Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 354 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Series: Birthright #1
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.

At first glance, All These Things I've Done struck me as silly. The whole idea of chocolate being illegal just seemed like something I'd never be able to take seriously. As the story goes on, though, everything falls into place and just begins to make sense. Once that started to happen, I really liked this book.

First and foremost--the way this book was written. I love the narration from Anya's POV, like she's actually TELLING us what happened. She tells us what she remembers, how she remembers it exactly. She even tells us why some things weren't mentioned and whatnot. It was nice and made Anya feel real, like a friend telling a story.

The relationships in this book also made me happy. Most specifically, the family relationship in this book. Leo--that boy warms my heart. And Natty's a little sweetie as well. Even beyond direct family, to Yuri and Mickey and the extended family. I really like the idea of family looking out for family and am excited to see what becomes of this throughout the series.

Character Rundown: Anya--Anya's okay. What I like best about her is that she's her own person. Strong and self-sufficient. Incredibly smart, too, when it matters. And then there's Win. He's a super nice guy, but that's all we really know about him. Where as Anya's clearly her own person who looks out for her own, Win's just someone who's THERE. Ah, Win. I really really REALLY like Win, but we've learned virtually nothing about him. I hope he becomes more of his own person throughout this series.

The ending. I guess this would be considered a cliff-hanger since it ends in the middle of SOMETHING. I liked how the ending worked with the title, though. That made me smile. All in all, the ending didn't really make me want to slap someone, but I'm really curious about what is coming next for these characters.

Overall, I liked this book, and I will definitely read more of this series once it comes out. This book is so different in a way that becomes truly interesting once you get into it.

All right, that's it, Friends. Have a spectacular day!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Exiled by M.R. Merrick

Exiled (The Protector, #1)
Exiled by M.R. Merrick
Release Date: April 12, 2012 (first published June 28, 2011)
Format: ebook, 264 pages
Series: The Protector #1
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

Description from Goodreads:
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.

In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

Exiled was way different than I expected it to be. Which means that I also enjoyed itmore than I thought I would. I was suprised, I laughed, and had an all around fun tome while reading this book.

First, I have to point out the humor in this book. I absolutely loved the sarcasm and jokes exchanged in this book. I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again--sarcasm is never the wrong way to go. It's funny and makes any moment more lighthearted than it would be otherwise.

Another thing I really liked about this book was how unique it was. I couldn't really predict much. which means that some things just happened, and I was like "WHOA" and then laughed at myself for not thinking of it before. Everything about this book was so interesting and just plain COOL.

The fact that Exiled was written from Chase's point of view was something I enjoyed as well. It's not often that I read books from a male's POV--unless there are alternating POVs, but that doesn't really count--so that was a nice change in this book. I think a lot of people would have written this book from Rayna's point of view. Don't get me wrong, that would be just as awesome, but I truly think I enjoyed it from Chase's POV more. Because Chase is just so unvelievably AMAZING.

Which leads me to a Character Rundown, yes? First, we have Chase. Ah, Chase. He's just a downright good guy. A great dude. Strong and confident. Kind and caring. How can one not love him? Rayna--I liked Rayna. She's incredibly stubborn, but nice when she wants to be, too. Plus, she can kick Chase's butt any day of the week, no doubt about it ;)

The ending. I guess the ending could be called a cliff-hanger because the story is clearly not over, but it didn't FEEL like a cliff-hanger to me. That was the perfect spot to end the book and move on. I'm curious about what's going to happen next, but not ravenous because I was left in the middle of something huge. so I loved this ending.

Overall, this book was loads of fun to read. Unique, intersting, and with totally kick-butt characters. I honestly suggest you read this--boys AND girls. This is definitely soemthing both genders can enjoy.

All right, now that the review part of this post is over, it's time to wish my big brother happy birthday!


I know, it seems like I'm saying happy birthday to brothers all the time, but this is that last brother's birthday until next April. There are other birthdays in between, however--parents, sister-in-laws, MINE, but for the most part, we're good until September. I think.

But that's beside the point. Happy, happy birthday to my oldest, bestest, favoritist brother. YES, that makes sense. I hope you have a most awesome day, and I LOVE YOU. Hehe.

Okay, that's it for today, y'all. I'm going to have cake and stuff. YOU have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Wither completely baffled me. My thoughts and feelings on everything in this book are so scattered and conflicting, I'm not even sure how to express it. The most important thing, and one of the few things I am sure of, is that I one hundred percent loved this book. I enjoyed it through and through.

