Thursday, May 31

Arise: Book Review

Arise
Tara Hudson
Harper Teen
June 5th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Magic

Official Blurb -
Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

I don't have much to say about the book as a whole. The characters are great and the story will keep you up at night. I really enjoyed it and am very anxious to see what the third book will bring to the table.

This is the first book that has involved New Orleans that has worked for me. I started to wonder if it was the place and culture that I had problems with. Nope. Or at least not if it is written just like this. My favorite moment in this book involves a disintegrating dress and a young man named Felix. He is my favorite of all the new characters in this book. I am glad we will be getting more of him in the next book.

At about the half way point there is a sharp moment of heartbreak, hard on the heels of which is a world changing moment. But neither of these two moments can break Amelia. Props to her for always sticking it through no matter the situation. Joshua is the sweetest little thing there ever was. If anyone deserves to be happy he should qualify.
And now the bulk of my thoughts about this story:

****Spoiler Section****

What!?!

Tell me I am not the only person to think this way. What is the point in existing if you have nothing to live for? Would the luxuries of food and clothes really fill the hole? I think they would be like ashes without love.

Also, what sort of "good" side expects you to wander in an endless fog for eternity and leaves you in the hands of evil? After all that they have the gumption to tell you to stop trying to be happy and go back to the endless wandering? Why would you want to appease such a being? They obviously don't care about you. I vote take a hold of your life and live each moment. At least that is my advice for Amelia.

Why does Amelia just assume she can't touch Joshua, or did I miss something? I wouldn't trust someone else's theory with something so important to myself. I would be getting my own proof.


Content:
Sexual: Mild
Violence: Moderate


Wednesday, May 30

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow and Bone

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Shadow and Bone
by

Publication Date: June 5th


From Goodreads


Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

If you regularly check my blog you may be wondering why I am waiting for Shadow and Bone when I reviewed it yesterday. An eBook isn't the same as a physical copy. I am very excited to see this book in all its full glory. *sigh* Just wish I could meet the author as well.

Tuesday, May 29

Shadow and Bone: Book Review

Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt and Co.
June 5th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Magic

Official Blurb -
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Book Trailer: (This is the best trailer I have seen yet and it fits the book.)








This book rocks from the beginning to end. There is a flavor of all that is good and wholesome about childhood cleverly mixed among the stark reality and darker side of man.

The life force of this book is definitely the amazing mix of emotions. Insecurity,  the need to belong, a desire to be adored, a need to be important, longing for love, danger of settling for less, jealousy, belonging, and belief in oneself are just a few of the emotions that provide fuel for the narrative. Leigh Bardugo is certainly adept at crafting a story and characters. Before the first chapter is finished two orphans will take possession of your heart. From that start springs an amazing journey and moments of precious remembrance and connection.

Alina Starkov is a mousy, easily overlooked, girl of indifferent talent. Malyen Oretsev, Mal, is the star in any setting. Yet these two have a friendship that has endured many a day and change. They truly have a friendship to aspire toward. When Alina saves his life and is whisked off to a whole new life and they are ripped apart, that very friendship is stretched to a breaking point. Alina is thrown into a world full of sharks and unseen dangers and without the security of Mal, she gets in deep. Bit by bit she falls to the seductive call of powers stronger than she is. But like calls to like and just when all seems lost rescue comes in many forms. 

The story is full of moments so beautiful in their simplicity they leave a smile on your face. A shared fit of laughter after an adrenaline filled scare. Honesty in matters of the heart that destroy all misconceptions and cleave two hearts. Understanding and forgiveness instead of bitterness and separation.

Shadow and Bone kept me up well into the night and didn't disappoint. I don't think my mind will easily move on from this story. It is going to be a long wait for the next two books. But this is certainly a wait I wouldn't miss and a book I don't regret reading. Trust me you don't want to miss out on this. In a word, exquisite!

Content:
Sexual: Mild
Violence: Moderate

Moment Divine:
"I don't have ti--"
"Make time!" I snapped. "I've covered almost two hundred miles on horse back. I haven't had a good night's sleep in a week, and I've nearly been killed twice. So before I do anything else, you're going to have to tell me who you are and why it's so very important that you get my clothes off."

Monday, May 28

Dark Passage: Book Review

Dark Passage
by M. J. Putney
St. Martin's Griffin
September 13th 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical (1803, 1940)
Time Travel | Magic

Tory's last trip through time was a harrowing adventure. Determined that she would never go back through the mirror, Tory does her best to avoid it. Her home time frame is not perfect. Far from it, she isn't allowed to attend her sister's upcoming wedding and a meeting with the parents of Allarde doesn't go well. Nick shows up with another call for help. It turns out her vow to never enter the mirror is void when she is pulled through by accident. Life or magic has a way of sending her just where she is needed.  Can Tory and her friends rescue the scientist from Nazi captivity? 
This time around the cover and title are fabulous. They make perfect sense and highlight a particularly intense moment in the book.

A really solid second in the trilogy. It didn't disappoint in the slightest. Full of close calls, heartbreak, true love, forgiveness, and change. We are given a better look into the lives of some of the previously minor characters. Jack and Cynthia, weather mages, find common ground. Tory and Allarde face hardship. Nick discovers that some good deeds come with added benefits. None of the stories are lacking in entertainment.

The story moves very quickly. Before long the irregulars were close to the success of their mission; everything seemed much too easy. There was two-thirds of the book left. What could the other pages possibly hold? M. J. Putney more than makes up for that almost too perfect moment. After that everything goes to pot in a hand basket.

The story was very well written. Everything flowed seamlessly from one event to the next. Dark Passage is a page turner. The characters are riveting and the path perilous. I wonder if we will get to learn more about Elspeth and Nick in the next book. A very good thing that that wait isn't too long. I recommend this for regency era lovers who want to see a little magic amongst the romance.

Saturday, May 26

IMM and My Reading Pile: 15

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun


In the Mail:
The Dark Light (bookmark)

Library:
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Everneath by Ashton Brodi



In the Reading Pile:
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Demon Trapper's Daughter by

Friday, May 25

Eye Candy: XIX

Stormdancer
Jay Kristoff





Dearly, Beloved
Lia Habel
Diabolical
Cynthia Leitich Smith
(This is such a compelling cover I almost want to read it even though I didn't like the first two books in the series.)


The Dead and Buried
Kim Harrington

Thursday, May 24

Dark Kiss: Book Review

Dark Kiss
Michelle Rowen
Harlequin Teen
May 29th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
 Angel | Demon

Official Blurb -
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...
The book sure starts in a life changing moment. I felt I was missing something. Where was the somewhat dull introductory chapter? Not only that but it is one of those bad moments. The good guy gets tricked and the bad guy comes off conqueror. What at first felt odd and wrong turns out to be perfect and very catching.  Everything makes sense as the book unravels.

Normally, I am not a fan of angel and demon books. They are full of scripture and prophecy as well as judgement. Very off-putting. This book built a world that is more fictional and functional. Angels and Demons in cohorts just made for some really great moments. The tension and back story are a delight.

The pace of this book is definitely fast, one week from beginning to end. There isn't much time for thought and introspection. No time to make plans; just react to the moment. I am so glad I am not in their shoes. Kisses have always seemed so desirable, but it gives you a moment for a second thought when you weigh the passionate moment against the loss of your soul. Isn't quite as tempting.

Samantha (Sam), and Kraven are my favorite characters in this book. The two of them have some fun dialogue. I especially love how Kraven doesn't like her but calls her sweetness. So much fun; I wouldn't be too heartbroken if something developed out of that impossible pair. I think it would be hilarious to watch them fight all the time. Sam is a bit unique for a main character. She has a deep sense of care for the downtrodden. Also, she has a solid sense of right and wrong without seeming full of herself. It is really easy to feel for her and follow along. Kraven is a mastermind of grabbing attention. He gives just enough information to pique curiosity and then tempts you closer. Before you know it you are fully hooked at his mercy. I am excited to see more Kraven in the next book. What other secrets lay beneath his facade? While we are on the subject of outer appearances, the tattoos on these guys are pretty sweet. Can you really blame Sam for touching? Curious? Better read it and get your own mental picture.

The ending was absolutely awesome. The entire book is dark, even if Sam is in denial about the state of things. So after the characters face a moment filled with darkness, death, despair, loss, and betrayal we get a sappy lovey moment with the parental unit. Following which is the most mundane question, "Feel like pizza?" The response, "Make it a large? Can we get wings, too?" I just love it! A great reminder that no matter how bad things can get, life will continue on. Or maybe the vibe I was getting is pizza is the perfect cure all, mmm. . . yummy.

Content:
Swearing: mild
Sexual: mild
Violence: moderate
Main Character Age: 17
Moment Divine:
"Do I look calm?" I gripped my hands together to keep them from shaking. "I guess I'm only screaming on the inside right now."


Wednesday, May 23

Waiting on Wednesday: Dreamless

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Dreamless
by

Publication Date: May 29th


From Goodreads





Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.

Tuesday, May 22

Darkness Before Dawn: Book Review

Darkness Before Dawn
J. A. London
HarperTeen
May 29th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic
Vampire

Official Blurb -

This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series.
The title is so much deeper than it first appears. The literal translation about the time before dawn fits perfectly to the story. The people are in the darkest night yet dawn may not be too far distant. Also the time of most danger to them is the darkness before dawn. Yet as I read, the title took on another meaning for me. Dawn finds herself mixed up in a very dangerous situation. It seems that no matter where she looks there is darkness before her. This is a perfect title in every way.

Both Dawn and Victor are awesome characters. There isn't anything I didn't love about them. Victor especially impressed me in his ability to make very final decisions. No wishy washy choices like some other vampires. But even better was Dawn's dead determination to live true to her feelings no matter the consequences.

There was a moment while reading this book where I sent out a mental shout to Dawn. She got on her soap box and claimed that she would never, never, ever want to be a vampire and lumped them into one evil pile.  My mental voice could only say, "Never say never, Dawn." 

By far the best chapter was number five but I won't say more; you will have to see for yourself. This, of course, excludes the end, since they are of a different caliber.

This book reminds me quite a bit of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey.

The ending brings a slew of big surprises and unexpected twists. It gave me the chills, set my heart a flutter, and then into a gallop and ended by dropping my jaw. I loved it! I was reading the end of this while around a couple other bloggers and they can attest to my excitement at the end. I was positively hooked so much so that I was full of exclamations.  The ending is stellar and leaves me very impatiently waiting to find out what its cryptic words mean. On one side I want her to eat her words but on the other I want the impossible. Dare I hope or scream "I told you so?" Does hoping make me a bit foolish?

Content:
Sexual: mild
Violence: moderate

Moment Divine:
"He was made to sin."

Monday, May 21

Sunny Side: Shout Out

My header as well as some other pictures on my blog are currently used with permission from Pascal Campion. He is coming out with his first book, Sunny Side. The image above is a sneak peek of the book. He really knows how to capture the emotion of a moment much like many of the great authors I read. Check out his website www.pascalcampion.com.


Sunny Side Little sneak peak of SUNNY SIDE, my new art book, with the fantastic French publisher CAFE SALE. It will first be available at Annecy, during the festival, ( June 4th to 9). In this book, there are not only images, but a lot of questions and answers about my thoughts and processes when it comes to making art, daily sketches and a bunch of other things. Thank you to Katrina( my wife) and Karine de Cafe Sale who made this possible. These pictures were taken in Italy, by Celine Antoine.

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Wrap-Up


What I Accomplished:
Goals:
READ!!! Meh, barely
Keep up with reviews
Join in the Twitter fun

My book list:
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Seeds of the Rebellion by Brandon Mull (Turns out I didn't have a copy to read)
Arise by Tara Hudson

Books on the Fringe:
Eona by Alison Goodman
Article 5 by Kristin Simmons
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore 

As far as a read-a-thon goes I really blew this one. The first two days of the week I my reading was almost imperceptible. So many things came up last week that had to be taken care of before I could read. At least I finished the books I really had to get done. Of course that was largely due to some very late nights. I participated in a couple of the challenges and was absent on Twitter. Maybe next time things will work out just a bit better.

Book Blogger Confessions: 5/21

Question for  Monday May 21st:

Memes. Love em or hate em? How many do you participate in? Which kinds do you like best? Do you feel like there are too many?

Memes, memes, MEMES!!!
In the beginning I sought out memes and added my two cents when the topic struck my interest. It was nice to have people come along and comment on my two cents. But I started to notice something about the comments. It seemed that people were using the memes as an advertising campaign. So many of the comments would contain only links back to their blog. It felt a bit pushy. I am a bit of a rebel and I tend to do the opposite of what is expected. So my interest in memes started to dwindle. Another reason my interest dropped off is a time issue. I had to decide if I wanted to spend all my time posting memes or reading and reviewing books. Sure I need to socialize and connect better with the blogging community but I am not so sure memes is the answer. 

