Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Well, once again this year, I didn't do a good job at making sure to comment in my reviews if they were for this challenge or not.  So, it took me awhile to figure out if I met my goal of 11-20 books or not.  Here are the books that count for this challenge, and a link to their reviews:

  1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  2. Undead by Kirsty McKay
  3. Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett
  4. Whatever You Make of It by Michelle Sodaro
  5. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  6. Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
  7. All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin
  8. Because it is My Blood (Birthright #2) by Gabrielle Zevin
  9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  10. My Boring-Ass Life by Kevin Smith
  11. The Coffin Quilt by Ann Rinaldi
  12. Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin
  13. Tales from the Scales by Erin J. Shea
  14. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  15. After:  Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  16. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  17. Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
  18. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
  19. Quarantine:  The Loners by Lex Thomas
  20. From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die #2) by Katie Alender
  21. The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  22. Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
  23. Scorch (Croak #2) by Gina Damico
  24. Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
  25. Origin by Jessica Khoury
So as you can see, I beat my goal by 5 books!  Yay!  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Origin by Jessica Khoury

I've had this book sitting on my TBR pile for quite awhile now.  I picked it up off the table where my bookstore puts ARCs for us to look at and read.  I haven't received as many ARCs from the bookstore anymore due to one of the Children's leads now reading them and taking them.  :-(  Oh well.  I finally got around to this when I saw a sequel available as an e-galley on Edelweiss.
I'd seen many reviews of this, one even talking about a kitten being killed, and that almost made me not want to read it.  I'm not a huge cat fan, allergies, so I'm more of a dog fan.  But I can't stand to see animals get hurt.  But I went ahead and read the book, knowing that would be happening.
If you haven't read this yet, it was a quick read.  Definitely one that caught my attention and kept the pages turning.  The main character of the book is Pia.  She is immortal, and "perfect" according to all the people at the lab where she lives in the middle of a rainforest.  Pia has been educated about just about everything.  She can walk past plants and animals and tell you everything about them, clear from Kingdom all the way to genus and species.  One thing she knows nothing about though is the rest of the world.  She's never been outside of what they call Little Cam.  She has been taught only what she needs to know to join the scientists and the Immortis team.  And now she is being tested to see if she can be one of them.  The tests are some horrible things at times, like the test with the kitten.  Her mother does live there, but has never really been motherly to her.  Her father is there, but because of how things work there, she calls him Uncle.  She calls everyone there either Aunt or Uncle.  She was made through 5 generations of the Immoris serum being given in small amounts.  Any more than was given and it would be deadly.  What she wants more than anything is to have more people like herself.  And so Pia's goal is to get on the team and discover a quicker way to create more immortals, so that she doesn't have to wait 5 generations for a mate or others like herself.  All of this comes from a very rare flower that is impossible to move and replant anywhere other than where it grows.  Which is nearby and why the lab is where it is.  Pia begins to get a bit more curious about the outside world, especially as her birthday approaches.  The whole compound has chosen to celebrate with a party like she has begged for.  And right about this same time, a new female scientist shows up.  She gives Pia a map of the world, and talks about things that she's not supposed to, which also leads to Pia becoming more interested about the outside world and all that she doesn't know.  When a storm goes through, and leaves a hole in the fence, Pia takes the chance and sneaks out.  She finds a boy named Eio, and through him, a small tribe, and learns more about both herself, and the studies going on at her lab.
A lot of interesting twists in the story, and with the way it ended, I'm not quite sure how there will be a sequel, other than how we were told about the main corporation that sponsored the lab having secret labs like this all over the world.  I can't wait to read on, and the kitten killing part is sad, but not anything that I think was done in a way that made it more than an important point in the story.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Stacking the Shelves of 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 turned out to be a pretty good week, and I actually only got 1 book as a Christmas gift.  I didn't used to do this meme because I didn't feel like I got many books to share, this year it seems like I keep getting more and more.  Maybe that is how come my TBR pile keeps getting so big.  Anyway, so here we go, my last STS post of the year.

Checked out from the library:

Since I won the ARC of the sequel from Epic Reads, I had to of course check the first in the series out so that I could get going.

ARC received in the mail:

I think I requested this from a contest in the Shelf Awareness newsletter.  I looked through it, and unfortunately as I'm not really much of a cook, and many of the recipes included types of ingredients that I don't eat, I passed this on to a fellow employee at the bookstore where I work who does enjoy cooking.  The interesting thing about that?  She is actually a former student of mine at the middle school where I used to teach.

Christmas present:

I got this from my sister's boyfriend.  I've seen it at the bookstore where I work, but haven't ever had a chance to read it.  It will be on my TBR list for 2014!

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

You may recognize the first book above as one that I had for my Waiting on Wednesday post a week or so ago.  The second book is another I requested that I thought sounded pretty good!  The third book is the sequel to one I read earlier this year called Proxy.  

E-books purchased:

It was a great deal, and now I can finally finish the series!!

And a non-book, but still for reading, a magazine that I got this week:

As I said before, this has been one of the best years it seems.  Although mostly with e-galleys, not as many ARCs as years past.  But hey, getting to read a book is good in whatever form, right?  I guess I just need to make some contacts at some publishers maybe to get some actual ARCs.  I'd also like to get invited to some of the parties that I only heard about at BEA 2 years ago.  Will have to figure those things out as well!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

Once again a trilogy that ends on a great note!  There were definitely some deaths that sucked.  But it wasn't anything that ruined how the story went or ended.  Of course, I first need to say thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  It was so hard to finish the book, knowing that this was a trilogy, and now it was over.  I want so much to read on in this story and find out what happens next.  As I've seen others post on Goodreads, I would also be happy with a story on Roar.  Maybe we could go on with the story, but from his point of view.  Or whatever girl he might be able to find love with after losing Liv?  I don't know.  I just know I'm not ready to leave this world.  Okay, I will try not to spoil the story, but if you haven't read the first two, you should probably stop reading now.
We start where the 2nd book left off.  The Tides, as well as whatever of Aria's people from the pods that left with her are now living in the cave.  Hess and Sable have their own people, as well as Cinder.  Roar and Perry are still having issues, but Aria needs them to talk and get their friendship back on track.  Aria and Perry are not going to hide their relationship anymore.  And the big goal now is to get Cinder back.  And maybe, just maybe, get the people in the cave to the Still Blue.  This is something that needs to be done, so they don't end up having to live permanently in the cave.  The aether storms are getting worse.  The people from Aria's home are scared of the Tides and other people in the cave.  Aria must figure a way to get them to all work together so that they can figure a way to go rescue Cinder and save themselves.  They have a plan, but of course there will be obstacles.  Sable is quite the evil man, and soon Hess even figures out he is being double crossed, but when he tries to work a deal with Perry and Aria, it doesn't go so well.  There is also someone from Aria's past that we meet in this book, and it even leads to a new way of life or at least of thinking for her.
This final installment has tons of emotional bits, lots of adventure and action.  Even moments when you just know that the good guys have to be defeated, that you just know someone important must be dead, although you hope not since there was never a definitive scene showing that.  And in the end, well, it pretty much ends on a great note.  I don't believe you'll be disappointed with how it ends, just as I wasn't.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

This is an ARC I got back when I attended BEA in 2012.  It had been just sitting on my TBR pile until I saw that there was a sequel available on Netgalley.  Then I decided I'd better go ahead and read it so that I could request the sequel.  I got this ARC by requesting it at a booth because it sounded good.  I'm not quite as bold as a lot of other people were at BEA.  I didn't just go up and grab things.  I always felt like I needed to make sure it was okay. Especially after one booth I went to and started to take something, only to be informed the stuff in that booth was only for display.  As many awesome authors that I got to meet, and cool books that I got, I did have a few negative experiences at BEA like that.  So I was kind of a bit timid about just taking things like lots of other people did.  This coming summer I'll be more prepared, and hopefully know better what to do.
Anyway, this was a ghost story, and it was definitely a very interesting one.  In a way it wasn't necessarily ghosts, but almost time travel.  The main character was Sarah Parsons.  She has come to Amber House because her grandmother has passed away, and so there is the funeral, and then getting the house ready to be sold.  Only this is a special house.  It has been in the family for years, and it has quite the history.  A history that Sarah seems to be seeing whenever she touches certain objects within the home.  Turns out that her ability may be something that has been shared with others in her family line.  And often the "ghosts" she sees are even seeing her.  She meets a boy named Jackson, whose grandmother had taken care of her grandmother and the house for a long time.  Sarah's relationship with her mother is kind of strained, not to mention the relationship between her mother and father.  This is made even more clear when an old "friend" of her mother's, a Senator, seems to be even more friendly.  The Senator has a son Sarah's age named Richard.  And her mother is encouraging a flirtation between them, even putting them in situations that Sarah feels really awkward in, until it seems maybe Richard is really interested.  But there is something about Jackson as well, they do have a distant relative in common, and maybe more as the book goes on.  Sarah's younger brother Sammy is autistic, but Sarah doesn't mind.  She is very happy to take care of him and be the sister he needs.
There is a mystery around the house, is it haunted?  Or as Jackson tells Sarah, is there a treasure there from a past inhabitant?  And all of this leads up to a big birthday party for Sarah, that her mother decides to throw in order to kind of show off the house and attract buyers.  But the longer they are there, the more connection Sarah feels to the house and her ancestors.  And so it gets harder and harder to think about losing the house.  Something happens at the end, I won't say what, but it is a bit confusing, and I'm not quite sure if it is what I think happened.  So now I'm glad for the sequel, to see what really happened, and what will happen next.
I have to say this was a very original story, to me anyway.  A very detailed ghost story, with a background that leads up to, and only enriches the whole plot.  I definitely recommend this for an interesting read if you like ghost stories with a bit of a mystery aspect to them.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

First I will thank Netgalley, FSG, and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  As anyone who follows my blog probably knows, I am a huge fan of dystopian stories.  So this sounded like one of those, although, really more of a post-apocalyptic, but similar.  And it was.  However, it was a bit slow for me.
The main character is Adam Daley, and strangely enough his elderly neighbor Herb.  Things seem to be just a normal day at school.  Adam and his best friend are sitting in computer class, when all the electricity and computers go out.  Now, it's not just those things connected to electricity, even laptops go out.  Something has happened that has caused anything that works with computers to no longer work.  Which means any car without computers in it, older cars, will still work.  And that included Adam's '79 Omega.  Up until this point, his friend Todd had made fun of it.  But now, when it is about the only car in the high school parking lot that will actually start, he's not so amused by it.  Once Adam gets home, after picking up his younger brother and sister from their school, dropping his crush Lori off at her family farm, and also dropping Todd off, he is met by their neighbor Herb.  Herb has a favor to ask.  He wants Adam to drive him to the Pool store.  The drive there is a bit scary as there are people who stare at them as they drive by, some looking as if they'd like to steal the car.  At the pool store Herb has a lot of cash that he give the guy for a ton of chlorine tablets.  It seems Herb may have an inkling about the whole situation not just being a temporary one.  As they're loading the car up with buckets full of the chlorine tablets, they even have a group of men who once again try to take the car.  But Herb moves his jacket to show a gun and the situation is defused.  They get back home and now Herb begins to talk about what may be going on.  He begins planning what they should do, how to be safe, and keep themselves safe.  Many of the plans seem to be quite pessimistic in Adam's point of view.  But as things that Herb has somewhat hinted at begin to occur, it seems maybe he knows what to do.  They must figure out how to secure their neighborhood, as well as what to do in order to keep themselves fed in case things don't get back to normal soon.  This includes talking to Lori's family about farming, and making some improvements in the walls/fences around their neighborhood, as well as planting some fields in yards and school lands.  Also, Adam has a very light plane, called an Ultralight.  And he gets it ready to be flown, and they are able to use it to do scouting to try to help their situation as well.  And while mostly it is just groups of people from neighborhoods that they see walking outside their area, there seems to be a larger group that may not be as innocent, may be out for only themselves.
This is a book that really just goes into the setting up of a community for this type of situation.  Yes there are times when we have conflicts with other people and neighborhoods. But a lot of it is about how they figure out what to do and how to help themselves to survive.  In a way, it feels like what maybe following how the Governor set up his town in The Walking Dead.  Or on the show Revolution, just the beginning of how they got to handling the disaster.  All the stuff that is usually skipped in books or movies or tv shows.  Because it is kind of boring.  Maybe it is important for us to know if such an event does occur.  But honestly, I found it a bit boring.  While it was interesting to hear Herb's strategies, and the reasoning behind what they did, the story did kind of just stall out in my opinion.  And the end was really just kind of a sudden ending, and you're left before probably any of the stuff that would normally be in this type of book starts to occur.  That's just my opinion.  I still gave it a 3, because it may be something that others want to read.  Another issue I had is that I want to know why the things with the computers went out.  And what has happened to Adam's father who is a pilot and would have been in Chicago at the time.  Is the author planning a sequel?  Can't tell.  But I don't know if I'd read on or not.  My need to know those things may not be strong enough to read through another slow story.  400 pages of slowness.  So not one of my top books.  But like I said, on Goodreads I gave it a 3, because it wasn't bad, just wasn't my cup of tea.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All My Followers and Friends!

