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Please Note: Requests are closed at this time. ^_^ Thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review: Revamped (No Spoilers)

Author: Ada Adams
Publish Date: February 2012
Publisher: Self
A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

Small towns are my favorite settings. Angel Creek is the perfect definition of small town and friendly. It definitely makes the weird/bad stuff that happens there more dramatic because hey, that just doesn’t happen in small towns. 

Dawn is a great character. She is bad ass like avatar Korra without the bending and it makes sense. Too many times have I read a book where a character is great at doing something without any explanation as to why and that is frustrating. I love the chip on her shoulders. She has a sense of responsibility that is admirable. I love her personality. She is a great character. 

The one thing I love most is none of the characters here are cardboard cutouts.  Dawn's crew of misfits all have their own lovely personalities. It's a great thing to see all the individuality in the characters. They each stand out form another and are definitely well thought out.

The story moves along its plotline at a good pace. It’s not rushing through scenes nor does it meander to the point of boredom. The story moves at just the right pace to entertain and hold attention. And the twists? Ha! I never saw it coming but I won’t spoil it for anyone. It’s certainly something I recommend reading for all vampire lovers.  

My Rating: 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week (on Tuesday, obviously) they post a different topic and we create a list of our top ten for that topic. This Tuesday's is the Top Ten All time Favorite Book characters. These are in no particular order:

1.) Prince Ash (The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa) What I love most about Ash is his perseverance. He’s got a human bullheaded trait that makes him one of the most honorable characters I’ve ever come across in a book so far. 

2.) Aria (Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi) She was handed a death sentence. I was impossible for her to survive. Not only did she survive, but she thrived too. 

3.) Logan (Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep) Logan is a bad ass but not in the sense of the word bad. He is a skilled fighter with any weapon you hand him. He’s also slightly withdrawn and always at the right place when Gwen needs help. It’s admirable.

4.) Tris (Divergent by Veronica Roth) What can I really say about Tris? She is the definition of cool. She has this uncanny ability to adapt and think on her feet that is really valuable within her caste. She’s brave to a fault but it only makes her character more loveable. She wants to protect everyone.

5.) Zachary (Shade by Jeri Ready-Smith) He is the perfect gentleman. His patience is limitless and he’s kind. Zach is the all around nice guy and it shows that nice guys don’t finish last Zach is the perfect example. ^_^ Did I mention he's Scottish?

6.) Eona (Eon by Alison Goodman) There is no better example of life being hard. Eona breaks rules that means death if she’s caught. Her every action could mean being caught and being sentenced to death. However she did what was needed to do and I admire her resolve and she is definitely a great character.

7.) Irial (Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr) I love this man.  He is the greatest form of wicked that I can think of and I love it. He has this I don’t give a damn attitude and this casualness that highlights his wickedness. You know just by his attitude that he’s bad news, but you’re drawn to him anyway.

8.) Avry (Touch of Power by maria V Snyder) Avry’s very existence makes her a fugitive. She has done nothing wrong but exist and even in this adversity she does as she chooses. She is one of the noblest heroines in YA that I’ve read so far.

9.) Hale (Heist Society by Ally Carter) Hale is Hale. There really is no other way to define him. He’s rich, and arrogant with it. He’s an excellent actor and an excellent thief. Even so he has this strong loyalty to friends and family and he has this warped perception of right and wrong that makes twisted sense. He’s certainly one of my favs. 

10.) Theia (Falling Under by Gwen Hayes) Theia starts out as a sheltered child. She follows a strict pattern of line that she hasn’t dared change until. ^_^ I love her growth. I love how she was scared to try but she didn’t let it stop her. She used it to push herself further. She is a great person and I love her for it. 

What are your top ten? ^_^


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Review: First Date

First Date
Author: Krista McGee
Publish Date: January 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Addy Davidson discovers God's unexpected plans for her life when a reality TV show turns her quiet existence on its head.

The orphaned daughter of missionaries, Addy is quite content to stay in the shadows and never draw attention to herself. But when she's selected for a reality TV show to try to become the President son's prom date-a show she didn't audition for-she's suddenly in America's spotlight.

The lights, the make-up, the competitions, and the blogs discussing every move she makes all make Addy incredibly uncomfortable. But through her time at The Mansion, Addy comes to realize that first impressions aren't always right, that hiding out may not be what God had planned for her life, and that her faith should affect everything she does. It may just be that her selection wasn't random at all and that she's on this show "for such a time as this."

Personally, I’m not fond of reality TV.  I get enough of life’s drama without watching it on my TV, so I wasn’t entirely taken by the idea of a reality TV type book.  How interesting could it actually be in a book?
Addy is our normal everyday girl.  She has a deep love for her family and an admirable commitment to her friends.  I thought her to be just a little bland.  Yes, she got angry, and yes she cried and all that jazz, but it felt flat.  It didn’t feel genuine.   

Jonathan felt a bit more whole than Addy did.  Though he wasn’t prominent, it was more Addy’s interactions with everyone else, when he did have a role it had more pizzazz in it than some of the encounters with Addy.

The story isn’t a bad one. It’s a bit lack luster but I think the point of it was clear.  I certainly understood the underlying meaning presented.  The story does move from point A to point B without any huge glitches or filler space. It’s not a faced paced read but it is a steady pleasant one. 

My Rating:


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!

This week the book I'm currently reading is Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. And my two teaser sentences are:
"My stom­ach re­belled and I started to gag. I forced down the bile in my throat, try­ing hard to avoid the in­dig­nity of vom­it­ing all over Valek’s desk."

 If you haven't read Maria V. Snyder yet, then I definitely recommend ANY of her books. What is your pick?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Treasured Thursdays: Debut Books

Treasured Thursdays is a weekly meme I originally created here however, it’s being hosted over at Mel’s Book blog as I’ve not had the time to coax it into fruition. This week our topic (picked by Mel) is debut books we've treasured. 

I’ve read so many wonderful books I couldn’t just pick one, so I have two here that I’d like to share as my debut favorites.

The first one is:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

It’s a very fast paced, exhilarating story.  Another reason I’ve loved it so much is because it’s the first dystopia novel I’ve ever read.  It’s a definite must read for ALL YA readers.

The second one is:

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if no one believes her.

All I really need to say is STEAMPUNK! Hello! But on a more serious note this story is so vibrant and well told that the steampunk feels real and believable. 

What are your picks? Why?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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!

This week the book I'm currently reading is Eon by Alison Goodman. And my two teaser sentences are:

"Apparently Lady Dela's house was not part of the main community near the section gate. It was her choice, the porter had said quickly."

HAHA. Did I leave you in suspense? ^_^ What's your pick this week?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Review: Winter's Shadow

Winter’s Shadow
Author: M.J. Hearle
Publish Date: June 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

I was sucked in originally by the gorgeously, intriguing cover.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone’s hair that red naturally, but I liked the effect it gives to the dark jackets and creepy trees.  I find it refreshingly original in comparison to some of the covers out there right now, but how does the story compare?

Winter, or Winnie/Win as she’s called throughout the book, is certainly a puzzling character.  I don’t quite get her. She’s rather aloof and withdrawn towards everyone except her BFF and Blake.  Even to her sister she’s rather callous. I think this is an interesting perspective to take, especially considering her history. Some characters don’t reflect their history in their actions so it makes it hard to emphasize with them. I understand where Winter’s coming from and I totally get why she is the way she is, and that’s awesome that an author took the time out to build up the character in that way.

Blake is enigmatic.  We know very little of him from start to finish.  At finish we still don’t quite know his whole story but we have most of it.  We get enough of his story to know that he’s taken on a burden that he didn’t have to, but had enough of kindness and honor to do the right thing. I enjoyed his interactions with Winter. 

The story isn’t fast paced but it’s not slow either.  It has a nice rhythm to it that I don’t feel like it’s rushed nor do I feel like it’s way overdone. There are a few parts I don’t still fully understand why they’re there, but it doesn’t take away from the story being told. It’s like a quirk in the story’s character in a way. (And I’m sure those quirks will probably be explained in the coming book.)

Overall it’s a reliable, pleasant read.  I would certainly recommend it for paranormal readers and to the lesser extent romance readers. (though the romance is very light.)

My Rating:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Soap box: Negative Reviews

I’ve heard (not experienced mind you) a few blogger friends complain that an author has ripped their heads off for a negative review of their book. Which of course to me, doesn’t sound very professional and it doesn’t really sound like the author was willing to take it as a learning experience either. Thereof, I’d like to ask what’s going on?

I’ve never experienced it directly probably because I posted very clearly, in my blog policy that there were strings attached to asking me to read a book.  I WILL be HONEST. BRUTALLY SO. I would think that was something any author would want regardless of good or bad. 

Let’s face a cold hard truth. NO ONE is perfect. There is no perfect book, no perfect way of writing, no perfect premise that is undoubtly flawless in its theory. 

On the other side of that coin, we are ALL individual and unique. What I like I know for a fact my BFF doesn’t. I have close friends completely opposite of me. What does this have to do with a negative review?

Taste, my friends. It’s all about what we like and don’t like. One of my closest friends has a bachelor’s in English and she is the most nitpicky grammar etiquette reader I have even met. She will tear a book apart by grammar alone. Another of my friends likes any book that keeps her entertained regardless of how it’s written. Me? I’m a steady balance of the two.

Now, that we’ve established everyone’s tastes are different, a negative review (or several of them) should be expected. They should actually be anticipated more than a positive review. I also think they’re more important than a positive review too. Why?

A negative review gives an author insight. It tells them this person read your book but didn’t like it because… Well, this is a perfect learning and growing opportunity. A negative review is like getting that C+ grade back from the teacher with a little note saying you could have done this here in a different way and it would have made better sense. 

Does this make the author’s book a bad book because it got horribly negative reviews? No. Not at all. The only thing that’s ever bad is if one ignores the lesson behind it.  What it does mean though is it wasn’t to the tastes of the person that reviewed it. However, when the author begins to write the next book, maybe they’ll think back and take into consideration the negative reviews they got on the last one. Maybe they’ll change the way they word something, or maybe they’ll write full backstories for their characters before having them interact with each other so they’re not cardboard cutouts. 

The point is this. Negativity is only negative if you think it that way. When a blogger takes the time out to read a book, that they’re really not required to read and it’s not on their TBR list they shouldn’t have their heads bitten off for providing a less than amicable review. It is constructive criticism that we hope you’ll take into consideration so when we read your next book, we can see that you’ve grown as an author. 

“Only a Fool thinks he knows what is best. A Wise man listens to advice.” –Anonymous

Team Badges for Infernal Devices (or MI)

Mel over at Mel's Book Blog asked me a while back for a Team Will and a Team Magnus badge to showcase her love on her blog. Since I'm a huge Team Jem fan, I thought what not just make all three and call it a day. So here for your team spirit pleasure are the badges:

Team Magnus (complete with glitter)

And the code:

<a href="http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/" target="Cassandra Clare Tumblr"><img src="http://i1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/TouyaE/Team%20Badges/TeamMagnus2.png" border="0" alt="Magnus" width= "80%" height= "80%" /></a>

Team Will:

And the code:

<a href="http://www.theinfernaldevices.com/" target="Infernal Devices"><img src="http://i1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/TouyaE/Team%20Badges/TeamWill.png" width="150" height="150" alt="Will" /></a>

Team Jem:

And the Code:

<a href="http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/" target="Cassandra Clare Tumblr"><img src="http://i1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/TouyaE/Team%20Badges/InfernalDevices.jpg" border="0" alt="Magnus" width= "80%" height= "80%" /></a>

I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, this is all I have. ^_^ No one has asked for anything else, thus I have not made anything else. But if you want a different kind of badge leave a comment or hit up my twitter/Facebook page and let me know. I'll see what I can do about it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we just can’t wait for. ^_^ Without further pomp and flourish here is my pick for this week:
Breath by Sara Crossan estimated release date: October 2012
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Doesn't it look AWESOME? I think it's going to be great. ^_^ What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week (on Tuesday, obviously) they post a different topic and we create a list of our top ten for that topic. This Tuesday's is the Top Ten Books to Read in a Day.

It took me a bit to think on all the books I've read and reread in a day. These are my favorites out of the bunch as well.  Just because I read them in a day doesn't make them a good book, so I've picked out my favorites of the curl up and read in a day selection. Here they are: 

1. Tithe by Holly Black - There's no reason NOT to read this in a day. It's one of the best told modern fairy tales I've ever read. 

2. Forget You by Jennifer Echols - This is one of my most loved books of hers. It's such a powerful, heartening story.

3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - I have one word to describe this book and why it MUST be read in a day: EPIC.

4. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder -  I got to read an arc from NetGalley and let me tell you I read it at least once a week every week until the arc expired. ^_^ It is now on my shelf. The story is awesome!

5. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready - Scottish Hero. 'Nough said. (Especially if you're listening to the audio book. ^_^)

6. Falling Under by Gwen Hayes - Such an original twist to a paranormal story.  I was so taken I could not put it down until it was done. Definitely a one day read.

7. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross - STEAMPUNK LOVE! That should be enough but in case it's not the plot will keep you guessing until nearly the very end. ^_^

8. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - I could not read the Mortal Instrument books in one sitting; it just didn't entertain me like that but THIS ONE. OMG. Glued to it.

9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Who doesn't need a cute, fluffy story every once in a while? Especially one so cute it MUST be read in a day.

10. Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep - Generally speaking most of the "academy" books (you know, they take place on some private school's grounds) can't hold my attention but this one? We have Valkyries AND Spartans. Pfft. One Day read, easy. ^_^

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review: The Pledge (Spoiler Free)

The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publish Date: November 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom…. (GoodReads)

I love foreign languages. Thereof a book based on languages was instantaneous a good idea.  However, I had some doubts of how it would actually work. How do you create a new language for every class of people? I was amazed by the creative thinking in the creation of this book.

Charlie is a great protagonist. She’s not a perfect; can do anything character. She doesn’t want to do everything either. She’s also not a cardboard cutout. I can empathize with her struggle to hide being different.  Everyone hides being strange or different at some point in their life. (Of course in reality it doesn’t cost your life if you’re different.) It was great to have a protagonist that really was every day and slightly boring.  She wasn’t trying to save the world; she was just trying to get by.

The story is fluid. It moves from point A to point B without any unnecessary or complicated detours that have no relevance to the plot. I was so happy to read a book that didn’t have an erroneous amount of filler. The author knew what she wanted and she got us there without the un-necessaries. 

I read the book in one sitting.  I could not put it down.  It was a highly entertaining story and I look forward to the next installment of the series. While it doesn’t take the cake for me, it is a perfect cup of tea. ^_^

My Rating: