Saturday, November 30, 2013

Innocence by Dean Koontz

First of all thanks to Bantam Publishing and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I must admit I'm a bit behind on my Dean Koontz books, well at least the Odd Thomas ones.  But when I saw a chance to get to read a Dean Koontz book early through Edelweiss I jumped at the chance!  You see I'd probably rank Dean Koontz as one of the authors I most want to meet, but one that I rarely see any opportunities to meet.  And you know from following my blog that I try to meet every author I get the chance to.  This was a good story, much quicker and easier to read than the last one that I did struggle through a bit, 77 Shadow Street.
Our main character is a man named Addison Goodheart.  Addison has lived a hard life.  When he was born, there was something so horrific about him that the midwife and her assistant wanted to kill him.  His mother didn't let them, and sent them away.  But even she had trouble having him around and looking at him.  Once he reached a certain age, she made him live outside the house, in the forest, often he would sleep in the garage.  Once in awhile she would call him up to talk with her and she'd tell him things about her past.  But then one day she called him up to tell him she couldn't live with him even that close anymore, and she told him to leave.  He did, because he loved his mother, and knew she loved him in her own way.  On the way, he heard a gunshot, and knew that she had killed herself.  Whether it was something she'd planned, or if she just couldn't bear having to send her son away, he didn't know.  As he traveled, he came upon people that would hurt him.  One time he saw a man that had been beat almost to death, and he tried to comfort him.  But when this man looked into his eyes, he began to try to attack Addison, even though he was dying himself.  Also along the journey, there were some dogs, and while Addison had never had any trouble with the wild animals in the forest, he assumed that since dogs were tamed and the most like humans, that they, like humans would be repulsed and try to hurt him.  But that wasn't the case, as with all Dean Koontz books, the dogs are the good guys.  The dogs liked him and wanted to play with him, and maybe even would have traveled with him.  But when Addison heard a hunter's voice, he told the dogs to go back, and he ran as fast as he could to get away.  He hopped onto the back of a truck, and just stayed on it until it stopped.  Which was in a city.  In the city he ran into a man that was like him.  This man kind of adopted him, and became his father.
We join the actual story after Addison's father has died, and all these things we've learned through flashbacks.  Addison meets Gwyneth on one of  his late night forays into the city.  His father was given a key to the food bank, and also a good will for clothes.  And he also taught Addison how to get around the city at night without being seen.  Including visits to the library, so that they can find books to read.  As they must live underground, in a long forgotten room.  This night he is in the library when he sees a girl run past.  He hides, as he doesn't want anyone to see him, as that is dangerous for him.  And he soon hears a man that is chasing her.  The girl is able to give the guy the slip, and she ends up hiding in a secret room in the library.  Addison knows the room, and goes to knock on the door, and tell the girl that if she wants to talk to him, he will be in a specific area waiting for her.  Once they meet, he stays back, telling her that he doesn't want to be seen.  This works well as she also has a social type of phobia in that she doesn't want to be touched.  Both agree to do as the other has asked, and a sort of friendship begins.  One that also leads them both into more trouble, and to the main storyline of the book I guess.  I won't go much more into the story, just to say that what we are told may not be what really is, even based on what the characters themselves think not being true.  There are secrets to find, even in the tragedies that have occurred.  And in the end, could it be that Addison and Gwyneth's "shortcomings" could be what will save the world?
I like how we are given hints of what is actually happening through brief scenes of what is showing on the tv, or on a newspaper's headlines.  As I said before, as I was reading, I just remember how much I love the way Dean Koontz always makes the dogs good guys.  I love dogs, when I see one, I just want to pet it and hug it.  I own two dogs now, and can't imagine life without them, even in the midst of housebreaking one of them.  Truly, there is only one issue I had with the book, and it is the use of a term, that I did look up, but I'm not sure why it was needed.  The term is "groin-vaulted" ceiling.  Yes, it is a real term, and I looked up the pictures on line.  But not sure it really added to the story?  Was a kind of distraction to see that and picture in my mind what that might be before I actually looked it up.  But that is not the story, and as I said, the story was really good.  If you are a long-time Dean Koontz fan, I believe this is one you will really enjoy, as it hearkens back to his earlier books.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #10: Neverfall (Everneath 1.5) by Brodi Ashton

This is one of my favorite novellas of all that I've read so far this month.  Not only are we getting a look at the first book, and some of the 2nd book, from Cole's point of view, we also get almost a whole other storyline, that I'm eager to see if it carries on into the 3rd book.

This story tells Cole's side of his first meeting with Nikki.  We get to see her true, or as he calls it, "epic" love, from his eyes.  What he sees is quite a bit different from what we see through Nikki's eyes.  The story kind of jumps all over the place, not in a confusing way, but it isn't like we follow a storyline straight through. There are lots of times we jump back to that first night when they met.  And Cole is thinking he wants to take over and rule the Everneath, something that can only be done by a Forfeit that survives the Feed like she does.  Since she chose Jack at the end of the first book over him, he decides he must find out what makes the ones who survive different.  So he even goes to the dangerous Delphines to get some answers.  And in doing so, he kind of goes back on his deal with them, and is thrown into their prison.  While in the prison he realizes he doesn't want just a girl like Nikki, he wants her, he loves her, he can't live without her.
Again I have to say this was a really awesome story.  While it did definitely depend on the original story, it also was quite a story on its own.  I'm now really eager to read the 3rd book to find out what happens next, and if Cole's little time in the dungeon and what he learned there will carry over into the story.

Let's see, there are only 4 days left, but if you want to join into my November is for Novellas Challenge, that would only be one novella a day, I think you could do it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cursed (Voodoo Nights #1) by Lizzy Ford

First I have to say thanks to Netgalley and Indie Ink Publishing for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I was of course first drawn to it by the cover, and then the description was intriguing, there aren't as many books about voodoo out there, so I thought it would be a different thing to read.  And now with this season of American Horror Story having voodoo in it, I can see that this book could be a big hit!
There are really two main characters:  Adrienne and Jayden.  Jayden's family on his mother's side are really big into voodoo.  But Jayden doesn't believe all that stuff.  He lives with his father, a man who is kind of the black Steve Jobs.  A whiz at computers.  And very wealthy.  Adrienne has a similar family, her mother's side is very into voodoo.  But she has come to live with her father, who while he isn't into voodoo, definitely respects it.  Adrienne has the power to read Tarot cards, and so works at a psychics parlor. This is the first place she and Jayden come into contact (sort of).  She does a reading for Jayden's sister Tara, and has these extra cards that are for the person Tara came with.  But she doesn't ever go out and actually see Jayden.  Adrienne has come to this fancy school on a scholarship for her singing.  She is also there to maybe find out what happened to her sister who disappeared, possibly died, 5 years ago.  When Jayden first hears Adrienne singing at school he stops to see her and is smitten.  But both of them have curses on their families.  The oldest child in each generation dies.  For Adrienne it was her older sister, for Jayden, it would be him, but the curse was only for the first 99, and he is the 100th oldest child.  But his grandmother warns him of a white zombie girl that he needs to watch out for.  And when she meets Adrienne, she thinks it is her.  Jayden has an ex-girlfriend that tries to put hexes on him.  She also is a "mean girl" and plans a prank on Adrienne, but not only that, hexes her.
The story behind the curses is very intriguing.  What happened in Jayden's past is pretty horrific, something his ancestor was a part of.  I only wish maybe there was a bit more of some specifics about the actual rituals.  But it is still interesting to hear about the gods that they pray to and believe in.  The book does leave off quite suddenly.  So I will be interested to see where it goes next.  An interesting read for sure, and you do care about the characters.  One thing that would have been nice is if they had put the eyes of the girl on the cover.  There are so many times her eyes are described, that it would be a really neat cover if you added that.

