Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Blogger Award (6)

Liberty Falls Down has awarded me with the Summer Blogger Award:


Thank you so much!

Here are the rules:

Thank the person who gave it to you with a link back in your post, and send this on to fellow bloggers who rock this summer. List 4 rocking bloggers (if you can or have the time) to share this with, and post a note to them through their comments.

  1. Page Turners
  2. vvb32 Reads
  3. Luxury Reading
  4. Presenting Lenore

These bloggers rock, so they definitely deserve this award!

Swords are for fighting,

The Last Song Questions

The Book Vixen



*Warning: Spoilers for those who have not read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Read at your own risk!*

1. Ronnie is a difficult teenager who is prone to acting out and is alienated from both her parents at the start of the novel. Were you rebellious as a teenager? How was this manifested? On the other side, have you ever had to deal with a rebellious teenager? Did Ronnie’s behavior touch a nerve?

I was never a real rebellious teenager. My form of rebellion was not taking more than two years of Spanish in high school and taking a class that I thought was more fun and exciting instead. I would do small things like that, but I never stayed out late or anything like that. I was obviously extremely rebellious...not. I've never had to deal with a rebellious teenager. In the beginning, I thought Ronnie was a selfish brat. She seemed hard to relate to, but she grew on me, and I ended up liking her.

2. What do you think about the very different approaches to parenting taken by Ronnie’s mother and father? Do you think Ronnie’s mother is too intrusive or can you understand her relationship with Ronnie? Do you think Ronnie’s father is too absent, or can you understand why the relationship is the way it is?


I found it interesting how different Ronnie's mother and father were. They were completely different when it came to parenting. Ronnie's mother did not trust Ronnie while her father trusted her completely. I think Ronnie's mother is too intrusive, but I can understand why she is that way. I think it had a lot to do with how Ronnie behaved around her. I thought Ronnie's father was just a really calm and serene person who did not let anything get him down. I did not think he was too absent. I just thought that that was how he was as a person.

3. Early in the novel we learn that Ronnie was a piano prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall when she was thirteen. However, when we meet Ronnie she hasn’t played in many years and she’s sworn to never play the piano again. Why does Ronnie feel this way? Who do you think Ronnie hurts more by not playing the piano, herself or her father?


I think Ronnie sworn never to play the piano again because it reminds her of her father too much. Piano playing was something she did with him, so after he left she associated the piano with abandonment. I think that Ronnie hurts herself more by not playing the piano because she is basically throwing away her talent. She was an amazing piano player who could actually make a living out of it, so she is hurting herself more by not playing.

4. Reflecting back on his life, Steve wonders: “Was it still possible for someone like him to experience the presence of God?” Why does Steve ask himself this? What role do religion and belief play in this novel? How would you characterize Steve’s religious faith?


I think that Steve asks himself because he does not feel God, and he thinks that maybe someone who is sick like him cannot feel God. Religion and belief seem to play a huge role in this novel. The characters find relief in finding God. I would characterize Steve's religious faith as a great thing. I think he finds contentment in discovering God all around him. He is definitely a religious man, and I think that passes onto Ronnie.

5. Why does Will fall for Ronnie? Can you understand the attraction from both Ronnie’s and Will’s point of view?


Will falls for Ronnie because she is different from what he is used to. She feels real to him, and she is not afraid of what others think. Will sees that Ronnie is an individual. I can understand the attraction from both Ronnie's and Will's point of view. They both agree that the other is not the usual type that they go for. I think that is what makes their relationship work, though. Will is not who Ronnie would ever expect to fall for and vice versa. The fact that they are different makes it work.

6. What do you make of Blaze? How would you characterize her relationship with Marcus? Have you ever been in a relationship that was not particularly healthy? Did you stay in the relationship? If so, why?


Blaze is a difficult person to make out. She is obviously lost throughout the novel. She pretends to be a person she is not by having a relationship with Marcus. I think the only reason that Blaze was with Marcus was because of the situation with her mother and the fact that her mother did not want her to spend time with Marcus. Maybe it was a cry for attention. Her relationship with Marcus is unhealthy. Marcus treats her like crap and does not care for her at all. He just uses her whenever it benefits him. I really did not like how Marcus treated Blaze. Personally, I have never been in a relationship that was unhealthy like that.

7. Ronnie and Will fall in love very quickly over the course of the summer. Have you ever had a summer romance that became something more than a fling?


I have never had a summer romance. I definitely loved reading about Ronnie and Will falling in love so quickly. It was cute.

8. This novel is, in large part, about loyalty and trust. Which characters exhibit the most trustworthiness and which exhibit the least? How does a betrayal of trust affect various relationships within the novel?


