Monday, April 29, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Sign up

Bout of Books

This is the official blurb:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This is a fun, low-pressure read-a-thon. This is my third Bout of Books and I love the format and overall fun of this read-a-thon. You can sign-up at this link.
I will pick books and set goals very soon. Possibilities for books are Clockwork Princess, Iron Queen (if I am not finished by then), The Elite, and If I Should Die.  I will update in this post.

Spring into Horror Wrap-up


I read 898 pages and finished three books (Silence, The Art of Wishing, and The Dead and the Buried), so I am pretty happy! I think I reached 10 comments and if not I came really close and I found four new blogs to follow. I also managed to catch up on all my reviews. Thanks again to Michelle at The True Book Addict for hosting!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Netgalley & Edelweiss Month by Book Passion for Life



For more information and to sign up go here. Since I have so many review books that I need to read, I thought I should sign up for both review challenge next month. This is hosted by Donna and Jess at Book Passion for Life. I will pick a list of e-galleys for this very soon and will update on this post.

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Windy Pages


For full rules and to sign up go here. This is hosted by Kimba from Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Kimberly from The Windy Pages. The goal is to read as many physical and digital review books as you can. I have several e-galleys that I need to finish on my Kindle. I want to finish up Towering, first of all. I am also going to add Girl with the Iron Touch, Life After Theft, and School Spirits to my list. I will leave the list at that for now.

The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington

I picked this for my spooky read during the Spring into Horror read-a-thon. My cousin loved this book and has recommended it to everyone in her 5th grade class. I was surprised at this, because the main character is a high school senior, but content-wise there is not anything that would be too shocking for a fifth grade reader. She is a really advanced reader, so the reading level may be a little high for fifth grade. After I picked up the book, I thought the author's name was vaguely familiar. One reason for this is I requested an e-ARC for this book, so I have this from Netgalley and Point/Scholastic. Also Kim is also the author of Clarity, which I really enjoyed and Perception, which I have on my shelf and have yet to read. Hopefully I can fit Clarity on my list soon!


The Dead and Buried
Scholastic Point

Jade is both excited and nervous about living in a new town and starting a new school. Her dad and stepmom finally found a place they can afford and really want her half-brother Colby to have a great education. Jade adores Colby and to her he is her brother, not just a half-brother. The other constant love in her life is her mother's gemstone and jewelry collection. Her mother died when she was nine and she loved jewelry design. Her father remarried two years later and Jade does love her stepmom Marie, but she will never be her mom. When Jade starts her new school, she learns her dream house was the sight of a murder, Kayla Stone the most popular girl in school was pushed down the stairs and no one was ever charged. Also on her first day, Jade meets Donovan and she feels an instant connection, but Donovan is Kayla's ex and a possible murder suspect. As Jade meets Kayla's "friends" and guys interested in Kayla, everyone is a suspect. When Kayla starts haunting Jade and threatening Colby, Jade must find the killer, before Kayla destroys them all.

I loved the suspense of this ghost story and how you were constantly guessing who the killer was. Kayla was a mean girl, so it really could have been anyone. Also the romance between Jade and Donovan was sweet and developed at just the right pace.

Favorite Character: Jade. She loves her brother, holds her emotions in check to protect him, and deals with a lot of hostility from her stepmom. I am glad at the end the two realize how to create a relationship, but Jade definitely was more mature than Marie. Jade is a strong character and loyal to those she loves, including outcasts at school and her family.

Favorite Quote: "We want who we want, right? No matter what other people say. No matter what reason or reality we're faced with. No matter what facts our brains process. The heart's a stubborn organ."

I loved the suspense and how Harrington builds up the evidence. Kayla was truly horrifying in life and in death, but she gets her justice and revenge. Spooky ghost story with a romantic twist and the book will keep you guessing and guessing again until the end. I read this almost in a day, so I definitely liked it. 5 cups of cocoa!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

I received this as an e-ARC from Netgalley and Dial. This is Lindsay Ribar's debut novel.

Dial

There are so few YA books about genies/djinn that I was excited to read this one. I know little more than the Arabian Nights and Disney versions of genies, so I wanted to see how Lindsay presented her version.

Margo McKenna loves acting and music and just knows she is going to get the lead female role in Sweeny Todd, her high school's play for the year. Despite a stellar audition the role goes to a sophomore, Vicki who cannot act or sing, but yet Margo seems to be the only one who notices this. Oliver, posing as a yearbook photographer, follows Vicki wherever she goes. After one completely miserable practice, Vicki flees to the girls bathroom and Margo follows. Vicki refuses to talk to Margo and leaves behind a ring and as Margo picks up the ring to take to Vicki, Oliver appears. Margo learns Oliver is a genie, who granted Vicki's wish to be more popular. Vicki decided she did not want her third wish and left the ring behind. Oliver wants Margo to make three wishes and tells her these will be his last three wishes ever and he needs her to wish quickly. He wants to leave behind a nice legacy with her wishes, which makes Margo hesitate about wishing. As Margo thinks about her wishes, she spends more time with Oliver and falls in love with him and possibly he with her, but a dangerous threat lurks in the wings. Someone is killing genies and Oliver is the next target.

I loved how Lindsay fleshed out Margo's character and showed not only her love of music, but her interesting home life. Margo seems to be living a divorced kid's dream; her parents have reunited and remarried and seem hopelessly in love with each other. Margo, however, misses her relationship with her mom that they had built up in the divorced years and despite loving both her parents, feels like she is no longer appreciated by them. One song she writes is I am not Hayley Mills, which is both funny and sad. Her joy in her acting and music make her really relatable. I thought Lindsay did a great job with her development of how modern genies are made and Xavier's targeting of genies seemed believable. The ending seemed a little rushed though and the consequences of actions were not fully developed. I felt sad about some of the great experiences that Margo may not get although I felt like that was how the book had to end. I won't give anymore away than that.

Favorite Character: Margo. I thought she was well-developed and I loved the complex nature of her family situation. She is strong and very talented with or without Oliver's wish granting. Her teenage voice seemed real and she seemed like a teen girl in her choices and actions.

Favorite Quote: "Nobody ever feels just one way about another person, Margo. We're so much more complicated than that. I can see a million things you want from me, just like the million things I want from you. ... But none of those things matter, not really. What matters is what you do about them."

I enjoyed Margo's character and the romance seemed believable. A sweet magical romance. I had mixed feelings about the ending, but overall I enjoyed the book. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy Bennett

I received Rapunzel Untangled as an E-ARC from Netgalley and Cedar Fort, Inc. This is a modern twist on the Rapunzel story. In this story, the Rapunzel fairy tale does not exist, so even though the main character's name is Rapunzel, there is no comparison to the fairy tale by the characters.

Cedar Fort, Inc.

Rapunzel has spent almost her entire life in the tower of Gothel Manor. Her mother who goes by her surname, Gothel, takes care of Rapunzel and she is the only human, except for her doctor, with which Rapunzel has contact. Rapunzel has a rare immune deficiency disorder SCIDs and any contact with germs could kill her. Her mother mainly visits at dinnertime and afterward brushes Rapunzel's extremely long hair each night. Her mother also reminds her about the prophecy, the one in which Rapunzel will save the world and she guilt trips Rapunzel into never trying to leave her tower, because she could die. Rapunzel is allowed to do her homeschool work on a computer with Internet access and her mother does not realize she is using social networking. Through Facebook, Rapunzel meets the Fabulous Fane and makes a new friend. When her mother leaves for a six day trip, Rapunzel agrees to allow Fane to visit her in the tower. The two start to fall for each other and Rapunzel learns the secrets behind her house and her mother. Rapunzel begins to question the truth of her imprisonment, but can she learn all the secrets, before Gothel tries to fulfill the prophecy?

This was an interesting twist on the fairytale and the reader has to remember that the Rapunzel story does not exist, otherwise you keep thinking how could they not know Gothel is evil, etc. At times Rapunzel seems a little naïve for someone who grew up with the Internet, but overprotected children are often a little more innocent about certain things. It does seem odd that she would not realize the truth about her home, but really most of us would not think our homes were all that great to have stories on Google. I thought the relationship between Fane and Rapunzel seemed realistic and their Facebook and Skype chats were humorous.

Favorite Character: Fane. He is loyal to Rapunzel, doesn't make fun of her for her life, and really patient. He seems a little too mature for a teen boy at times, but he does have some male teen humor in his posts.

Favorite Quote: "He brought her hand to his lips, the gesture somehow more intimate than all the times he'd done so before-more intimate than the kisses they'd shared."

"She wanted to stand as a warrior, to command her destiny rather than having it thrust upon her."

It was a good modern take on the fairy tale and the disease excuse was a plausible way to get someone to stay in a tower. Rapunzel proves to herself that magic lies within and people can only have power over you, if you give it to them. It was a cute story with a happy ending. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

This review will have spoilers for the first two books in the series. Silence is the third book in the Hush, Hush saga about Nora and fallen angel Patch. I really like the book covers in this series.

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)
Simon and Schuster

Crescendo has a major cliffhanger at the end and we are left wondering what has happened to Patch and Nora. Patch has promised to help Hank if he will return Nora safely. Hank partially violates the contract by returning Nora at his own  choosing and when she is returned she remembers nothing. Her memory ends at April and she is returned in September. She doesn't remember finishing her sophomore year or meeting and loving Patch. Patch attempts to stay away and when Nora does find him, he calls himself Jev to throw her off track. Nora's mother and friend Vee try to convince her that Patch was just a small fling and that she thought he was bad news. However something keeps drawing her back to Patch. Couple with not knowing Patch, Nora does not remember the nephil Scott or Hank Millar and his relation to her. When Scott begins filling in Nora about fallen angels and nephilim, Nora starts to remember everything, but will she remember soon enough. A war is brewing between nephilim and fallen angels, and Nora and those she loves will be caught in the middle. Can her love for Patch survive the ultimate test and which side should she choose?

The first two books in the series were just ok for me, but this one more than makes up for the other two. I am glad I stuck with the series, because Nora finally turns into the heroine that we see hints of in the first two books. She still moons over Patch a bunch, but their love is finally maturing. The storyline in this one was fast-paced and suspenseful and I did not see the end coming. I finished this one in less than a week, which is saying something.

Favorite Character: Nora, finally! She keeps her cool, stops letting everything revolve around Patch, and finally shows up as an equal partner to Patch. The end really shows her strength, but I don't want to give too much away about that.

Favorite Quote: "'There's only one thing I know for certain anymore.' He turned, his eyes a clear black. 'That I would do anything for you, even if it means going against my instincts or my very nature. I would lay down everything I possess, even my soul, for you. If that isn't love, it's the best I have.'" Finally someone shows his affection.

This is my favorite of the series so far and a good read. 4.5 cups of cocoa!

Spring Into Horror Read-a-Thon Starting Line/Goals


My reading list for this week will include the following books: The Art of Wishing, Silence, Towering, Life After Theft, The Calling, and Clockwork Princess. For the horror element I plan to read from The Iron Queen, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, and The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington, the last one my cousin recommended, because she loved it. I hope to finish at least three books and since I am off work this week, that should be attainable. I also would like to comment on at least 10 blog posts and find a couple of new blogs to follow.


Towering (Kendra Chronicles, #3)
HarperTeen
I love Towering's cover!


Monday update:
Silence- 96 pages finished and reviewed!
The Art of Wishing- 27%-39% or 38 pages

Tuesday update:
The Dead and Buried- 100 pages (read in the doctor's office, found out I have strep throat, sinus infection , and fluid on both ears aka start of a double ear infection, :( ) + 16
The Art of Wishing -39%-100%, about 195 pages -finished!

Wednesday update:
The Dead and Buried- 178 pages -finished!
Towering- 4%
Iron Queen- 30 pages

Thursday update:
Towering- 4%-20% or 61 pages

Friday update:
Towering- 20%-45% or 76 pages
Demon's Lexicon- 63 pages

Saturday update
Towering- 45%-47%
Demon's Lexicon -27 pages

Sunday update:
I have only reread parts of  the 4th Harry Potter book and mainly finished up all the chores I wanted to do while off work, but couldn't because of strep throat and a sinus infection.




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mini Read-a-thon: My Shelf Confession

blogaversary readathon

In honor of their two year blogaversary, My Shelf Confessions is hosting a mini-read-a-thon. The only rules are to read! They also have some great giveaways planned for the month, with some author guest posts and publisher guest posts. To sign up, go here. I have really slacked off reading, reviewing, and posting, so I am hoping the two read-a-thons I have signed up for will help! For the mini-read-a-thon, I am going to try to read on The Art of Wishing and Rapunzel Untangled. I would like to finish those two, particularly Rapunzel, since I started it the first week in March. It is an interesting modern twist on the fairytale. I am also going to add Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick to my list too, since I am in the middle of it as well.

Day 1 update
Silence- 12pages
Rapunzel Untangled- 69%-82%

Day 2 update
Rapunzel Untangled- finished!
Silence- 20 pages
The Art of Wishing-11%-24%

Day 3 update
I have been sick all day and had a pounding headache, so no reading today. :(.

I am glad I did finally finish Rapunzel Untangled and hope to review it really soon!

2 year blogoversary
 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reading Stack #30

I did read one book of my last list, but read off list mainly. Right now I am reading Art of Wishing for my Random Read and trying to finish up Rapunzel Untangled from last month. I will also be reading the last 39 clues Cahills vs Vespers book, since I have school visits and a two day conference this week and it is a small book to pack. I may start The Calling, since I want to see what happens after the cliffhanger ending of The Gathering. I am really looking forward to my vacation in two weeks so that I can get some reading done!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Full Moon Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

This review will have spoilers for the first two books in the series. This is the final book in the Full Moon series. I really thought this would be a long running series like Vampire Kisses, so I was surprised when I read this was the final one.




Having a boyfriend who is a werewolf is not easy, but having an ex who is a werewolf could be dangerous. Celeste is torn between her love for Brandon and the pity and compassion she feels for her ex-Nash. Celeste kissed Nash so he would remember being a werewolf, but remembering just seems to make Nash feel worse. Nash begs Celeste to accompany him to Dr. Meadows to get a psychic reading. Dr. Meadows says Nash can be cured, but Celeste knows there is only one bottle of cure at the moment. She makes another dire prediction for Celeste, that a werewolf wants to turn her. Should Nash take it to make sure everyone is safe or should Brandon, so that he can be normal again? Along with that decision comes another problem. A group of boys come to town and they just may be lycan themselves. One werewolf is too many, so how can Legend's Run handle a whole pack!Choices must be made and Celeste may lose her werewolf boyfriend forever.

I did not like this as much as the Vampire Kisses series, although I think this had a better ending. Celeste seemed too wishy-washy with her feelings. She loves Brandon, puts up with too much from Nash, and develops a crush on another character. While this did not seem as bad when Raven had these same problems in VK, it just did not work with Celeste's sweet and caring nature. I loved the use of the legend in this series though to explain why there were werewolves, but the cure was never really explained well.

Favorite Character: Brandon. He is loyal, caring-although almost too caring at times, and helps his grandparents. He can also communicate with animals. He never doubts his feelings for Celeste and in a way puts up with a lot from her.

Favorite Quote: "It's because he's different-the opposite of you and everything you want. The unknown, an adventure. Maybe it's about disclosing a rebellious and dangerous part of yourself that you find thrilling." This is a pretty typical definition of a crush on a bad boy.

I liked the ending and the tie in to the legend. Celeste just did not measure up to Raven. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

I was so excited to get an e-galley from Netgalley and HarperTeen and read half of the book before it released. Then I was so busy at work that I just now finished the other half.

Annie and Fia have special abilities, which make them a desired commodity. Annie can see the future, even though she is blind and Fia has perfect instinct. Annie even saw the girls' parents death, but could not prevent the car crash. The girls are tricked into attending the Keane school, when Mr. Keane becomes aware of Annie's powers. Seers are not rare and it isn't long until the school sets their sights on Fia's rarer ability. Fia becomes their hands, killing, stealing, and learning secrets. Fia is forever damaged by being used, but she cooperates because she knows they will kill Annie if she doesn't. James, Keane's son, seems to care about Fia, but her instincts tell her he is wrong for her. James seems both his father's tool and to really hate the man. There seems to be no escape, until Fia defies orders and does not kill Adam. Annie has seen that Adam could be a threat to her and Fia, but Fia's instincts tell her to take care of Adam. Adam could be their destruction or salvation and it is up to Fia to decide.

I loved White's Paranormalcy series and was so excited to read her new book. The same sarcastic humor is here, but it is so much darker. Fia is a damaged heroine and at times ruthless and caring. Annie is both selfish and loving with her sister. The two love interests are as different as night and day, but you can't help rooting for them both. Awesome start to the series!

Favorite Character: Fia. She is both dark and light. She has a sense of humor, but is also deadly. You want her to be healed, but know that she is forever damaged.

Favorite Quote: "We understand each other. I can read the lines of his shoulders, catalog the lies of his smiles; he can touch my hands and not care." "We are a matched set of perfect liars, perfectly destroyed people, perfect for destruction."

Even though this was dark, I loved it! White has a great fast-paced writing style and she knows how to surprise! Definitely 5 cups of cocoa! This will be one of my top picks for the year.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Into Horror Read-a-Thon


This is a read-a-thon hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre. Sign ups are here. You only have to read one scary book and it can be horror, paranormal, thriller, or mystery. You can choose to just try to get more book of your tbr list or to read more scary books. I will be making a list soon. I will probably read Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa for my "scary" book. For me that series is scary, the faeries are pretty dark and creepy.

Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey

This is another book in the Once Upon A Time series and I read this for my two Fairy Tale challenges.

On the day of Aurore's christening, she is cursed by her Aunt Jane, who had become invisible to others. Jane curses her to die when she becomes sixteen from a prick of her finger. Her parents are devastated since she is an only child. In Aurore's world, magic is not supposed to be undone, but her mother begs her friend and Aurore's godmother Chantal to take away the curse. Chantal removes the promise of death and instead says she will sleep for 100 years until she is awakened by true love, but she can do no more. Aurore grows up very sheltered and it is only through her cousin Oswald's aka Prince Charming's help that she is finally able to see part of the world. Aurore, like her father, grows to care for her people and Oswald seems to charm the nobles. Oswald stands to inherit the kingdom if Aurore cannot rule, and Aurore does not trust her cousin. Oswald himself seems to suffer from his own curse of loneliness. When the kingdom seems close to the brink of disaster, Aurore is willing to leave to save her people. She enters La Forete, the enchanted forest and only true love can save her.

This was an interesting twist on Sleeping Beauty. Aurore is not the typical sleeping damsel in distress, but a princess determined to find her own destiny. Cameron Dokey usually gives her princesses strong independent personalities. Oswald was a complex character with a few different nicknames in the story that reflected his personality changes. I enjoyed the twist on the hundred years and the ending.

Favorite Character: I liked both Aurore and Oswald and their relationship. They seem to complement each other and each made the other one a better person.

Favorite Quote: "For true love always knows its own measure. And it is the measure of two hearts, combined. Two hearts who need no other magic than what they hold inside, for they have learned to beat as one."

Cameron Dokey is my favorite author in the series and this was a good read. It is not my favorite of hers, but I still enjoyed it. 4 cups of cocoa.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 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 now have 264 books on my Kindle, which is too many! My number for this month is 25 and that is The Art of Wishing by Lindsey Ribar, which I have in e-galley from Dial and Netgalley. I haven't read anything that has a genie as a character in a very long time and I have never read a YA book with one. Should be interesting! My review is here.
The Art of Wishing
Dial