Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This is a particularly interesting theme for me, as I just joined an adult book club and started a YA book club.  I'm very interested to see what I get to read because of what others pick!

Beauty by Robin McKinley
For the book club I started, I was chosen to pick first, and this is the book I picked.  I've hear so many good things and I'm fascinated to see how it turns out.  I've never read it before but I just had to add it...

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver 
This is quite a book to discuss.  There's so much that happens, so much to learn from, and so many different opinions about all the little things about Sam's life.  I think I would LOVE reading this with a book club!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Well.  Duh.  I mean, you know, all that stuff.  That happens.  In the end.  :O  It still leaves me open-mouthed in awe.  Maybe it wouldn't be a good book for a book club - maybe all we could do is just stand there and stare at our copies in pure wonder and awe and amazement.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This books is craaaazy!  Like, wowzers!  It would definitely bring up a TON of amazing conversations and topics of discussion...because it totally made me think about what the right thing to do is and would I have done the same thing as these characters?

Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren
Not only is does this book have a ton of twists and turns and amazing reveals, but there is also the question:  Marcello, Luca, or Greco?  (Add an "Mmmmmm" next to Greco's name, and you know who I love.)  ;)

Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book is just fantastic!!  I would love to see what faction everyone would have chosen, and why, and what they would have done if they were in Tris's situation.  Such fascinating topics pop up in my head when I think about this book!

Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck
This choice would have a discussion mainly consisting of giggling and fangirling and "REN!" and "KISHAN!"  It would be hilarious, on all levels.

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
WOW.  Powerful ending, freaking amazing imagery, very touching and bittersweet, JARED.  It (HE) blows my mind when I merely think about it.  Looking at the cover, reading it, discussing it...dream come true. :D

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
This is the most breathtaking mystery I've ever read.  EVER.  And one of my favorite books ever.  I would love love love to hear everyone's thoughts on the mystery before and after they knew the answer, the big reveal.  I can imagine quite a  lot of exclamations of disbelief.

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
An amazing story of innocence, loss, and true beauty.  A top 5 favorite.

Runners up:

There you go!  Link me up to your TTT's in the comments - I'd love to read them! :D

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2)

Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2)
Pages:  367
Release Date:  November 1st, 2011
Date Read:  2012, January 8th-11th
Received:  Own
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  13+

My review for:

Cassia has been sent to work camps so she can learn submission to the Society after her love for Ky was discovered.  But she is really here to find Ky, who was sorted and taken away.  And she was the one who sorted him.  Now it's up to her to find him; if she could only get into the Outer Provinces...  She has the Compass from Ky and the blue tablets from Xander, and she will use both of them to find her way.  Two boys, two worlds, and one journey that will break hearts, heal hearts, and change them.

I am a very expressive reader.  Meaning, I jump, scream, squeal, blush, giggle, laugh, groan, and more - very openly.  My poor family...  ;)  In any case, as far as the louder, more intense expressions of emotion go - I save those for the best of the best.  So know I'm telling you the truth when I say that Crossed is one of the best of the best.  I screamed at least seven times, blushed, giggled, jumped, and groaned - all in this book.  And the screaming - it was loud.  Just sayin'.

Even more shocking and amazing is that my sister, who is not one to show such strong emotions while reading, not only did the same as I did, but also screamed/giggled with me when I read it!

Not only did it excite me (and my sister) to extremes, but it also made me want to sit still (I know, ironic, huh?) and contemplate the beautiful, poetry-like prose, the deeper meanings, the lyrical tones.

While reading I came across the sentences -

So many beginnings.  I tell myself that in a way it's good that I haven't found Ky yet, because I still don't know what to whisper to him when I see him, which words would be the very best ones to give.  (Page 111)

These words are beautiful, and they portray something deeper than just Cassia thinking of what she'll say to Ky. It's about how precious speech is, how important it is to her that Ky taught her to write, to speak and give life to words.  It's about not taking your words for granted.  They are important, down to the very smallest word.  Cassia has grown up in a world where words - your own words, spoken or written - are like diamonds.

This careful choice of words is not only portrayed in the characters, but also in Ally Condie's writing itself.  Her word choices are so precise, carefully portraying the scenes and the deep emotions carried throughout.  It's like poetry, but not.  I don't even know how to describe the full beauty of it.

Here is how well I know these characters, how distinctly they are portrayed:
When the book arrived in the mail two months ago, before I knew really anything about it, I picked it up and started reading.  My thoughts were, "This is great, but it doesn't feel like...Cassia.  It doesn't sound like her voice at all.  I like it, but I'm confused..."  I put it on my shelf to read soon.  My sister got to it first, and came to me, saying excitedly, "It's from Cassia AND Ky's perspectives!"

After a bit of sleuth-work, I discovered that the chapter I read was about Ky, from his perspective - and suddenly, it all fell together.  When I was actually reading the book, I never had an issue, determining which voice was which.  I mean, the chapters are labeled one or the other, but I didn't need that.  They both had a voice distinct form the other.  That amazed me, especially when both are written in first person, present tense.

Vick, Indie, Eli, Hunter, and Xander were all really well-developed side characters, and I appreciate that.  I didn't love some of the characters themselves, but loved who they were for the story.

And... I love Ky.  Oh, how I love Ky.

Cassia really grew in this book.  She matured and did selfless things that made her radiant.  Her love for Ky makes her strong, glowing.  Makes her want to live to the fullest.  She loves deeply, cares so much, and wants to do the right thing.  She doesn't always, but that's how we learn sometimes.  Cassia is just like you and me, and that's the beauty of it.

Everything about this book had me grasping for more.  It's so refreshing to read this story and get lost in it.  I loved the journeys the characters had to face, together and apart.  There were scenes that made me scream and squeal with joy, and others that had my heart aching with sadness.  The emotions were so real and big and alive.

I love Cassia and Ky's love story.  I love the reality of it, how heartfelt it is.  I feel like a lot of young adult love stories are full of couples whose only issue is that they're unable to be together, and other dramatic situations of the same kind.  Other than that, the relationships have virtually no issues, or very small ones.  I have nothing against that - a few of my forever favorites are that kind of love story.  But Ky and Cassia are different.  Out in the wild, they are allowed to be together - but they struggle because they have disagreements.  Because they have to ask, how much will I do for you?  How much do I really love you?  That is one of the many things I respect about their relationship.  It's perfect, with every argument, every kiss.

Everyone has to sacrifice in this story, and that builds and strengthens the story/characters in a huge way.

Indescribably beautiful.  It's like, I can't even express my love.  Please, read Matched and Crossed.  Please.

For the Parents -
Nondescript kissing.  Recommended 13+

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the drifting bookworm is having another giveaway!! :D

Click the link below to enter - this giveaway is fantastical!! :D

the drifting bookworm: One Woman's Trash Giveaway!: This gift is ONLY open to residents of the USA and Canada. I'm sorry and thank you for understanding! I am very excited to be hosting T...

Crossed (Quotes)

If you love someone, if someone loved you, if they taught you to write and made it so you could speak, how can you do nothing at all?  You might as well take their words out of the dirt and try to snatch them from the wind.
Because once you love, it is gone.  You love and you cannot call it back.
Ky is heavy in my mind, deep in my heart, his palms warm on my empty hands.  I have to try to find him.  Loving him gave me winds and all my work has given me the strength to move them.
- Chapter 6, page 60 (Cassia)

When I was small my mother tried to teach me the colors.  "Blue," she said, pointing to the sky.  And "blue" again, the second time pointing to the water.  She told me I shook my head because I could see that sky blue was not always the same as water blue.
Love has different shades.  Like the way I loved Cassia when I thought she'd never love me.  The way I loved her on the Hill.  The way I love her now that she came into the canyon for me.  It's different.  Deeper.  I thought I loved her and wanted her before, but as we walk through the canyon together I realize this could be more than a new shade.  A whole new color.
- Chapter 31, page 234 (Ky)

Just writing out these quotes gets me a little teary eyed.   This book is so beautiful.
Review on Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Buys 1/20-27/12 (The Sister Edition)

So, after you see pictures of each book, you'll see what my sister wanted to do with me on Wednesday night - and just how...interesting...life at my house can get. ;)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Yes, I did what I said I was going to do in my review.  I walked into Barnes and Noble at 9 AM sharp and had them go get a copy from the back.  Then I danced my jig and stroked the pages and squealed. :D

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've never read this book before, but after reading a few pages in the bookstore I had to get it (25% off!) and I plan on reading it soon!!

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Never read this one, either!  I'm very much looking forward to it, especially since Part 1 of the movie comes out this winter!

Annexed by Sharon Dogar
I'm sooo looking forward to this one!  I've been waiting for a good sale or the paperback...and finally I had the paperback and a giftcard! Yay!! :D

Sovay by Celia Rees
I've had my eyes on this book for seemingly forever, and have even picked it up, only to put it down for lack of time.  But now I own it.  I will conquer it.

The Whisper by Emma Clayton
Wanna know how much I love The Roar?  Well, the first answer to that is: "READ IT!"  The second answer is:  "Review coming soon!!!!"

The Price of Freedom by A. C. Crispin
JACK SPARROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm a Pirates Junkie.  Call me P.J.  - put it on my luggage!  (If you don't know what I just referenced to, then shame on you!)  Ok, no seriously.  My sisters and I have a Pirates marathon once a year, complete with a million facebook updates a day and LOTS of fangirling and sometimes, on my part, crying over my beloved Will Turner.
So, um, this should be good.

The Stash.
I forgot to include a picture, but I also purchased a used copy of Peter and the Starcatchers for $.25.  Pretty good deal!

From NetGalley

And now, may I present to you, THE SISTER EDITION.  (Btw, you should go friend her on Goodreads.)

SOVAY.  It's a matter of intensity.

SHHHH we're whispering!

Super duper happy Peter Pan?
Sorry sis, I don't think so.

"I think she's really gunna do it..."
"Steal that book."

To all the offended Hobitses out there:
This is not an accurate representation.

She morphed into Anne Frank for a minute and started smooching all over the poor guy.

Ummm...  after about 10 attempts I finally got her to say "ARGH" and make a serious (well, sorta) Pirate face and to actually curl her finger into a hook.  Well, sorta.

And my favorite.  I'm a bit biased toward this book already, and this was just genius.  Actually, it was the start of all these pictures.

Hope you enjoyed THE SISTER EDITION.  I'm sure Emmy will be popping up around here more and more often. ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the drifting bookworm: 100 Follower Giveaway!

Hey everyone!! I'm posting to tell you all about an AWESOME giveaway hosted by one of my favorite bloggers - check it out!! :D

2 winners, and the prizes are AWESOME!

the drifting bookworm: 100 Follower Giveaway!: I cannot believe but I've reached 100 Followers... This is what I look like at them moment! In celebration of this, I am holding...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #1)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #1)
Pages:  384
Release Date:  January 24th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, January 10th-12th
Received: ARC from NetGalley
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  14+

Nikki Beckett has just been released from the Feed - from Cole.  She has spent a century in the Everneath, allowing Cole to Feed off her energy, her emotions, for his own gain and the gain of the Everneath.  She'd wanted him to, begged him to.  Her hurt had been too great.
But now that she's back in her own world, her own time, she does not like her two choices - either return with Cole and possibly become Queen of the Everlings or go to the Tunnels and become a battery for the Everneath.  She would rather sacrifice herself to the Tunnels than be fed off of forever, but as she grows stronger, she wonders if she can escape her fate?
Whether she can or not, she's determined to leave right  - not like last time, when she'd just fought with her father and her boyfriend had broken her heart.  But here and now, her heart seems to be drawn yet again to that same boy.  Can she do the right thing with her friends and family - and possibly evade the Tunnels?  Time is running out.

Tomorrow is the release date of Everneath.  Early in the morning, I will hurriedly get dressed, grab my keys and my purse, drive to the nearest Barnes and Noble, and purchase this book.  I will probably scream happily and do a little joyful jig and stare longingly at the cover and thumb through the pages, my heart thumping excitedly, like I've received a surprising and long-awaited Christmas present.

This is not an exaggeration.  I am 95% certain that's exactly how it will happen.  The remaining 5% leaves room for variation in how much and/or what kind of screaming, jigging, and thumbing I will do.  The rest is set in stone.

Wanna know why?
I'm madly in love with this book.  Every. Last. Letter.  Down to the dotted I's and crossed T's.  Down to every apostrophe and period and exclamation point.  Down to the very paper it was printed on - no!  Even better - the press that made it!!  The fingers that typed that first draft of a manuscript and every draft thereafter should be covered with diamond rings and kissed by all who pass.


These characters all stand out as likable - whether because they're good good guys or good bad guys.  Or good in-between guys you can't decide about yet.  But even more than being good characters - they're memorable, every single one.

Nikki is a great MC.  Her voice reflects her character, on the quieter side, a girl who loves deeply, someone who never wishes to hurt others but is hurt easily by others.  She's not weak, just sensitive.  She's sweet and smart, but she also runs from pain, doesn't like confrontation and will do all she can to avoid it.  These things add up to make Nikki who she is - one of those perfectly imperfect characters who you respect from the start, even if they have some growing to do.

Cole and his buddies are mysteries, very fascinating ones, totally puzzling, in a good way.  Cole is kind of like an antagonist, even though he's not exactly the "bad guy".  I'm so intrigued, but still, he doesn't even compare....to....

*breath hitches in throat - heart stops*

Jack Caputo.  Jack Caputo.
Jack.  Caputo.

Yes, you heard me.

J. A. C. K.  C. A. P. U. T. O.

*Falls into chair with dramatic sigh, hand on forehead, fist at the chest*
*Knees go week and whole form begins to crumple*
*Heart begins to thump exceedingly loud and fast*
*Mouth opens in pure awe*
*Giggles like a schoolgirl at the very sight of his name*

Take your pick.  Any will apply, all with apply.  There are others, too.

I loved the way he was content just to be with Nikki.  How honest he was.  How he responded to Nikki's situation.  How everything he did was so...Jack Caputo.

I could go on.
Excuse me for a moment while I give a few fangirly screams.

I never can stay away from retellings.  Even if I wanted to, I couldn't.  They draw me.  This story is kind of a mix between a retelling and a twist...of the story of Hades and Persephone, which makes it even more amazing because mythology is something else I find extremely fascinating and hard to stay away from.

Ashton's version does not disappoint, in any way.  I feel like, after an accomplishment as great as Everneath she could write anything.  I hope she does.  I hope she writes and writes and writes - because this story is basically my one true love, my happily ever after.

Every moment had me riveted.  I loved how slowly everything about Nikki's past was revealed, which gave me time to contemplate everything.  It also built the characters more smoothly than if the flashbacks hadn't been there.

The romance held something more than your typical YA romance.  Not only was it sweet and innocent, not only did it give me butterflies and heart flutters, but it had already happened!  I won't say any more...I honestly can't describe it - you must experience it.

The pace of this book is definitely fast, but while I read it I felt like I was experiencing everything in a time frame of the six months Nikki had.  But it still went by so fast...I don't know how to explain it.  Just know that I was never once bored or wishing more would happen.  This book seriously has allllll the good stuff!!

Everneath will evermore be one of my ever-favorites.  Please hurry, Brodi and Balzer + Bray!!  I'm just...speechless.  Still.  And so, so please.  Buy. This. Book.

For the Parents -
Some kissing, passionate but very sweet.  Jack's past includes some sleeping around, but he wishes he could change that.   Nikki is once afraid that Jack will pressure her to sleep with him but he says he won't, and doesn't.  He is very respectful of her wishes.  Some underage teens spend time at clubs, but nothing inappropriate happens.  Some very brief, mild language.  Recommended 14+

*This ARC copy was provided by NetGalley (thanks a million!!) in return for an honest review. I was in no way compensated; all thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.*

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Buys 1/6-20/12

I have a small Friday Buys these last two weeks, because I'm short of money, but obviously I can't say no to a few great deals here and there...  ;)

Excuse the pictures...I had to take them on my phone because someone was borrowing the camera...


The Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo - $1
This is the second book in a series of five or six, I believe.  I own the first, and now this one, and my sister raaaaves about them.  Lovelovelovesssss them.  So I suppose I'll have to get to them very soon.

Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey - $2
I really enjoyed the Once Upon A Time retelling I read, Anastasia's Secret.  It was fun, with a few major flaws, but it was so adorable the flaws didn't matter.  The book is short and thin so I'm sure it'll take me a day or so to read.  Excited!

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements - $.50
I read this book like 4 years ago and really enjoyed it.  I wanted my sisters to read it and I may make time to read it again someday... 50 cents - I'm down!

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - $3
I'm going to read this one for a book club and I'm beyond excited!  I've never been a part of a book club before (crazy, huh?!) and it's with two ladies I love very much and a small group of ladies I've never met but am sure I will love.  This is the first book I'll have read with them.  :)


The Breakup Artist by Shannen Crane Camp
Looks so cute!!

From the author through Goodreads First Reads program -
Replication by Jill Williamson

All together now..... ;)


So there it is!!  What have you purchased/won/received lately? :)