Well, I am participating in this meme. I also post an In My Mailbox/My Reading Pile and Waiting on Wednesday. There are several others I have participated in over the past year but they just didn't stick. I even tried to start my own meme but couldn't stay consistent or get others to participate.

When it comes to memes it must spark my interest. Like these conversation posts. I am not good at putting together weekly top ten lists or quotes. It must be something that I regularly. Such as the mail and waiting posts.

Are there too many memes? Is that possible? YES! When I stumble upon individuals on Twitter worrying about being able to keep up with all the popular memes I know it has gone too far. 

But my biggest question is this: 
What is the purpose of memes for book blogs and book bloggers? 

Why do we do them? 
Are they a social tool to get to know each other better? 
If so are they really working?
Is the intent to promote books?
How do they help promote books?
Are memes simply a way to promote your blog?
Are memes a popularity contest? 
How do publishers feel about memes?

I honestly don't see the point of some of these memes. Not that I am any great expert in the book community. If I weren't afraid of offending someone I would try to seek clarification about particular memes. Maybe a little insight would help me understand their significance. I wonder about publishers and their desire for you to post daily. Do memes satisfy that credential?

Anyway, thanks for the topic.

Saturday, May 19

IMM and My Reading Pile: 14

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun


In the Mail:
Nothing.

Gifted:
Both of these were given to me for Mother's day.
Torn by Erica O'Rourke
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep


NetGalley:
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale



In the Reading Pile:
The Shapeshifters Secret by Heather Ostler
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Team Human by



Wishful Thinking:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Friday, May 18

Sound of the Heart: Book Review

Sound of the Heart
Berkley Trade 
May 1st 2012
Adult | Romance
Official Blurb -

From Genevieve Graham, author of Under the Same Sky, comes a sweeping romantic historical novel of one man’s strange gift and dangerous battles…
      Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold. Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.
This book was very hard for me to read. Having read almost exclusively young adult novels the switch to more mature material was very challenging. The language as well was a hard transition. Some of the words I am still unsure of even now.
The book starts off very heavy and continues so for some duration. Dougal is deep in a bloody battle and finds himself a prisoner. The things that go on in the prison are very dark and hard to read. Especially when it came to what some men will resort to when trapped in a cesspit for months. Plainly, there is a section where some of the prisoners repeatedly try to rape two young boys. I could see where some would say we are surrounded by monsters more than men. Where have all the gentlemen gone? Thankfully, there is some lighter banter occurring between Dougal and his friend John. This banter is one of my favorite things in the book. We get to see a lighter and more caring side of Dougal. He is a character with quite a bit of depth.
The part of the book that disagreed with me is the rather explicit sex scene. The cover and the genre strongly hint that a sex scene is to be expected yet I got a mistaken idea it wouldn't be the case. So when I stumbled upon it I was thrown and consequently less than happy in my reading.
Just past the half way mark, I found my interest in the very intense and complicated story waning. Dougal is in a very deep and dark place. It seems that no matter which way it goes things aren't going to be pretty. There is so little hope. The emotions are written so well that the despair leaked off the pages and got stuck on me. As evidence of my reluctance to feel this pervading despair the pages passed more slowly and my mind wandered. I figured it was a good time to call it quits. The characters are great and I do want to know what happens to them.
For such a bright cover this book is full of hardships and moments no person should have to endure. The exception so far being a small stint of happiness for Dougal. It was such a drastic change from the overall mood that it felt almost dreamlike.
In the end I am torn over this book. It did help to remind me why I read young adult over adult books. Young adult books primarily feed off emotions and are realistically shallow. Adult books are very realistic in detail and depth and more emotionally shallow. Too much responsibility and care in an adult novel and they are so much more complicated. It takes much more of an investment of time and energy to read. I can't very easily read it in five minute increments. Even though this book wasn't my perfect fit I have no problem recommending it. The writing is good the characters are great and the dialogue is often funny. For fans of adult romance who don't mind seeing into more private moments this will be a great read. You will learn a lot about the Scots and war.

Content:
Sexual: Heavy
Violence: Heavy
Moment Divine:
"We're the lot of us trussed like turkeys, probably set to be hangit, an' ye're fashed about a wee itch on yer nose?"
"Aye, I am," the man replied indignantly. "I canna reach it."
"No, I dinna suppose ye can," Dougal said, trying to stem his laughter. "An' how am I to manage it then?"
"I've no idea. But 'twould be a blessin' if ye'd figure it out."

Grand Prize on the book tour is ...
A signed copy of Sound of the Heart PLUS a four cd set of relaxation cds created by my incredibly talented musical friends, Cori Ashley and Ed Franks. I'll give you a little insight into why I chose these cds as my prize - I'm NOT saying Sound of the Heart is about relaxing … considering the wild adventures Dougal's in for, I doubt he was too relaxed! But Dougal has a gift, similar to his brother's gift. He can relax his mind and hear the thoughts of other men, but he can also sink into his thoughts and hear the sounds and voices of his loved ones as if they were right there with him. These cds were created to help you escape the stress and craziness of your days. Grab a cup of tea or glass of wine (your preference!), light a candle, maybe slip in to a bubblebath, and listen to the sound of your heart.



The contest runs May 1-31/12 and is only open to entrants in Canada & U.S.).
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eye Candy: XVIII

The Reckoning
Alma Katsu
(This book has more than one beautiful cover.)




Demons
Heather Frost
Tributary
Lisa T. Bergren

Thursday, May 17

The Lost Code: Book Review

The Lost Code

HarperCollins Children's Books
May 22nd 2012
Young Adult| Science Fiction| Post-Apocalypse
Atlantis

Official Blurb -

WHAT IS OLDEST WILL BE NEW, WHAT IS LOST SHALL BE FOUND.

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

This book ended up in my pile through a last minute substitution. The cover looked somewhat interesting so I gave it a shot.
Mermaids, fish people, and Altlantis have always been a hard sell for me. It turns out this book was no exception. I never felt a solid connection with any of the characters in the book. They all feel lack luster. Even the romantic element in this book was weak. The villain is a wack job and has some strange motives. He runs a sick and disturbed lab that should earn him a spot in the deepest reaches of torment in the life after this one. This book is part Indiana Jones, mermaid, and post-apocalypse. It just wasn't a mix that worked for me.
The best part of the entire book was how Owen refers to the workings of his mind. He likes to think there are little technicians running around in his head. His visions of what the technicians do and how they respond to situations was somewhat funny. But even these diversions couldn't keep my interest.
I wish I would have pulled the plug and not finished this book. It is a very long book and a huge investment of time. Basically it wasn't my cup of tea but it might be yours if your interest runs toward Atlantis.

Content:
Violence: Moderate

Wednesday, May 16

Bout of Books: Re-Title It

 
Challenge hosted by Books Devoured

Your Challenge is to choose any book cover and Re-Title it! You can choose anything you like and go the serious or humorous route!

I think this is a great challenge. I love asking my child what books are called. Here are a few of her titles. Sometimes kids are so adorable. 


New Title:
Tree for Round Squiggle
New Title: 
White Princess Run Away from the Rock Mountain
New Title: 
Lady Have Wings on Her Eyes
New Title: 
Daddy Kiss the Lady

Waiting on Wednesday: Taken by Storm

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Taken by Storm
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication Date: May 22nd


From Goodreads





Taken by Storm (Raised by Wolves, #3)Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the
North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

Tuesday, May 15

Bout of Books: Book Confessions

 
Challenge hosted by Nyx Book Reviews

PART ONE: Share your most shocking, embarrassing or funny book related story.
The best story I can think up that fits this question is my tendency to make noises when reading. It isn't as bad as it sounds. Basically when I hit a big moment in a book I make an appropriate sound. Such as laughing at something hilarious, sighing at a particularly beautiful moment, or exclaiming in outrage when something bad happens. To me these outbursts seem appropriate but to the casual observer they seem strange. There I sit completely silent and happily alone and the next moment I am laughing out loud. Their first thought is probably along the lines of this girl is crazy. Guilt or curiosity leads them to ask, "What was so funny?" I am no whiz at description on a good day and do my best to explain. Sadly the explanation is never good enough and I only confirm their original thinking. Come on though, if it took me one hundred pages of character and story development for me to think it was funny how am I going to explain it to you in thirty seconds? Especially when I watch your eyes start to glaze over as I explain. Why ask in the first place if you were only going to give me mere seconds to explain? My hubby is used to my shenanigans and just shakes his head. He is used to my particular brand of crazy and knows better than to ask.


PART TWO:

Physical book or eBook?
Paperback or Hardcover?
Reality or Make-believe?
Adult or Young-Adult?
Dog ears or Bookmarks?
Breaking the spine or Barely open the book? 
I am actually somewhere in between. I love when a book is sufficiently broken in that I can set it down and lays flat. That way I don't need a bookmark. I get a sense that the book understands I am reading it and it wants to show its appreciation of my attention. But when I start reading a book I barely open it. I give it time to open up and trust me.
Tea or Coffee?
Neither. Yuck! 
Reading in bed or On the couch?
 Series or Standalone?
I would normally say series but lately I am getting tired of waiting and being left on a cliff. 
Original or TV Adaptation?
Not really sure what this one means but original sounds good. 
 Defy motion sickness or Audiobooks?
Author crushes or Who-was-that-guy-again?
For the most part I exist in the who-was-that-guy-again state. There are a few exceptions to that rule. Twitter and blogging has bridged the gap a bit. If I really super enjoy a book and all the other books by an author I tend to go snooping and learn a bit about them.
Interview or Guest post?
I tend to have a hard time thinking up questions when I am not face to face with them. So interviewing isn't my thing. I am hoping to work on that but guest posts work much better for me right now.

If I Die: Book Review

If I Die
Rachel Vincent
Harlequin
September 27th 2011
Young Adult | Paranormal
Banshee

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.

Anything.
Of all the books in the series this was the one I most feared. The end of the last one left me angry. I felt Nash was getting the short end of the stick and it wasn't fair. Sure he had done some bad things but it seemed like there were some extenuating circumstances to factor in. I was worried what would happen to Nash and a tiny rumor leak had me even more upset about Tod. I put off reading this book for a long time. It was a good thing I did. I was able to approach this book level headed and ready for a sweet ride. At the same time the long separation from the last book caused me to forget more than I bargained for. The biggest thing that slipped my mind was how incredibly lusty these characters are. It comes across in their actions and dialogue. No wonder their parents are loath to leave them alone.

The best part about this book was the transition. Kaylee finally takes a look at her life and comes to some important conclusions. She sets out to make everything right and finds herself in places she never imagined. The transitions for her relationships with those around her are almost seamless and natural. Any rushing is easily glossed over by her imminent demise. I loved watching Kaylee grab onto every moment of life. She held almost no selfish desires there at the end but stayed true to character and set out to help those who mattered most. Another great thing about this book is some very fun banter between characters. It was nice to find Kaylee the one dealing out more than taking it this time.

The ending wasn't completely unexpected, but it was nice. It definitely ranks an "Awww, how cute." I feel this book lived up to its predecessors and was amazed to find that it is a doorway to yet another book. What will Kaylee do next? It seems the possibilities are endless. I am curious as to what surprises still lay in waiting. Yet at the same time I feel as if the series is loosing my interest. Maybe Nash really was the sole owner of my attention and his new role just doesn't have the same draw.

Spoiler Section:
The saddest part is definitely Nash. He still is the ill fated one of the bunch. Seemingly always dealing with the consequences left upon him by others decisions. I agree that he made the choice but he didn't get where he was without the actions of others. I can't blame him too much for the things he did but it did help to ease the big transition over to Tod. Poor Nash has one sad and hard looking future. I hope he can find the strength to move forward. Plus, I also hope that happiness is somewhere in his future as well.

Content:
Sexual: Heavy
Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate
Character Age: 16
Moment Divine:
"For the moment, I am firmly entrenched in denial, which--honestly--feels like the healthiest stage of acceptance. And I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me wallow there for a while."

Monday, May 14

Horse Race Booth: Wrap Up - Spring Blog Carnival



Prize:
 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
(US only)

Race Results:

Grave Mercy
Partials
Waterfall
Divergent
Poison Study
City of Glass
Clockwork Prince

Monday and Wednesday were the most popular days.
72 Winning Bets

It seems the winner is #14 Megan for her bet on Grave Mercy.
Her favorite carnival game is Skee Ball.

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Goals


Goals:
READ!!!
Keep up with reviews
Join in the Twitter fun

My book list:
(Absolutely must get read)
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Seeds of the Rebellion by Brandon Mull (Audio)
Arise by Tara Hudson

Books on the Fringe:
(They are just hanging out around the edges hoping to be read)
Eona by Alison Goodman
Article 5 by Kristin Simmons
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore 

I hope to get the mandatory books completed and to catch up on reviews. On top of that I hope to get at least one book off the Fringe. It is a very dangerous place to be. I can so easily loose interest in books on the Fringe if they stay too long. Hopefully the books will be vastly entertaining and the pages will fly by.

Saturday, May 12

IMM and My Reading Pile: 13

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun



In the Mail:
Sound of the Heart by Genevieve Graham
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore


Library:
I have really been trying to stay clear of the library. My shelves are already full of books that have been waiting months to be read. Lately I have been having a building craving to peruse the library shelves. My resistance finally ended this week. It wasn't pretty since these are all big books. I just couldn't help myself.

Eona by Alison Goodman
Article 5 by Kristin Simmons
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Email:
The Journeys of John and Julia by Aurelia


Author Signing Event:
I feel like the event took some years off my life, at least for a little while. It was awesome getting to see and meet Tahereh Mafi. I am so excited to read Eve and Under the Never Sky. Soon my pretties, very soon.

Shatter Me Necklace
Unearthly bookmark
Got my copies of Eve and Under the Never Sky signed


In the Reading Pile:
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Seeds of the Rebellion by Brandon Mull (Audio)
(If conditions are super favorable) Arise by Tara Hudson


Wishful Thinking:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Horse Race Booth: Sunday - Spring Blog Carnival

**I won't be around tomorrow to watch Sunday's race unfold or help champion the horses. Therefore I decided to post Sunday's race today and let it have two days to collect votes. I will announce the winners of both Saturday and Sunday when Monday rolls around.**

For return players you can skip the formalities being repeated and check out today's horses racing. Place your bet in the form not the comments and answer the new question in the comments section.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who doesn't love a little carnival fun. I sure haven't outgrown my love for carnival games. Lori over at Pure Imagination along with Angela from Reading Angel and Candace from Candace’s Book Blog are throwing the second annual Spring Blog Carnival. I have joined up with them to host a booth. This is likely all stuff you know if you are following along by linky.

Step right up
Only one comment to enter a bet
Just answer the question: (This is your ticket for the booth and to place a bet)
What book do you most wish you were reading right now?
Please place your bet through the form not the comments. We don't want to sway the other entrants. The form also gives me a way to contact the winner.
We have a lovely copy of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater as a prize
(US only)


There are four horses that will be racing today. Bet for your favorite one. If the horse you chose wins your entry will be placed in the pot to win the prize at the end of the carnival. Sorry only the winners advance to the final round here. So choose wisely! There will be a new race each day this week. Come back each day this week to bet on the new horses. You are allowed to enter once each day. That means seven different comments and seven different bets. There might be a way to tip the race in your favor. Spread the word any way you can. Encourage your friends to come and bet on your horse as well.






Today's horses are:

Secrets and Shadows jockeyed by Shannon Delany



Clockwork Prince jockeyed by Cassandra Clare



Catching Fire jockeyed by Suzanne Collins



The Crow jockeyed by Alison Croggon
 They are ready to race so hurry and get your bets in. Which horse is your favorite or is the most likely to come out the winner?

Remember you must comment below for your bet to count and fill out the form.

The results of the race will be posted the following day before the new race starts.

A recap:
You can comment once each day and place a corresponding bet on that day's race.
A total of seven possible entries if you come back each day and your horse wins.
The entries for the winning horses each day will be placed in the pot and one will win the prize.
They will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

One more time:
Comment + Form = Bet
Winning Horse Bets = Entry for Prize
Losing Horse Bets = Sorry No Luck
(7) Races  (7) Days  (7) Comments  (7) Bets

Today's comment question is:
What book do you most wish you were reading right now?

Fill out the form to record your bet.

****Don't record your bet in the comments section only in the form.****

Good luck and may your horse be swift of feet!



Now head on over and enjoy some of the other carnival booths.