Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Blood by K. J. Wignall

This meme is hosted over at Should Be Reading. Check out the rules and post your own Teaser!

This week:
"I wonder if she had fallen in love with me or if I had unwittingly mesmerized her, a process I still did not fully understand at that time. I'm pained to think that her decision might have been unduly influenced, that she might not have fully understood what I was asking of her."

Page 92 from Blood by K. J. Wignall

What's your Teaser?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday 8/26

This fun, weekly meme is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

A. Shapeshifters. It would make a lot of sense to find out that some people can shift into certain animals. How many times in your life have you described somebody by their animal-like features or tendencies? I'm not the only one to nickname their neighbors in this way, right? For example, I live near Fish-guy and Wolf-man, and that's just naming a few ;-)

This fun meme is hosted at Crazy For Books. Check it out and join in!

“Non-book-related this week!! Do you have pets?”

Answer: I always thought I would have a dog once I was married and had kids. Then I actually had the kids....and after 4 1/2 years of changing one or two kids' diapers at a time, I decided that pets could wait until everybody could take care of their own hind ends :-) We're getting closer. Just one more to go, haha!

What about you??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

I read about half of this book and thought it was just kind of 'meh'. Around midway through I decided I must have been in a reading transition fog or something. From that point all the way to the end I thought it was a great read.

The Vespertine mixes the paranoid propriety of the 1900s with these little stolen moments between Amelia and Nathaniel. They had an immediate connection, and Amelia risks her reputation just to be near him. I thought it was great how small things like having Nathaniel touch her neck without his gloves *gasp* or stare with such longing at her lips made me hungry to keep reading. Their electric encounters are part of what kept me reading in the first place and I felt it just got better as the book progressed. And the last page just about killed me! I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

As far as writing technique and style, this author had a cool, kind of off-beat way of describing things that I really liked. Plus, she really had the etiquette and speech patterns of the era down pat. It felt like reading the dialogue in a classic novel rather than a modern day book set in that time period.

This one is definitely worth checking out.

Publication Date: March 7, 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Source: My public library

Teaser Tuesday 8/23: The Vespertine

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

"It hardly mattered that I was ruined and alone. For one sunlit season, I had laughed and I had loved and I had been extraordinary. It was a glorious ruination - my madness was mine - and for that, I was not sorry."

Page 287 of The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

What's your Teaser?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/22

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Read/Reviewed last week:

Camille by Tess Oliver

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading this week:

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

I'm halfway done and should finish it up this week. This one is from the library so I've had to push it back while I do some other reviews.

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

I'm looking forward to starting this one!

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them...

This is going to be a hard review for me to do. Mainly because I loved this book. I loved it so much . . . I kind of want to marry it :-) Seriously though, this book had to have been written by a nerd. I happen to like nerds. I married one, and I happen to be one myself. That being said, I don't think you have to be a hard-core video game loving geek to really enjoy Ready Player One.

The hero of this story is Wade Watts, or as his OASIS avatar is known, Perzival. I liked this book for many reasons, but this character is one of the biggest. He is like a real person. He does and thinks and feels the things you would really feel. He's just like so many boys his age that live in our very own world. I loved seeing how he evolved throughout the story from being unsure of himself socially to being a total kick-ass, confident dude.

I loved that the world was so much like our own. I didn't think of it as science fiction really but more like a fictional glimpse into what our future could look like. It is a totally believable and awesome premise. The real world has gone to crap, and people pretty much live their lives in the OASIS. The OASIS is a haven for people to escape their dull, depressing lives.

If you are worried that you have to be well-versed in video games or technology to like this book, you don't! I promise! The story and characters alone are so good that you won't be able to put it down. BUT, if you happen to be a video-game loving dork then I think this book will hold a special place in your heart. I have to say I gave myself a pat on the back for getting the 'chaotic neutral' reference in one of the dialogue exchanges :-) Although I really have my husband to thank for that one since he's mainly responsible for all the geeky things I know and like!

I just can't do this book justice, so you really have to read it for yourself. I have been telling everyone how they have to read this book or I'll be mad at them forever. Ready Player One jumped up into my top ten favorite books . . . and those are some lofty titles I have in there. I don't dethrone books on that list for any old book that comes along :-)

Read it! You won't be disappointed.

Publication Date: August 16, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Thanks to Crown Publishers and Netgalley.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday 8/19

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted at Crazy For Books. Check it out and join in!

This week's question:
“What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?” (Note: I’m putting one caveat on this question. You aren’t allowed to say the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or other religious/spiritual text.)

This is an easy one. It's either The Crippled God by Steven Erickson, or one of Robert Jordan's books in The Wheel of Time Series. Epic and High Fantasy books tend to be long winded :-) I don't mean that bad, by the way. Those are two author's that I love reading. I don't always feel up for an 'epic' read (or have the time to invest in it), so I can also appreciate shorter novels. Longer doesn't always mean better!

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to find new blogs and meet new bloggers.

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

A. I have two. First, Nynaeve from RJ's Wheel of Time Series. She is my favorite female character in those books, and I've always thought it would be awesome to face-off with one of the Forsaken. Plus my hubby says we have similar tempers? Not true, of course :-) Second, I have to be totally honest. Bella Swan. I really shouldn't have to explain this one! And I know I'm not the only one that chose her, right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Camille by Tess Oliver

At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.

When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille loses another inch of her soul to him. In a month’s time, she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart.

I found this book one day while messing around on my Nook. I searched for 'young adult paranormal romance' and quite a few books popped up. Most of them were what I would consider indie authors, which I have no problem with. The simple title of this book jumped out at me, so I decided to see what it was about. The synopsis sounded like something I would like, and there was an excerpt from the book that totally sold me on it. It was steamy, angsty and tense. Just what I was looking for (don't judge).

Let me just say that I really liked this book. The author drew me into Camille's world. I liked the juxtaposition of the proper setting mixed with the strange nighttime escapades of Camille and Dr. Bennett. The relationship between those two characters was really cool. Dr. Bennett is a genius scientist that is trying to find a cure for lycanthropy but might forget to eat if Camille weren't there to make him take care of himself. I liked how they discussed hunting werewolves the same as they would discuss what time they'd like to have tea.

Camille meets a rogue-ish young man. Nathaniel, or Strider as he is sometimes called, lives his life on the streets. He gets by however he can, but normally uses his good looks and charming smile to sweep women off their feet. Camille first sees him when she and Dr. Bennett are hunting a werewolf that ends up biting Nathaniel. They follow him and convince him to let them help find a cure. As for the romance in this book, there are some awesome, tingly, tension-filled parts. My only complaint is that the author would build the tension in those scenes so well, and then right when it got really good it just fell kind of flat. I would have liked to see it drawn out a bit more, perhaps.

All in all, this was an entertaining read. I plan on checking out a few more books by this author in the future.

Pulication Date: July 8, 2010

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Source: My own e-book library.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Camille by Tess Oliver

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

"I agree you are completely to blame, but it will not be dreadful because we will not destroy Nathaniel."

"Camille," his voice cracked, "there is nothing else to be done."

Page 668 of Camille by Tess Oliver (Don't let the page numbers scare you off! I'm reading this on my Nook, so you blow through the pages pretty quickly :-)

*Review to come on Wednesday!*

What is your Teaser?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! D This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Even though I have piles and piles of books that I really need to read, I couldn't resist a trip to the library at the beginning of last week. I think it has more to do with the thrill of walking out of there with a huge stack of books for free than anything else. So some of these books are from the library, some are new e-book finds, and others are netgalleys.

Read/reviewed this week:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Ashfall by Mike Mullin (Review coming in September. Loved it!)

Currently Reading:

Camille by Tess Oliver

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Ready Player One by Ernest Kline

I'm really excited about this one! I love to play video games and I've read a few books that have blended that concept with the advancement of technology and how we use it in our lives. The 'Otherland' series by Tad Williams comes to mind. I loved those, and hope this one puts a new spin on things. Plus, in a world where everyone is so dependent on technology is it really such a stretch that something like this would eventually be possible? Maybe, but it's fun to go through that 'what if' process.

So there's my week in books! What are you reading?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This weekly meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. Check it out and join in!

This week's prompt:

“Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! If you can’t find any, feel free to find one on the internet!”

The title and cover of this book jumped out at me while browsing the shelves at the bookstore. It's in my huge pile of things I need to read, and I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations. You can check out what this book is about here.

OR if you've already read this one, feel free to leave me a comment telling me what you thought. Don't forget to leave a link to your own Book Blogger Hop!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I have to admit that I wasn't too impressed with this book at the beginning. It took about 50 pages for me to get into it, but after that I couldn't put it down.

The story is about Sophie and start off with how she lands at Hecate Hall, or Hex Hall as it is known to the kids that go there. She has her first encounter with Archer Cross, the hottie in the story, as soon as she gets to the school. I always looked forward to reading the verbal interactions between their two characters because it was just plain fun to read.

The writing style is really different and cool. The story is narrated by Sophie. Her inner monologue is very funny and addicting to read. Plus, it leads to some pretty hilarious exchanges with some of the other characters in the book. She is a seriously loveable character, very easy to relate to.

Now I'm hooked and have to find time for Book two, Demonglass.

Sidenote: I can't believe this hasn't been made into a movie or tv show. I think it would translate perfectly to either of those forms of media.

Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Good old-fashioned public library system

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

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

'He wonders if she were a real person if he would feel more incensed at the abuse she suffers. It's an odd thing, being with a manufactured creature, built and trained to serve.'

-Page 184 of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupo

What's your Teaser?

Monday, August 8, 2011

E-book Deals: $3.99 and Under!

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly

$3.99 Nook

$3.49 Kindle

I almost bought this at the bookstore yesterday for about $17, so I thought this was a GREAT deal! Plus, I've heard really good things about it.

Moon Dance (Vampire for Hire #1) by J. R. Rain
Nook or Kindle

The Witches of Santa Anna (bundle of books 1-7) by Lauren Barnholdt and Aaron Gorvine
$2.99 Nook
$0.99 Kindle

Doomed (Ancient Legends #2)by Jayde Scott

Nook or Kindle

I didn't realize when I put this on that it was Book #2, although it looks like they could stand alone as well. Book 1: A Job From Hell, is $0.99

Nook or Kindle

Marked (Book 1)by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast


Nook or Kindle

I've read most of these and really liked them.

Evermore (Book 1) by Alyson Noel


Nook or Kindle

I've also read most of this series, and liked it as well.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates And Charlene Keel

In the quaint town of Middleburg, an abandoned train yard and old railroad tracks form the dividing line between two rival gangs—the posh, preppie Toppers and the working-class Flatliners. When Raphael, the leader of the Flatliners, falls in love with Aimee, a Topper girl, the rival gangs prepare to do battle . . . but not with guns and knives. Their martial arts training dictates a strict code of honor, which all of the gang members adhere to. The only hope for peace between the rival gangs lies within the giant X formed where the railroad tracks cross. The awesome power contained in the X sends the Flatliners and the Toppers on a mystical quest to fight against malevolent forces that threaten the existence of Middleburg—and maybe the world.

After getting this book and reading the write-up on the back, I was kind of skeptical about the idea of martial arts playing a large part within the story. On the other hand, I was also really interested because I don't think I've read much, if anything, like it before.

From the first few pages I was intrigued by the mystery behind the tracks in the town of Middleburg, and I was drawn into the rivalry between the Toppers and the Flatliners. The extreme hatred between the two groups is intense. It's also why the two main characters, Aimee and Raphael, can't be together. Sort of a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing.

I noticed throughout the story that it presents a positive message about being kind to others, treating them fairly, and doing what's right. That was another way that martial arts tied into the plot very seamlessly. It also shows through the characters' choices and attitudes that even if you come from less than perfect circumstances, you can choose to rise above.

There were a lot of fight scenes involving martial arts. I thought they were believable and easy to read. The use of martial arts and its principles is how the characters tap into their supernatural abilities, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I look forward to seeing what happens with all of the characters in the next book, especially Ignacio. He turned out to be one of my favorites. Cool and confident mixed with bumbling and shy. I was pleasantly surprised by Dark Territory, and I'm looking forward to reading what happens in book two!

Publication Date: July 01, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal
Source: HCI Teens

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This fun meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. There's a new question each Friday. Check it out and join in!

This week's question:

“What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?”

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

This is book number six for this series and the current publication date is August 30, 2011. As far as paranormal romance goes, this is probably my favorite. A coworker suggested I read them -well, she pretty much demanded that I read them- and I've loved them from the very beginning.

They have a lot of sexy characters and goings on ;-) The main hottie in this book is Bones and I have a huge book crush on him. If you've read any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and liked them, then you need to check out these books!! It's a tough call on who's more studly, Bones or Eric Northman. Yum!

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Darkness Falling by Peter Crowther


Zombie monsters struck from the mold of countless drive-in B movies supply mayhem and gore in Darkness Falling. Their onslaught is heralded one day by a predawn flash of unearthly light that cuts off middle-American everyville Jesman's Bend from communication with the outside world. When four employees of local radio station KMRT investigate, they find the town mysteriously depopulated, apparently in the middle of regular routines. Familiar folk reappear shortly afterward, all wearing concealing sunglasses and gloves and driven by malignant alien motives revealed when they descend en masse upon the terrified foursome . . .

Darkness Falling is the first book in the Forever Twilight series. It starts off as just an average day, and then there is a blinding, white light. Afterwards, there are only a few people left. Everyone else is just gone. As the survivors are trying to figure out what happened and come to terms with the fact that the people around them have disappeared, there is another flash of light. This time all those people are back, but they aren’t what they appear to be.

I knew that I would probably like this book before I even read it. The premise is something that really appeals to me. It has a cool story and some very interesting characters. It starts out introducing you to some of the key players. All of them have a defining flaw or issue, and some of them are just plain crazy. Then they are thrown into this life-altering situation and it was cool to see some of them rise to the occasion. Virgil really stood out to me as one of my favorite characters to read. I would definitely describe him as a ‘creeper’, but knowing the reason for why he’s so screwed up made me feel sympathetic towards him. I was really rooting for him and look forward to seeing more of him in the next book.

Now, this book does have some gore in it. Well, there’s no ‘some’ about it. While I wouldn’t say that’s normally my cup of tea, it actually added to the whole feel of the book for me. During those parts I kind of shook my finger in mock scolding, but I was secretly really enjoying it. I could picture the action and shoot-em-up parts in movie form, especially the climax at the very end.

One other thing that I think this author did a superbly good job of was building up a feeling of suspense as you read through it. Darkness Falling gains momentum as it goes, and I ended up really liking it.

Publication Date: 9/27/2011
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Adult

Source: Thanks to http://www.netgalley.com/ and Angry Robot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel

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

I hate to tell you this, Maggie had often thought of saying to her mother, but he's not coming back to Crazyville - not ever. And you know what? I don't blame him one bit.

-Page 210 of Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel