas.  They spin to create the weather and all the other things that are needed.  The women who do this are special, revered.  Although once people hid their daughters from being taken to do this, now it is an honor.  These women, actually girls when they are chosen, are called Spinsters.  And see, I just love that this is what they are called, because they do not get married or have children, so grow to be old women who are alone, which is what a "spinster" is.  The ones who are the best weavers get to work with the highest/most complicated of layers in the world.  They get to rip people as needed, which basically means they disappear from the world.  Death it is assumed.  They can reprogram people, neighborhoods, even whole towns to make sure things don't become a problem for the government and keeping the peace.  Something that the world before them didn't do, and so now it is a "perfect" world the way it is ran.  Only, really it seems quite sexist.  The women can only have jobs like teachers, secretaries, the kind of jobs women only used to be allowed earlier on Earth.  Families are segregated in most towns based on whether they have sons or daughters.  Girls and boys are kept separate until the age of 16 when girls take the test to see if they have the talent to be given the honor of becoming a spinster.  If they do not, then they will be married off, and take one of the available jobs for women.  Adelice is our main character, and while her parents have known from when she was very young that she did have the talent, in fact a very advanced talent of being able to spin the threads without even needing a loom, they have trained her to be clumsy, and how to fail the test.  They have taught her how a life as a spinster is a sad and lonely one, where she will never get to come home and be with her family.  Unfortunately, all the training is lost when Adelice slips on the test and shows her talent.  She doesn't want to tell her family, decides to enjoy one last dinner as a happy family before she is taken.  Only when the Guild shows up to get her, Adelice finds out just how far her family will go to protect her from being taken.  And she also learns just how much she can lose by trying to fight the Guild. 
Like I said, a really good, creative, unique take on a futuristic dystopian world.  I love how the weaving is like the Fates in ancient Greek myths.  And I love how the author tries to give it some scientific explanation, even if I just didn't see it as a real science, it was woven into a beautiful tapestry of a story.  And yet again, what a beautiful cover!