Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010, It's Been A Good Year!

I didn't read nearly as much as I wished I did this year... Next year will be a lot better, I promise!

My Top 10 Reads of 2010 (that I reviewed on my blog):

Yes, I actually did rank them in order. They are not neccesarily 2010 releases, though most of them are.

1. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
2. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
5. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
6. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
7. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
9. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
10. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

About 75% of those are debut authors. Lots to look forward to in the years to come!

Most Anticipated Books of 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (I'm currently reading this, but figured I'd mention it anyway since it's good!)
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

And so many, many more!

2010 was good, but 2011 can only get better! (Let's hope so :))

100 Books In A Year Challenge

This is my 3rd and final challenge I will be participating in for 2011! I heard about this challenge from Nat at The Book Girl, so thanks so much. :)

100 Books in A Year is hosted by Book Chick City.

I will be keeping track of each book I read in the "challenges" tab I recently added at the top. The books I read for this challenge will be crossovers from my other two challenges too. (You can tell I like challenges!)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: none (finally!)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: May 4 2010
My Source: Library

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

My Review:

This is a road trip book. Amy, who just finished her junior year of high school, is forced by her mother to drive across the country- from California to Connecticut- with a 19 year old guy named Roger, the son of her mother's friend she's never met. Her family is moving, and her mom needs the car and Amy across the country. Roger comes along to drive, because Amy refuses to drive ever since her dad died in a car crash, only 3 months earlier. But they deviate- alot- from Amy's mother's planned route, and end up taking a unique way to see the country, stopping by lots of places that really make the trip.

This is one of those stories you think is just going to be a cute, fun story, but ends up being a lot more than that. Amy is dealing with a lot of grief from her belief that she killed her father in the wreck because she was driving. The way she comes to terms with it and learns to move on with her life through her experiences on the road trip felt so realistic and I really connected with Amy and her emotions. Roger isn't without baggage either, throughout the trip he comes to terms with his past too.

The love story Matson wrote couldn't have been more perfect, either. It felt so realistic- Amy and Roger had chemistry from the beginning, creating some awkward moments and funny, realistic situations that as I reader, I could definitely relate to. I liked that they didn't get together right away- it takes awhile, though you know it's going to happen the whole time. (I mean, it's even obvious because of the front cover). I was just waiting for it, and when it finally happened, I squealed with delight.

This book made me laugh out loud a few times and smile at others. (I loved Roger's explorer obsession and "Edmund and Hillary Udell"... read it to know what I mean.) I was so into this book I just could not put it down. It's one of those rare stories you just really connect with and love.

I think my favortie thing about this book was the way the story was told using photos, receipts, flyers, hotel check-in confirmations, and other road trip paraphernalia. Most of the book was regular narrative, with this things popping up occasionally. And did I mention this whole book had playlists? Roger has a great taste in music and makes a bunch of fun playlists that I'm thinking about putting together and listening to myself.

This book convinced me that I need to read more contemporary fiction! I'm kind of feeling done with paranormal for a little while (Doesn't mean I'll stop reading it, though)- I still love fantasy and everything, but contemporary can portray stories of human experiences just as well.

Overall, this is probably the first contemporary fiction I've given a 5/5. I just can't find anything wrong with it! I would certainly read it again, maybe even on a road trip. ;)

Cover: 5/5
This is SO cute and portrays the book exactly. Love it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Misguided Angel Giveaway

I have one new hardback copy of Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz to giveaway to a lucky reader! This is the 5th book in the Blue Bloods series. I highly recommend this series and if you want to get the latest book- this is it!

My reviews of previous Blue Bloods novels: Blue Bloods Masquerade

My Blue Bloods Series Fantasy Cast

I won't be posting the summary here for fear of spoiling it for those who haven't read the series.
Sorry guys, I'm an idiot and I forgot to post the rules! I hope this doesn't effect those of you who have already entered.

Giveaway rules:
  • You must be at least 13 years old
  • Please only fill out the form ONCE.
  • You can have a total of 4 entries (all on the one form).
  • US only (sorry international followers- go enter my Create-A-Sequel Challenge!)
  • Contest deadline: January 15
Enter Here

Out With A Bang Read-A-Thon List

Starting today is the Out With A Bang Read-A-Thon! It's hosted by The Bookish Type and Book-Savvy.

Here's what their sites say about the Read-A-Thon:

The Readathon will run from December 29 - 31 and participants will be reading as many books as they can during that time! This Readathon is mainly to finish off the fabulous debuts for the Debut Author Challenge, but participants don't have to focus on that category if they have non-debut books that they would like to finish before 2010 ends.

This is the 2nd Read-A-Thon I've ever participated in, and while the last one wasn't too successful, I have virtually no plans for the next few days, so I hope to get a ton of reading done!
Here is my list of books I hope to read in the next 3 days:

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
From The Dead by John Herrick
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Minder by Kate Kaynak
Logic of Demons by H.A. Goodman
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Once A Witch by Carolyn McCullough
Mystify by Artist Arthur

I'll see how many of those I can get through- though the list is subject to change because I can be pretty ADHD when it comes to reading sometimes.... haha.
I'm excited to get started!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Blogging and Reading Goals

It's that time of year again... New Years Resolutions. I'm pretty goal-oriented, so I actually appreciate a time to set new goals for myself. And a lot of the time, I do end up accomplishing them.

With inspiration originally from The Story Siren, and other blogs I've seen doing it, I have decided to make a list of my own blogging and reading goals for 2011. Hopefully I'll get at least some of them accomplished!

1. Read 100 books
I figured this was a good number, especially considering how many other things I do. And I know I need to read more, I just do. Does anyone know if there's a challenge for reading 100 books in 2011? I haven't seen one but I'd love to join. Please let me know!

2. Become more active on Twitter
I'll admit it- I'm very shy on twitter. I always hesitate to start conversations and don't update often either. I think Twitter is a great resource that I've failed to utilize to be social, hopefully that will all change.

3. More Interactive Discussion Posts
I hope to have posts to get my readers involved more and to have more content instead of just memes and reviews. The couple discussions I have held so far have gone really well, but I'd love to do more! (I shamelessly stole this resolution from Melissa at I Swim For Oceans. I just liked it so much! :))

4. Comment on Blogs I Follow
This is almost as bad as the Twitter one... I hardly ever do it, and I know I really should. I read a lot of them, just never take the time to comment!

5. Improve My Design
There's a couple things I want to fix about my design, but I'm hopelessly inadequate. My navigation bar is completely messed up and overlaps my header. My twitter and RSS feed buttons are all different sizes... ahhh! So yeah, I sorta need help I think. Stupid blog design, haha. It's not that bad though.

Did you create a list? Link it up at My World... In Words and Pages.

Book Review: Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Masquerade
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Blue Bloods #2
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 1 2007
My Source: Library
My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help—her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman—a true Blue Blood affair.

But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.

My Review:
Blue Bloods is a vampire series following 15-year-old Schuyler Van Alen who discovers she's a vampire, but not just any vampire. She learns that the Blue Bloods are a group of elite and super rich New Yorkers, but they're also vampires, she whether she likes it or not, she's one of them.

This book also follows Bliss and Mimi, two of Schuyler's fellow vampires and acquaintances. They all have their own interconnecting storylines going on, and it's told in 3rd person POV switching between the 3 girls.

The best part about this book was the plot and mystery. I won't take the time to explain it here, but the stakes are high and there are plenty of mysteries that come to light as the books progress.

As with the first book, there were plenty of details on exactly what every character was wearing, and sometimes, how much they cost. The character development is really lacking though- the only character I ever felt like I was really in their head was Mimi. Schulyer was ok, but Bliss was a very flat character with virtually no personality.

There were also a few weird unneccesary plot tangents, but they were very short. A subplot that started in the first book was Schulyer and Bliss's modeling careers. It added nothing to the book except a chance to describe a few more outfits. I really felt like this made no sense for Schulyer''s character. I didn't understand her because I never thought she'd be a model... but that's just kind of how this whole series is.

One more thing- this book implies that it will be about the Masquerade ball. In reality, the ball lasts for about 3 pages towards the beginning and is only mentioned a couple of times after that, and has really no significance to the plot. The summary is misleading.

You can tell I have a lot of issues with this series, but I absolutely cannot stop reading. This book was short and I read it in a day. I guess I'm calling this my "guilty pleasure" reading, because even though I have so many problems it's still such an entertaining read.

I would recommend this book if you're looking for a series of quick, juicy and entertaining reads. Don't expect a lot out of this series, but you'd be surprised by how quickly you tear through them. This book deserves 4/5 stars.

Cover: 4/5
It goes with the rest of the series just fine, but like I said, none of this book is really about a Masquerade.

Blue Bloods Series Fantasy Cast

If you haven't heard me talk about it yet, Blue Bloods is the latest series I'm obsessed with. While reading, I've had actors in my head for a lot of the main characters, so I've created a fantasy cast for the Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz. Check back later this week for a giveaway of one of the books in the series!
I'm only on the 3rd Blue Bloods book, so my cast won't include any characters introduced afterwards (if there even are any). Please don't mention anything spoiler-y about the characters in the comments!

Schulyer Van Alen- the outcast who's suddenly thrust into the spotlight in the vampire world. Pretty, but in a natural, not a flashly way like Mimi. Played by...

Dakota Fanning. I think she would be absolutely perfect if she dyed her hair darker. Plus, she actually looks 15, like Schuyler is. She has the right look of fragileness combined with smarts, and she's a fantastic actress.