Monday, November 25, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #9: Life Before Legend (Legend #0.5) by Marie Lu

This was a fun way to see some of the things that made the characters the people they are in the book.
 Although I would love to have a book that tells how the country got to the state it is in.  You know, more than just the explanations we get in the books.  This novella is actually two stories.  One about Day's first kiss, which also happens to be June's first day at the Academy.  In Day's story we are learning what life was like for him shortly after he'd escaped from "failing" his exam.  He's living on the streets, mostly by stealing food when he can.  Well, he tries to set up a distraction to steal some cans of food from a shipment. But he's caught, by a girl a few years older than him.  It seems it is her father's shipment.  She offers him the chance to work to make up for trying to steal, and she promises to pay him with a can of food for each day he works.  Day grows to like working there, but he must not stay as he can't be found.  Finally after a big event causes trouble for the girl's father, he begins to see more the way he can fight, but still he must leave, and he does.  It is this big event that actually is the beginning of June's story.  June is on her way to the first day at the academy, but the traffic is held up because of a truck and something going on in the road in their way.  Once June gets there, of course she is much younger than the other students, and right away there is one big bully that picks on her.  But she stand up for herself, not by fighting, but by not backing down.  She still gets in trouble, but does gain respect from the other students who are pleased to see someone else deal with the bully.  But she sees right away she isn't going to make friends, the age difference is just too much between teenagers.
All in all, a fun look at some background stories.  Hey, you've got less than a week to join into my November is for Novellas Challenge yourself.  But, it's only 4 that you need to read, and I'm sure anyone can do that over Thanksgiving break, right?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - November 24th, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. Got a few things this week.  

Checked out from the library:

As I mentioned in my Ruby Red review, I needed to check out the sequel, Sapphire Blue, in order to go on to read the ARC of Emerald Green that is sitting on my shelf.  And then I've been hearing some great things about the book Red Hill by Jamie McGuire.  And my friend, who has suggested a lot of my now favorite books to me, said I had to read Beautiful Disaster first, so I stopped and checked it out of the library at the same time as Sapphire Blue.

Won in a contest:

I've heard so much about this book, that when I won an Amazon gift card from the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop at Book Angel Booktopia, I decided this was the book to order.

Trade from YA Book Exchange:

Traded this for a hardcover copy of Siege and Storm that I had.  Another book I've been waiting a long time to read.  

What about you?  What did you get this week?

And hey, one more week to enter my November is for Novellas Challenge!  Just plan to read 4 novellas this last week of November.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

I've wanted to read this book since  first saw it on the shelf in the bookstore where I work.  Then a while back it was on sale for like $1.99 for the e-book, and so I bought it.  Plus, I got an ARC of the 3rd book, Emerald Green, so now I had a reason to go ahead and get it read!  And with doing my November is for Novellas Challenge, I've pretty much only read books on my Nook between the challenge and the e-galleys I needed to read before they expired, so this fell into that category.  Let me say that I wasn't really disappointed, the story was really good, one that you don't want to put down.  In fact, yesterday on my lunch break I got to where there were only 15 pages left in the book, but I had to put it down and go back to work.  I was not happy.
Okay, the first thing I want to get out of the way is the only negative I have.  And what that is, well, it is the science teacher in me again.  I have always read, or seen in movies, or just figured that anything that changed something in the past, would automatically change the future.  The whole Butterfly Effect, you know?  And honestly, I don't really see that happening in this story.  Something that happens in all the time travel stories, Back to the Future, The Time Machine, A Sound of Thunder.  I think it was even alluded to in Looper.  So, moving past that point, I did really like the story like I said earlier.  But this one thing is what kept me from giving it a 5 star review on Goodreads.
The story is about Gwyneth, and her perfect cousin Charlotte.  They come from a family of time travelers.  Well, not everyone, there is one in each generation it seems.  It was both Gwyneth and Charlotte's aunt Lucy who was the time traveler.  Now it seems that Charlotte is supposed to be the one who will carry the gene for time traveling, as she was born on the right day.  A day that supposedly Isaac Newton had calculated.  Gwyneth was born the day after, and so hasn't been raised like Charlotte, with lessons to prepare for traveling to different time periods by learning history, or different countries by learning languages, and even learning fencing and other self defense strategies.  But on the day that it seems will probably be Charlotte's first day to travel, Gwyneth seems to be having the sympathetic dizziness and queasiness that Charlotte is told will signify her first time travel.  But until she has actually traveled, they can't get her registered into the Chronograph which will help to control when and where and how long they time travel for.  Well, as you might guess, Gwyneth turns out to be the one who does the time traveling.  So now she has to make up for all the years of not being trained, and her mother has some explaining to do on how this could be.  Now, I didn't mention yet, but her Aunt Lucy stole the chronograph and ran back into the past with one of the other family's time travelers.  Now the other family, the de Villiers seem to have the male heirs.  In this time it is Gideon, who is a few years older than Gwyneth.  And at first, he seems pretty stuck up and condescending to her.  After all, she's not been trained, he doesn't know her like he knows Charlotte, and Gwyneth has always seemed like one of the silly girls he went to school with.  So now Gwyneth must travel in time to do the missions that will complete the 2nd chronograph, without the training, and with someone who seems to have no respect for her.
Again, I really enjoyed the story.  One very neat thing, is that this was originally in German, and has been translated.  And I guess in German speaking countries it is a very popular series.  So now I'm going to get the sequel, Sapphire Blue, from the library, so I can go on to read my ARC of Emerald Green.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #8: Radiant (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand

Reading this novella made me realize how much I need to finish this series.  It almost made me do Wishlist Wednesday instead of Waiting on Wednesday this week.  But I didn't.  This was another good novella.  But because it had been awhile since I'd read the 2nd book, it did take me a minute to remember who Angela was.  This story is told from both Angela and Clara's point of view.  Which I kind of liked, because we get to read about how Angela met her "angel" boyfriend, well maybe not boyfriend, but guy she's in love with anyway.  It was nice to remember what had happened as we left off from the 2nd book as well.  In the story Clara is with Angela visiting her family in Italy.  Which is just so neat on its own.  And we go back and forth between the two girls.  Learning about Angela's angel named Phen, as well as getting to see what Clara is thinking about with her own "boy" that is no longer hers back home.  Also how Clara is doing with the loss of her mother and what she'd learned about her true father.  I know now that I'm going to have to get my hands on the 3rd book in the series, Boundless, soon.
Hey, you're here, and there is still time to join into my November is for Novellas challenge.  Just plan to read 4 novellas by the end of the month!  And there is a giveaway for the participants, and with only 2 participants besides myself right now, the chances are pretty good!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne

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 haven't participated in this since last month, just haven't been quite sure which book to pick, or I was waiting for a cover to be released, or I had other things to post.  But here is a book that I just read some e-novellas from the series as part of my November is for Novellas Challenge.  If you haven't read the Monument 14 series yet, you need to get started!  The third book in the trilogy is supposed to come out next year, in May.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.

What do you think?  Sounds good, right?  What book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

While you're here, don't forget to stop by my spot on the Gratitude Giveaway Hop.

And if you think you'll read at least 4 novellas this month, there is still time to join into my November is for Novellas Challenge, which comes with a giveaway for participants as well!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #7: Tooth and Nail (Benny Imura 3.5) by Jonathan Maberry

Now there are actually several other novellas earlier in the series, many of which were free, I just need to get them onto my Nook and read them!  But this is one that is near and dear to my heart, even before I read it.  If you've been following me for awhile, you've probably heard me talk about how I got to help name this one!  In fact, as I was reading, and I got to page 3, where I saw this:

That's me that it says special thanks to first!!!  And let me say, I am so glad this is the novella I get to have my name in, it was soooo good!  Totally left me hanging at the end, wanting to keep reading!  I haven't read book number 4, so now I'm probably going to have to check it out from school and go ahead and read it so I can see what happens and if anything else from this short novella will make its way into the story.

In this story we meet up with Benny and Nix and Lilah and kind of with Chong at the Area 51 Sanctuary that we left them at in the last book.  They're training, but Benny is having trouble dealing with their trainer.  We also meet a group of girls that are all that is left of a once larger group of survivors.  We meet them as they come across the reapers, Saint John's group, who are traveling to try to find the towns that Benny and his friends came from.  They've met another one of the Zombie card characters we've heard about Iron Mike Sweeney.  They think they've killed him in trying to get answers about the towns.  Only when Brother Marty goes back to check, he's gone.  The whole time Saint John and Brother Marty talked to him, they both felt there was something very strange about the man.  He had red eyes first off, so right away weird.  It also seems the reapers have made it to the Sanctuary as Benny finds when he goes off on his own after a frustrating training session.  And something that is really cool?  I haven't read the Joe Ledger series, but he shows up in this book, as well as I believe he was in book 3.
A really good in between story.  Can't wait to read book 4 now, although I'm almost scared to, as I'm not sure I want the story to end!  And because I have to share it every time I read one of his books, here is my photo of when I met the author at BEA back in the summer of 2012.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #6: The Prince (The Selection 0.5) by Kiera Cass

I really enjoyed this novella as well as most of the others that I've read this month.  And it made me so ready to read #3.  Just a quick review.  We get to know Maxon for the short time up until the girls come for The Selection.  We also learn that there was kind of a girl in his life.  A princess from another country.  Unfortunately Maxon's father, the king, doesn't want that kind of a connection, he wants Maxon to get married the same way he did.  Although it seems as if maybe his father is having more input into choosing the first selection than other kings had in the past.  We get to see how he interacts with his mother, as well as his view of the first meeting he had with America in the first book, The Selection.  It was such a neat thing to get that side of the story.  It reminds me of how much I enjoyed Midnight Sun, Edward's viewpoint of Twilight, until of course someone leaked it and we didn't get to read anymore.  This novella left me wanting more.  I see that there will be a 2.5 called The Guard, which of course will be about Aspen.  America's love before the selection took place.  But how about a 1.5 giving us more information about Maxon?  I want his point of view on what happens with him and the other girls.  All the things we're wondering about in book 2.  If anyone knows Kiera Cass, could you tell her I want that?  Thanks!
And, hey, while you're here, if you're going to be reading at least 4 novellas yourself this month, be sure to go join my November is for Novellas Challenge, only 2 weeks left, you can do it!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Post #3 and Stacking the Shelves November 17th, 2013

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.   I don't have many books to share for Stacking the Shelves, so thought I'd do the Sunday Post again.

Last Week on My Blog:

This Week on My Blog:
  • Review of The Prince (The Selection 0.5) by Kiera Cass
  • Review of Unstrung (Unwind 1.5) by Neal Shusterman
  • Top 10 Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Feature and Follow Friday or The Friday 56
  • Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Not much to share this week.

Won in the Authors are Rock Stars Blog Hop:

I received in the mail a copy of Inside, books 1 and 2 in the series.  I won this from Two Chicks on Books.

E-galleys received from Netgalley:

First, I'm very excited to get the 3rd book in the Ripper series by Amy Carol Reeves.  You can read my reviews of the first two in the series here:  Ripper, Renegade.  The 2nd book, Neverwas, is a sequel to an ARC I got at BEA 2012, Amber House.  One that is still sitting on my shelf.  So, guess that will be coming out in the next week or so to be read so that I can get started on the sequel.  The third book, Playing With Matches, is another holocaust story that I am really looking forward to reading.

So that is my week in review.  How was your week?  And don't forget, there is still time for you to join my November is for Novellas Challenge, all you have to do is plan to read 4 novellas sometime this month.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2013 Gratitude Giveaway Hop

I'm very grateful for my followers this year.  I'm over 1600 on GFC, so that is exciting!  So I decided to participate in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer.  There is only one thing you need to do to enter, just follow me any way that you'd like, and then tell me how you follow in the Rafflecopter.  And if you have time, I'd love for you to leave a comment below telling me what you are thankful for this year.  My prize will be any book you'd like valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository.  It is open Internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you.  You can check that HERE.  Once you've clicked that one button on my Rafflecopter, be sure to hop along to the other blogs with giveaways in the Linky below it.
P.S. - If you think you might read at least 4 novellas this month, go join into my November is for Novellas Challenge, only one awesome follower has signed up, and there is a giveaway for participants as part of it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November is for Novellas Challenge #5: The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered 1.5) by A.G. Howard

I loved Splintered when I read it at the end of last year, and when I saw on Goodreads that there was a novella, one that kind of would help me last till the 2nd book came out, I had to have it, and so bought it with my birthday Barnes and Noble gift card for my Nook.  I would say this is definitely another novella that adds to the story.
We get Jeb's side of the story, things that were happening to him while Morpheus had Alyssa out passing his tests, to see if she could be the next rightful queen of Wonderland.  But, really, it is kind of through Morpheus's point of view.  You see Morpheus is able to get into Jeb's memories thanks to some good old fashioned magic.  So we get to also see how Morpheus reacts to what happened to Jeb when he wasn't around, and since he is in Jeb's head in a way, how Morpheus deals with Jeb's emotions as well.
I won't go much into the story, we know the basics as told through Alyssa's eyes in Splintered, this just fills in some missing pieces.  At only about 40 pages, it is another quick read, but, like the original novel, there is so much beautiful detail and description, that while it seems to be over fast, because you're so involved, it still is a lasting impression that you just get so involved in, thanks to that wonderful scene setting and character development.
Of course now I'm just ready to go ahead and read my e-galley of Unhinged, but it's not the next one I need to read, so I have to wait.  This was definitely worth the $1.99 it cost me for the e-book.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top 10 Tuesdays: Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish.   I often have trouble coming up with a total of ten for the top 10, and today is no different, but the book I finished yesterday isn't published till next year, so I can't post my review just yet.  But I like this topic this week, and I do have 8, some of them are series, so I'll count those to make up for the 2 I don't have.
This book hasn't been released yet, so maybe they'll change it.  And I guess it does kind of have to do with the story.  I just don't like it.  Sorry.
Now, I do love the cover, and I do think it is pretty but there is just something that makes it seem like it is for more of a middle grades reader than a high school/teen reader.  The 2nd book in the series I do like the cover better.  And while I know again, this cover has to do with the story, I just am not a fan.
The problem I had with the original cover wasn't that it wasn't attractive.  I mean it grabs your attention.  But, it really had nothing to do with the book in my opinion.  It was just another generic girl in a beautiful formal dress, but why?  The newer covers, and the paperback of this one, are much better.
The cover of this one is one of the main reasons I wasn't ever interested in reading it.  That is until I saw a preview for the movie, that told me what it was about, and then I was very intrigued.  I'd say again it is a cover that doesn't really have much to do with the story.

So in this case, I loved the original hardback cover that you see on the left.  The one on the right is cool, and makes sense with the story, maybe more than the first one, but once I'd already seen the first one, and loved it, it was just kind of plain to me.  And then the rest in the series ended up looking like the paperback cover, so it seems that we missed out on what might have been some more intriguing covers.
 Something similar happened with the Across the Universe series from Beth Revis.  Only we had the really beautiful covers for the first two books, which changed for the paperback, okay, I know that happens.  But then when the 3rd one came out, it got the same type of cover as the paperbacks, and no beautiful cover like the first two hardcovers.

This is the same thing as with Nightshade, you had a beautiful cover that really grabbed your attention, and then it went to this boring picture of a generic girl's face in paperback.  The rest of the series followed suit, so no more of the original type of cover.

 Now while I do actually like the newer series covers on the right, I already had all of the original covers.  Not only that, but they changed the title of the book!  What in the world is the point of that?

So, I really only have 8 listed, but for some of them, the series, there is more than one book in the series that I don't like the cover for, so I'll count it at 10.  What about you?  What do you think of my choices?  Do you have any books that you wish you could change the cover of?

While you're here, don't forget to join my November is for Novellas Challenge and try to get some of those cleared off your TBR lists, and maybe off your e-readers this month!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this at the RT Convention back in May of 2013 when it was in my hometown of Kansas City.  I got to meet the author, and of course got the ARC autographed.  I've had it up by my jacuzzi tub, and have been reading it whenever I get a chance to take a nice relaxing bubble bath.  Once again I have to say that this book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but this time it kind of blew me away!  A really great story!
When it talks about being scared of the dark, it has to do with an alternate universe, one where in the dark there are creatures that kill.  Yet somehow they now seem to be in our main character, Josie's universe.  We start out and Josie's life is just going downhill.  Her dad has moved out, her mom seems to have changed a lot, almost a different person.  She's been so stressed about her parents that she'd not been spending as much time with her boyfriend.  Which leads to him breaking up with her.  And not just breaking up with her, but having been seeing her best friend all this time.  So now she's not only lost her boyfriend,  but her best friend.  And she's been made the laughingstock of the school.  She also loses her job, another reason that has kept her away from her boyfriend.  She's had trouble getting there on time, and this one day, as she gets stuck at the train track, she seems to fall asleep, and be woken up by an explosion, and all of a sudden it is much later than she remembered.  This little episode occurred at 3:59 pm.  That night she can't sleep, and notices as she looks into her mirror that she sees another room, like hers, but not exactly.  And she sees herself, kind of.  It turns out that the mirror is a link to this other world.  In this world it seems that her alternate self is still with her boyfriend, Nick.  And she still has her father living at home.  And it seems like a wealthier house, the furniture and decorations much more expensive looking.  Eventually she figures out how to communicate with her "self".  And they agree to switch places for just a day.  Only, when Josie tries to see Jo at the end of the day to switch back, after finding out things aren't quite as good as her twin, "Jo" made them out to be, the mirror is no longer facing her room.  It is facing a wall.  And Josie has no way to get home.  Now she is stuck in this alternate universe, and all she wants is to get back to her real world.  But she learns things here have affected her own universe, and she must do what she can to make things right here, in order to stop things from going wrong in her own universe.
This was a great story.  Lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.  I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading more of this author's books.

Horrible shot of me, but here I am with the author, Gretchen McNeil.

Here is the autograph in the book.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - November 9th, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. This week I started getting some of those books I won finally, as well as I bought a couple that were for my Fierce Reads Birthday Contest Winners.  First let me begin with a recap of the Fierce Reads Event last Tuesday night.

Books Purchased:

The first one, Altered (Crewel #2) by Gennifer Albin was the book I chose to get with my paid ticket to the Fierce Reads Event.  The second one, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, I bought for one of my Fierce Reads Giveaway winners.  The third one, Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre, I bought for myself to get autographed.  I haven't read any of this series, but I do have the first one as an e-book that I got for a great deal.  So I wanted to have all the authors give an autograph, so this was how I got hers.  The other books I got autographed that night were once I'd received as part of my Fierce Reads Events package.  

I also got a copy of a sneak peek to the sequel to Jessica Brody's book Unremembered, which will be called Unforgotten.

Here is a picture of the four Fierce Reads authors during the interview at the event.  From left to right, Gennifer Albin, Jessica Brody, Leigh Bardugo, and Ann Aguirre.

And it just seemed it would be easier to have my picture taken with all of the authors together than with each one, in the name of saving time, so I'm in the back, and the authors are in the same order as the picture above.

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

The first, Tease by Amanda Maciel, sounds like a really good story about bullying.  Really current with actual events that are taking place today.  The second, The Taking by Kimberly Derting, sounds like a fun alien story.  The third, Hungry by H.A. Swain, is a dystopian where people no longer eat, they take pills/vitamins for that.  I'm very intrigued by that, as a friend and I were just talking about how we would be ready for that, thinking it would sure help in trying to lose weight.  The fourth, Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, looks like a really good book about a girl whose family is friends with Hitler, and how she comes to be friends with a Jewish reporter and wonders about her whole life.

Won in Giveaways:

I won The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith from Ina at Ina's Bookish Corner.  I believe it was part of the Authors are Rockstars tour in August.  The 2nd picture is not only a book that I won, but a bunch of great swag!  It was Insomnia by J.R. Johansson, and I won it from Alexandra at the Sleeps on Tables blog.  I got a copy of the book, a little backpack, some bookmarks, and a bottle of "pills" to help keep me awake!  (The pills were yummy Skittles,  my favorite candy!)  I was really excited when I won this contest because it was a book I'd requested as an e-galley, but it expired before I could read it.

So what did you get this week?  And if you're going to be reading any Novellas this month, go join my November is for Novellas Challenge.