Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review Copy Cleanup Wrap-up


I finished Shadowhunters and Downworlders and hope to have time to write the review this weekend. That means I finished two books, which is good for me. I am almost halfway through Mind Games and I hope to finish it in the next week or so. I ended up reading other things this month, instead of just review books, but I am still happy with my progress. I can't wait for Review Copy Cleanup 4.0!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fairy Tale Read-a-thon

fairytaleathon

I really need to read some more retellings for my two fairy tale challenges, so I thought signing up for Debz's Fairy Tale Read-a-thon would be perfect. I am not for sure what I want to read yet for that week, but I have a few books in mind. I will be updating with those books very soon!

Review Copy Cleanup Update: Week 3


I reviewed Goddess Inheritance, which so far remains my only completed read. I am 61% of the way through Shadowhunters and Downworlders and may finish it before the end of the month. I am 40% of the way through Mind Games, which is actually a fast-paced read, but my limited reading time is making it seem a lot slower. I love Fia and Annie's relationship and I like how White does the flashbacks. Hopefully I can focus and finish at least one of the two before the end of the month.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce

I finally finished my first book in the Dusty Bookshelf challenge. Tamora Pierce's books have been on my to read shelf for at least two years now. This is the final book in the Circle Opens Quartet. I am glad there is at least one more book about Tris and her friends and also the Melting Stone about Briar's student still left to go.

This book focuses on Tris, a mage with weather magic. Tris has traveled with her teacher Niko to Tharios, so that he can attend a meeting of magic who want to collect their various knowledge on scrying and other related magics. Niko is constantly in meetings, so this gives Tris plenty of time to explore the area and she wants to learn more about glassmaking. As she travels through the town, she notices the social caste is extremely strict and those on the bottom, the prathmuns, those who collect garbage and help with the dead, are not allowed to even converse with others. The entertainers are treated little better than the prathmuns, even though they are a big draw for tourist to come to Tharios. Tris notices magic being stripped away and is lead to Kethlun Warder, a man who was struck by lightning. Tris in her usual brisk matter, confronts Keth and demands to speak to his teacher. Keth then learns he has magic and Tris as his discoverer and as a lightning mage herself must teach him. The two are stubborn and often disagree, however they join forces to try to help Dema, a magic policeman, who is trying to find a serial killer who targets the female yaskedasi, the entertainers. Keth must master lightning glass globes and his fear of lightning that seem to tell the future and show the next victim, before more women are killed. With Tris' help they may catch the killer and help change the town's prejudices.

I have really enjoyed the Circle Opens series. Tamora Pierce does an excellent job creating the different regions and loosely basing them on historical places and times without actually making her books historical fiction. It is easy to see this is like the caste society of countries like India. Tris really grew on me in this book. Of the four, she was my least favorite, but I feel like you really get to know her struggles with her pride and her abandonment issues, since her family passed her from one person to the next. I like her character more now, after seeing how she treated the orphaned Glaki, whose mother was killed, and how she learned patience with Keth. I think this was the most developed of the four in the series, but the ending felt just a little rushed.

Favorite Character: Tris. Tris really matured in this book, but she remained her headstrong self. She knows she is flawed, but she continues to try to learn patience and kindness. She is better than she gives herself credited for and she remains a good person, even without her foster brother and sisters.

Favorite Quote: "The hardest lesson any of us must learn is there's only so much we can do." This is the lesson Tris has learned and continues to learn. I know I definitely struggle with this idea at times.

I love Pierce's writing and the Circle Opens series was even better than the Circle quartet. Pierce definitely deserved the Margaret A Edwards award. Definitely a 5 cups of cocoa book for me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

This is the third book in the Goddess Test series and the last one in this trilogy. This review will have spoilers for the first two books and possibly for Goddess Legacy. I put this is the last in the trilogy, but not series, because I think there may possibly be a breakoff series based on the ending. I received this as an e-galley from Harlequin Teen through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love the covers of this series!

The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, #3)
Harlequin Teen
Kate has survived the tests to become Henry's wife and she has survived the Underworld to become his queen, but now she faces off against Calliope and Cronus. She is fighting not just for her own life, but also her son's and the rest of her family. Calliope, with Ava's help, has captured Kate and held her captive for 9 months and her only concern has been finding a way back to her family. This changes when she gives birth to a son, Milo, and he becomes more important to her than anything. Calliope steals him away and Kate desperately makes a promise to Cronus to stay with him and be his. However, Kate is freed by Henry and does not plan on fulfilling her promise to Cronus. Henry is injured in the fight and Kate must find Rhea to try to convince her to join the fight. With Rhea's refusal, Kate must make a choice between her life and her family and the fate of the world. Kate is not the only one to face choices and it will take the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Calliope and Cronus.

Aimee Carter ends this series with a heartbreaking conclusion. The end is as suspenseful and exciting as the first two books and Henry's and Kate's relationship finally matures in this one. Love means making sacrifices and granting forgiveness and Kate definitely experiences both. I will definitely miss reading about Kate and the others, so I hope that there will be a breakoff series from this one.

Favorite Character: Kate. She matures so much in this book and even though she does have a martyr complex, she finally shows her strength and embraces her flaws in this book. Ava would be a close second for my favorite, because she truly loves others more than herself and her choices are heartbreaking in this one.

Favorite Quotes:
 "Doing the right thing doesn't always mean acting like a saint-sometimes it means getting your hands dirty and doing the thing you hate most so other people might have an easier time of it."

"Sometimes fighting means surviving in the face of insurmountable odds. That's what I need you to do. Be the survivor I know you are."

This was a good ending to the trilogy and I think it was perfect given the circumstances. It was bittersweet, but it made sense and was believable, especially given the flaws of the gods and Cronus. This was a great twist on the Greek myths and an action-packed conclusion. Definitely 5 cups of cocoa.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review Copy Cleanup: Week 2 review


I finished Goddess Inheritance, which was great! I think there will be a break off series of sorts from this one, hopefully. I am glad to see Aimee is writing another series now, because I really like her writing style. I will be reviewing Goddess Inheritance in the next couple of days. I have read 14% of Mind Games and it is very intriging. I am also 20% of the way through Shadowhunters and Downworlders and I love the insight the various authors are providing into the Shadowhunter world. I never thought about looking at the setting as uncanny and how odd it would be to see the Shadowhunter world all of the sudden instead of the mundane way Clary had looked at New York. I also liked the discussion of a heroine not just as someone who can fight, but as someone who looks to her talents and survives. Heroines and their ability to fight for survival even if they cannot physically fight seems to be the theme in my reading this week.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon Wrap-up


I completed two mini-challenges, one book-Iron Daughter, and read 185 pages total. Not bad for a busy week. Thanks again to April, Bex, and Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions for hosting!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon Update: Day 6 and 7


The only book I read over the past few days is Shatterglass. I read 59 pages, which is pretty good considering I did not get home before 7:30pm either night. I missed both the mini-challenges though, but I completed more than I thought I would!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon Update: Day 5


I finished my review for Iron Daughter and I really enjoyed the book. I also read 35 pages in Shatterglass and 10 pages/ 4% in Goddess Inheritance. I am slowly finishing GI, because I know it is the last one. I like Shatterglass, even though Tris is probably my least favorite of the four, although I still like her, even with her grumpiness.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lines of Love: My Shelf Confessions

Today's challenge is to pick a random page in a book you are currently reading, roll 4 dice, and from that line/sentence, make a romantic sentence. My dice added up to ten. My book is Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce, page 22. The mini-challenge can be found here.
Line: Hour after hour, day after day, he reclaimed his own flesh.

"Hour after hour, day after day, he reclaimed" her "flesh," to use for "his own" desires.

Lol, it sounds like a bad erotic romance.

Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

This will have spoilers for Iron King, but hopefully not for Iron Daughter. Iron Daughter is the second in the Iron Fey series. Winter's Challenge is a novella that fits between books 1 and 2, but does not necessarily need to be read to understand the second book.

I read this for the Sequel Challenge and Paranormal Challenge both hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads.

Meghan fulfills her promise to Ash and travels with him to Tir Na Nog, where she is presented to Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court. As soon as he drops her off, Ash leaves, which devastates Meghan. The coldness of the Court makes Meghan doubt both Ash and her feelings for him and when he treats her badly, she gives up all hope. While she is at the Unseelie Court, the Scepter of the Seasons is delivered signaling the beginning of Winter. Shortly after the delivery a party is held and the Scepter is stolen by the Iron Fey. In the process Ash's oldest brother is killed and Summer is blamed for his death. Ash and his remaining brother Rowan fight over Meghan and Ash and Meghan flee Winter and vow to find the Scepter. Ash refuses to go with Meghan to find the Scepter and sets out on his own. Meghan is joined by Puck and a few unlikely allies. Can Meghan or Ash find the Scepter and prevent a war between Summer and Winter? It will take a combination of powers and some hidden talent to save the Faery and Mortal worlds.

This book was equally as good as the first and possibly a little better. For the first part, Meghan mopes a little too much over Ash, but I think the horrors of her situation can excuse a little downheartedness. The love triangle is nicely done between Ash, Meghan, and Puck. I can't decide if I like Puck or Ash better for Meg, which shows just how good the triangle is. I love the terrifyingly beautiful descriptions of the Faery world and I like that Meghan did get here "how do you like me now" moment at the Winter Formal of her old high school. Lots of action and adventure with this series and just the right amount of romance.

Favorite Character: I do like Meghan, I think she is a strong heroine with just a touch of neediness. However Ironhorse was my favorite. He is loyal to what he believes is best for his people and he protects Meghan at all costs. I even liked him in the first book.

Favorite Quote: "They see only this outer shell, not who I really am, beneath. You have. You've seen me without the glamour and the illusions, even the ones I show my family, the farce I maintain just to survive. You've seen who I really am, and yet, you're still here."

I really enjoyed this one and even though it seems like it took me awhile to read it, really it didn't. Each time I sat down with it, I devoured pages. I give this one 5 cups of cocoa! This is one of my favorite second books in a series.

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon: Day 4 update

I read 102 pages yesterday! I read 82 pages in Iron Daughter and finished it. Great ending! I will review it soon. I also read about 30 pages/ 10% of Goddess Inheritance. I did not complete the mini-challenge, but there is always today's challenge.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review Copy Cleanup: Week 1 review


So far I have not finished a review book yet. I have been reading 3 different advanced reader e-books. I am at 32% on Goddess Inheritance, 5% on Mind Games, and 6% on Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I am enjoying the Goddess Inheritance, but I hate for the series to end, so I think I am reading this one really slowly to savor it. Mind Games is a good, dark read so far and S and D is making me think about Clare's books in a whole different light, which should prepare me for the final installment of the Infernal Devices trilogy. How is everyone else's challenge going?

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon Update: Day 2 and 3


Since I was exhausted from the SR conference, I read only one page Friday night and that was in Shatterglass. I did the Dating Game mini-challenge which was alot of fun. Saturday I spent the day in Louisville taking a friend out to eat and shopping for her birthday. I then stopped in Mount Washington for another friend's youngest daughter's birthday. She just turned one and she is a miracle baby. My friend spent the last 7 weeks of her pregnancy in the hospital and her little girl was born at 27 weeks. She is in awesome shape though and they no longer measure her progress verses a baby born at 42 weeks. She is a completely normal and healthy one year old! I did manage to read 28 pages in Iron Daughter and I am getting close to finishing it. I also did the Clue to My Heart mini-challenge which was a very fun crossword puzzle hosted by Kathy @I Write, I Read, I Review. Hope you are having a great read-a-thon!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Dating Game: Bittersweet Enchantment

Today's mini-challenge is hosted by Bittersweet Enchantment and can be found at this link. The idea is to choose two characters from two different books and tell where they would go on a date. Ok, I can't think of anything really good, but I would choose Meghan Chase from the Iron Fey series and Simon Lewis from the Mortal Instruments series. I think they could talk about how weird it is to be not completely human and how stuck up Shadowhunters/Fey can be at times. I think a good date for them would be to go to a beach, so Simon can enjoy being the only Daylighter and Meghan can enjoy being out of the icy Winter Court. (I have only read part of the second book in the Iron Fey series, so far). Thanks to Beckie for hosting!

Lighthouse photo Microsoft


Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon-Day 1

 



I spent all day Thursday and most of today at Cave City for a Summer Reading Conference. I came away with some great program ideas and a better understanding of incorporating teens into Summer Reading, so that was awesome. However I only read 5 pages in Shatterglass yesterday. After the conference we were given a free historic tour of Mammoth Cave, which was 2 hours and 2 miles long. I love caves and Mammoth Cave in particular. This is my at least third time taking the historic tour, but I was around 11 or 12 the last time I took the tour and that was about 20 years ago. I forgot how challenging the tour actually is, but it was worth it! However, I will probably not read all that much tonight, because I am exhausted. I am hoping to do today's challenge by Bittersweet Enchantment if I can think of a good couple.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

I am not going to do a full review on this one, but just a few thoughts. I usually pick up a book by Alice Hoffman when I hit a reading slump. Her words are beautiful and she is a wonderful storyteller. Red Garden is a collection of short stories that revolve around the town of Blackwell and trace the descendants of the town from Hallie Brady the founder until "present" day. The last story does not have a date in it, so I assume it is meant to be present day. You meet a variety of characters, get attached to each one, and then move on to the next one. Bears also play a role in many of the stories and the friendship between the founder and a bear cub is of particular importance. Some of the stories are sweet and some are bittersweet. Violence occurs in many of the stories, but the characters stay strong and learn from their mistakes. Still, beautiful is the only word I can think of to describe her stories. I have not read a book of hers that I did not like. Her young adult books are just as good as her adult and vice versa. Definitely 5 cups of cocoa and probably more than that really.

Favorite Quote: "She wondered if dreamers knew they were in a dream while it was happening, or if they had no idea that everything around them was purely imagined until the dream was gone."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

This is the second book in the Hush, Hush series. I am counting this toward the Paranormal Reading Challenge and the Sequel Challenge. This will have spoilers for the first book in the series, Hush Hush.


Since Patch saved her life, Patch is now Nora's guardian angel. Nora thinks this is great, until Patch tells her the archangels are watching them and that he could be in trouble and possibly end up in hell, because of their relationship. Nora wants to protect Patch and when she feels he is too close to her mortal enemy, Marcie Millar, she breaks up with him. As Marcie and Patch seem to get closer, an old acquaintance comes back into Nora's life. Scott Parnall and his mother move back into town, and Nora's mom and Scott's mom try at first to get the two together. Scott has some dark secret in his past, a secret his mother and him try to hide. Nora doesn't really like Scott, but she wants to make Patch jealous, so she uses him, while also trying to learn Patch's secret. In the meantime, Nora's best friend Vee begins dating Patch's best friend Rixon, making things awkward for Nora. While trying to figure out Scott's mystery, a source tells Nora who killed her father, a mysterious person called the Black Hand. While Nora tries to discover his identity, she realizes she may be in mortal danger. Since she is fighting with Patch, Nora wonders who will protect her and who the real threat is. Her father's killer may be someone close to her, possibly even a loved one.

I almost gave up on this book again. For the first third of the book, Nora sulks about her relationship with Patch or she obsesses about mean girl Marcie. However the mystery plot of Scott's past and Nora's dad's killer kept my attention up until the cliffhanger end of the book, so I am glad I stuck with it. I don't really like the relationship between Nora and Patch and at times their personalities, but I do like Fitzpatrick's writing style and descriptive language. I am intrigued by the mysteries in the book and will probably read the third book.

Favorite Character: Probably Vee. Vee is funny, flirtatious, and challenges Nora. While she dislikes Nora's boyfriend and lets her know it, she is loyal to Nora and sticks by her no matter what. Vee is also blunt and self-confident, despite being overweight, which is nice to see in a female character.

Favorite Quote: "The only thing a boyfriend was good for was a shattered heart."

I did get a bit annoyed with Patch and Nora at times, but I enjoyed trying to figure out who the bad guys were, so I think this is a 3 cups of cocoa book for me.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon


The Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon is hosted by April @ My Shelf Confessions and takes place from February 7 through the 14th. You try to read as much as possible and it is a low maintenance, stressfree, read-a-thon. There are also some reading challenges and giveaways. You can sign up at this link.  I will be at a workshop on February 7th and most of the day on February 8th, but I hope to be able to start reading on the 8th. I will be reading from Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter, Mind Games by Kiersten White, and Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce.



February Random Read

Random Reads

This is a meme hosted by Sarah at imlovingbooks.com. You can choose to use Goodreads or create your own list or use your bookshelves. The idea is to use random.org and type in the number of books on your list. Whatever number you receive is your random read for the month. I have decided at least for the first few months to use the books on my Kindle as my list. I buy or get free far too many books on my Kindle and then never read them! I have 230 books on my Kindle now and my random number was 135, which is The Maelstrom by Henry Neff. This is book 4 in the Tapestry series.


The Maelstrom (The Tapestry, #4)
Random House


Usually I receive the books in this series as an audio review for SLJ, but that did not happen this time. This is another one of those series books I have wanted to read for awhile now, but just couldn't find the time. Max and his friends battle demons to try to save their academy, but the costs have become almost too high for them. The books have become darker and darker with each installment. Neff does a great job fleshing out the secondary characters in this series. I can't wait to get started on this one.