Bliss Llewellyn- the beautiful new girl. Curly red hair, tall, and gorgeous. Played by...

Rachel Hurd-Wood. I don't know if she's perfect, but she's the only one that came to my mind. She's pretty, and has the long curly red hair going (It's not curly in this picture, but is in others). As a bonus, she's only 20 years old.

Jack Force- very handsome, but also wise. The vampire twin, or soulmate, of Mimi, though he is starting to fall in love with Schulyer instead. Played by...

Chad Michael Murray. I know he's too old, but this is a fantasy cast, right? I couldn't get him out of my head for Jack throughout the whole book. I just think he's perfect.

Oliver Hazard-Perry -the human best friend of Schuyler. Ordinary looking. Played by...

Jamie Bell. He looks a little too old, but I just love him, and once again, it's a fantasy cast! His hair in this picture reminds me of Oliver for some reason. This pick I'm least solid on though- if you have any other Oliver suggestions let me know! I was having a hard time finding anyone who looked like Oliver in my mind.

Mimi Force- the blonde, beautiful, controlling and manipulative, ultra rich girl who always wears the latest fashions and shuns those that don't. Jack's vampire twin, or soulmate. Same blonde hair as him. Played by...

Alyson Michalka. I think a lot of actresses could play Mimi, but I like Alyson because she looks like that girl that has everything. And I could see her with Chad Michael Murray looking like a stunning couple.

Dylan Ward- the Blue Blood who was mysteriously transformed by the Silver Bloods... also Bliss's crush/love. Played by...

Justin Chatwin. I don't really like Dylan's character, I find him dull, but I find Bliss pretty dull too. But Justin is spot on to how I imagined Dylan.

Kingsley Martin- poses as a high schooler, but is actually a bit older. Very good looking and mysterious. We're unclear whose side he's really on... (at least at the point in the book where I'm at!) Played by...

Zac Efron. From the second Kingsley was introduced I had Zac in my head, and the more I read the more perfect I realized he was. He's got the good looks, he's the perfect age, and I think he'd play the mysterious hot guy really well. :)

What do you think about my picks? Do you have any of your own suggestions to add?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Release Date: July 13 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
My Source: Bought
My Rating: 4.5/5

***Warning: This review contains spoilers if you haven't read Shiver. Read at your own risk!***

Goodreads Summary:
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

My Review:
Linger is the sequel to Shiver (read my review here). Sam was a werewolf who couldn't stay a human, but now he's permanently a human. I thought Shiver ended really nicely. I liked it, but I couldn't see how a sequel would be interesting, and therefore did not jump to read Linger. Shiver just ended very nicely on it's own. Not to mention the fact that I wasn't terribly impressed with Shiver. It lacked a really interesting driving plot and the characters were very predictable.

So that's why it took me forever to get around to reading this one. I am so glad I did! I thought this book would be a rehashing of Shiver, but the other way around (Grace turning into a wolf?). But it wasn't, thank goodness. Here's what made the book amazing for me: Cole and Isabel. Cole was a new character and Isabel was a supporting character that shifted into a main character. We got to hear from both of their points of views in this book.

Both Cole and Isabel presented entirely unique voices and thoughts on the werewolf conflict. The characters were extremely well developed and unique, and I loved and hated them both at the same time. I think this whole book could've been told about just the two of them- those were the good parts.

The adorable romance between Sam and Grace was the highlight of Shiver. It didn't develop much more in this book, but it was still nice to have there on the side. I loved it how both Sam and Grace really wanted to be with each other forever and were even plausibly thinking about getting married. (Not right away of course, but in the future). It was realisitic to me that they wanted this because that's what real people do when they're in love- they want to get married. It felt like a real romance.

There wasn't a lot of plot or action going on here, and this is probably the first book where that didn't bother me. I got so lost in reading about the characters I didn't care about action. Credit to Maggie Stiefvater for being such an amazing writer to make me not care about action. That certainly doesn't happen often.

I'm debating on 4 and 4.5 stars on this one, but I think I'll go with 4.5 stars because it was better than Shiver. I recommend this one if you liked Shiver- or even if you didn't.

Cover: 3.5/5
It fits the book, but I don't think I would've picked up this book on cover alone. Though I do like the color scheme of the series and the words of the book being printed in each book's color.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In My Mailbox *Christmas Edition*

Hey guys- welcome to my Christmas edition of IMM where I share all the wonderful gifts I recieved this Christmas.

Oh yeah, IMM is hosted by the wonderful Story Siren (even though she's taking a break until the new year).

Without further ado, here is my vlog:

From Library:
  • Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
  • Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
  • Once a Witch by Caroline MacCullough

Recieved as a present:

  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • A KINDLE!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! (Yeah, I know it's the day after Christmas but I'm still in the spirit :))

I'm taking a break from Fun Weekly Findings for now because all I would post about is awesome stuff about my new kindle (did you know it does so much stuff?!?- surfing the web, playing MP3's... besides reading books of course too :)).

Friday, December 24, 2010

SHIVER giveaway winner!

I have two lucky winners of a paperback copy of the book SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater!

Drumroll please.....

Here they are:

Ammy Belle


Congrats! I've emailed you both and be sure to send me your address and I'll get them shipped out as soon as possible.

And thanks once again to the publisher for giving me these copies to give away. :)

If you didn't win, there is still a chance to win something else! Enter my Create-A-Sequel Challenge (it's super easy!). This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Create-A-Sequel Challenge (And International Giveaway)

Welcome to the Create-A-Sequel Challenge!

This is part of First Come, Second Served, hosted at Down the Rabbit Hole.

What you have to do:

1. Choose a book that DOES NOT have a sequel. It can be a sequel itself, or even the last book in the series. There needs to be no plans for a sequel out yet, or if there a sequel in the works (not released yet) and very limited amount of information on it, you can use that book too as long as you ignore the sequel that is in the works when creating your challenge idea. For more information on what books might work, see below.

2. Take this book and write a short description of your own idea of what the sequel should be. By short, I mean mimimum of a few sentences and maximum of a few paragraphs. It has to be completely from your own imagination- no influence from a real sequel that is being made.

3. Fill out the form below to submit your idea!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Examples: You could write a sequel to Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, a book that does not have a sequel, and create your own idea of what would happen next. You could also write a sequel for a book such as City of Glass, which, though there is a sequel in the works, there is a very limited amount of information released about it, so your idea would have to be completely original with an original title. You could also write a sequel to a book such as Breaking Dawn, which, though it is a sequel itself, there are no plans for a follow up novel.
  • You have to name your book idea! There is a required spot on the form.
  • The sequel can be more of a companion-novel. It doesn't have to feature the same narrator or main characters, just some of the same characters.
  • Don't think too hard about it- it doesn't have to be the perfect idea, it's just for fun.
  • After submitting your idea, feel free to post it on your own blog if you have one! (But you do not need a blog to participate.)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.

This is entirely just for fun and intended to work your creativity skills! I am absolutely in no way intending to make the authors' own work seem unimportant or invalid. Please give all credit deserved for the ideas/characters in the books to the fabulous authors who wrote them!

What You Can Win:

Your choice of a book listed below from The Book Depository

Important Giveaway Info:

  • Open internationally (where ever The Book Depository ships)
  • All winners will be chosen randomly!
  • You must have a legitimate original sequel idea (see my rules above)- if not you will be disqualified from winning the giveaway.
  • If you win, you get only 1 book- either the first book in a series or it's sequel, your choice.
  • All Sumbissions Must Be In By January 5th

Books or Their Sequels to Choose From If You Win (These are some of my personal favorites/books I'm dying to read):

Pick only one book, either the first one or it's sequel.

  • Fallen or Torment by Lauren Kate
  • Shiver or Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Gone, Hunger, or Lies by Michael Grant
  • Any book from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Iron King or The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  • The Luxe, or any book by Anna Godbersen
  • Any book from the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray
  • Any book from the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
  • Life As We Knew It or The Dead And The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Any book from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr
  • Prophecy of the Sisters or Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
  • City of Bones, City of Ashes, or City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Rampant or Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
  • Hush, Hush or Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Any book from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
  • The Maze Runner or The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • Perfect Chemistry or Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
  • Beautiful Creatures or Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Any book from the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  • Wondrous Strange or Darklight by Lesley Livingston

I hope that gives you enough books to choose from! I know it is a very long list. :)


Winners will be chosen randomly, but I can't wait to read what people come up with! And remember, this is purely for fun. (I might possibly post some of the best ideas, though). All credit for the characters and worlds go to the authors!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday from MASQUERADE

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

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

"Like all of the girls assembled, Bliss couldn't take her eyes off him.
As though he could feel her stare, he turned around and looked her directly in the eye.
And winked."

-pg 137, Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2) by Melissa de la Cruz

I'm reading this book as part of First Come, Second Served Month!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Author Interview with Artist Arthur

I read Manifest a couple of weeks ago and loved it! (see my review here). Today I have the priveldge of posting an interview with the author, Artist Arthur. Manifest is her debut YA novel.

Author Bio:
I am the first born and only girl in my family, and six and nine years separate me and my two brothers. Needless to say, I was alone quite a bit. But being alone gave me plenty of time to indulge my imagination in the world of books. One of the first novels I read was a young adult series that traced the lives of two teenagers in high school, Sweet Valley High. Reading those novels I thought I could do better, and so my quest to write entertaining stories began.

Being an introvert, it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to let others read my work. How long? Well, the first person to read a story I wrote was my husband. Since then, I’ve been writing professionally for almost nine years now. But it was my daughter who encouraged me to write a book for teens—just one of the reasons I love her so dearly.

I live in Maryland with my husband and three children. If you take away the opinionated teenagers, family drama, overflowing bookshelves and DVDs, my life is pretty boring. But don’t take those things away, since they’re my inspiration.

Manifest Goodreads Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.
But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she'd ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?


Bold=Ava Regular= Artist Arthur

I love the cover for Manifest and I think it really fits the book. Did you have any say in it?
No, unfortunately I didn't. I just sent a description of Krystal and this is what they came up with. I love it too!

What kind of research did you have to do in order to get a background for the mythology in the Mystyx series?
I've always loved Greek Mythology so I have tons of books on the subject. When I started to plan this series I knew I wanted the mythology elements to play a big role.

What made you chose the setting be the town of Lincoln, Connecticut?
My thought was for a small coastal town that was all but forgotten until these strange things begin to happen. I'm always trying to take readers to a place they've never been so I finally decided a fictitional town would be a great option.

If you could have any Mystyx power what would it be?
Telepathy. There's so much dishonesty in the world I think, for at least a day, I'd like to know what people are truly thinking.

Describe your writing process- do you have a special place and time you write?
My preference is to write early in the morning, when hubby and kids are asleep because its so quiet and my creativity can really flow. However, I usually end up writing throughout the day either typing or handwriting scenes. If I'm in a deadline crunch I'll write in the evenings but that's usually family time.

If you could have one of your characters from Manifest over for dinner, who would it be?
Wow, three months ago the answer would have come quickly...Jake. Today, there's a few of them I'd like to sit down and chat with. LOL So, I guess I'd have to say Lindsey, because I'm dying to know how her story unravels.

Where did you get your inspiration for this paticular story?
A couple of places or things -- my daughter is an avid reader of YA paranormal so she had plenty of ideas and at one time during my teen years I felt like the outsider so I kind of wanted to explore a world where outsiders could save the day.

Favorite book(s)? Movie(s)? TV show(s)?
I love books, romance & young adult, so I have too many favorites to list. Grease is my all-time favorite muiscal, but Love Jones is my favorite movie. I'm so behind on TV shows, but I Love Lucy, Charmed and Bones are at the top of my list.

What is one thing your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
That I'm really shy. I know, I say that now and people are like, "Nah, no way." But it's true, an introvert I am.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Read the Sequel?

While participating in First Come, Second Serve month, which features reading sequels to books we've loved, I've thought of an interesting question. I'm curious what other think of it because this question has come up with in my own reading life quite a bit recently.

If you didn't like the first book in a series (but didn't outright hate it either) is it worth reading the sequel?

I have asked myself this on multiple occasions. Every time I finish a book and only rate it 3/5 stars, I always say I am still excited to read the sequel, because I am. But then I buy the sequel and check it out from the library and find so many other books that I want to read more, so I never get around to reading that sequel. I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spend reading something much for valuable and better.

The idea of First Come, Second Served was to narrow our TBR pile of sequels. I only put sequels on my list that I think I'm genuinely excited to read, but others I didn't include because I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read the sequel in the first place. It got me thinking, and this post was born.

If the first book isn't very good, can the sequel still be amazing? I really have yet to come across any like this, but please share with me. I'm so divided on this subject right now, I don't know if it's worth my time to pick up sequels I'm not expecting much from.

Recently, I have come across a few sequels that I'm not sure if I should pick up. If you love any of these books, let me know so I should read them.

Should I read any of these:

Torment by Lauren Kate
  • See my review of Fallen
  • Besides another awesome cover, I'm not sure if there's anything in this book making it better than the first, and I don't really want to take the time to go through another huge book.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

  • See my review of Shiver
  • Before you start hating me- listen!!! I know so many people who love Linger and Shiver. So that's why I'm really going to give Linger a chance. I even liked Shiver, a lot. I'm currently reading Linger, but I've been reading it for a week and a half now, and I am still on page 50. Somehow I keep finding myself reading other books and wondering if Linger is worth it...
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
  • I read Wicked Lovely a long time ago, way before I had a blog. Looking back, I probably would've rated it a 3/5.
  • I checked this out from the library probably 3 times now but have never read it before it was due. I still really want to read it, but I'm not sure if it's worth it.

Sequels I will most likely never read:

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

  • Ehh... Evermore is not a book I would ever want to read again. Nothing original at all and I couldn't stand the characters.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

  • See my review of Leviathan
  • I've seen a bunch of great reviews for Leviathan, but once again, it just wasn't for me, so I'm not interested in the sequel, though in this case I believe it will probably be better than the first.
I want to hear some other opinions- comment on this discussion! Have you ever read a sequel WAY better than the first book, or decided simply not to continue a series/read a sequel? We all have but I'm curious- what books in paticular?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

End of 2010 Survey

Since 2010 is almost over, I figured this survey would be a nice way to wrap up my year. I still feel like I just started my blog even though it's been over 5 months, so it's hard for me to pick some of these, but I'm doing my best. This survey was created by The Perpetual Page Turner.

Note: A lot of these books link to my reviews, but since I started by blog in July, I have a lot of books on this list I read before I started blogging and therefore don't have reviews for.

1. Best Book of 2010?

I know I've praised it a million times before on this blog, but I am in love with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. One of my new all time favorites.

2. Worst book of 2010?

I hate to say a book is terrible, I really couldn't stand Evermore by Alyson Noel (I read it before I started my blog). Out of all the ones I reviewed, even though I gave it three stars, I did not like Fallen by Lauren Kate at all.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?

Matched by Ally Condie. Don't get me wrong- I did enjoy this book a lot (I gave it four stars), but I was just expecting SO much more. I didn't really talk about this much in my review because I didn't want to give the impression that I didn't like the book, because I did. But it had so much potential and hype that just wasn't fulfilled.

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel! I was expecting nothing going into this. It looked like just another vampire book. I wouldn't have bought it, but I borrowed it, and I was so glad I did! It was a completely new take on vampires (something very hard to find these days) and a wonderful one!

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?

I always recommend The Hunger Games trilogy of course, but another series I was telling my friends about was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (and now, Clockwork Angel which was just as good). Even though I read them a year ago, I still love them so much!

6. Best series you discovered in 2010?
I haven't discovered a whole ton of series, but I guess I really like Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series (The Iron King and The Iron Daughter).

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
John Green is awesome, I discovered him earlier this year. Maggie Stiefvater and Carrie Ryan are also great new authors I read this year.

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
Percy Jackson series... totally awesome.

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?
Mockingjay! And the whole Hunger Games series easily takes this one.

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?

Once again- Mockingjay hands down. I didn't anticipate anything else nearly as much as this one.
11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
It seems like almost every book has another stunning cover! So here's a few beautiful covers (regardless of how I felt about the book)- Fallen by Lauren Kate, Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

12. Most memorable character in 2010?
I'm in love with Wayland North from Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. :)

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?
I love the Maggie Stiefvater's writing in Shiver. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff was very well written also.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott... this book made me FEEL so much emotion.

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?
I read The Princess Bride earlier this year- I've always loved the movie but I was so glad I read the book! I loved it!

Book Blogging in 2010 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2010?

I just started blogging this year, so all of them!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

Looking back at a bunch of my old reviews, I realized I've gotten a lot better at writing reviews since when I started my blog! Just looking through some of my recent ones, I think my review for Elixir by Hilary Duff was pretty good, well written and everything.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I'm not sure if it counts as a discussion, but I've had a lot of really cool posts. One was Gina's Guest Post: 9 Most Costume Inspiring Stories. It's Halloween themed, but it's still an awesome post and I encourage you to check it out! A more "discussion" related post was the Team Gale post I had back in August. That was a lot of fun to write and there were some great comments.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?
There's so much, I couldn't name just one!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Down the Rabbit Hole's YA Love Triangle Week was awesome.... that's all that comes to mind right now.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2010?

There's a bunch of awesome moments, but I'd probably say when I started actually recieving books in the mail from publishers/authors (which was really just a few weeks ago).

7. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.) ?

Book Blogs! Seriously, I knew blogs existed but I'd never imagined people would have a blog entirely devoted to books. I discovered some of my first ones in April this year, then started mine at the end of June.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: October 19, 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Review:
Nightshade didn't catch my eye at first. It looked good, but nothing special. The summary hardly does the book justice. For me, it was just another paranormal that I was looking forward to, but not dying to read or anything.

Well, then it was released and suddenly a bunch of 5 star reviews starting popping up everywhere. Five stars? I could hardly believe another werewolf book could be this good. Am I getting cynical about books? I hope not.

If I am, Nightshade changed all that for me. I was expecting something good, but Nightshade blew me away! This book was amazing! Best paranormal book of the year and it really made me want to be a werewolf, or should I say, Guardian.

Calla is the alpha female of her new wolf pack, and she kicks butt. But then she falls in love with Shay, a human, but soon learns there's more to him than she originally thought. At the beginning I didn't really connect with Shay too much and I thought their relationship moved a little fast. But as the book progressed, I started to love him!

Ren is the alpha male Calla is supposed to be with- under the orders of her pack's rulers, the Keepers. Unlike Shay, I liked Ren from the very beginning. I honestly think I could go either way- Ren or Shay. They were both great male characters. I can't wait to see more of them in the future!

The plot, though a little predictable (the second half especially), reminded me of a good dystopian. Plenty of suspense and aboslutely impossible to put down. It ended with a cliffhanger- something I sometimes love and sometimes hate- this time I think it worked very well. I can see a great set-up for the next book already.

I'm so glad I read this. I've been in a bit of a slump, disappointed in a lot of YA paranormals. But this book was everything I've been looking for in other books and just couldn't find.

I finished this 450-page book in 2 was impossible to put down. Definitely deserves 5 stars! I'm going to be buying this one and reading it over again before the next book comes out. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Here's all the books I received this week:

For Review:

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer ARC (Thanks HarperTeen!)


Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler (Thanks Confessions of a Bookaholic and Sarah Ockler)

From the Library:

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Week In Review:

Reviews I Posted:

Currently Reading:

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Upcoming Reviews:

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

And while you're here, stop by my giveaway for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It's part of First Come, Second Served Month, where we're reading sequels for the whole month of December. (I'm reading Linger right now, I should have it finished but I'm behind...)

Fun Weekly Findings

This is a new feature I'm going to be doing where I am going to share one new thing I discovered this past week- it can be absolutely anything, from a new word I learned, to a new cover release I found, to a new book blog I discovered, or anything else. It's going to be a fun way for me to share cool new stuff- bookish or non-bookish! I will share only one thing or many, whatever I feel like.

1. I only have one thing to share this week but it's awesome news if you haven't heard it yet. They have officially chosen the actress to play Clary in an upcoming City of Bones movie! Cassandra Clare posted about it on her blog here.

Clary will be played by Lily Collins (she was in The Blind Side). I can see her as Clary, I think she's a great choice! (With red hair, of course). I can't wait for the movie to come out, though I'm nervous at the same time because I think it would be very easy to screw it up like some other movie adaptions of novels I've seen.

What do you think of the casting choice?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

YA Historical Fiction Challenge

In 2011, I hope to explore more of one of my favorite genres- historical fiction. So I'm joining YA Bliss's Historical Fiction Challenge!

The goal? Read 15 Historical Fiction books in 2011. (I'm going for Level 3!)

This list is subject to change, and as I read find more Historical Fiction books, I'll add them to this post.

1. Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson
2. Vixen by Jillian Larkin
3. In the Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap
4. Faithful by Janet Fox
5. Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
6. Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein
7. A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
8. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
9. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelley
10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
11. The Season by Sarah Maclean
12. No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull
13. A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueline Kolosov
14. The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
15. The Last Full Measure by Ann Rinaldi

Anybody else participating in this challenge?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Series: The Replacement #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: Sept. 21 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 3.5/5

My Review:

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps
and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

My Review:

I didn't realize how long it has been since I've posted a review. Allow me to apologize. :) Especially since I finished The Replacement about a week ago.

Maybe it's due to the fact that I haven't written a review in a while that this review is a bit unconventional. Or maybe it's just because The Replacement was not a very conventional book.

World building- I loved it so, so much. The small town of Gentry seems so typical at first, but we soon learn that dark secrets keep the whole town running. Weird things happen there all the time but the citizens are so ignorant, only believing what they want to, to avoid facing the dark truths. Yovanoff does an absolutely beautiful way of conveying this sense in her writing, characters, and the way the town is described. It's all very vague at first, which may bother some people, but I didn't mind it, because as the book progressed it became much more clear.

Mackie Doyle was amazing and I loved him. It was such a unique perspective to hear from. He wasn't supposed to live when he was younger, yet by the love of his family, especially his sister, he did. I also loved reading about Tate, Drew, Danny, and all the other supporting characters.

This book had so many good elements, but I had one issue that is a bit difficult to pin down exactly: it was too put-down-able. It took too long to really get to the plot and besides Mackie's charm, I found it hard to find something to keep reading. The resolution of the plot was fairly simple, and it all ended well, almost too well.

According to Goodreads, this is the first of a series called "The Replacement", so I'm expecting there to be sequels, though that is a bit disappointing for me because for some reason I think this book would be better as a stand alone. It wrapped up it's own story really well.

I almost don't want to rate this book, because I feel like I can't compare it to others. I didn't love it or hate it, it was just there somewhere in the middle. I'm giving this book a 3.5/5 rating, though I debated for a while about giving it a 4. I've read a lot of other people's reviews and they all love this book, so I would recommend it!

I want to caution anyone, I was surprised by the amount of strong language and f-bombs that frequently showed up in this book. It wasn't a ridiculously extreme amount, but if it bothers you this may not be the book you'd want to pick up.

Funny story- while I remember this- when I checked it out from the library the first time a section of 25 pages was missing from the middle, and it was a brand new book. I didn't realize they were missing until getting about a fourth of the way through it, and I was very upset! I finally got another copy though. Thinking back, this was a such a weird thing to come across in a brand new book and I think it makes this book all the more creepy. Maybe the Lady or some other creature cut them out? No, wait, they can't handle scissors. Metal. ;)

Cover: 5/5
It conveys such a creepy tone that really fit this book. Sharp metal objects hanging over a baby crib? Perfect.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Release Date: July 21 2011

Goodreads Summary:
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. The water calls to her, draws her in, forces her to sing her deadly song to unsuspecting victims. If she succumbs, she kills. If she doesn’t, the pain is unbearable. To keep herself and those she cares about safe, she shuts herself off, refusing to make friends or fall in love—again. Because the last time she fell in love with a boy, he ended up dead.

Then Lexi meets Cole. Against her better judgment, she finds herself opening up again, falling in love when she knows she shouldn’t. But when she’s offered the chance to finally live a normal life, she learns that the price she must pay to be free of her curse is giving him up.

In Ripple, Mandy Hubbard spins a sea-ravaged tale of melancholy beauty, and the choices one girl makes between land and waves, love and freedom, her future—and her heart.

Why I'm Excited:
Mermaids/Sirens are probably the one paranormal genre I have yet to read a lot of books in, but the one I have read I loved. I've heard great things about Mandy Hubbard too though I have yet to read any of her books. This book looks amazing and the cover really caught my eye- I love the girl's dress, the stormy sky, the sea in the background... I hope the book is just as good!

What's your pick this week?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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

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

My Teaser:

"It reminded me of the warm spring days taht used to unfold me from my wolf form, days when I was so happy to get my fingers back.
It seemed so wrong to be alone right now."

-pg 171 of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

If you love Shiver, you have to read Linger! I'm so glad I'm finally getting around to reading it. And if you haven't read Shiver yet, get a chance to read it by entering my giveaway here!

Shiver Giveaway

I'm giving away 2 paperback copies of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, as part of First Come Second Served Month!

Goodreads Summary:

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

is an awesome book I read awhile ago-see my review here! If you haven't read it yet, here's a perfect opportunity to get started on The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

Giveaway rules:
  • Please only fill out the form ONCE.
  • You can have a total of 4 entries (all on the one form).
  • US only
  • You must be a follower of Book Infinity.
  • Contest deadline: December 21

To enter: Fill out the form here.

Giveaway generously supplied by Scholastic, Inc.


Monday, December 6, 2010

First Come, Second Served Month

Welcome to First Come, Second Served Month! To see a master list of all the giveaways and interviews happening this month, go here.

I will be reading one sequel a week. This week I will be reading Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.

Goodreads Summary:
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

Linger is book 2 of The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, the sequel to Shiver. I'm excited to start reading it!

If you're participating, link your reviews of sequels up over at Down the Rabbit Hole at the end of each week. (You don't have to sign up to participate or anything, either, just enter the giveaway by posting a review!)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox VLOG (13)

In My Mailbox is a super cool meme hosted by The Story Siren, to give book bloggers opportunities to share books they've recieved.

This week I have a VLOG... I will be covering I've gotten in the past 3 weeks since it's been a while since I've done one of these posts! I apologize it's a little long because of that, and I cut out a few parts where I felt like I was rambling to make it shorter.

For Review:
Entwined by Heather Dixon
From the Dead by John Herrick
Logic of Demons by H.A. Goodman
Manifest by Artist Arthur

For Giveaways:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

From the Library:
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Minder by Kate Kaynak

Thanks to:
Extreme Reader Book Reviews
John Herrick
H.A. Goodman
Scholastic Inc.
Greenwillow Press

Week In Review

Reviews Posted:
Manifest by Artist Arthur

Currently Reading:
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Upcoming Reviews:
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Fun Weekly Findings

This is a new feature I'm most likely going to be posting on it's own, but for today it's sharing a post with In My Mailbox. I am going to share one new thing I discovered this past week- it can be absolutely anything, from a new word I learned, to a new cover release I found, to a new book blog I discovered, or anything else. It's going to be a fun way for me to share cool new stuff- bookish or non-bookish! I will share only one thing or many, whatever I feel like.

I'll start the first post of Fun Weekly Findings by sharing a variety of things.

1. New Book Blogs I've Discovered!

Though I didn't join the Blogger Hop, I visited a couple of blogs from the list at Crazy For Books anyway.
Here are a few blogs I've recently started following:

Scribing Shadows

Books by their Story

Words and Whispers

Swords for Fighting

They all have great book blogs that should be checked out! I'm glad I discovered them.

2. Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

I still haven't read Bright Young Things but I hope I can soon! I saw the cover for the second one- it looks great, as they usually do.

3. Starbucks Peppermint White Mocha
Oh my gosh if you haven't had it it's amazing. That's all I need to say. (Oh yes, and their red Christmas cups!)

I'm not making this a meme or anything... just something I'm doing for myself, but if you would like to join in leave a link to your post in the comments!