Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Buys - The Black Friday Edition

So, all us bookish nerds have been spending our money on Black Friday deals, right?  Right??  Right.  While I wish I could have spent $100 on books last weekend, I only bought a few:

Possession by Elana Johnson
Finally, right?!  I've been wanting to read this since I actually sat down and researched it recently and now I'm proud to have it on my shelf.  Hopefully it'll live up to expectations??

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
ERMAGARSH everyone.  I HAVEN'T READ THIS BOOK.  I know that statement's probably made people cry  and bang their heads on the table and induced labor and stuff, but don't hate.  I honestly didn't know how amazing this book was until I read the first 20 pages and was sucked in and CRACKING UP at the modeling scene and just IN LOVE with the writing and setting and unusual characters.  SO, I'll be reading this soon. :)

Alphabet Soup: The First Stirrings by Chanacee Ruth-Kilgore
I got this book for my birthday!  Our family friend, Chanacee, wrote it, and it looks so super duper adorable!  More MG than anything but from what I've read it has good writing.  Check it out!

The Big Splash and The Quick Fix by Jack D Farraiolo
A big surprise...randomly stashed by a family member behind a box in my room.  It sat there for weeks.  And finally I found it and was weirded out because my family denied they had put it there.  Until my sister was like, "Oh yah, I remember now!"  Ooookaaaay Haven, thanks for scaring the crap out of me.
Anywho.  A big thanks to Abrams!

The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry
THIS BOOK.  I have been waiting to read this book since I read the first book.  I have loved every book since the first, but this is the one I've been waiting to read because it sounds so amazing and like it's going to be the beginning of the romance between Monk and Hester!!  GAH!  I need to read it NOW.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
A HUGE shout out to Margie @ Bumbles & Fairy-Tales for RAKing this to me!!  She's the bomb - THANK YOU!!

Reached by Ally Condie
My life is over till I've finished this book.  Just saying.  If you're trying to contact me and I'm not answering, it's 'cause I'm reading.  So, just don't bother.  I'll get back to you in a couple of years when I'm over the emotional turmoil.

JOURNAL
Isn't it fantabulous?!  I've been lusting over it for a whole year.  My mom is so fantastical to buy it for me for my birthday.  I love her.

THE STASH
Much love, right, guys??  (But there's more...keep reading! haha)

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
I love Gaskell.  Like, so much.  Her stories are the best.  I got this for $.35, so I'm not complaining.  I've been waiting for it to pop up for cheap, and here it was, in great condition!  Yay! :D

The Island by Victoria Hislop
For some reason I thought this was The Thread, which I read for book club and really enjoyed.  I brought it home for $.25 and then realized, Ohhh wrong book!  But either way, I can't wait to read it!  I really enjoy her writing!

The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
It was $4...yeah.  It looks brand new, right?  And it's not.  It's been read once before but it's still in great condition.  I can't even wait to read it - it sounds soooo adorable! :D

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
Another find for cheap.  $5 and it's in good condition.  I own 3 of her books now but haven't read any...need to get to them soon (just like allll my other unread books - haha!).  They sound like so much fun!

Jane by Robin Maxwell
I had taken all the pictures and posted them up when I came across a package in my room, under my covers, shoved all the way to the wall.  Someone in my family is going to get busted for hiding my giveaway wins from me!  Haha!  But either way - HUGE shout out to Kelly @ The Broke and the Bookish - thanks darling! :)

THE STASH part 2 (minus Jane)
So there we go.  Fun few weeks, yah? ;)

Happy reading, friends! :D

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #8 - Pretty Sly



This is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper!


Pretty Sly

Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble. In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.

However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.

But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong.


______________________________________________

Yessssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!  I loved Pretty Crooked and can't wait for this one to be released so I can devour it!  Such a fun story, great characters, unusual idea - I'm so down!  I loved Willa and thought she was  hilarious.  

Released:  March 12th, 2013
Goodreads
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
The Book Depository

What are YOU wishing for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Upgrading...upgrading...upgrading...

What happens when Picasa tells you that you've run out of space and you CAN'T POST ANY MORE PICTURES UNTIL YOU UPGRADE?!?!?!

You go into panic mode, that's what.

I was at first very disoriented and confused and frustrated and like, "OMG AM I GOING TO LOSE MY PRECIOUS BLOGGY-WOGGY?!"

Now I'm just resigned.  FINE I'll pay $2.50 a month for 25x the space I already had.

It's actually not that bad.

I feel better now.

And soon, you will see more posts and awesomeness and reviews and Friday Buys and VS posts and Bookshelf Dilemmas and all the things you've been missing for the last week or so.

So hold tight.  Be patient.  And stare at your screen, waiting so impatiently for me to hurry up so your life, which consists of reading my blog posts, can resume.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pint-Size Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Pages:  304
Release Date:  November 13th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, September 24th-25th
Received:  ARC via NetGalley
Rating:  3.5/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+






SUMMARY -
Julia Lichtenstein has flown to London for the first time - with all her classmates in tow.  The school trip won't be so bad, will it?  The plane ride over was a major fail, but how bad can the rest of the trip be?  Pretty bad, Julia discovers, when she's paired with Jason,  the attention-loving, egotistical moron who made dirty jokes about her on the plane.  The complete idiot who seems to want to get her in trouble at every turn.  Jason may be a lot of things, but for a fact Julia knows he is NOT her MTB - Meant To Be.  Mark is her MTB, if only he knew it.  But Julia is in for a lesson - and a great time - as she discovers a new kind of love and a new way of life.

MY THOUGHTS -
I soooo enjoyed this book!!  It was goofy, adorable, and had me grinning like mad at the end!  I had some issues with it, but honestly - who cares?!  It was just wonderful!

Let's get the "bad" over with first, 'cause that's no fun.  To start, I had a hard time with Julia at first.  She needed to SERIOUSLY loosen up.  And Jason - what the flip, kid?!  Stop fooling around!  They both were way too extreme to start out with and it irked me...for a bit....until they started to balance each other out, and become better people because of each other.  There were also some random sexual comments that, while maybe a younger reader wouldn't catch in its entirety, I did, and I was like, "Ummm...AWKWARD MUCH?"  I was a bit disappointed in that, because it wasn't needed.  It was just there.

Then there were the things I enjoyed...  My number one thing is how well Julia and Jason balanced each other out over time and how they got out of themselves and their comfort zones and learned things and became better people.  It was a really smooth process and very fun to read.
The relationship dynamics were really awesome because Julia and Jason had noooo idea what was in store for them and their classmates.  The traveling, the art, the inspiration - it all had me on the edge of my seat, waiting for more, savoring it all like a delicious desert, but also devouring it like a delicious desert. ;)

The climax was good but a bit fast and a bit quick-fix-it.  I do wish there had been more depth, some more "setting of boundaries" (if you've read the book, you might know what I mean).  But still - so fun, so cute, and it made me smile.

So basically, all in all this was a wonderful read, full of grand adventures in London, a sweeping romance and a lesson learned.  What's not to adore?

This book reminds me of...
Kissing in the rain
London houses
Secrets
Hilarious moments
Teachers who are totally blind to their students' real actions
Mysteries
Good laughs

For the Parents -
Some very...plainly said sexual references and even some body movements that refer to sex.  Honestly, it was disappointing, but this only happens in a few places, which I was thankful for.  A bit of mild language if I remember correctly.  Recommended 15+

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (#1)


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (#1)
Pages: 404
Release Date:  August 2nd, 2012
Date Read:  2012, July 11th-13th
Received:  ARC via NetGalley (OWN)
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  14+







SUMMARY -
Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, trained to kill without hesitation.  Ruthless, sarcastic, strong.  By the prince's command, she has been captured by the captain of the Guard.  She has been offered freedom - if she wins a competition and works for the king for four years.  But what cost will Celaena pay?  The lives of every contestant is on the line, especially when the ruthless, disturbing killings begin.  And hard-hearted Celaena may have a reason to love again.  But nothing - nothing - must stand between her and freedom.

MY THOUGHTS -
I really, really enjoyed this book!  The feel to it is awesome - I mean, female assassins are WAY cool.  The writing sometimes fell short, but then made up for it with some awesome fight scenes and descriptions.

I'll admit, for the first half of the book, there were some prominent things that really stood out to me, as annoying.  More on that later - but I was considering 3 stars.  Good thing it really really made up for it!  Besides, months after I've read it, I hardly remember those things and had to look at my notes.  They're not super important, but they are there.

One thing I didn't love was the shifting POVs.  So random, and often unneeded, I felt.  They would have seemed more vital if they had shown, rather than told.  They got better as the story progressed, but at first they irked me.