Most trustworthy- Steve, Will, Ronnie, Jonah, Will's sister Megan, Pastor Harris

Least trustworthy- Marcus, Blaze, Ronnie's mother Kim

Kim betraying her husband ends up causing Ronnie's relationship with her father to suffer. Since Kim never admitted to cheating and let Ronnie believe it was her father's fault for leaving, Ronnie's relationship with her father became nonexistent.

Blaze betraying Ronnie almost ruins Ronnie's life.

9. In the middle of the novel, Will asks Ronnie how far she would go to protect a friend. Why does Will ask Ronnie this? How far would you go to protect a friend?

Will asks Ronnie this because he is not sure if he should keep Scott's secret any longer. If he continues to protect Scott, his friend will be out of trouble, but if he does not keep his secret, Scott could get into serious trouble.

I would go pretty far to protect a friend because I like to think that they would do the same thing for me.

10. How are Jonah and Ronnie affected by their parents’ divorce? What effect does divorce have on children, in your experience?

Jonah and Ronnie are both affected by their parents' divorce differently. I think Jonah was too young to be affected too much. He misses his dad, but he still loves and cares for him. Ronnie, on the other hand, took her parents' divorce hard. She thought her father left her and her family, so she stopped talking to her dad. Since Ronnie did not know the true reason why her parents divorced, she took it out on her father.

In my experience, divorce can have a horrible effect on children. They can be seriously hurt because their parents divorce. At times, they do not understand why their parents do not want to be together anymore. They may even go as far as blaming themselves for their parents' problems. Divorce is hard, especially on children.

11. Both Will and Ronnie come from families that have certain expectations of them. How do these familial expectations shape them and in what ways do they reject these expectations?

Will's parents expect him to go to a certain college and taking over the family business after he graduates. Even though Will may not want to do that, his familial expectations help him become who he is. He loves his family and has a great relationship with his sister. Ronnie's parents want her to make good decisions, and her father knows that she will learn from her mistakes. I think Ronnie's biggest familial expectation is to always be honest, and she takes this to heart. She is a very honest person. When she was living with only her mother, she would reject her expectations, but I think she was doing that out of rebellion. She really is a good person at heart.

12. Why does Ronnie get angry at Will toward the end of the novel? Do you think her anger is justified?

Ronnie gets angry at Will towards the end of the novel because she is hurting. Her father is dying and there is nothing she can do about it. She just wants to be alone, and Will understood that. Given the situation, I think that her anger was justified.

13. What do you think of the choices Steve and Kim make as parents? Do you think they were right in keeping certain things secret from their children?

I think the choices that Steve and Kim make as parents are mostly good choices. I do think that they should have told their children about why they divorced because then Ronnie and Steve's relationship may not have suffered. Even though I think they made from wrong choices, I think they did what they thought was best.

14. Ronnie makes an important choice at the end of the novel. Would you have made the same choice if you were in her position?

I would have definitely made the same choice if I was in her position. She is definitely a strong woman to do what she did.

15. In what ways does Ronnie change over the course of the novel? In what ways does she stay the same?

I think that Ronnie grows a lot as a person. She still has the same values, but I think she has grown up. She does not do the same childish things that she did in the beginning of the book. She is more responsible and determined now.

Fun Book Club! I hope I can participate in another one soon.

Swords are for fighting,

Teaser Tuesday (24)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along, 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 Tuesday comes from page 127 of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen:

"August and Marlena stare after him. I look back just in time to see the elephant pull her trunk from the trough. She lifts it, aims, and blasts the man with such force his hat sails off his head on a stream of water."
I am really enjoying this book! I did not know what to expect, but I like it so far.

Swords are for fighting,

Monday, August 30, 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon Finish Line


This read-a-thon has come to an end. I did not read that much at all, which was kind of disappointing. Most nights I could not stay up that late because I ended up falling asleep. Here is how it played out:
  • 8/25: I read pages 218-331 of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • 8/26: I read pages 1-120 of Heist Society by Ally Carter
  • 8/27: I read pages 121-226 of Heist Society
  • 8/28: I read pages 227-289 of Heist Society finishing the book, and I started Creepers by Joanne Dahme reading pages 1-72
  • 8/29: I finished Creepers by reading pages 72-231

I only read 2 books during this read-a-thon completely. I read part of Mockingjay because I just had to finished it before starting another book.

Total pages read: 633

Swords are for fighting,

From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-A-Thon Challenges #2



Lack of internet access this past weekend has forced me not to participate in many of the challenges of this read-a-thon. I am trying to make up for it today:


Book-Crazy's challenge:


If you could be read into a book, which book would it be and why? What is it about that story that you find utterly overpowering? Which world would you choose to loose what you have here on earth for?

This is a tough question! If I could be read into a book, I think I would choose The Host by Stephenie Meyer because I absolutely fell in love with the world in The Host. After first reading it, I wished I could live there. I found the relationships in the story utterly overpowering. Aliens and humans working together and even falling in love was amazing. Even with all of the problems in that world, I would love to be read into it.





So for the challenge I want you guys to be creative. I want you to draw your favorite scene from a book, write a poem about your favorite character, remake your favorite book cover entirely or find a song that best describes your favorite book.


I have so many favorite books, but I think my favorite book at the moment is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Here is a song that I think best describes this wonderful book:



Fun read-a-thon and challenges! I wish I could have participated more, though.

Swords are for fighting,

Review: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside down when her parents divorced her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, particularly her father ... until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she and her younger brother spent the summer with him in North Carolina.

Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will be the centerpiece of a local church. Resentful and rebellious, Ronnie rejects all of his attempts to reach out to her and threatens to return to New York before the summer's end. But soon Ronnie meets Will. the town's local heartthrob, and the last person she thought she'd ever be attracted to. As Ronnie slowly lets her guard down, she finds herself falling deeply in love, opening herself up to the greatest happiness-and pain-that she has ever known.

An unforgettable story of love in all its myriads forms-first love, love between parents and children-THE LAST SONG demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

Review:
In the beginning of The Last Song, Ronnie seemed like a selfish brat. The way she acted towards her parents was horrible! I honestly could not handle her, but she quickly changed her annoying ways. At first, I kept imagining Ronnie as Miley Cyrus, so it kind of ruined the story for me at times. I am not a huge Miley Cyrus fan, but once I got over that, I was surprised to find myself actually liking Ronnie as a character.

This book switched point of views every chapter, with Ronnie's point of view being used most frequently. It was interesting to see situations from different characters' points of view. I especially liked Will's point of view. Marcus' point of view just proved that he was a huge sleaze. I really did not like him. The way he saw and treated women and people in general was disgusting. Although his point of view is not heard, I really liked Will's father, Tom. The small parts he had in this novel were funny and entertaining. I liked his sense of humor.

From the beginning, I knew something was wrong with Steve. I saw what was coming, but it was still extremely sad and heart breaking. I can honestly say this book made me cry. It was just so sad! Even with the tears, I had fun reading this book. It was an emotional roller coaster ride of a story, and I loved it! I definitely recommend reading it.

Rating: 4.5/5
I read this book for The Book Junkie's Bookshelf and The Book Vixen's Book Club.

The Book Vixen

Swords are for fighting,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where I share what books I got in the past week.

This is what I received this week:


Borrowed:
  • Jealousy by Lili St. Crow

Bought:

  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter
  • Creepers by Joanne Dahme
Won:
What did you get this week?

Swords are for fighting,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine

Synopsis:
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.

Review:
I think I just found my new favorite series. Glass Houses, the first book in the Morganville Vampires series was a super fun read. I loved the characters, action, hint of romance, and everything else about this book. It is a wild ride from the start and does not slow down at all.

Claire is a great character. I loved that she was not a tough girl and actually showed that she was scared at times. With the things she went through, I thought she was a realistic character.

Shane was by far my favorite character. I loved his sense of humor, and I liked how much he cared for his friends. He may do some stupid things, but he has great intentions.

The only thing I did not like about this book was the HUGE cliffhanger ending. I really wish I had the second book on hand, but sadly I did not. Reading the next book is a must for me.

Rating: 4/5

Books in the Morganville Vampires series:
  1. Glass Houses
  2. The Dead Girls' Dance
  3. Midnight Alley
  4. Feast of Fools
  5. Lord of Misrule
  6. Carpe Corpus
  7. Fade Out
  8. Kiss of Death
  9. Ghost Town
Swords are for fighting,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely #2) by Melissa Marr

Synopsis:
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes; not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

Review:
I did not really think of Ink Exchange as a sequel to Wicked Lovely. It was more of companion novel. I was surprised to find that the minor characters of Wicked Lovely became the main characters of Ink Exchange. I was ready for some more Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan, but instead this book is about Leslie, Niall, and Irial. It took me a while to remember who Leslie was from the first book. After I remembered she was one of Aislinn's friends, I was curious how she would get caught up in the world of faeries.

Leslie has had a hard life. She does not really have anyone to turn to. Her family is extremely broken, and they contribute to her life's problems. With everything that she has gone through, it is easy to feel bad for her. She pretty much takes care of herself since her brother is not brotherly and her father cannot keep it together.

In this book, we get to see what goes on in the Dark Court. I found Irial's court to be very interesting. They may be considered bad, but they have their reasons for why they do the things they do. I could not really blame them for how they are.

I liked how Melissa Marr incorporated the old characters into this story. Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan do not have a huge role, but they are there. Actually, Seth is in a good amount of the book. He becomes Leslie's friend and looks out for her as much as he can. Seth is definitely still my favorite character.

One thing that I found interesting in this book was Melissa Marr's reason for unexplained bruises on people being faeries pinching, tripping, bumping mortals. I always have unexplained bruises, but I just blamed it on my clumsiness. This reason or excuse is pretty great. I might have to use it sometime.

Overall, Ink Exchange was a great story. I think I liked Wicked Lovely a little more, but this one was good, too. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Rating: 3.5/5

Books in the Wicked Lovely Series:
  1. Wicked Lovely

  2. Ink Exchange

  3. Fragile Eternity

  4. Radiant Shadows

Swords are for fighting,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon Challenge #1

Photobucket

The first challenge is to take a picture of myself with my current read. Here it is:

I am having fun with this Read-A-Thon!

Swords are for fighting,

Review: Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1) by Melissa Marr

Synopsis:
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

Review:

Wicked Lovely is a mesmerizing story. I am sorry that it took me this long to read this book. It was a fun modern day fairy tale. I have not really read many books about faeries, so this was a new experience for me. I enjoyed the short quotes from books about faeries at the beginning of each chapter. It was fun to learn about the myths and folklore surrounding faeries.

As far as main characters go, Aislinn is definitely a strong one. I loved her assertiveness and confidence. She did not let Keenan push her around. He gave her two choices, but she discovered a new one that better fitted her wants and needs. She did not just let the guy have his way. I really liked that about her.

I also really liked Seth. I am glad that there was not a huge love triangle between Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan. Seth is really great to Aislinn, which I liked. He accepts her for who she is no matter what.

I think that Wicked Lovely is a good start to a series. I liked that it is a fantasy novel with a hint of darkness thrown in. The story was interesting, and the ending was definitely a happy one. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

Rating: 3.5/5

Books in the Wicked Lovely Series:
  1. Wicked Lovely
  2. Ink Exchange

  3. Fragile Eternity

  4. Radiant Shadows

Swords are for fighting,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (23)...






Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I am eagerly anticipating.


This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is: Freefall by Mindi Scott

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Synopsis:
How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find ...more How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

Sounds pretty good!

Swords are for fighting,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bodacious Blog Award (5)

I cannot believe I had another award given to me!

Thank you so much, vvb32 from vvb32 Reads

If you are given this award you must first accept it by leaving a comment on the post you were nominated on.

Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers (no backsies!). Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don’t forget to tell your picks that they have a blog award!

The last 5 books that I read are:

  1. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
  3. Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
  4. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
  5. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

I will pass this Bodacious Award on to these bodacious blogs:

Thanks again, vvb32!

Swords are for fighting,

Teaser Tuesday (23)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along, 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 Tuesday comes from page 13 of Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz:

"But the woman didn't turn back, and quickly disappeared inside the door of a nearby palazzo.

Schuyler jumped to the same landing, caught her breath, and followed the woman inside, more intent than ever to discover the mysterious stranger's true identity."

I wonder who this woman is?

Swords are for fighting,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dusk Till Dawn A Read-A-Thon

Jenn over at Book Crazy is hosting the From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-A-Thon from August 25th-August 29th from 8 PM to 8 AM each day!

I will definitely participate! I plan on reading from 8 PM until about midnight each night plus I will try to squeeze in an hour from 7 AM to 8 AM.

I do not know what I will want to read, so here is a list of some books that I might read:
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Creepers by Joanne Dahme
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter
  • Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
  • Everlasting by Angie Frazier
  • Saving Rachel by John Locke
  • Never Blame the Umpire by Gene Fehler
  • The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
  • Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Swords are for fighting,

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Synopsis:
Keep Your Head Down.

Don't Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Review:
Inside Out is an amazing dystopian novel. I loved absolutely everything about it. The world that Maria V. Snyder created was incredible. The structure of Inside was complex and intriguing. I could not put this book down!

Trella was a very interesting character. Even though she has a tough exterior with an attitude that says she does not care about anything, I really liked her. She may be antisocial in the beginning, but she actually ends up forming some great relationships people. I liked that she was realistic from the beginning, not getting her hopes up for something she does not think exists.

Riley was another great character. His curiosity and kindness had me hooked from the moment we meet him. Although Trella is in a class well below Riley, he does not hold it against her. He actually befriends her even though he could be in serious trouble for it.

One character that I felt bad for was Cogon. I guess you could say that he is Trella's best friend, and he is a genuinely nice guy. He is nice to everyone! He takes the time to learn names, which Trella does not do. I felt bad for the way things turned out for him.

The bad guys of the book, the Travas, were overbearing. I do not know how they came to be in power, but the power got to their heads. They discarded people, especially the scrubs, like they were old newspapers. They were degrading, but I think that is what made the book so good because the Travas were so bad.

Inside Out is an awesome book. There is a huge amount of action and adventure and some violence. Trella may be the main character, but she does not get off easy. There are many times where she is injured, but she is tough. The way that Maria V. Snyder writes is mesmerizing. I could not stop reading until my eyes would not cooperate anymore. I recommend reading it especially if you like dystopian novels. If you cannot tell already, I absolutely loved this book! It was extremely interesting, and I am excited for the next book when it comes out. In addition, reading Inside Out made me a fan of Maria V. Snyder, and I look forward to reading her other books in the future.

Rating: 5/5

I am reviewing this book as a part of Dystopian August over at Presenting Lenore:



Swords are for fighting,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox (23)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where I share what books I got in the past week.

This is what I received this week:


Bought:

  • Winter Longing by Tricia Mills


  • The Mortal Instruments series on MP3

What did you get this week?

Swords are for fighting,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: The Line by Teri Hall

Synopsis:
Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it's far from the city, where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it's close to the Line - an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she's never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It's a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Written in mesmerizing prose, this futuristic debut examines one girl's struggle to risk crossing - not just the barrier, but the lines her mother has drawn to keep her safe from the secrets that Rachel is only just beginning to discover.

Review:

The Line started off slow, and it took a while to pick up speed. Over the first half of the book introduces the characters and describes the Unified States. I found the world that Teri Hall has created to be very interesting. The way the government controls its citizens and the secrets of the world was exciting to read about.

Rachel is a great main character who is easy to relate to. I definitely liked her. Rachel lives near the Line on the Property. She is a curious girl that wants to know more about the land on the other side of the Line known as Away. Away is not explored too much in this book, so I am curious about it. There are other things that I want to know more about. Like the maps that Vivian, Rachel's mother, has been protecting all these years. I am curious to discover what they are maps of exactly.

Ms. Moore, the owner of the Property, was an intriguing character. At first, I found her to be snobbish and hard. After hearing her back story, I found her to be likable, which surprised me. She has valid reasons for why she is the way she is.

A person I want to know more about is Pathik. Pathik is an Other, a person who lives in Away. As soon as we meet Pathik, the story picks up speed. I found it interesting that some of the Others have extra abilities. It makes them mysterious and exciting. I could not help but like Pathik. How could you not when his gorgeous blue eyes are described? It is obvious that a romance will begin to brew in future books between Rachel and Pathik.

The Line was a fun and easy read. Plus, at only 219 pages it is fairly short. Do not the slow start keep you from reading this book because the second half of the book more than makes up for it. There is a cliffhanger ending, of course. I love dystopian novels, and this one is a definite keeper. I am looking forward to reading the next book when it is released because I have a feeling that the next book in this series will be better.

Rating: 3.5/5

I am reviewing this book as a part of Dystopian August over at Presenting Lenore:

Swords are for fighting,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater


Their eyes, human eyes in wolf skulls,
remind me of water: the clear blue of
water reflecting the spring sky, the brown
of a brook churning with rainfall, the
green of the lake in summer as the algae
begins to bloom, the gray of a snow-choked
river. It used to be only Sam's yellow eyes
that watched me from between the rain-
soaked birches, but no, I feel the weight
of the entire pack's gaze. The weight of
things known, things unsaid.

Sam, who spent most of his life as a werewolf, has undergone an unlikely cure and no longer transitions between fur and skin as the temperature changes from cold to hot. This should be a happy time for Sam and true-love Grace, but just as he begins to trust his new human life, Grace feels her humanity slipping away. Sam's focus is split between worry for Grace and his role as caretaker of the werewolf pack, which for the first time in years includes new members.

Review:
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved Shiver, the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I loved everything about it from beginning to end. In fact, it is one of my favorite books. I would have been fine if Shiver was a stand-alone book because the ending was perfect, in my opinion (You can read my review of Shiver here). That being said, I was a little weary when I first heard that there would be a sequel to Shiver, but I was still excited to see where Maggie Stiefvater was going to take the story.

Overall, Linger was a great story. I did not think it was as good as Shiver, but it was still pretty great, so I am glad I read it. I still love the way Maggie writes. It is beautiful to say the least. In addition to Sam and Grace, I definitely enjoyed Isabel and Cole as new narrators especially Isabel. I love the way she thinks and operates. The way that she speaks is just great. I love her sarcasm. Cole is pretty great too in a suffering soul type of way.

Sam and Grace were amazing as usual. I love the way they are together. They definitely face new hardships in this book. Things I would have never expected, and I do not know how they are going to overcome these new obstacles. After everything they went through, I could not help but feel sorry for them.

I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book, Forever. I wonder how Maggie is going to tie up everything. July 2011 seems like a long wait...

Rating: 4.5/5

Swords are for fighting,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: Dead Deep (Vampirates #1.5) by Justin Somper


Synopsis:
When Connor Tempest and his swashbuckling pirate buddies get a rare break in their duties, they're in the mood for fun, sun and adventure. A chance meeting with the crew of The Lorelei seems to offer all that and more. Soon, Connor and co are learning to freedive into the amazing world far beneath the ocean's surface. But the pirates are further out of their depth than they realise. Under the water, danger is lurking - and it's going to take everything they've got to get out alive...

Review:
Dead Deep is a short story that falls between Demons of the Ocean and Tide of Terror (the first and second book of the Vampirates series). I was excited to read this book because, like I said in my review of Blood Captain, I was always curious about Connor, Jez, and Bart's lost weekend. Since none of them could remember what happened, their matching tattoos are their only proof that anything actually happened. I was happy to discover what exactly happened. It is definitely a fun addition to the Vampirates world. I thought the story was cute. It filled with adventure, arm wrestling, sword fights, and mythical creatures. I enjoyed diving back into the world of Vampirates. It was a fun and fast read (at only 69 pages) that will hold me over until the fifth book, Empire of the Night, is released in the U.S. later this month.

Rating: 3.5/5

Swords are for fighting,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Saradise ARC Extravaganza!!!!

Do you want to win some awesome ARCs? I know you do!

Sara over at Babbling Flow has a HUGE contest going on right now where you can win 1 of 8 different ARCs!!!!

Here is what you can win:
  • Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness signed by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  • The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
  • Halt's Peril by John Flanagan
  • The Goblin Gate by Hilari Bell
  • Jane by April Lindner
  • The Winds of Heaven by Judith Clarke

What are you waiting for? Go enter now! Make sure to let Sara know that I sent you!

Swords are for fighting,

Waiting on Wednesday (22)...



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I am eagerly anticipating.



This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Synopsis:
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.


This book sounds great! The cover looks especially creepy. I love zombie books :)

Swords are for fighting,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (22)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along, 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 Tuesday comes from page 106 of Winter Longing by Tricia Mills:

"He smiled, and I had to admit that he had a beautiful smile, one that made me want to believe, suddenly, that things would be okay. 'Anytime.'

That single word followed me all the way to class."
Swords are for fighting,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Read Your Own Books Read-A-Thon Finish Line

The Bibliophilic Book Blog's Read Your Own Books Read-A-Thon was definitely fun! I managed to knock three books off of my To-Be-Read pile. Books that have been sitting on my shelves for far too long.

Here are the books that I read:
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
  • Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

I enjoyed all three of these books. My favorite was Glass Houses followed by Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. My reviews of these will be up later this month or early next month!

Swords are for fighting,

Review: Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Review:
Before re-reading Catching Fire, I forgot how much I loved it! I do not know how she does it, but Suzanne Collins has done it again. It is as good if not better than the first book, The Hunger Games. This series is extremely addictive. I could not put done this book even though I have read it before and know what is going to happen. With all of the action, it is such an exciting book. No wonder it was a quick read.

Like the last book, the characters are just amazing! Katniss is the same as the last book: strong, independent, and capable. I just love her as a main character. Resulting from her actions in The Hunger Games, she unknowingly ignites the spark that ultimately starts uprisings and rebellions against the Capitol in many of the districts. Obviously, the Capitol is not too happy with Katniss and how she has become the poster child for rebellion.

There is a sort of love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale. Peeta is a genuinely good person who would do anything for Katniss. I loved him in the first book, but I love him even more in this book. He obviously loves Katniss, but with everything that is going on, she is not looking for romance. Gale, Katniss' long time friend, has a slightly larger role in this book. I really like Gale more than Peeta even though we do not get to see much of him. I feel like he is a better choice for Katniss in the end.

The only thing I did not like was the huge cliffhanger ending, but I still loved this book. I really want to know what happens! Luckily, I only have to wait 8 more days until Mockingjay comes out. I am so excited to read it!

Rating: 5/5

I am reviewing this book as a part of Dystopian August over at Presenting Lenore:


Swords are for fighting,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In My Mailbox (22)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where I share what books I got in the past week.

This is what I received this week:



Won:

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson from Katelyn at The Bookshelf Sophisticate

What did you get this week?

Swords are for fighting,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Review:

The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite books. Every time I read it, I am sucked into this dystopian world that Suzanne Collins has created. I just love the way that she writes. As one chapter ends, I find myself starting the next chapter even though I promised myself I would read only one more chapter and then get back to the real world.

The main character, Katniss, is amazing. I love that she is a strong, independent girl who is smart and has great survival instincts. After her father died, she even took it upon herself to take care of her family by hunting for food even though it is illegal. She loves her little sister, Prim, more than anything, and she does everything in her power to protect her even when it involves risking her own life. The only reason she becomes a contender in the 74th annual Hunger Games is because she took her sister's place. The Capitol is horrible to force 12 girls and 12 boys to fight to the death in the Hunger Games! It takes reality TV to a whole new level. I could not even imagine having to watch these games each year. The violence that Katniss had to witness and live through is horrendous, but it does make for a great book.

The Hunger Games is the type of book that stays with you long after you finish reading it. It is such an exciting story full of action, adventure, and violence. There are some parts that are so suspenseful that the story will have you on the edge of your seat devouring the pages to discover what happens next. The story makes you think about what you would do if you had to live in a world like that. The ending always leaves me wanting more, so I cannot stop myself from immediately picking up Catching Fire to read. It is no surprise that this book is a quick read and an addicting series. I definitely recommend reading it.

Rating: 5/5

I am reviewing this book as a part of Dystopian August over at Presenting Lenore:


Swords are for fighting,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Read Your Own Books Read-A-Thon Starting Line

I am participating in The Bibliophilic Book Blog's Read Your Own Books Read-A-Thon. It runs from 9 am Friday, August 13th to 9am on Monday, August 16th. I hope to read at least 3 books. I do not if I can even finish 3, but it will be my goal.

Here is a list of books that I might read:
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
  • Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
  • Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
  • My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  • My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

We will see how it goes! Happy reading.

Swords are for fighting,

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Synopsis:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Review:

Recently, there has been a lot of hype going around the book blogging world about Nightshade, and I will add to that hype. Nightshade was absolutely amazing. I was blown away by this fantastic story. Andrea Cremer is a talented writer that took werewolves to a new level of awesome.

Nightshade starts off with a bang. Throwing the reader right into the middle of the action. Every moment of this book was great. I loved that I never wanted to put the book down. I was hooked from beginning to end, and believe me when I say I did not want it to end.

I found myself loving the characters. Calla's tough chick persona with a soft side that she tries to keep subsided. Her humor was great! Shay, the human boy Calla saved, is full of sunshine. I absolutely loved that he brought out a different side of Calla by making her laugh. I could not help but like Ren, the alpha that Calla is destined to be with who is strong and confident. Sure, Calla and Ren have been destined to be mates since their birth, but you cannot deny their sexual tension.

So Calla and Shay or Calla and Ren? I honestly cannot decide at this point. At the moment, I am leaning more towards Shay. I cannot wait to read the sequel, Wolfsbane, but it appears that I will have to wait until next summer.

If you have not noticed, I loved Nightshade! It is an amazing paranormal book. I enjoyed that it was unpredictable for the most part. The characters were amazing...even the evil ones. It is full of action, and the cover is gorgeous. Definitely pick it up when it is released in October later this year.

Rating: 5/5

Swords are for fighting,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: Dark Flame (The Immortals #4) by Alyson Noel

Synopsis:
At the start of this mesmerizing new installment of the Immortals series, Ever is helping her friend Haven transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and carelessly putting them all at risk, their friendship becomes more and more strained. At the same time, Ever delves deeper into magick in order to get control over her enemy Roman and free Damen from his power. But when the spell she casts on Roman backfires, she’s bound to her deadliest enemy. Frantic to reverse the spell the moment the moon enters a new phase, she finds her efforts are fruitless—there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, one that propels her toward Roman. Desperate to break free of this terrible curse before Damen or the twins can discover what she’s done, she turns to Jude and delves deeper and deeper into dark magick, ultimately risking everything she knows and loves—including Damen.

Review:
Dark Flame starts right where Shadowland left off. It seems like nothing really happened in this book. At the end of the book, it felt like the story did not progress in any way. Actually, it felt like this book dragged on. It was not a bad book, it was just not that great. In my opinion, it was just okay.

As usual, Ever makes a bunch of bad decisions that make her life worse off than it was before. She still cannot be close to Damen without killing him. She does try to fix that little problem, but she just makes things worse. Not a big surprise. She ends up putting a spell on herself that forces her to be attracted to Roman. The only thing I really liked about this book was that I grew to like Roman. After hearing his back story, I understand why he is the way he is and could not help but feel sorry for him.

Ever's supposed best friend, Haven, is more annoying than ever. I honestly have never liked her, but in Dark Flame she becomes intolerable. Her attitude is extremely annoying. I think Ever needs a new best friend because Haven is a horrible friend. It may be harsh, but I wish that Ever never saved her in the last book.

I felt sorry for Jude in this book. I really like him, and I do not think he deserves to be treated the way Ever treats him. It is obvious he likes Ever. Their lives have been intertwined since the beginning as seen by the fact that they have been reincarnated over and over. Jude is such a great guy. I mean, he even tries to help Ever fix her relationship with Damen for crying out loud!

Even though I did not really like this book, I plan to continue with the series. I definitely enjoyed the other books, and I want to see where Alyson Noel takes the story.

Rating: 2.5/5

Books in The Immortals Series:
  1. Evermore
  2. Blue Moon
  3. Shadowland
  4. Dark Flame


Swords are for fighting,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (21)...



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I am eagerly anticipating.




This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated.



I have read many great reviews about this book. I am looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.

Swords are for fighting,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (21)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along, 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 Tuesday comes from page 42 of Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder:

"I paused, resting my knees and most of my weight on the vent. Big mistake. The vent cover groaned and popped free. Scrabbling with my hands for purchase, I felt my legs drop, pulling my body down. The last thing I saw before hitting the floor was a black-haired man with a shocked expression."
I am enjoying Inside Out. I love dystopian novels, and this one is great!

What is your teaser?

Swords are for fighting,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blog Awards (4)

I recently received two awards! Okay...so it was not recently, but I have been busy, and I completely forgot about these awards!

The first award I have is The Versatile Blogger Award from Kailia Sage at Reading the Best of the Best and also from Sara over at Along for the Ride.
Here is some information about this award and how it works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Me:
  1. I think chocolate milk is amazing! One of the best drinks in the world. Especially with oreos :)
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite movie.
  3. My favorite animal at the moment is the grolar bear. A mix of a grizzly bear and a polar bear.
  4. My favorite color is green.
  5. My car is named Jasper.
  6. I love to go swimming after I work out.
  7. I want to travel around Europe for a summer.
I will pass this award on to:
  1. Presenting Lenore
  2. For What It's Worth
  3. Karen's Addictions
  4. Bibliophilic Book Blog
  5. Addicted-2-Novels
  6. All-Consuming Books
  7. Stories & Sweeties
  8. The Book Guru
  9. Book Sake
  10. Books R Us
  11. Psychotic State
  12. Jessica's Vision
  13. Angieville
  14. Dreaming of Books
  15. Star Shadow

Thank you Kailia and Sara!

The other award I received is a new one from Enna Isilee at Squeaky Books called The Pertinent Posts Award. I am honored to be one of the first to receive this award.

Here are the Rules:
1. Thank who gave you the award and link to them
2. State what is is you look for in a blog
3. Give the award to 7 people whose blogs pertain most to you (be sure to let them know they won!)

What I look for in a blog are reviews for books that interest me. I also look for blogs that read the same books that I do.

I will pass this award to:

  1. 21 Pages
  2. Potter, Percy, & I
  3. The Story Siren
  4. Tales of Whimsy
  5. Story Wings
  6. Ticket to Anywhere
  7. The Bookologist

Thank you Enna Isilee!

Swords are for fighting,

Review: Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars #4) by Sara Shepard

Synopsis:
Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.

Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live with her ├╝berconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.

If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one.

Review:
This series is so unpredictable. With all of the twists and turns, I never know what is going to happen. The ending was epic.

This is probably my favorite book in the series so far. So many things happened. I loved all of the action that this book had. It was even thrilling at times and definitely exciting from beginning to end. I especially loved the fact that this is the book where we find out who 'A' is! Finally! I have been wanting to know the identity of 'A' since I started reading this series. I honestly had no idea who 'A' was, but once you know who it is it all makes perfect sense.

Although we now know who 'A' is, I have a feeling that there will be a new 'A' in town come next book. I am looking forward to reading the next book and seeing where this series goes.

Rating: 4.5/5

Books in the Pretty Little Liars series:
  1. Pretty Little Liars
  2. Flawless
  3. Perfect
  4. Unbelievable
  5. Wicked
  6. Killer
  7. Heartless
  8. Wanted
Swords are for fighting,