I must begin with Lauren's writing style. It is positively goegeous. I was caught up in it from page one. She describes everything so perfectly, but not in a way that bores me to tears. Yes, I like to be able to picture things in my mind, but I do get bored while that picture is being created sometimes. With Wither, this was never the case.

One aspect of this book that I was cautious of wsa the idea of sister-wives. I don't really have a problem with it, but I thought it would bother me a whole bunch that one of our love interests has two or three other wives as well. I get jealous for my heroines. I wasn't really bothered by this as all, though. I actually really liked seeing the sister-wives interact with each other and grow closer.

Another facet of this book that I was on the fence about was the world created. It's so ugly and horrible. I wondered how I could ever enjoy a story told in this world. I mean, by page four, my jaw was on the floor at the OHMYGOSH-ness of it. But again, this worry was unwarranted because I ended up loving this book cover to cover. Plus, a majority of this book takes place at Linden's estate, where there is no representation of the actual state of the world.

Character rundown: Rhine. I didn't particularly love Rhine. I liked that she was so nice and protective and determined. I didn't like how closed-minded she was toward Linden. Now, for Linden. OH, LINDEN. I love Linden. He's so sweet and genuinly kind. Gabriel. He's the other guy in the little love triangle, but I don't really think much of him. We don't know him too well yet. I have nothing against him, but I definitely prefer Linden.

The ending. Can you say cliff-hanger? Yeah, one of those. I don't approve of the ending at all, for obvious reasons once you read Wither. I can't wait to read the sequel, Fever, to find out how Rhine and Gabriel and Linden's story will continue.

Overall, this book was purely amazing. Completely shocking in so many ways that, as I said t the beginning of this review, baffled me. I can't deny how much I enjoyed this book. It can be somewhat disturbing, but is definitely worth giving a shot. Plus, this story is so completely unique.

That's it for today, y'all.

Have a great day, Friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday! (6)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we tell y'all about the books we cannot wait to get our hands on!

This week, I'm waiting on . . .

Moonrise by Ivy Devlin
Expected Publication: January 31, 2012
Series: Low Red Moon #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Description from Goodreads:
MoonriseAvery and Ben are just beginning to explore the depth of the bond that links them. Their ability to sense each others' feelings and Avery's mysterious connection to the forest mean that their love is unlike any other. But even such a perfect bond can be strained by jealousy, and when Hope, a gorgeous girl from Ben's old life, arrives in town, Avery can't help but feel threatened. And in more ways than one-because someone is trying to kill her, again.

Also new in town are a pair of Hunters-men who know about werewolves and who seek only to destroy what they can't understand. Hope is connected to the Hunters somehow, but by the time Avery figures out her secret, it's too late-and someone will pay with their life. With the glowing, emotional language that made Low Red Moon such an irresistible read, Moonrise ups the romantic stakes with a heart-tugging sacrifice that testifies to the power of love.

Why am I waiting on this? Because I read Low Red Moon and want to see what comes next SO. BAD. I have to say, though, the cover for Low Red Moon was much more stunning. That doesn't change the fact that I REALLY want to read Moonrise, though. I'm really using the word "though" a lot right now.

That's what I'm waiting on this week, what are you waiting on? Leave links/just tell me in the comments!

Have a great day, y'all!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday! (11)

Do you want to participate in Teaser Tuesdays? It's simple and hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading. All you have to do is:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT T 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 the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)This week, my teaser is from . . .

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
"He had seen too much and knew too much about me. There were kids I'd gone to school with for years who knew less about my personal life."~pg. 87

All right, that's my teaser. And I know I haven't told y'all about it for a couple days, but YES. I'm listening to Mr. Jones right now. This song is positively amazing.

Okay, that's it for me today. Leave links to your teasers so I can check 'em out!

Have a terrific Tuesday, Friends!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon Wrap Up

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
All right, so the read-a-thon ended yesterday. Now it's time to see what I finished . . .

1. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin (354 pages)
2. Exiled by M.R. Merrick (264 pages)
3. Fire by Kristin Cashore (461 pages)
4. As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott (269 pages)
5. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (307 pages)

5 books
1655 pages

I finished my goal! I read all the books on my list. I didn't have that many books on my list, but I'm glad I finished them. We have to factor in the fact that I went to a book signing during this, and the fact that I LOVE TO SLEEP. So sleeping got in the way just a little bit. Either way, my first read-a-thon was a total success, and I'll definitely be participating in another one sometime.

Have a great night, Friends!

Review: Balthazar by Claudia Gray

Balthazar by Claudia Gray
Release Date: March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 374 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Evernight
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

I really enjoyed the Evernight series. Honestly and truly, I did. And I was Team Balthazar all the way. So of course when I saw there was a whole book devoted to him, I wanted to read it. Then, when I saw it on the shelf of the library I certainly had to grab it. Balthazar surprised me, though.

I found it incredibly interesting to find out more about Balthazar's past. Things I had always wondered about were answered--things like what happened to that Jane girl who was mentioned numerous times and why, exactly, had Balthazar done what he did to Charity. I always enjoy learning about characters I adore.

Still, I did have some trouble just getting into the story. I wasn't as caught up in the world Claudia was creating for us as I had been throughout the whole Evernight series. Everything just felt so disconnected from everything we knew and loved in Evernight. EveryONE, too. Balthazar seemed like a totally different person to me in this book. Which isn't horrible, but not as comforting as I thought this book would be.

I positively enjoyed the parts where we saw/talked to Bianca and Lucas again. Those were some of my favorite parts. It was really nice to see what Balthazar thought of Bianca through his eyes. That made me really happy. It was like a taste of the series that is sadly over. Kind of nastalgic.

Character rundown: Balthazar. OH, BALTHAZAR. Kind, strong, wise, and (how can we forget?) attractive. He's almost the same guy we always knew, but he's much more guarded. His logic for his guardedness got repetitive. I'll always adore him, though. And Skye. Skye is a girl I would be friends with if I knew her in real life. She can stay calm in situations most people would flip out, and I respect that. She's not exactly who I pictured would end up with Balthazar, but that's okay because I don't think I'll be happy with who he ends up with. No one will ever be good enough in my mind.

The ending. The end of this book makes me think. Like, will there be another book? Or was that THE END? Aside from the very end being somewhat confusing (to me but probably not others), I was pleased with it. There was a part that seriously had me saying "GO CHARITY!" I was proud of her.

Overall, I liked this book. It was a nice read, but it's not something to read if you're looking for more Evernight. There are a bunch of different characters and only a few of the same. The only constant old characters are Skye and Balthazar for the most part. If you adored Balthazar, as I did, you should definitely read this book.

Okay, that's all I have to say about Balthazar. Thank y'all for checking out my review!

Have a wonderful day, Friends!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What I Got! (7)

What I Got is a weekly meme hosted by Monica over at Cover Analysis :) where we tell y'all about the wonderful brag-worthy bookish things we got this week!

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris. Anna from Literary Exploration gave me her ARC(!). When it got here on Friday, I was pretty much bouncing off the walls. I am SO excited to read this book. Thank you so so SO much, Anna!

Yeah, I went to the library again. You'll see why in a second . . .
Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)
Fire by Kristin Cashore. Last week I got Graceling and read it, like, SUPER fast. After that awesomeness, of course I had to get the companion. I probably should have just grabbed it when I got Graceling, but I didn't expect to adore Graceling so much.

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott. Yeah, I have a problem with going to the library--I can never go and just get what I specifically went there for (this time, that would be Fire). This caught my eye, so I grabbed it. It looks seriously great.

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe. I saw this and decided to grab it because I'm starting a verse reading challenge on July 1 (I'll add a tab sometime soon). I thought I'd kick it off with this book. I'm on the fence about it, though. The more it sits on my stack, the more uncertain I get. It's probably going to make me cry or something. Verse novels do that sometimes.

Rapture (Fallen, #4)
Rapture by Lauren Kate. As we all know from my recap on Friday, I went to a Lauren Kate signing this week. Since I haven't read Rapture yet, Billy and Angie bought it for me to get signed! This cover is positively gorgeous. I'm kind of really excited to read this, while at the same time I'm hesitant. Fallen is about to be over. Thank you Billy & Angie! I love you guys.

Last, I got in the mail some swaggish things for Just For Fins, since I'm on the Splash team. Since I don't have a camera, I don't have a picture, but I got it.

That's What I Got this week! In case you didn't guess, my TBr stack is getting kinda tall. Which makes me so happy! I love being able to just pick up my next book and start reading it. So, what did YOU get this week? Tell me/leave links in the comments!

Have a great day, Friends!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Author Interview: Tanya J Peterson

Ah, yes. Interview time! I am coming to find that I have a newfound love for interviewing authors. They're so nice, and I love finding out that I have things in common with them. Oh, and since I know you're all wondering--yes, I am listening to Mr. Jones by Counting Crows again. THIS SONG IS AMAZING.

Now, for the interview!
I interviewed Tanya J Peterson, the author of Losing Elizabeth. I reviewed Losing Elizabeth on Thursday; if you want to take a look click HERE.