CHARACTER NOTES -
Celaena was....unstable.  Let's put it that way.  She was insane one moment, angelic the next.  A bit inconsistent, I felt, but only in the beginning.  Then, mid-book, she seemed more....crazy, like her year in the mines had sent her over the edge.  Then, after being around people and building friendships, her mind seemed to heal.  So while I had some issues with her, I still loved her character all around and felt that most of her actions were totally normal for a trained assassin trying to gain her freedom.  And her flaws made her all the more real to me!  She proved to be a very worthy MC in the end.

Crown Prince Dorian, one of the love interests, was...well, he grew on me.  I don't think he's the one for Celaena, not at all, and I felt sorry for the poor love-struck chap, but...no.  He kind of annoyed me at first, like he was too cheesy.  But then he got better.  Definitely friend material, but not strong enough or dedicated enough for me to adore him like I adore....

Chaol.  This guy is so wonderful I want to write an epic poem proclaiming my love for him - or something along those ridiculous but totally realistic lines... ;)  He's such a man - and that's just it!  He's responsible, strong, hard-working, terribly gorgeous, and just fantastically incredible on every level.  He is strong and steadfast, where Celaena is wild and unpredictable.  That is what makes him perfect for her, among other things.  The way he pushed, encouraged, stayed strong, was a rock for Celaena in a world where her next move could be her last....  I love him.  I love him.  I love him.  I love him.  I love him.  Etc, etc, etc.

I really loved Nehemia.  She's strange, forceful, like Celaena.  Their friendship was really a great dynamic for the story.

THE BAD GUYS. WERE. NASTY!  They scared me...seriously they were so radically EVIL.  I don't want to say names 'cause I feel like that would be a bit spoilery.  But for reals - assassins are crazy!  Twenty-three criminals competing for a title?  Crazy!

STORY NOTES -
Reading the story about an assassin is new to me, but...I want more!  Now!  Like, when's the next book coming out?!  (And can the cover please feature Chaol, PLEASE?! *Sigh*)

So, the story starts - and never slows.  Not once.  Fast fast fast!  I loved that about it.  Always something happening, a new twist, a new development!

And welcome to the land of NO INSTA-LOVE!  Congratulations, Sarah!  You win the award of perfectly drawn out love story development, and two different kinds!  For Dorian, it started out as very physical, because he's been a bit of a womanizer (to say the least), and while I believe he loves her, in his own way, I think someone else's love (coughcough!) is deeper, greater...

Chaol's love develops not through physical attraction, but through time spent together, a connection through working hard together, through laughing together.  It was beautiful to see his progression of feelings from hatred to....WOW.  Very powerful emotions.  :D

I'm also so happy that Celaena didn't kiss both boys and act all confused about her feelings.  She was very level-headed in her feelings toward the boys.  But now...now...I'm highly anticipating Celaena and Chaol's first kiss!  Like - hurry up already, Sarah! ;)

The book ended with a bang.  Stunning!  The last part of the climax - "Get up!" sent my heart pounding away.  My knuckles turned while.  My breathing paused.  Wow.

SUMMING IT UP -
Starts good and ends really really great!  Sarah, please hurry up!  Your fans are dying in anticipation!  I bought Throne of Glass and had it signed by the lovely author and now I hope to do the same for Book 2! :D

For the Parents -
Some minor cussing; a few kisses with little detail.  Very violent - sometimes gory.  Reference to faces being ripped off, brains getting cut up, etc. Recommended 14+.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Bookshelf Dilemma: Episode 5

Here's a short little episode for ya!

These books have yet to be read.
BUT.  Since I took these pictures, I've read a few of these, so don't be fooled.  Only most of them are still in this category.

This first picture is of my standalone novels that I haven't read yet.  I own them all, and yet I haven't read them.  (And yet I see a few that I have read now...)

This is a pile of books that are in a series or are part of a series.  Somehow, they belong with other books, but I haven't quite gotten around to them yet. 

And yet more series.  Some have been read.  Others have not.  More have been added.  Same story. :)  These also include the non-YA books that I haven't read...or at least most of them.  A lot of them are in a box in the garage since I have no more room for them and I won't be reading them anytime soon.

Anywho, that's about it for today.  You should see my room now - HOLY COW it's a mess, but when it's done being organized, it's going to look NOTHING like this!  And I'm really really excited for the new look! It utilizes the wall space better and these books will be MUCH more accessible.

Enjoy the rest of your week, friends! :)  Haaaaaappy reading!!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Pages: 343
Release Date:  May 15th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, June 22nd - July 2nd
Received:  ARC via NetGalley
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  14+





SUMMARY -
Verity is not her real name.  They don't know her real name, who she's been and what she's done.  But they will.  Soon, they will, because she will tell them.  But as her captors, torturers, get her to tell more and more of her story, and Verity wonders what happened to Kittyhawk when they were separated, the truth is slowly revealed.  Verity and Kittyhawk will never be the same.

MY THOUGHTS -
I adore this book.  And while that phrase seems a bit too...tame for the grittiness that is Code Name Verity, I seriously love it.  I'll be sure to buy it someday soon, and read it again, because I definitely want this on my shelf.  Over the last months since I read it, it has come back to me again and again.  I think now I appreciate it even more than when I first read it.  It has stuck with me, and I've decided - it's one I will buy for my children.  I will recommend it to everyone.  It's just one of those books.  Everyone needs to read it.

Everyone.  This is not something that I take lightly.  I have never recommended a book to just "everyone" before.

Granted, the story started out slow.  But not slow in a way that bored me.  Instead, it fascinated me.  The story of Verity and her best friend, who they met, how close they became, the fears they expressed to each other...  If I hadn't had this kind of intro to who they were together, I wouldn't have understood them when they were separated.

Elizabeth Wein's writing is very beautiful.  Simple, great for this type of book.  And still, she brought across a great power through her writing.  If you know to start out your story with "I AM A COWARD" then you've got something good going for you.  There are SO MANY quotes from this book that I remember that move me...one in particular.  If you've read the book, you know exactly which one I'm talking about.

CHARACTER NOTES -
Verity is definitely my favorite.  I loved absolutely everything about her: her weaknesses, her strength, her guilt and sorrow and pain and love and the small joys she spoke of in her report.  She's complex and just...stunning.  Yes that's exactly the word for her: stunning.  Her fears, how they changed over the course of the book, made her more real to me than ever.  And how smart she was!  So...elegant.

Kittyhawk was a neat character as well.  It's her side of the story that's hardest to read about, and she makes the perfect impression for it.  Her bravery, selflessness, and unconditional love (yes - unconditional) blew me away.
At first I was a little bummed when the story switched to Kittyhawk halfway through.  I was invested in Verity's brilliance, and I didn't want to leave.  But I'm so glad it switched.  I can't say anymore than that.  But I am SO. GLAD.

There's a lovely cast of side characters (or, not so lovely, if you please).  Von Leowe and James, in particular, are an excellent addition to this story.

STORY NOTES -
"It's like being in love, discovering your best friend."  (Can't remember the page number!)

There are few things in life greater than having a best friend.  I can say that with full confidence, especially since my best friend was gone in Panama for a month during the summer.  (Side note:  If your best friend is leaving town for a  bit, choose another book to read while he/she is gone...  If you read this, anxiety will ensue.)
Reading a story about best friends, with no romance or stupid drama getting int he way, is just...amazing.  Touching.  Sincere.  I loved every single minute of it, even when the story was slower going.  Because it did have its slow moments.  Again, that's not to say it was boring - not at all!  The pace in the lingering kind, the one you only want to read for 15-30 minutes a day because you want it to last.  It's so beautiful.

I didn't really appreciate all the talk about planes because it was written like the reader should already know all this stuff.  It makes sense, seeing as Verity and Kittyhawk were pilots and/or worked with planes, but it made my head spin a bit, trying to keep up.

Now, let me tell you - you have to keep reading!!!  Even if you have no idea where it's taking you - just go with it!  Everything ties together.  Everything.  It will blow your mind and shatter your heart into a gazillion tiny little pieces.  And then you'll realize you're still living, breathing, feeling, and that you just read something life changing.

(I promise, I'm not exaggerating!)

SUMMING IT UP -
River-crying material.  Yup - that is this book.  I have cried - like full-on tears - TWICE while writing this review, over two days.  I hope everyone takes a break from other genres to read this incredible historical fiction worthy of every shelf!
LOVE.

For the Parents -
Violence - toward the end.  Brief strong language and reference to torture.  Recommended 14+.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sparkles and Lightning: Mystery Box Giveaway!

Oh yeah - Annabelle has done it again!!  She's hosting yet ANOTHER FANTASTIC giveaway that will knock your pretty little socks off!!

CHECK THIS BABY OUT!! :D <3 p="p">
Sparkles and Lightning: Mystery Box Giveaway!: So guys, in the past few months, it has occurred to me that I have way too many books. I've been attempting to get rid of some of them, a...

Friday Buys - the Birthday Edition!

So, I'm just madly in love with this edition of Friday Buys, because it involves one of my favorite times of the year - MY BIRTHDAY!!!

It was yesterday, actually, and I'm so excited about it.  I'm 19.  I'm old.  I was born in the 90'S, guys.  We are now in the 2010'S.  I'm kind of freaking out about that.  But onto things I can wrap my mind around...

THESE BOOKS!!  They're beautiful!!  They're magnificent!  They're GLORIOUS!
Enjoy feasting your eyes. :)

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
So...it was Teacher Appreciation Week at B&N.  I didn't have any money at that time, but screw money!  I bought a book anywho.  I've been wanting to read this for, like EVER.  Ever since I saw that stunning dress. Ever since I heard "time travel".  Ever since I understood there would be romance and a pretty boy.  AND.  Ever since I discovered Anthea Bell translated it - which makes it UNDENIABLY THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN.
Ok.  We hope.

The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
You have NO idea how long I've been coveting this book!!  Even before I read The Humming Room, I wanted to read this one.  It looks so creeptastic, I can't even handle it.  And that cover art!  Yum!!

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I think we can all say a resounding DELICIOUS.
'Nuff said.
Haven't read it yet, but I'm already set for twuuu wuuuuv!

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Pretty much a Forever Favorite (I have to see how The Pirate's Wish turns out).  It was FLIPPING AMAZING.
READ IT.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl - used $7
You have NO IDEA how many freaking times I've picked this up in the bookstore used/new/otherwise and said, "Crap, I need to buy this.  I'm going to break down, right now, and put all my money on the line for this book."  And then I walked out of the store empty handed. WHY?  I finally broke, though.  I did.  And I can't wait to read it!  I don't do well with mysteries, though, so that's something I'm hoping isn't the case.  But I have faith.  I really do.

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
From TOR.  I love them.  They love me.  They send me magical books.
Again, I repeat, I love them.
And I can't wait to devour this book!!!

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer - used $2
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!  Colfer broke my heart when I read this.  But OMG you should read it and LOVE IT.  Because it's just so lovable!!!!
I found it brand new in hardcover for $2.  Obviously, I bought it.  DUH.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
SOOOO.....
Awkward silence for *le title*.
Yeah.  Besides that culturally hilarious reference to literature's doom, 50 Shades, let's chat about how BRILLIANT this sounds.
I mean, for real.  Go check it out if you haven't seen it or heard of it before, because it's going to be one of those books we all remember with tears in our eyes and love in our hearts and all that mushy gushy stuff.  I can't wait to read it! (Purchased with a gift card!)

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
WHOOHOOO!! I BOUGHT IT!!
I'm so excited to read it, you have no clue!!  I want to open its gorgeous green binding RIGHT NOW and dive in.  But I can't.  Because stupid life is getting in the way.  But sooooooon!  (Giftcard as well.)

Jane by April Lindner
This book.  I hear great things about it.  I can't believe I bought it (with a giftcard) but as many times as I thought of setting it aside and not buying it, but my fingers were literally glued to it and then BAM! My $10 giftcard was SPENT!  So I hope I love it like everyone else.

Defiance by C. J. Redwine
Dude, her last name is Redwine.  I want it.
Anyways.  HIS name is Logan.  I'm sold.
AND it looks so good and well written and BRILLIANT.
So.  I'm a proud owner.
(Thank you giftcard!)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas
YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'VE BEEN COVETING THIS COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR ABOUT THREE YEARS NOW AND NEVER BOUGHT IT BUT OMGOMGOMG LOOOOK!!! IT'S MINE NOW!!!
Ok, enough fangirling.  Besides the fact that this book is one of the most brilliant EVER written, this copy is STUNNING.  And it is the THIRD copy of this book that I've bought.  And I love them all for different reasons.  This for the gold lined pages and the stunning cover.
Fangirl with me now.
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GORGEOUSNESS.
642 Things To Write About - SO AMAZING.  I've been just eating it up and writing like a madman.
And my gorgeous new journal I got for my birthday. LOVE!

MY BABIES!!  Aren't they just so delectably stunning?!  I need to read them all.  Right now.
Pray I don't become a hermit out of love for these lovelies.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  Haha - sorry, I couldn't help it.  Aren't I charming? ;)

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your weekend!! :D