I hope everyone gets to spend time with their family or friends for Christmas, or whatever holiday you might celebrate.  I got to spend last night with my mom, step-dad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece.  Tonight I will be celebrating with my dad, step-mom, 2 sisters, and one sister's boyfriend.

Thanks to all my followers, I'm so glad there are so many of you now, I feel like I get to know a lot of great fellow readers this way!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2014 Prequel and Sequel Challenge

So, I think I'm going to try this Challenge this year, as a lot of the books on my TBR pile, or maybe just my TBR list are sequels to series that I started because the first book was an e-galley, but then I just never got the 2nd book as an e-galley, or bought it, or whatever.  This challenge is co-hosted by Novel Heartbeat (formerly Auntie Spinelli Reads) and Writer Grrl Reads.  

The goal: To read as many prequels and sequels as you can. You set your goal at whatever number works for you.

So, let's see, here are my hopes for this challenge:

  1. Rogue (Croak #3) by Gina Damico
  2. Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
  3. Prodigy (Legend #2) and Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
  4. Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris:  Deadlocked, Dead Ever After, and After Dead
  5. Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) and A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful #2.5) by Jamie McGuire
  6. Shatter Me series by Tehereh Mafi:  Unravel Me, Fracture Me, and Ignite Me
  7. Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
  8. Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano
  9. As They Slip Away (Across the Universe #0.5) and Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3)  by Beth Revis
  10. I'm hoping to finish The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  I've got #5 on the shelf, #6 is supposed to come out this year.
  11. Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor:  Days of Blood and Starlight, Night of Cake and Puppets,  and Dreams of Gods and Monsters
  12. The whole Revenants series by Amy Plum
  13. Light (Gone #6)  by Michael Grant
  14. The Selection series by Kiera Cass:  The Guard (2.5) and The One (#3)
  15. The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa
Those are my hopes for this, and maybe there will be even more!  Mike Mullin is supposed to finish his Ashfall series this year I think.  So I may add on to this.  I just hope I can keep up and make sure to mention in the reviews when they match up to this challenge.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

So, well, this is going to be a hard book to review.  I only picked it up because I saw the book Red Hill by this author, and it sounded really good, but I was told I needed to read this first.  So I checked it out from the library, thinking if I liked it, it would be one I'd recommend to my sister Sarah who is my fellow chick lit reader.  But, she and I have had many conversations about someone we know who was in a very co-dependent, dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship, and as I read this book, that was what I kept coming back to.  I read this over 400 page book in two days, it was definitely a page turner, and definitely hard to put down.  But I felt guilty rooting for them because of how the relationship was.  If people say that Twilight is a horrible example of an abusive relationship, then there is no way they could possibly like this book.  I never once felt that way as I read Twilight, but this book, I just felt it from the morning they really started getting involved.  I don't know if it is okay to go ahead and read about this, knowing this isn't a good type of relationship.  Is it condoning this?  I don't want to do that.  But the characters were at least interesting.  I can't decide whether to read on, as the next book is supposed to be the same story, but from Travis's viewpoint.
Abby has gone to college with her best friend America.  She is glad to be able to get away from her small town and all the looks she got for who she was, and who she was had to do with who her father was.  But here at school she gets to reinvent herself as a good girl.  And then she meets Travis.  Travis is America's boyfriend Shepley's roommate/cousin.  And he is exactly what she doesn't need.  He is a bad boy.  Tattooed, a fighter, a ladies man.  So they end up becoming friends.  And she seems to be good for Travis.  But she knows that he isn't good for her, so she keeps him at arm's length.  But he does seem to fall for her.  And really, of course, she does seem to fall for him.  It is a best friend type of romance.  But when they do get together, he becomes very jealous, and definitely what would be considered unhealthy jealous.  So she tries to break it off, but that doesn't go well either.  It's a very wild ride.  And maybe, very realistic as there are many people in this type of relationship.
I'm so torn on my review.  It was a good read, but I just feel like I shouldn't read about this.  But I have to stick to what I tell people, just because I read something, doesn't mean I'm going to go out and look for a relationship like that.  So, it's okay, right?
If you've read this, do you get what I'm saying?  Did you feel this way at all?  I'd love to hear some other points of view.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - December 22nd, 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 was a pretty light week.  And actually, I know that I have to stop entering all these giveaways.  I keep getting books, that yes I do want to read, but my TBR pile is never getting any smaller. I'm beginning to feel a bit like a hoarder with the piles of books in my house!  Well, first I have to share a really cool prize I won that arrived this week:

