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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody!!
I'm not a big fan of Halloween, scary stories and scary movies seriously terrify me, but it seems like a lot of my fellow bloggers really love Halloween so I couldn't neglect the holiday! Sadly, I'll be spending my Halloween writing essays and working on presentations for the week, so no candy or fun for me :( But, I want to hear from you guys, so I have a Halloweeny question for you, and I'd love to hear your responses!

 What is your favorite Halloween memory?

My favorite Halloween memory is from when I was still in elementary school, because my school always put on an awesome haunted house. All the classrooms in the school were connected, because it was such a small school, so each room was decorated with a different theme (mummies, witches, death dinner, stuff like that). You would start at one end and travel all the way through with people jumping out at you, smoke machines going, scary music! It was so much fun! I even got to dress up and be part of it a couple times! 

So that's my favorite memory, what's yours?!

Review: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: October 4th, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 307
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
Let me just start by saying that I am a HUGE Lauren Oliver fan. I loved Delirium, I've read snippets of Before I Fall, and I'm dying to read Pandemonium when it comes out, so when I found out she wrote a MG novel, I snagged it right away! I think I bought it literally the day it came out :) And I was not disappointed at all! Oliver's writing is so great; she's incredibly descriptive without being boring, she's not condescending, she's entertaining... I could go on forever really. The book is written for middle graders, so it was a bit predictable, but it's such a fabulous tale I didn't mind.

Liesl is a little girl who's mourning the loss of her father while living in an attic, locked there by her evil stepmother. She's a fabulous character, who's smart, fun, witty, and brave. She's a great role model and a fantastic protagonist. Po is sort of snarky, but very loyal. It goes through a lot to help Liesl and protect her along their journey. Will is such a sad boy, with no one who loves him, which is why Liesl and Will make such a great pair, they're able to help each other out a lot, and sort of become brother and sister to each other.

The plot was very fast paced, and the pictures are gorgeous! I found myself getting really excited whenever I was approaching a picture and used that as a sort of reward for reading all those words. I loved how everything sort of came together, and nothing was very random, and it had that "everything is related" quality that I really enjoy in books. Also, the way it's written is almost like someone is reading the story to me, rather than me reading the story. I love that quality in the book.

Lauren Oliver is such a descriptive writer, without being boring or overly wordy or boring, and I was so immersed in this story, the only reason I put it down was to do homework or other important life things. Otherwise, my time was consumed by Liesl and Po. Although this is a MG book, I definitely recommend it to fans of fairy tales and Lauren Oliver. Liesl and Po was such a great story I want Lauren Oliver to write more MG books about fantastical adventures! If you haven't picked this one up yet, you definitely should!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

RAK Wrap-Up: October

Book Soulmates

This was my first time participating in RAK, but it was so much fun I'm really excited to do it again in November! 

What I Received
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
I told her I hadn't read this one and she kindly sent me a copy :) Thanks Liza! <3

What I Sent
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I sent this to Kaitlin at Books to the Sky because she hadn't read it yet, and everyone needs to read Divergent

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
I sent this one to Audris at YA Bookmark. I had an ARC of it and it was on her wishlist so I had to pass it on to her!

That's it for this month, can't wait to send out more stuff in November :) I love giving! Make sure to leave a link to your wrap-up so I can check out what you got/sent!

In My Mailbox [11]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!

I'm seriously getting like, no books since I started sticking to my Reward Challenge and it's stressing me out big time! :) I got one book this week from the lovely Liza at Book Crook Liza! Thanks Liza! Love you<3

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Leave me a link to your post so I can check out what you got!
Also, don't forget to enter my two giveaways, if you haven't already!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On My Wishlist [9]

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Publication Date: September 29th, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Page Count: 378 pages
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
Why I Want This: I've always been really interested in stories about Jack the Ripper, so when I read about a sort of, modern day Jack the Ripper story I got really intrigued! Plus, I follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter and she is HILARIOUS! So now I reallyy want this book, because I reallyy want to read it :) 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Follow Friday [10]

Q: If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

Ohhhhh, Damon :) Damon Salvatore. Damon the delicious vampire from Vampire Diaries. Yup, I'd have dinner with him. And I'd probably serve myself up ;) Just sayin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Publication Date: September 1st, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Page Count: 405
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.
I finished this book, with tears streaming down my face and wanting to hug the closest person to me. Unfortunately, the closest person to me was a guy sleeping on a bench with his headphones in. Either way Hate List is a heartbreaking book about acceptance, tolerance, bullying, and obviously hate. The book alternates between the day of the school shooting and what's going on with Valerie in the present, as she goes back to school. There are brief newsclippings thrown in that talk about all the students that were injured or killed during the shooting which give a great perspective and more insight into the characters.

It's not going to be difficult for anyone to relate to this book, whether you've been the victim of bullying or bullied someone else, Hate List shows a lot of different perspectives. Valerie, the protagonist, is such an emotional character, I constantly found myself wanting to jump into the book to defend her and hug her and protect her. She struggles with so many different people in her life, her parents, her teachers, her former friends. No one trusts her, I don't think she truly trusts herself. From what we learn about Nick, I can tell he's really not a bad kid. It's one of those situations where if someone just stopped and took the time to ask the right questions and see the right things, a huge tragedy could have been avoided.

I love the way Brown wrote this book, the language is so emotional, I was constantly wiping my eyes while reading. Sometimes they were happy tears, sometimes they were sad tears, and sometimes things were just so emotional I didn't know how else to deal with what I was reading. There's the perfect amount of dialogue and description for me, and for those of you who know me, you know I don't like long descriptive paragraphs that go on and on. Brown did a fabulous job of giving depth to all the characters, and I felt like I was back in high school again.

Hate List is a tragic, yet uplifting story about a school trying to mend itself in the wake of a terrible shooting. I don't think I've ever read something so gripping and yet so hopeful. I definitely recommend this one to anyone and everyone. Hate List showcases what can happen when bullying goes too far, and people's emotional instability goes unnoticed. Even those who are loved and cherished may have something to hide. Lovers of contemporary fiction and books about bullying will enjoy this one until the end.

Waiting on Wednesday [10]

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Expected Publication Date: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Page Count: 368
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested don’t usually come back.

17-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

In the three years since the war ended, Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the Federal Bureau of Reformation. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And what’s worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.
Why I Can't Wait: Alright well if you know me, you know I'm a total dystopian junkie. I snatch up every dystopian novel I can find, and this is another one that I am DYING to read! It sounds so crazy, and sort of Hunger-Games-esque, I just can't WAIT to get it! I've seen a couple ARCs in people's IMMs and I'm so jealous, it's ridiculous. I'm sooo excited to read this one, I really don't wait to wait for Valentine's Day :P

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Release Day to The Iron Knight!!!

Happy Release Day!
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 25th TODAY!!!
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count: 386
Buy It: The Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble
My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.

My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
You can read my review here! Review for The Iron Knight

I reviewed this one A LONG time ago, when I got it from Netgalley and I was still learning the ways of blogging. So of course, I had no blogger etiquette and I posted a review months before the book was going to come out. Now I'm just celebrating!! I love this series, it's one of my favorites, and I'm sad to see it end, but I'm so excited to find out what Kagawa has planned next :) I know I'm going to love it!!

Teaser Tuesday [9]

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week's Teaser is from.... Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
*This teaser is from an uncorrected proof. Quotes in the Final Copy may be changed*

"The man had no nose or lips or hair, his head horrifyingly streamlined. His rotten brown skin was stretched taut over the bones  of his skull, and his recessed eyes glittered, dark points in the caves of his eye sockets. His entire chest cavity was hollowed out, and there was some sort of machinery mounted within, screwed to his spine." pg. 268


Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 390
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Audris!)
On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites;like fire and ice;Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

So let me start off by saying, I didn't really know what to expect from this book. Audris over at YA Bookmark lent it to me and gushed over it, so I knew it would be something I would like. And I did! A Beautiful Dark was a fabulous take on Angels/Fallen Angels or Guardians and Rebels as they're called in the book. It was a weird sort of cross between Vampire Diaries, Fallen, and Hush Hush. I know, it sounds odd, but it was actually really good!

I loved the characters, I thought they were all interesting and mysterious in their own ways. Everyone had secrets which was great because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on in every one's heads! Skye is sort of your typical female protagonist, who is smart and beautiful and suddenly stuck between two gorgeous yet mysterious boys, one light one dark. Hmmm Vampire Diaries anyone? Yes yes, as always I fell for the dark and mysterious "brother" Damon Asher who is very bad-boy-gone-soft with dark hair and deliciously dark eyes. Yum! Then there's Devin, the "good" one, who makes Skye feel tranquil and happy. Of course, Devin has the blue eyes like deep pools and blonde hair that Skye oh so wants to run her fingers through. Of course, he's gorgeous too. There's also a mysterious bad girl involved... I'll leave you with that :)

The plot was really easy to keep up with and fast paced, I didn't find myself skipping over boring descriptive paragraphs, and I could have read the entire 390 pages easily in one sitting if it wasn't for school and work. Some things sort of got to me, like how Aunt Jo leaves for like 10 days at a time, being home for one day in between on these wilderness retreats, and everyone is sort of just okay with it? I caught on to more of this near the end when a lot of stuff is explained, but it still kind of bugged me. I also felt really lost in the end, when more revelations happen! I'm assuming Davies is going to delve a lot deeper into Skye's abilities and what she truly is, because I'm at such a loss right now, and I need some explanations!

Overall, I really liked this book! It had a good amount of romance, albeit a lot of the story seemed to center around the love triangle, but also some action and mystery. I wish I didn't spend so much time comparing A Beautiful Dark to so many of my favorite books, but it did feel like a mash-up of a lot of other romantic love triangle and angel stories I've read. The ending is a ginormous cliff-hanger that has me counting down the days to A Fractured Light which doesn't even have a publication date yet! Fans of angel stories and romantic love triangles will adore this one!

Musing Monday [9]

Musing Monday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading! This week’s musing asks…
Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?

In fact.. I don't. I've tried, whether it's listening in the car or while I work out, but I can never get into it as I would a regular book. I feel like I'm focusing on too many other things when I'm listening to an audiobook, which prevent me from really digging into the story.

I also have a really clear picture of what characters look and sound like, so I don't like to have voices and images picked for me. It's sort of a weird in between of reading a book and watching the movie. It's like reader's purgatory :)

If you are in fact interested in audiobooks though, I'm giving away a copy of Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan in audiobook format to one lucky winner :) Enter Here

Make sure to leave a link to your post so I can check it out :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox [10]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!

I've been trying to stick to my book buying ban, and only buy books for rewards from the Reward Challenge, or for RAK. Or for giveaways :) So far I've been really good!! I didn't get much this week though :(

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Thanks Jac from For Love and Books!)

Received For Trade via
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

Make sure to leave a link to your post so I can check out what you got! Also, be sure to check my TWO awesome giveaways up at the top of my blog :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On My Wishlist [8]

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Page Count: 420 Pages
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Why I Want This: How could anybody NOT want this? That cover is gorgeous, that synopsis is so mysterious and intriguing, and it has a rating of 4.42 with over 1800 ratings on Goodreads. WHAT!? I haven't read a single negative review about this book, I've heard way too many good things to NOT want this!! Seriously, I need it right now. *runs out to buy Daughter of Smoke and Bone* Curse you book buying ban!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday [9]

  Q. What superhero is your alter-ego?

Ohhhh this is a good one! I've never really thought about it..... 
I'd have to go with

Sailor Moon!!! Yeah! :) She's so kick-ass, and super cute! Honestly, they were all pretty awesome, but she ended up with Tuxedo Mask! 

I was OBSESSED with this show when I was younger and it was still on TV :) I wish it would come back on, I actually have the theme song on my iPod LOL :)

What superhero would you be? Leave a link to your post!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reward Challenge: Stage 4

The Reward Challenge is almost the complete opposite to a book buying ban as you'll end up buying lots of new books throughout the challenge but only after you've completed a certain amount of reading. You can find the official rules her: Good Golly Miss Holly Reading Challenge

Stage 1 Read ONE Book = Buy ONE Book
Stage 2 Read TWO Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 3 Read THREE Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 4 Read FOUR Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 5 Read FIVE Books = Buy ONE Book
a n d s o o n . . .

Books I Read


Book I Bought


My Reviews:
- Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis
- Ashfall by Mike Mullin


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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from unless otherwise stated.
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