 What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
 I love the outdoors, and I relish the opportunity to do things outside. My very favorite things are kayaking, hiking, and my new passion, mountain biking. I enjoy doing these things with my two children (I have a daughter who is almost 16 and a son who is nearly 11), and I also enjoy doing them on my own for some nice solitary time.

 Where did you come up with the names of your characters in Losing Elizabeth? (This always interests me.)
 I have to know my characters a little bit before I can give them names. I have their general stories in mind first, and then I develop an image of them in my head. I “spend time” with them in my mind. Usually, I’ll get the impression that their names begin with a certain letter (I know this probably sounds quite strange). Then, I often look at baby name books and/or websites and peruse names in that letter until I find one that clicks. That’s how I decided on the names in Losing Elizabeth, and that’s how I came up with the names in the novel I’m writing now.
I search baby name websites, too! It really is helpful.

 What inspired you to write Losing Elizabeth?
 As a high school teacher and school counselor, I have encountered numerous adolescents who become involved in abusive relationships. Too often, people mistake controlling behavior for love, like Elizabeth does when she believes that Brad is sweet for wanting to be able to spend time with her. Frequently, too, the abused is too close to the forest for the trees and thus can’t see the abusive behavior the way those on the outside can. Classic abusive behavior is for an abuser to chip away at the other person’s self-esteem, convincing him/her that no one else will put up with them and that he/she is lucky to have the abuser in their lives, like Brad does to Elizabeth. I have witnessed many teenagers become sucked into unhealthy, abusive relationships, and I wanted to tell a story that enlightened teens to the dangers of such relationships in an entertaining manner that (hopefully) isn’t preachy. Thus, I wrote Losing Elizabeth.

A note: While in Losing Elizabeth the abuser happens to be male, this isn’t always the case. Guys can just as easily fall into an abusive relationship, and girls can be abusers.
This is very true. If you watch Teen Mom, amber and Gary would be an example of this. And for the record, I mean nothing bad by that statement. Amber's getting help and whatnot for her problems, last I heard, and I just meant to point out the example.

 What was the writing process for Losing Elizabeth like?
 Extremely fun! Writing is the one place in my life where I truly get into a flow. The process doesn’t involve non-stop writing, of course. I do a lot of brain storming, note taking, research, etc., but to me these things are part of the fun. Then when I do the actual writing, I get lost in it. Even the challenging spots are enjoyable. (That’s not to say that I do things perfectly! I’m still learning and evolving. I’m happy with Losing Elizabeth, but there are spots where I see lots of room for improvement. I hope my subsequent novels show growth, and I also hope I always continue to find ways to get better.)

 Which character did you enjoy writing about the most in Losing Elizabeth? Least? Why?
 While I certainly don’t like Brad the most, I think I enjoyed writing about him the most. I enjoyed the challenge of portraying the complexity and motivation of an abuser. I probably enjoyed writing about Sarah the least, probably because her actual role was small. I didn’t have a chance to really develop her; thus, writing her parts felt a bit canned. If I were to re-write the novel, she’s one that I would do more with.
I really liked reading about Brad the most, so that totally works out! And Sarah was okay to me, though you're right--not much goes on with her.

Now it’s time for favorites! Just tell your favorite!
 Movie: Schindler’s List, Regarding Henry, and The King’s Speech (Okay, so that’s three; I have a hard time making decisions!)
As do I, Taya. As do I. :)
Food: Grilled fish (any mild fish) with grilled or roasted vegetables (no red onions, though)
Book Character: Seth in Adam Schwartz’s A Stranger on the Planet
I love the name Seth!
Book Cover: A Stranger on the Planet  (You might have figured out that I’m a sucker for this book. I love the cover because it’s simple but not bland, and there are no human images that interfere with my own mental picture of the characters. Plus, as I read and then would look at the cover, the broken heart on it tugged at my own heart.) The cover does so much because it has so little on it.
Song: Imagine by John Lennon.
OH, John Lennon♥
Season: A tie between summer and autumn.
Funny, mine's a tie between winter and spring. Though I think winter would seriously win. I'm not sure.

All right, now just some this or thats—all you have to do is pick one!
Day or Night? Day
I'm somewhat of a night owl myself (and by that I mean--I'm practically nocturnal)
Warm or Cold? Warm, with an explanation: Between hot and cold, I’d definitely prefer cold, but between warm and cool, I’d go with warm. There’s really no explaining me. :)
Sweet or Spicy? Spicy if it’s mild. Once again, I defy explanation. I also have a REALLY difficult time limiting myself to single word answers, much to the annoyance of my husband and kids. Ha!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview! I’m just getting started as an author, and I love any opportunity to connect with readers.
Thank YOU so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Nice people are awesome.

