Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z April (last post!!!) - Z: Zombies!!! (and last day for giveaway)

Well, this is it.  My last post for the A to Z Challenge, and I'm pleased to say I did it!!   And I'm excited to get to finish with one of my current favorite topics to read about or watch on tv or in movies, zombies.  So below, you can see 5 of my favorite zombie books/series.


I am a huge, huge fan of these books.  And the author, as I even got to help name one of his recent e-novellas (short stories) for this series.  Really great teen zombie series.  He also writes adult novels like this, I just have yet to read them.


I actually liked this one, and while I'm not quite sure how close the movie was or was not, since I haven't read the book in a while, I liked the movie as well.


Another of my favorite teen zombie series.


This is a Stephen King book that I think would have made an excellent movie, and I also feel you don't hear much about this one, but I really liked it.


And yet another of my favorite teen zombie series.  This one, as well as the Rot and Ruin series, is made up of very large books, like 400-500 pages.  I feel they are well done, and not boring at any point, but just a heads up if you're going to give them a try.

Those are my top 5 zombie books.  I love the tv show The Walking Dead, but actually have yet to read any of the graphic novels it is based on, or the new novelizations, so couldn't include them in my book choices, as I'm doing ones I've actually read.

One more day to enter my 900 Bloglovin follower giveaway HERE, and there aren't many entries, so you have a good chance!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Renegade (Mila 2.0 #2)

First of all, thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  I read the first book in this series around this time last year, right after I got to meet the author at the RT Convention.  So I was very excited to get to read this one early as I was ready to know where the story went next.

Mila is an android, something she didn't know when we started the first book.  By the end of the first book though she'd been captured by the original lab who had made her, her mother/creator killed, and she had escaped from them again, thanks to the help of the nephew of the evil General Holland.  She calls her friend Hunter from back where she'd been living with her mom before.  Before she died, her mother had told Mila to look for her father, or at least the man that Mila assumes must be her father.  She convinces Hunter to come out and help her on her quest.  But soon she realizes it might be dangerous for him, and so a couple times she even tries to have him head home without her, and let her go on searching on her own.  But he sticks by her.  Now, unlike what you would think, at least from other books like this, Mila doesn't tell Hunter that she is an android or being chased, just that she is searching for her father because her mother is gone.  As far as Hunter knows, Mila just has a very advanced mechanical arm.

The first man that Mila looks for gives her some doubts about Hunter though.  Convinces her through just subtle statements that maybe Hunter isn't as innocent as he seems.  Maybe he is part of the Vita Obscura, the mysterious organization that is also looking to capture Mila.

So now she doesn't know who to trust.  At one point it seems as if the Vita Obscura, who hate General Holland as much as she does, might even be on her side.  The ending is a good one, if hard to read, and again we're left hanging, wondering still who Mila will trust, and how she will solve the issue of being able to live her life the way she wants to, and not trapped in some lab being dissected and experimented on, before being scrapped.

A great 2nd book. Like I've said before, the 2nd book seems to be a traveling book, and this definitely is one of those.  But it isn't boring in any way. There is lots of danger, and action, and many clues to figure out and ponder.
Me and Debra Driza (the author) at the RT Convention, May 2013.

A to Z April - Y: WhY Not Do Another Cover Characteristics Post?

Okay, so I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do for my Y post.  Originally I had planned to maybe do something on YA, young adult fiction, but I changed my mind.  I feel like I've talked about it a lot in my other posts.  Then I was checking out what this week's theme for Cover Characteristics meme sponsored by  Sugar and Snark, and really wanted to do it, it's sea creatures, how much fun is that? 
Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:

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


Have to include a Percy Jackson cover with the giant eye in the background!


I know I showed this as one of my Science Fiction favorites, but it works for this too!  Can you imagine seeing a shark this big?!


Does the Loch Ness monster count as a sea creature?  I mean it's not the ocean, but still.


This is a book that I believe I got from a book fair at the school where I was teaching one year.  I really liked it, and wish there had been more, possibly a sequel I think would have worked.  

And my #1.

I loved the whole BBC series of Walking with Dinosaurs as well as their spin-offs like Walking with Prehistoric Beasts.  So this is one of the covers that instantly came to mind with this theme.

So what do you think of my covers?  Don't forget, only a day or so left to enter my Bloglovin 900 Followers giveaway HERE.



Monday, April 28, 2014

A to Z April - X: EXtras

One plus I would definitely say about e-books, is that there seems to be a plethora of short stories that are so much easier to get a hold of since you no longer have to wait until a compilation of short stories is released.  And today they are called novellas a lot of the time, and are often stories in between or before a series of books even started.  It is often neat to me to find out how things in a dystopian world became that way, since it often doesn't get into the nitty gritty details in the actual full length stories sometimes.  I also enjoy when an author does a little spin off with a minor character that may have stood out and I really would like to know more about them and their own story.  So below I will list 5 novellas that I think were of great added value to the stories they go with.


Now this is the one I read the most recently, so is the freshest in my mind.  But, it was such a great prequel to the book Dorothy Must Die.  As I read the actual book, I wondered what had happened to make Dorothy such a bad person, and why was  Glinda not the good witch we remembered?  You learn quite a bit, about Dorothy mostly, in this really great prequel.


Now this is actually a printed book, with 3 short stories in it.  But, it was an e-galley of this that I read. I had received the book The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa when I went to BEA in the summer of 2012.  But I had yet to pick it up, mainly because while I knew she was a popular author, I hadn't read anything of hers, and wasn't quite sure about it.  I read the short story in here, Dawn of Eden, which is a prequel to the story, and I was sold.  The writing, the plot, all of it was great.  So once again I think this was an awesome "EXtra" for a book series.


The Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter is one of my favorite series.  This is a short story I also got to read as an e-galley.  But it has since been published as part of a physical short story collection called The Goddess Legacy.  This one tells the story of Hera/Calliope.  And I really enjoyed it because you don't really like her in the overall book series, and this book gives you a bit of sympathy for her, even though I still don't agree with things she does.  


I love the Splintered series by AG Howard, it got me interested in Alice in Wonderland, when it had never really been one of my favorite fairy tales.  And this is a short story that gives another side of the story, from Morpheus and Jeb's points of view, instead of just Alyssa's.


I hadn't read any of the series since I got to read an e-galley of the very first one before it was published.  And then I saw I could get an e-galley of the 3rd in the series.  So, I checked the 2nd one out at the library, and downloaded this short story.  And this was a great prequel short story that got me back into what the plot and who the characters were.  And Roar is someone you just really love in the books, so it was fun to read his side of the story and find out what made him the way he was.

So, have you had a chance to read many of these short stories that go with novels or books series?  I could have done a separate list of ones that were kind of a waste of time, especially if I had to pay for them, but I try to keep things on here positive and recommend things I liked.

If you want, there are 2 days left to enter my 900 Bloglovin follower giveaway HERE, and there are only 22 entries so far, so you have a good chance!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

First, thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen, but especially to the author, for allowing me to read an e-galley of this book.  Once again I'm so much in love with characters from a book.  And the love comes from the fact that these characters are the kind of people I want to hang out with, in fact, the way they talk and joke around, they are the kind of people I already do hang out with, as well as the people I am related to!  The sarcasm of the main character, Paige, is just so much like me, or at least like I try to be, I'm not always as quick with the comebacks as she is.  And let me tell you, when I began reading the book, and Paige was talking about how good of an eye roller she was, I seriously almost laughed out loud!  Because lately, I feel as if I've been rolling my eyes constantly with a certain person, and I actually hope I've gotten good at making sure to turn away so that the person doesn't see it.  Let me give you a rundown of the story.

The main character is Paige, and we start the story with her in the school bathroom talking to her best friend Dottie.  Other students come in, and they immediately start making fun of her.  Seems Paige is considered the crazy girl at school.  One reason for this could be when people catch her talking to Dottie.  You see Dottie is a ghost, so it looks as if Paige is just talking to herself or the wall, or nothing.  And this just started after Paige did a heroic deed of saving a boy's life.  When he wandered into the middle of the street, she saw him and ran and pushed him out of the way of a car, only ending up getting hit by the car herself, and essentially dying, until the doctors bring her back to life.  She had to transfer schools because of the ghosts, and no one believes her, not her parents even.  She ends up going to see doctors, and taking all kinds of medicines.  Or at least pretending she does.

There is a new guy at school that doesn't seem to find Paige quite as weird, at least not that she can tell from brief interactions.  His name is Logan.  And he is always borrowing her pens, and even turns up in situation where Paige could really use some help.  And soon she finds out that he believes her.  He believes her because he can see the ghosts too. And not just ghosts, but demons.  And it turns out these demons have shown up to get Paige, she has the ability to open a door between here, New York City, and what they call The Dark World, and alternate dimension of NYC, and as it sounds, not such a great place.

I won't tell you anymore, there are all kinds of excitement, and moments of action that you need to read yourself.  There was one part that I was about to be really mad at Paige for.  You know that thing, when someone has to pretend not to know someone or say something to throw someone else, a bad guy usually, off the track?  You do, believe me.  But Paige was in the other room and heard Logan saying those types of things to a demon and his uncle, and at first she seemed to be upset and believe that he meant them. But, fortunately, probably because of what a great author Cara is, you could tell that Paige worked it out in her brain and understood why he was saying and doing what he was doing.  And I really liked that.  Because when it happens the way it normally does, I just get so irritated!

Now as I got close to the end, and what had seemed to be a main problem wasn't really as close to being solved as there was enough time to do it in, I knew that there was going to be a cliffhanger.  So now, I have to wait at least a year I'm guessing, and I don't know if I can!

A great new story from a great author, who I definitely count as a friend.  I hope you will pick up the book when it comes out in a month, and enjoy it as much as I did.

1st time I met Cara in NYC

I also want to share what you'll see in some credits at the end of the book:

My name starts at the top, right side of yellow square.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A to Z April - W: Werewolves and Witches

There are a lot of types of things for W that I enjoy reading.  And so I had to choose two to talk about today, werewolves and witches.  I'm going to give you 4 examples of my favorites of each type below.



Around the time I really got into Dean Koontz, I also found Robert R. McCammon.  And this is one of the first books of his that I read, and I really liked it.  Werewolves, World War 2, together makes an interesting story.


Another of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, also wrote a series about werewolves, The Wolves of Mercy Falls.  And now she's putting out another book in a series that we all thought was finished, and I'm very excited to read it.


This is a series I started when I got a box of ARCs that included this one.  I love this original cover, but the newer cover also was good.  Andrea Cremer is also now a favorite author of mine.


Stephen King's version of the werewolf was also made into a movie called Silver Bullet, and I of course loved it because it starred one of my favorite actors as a teenager, Corey Haim.



The Harry Potter series is the best in this category, I don't care what anyone says. The stories are funny, sad, adventurous, edge of your seat.  They will always win hands down in my opinion.


I first learned of Tessa Gratton when she just happened to be at a signing event with Maggie Stiefvater.  I had to buy this book and get her to sign it, and I am now a huge fan of Tessa Gratton as well.


I love this book, need to read on in the series, can't believe I haven't gotten farther than this yet.


I feel like I read and loved this in high school.  After the debacle, in my opinion, that the tv show made from The Vampire Diaries books was, I didn't even bother to try to watch this when they tried to start a tv show.  This one I loved and re-read more than the vampire series, so really couldn't stand to see it ruined.

Now I could again have included the Twilight series with werewolves, but I chose not to.  The Sookie Stackhouse  series could fit under both werewolves and witches.  And even Harry Potter includes werewolves.  

What are your favorite werewolf and witch stories?  And don't forget to enter my Bloglovin 900 follower giveaway HERE.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A to Z April - V: Vampires

Now, I know that a lot of people don't consider the Twilight stories to be "real" vampires, and since I honestly feel it is more of a love story than a vampire story, I will leave it out of this post, even though it would definitely be one of my favorite vampire stories.  So here are 5 of my favorite vampire books/series.


Of course one of my very favorites is the Anne Rice series.   The weird thing is that I actually began the series with the third book, The Body Thief.  And I remember why, I was in the college bookstore at the time, looking at the small selection of fiction they had, because I wanted something to read.  I didn't have a lot of books to read in college, because then it was all about the textbooks unfortunately. But I did always try to have something to read around.  So I read the 3rd book, liked it, and told my mom about it. She and I read a lot of the same thing back then. So she bought the first two and we began reading the series the correct way.


First off, I do NOT watch the tv series.  I read the books way before then.  And I admit, I was very excited for the tv show.  Then, I sat down to watch the first episode, and I turned it off and was done within the first 15 minutes.  Too many big things were changed about important characters for me and so I knew I couldn't watch it.  I'm sure it is a good tv show in its own right, I know people who really like it.  I just was turned off in the first episode and have never given it another chance.


Now this is the series that got me to notice Julie Kagawa.  It is newer, the final book is just now coming out, but I loved the series, and highly recommend it.


This series I didn't start until the tv show True Blood started.  And even then I wanted to wait to read each book until right before the new season.  Of course that's not relevant anymore now that the tv series is so far off the books.  But I actually gave up after the 2nd season and just read through all that were there.  I still have the last 2 to read.  And I do still watch the tv show, just it is a whole separate entity now.  Guess I could give The Vampire Diaries a chance like that.  Just don't think I will.


Finally is another YA series that I love.  The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer.  The stories are great, and the author is really cool!

So, are you a vampire fan?  What are your favorite books?  I could do a whole other post on vampire movies, but since this is a book blog, I'll restrain myself.

While you're here, you can go enter my Bloglovin 900 follower giveaway HERE.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

First, thanks to Harper Collins Children's books for allowing me to read an ARC of this book.  As someone who taught middle and high school students for the past 17 years, and who is now a high school librarian, the subject of bullying is one that is always on my mind.  As I started reading the book, I knew this was going to be a hard one to read. Because actually, the book is from the point of view of one of the bullies.  It is not a true story, but it was inspired by actual events.  Where the person bullied killed themselves, and then the students who had been accused of doing the bullying were actually part of a lawsuit.

When I said hard to read, I didn't mean it wouldn't be good, just that reading it from the point of view from the main character, Sara., would be difficult.  You see she was one of the bullies. But to see it from her viewpoint, you wonder about her bullying, and how much she really did.  As we begin, we see what horrible things she and her friends did to this girl Emma.  Making a fake Facebook page and writing horrible things on it.  Saying things to the girl at school, horrible pranks including making sure to have 100 roses delivered to her on Valentine's Day at school, with a different guy's name on each one.  But as we read  and go step by step through the story, you learn that Sara didn't come up with most of the ideas, but she went along with them.  And her best friend, Brielle, seemed to egg them on, even going out of her way to make sure they continued to harass this girl.  Brielle is a mean girl.  And she pulls Sara along with her, as she pulls Sara into the world of popularity, and dating a senior boy.  Emma is the new girl at the school, the rumors that she had to transfer, and that she sees a therapist.  And the fact that she seems to be hitting on other girl's boyfriends. Even Sara's boyfriend Dylan.  We don't get a whole lot of Emma's side, and we definitely don't get her point of view.  But from the things she says and does, you can see why a teen might have felt justified in saying some of the things Sara did.  I'm not excusing her in any way, but you can see her point of view, and it sucks to see it from that side.

A really deep, thought-provoking story.  I'm not sure if it is good or bad for students to read it, but I can see that it could be a very important way to think about bullying.  It could help those that get swept into the bullying by their friends, but don't feel like what they're doing is right.  Maybe to see what could happen, and then see that it is important to think about what you say and what kind of effects it could have on someone else.  To show how easy it is to be anonymous and do these things to people, especially with all the social media these days.  Yet another weapon that bullies have found to add to their arsenal.

A to Z April - U: UFOs

Okay, maybe I'm stretching again for a topic today.  But I do enjoy a good book about UFOs or alien abduction type stories.  So, once again I will share 5 of my favorite of this type of book.


Now this is a very recent YA book, in fact I don't think it is actually published till next Tuesday.  And one thing I really liked about it is that up to the very end, you don't even know for sure if it is aliens, or what.  Now I have to wait for a sequel to see if I get any more clues!  Such a great read!


Dean Koontz is one of my  most favorite authors ever!  I think I'd want to meet him even more than I'd want to meet Stephen King, if just because I can tell how much he loves dogs, like I do.  And this book is one of my favorite of all of his books.  In fact talking about it right now makes me want to read it again!  Wonder if I can fit it into my book reading schedule in the near future!


This is the first book in a series that I really enjoyed, up until one of them that came out a year or two ago.  I've kind of lost steam with the series I guess.  But the first 3 or 4 in the series were really good!


Now this is one that I haven't actually read yet, but I hear AWESOME things about!  The main reason I haven't read this yet, is that it is one of the books I was supposed to have received in a YA Book Exchange awhile back that never arrived.  With all the news stories about postal workers sticking mail in their attic, or throwing it when they deliver, I'm beginning to wonder if that is what happened to the two books I was supposed to receive that never made it to my house.  But anyway, I'll have to give in and read it this summer I think.


This is a newer teen title as well.  It came out last year, and I did enjoy it, so thought I'd share it as well.

Do you like UFO/alien stories?  Do you like to read nonfiction books about it? 

Also, while you're here, you can enter my 900 Follower giveaway on my T post.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z April - T: Time Travel

Although time travel is not in itself a genre, it is a type of story that I really seem to enjoy.  I've always kind of sided with the theory that you have to be careful because any little thing you change in the past will completely change the future.  But one of the books I'm going to share today doesn't happen like that.  Which was really the only problem with it that I had, because I really liked the book.


This is a pretty new teen time travel story.  I really enjoyed it!


This is a trilogy that just finished up last winter.  I really liked it as well.  Loved the characters in it, although the time travel again wasn't really what I was used to according to my theory.


Of course, one of the classics, that is kind of where I get the theory that I agree with from.


Now this classic story also has the theory that if you go back and change something, you do change what happens.  But it has the added depressing bit that no matter what you change, if it was meant to be, it will be.


This is an older YA time travel series that I found when I first started teaching I believe, early 2000's probably.  But I enjoyed it, so recommend it.

Do you like time travel stories?  If so, where do you fall on the different theories?  Do you think anything will change things to be totally different?  Or do you think if it's destined to happen, it will happen?

Oh yeah!  And by the way, I just reached 900 Bloglovin followers!  So to celebrate, I'm giving away a $9 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, your choice!  If you are international, I will give you a choice of a book up to $9 at The Book Depository as long as they ship to your country, which you can check HERE.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway