Friday, October 31, 2014

Dystopian Giveaway Hop - November 2014

Dystopian Hop

Thanks to both Kathy @ I Am A Reader and April and Kat @ My Shelf Confessions for hosting this Giveaway Hop.  I am a huge fan of Dystopian stories.  Now, there are a lot of books that get heaped into one big grouping under this heading, even though they could technically be more post-apocalyptic, or science fiction, or even fantasy in some cases.  So here is the definition of Dystopia from the Oxford Dictionary online:

An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. Compare with utopia.

I always kind of think of it like the opposite of a utopia, which is kind of what that definition refers to at the end.  So, based on that, I have chosen my favorite dystopian series.  The winner will be able to pick any book within that series (that is already published, no pre-orders, sorry), even though I've only pictured the first books below (also the book may have a different cover when it comes from the book depository).  This will be international as long as The Book Depository delivers to where you live.  Here are the choices:

 Hint:  The very last picture is a series I LOVED and think doesn't get enough attention.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.  After that be sure to visit the other blogs for some other fabulous giveaways in the Linky at the bottom of this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Earth and Sky by Megan Crewe

First thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Children's Publishing for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I've been a fan of Megan Crewe since I read the first book in The Fallen World trilogy, The Way We Fall.  I'm behind in that series, still need to read the last one.  But I was excited to see this one come up on Netgalley for request, and so I requested it right away.

All in all, this was an interesting book.  It had a mix of science fiction with the aliens, and time travel which of course included some historical fiction bits.  The main character is a girl named Skylar.  And there is a line one of her friends says at the beginning that I thought would have made a cute change to the title. They were trying to get her attention and they said "Earth to Sky."  But it is Earth and Sky.  Which is still kind of a cool title with her name being Skylar, Sky for short.  Skylar gets these feelings that things are "wrong" and these feelings give her panic attacks a lot of times.  She usually is able to calm herself down by counting.  Starting with beads on a bracelet, where she counts by threes, or should I say multiplies by threes.  The multiplying is pretty good, and reminds me of something that kids with autism or Asperger's syndrome might do.  Other than that she lives a mostly normal life.  One day on a field trip with her class to the courthouse, she starts feeling all kinds of things might be wrong.  And she sees this strange guy, who looks about her age, but something is out of place about him.  He seems more real, more there, than everything else.  And at one point, Skylar's feelings of wrongness give her a vision of an explosion, a bomb of some sort, going off in the courthouse where she and her friends and classmates are.  She plays the vision off as seeing a spider.  But when it happens, the strange boy has shown up again, and he notices that she's noticed something. 

The next day he's outside her school.  And she's afraid maybe he is planning a bomb there or something, as she keeps getting the feelings that normally aren't so close together.  So she goes up to him.  She soon finds out that his name is Win, and he tells her that he is on Earth on a mission to save it from his own people.  It seems they've been studying our Earth for years, and every time they come down and change something, it is what creates the feelings of wrongness for Skylar.  He is able to use her feelings to help him on his mission.  But they are not going to be able to just travel in time to find the things needed with no problems, because there are other people from Win's planet, called Enforcers, that are trying to stop Win and his group. They don't want to leave the Earth alone.  So Sky and Win must travel to different points in time, use Sky's feelings of "wrongness" to figure out where Win's leader left the things they need, and then get onto the next location without being caught by the Enforcers, and without messing up the history anymore.  But Win may not be quite the way he seems, he still has secrets that he hasn't told Skylar.  And Skylar thinks that maybe she could go back and time and find out where her brother Noam disappeared to when she was 5 years old, not caring what that might do to history, and even though it might mean she never develops the feelings of wrongness that lead to her being able to time travel with Win.  The book ends not with a cliffhanger per se, but definitely with questions left unanswered.  I think it is supposed to be a trilogy, so I will be looking forward to the next title to see where it goes next in the mission to save our planet.

I liked the talks about how you couldn't run into your self in the past.  The "dox" which would send you flying through the air if you got to close to something/someone you couldn't be near in that time period.  While the stuff about the alien race was very interesting, I'm not sure I like one point that the author brings up about fossils of ancient humans being "faked" by the aliens.  It's obviously not a religious point of view for the book, nothing against evolution at all really.  I can just see some people maybe seeing it that way. 

An interesting look at time travel in a fun way to deal with saving our planet from a race of aliens who have destroyed their own planet, and look to not really care what they are doing to us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

I was lucky enough to get to meet this author and get her autograph on this book at the 2013 Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City.  I guess I didn't have my picture taken with her unfortunately.  I did enjoy the book, although it didn't blow me away.  It was good enough that I will read on at some point, when I have time.

Amelia is the main character, and she is a ghost.  At her birthday party years ago, she fell off the bridge somehow and drowned.  Since then she's not been able to communicate with anyone, although there is this one handsome, yet probably evil boy that she sees around.  And at the beginning, she tries to save a boy that goes into the water in his car.  She's able to save him, probably because he does die, but then comes back to life.  And when he dies, he sees her.  And from then on he can see her.  Something strange happens, he can see her, and hear her, and they can even touch each other.  But it seems his family, well especially his grandmother, are Seers.  And they feel their job is to get rid of all spirits, as they think anyone left after death must be evil.  So even though Joshua really seems to like and trust Amelia, they must sneak around his grandmother who with her friends, is trying to exorcise her.  But that's not the only problem.  The handsome, but evil boy, Eli, wants Amelia to be his assistant.  To help him gather the ghosts of people who die to serve some other evil entities. 

Joshua will help Amelia to see when she died, and help her find her family.  Eli will show her the haunting events that led up to her death, and that he had a part in it.  In the end she must figure out if it is worth going with Eli to save Joshua from him and to get away from his grandmother, or if what she has with Joshua could be real, enough to be worth trying for.

A good romance, and an interesting look at the after life.  I'll be interested to see where the author takes the story next.  I know many of you have probably already read the whole series, but I'm just getting around to it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish.  This should be a fun week.  I'm going to post a picture of the book and what I think the character would look like or did look like in a movie/tv show if available.

1.  Clary from The Mortal Instruments Series

My hair is more the color of the movie star, minus the very heavy eyebrows. But I'd want more the book cover color of hair, I love that red!

2.  Katniss  from The Hunger Games

Especially that awesome girl on fire dress!!

3.  America from The Selection series, in either the blue dress on the cover of the first book, or her wedding dress on the 3rd book cover.

Maybe not practical for a Halloween costume, but so beautiful!

4.  Alyssa from Splintered

#39 by sueycide featuring a straw hat

I've included an outfit posted by the author on her Pinterest page for the character.

5.  Katerina from the Katerina series by Robin Bridges

I love the fancy dress on the 2nd book, but the outfit on the first book, while kind of vague looking in the picture, does have a hat which helps show that she is from Russia.

6.  Bella from Twilight

I loved the dress that she wore to her birthday party in the New Moon movie.  And they sold it at Hot Topic that year!  So I did actually wear that one year, although not for Halloween, for a wedding I think.  :-)

7.  Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

First, because who doesn't want their own Mr. Darcy?  Although he is kind of an ass.  But the dresses would be fun to wear!  For a costume that is.

8.  Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind

 So hard to pick just one, as they were all so beautiful!  But I'll go with this one.

9.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Technically the movie and tv series came before any books, but that's okay, there are a ton of books for the show now.  And I'd go with her red leather pants and black top.  Well, if I wouldn't look like someone had stuffed two sausages into some pants. 

10.  Sookie Stackhouse from Dead Until Dark or True Blood TV series

I completely forgot that I had this t-shirt from when I visited the HBO store in NYC my very first time I visited my sister there.  Hmm.  Now I just have to find the apron, and figure out what kind of shorts to wear.  And what to do about blond hair?  A wig?  Make a quick appointment with my hair dresser? 

If the Sookie outfit doesn't work, I'll go back to my Star Trek uniform for my costume this Friday night.  So, what about you, what characters would you, or are you maybe going to dress up like for Halloween this year, or maybe you have in the past?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - October 27th, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I am a bit late this week. I should have gone ahead and posted on Saturday, when I had nothing I was doing besides cleaning my house all day.  But I wanted to wait until Sunday, just in case I bought any books at the bookstore while I was working.  Which I had no money, so not sure why I thought that might happen.  But then yesterday was very busy.  After working till 1:30, I then went and met my dad's family for lunch at Arthur Bryant's BBQ because my sister had flown in from NYC to surprise my dad and watch the Royals with the other fans in Kansas City.  Then I went straight from there to my brother and sister-in-law's house so that I could spend time with my 2 year old niece.  And once I got home from there, it was a little after 8, and I had to watch The Walking Dead, and then go to bed to get up for work today, sooooo, here we are finally with my very small stack.  Although I do need to do a video tour or something of my bookshelves, as part of my cleaning on Saturday included straightening and doing some organizing of my bookshelves and the room they are in.  I did decide I'm probably going to need one more tall, 5 shelf bookcase to get more books off the floor I think.


The first one is by an author that I just loved her first series!  The book is already out, but they just offered on Netgalley, so I requested it right away!  The 2nd book is one I found on Edelweiss, and it sounds pretty good as well!

Books won:

I usually wait to share any books I've won until they actually appear.  This one came in the mail last week and 
I think I won it, but I can't remember for sure if I won it or traded for it on YA Book Exchange.  I still have the envelope it came it, but it doesn't have the person's name on it that it came from. Although there was an owl stamped on the envelope and then a pretty owl ribbon tied around the book.  If you sent it to me, or know who it might be from, please leave me a comment and help me remember!   
EDIT  I just remembered, I got this from Jill over at The O.W.L. when she posted that she had a book she was going to give away, and I guess I was the first to ask for it!  Sorry Jill, can't believe I forgot!  :-)

And that's all I added this week.  How about you?  What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Made For You by Melissa Marr

I had to read this book once my order from Amazon came in, well as soon as I had finished the last e-galley I read.  And I must say that I wasn't disappointed at all.  I will admit at first I was a bit worried, as the main character was a girl who was popular and pretty but complaining about all that and not wanting it.  But you do learn throughout the book that while she was those things, the popularity had a lot to do with who her family was, and it may not have been something she really wanted, so you are okay with it.  Or maybe I should say I was better with it.

The main character is Eva.  She is popular, because her parents are descended from the families that own a lot of the town, as well as the big minister in town.  She's dating the most popular guy, Robert.  She had a boy who had been her best friend when she was younger, who has grown up to be quite handsome.  His name is Nate.  But something happened a few years ago, and he changed.  He just quit talking to her, and kind of turned into a man-slut.  And then there is "Judge".  The killer, or in Eva's case, he hits her with his car, but she survives.  We get to spend some of the chapters from his point of view.  We don't know just who he is right away.  (Although I did guess and get it right!)  His mind is quite warped, as you'd expect someone like that to be.  He decides that since Eva didn't die when he'd tried to kill her, that it was God sending him a message and that she was meant for him.  So now he thinks he must send her a message.  And that is what leads to the other deaths. 

Eva wakes up in the hospital after the accident, not remembering anything about it.  She can tell her life will be changed as she sees the horrible cuts on her face, and now she has a broken leg as well.  Her parents were out of town when it happens, and her friend Grace and her mom are there taking care of her in the hospital.  This is how it is, it isn't that Eva's parents don't love her, they're just pretty hands-off.  But not when this happens.  When they get home, they decide they must do a better job being parents.  Nate shows up at the hospital, he is visiting his half-brother who spends a lot of time there.  Nate and Eva start talking, and their friendship picks up almost like it never ended.  But Eva had crushed on Nate, and soon she will feel she can tell him.  But first something strange is happening, that she wonders if it is a side effect of the accident.  When someone touches her, she can see their death.  It happens first with her friend Grace and Nate.  She says something to Nate, makes him promise to always have his cell phone, and then the next time he touches her, the vision changes.  So she sees that she can change these futures that she's seeing.  Soon the messages from the killer begin to show up and show their connection to Eva, when the killer cuts her name in one of them.  Eva must figure out who this person is, even though others want her to stay out of it and stay safe. 

Such a great story.  Reminds me of how much I enjoyed Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  And like that one, I guessed who the killer was kind of early one, but again, so many things happened that made me doubt that was the person throughout the story.  And I like that, I like when it isn't just obvious and you know right away.  At least for this kind of story.  Such a great story, and I love the cover, and I'm so glad the book was as good as the cover made me want it to be. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Opposite Book Tag

I was tagged by Ellen at Random Smiles to do this.  She had seen this tag on YouTube, but as she says, nothing's stopping us from doing it here. This might be the original video So here are the questions (Ellen got these from dreamlandbookblog):
First book in your collection/Last book you bought:

 I know this probably wasn't my very 1st book, but it was the one I first remember my mom buying me the set of the first ones when I was a kid at a Sears Outlet.  I still have it.

This is the last book I probably actually bought and will be adding to my collection when I'm done!

A cheap book/An expensive book:


 I'm not sure how much I actually paid for this one, but I'm sure I probably bought it in a book order at school for like 75
--> ¢.

I didn't actually buy this one, got it as a gift, but it was probably at least $35.  I'm sure I had textbooks that cost more when I was in college though. 

A book with a male protagonist/One with a female protagonist:

 Even though there is a little girl on the cover, the protagonist is a 16 year old boy named Jacob.

I chose the last book I read which had a female protagonist, as most of the books I tend to read do, it was a teen girl named Sterling.

 A book you read fast/One that took you long to read:

 Now, it only took me 1 day to read this.  But part of the reason is that I was recovering from surgery at the time, and pretty much had nothing else to do but read.

This took me over 6 months.  Not because it was hard to read, just because I kept it in a certain room (the bathroom) to read whenever I might need something.

 Pretty cover/Ugly cover:

 All the covers in this series by Jodi Meadows are just beautiful!

Now technically I don't actually think this one is ugly, I just think compared to the original cover of the book before they changed it, it's not as pretty.

 A national book/An international book:

 The coolest thing was when I found out Heather Brewer lived in Missouri, so that made me even more excited to promote her books.

I was so excited when I learned that Sarah Rees Brennan is from Ireland.  I so want to go there and find an Irish man to fall in love with.

 A thin book/A thick book:

 When The Green Mile first came out, it was in 6 small parts of less than 100 pages each.  That is how I read the book.

Gone With the Wind, one of my favorite books ever at over 1000 pages.  I'm sure I've read longer, I just felt like sharing this one.

 Fiction book/Non-fiction book:

 I thought I'd pick a historical fiction, and this one is about the time in between World War I and II, when Hitler was rising to power.  I've read a lot of World War II stuff, but not a lot about this earlier time period.

I grew up in the 80s and was a fan of River Phoenix.  So when this book showed up on Edelweiss I jumped at the chance to read it.  Very sad story, but very eye opening.

 Very (way too) romantic book/Action book:

 Honestly, I don't read a lot of mushy romance.  In fact I get bored really quickly if the romance isn't good.  But I picked one that is the closest to this choice here.

All of Rollins' books have good action in them, so I chose one of his.

 A book that made you happy/One that made you sad:

 This book left me with such a huge smile on my face.  Go read my review HERE

And I cry every time Edward leaves in this book.  Even though I now know he's coming back, it is still sad every time.  Say what you will, it is Meyer's writing that does that.

If I tag you, I'll let you know.  Don't forget to link me back so I can see your answers! If you want to participate even if I didn't tag you, feel free to join right in and link me as well.