Tanya J. Peterson was born and raised in the Midwest.  Looking for adventure, she recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.  While she is embracing new experiences, she is continuing to pursue her life-long passion of working closely with young adults to help them learn and thrive.  Tanya has a bachelor of science in secondary education and a master of science in school counseling and has worked with youth in schools and other settings throughout her adult life.  Currently, she teaches in a school for homeless and runaway adolescents where she helps them remove barriers and create success.

Tanya enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors.  She loves to hike, bike, and kayak.  She also enjoys the arts and is delighted to live in a city with many diverse venues for music, theater, dance, and the visual arts.  Her personal artistic pursuit is the written word.  She has published the short story Challenge!, a book review in a national counseling publication, and the novel Losing Elizabeth.  She has more novels on the way.
 (ABOUT THE AUTHOR and picture taken from Tanya's website. Click HERE to check it out!)

Okay, that's it for today, y'all. Thank you for checking out this interview!

Have a great day, Friends!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lauren Kate Signing Recap♥

Fallen (Fallen, #1)Yesterday, my dear friends, I got to meet the wonderful author of the Fallen series, Lauren Kate. I know, I know, I'm SUPPOSED to be reading my booty off in a read-a-thon, but she was at my personal favorite indie bookstore (because it's where I always go to book signings--they've had some amazing authors there). So since I'd been excited about this for a while, I went. This read-a-thon is my first, so it's mostly a test run for me. You know, to see how it goes and how I like doing read-a-thons and such. As a little update, I can tell you that I'm almost done with All These Things I've Done and plan to finish it tonight. Not the point I'm here to make, though, so let's talk books signings, yes?

Torment (Fallen, #2)So, for the first time in my very short book-signing-attendee experience, I was EARLY. Yeah, shocking, I know. I'm usually fashionably late (not on purpose, that's just how it often works out). So I got a seat where my tiny self could actually see Lauren's pretty face! Consequently, this also resulted in having to sit and wait for a while. I'm okay with that, though. My mom, who was sitting next to me, was not. She wasn't too fond of the idea of waiting. She did it, though, and we went on with our lives and the signing and had a great time and whatnot. There were a lot of people talking about the Hush, Hush series, too, while we were waiting. I found this somewhat surprising, though I probably shouldn't have. Both series ARE about angels. They're just really different in a lot of ways, too. They aren't that alike in my eyes. I adore both series, though, so I was happy to join some conversations about it.

Then, Lauren got there and before we knew it, she was speaking. She read the prologue of Rapture, and I
Passion (Fallen, #3)have to say--it was a wonderful way to start. Plus, I REALLY want to read Rapture right this moment. But alas, I have a list and other things to read and conflicting emotions about moving said list around. So for now I'll let it be and go with the flow. Another thing I must say--Lauren did a really good job narrating. I'm not a big fan of audio books, but I think Lauren could be a great narrator for them.

Moving on . . . after the prologue, Lauren talked about Rapture and what it was like to be ending the series. She explained that of course this would be bitter/sweet. That's how endings go, as we all know (I'm not trying to rhyme right now, it's just happening that way). We get the answers we've been waiting for, but we're going to miss the characters we've grown to love over time.

Rapture (Fallen, #4)
After she said what she wanted, Lauren asked us if we had any questions. Lauren was asked questions about many, many things. I'm not going to tell y'all everything because a) I am a very lazy person, b) I don't want to mess up any of her answers, because who could possibly remember EVERYTHING she said word for word? No one, that's who. and c) My computer almost makes me want to kick puppies or babies or something (ALMOST!) and I'd rather not spend all that time. So I'll give you a few bulletpoints of what I learned today (yes, today, but I'm posting it tomorrow, so I should have said yesterday, but oh well):
-Lauren loves all of the covers in the Fallen series (my personal favorite is the Rapture cover--it's so GORGEOUS, I just want to keep petting the cover)
-Lauren loves austin and screamed a little when she found out she got to come here to finish her book tour
-Fallen will be a movie! We didn't get much details on this, though. But there is a script written!
-As far as casting for previously mentioned movie goes, Lauren hopes that there is a brilliant casting director to find unknown actors so they can grow into her characters
-Luce was a super hard character for Lauren to get ahold of at first, until she just let Luce go and do what she does
-Lauren is proud of the arcs her characters have made in this series and likes where they all end
-Lauren has saved 67 rejection letters from writing-related things (random, yes, but randomness is SO MUCH FUN)
-Cam well . . . ah, Cam (I was going to end with seven bullets, and I don't like the number 7, so I added this, hehe)

Random fact: I'm listening to Mr. Jones by Counting Crows right now. I LOVE THIS SONG. Okay, so the point of this post--I had an amazing time meeting Lauren Kate, and she is a truly wonderful person. I don't know why this always surprises me a little bit, but it does. It also makes me unbelievably happy. I got Rapture signed and had a nice little chat with Lauren. The topic of me having a blog came up and I HAD to say how I practically blog-stalk Anna from Literary Exploration. I don't spend eactually stalk anyone, but I'm pretty close, I think, and it makes me feel like a creeper. I have good intentions, though.

Mr. Jones is about to end (for the gazillionth time, since I keep replaying it), so I'll leave y'all with that. AH! I'm go glad I got to meet Lauren Kate! Today was a great day.

Have a magnificent Friday, Friends!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Losing Elizabeth by Tanya J. Peterson

Losing Elizabeth

Losing Elizabeth by Tanya J Peterson
Date Released: April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback, 154 pages
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

Description from Goodreads:
High school junior Elizabeth Carter is self-confident and outgoing with a bright future. Life is good for Elizabeth, then she meets Brad Evans. To those on the outside, and even to Elizabeth at first, her life gets even better with Brad. Slowly and insidiously, though, Brad takes control of Elizabeth. Is she really as lucky as she thinks she is? What price is she willing to pay to be this popular, charming, attractive senior boy's girlfriend? Is she envied...or pitied? Most importantly, does she have to lose herself in order to be Brad's significant other?

Losing Elizabeth is one of those books that tackles an important topic--abusive relationships. On the level of focusing on this topic throughout the whole book, this story was very well written. As far as telling a riveting story that I didn't want to put down, Losing Elizabeth did fall somewhat short.

First, I want to focus on all the wonderful things about this story, because there are many. Tanya has written a very informative story about a common isue that is approached often in literature and film, but really can never be covered enough because bad things like those in this book DO happen. It was nice and interesting to read about this because there were some things I honestly didn't know regarding these issues.

Tanya also did a good job of giving us a look into the head of a girl being abused by her boyfriend. We all look at situations like this and think that we would never let ourselves stay in a relationship like that, so why would anyone? Losing Elizabeth gives great insight into what is really going on in her head and why she stays in her relationship. Not only that, but we see inside the mind of her best friend trying to help her, too. A very good look at two sides of this problem.

Character Rundown: Elizabeth. I felt that Elizabeth was a little too perfect to be believable before she got into her relationship with Brad. She seemed like a very boring person, with no little quirks or anything. This did help to show the contrast of how much she changed throughout the story, though. Meg--Elizabeth's best friend. Again, not a very characterized person in this story. We only really learned things about her by Brad saying mean stuff about her. I much rather would have liked to discover these little things myself. Last, we have the tough guy--Brad. This is the first book I've read in a while where I didn't swoon over a guy. Brad's a huge jerk, of course. He starts out all sweet and lovey and then turns into a monster. I did have some fun laughing at his twisted logic sometimes, though. I rolled my eyes at him a bunch, too.

The ending. The ending was exactly what you would expect from a book like this. It was a nice, positive ending, but it was what we all saw coming. Regardless of this, though, it left me with a little feeling of pride. The story comes full circle, and it was great to see that.

Overall, I really felt like this story was very predictable. It did a wonderful job of displaying its main message, but it was done in a very generic way that leaves pretty much no room for surprise. Still, I do suggest you read this. Awareness for this issue can never be a bad thing, and Tanya does a marvelous job of focusing on this.

All right, that's it for today. Thank you to Tanya for sending me this book to review.

Have a splendiforous day, Friends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
I'm a little late with my starting post, but here it is!

The books I hope to finish in this read-a-thon are
(I'm going to exclude Graceling because I started it before the read-a-thon began, even though I finished it after midnight last night)

1. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
2. Exiled by M.R. Merrick
3. Fire by Kristin Cashore
4. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
5. As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

That's my list for now. I'll get through as many of these as I can, and whatever I don't get through will just stay on my TBR. Since this is my first read-a-thon, I'm not putting a bunch of pressure on myself or anything. At the end, I'll let y'all know how I did! :)


Waiting On Wednesday! (5)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we tell y'all about the books we cannot wait to get our hands on!

This week, I am waiting on:

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Expected Publication: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Description from Goodreads:
Stealing ParkerParker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?


Why am I waiting on this? Because I adored Catching Jordan. Miranda Kenneally is clearly a really great author. So I'm excited to read more by her! Plus this is a companion to Catching Jordan. That's a total plus.

What are you waiting on? Tell me/leave links in the comments!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Friends!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teaser Tuesday! (10)

Do you want to participate in Teaser Tuesdays? It's simple and hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading. All you have to do is:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT T 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 the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So, I have sort of fallen in love with another book since last week. Not madly in love or anything, but certainly something I loved reading. So I'm going to give y'all a teaser from this book.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)"He smiles at me in that little boy way that makes him so much different from his father. The cold makes his lips especially red, and I think he is exactly the type of portrait Dierdre's father would have painted. So soft and lovely and sweet. He takes my face in his hands, and for the second time in our ten-month marriage, we kiss. And for the first time, I don't draw back."~pg 249, Wither, Lauren DeStefano

Oh, Linden. I can't wait to read the sequel to this. My review for Wither will be posted sometime this month. :)

What are your teasers this week? Tell me/leave links in the comments!

Have a terrific Tuesday, Friends!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kimberly Sabatini Mini-Interview + 55 Follower GIVEAWAY

Hey, everybody! So. I now have 55 followers. Now, I know that this number probably doesn't SEEM all that big. But to me, that's 55 more followers than I ever dreamed of having (yeah, I was a pessimist about the whole "blog" thing). So now that I'm at 55, I have a special little way to say thank you--in the form of some gifts!

Gift Numero Uno:
I did a mini-interview with Kimberly Sabatini, author of Touching the Surface which comes out October 30th! What is my definition of a mini-interview, you ask? Weell, it's not book related. A mini-interview is purely fun. So, let's see what was said, yes?

All right, so we're going to start off with some favorites. Just say what your favorite is, easy-peasy!
Song: Gahhh always changing. When I love something I play it until I almost hate it LOL!  But overall...IMAGINE by John Lennon...oh, the message...
Book (of the moment, because goodness knows it's hard to pick one for all time!): I'll give you all time--THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. It changed me.
Food: Chocolate ice cream closely followed by mashed potatoes.
Beverage: Sparkling water
Movie: White Christmas
Book Character: Skeeter from THE HELP
Quote: "No Day But Today..." RENT
Book Cover (include a picture if you'd like!): I'm going to return to THE GIVER...perhaps I can't separate the inside from the outside, but all I know is that I remember looking at it in high school and thinking that I must know what lies behind the look in that mans eyes. I remember thinking that this was different before I even cracked the spine.

 Okay, now just some this or thats. All you have to do is pick one!
Night or Day?
Sweet or Spicy? Both
Summer or Winter? Fall--I can't even pretend that there is another choice for me.
Twilight or Hunger Games? Hunger Games!!!!!!

 Last, we just have two Team questions. I LOVE picking Teams when I'm reading, so I'm just going to ask the two most common Team questions:
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Jacob! Is there even a question?
Team Peeta or Team Gale? Team Peeta of course...although...Gale was looking pretty good in the movie.

And that's it for the questions. Thanks again for being so AWESOME as to answer these for me! This makes things so much more fun, I think. :)
Thank you sooooo much for having me. I LOVE this kind of interview--it's so much fun to do!

Ready for Gift Numero Dos?
I know you're all thinking "Wasn;t interviewing Kimberly kind of random?" And my answer is this--NO. It wasn't. Because . . .

Gift Numero Dos:
I'm giving away some Touching the Surface swag!
I don't have a camera, so I can't take a picture of it all, but here's the cover of Touching the Surface:
(click on the cover to go to the Goodreads page)
Touching the Surface

Since I can't take a picture of it, I'll tell you about it:
I'm giving away . . .
2 bracelets
3 postcards
1 sticker
various little Touching the Surface things

All of this swagis goodness will be split between 3 winners. There will be a Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post, after I tell y'all about the last gift.
Which brings me to . . .

Gift Numero Tres:
This requires a wee bit of explanation. Originally, I was just going to leave this as a swag giveaway. Buuuut, today is my brother's birthday!

I love you! Have a really great day and a most happy 15th birthday!

So, in honor of my goof of a little brother's 15th birthday, I am also giving away my ARC of The Temptation by Alisa Valdes.
 The Temptation
I'll probably throw in some more little swaggish stuff with the ARC, too, because I'm a nice person. Yeah. I try. Still, this will be a fourth winner.

So, those are my thank you gifts! I hope you like.

Now, fir the Rafflecopter. . .
-4 winners will be chosen randomly for my ARC of The Temptation and some cool swag
-You must be 13 or older to enter or have parent permission
-I am not resoponsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items
-This giveaway will start on 6/18 and end on 7/19
-This giveaway is US only (EDIT 6/18)
-Be sure to check out my Giveaway Policy for a full list of rules for all my giveaways

Thank y'all for everything! Every single one of you is awesome. I also have two other giveaways happening at this very moment--you should check those out to win some more cool stuff!

Have a wonderful day, Friends!

EDIT 6/18--Kimberly interviews new book bloggers on her blog, and today (wonder of wonders) she's featuring me! So click HERE if you want to see Kimberly Sabatini interviewing me. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What I Got! (6)

What I Got is a weekly meme hosted by Monica over at Cover Analysis :) where we tell y'all about the wonderful brag-worthy bookish things we got this week!

Before we get to the "What I Got" for this week, I must be my sentimental little self and say . . .

Okay, now for What I Got--

Dead Radiance (Valkyrie, #1)
Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer. This is for a blog tour, and my stop will be on July 14!

Yes, I had a fun little trip to my library this week!

Stay With Me
Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr. I've already read this book, but I love it so much that I wanted to re-read it SO. BAD. So I did. :) This book is positively amazing. And makes me love the name "Eamon."

Balthazar by Claudia Gray. I've read the whole Evernight series--own it, even--and have been Team Balthazar since the very beginning. So I thought I should read this book. And I did. And I'll have a review posted sometime this month so you can see what I thought. One thing will never change, though--I LOVE BALTHAZAR.

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)
Wither by Lauren DeStafano. This book just sort of caught my eye, so I decided to check it out. I mean, why not? I'm currently reading this, and . . . I don't even know. Beautiful writing, for sure.

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
Graceling by Kristen Cashore. I've heard VERY good things about this book--especially from Anna from Literary Exploration--so I thought I'd give it a try. I really take others' recommendations super seriously. Plus, it looks like it'd be fun to read. How can that not be a win?

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin. I've been looking at this book for a while and decided to finally give it a shot.

As I Wake
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott. I love Elizabeth Scott. Therefore, I'm going to read this book.

The Disenchantments
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. First of all, this cover is amazing. I love it so much. Second of all, I've been waiting to find this book in the library for a while. I read Hold Still by Nina, and it was great. So I thought I should most certainly read The Disenchantments.

All right, that's What I Got this week! What did you get? Leave links or whatnot if you wish.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a great Father's Day, Friends!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My YA Crush Tourney Nominations♥

I had to include their banner. I mean, LOOK. Daemon's on it! Gorgeous.

Anyways. Why am I posting about this? Weeeell, this tourney is a bunch of fun. So I think y'all should head on over there and nominate your 10 favorite book crushes. I did.

I nominated (posiibly not in this order--I don't remember the EXACT order), oh, and they're color-coded by book:
Well, gee, who do we think I nominated first?

Of course. He's the first book boyfriend I've ever truly claimed.

DUDE. He has an accent and wears kilts to proms. How can you NOT vote for that? *swoon*

Ah, Logan. He's Logan. 'Nuff said ;)

Martin was a cool guy. I'm kind of sad we only met him in Shine. WONDERFUL guy, right there.

I love his name. I really do, even though it's just a nickname. Plus, he's a cool dude.

Patch--Hush, Hush
Patch. I adore his actual name, too. I seriously love the Hush, Hush books. I still need to read Silence, but still. LOVE.

I'm Team Christian all the way. That is all.

Peregrine--Under the Never Sky
He's Perry! This book was positively splendiforous! I, for one, am super excited for the sequel. Honestly--more Perry!

Finnick--Hunger Games
Don't even get me started on this. The point is that I seriously love him. Despite how horrible his deal ends up being. AH.

Dimitri--Vampire Academy
He will forever hold a sift spot in my heart. I HAD to nominate him.

And those are my ten nominations. It was really hard for me to choose only ten. Goodness knows I swoon over someone in practically every book I read. So I picked the SHADEboys--of course. NOMINATE THEM. And I picked my very favorite Luxen, and a few other note-worthy guys I tend to sort of drool over. DON'T JUDGE ME. ;)

All right. So, now that you want to nominate some swoon-worthy guys for the tourney, you can click HERE to get to the nominate page! You can also click the banner at the top of this post, if ya feels like it. 

Okay, that's it for my little interlude of a post. Be sure to check out my review of Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout that I posted earlier, and enter my giveaways! You can win some cool stuff--I have two giveaways running at THIS VERY MOMENT! So DO IT.

Have a wonderful evening, Friends!