Won from Epic Reads:

Now, rarely am I able to watch the Epic Reads live videos.  But I've been fortunate in the past month or so to be able to watch a couple.  The last time I watched, I was one of the winners of the *book shimmy* bag from tweeting along with the show.  When the package arrived at my house this week, there was a book wrapped up inside the bag!  Patrick Carman is an author I really do like and have even met.  While I haven't yet read his new book Pulse, I now have it reserved at the library, so that I can read that, and then read this cool ARC I got of the sequel to it, Tremor.  So thanks to the Epic Reads girls!!

E-books purchased:

The first one, Eleanor and Park, I've heard so many great things about, and it was a really good deal for the e-book so I downloaded it to give it a try.  The second one, Brooke, I went ahead and downloaded, and finished reading this week so that I would have another review for the week.  As someone pointed out on one of my giveaways, I need to maybe do more reviews.  The third one, Forgotten Lyrics, is an e-novella I didn't even know existed.  When I saw it, I had to download it, and will have to fit it in.  I loved the series, which I thought got better and better, so it is exciting to revisit it.  The fourth one, City of Dark Magic, is one that I saw in a Nook Daily Deal email.  Although I haven't read this author (or authors as I've learned) before, this one sounds like it might be good.  
I've got several e-galleys I've requested, both from Edelweiss and Netgalley, and I'm waiting to hear if I'm approved.  I really hope I am!!
So, what will you be adding to your shelf this week?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Brooke (Under the Never Sky 2.5) by Veronica Rossi

Well, I feel like I've not been doing as many reviews as I should be, but I know I've been reading constantly.  But when some of them don't come out until next year, and I have to wait 30 days before they are published to post my review, it means that some weeks even though I've finished a book, I can't post a review of it that week.  I actually intended to read and review A Death Struck Year e-galley that I have, but for some reason, I can't find it on my Nook.  And at the time I planned to start, I was away from my home computer, and so was unable to try to see why I didn't have it.  So I had to choose something else on my Nook to read, and since I'd just finished Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky 2) by Veronica Rossi, I decided to go ahead and read on in the story.  Well unfortunately I can't post my review of Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky 3) until the end of December, which would have left me with only one book review this week.  Which made me decide to go ahead and read the e-novella of the story about the character Brook in order to get a  2nd review done this week. 
Now, this was another good story.  The only problem being that I'm not a fan of Brooke.  Even though I did understand her a little bit better when I read the prequel e-novella, Roar And Liv, a while ago, she still isn't a fan of Aria's.  For good reason, Perry was kind of Brooke's before he met Aria.  The e-novella Brooke basically starts up at the very end of book 2.  Since I'd already started book 3, I knew a bit of what was going on for this.  But now we see it all from Brooke's point of view.  And again, it makes you a bit more sympathetic to her plight.  As I said in my review of book 2, or somewhere, I kind of hope that Brooke will end up with Soren, but who knows. After reading her own story, she may still end up with one of her own tribe members, and that would be okay. 
While this story isn't definitely needed to make the series complete, it is a very good complement to the overall story and character development.  And I recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the books.  Now, to go finish book 3, so that I can move on to some other books that could be reviewed sooner.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 10 Tuesdays: Ten New to Me Authors of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish.  As with my post two weeks ago, I again had a hard time limiting this list to 10.  So I tried to pick authors that weren't necessarily debut authors as much as possible.  Now, I'd pretty much heard of these authors, I mean I work at a bookstore, and I follow many blogs where people have read them, but they are "new" to me.

  1. Julie Kagawa - Believe it or not, I'd never read any of her books, even after I got to meet her at BEA 2012, it took me until this year to actually begin reading her books.  And now, I'm devouring them!  So glad that there are more out there for me to read.
  2. Gabrielle Zevin - This is another author I got to meet at BEA.  And I had one ARC sitting at home, and then I got the 2nd in the series at BEA.  They sat on my shelf until this past January, but when I picked up All These Things I've Done, I found one of the most original stories, with some really great truths in it.  And I was hooked, and totally in love with this series.
  3. Stephanie Perkins - I'd been hearing all over the internet how great the book Anna and the French Kiss was.  But when I read the blurb about it, it just didn't really sound like my type of book.  I'm not really into contemporary romance fiction for teens usually.  But I got a free copy at the Romantic Times Convention this past May, and so I ended up reading it, and falling in love with it.  
  4. Kiera Cass -  Of course I'd seen the beautiful cover of The Selection.  And I'd purchased a copy of it with a gift card I'd won from another blog. But it sat on my TBR shelf until right before the Romantic Times Convention, when I heard she was going to be there, I had to read it before I met her.  And now I too love this series!
  5. Gretchen McNeil - Another author I'd heard so much about.  And I'd wanted to read Ten after I'd seen all the hype that went around before it was published.  She was another author that appeared at the RT Convention, and I got a couple of her books free there.  So far I've read Ten and 3:59, both of which I enjoyed.
  6. Aprilynne Pike -  Another book that I'd always seen and loved the cover of was Wings.  But I wasn't sure if I liked books about fairies.  This is another book I got free, and again, really enjoyed it.  Now I need to move on in that series.
  7. Kendare Blake -  Another book that I'd seen everywhere it seemed, and that had a great cover was Anna Dressed in Blood.  I got a copy of this earlier this year, and read it, and was hooked.
  8. Marcus Zusack -  I finally got around to reading The Book Thief when I saw a preview for the movie and it looked really good.  And I wasn't disappointed at all.  Loved it!
  9. Katie Alender - Another series that I'd seen and been interested in was Bad Girls Don't Die.  I got the first two books at a Scholastic Book Warehouse sale.  And I really enjoyed the first one, the second one was good too, not as great, but still good.
  10. Kerstin Gier - Another book that I'd seen a beautiful cover on and been interested in was Ruby Red.  When I got an ARC of the 3rd book in the mail, and I had been able to purchase the first one for pretty cheap, like $1.99 or something, I knew it was time to read it.  And I loved all three of them!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

I enjoyed this series when I got to read the first one, Under the Never Sky, as an e-galley, almost exactly 2 years ago.  Not sure if I wasn't able to get this 2nd book as an e-galley or what happened, but I was able to get the 3rd one as an e-galley.  So I had to go to the library to check out this second book to get ready for reading the 3rd e-galley.  Is that confusing?  I don't know, but it's what is going on.  I feel like having read the little e-novella, Roar and Liv, as part of my November is for Novellas challenge, really got me back into the mood and ready to jump back into this world.
In this 2nd book we start back with Perry at the Tides.  As the leader he is finding it not to be that easy.  There are those that still question him.  And when it comes to Aria, a Dweller, coming back into his life, even his loyal men caution him not to let the people know of their relationship.  Aria is back for many reasons.  Of course she is so happy to see Perry, but she agrees and understands that they must keep their relationship neutral in front of his tribe.  But she also wants to help get Perry's nephew Talon back from the Realm she came from.  And to do this, she has made a deal with the father of her friend Soren from the first book.  The very man who kicked her out of her Pod after the fire.  To keep her end of the bargain, she is to help him find where the Still Blue is. This is supposedly a land where the Aether that makes living outside the pods almost impossible.  Something Perry's people as well as other outsiders have had to learn to live with when they were not allowed into the Pods or else chose not to go.  As the Aether storms are getting worse, Perry knows he must do something for his people.  He wants to go with Aria to find the Still Blue.  And there is someone who supposedly knows where it is.  Sable, the man that Perry's brother traded his sister Liv to.  As far as we knew before this though, Liv had taken off, and never made it to Sable.  We learn that she is there though.  Aria and Roar leave to go find Sable and Liv.  Back at the Tides, Perry realizes that the compound isn't going to keep them as safe as possible from the storms.  And so he finds a cave down by the beach, a large cave that he feels the whole tribe can fit in comfortable and live safely.  At least until something else can be done.  Because now they are running out of food as their farmland is destroyed by the storms.  And other tribes try to attack and take over when they hear of the dissension and problems for the Tides.  Shortly after Aria and Roar leave, a woman named Kirra shows up with food and supplies.  She says that she is from Sable and he is sending the rest of the deal for Liv, who he will be marrying.  There is also the boy Cinder that may have something to do with the Aether, or maybe some kind of power for dealing with it.  I would have to say that as with the last few 2nd books I've read, this one isn't a disappointing one that is just bridging the gap.  So much happens in this one.  Yes, we learn a lot more information that will help us to finish the story, but we don't just learn it with people sitting around talking.  Things are happening, people die.  It's an emotional story.  Really another good story.  And while it is kind of a cliffhanger, it does have what could be an ending.  We can stop here, but we won't, and that is good.  Because we will need to know what happens with all the different players in the story.  And it has left off in a way that we will be able to see Perry and Aria and Roar do some planning to try to make things work out for themselves, their family, friends, and tribes.  And I look forward to seeing how it ends in the 3rd book.  Although now I need to go download the 2.5 novella Brooke before I think.  I'm hoping that Brooke will find love, and maybe with one of Aria's friends from the Pod.  Soren maybe?  That's my guess and kind of a hope I have.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - December 15th, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  While I spent a TON of money it seems at the bookstore this week, most of it was for Christmas gifts.  I didn't get anything in the mail, or download any e-books, or check anything out from the library.  But, since the reason I spent so much at the bookstore was because we were getting our employee special discount of 40%, I did allow myself to buy a couple books I'd been looking at. 

This is a fun coloring book for adults.  There are pictures of hot guys from One Direction, as well as Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, even Tom Selleck.  Someone for everyone.  The pages have a picture to color in, as well as fun facts or other activities.  For example, on the David Beckham page there is a word search.  And on each guy, you get to rate them on a scale of 1-10.  Some pictures don't look quite that much like who they are supposed to be, but it's still fun!

If you haven't yet seen the pictures of dogs by the scenes of their crimes, with a paper sitting by them telling what they've done, you need to get out there and google it.  These make me laugh so hard!  As a dachshund owner, it also intrigues me at how many seem to actually be dachshunds as well.

So, what did you get this week?  Anything fun?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by AG Howard

Once again, totally in love with this series!  But before I talk about the book, I must first thank Abrams Amulet Group and Netgalley, for allowing me to read an e-galley of it.  I am also a part of the Unhinged ARC tour, but since I had this e-galley, I let them skip sending me the ARC so everyone else could get a chance to read it on the tour.  Plus, it would have been really hard to let that slip out of my hands if I had an actual copy of it, because my copy of Splintered is an ARC, so it would be nice to have a matching set.  If you don't remember how much I loved Splintered, go read my review HERE.  The first book kind of left off that there wasn't a sequel needed.  You could tell that it was possible for the story to go on, many reasons for it to, but it didn't have to.  This book however, yeah, cliffhanger in a way.  It HAS to go on now!  And so while I was excited to read Unhinged, I'm now very impatiently awaiting the 3rd book in the series.  Which I know there must be. 
Without spoiling too much, we still have the bit of a love triangle as in the first book, Alyssa with Jeb and Morpheus.  Now, it is Morpheus on the beautiful cover of this book.  But as wonderful as he is, and of course I haven't seen Jeb, I'm still Team Jeb.  I've just never been into that type of "androgynous" guy, as he is described in the story.  I'm more of the boy next door, although things about Jeb make him not quite that way, I have been into a little bit more of the tattooed "bad boy" that Jeb has kind of become.  Jeb has come home from London, where he has been working on getting a place set up for himself and Alyssa to go after she graduates.  He's come back in time to go to prom with her.  His sister Jenara is so excited that she got Alyssa to go, mainly because Alyssa found a dress from a movie about zombies I think, that she wanted to wear.  Of course Alyssa has been getting dreams from Morpheus again, about how horrible things are in Wonderland, and how Red is loose and wreaking havoc.  And Alyssa's paintings come to life with just a drop of her blood, and it turns out that they are prophetic, predicting what is going to happen in this fight with Red to save Wonderland.  Finally Morpheus comes back to try to convince Alyssa to return to Wonderland to help defeat Red.
We learn so many things about the past in this one though, really interesting things!  Alyssa's mom Allison was able to come home at the end of the last book, and we learn what her life might have been like, and how she might have known Morpheus, and what her time in Wonderland did to affect Alyssa.  We also learn that there is something about Alyssa's dad that makes him more than just another "human."  There are also some mysterious characters around.  Like Ivy, the art agent that is trying to help Jeb succeed.  At first Alyssa is jealous of her, until she begins to have premonitions that something might not be quite right about this situation.   And then in Alyssa's mosaics there is a shadowy unknown woman in them, and when they find out who it is, well let's just say it is one more dangerous obstacle in their way to not only save Wonderland, but to go on living.
The tension between Morpheus and Alyssa is there, but she knows she loves Jeb.  To the point that she even sees how much she hurts Morpheus when she tells him that she is in love with Jeb.  But she knows that her netherling side does want to be free, and does want Morpheus.  And while I said that I didn't think I would find Morpheus "hot" right off the bat, he is very sarcastic, and can be quite amusing.  So I can see the attraction in that way. 
This book does not suffer from what I will call the "sophomore syndrome".  Not sure if I heard that somewhere, or what, but 2nd books often are not that great, you can tell they are only a bridge in a way to get to the 3rd.  This book is just as exciting as the first one, although we don't really spend any time in Wonderland proper.  We do get many flashbacks to times in the world, as well as get to experience many of the creatures as they come over to our world.
So, yeah, lots of gushing on my part, but I feel this was kind of an all over the place review, I didn't want to spoil anything, but had to talk about some of the story!  Now, if you still haven't read the first one, Splintered, or have, but would just like to own your own copy, I'm having a giveaway right HERE.  I'm also having a giveaway for a book of your choice up to $18 from when I reached 1800 followers, so go enter that HERE if you are a follower.
Now, off to start harassing Ms. Howard for how long I'll have to wait to read what happens to Jeb and Alyssa and Morpheus and her mom, and her dad, etc.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

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 by an author that I feel is a really unique author.  Her stories are different from other stories.  In a way that while they may cover the same kind of topics, fairies, ghosts, the underworld, there is just a unique twist or the characters are fleshed out uniquely.  I first read her book the first time I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater.  This author, Brenna Yovanoff, is a good friend of Stiefvater, and since she was there at the event, I had to buy her book and get it autographed.  Here is the information on this book from Goodreads.com:

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

 Sounds kinda spooky, and definitely different!  Have you read any of Yovanoff's books?  You  might give them a try.  This comes out in August, so I'm kind of hoping I'll get an ARC at BEA this coming summer.
Hey, thanks for stopping by, and while you're here, I have two giveaways you really should enter:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop

Thanks to Bookhounds and I Am A Reader for sponsoring this giveaway hop.  The point of this is to feature our favorite book of 2013, whether it was published in 2013, or maybe we just got around to reading it.  All the books below are ones I read this year and LOVED!  For my stop, I'm having 2 giveaways.  One is for a physical copy of a book, and is international if The Book Depository delivers to you.  The 2nd is for an e-book, your choice from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  And you can enter both if you are able to use either one!  Here are your choices for the physical book:

Actual physical books to choose from:



E-books to choose from:
Any of the above, in fact, if you want the Stitch series by Samantha Durante, I'll give you both of them as e-books!  Or you may choose one of these:

So, it's up to you!!  Do you want an actual hands-on book, or is an e-book okay?  And when you're done filling out my Rafflecopters, hop on along the linky below for some more great giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway