Monday, June 27, 2011

Books Before Bed First EVER Giveaway!!

Contest is now closed. Thanks to all those who participated! I'll be announcing the winner later this week!

Hello my lovelies! It seems hard to believe but I have reached over 100 followers!!!! Oh my GOODNESS! I totally didn't know when this day would come but now that it's here I feel so special!!! I love the book blogging world and am so happy that you guys have so willingly made me a part of it.

To express my thanks I wanted to host a giveaway. One winner will have their choice of these books:

I'm trying to keep it simple as this is the first one for me to host. Basically:

  • Contest is open from June 27th- July 11th
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Open internationally (anywhere Book Depository ships, so please check!)
  • Chances for extra entries
  • and.....fill in the form HERE!

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

(this adorable picture is borrowed from Anna @ Anna Reads)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the epic Story Siren. Here bloggers can share with others the awesome books that they received for review, bought, or borrowed.

  • Witchlanders by Lena Coakley- this one looks interesting, especially as it has a male protagonist

  • The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels- I've been meaning to get to this one for quite a while but just found out that my library doesn't have a copy. Went to Amazon and found that the kindle edition was only $2.99 or something like that so I caved and bought it!
  • The Girl Who Was On Fire by Leah Wilson- THIS ONE I have been DYING to read for ages and its popped up on the blogosphere again and again and with all of the new announcements for Hunger Games castings, etc. I just HAD to HAVE IT! (I'm sure you understand the compulsion...)

  • Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach- LOVE this cover! Really excited to start this one as I've heard quite a bit about it.
  • Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith- HUGE fan of Ms. Smiths. I've read her Crown Duel dozens of times. Heard about this from Read.Breathe.Relax who has a very similar reading style :) Really excited!!
  • Repossessed by A.M Jenkins- heard about this one from Small Review who really liked it. Excited to give it a try as the premise is really interesting!
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman- found out about this one by seeing the second in the series available on NetGalley. Wanted to give the first one a try and hopefully move onto the second.
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano -this one needs no introduction except for the erroneousness that I haven't read it yet.

How about you? What's IYM (in your mailbox)?

Reviewed Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Reviewed The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Guay

Review: The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

Overall Impression

Source: Netgalley

Challenges: None

Publication Date: October 4th 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)Master storyteller Jane Yolen ("Owl Moon" and "Sword of the Rightful King") and celebrated fantasy artist Rebecca Guay ("Swamp Thing" and "Magic: The Gathering") weave a textured and lyrical tale of adventure, homelands, and heroism the hard way. Two hundred years ago, humans drove the dragons from the islands of May. Now, the last of the dragons rises to wreak havoc anew - with only a healer's daughter and a kite-flying would-be hero standing in its way.

My Review: This was only an OK read for me. To make this easier I’ll break it down into things that worked for me and the things that didn’t.

What worked for me: the drawings. Some of them were absolutely breathtaking!

On to the things that didn’t work as well for me: other of the drawings looked rushed, not as well thought out. The story was too simple. I went into this with somewhat high expectations; it is Jane Yolen after all. The Last Dragon makes it sound like the dragon has some part to play in the story…yeah, not so much. He doesn’t even talk, or have feelings, or anything else that is implied with a title with ‘dragon’ in it.

The story line was incredibly simple and not a lot of character development. The main thing that this book has to recommend it is some of the artwork.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top 10 Tuesdays (3): Top Ten Reasons why I love Book Blogging!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic is: Top Ten Reasons why I love Book Blogging

1-5. It feeds my addiction, daily. I'm sure every other book blogger understands this. I seriously can't recall HOW I found books to read after finishing one before I joined the blogging community. It seems like too laborious of a process to talk with people in random conversations to see if their types of books were the same as mine. Honestly, did I really just browse around the library shelves? How droll! But anyways, point being I am excited, amazed, and just a little daunted with how huge my TBR pile has grown (and keeps growing) with all of the recommendations of my fellow bloggers.

6. I've met A LOT of really nice people. Not even joking guys! People who read books are awesome period. People who share their insights into said books, blogging, random amazing music videos, etc. are even better!

7. Following along with the above, I know I'm not alone. This helps, knowing I'm not the only one who obsessively reads at every possible moment, who always has a book, maybe even two, stashed in her bag (and that bag has of course been chosen especially to be able to hold books) just in case traffic, lines, boring conversation partners force her to go back to that wonderful world that is just a page turn away. Life is great, don't get me wrong, but I have an active imagination and reading helps, and I know you all are there right with me!

8. I'm getting better at expressing myself. Does that sound a little sappy? I hope not. I just mean it in a way that I've always enjoyed writing, and maybe...maybe I will one day write my own book, but that is years, years I say!, in the future so in the interim I'll improve my 6th grade grammar and share my opinion with the rest of the blogging universe. It's important to think things through, to form an opinion, even if it's just why I liked/ didn't like a book (let's be realistic, that usually has to do with the love story/ lack thereof...just being honest).

9. Finding out more about the book world/ authors. Before blogging I cared about authors, they are the fantastic-amazing people that created my most favorite places and people after all. But I didn't really follow them, or know what they were up to, or what other great books they were writing until they came out. Now some of my favorite authors are becoming more like people and it's quite fascinating learning more about where they get their ideas from. 

It's kind of silly, stopping just short of 10...and yeah, I kind of cheated with the first few, but that's important! There are tons of other reasons why I love book blogging/ being a bookish person, but they remain in the grey area right now but are certainly a part of the driving force that keeps me coming back!

How's about the rest of you? What are you top reasons?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

(this adorable picture is borrowed from Anna @ Anna Reads)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the epic Story Siren. Here bloggers can share with others their awesome books that they received for review, bought, or borrowed.
I have some BEAUTIFUL covers this week, here they are!

Simon & Schuster Galley Grab:
  • Fury by Elizabeth Miles: I'm a red head, she's a red works well like that.
  • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann: I had some serious BEA envy seeing how many people got this book. I didn't even know it existed until others told me about it but the catch line of "the Hunger Games meets Harry Potter" has me hooked and reading it already!



For Review from Author:
  • She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens: The Author approached me to do a review for her series, it sounds really interesting!
  • Spirit Storm by EJ Stevens: the second in the series. Don't you love these covers!

  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes: I've heard a lot about this one so decided to give it a try.
  • Gone by Michael Grant: This is another one that I've heard quite a bit about and want to try as well. Sounds kind of like a modern sci-fi Lord of the Flies...exciting!
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa: I'm finally continuing this series. Really excited to get back to Ash and Puck *squee*
  • Mad Kestral by Misty Massey: I saw this one a while ago and wanted to read it, but that was before I knew about Goodreads so I forgot it. Then Lisa from Read.Breathe.Relax brought it to my attention and I was excited to see that my library had it! It has Pirates!
  • A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford: This is another one that I haven't tried until now but it sounds delicious!

What did you get this week?

Here's what happened on the blog this week:
--Shared a funny cartoon here
--Reviewed Enclave by Ann Aguirre here
--Reviewed Blood Red Road by Moira Young here

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Review: Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) by Moira Young

Overall Impression

Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab

Challenges: Debut Author Challenge

Publication Date: June 7th 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

My Review: I ended up liking this book A LOT more than I expected to. It’s a dystopian novel, but not as complex as some of the others that are out there, but that suites it just fine. It’s kind of like a future world that reverted back to the wild wild west which is fun. However, for the first 100 or so pages the language was hard to get used to. I’m really glad I persevered though because once things start picking up, they happen fast. Lots of really fun, memorable characters are introduced  and Saba herself really starts to gain more depth. These things combines make it so that the writing doesn’t distract anymore, it actually helps set this book apart. It’s kind of a dystopian world that has reverted to the wild wild west. I liked it a lot.

Other than the relationship between Jack and Saba, I really liked how Saba and her younger sister grew closer together. As the oldest of five I can relate to how annoying siblings can get but also how they can be helpful and you’re glad they are there. This was portrayed very well. We don’t really get to know Lugh even though he’s the driving force behind Saba’s quest.

It seems that this is the beginning of a series. Things tie up nicely in this book but there are definitely some unanswered questions (DeMalo) and I need more Jack! Looking forward to more!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre

Overall Impression: 

Source: Library

Challenges: DAC, Support Library

Publication Date: April 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. 

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning. 

My ReviewThis is the second dystopian book that I’ve read in the past month or so. It was fantastic! I must admit that reading about a zombie apocalypse makes me want to get a little fitter, put some food into storage and learn how to use a bow (or at the very least snares). All the same, this was a great book. Ann did a marvelous job recreating a degenerated society, one that was easy to follow and understand. Deuce is a good character. She’s tough but has a soft spot, one she eventually embraces. It stinks that this is the beginning of a series. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE! 

The first half of the book grabbed my attention a little more because it was so different. The second half felt a little like The Road meets I am Legend, however, the last few chapters started getting really interesting. Let’s just say that we don’t know everything that there is to know about Deuce. There is A LOT of potential for this in future books and I really hope the author properly develops it. I also really, really, really want more development between Fade and Deuce. This would make me happy, very happy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Proud Library Card Holder

I know I don’t reblog here and this doesn’t exactly have a hot guy reading in it (the square-headed people are cute, but not exactly hot) but it was so completely awesome (and somewhat related) that I couldn’t resist.
Also, I love that it takes place in Alexandria. I wonder why the illustrator chose that city.
Added Later: Credit for this awesome comic goes to Drew from Toothpaste For Dinner!

I just HAD to share this little random tidbit that I stumbled across the other day. I like to give credit where it is due, so let's follow the random track. I was browsing Belle's Bookshelf and came across this amazing post about Hot Guys Reading Books. You really should check it out.

This lead me to the amazing tumblr account of Hot Guys Reading Books! I'm quite shocked that I hadn't come across this sooner but am glad I have and can now share the goods. I must admit that not all of the guys are to my taste but there have definitely been some cuties and books totally make a guy that much cuter!

So I was perusing this site, drinking in the goodness, when I came across the above HILARIOUS cartoon written by Toothepaste for Dinner.

All in all it was a fun little romp through cyberspace and I wanted you all to be a part of it! Hope you too are proud library card holders and wouldn't be deterred even if there was a man with a gun barring your way!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

(this adorable picture is borrowed from Anna @ Anna Reads)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the epic Story Siren. Here bloggers can share with others their awesome books that they received for review, bought, or borrowed.

Warning: this is a long one. It's been a couple of weeks since I've done an IMM so...
it's kind of epic and is taking me forever to link up, but hope you enjoy!

  • The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody #3): this series is just too classic to pass up peeps!
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I've heard many, many good things about this so am excited
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre: I've already read this, forced my sister to read it, and am presently forcing my mother to read it as well. Review to come soon!
  • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black: Excited for this one as well. It's hard to get tired of Faires!
  • Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier: This is a companion novel to Wildwood Dancing (reviewed here), which I loved!, and I am presently reading it. I like it quite a lot so far.
  • Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters: The first book in the series was kind of a big let down, but I've heard that it gets better so I'm giving this one a try.

  • Misfit by Jon Skovron: This one sounds really interesting and the cover art makes it all the more intriguing!
  • The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen with art by Rebecca Guay: Just finished reading this to come, but let's just say the best thing was the art
  • Legacy by Cayla Kluver: This is another very intriguing one!
  • A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan: I've been wanting to read this one for FOREVER! It took someone else posting the link to the NetGalley button for me to be able to get a hold of it. *does a little dance anyways!!* Hopefully this link works so you can too if you want to!
  • Napier's Bones by Derryl Murphy: I should be better at math than I am, so hopefully this book doesn't go over my head, but it sounds pretty good!
  • The Art of Alice by R.J. Berg: A little on the macabre side, but the art looks very well done.

Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
  • Love Story by Jennifer Echols: this kind of seems like...I don't know...the Princess Bride in that the lowly stableboy character has more depth to him than seems at first. Plus, aren't vindictive grandmama's the best? Looks like a cute story.
  • Wildfire by Karsten Knight: I read The Goddess Test and found it pretty good. I've heard that this one is even better so I'm excited to give it a try!

Purchased (Kindle...curse you for making purchasing so easy!!!!)

  • Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep: I've heard some really good things about this one, and since I was in Kate Daniels withdrawal, decided to give it a try.
  • Alien Tango by Gini Koch: I read the first one on a whim, not expecting to like it...and fell in love (review here)! So excited to return to this world!
  • Alien in the Family by Gini Koch: Out of all of the covers this one is my favorite!
  • Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews: *sigh* I finished this way too quickly. It was fantastic! Can't wait for more!!! Review coming soon.
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost: This was another Kate Daniels withdrawal purchase...but I finished it in one day, so it's pretty good by itself. Review coming soon!
  • One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost: Not really a cliff hanger ending on the first one...but I need to keep going!
  • Camille by Tess Oliver: I found this one quite a while ago but didn't know how to get my hands on a copy of it. THEN the amazing Parajunkee put it on a list of great buys on Amazon so I just had to go and get it. Only $.99 so if you want it too, here it is.
  • Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill: I'm glad it's taken me so long to get through this series as now I have this one and another that just came out to read in quick succession. 
  • Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa: Forgot to add the picture up above. I read the first in the Iron Fey series (reviewed here)  and am very excited to continue it, starting with this!

FREE (be sure to check the recommended bar on Amazon below all of these links as they list a lot of other free Kindle books there as well. Great pickings!)
  • The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross: For FREE from here. This is apparently set before The Girl in the Steel Corset which I have yet to finish.
  • Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: For FREE from here. I've heard lots of good things about Ms. Heyer, that her stories are reminiscent of Jane Austen. This is always a good thing!
  • Remedial Magic by Jenna Black: For FREE from here. Having Glimmerglass on my shelf I thought this would compliment it nicely.
  • Summer's Crossing Julie Kagawa: For FREE from here. Haven't gotten far enough in the series to read this, but though I'd grab it while it was FREE!
  • The Duchess's Tattoo by Daisy Goodwin: For FREE from here. The title itself is eye catching, but I am already drooling for the book that this precurses, The American Heiress, so am excited for this one as well. 
  • Venetia by Georgette Heyer: The SOLE purpose for this purchase was the fact that Richard Armitage (of North & South *squeeee* fame and soon to be even more famous in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit *faints right away*) is the narrator. Yes, you heard correctly. He speaks into your little ear for nearly 5 HOURS. I despise audio books (sorry, personal preference) and this shall probably be the only one I ever listen to...unless there are more Mr. Armitage narrates...but that will be it.

Good heavens! That will teach me to wait so long to do these! Thanks for getting to the end!! Hope you found some books 
that you are interested in. 

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Overall Impression: 

Source: Library

Challenges: Support Library, Once upon time

Publication Date: March 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

My Review: I really, really, really, REALLY liked this book. I like it enough to have read it, want to buy it, and want to read it again. Franny is so imaginatively creative and yet so spot on. It took a little while for the story line to progress to a point where I was actually able to start figuring out what was going on, but rarely am I surprised in books and this one came pretty close. It's such an interesting world that Ms. Billingsley creates. Briony has such a unique way at looking at the world and I LOVED seeing her and Eldric's relationship progress.

I really liked Ms. Billingsley's 'The Folk Keeper' but this one is way better. It has similar elements such as an amusing and different protagonist, but this book is longer, has more character development and a better romance. Much better! I for sure recommend this, though the narration style may  not be for everyone, but you should at least give it a try. Enchanting!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Little Update

soo...I decided to update my blog. Little by little (and with A LOT of step-by-baby-step instructions) I've been getting better at some HTML/blog stuff. Not only was I able to find a free background and header after looking at Carabosse's Library adorable blog, but I was able to figure out how to change the colors and fonts of some of the things on my blog! This has bugged me FOR AGES! Especially the fonts. Ah well, nothing too dramatic, but I'd love you hear what you think!

The background and header are the property, and were created by, Cute 'n' Cool. You should really check out her stuff. The designs appealed to my particular tastes and sensibilities. Love it!

Here's what my blog used to look like, just in case you forgot... I did after looking at the gloriousness that it is now ; ). (haha, I just asked my sister what she thought, and I value her opinion above all others, but she prefers the old design better. Ah well...I like the new one).

Follow Friday (3)

Follow Friday is hosted over at Parajunkee. This weeks featured blogger is Nicki J Markus. Not only is she a book blogger but a writer as well! The question for this week is:

The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

I have to choose Sabriel from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy. This was a really hard to narrow down, but I did. I think the reason why Sabriel came to the top was she’s the first kick-butt capable heroine I remember reading about. I even remember picking this book up because of the awesome cover. She has a malicious shadow behind her but she doesn’t care. She has bells and swords and she knows how to use them. BEWARE! Plus, Nix’s world building was flawless. Basically I get to have early 19th century technology and attitudes and then I cross The Wall and I get to ride horses and use magic. This is what we call a win-win! AND I’m seriously going to name my first daughter Sabriel. It’s an awesome name. My as-of-yet-non-existent husband has no say in this.

Who would you switch with? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody #2) by Elizabeth Peters

Overall Impression

Source: Library

Challenges: Support Library

Publication Date: Feb. 1988

Short synopsis (Goodreads)Victorian gentlewoman Amelia Peabody Emerson does not relish the joys of home and hearth. For while she and her husband, the renowned archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson, dutifully go about raising their young son, Ramses, Amelia dreams only of the dust and detritus of ancient civilizations. Providentially, a damsel in distress -- coupled with a promising archaeological site -- demands their immediate presence in Egypt. The damsel is Lady Baskerville, and the site is a tomb in Luxor recently discovered by Sir Henry Baskerville, who promptly died under bizarre circumstances. Amelia and Radcliffe arrive to find the camp in disarray, terrified workers, an eccentric group of guests...and a persistent rumor of a ghost on the grounds. Now the indomitable Amelia must battle evil forces determined to stand between her and her beloved antiquities and make her foray into the truth a most deadly affair...

My Review: I started this book with a great deal of trepidation. Usually a story grabs my attention with the action and storyline, but mostly from the tension of a girl and boy falling in love. This is slightly shallow, I’ll admit, but I’ll also admit I love it. Thus, though I found Amelia’s narration to be exceptional and hilarious, she already catches her man (this isn’t a spoiler and you know it) and so where is the tension going to come from for the next books? My fears were wholly unfounded, I am very pleased to report. I actually liked Emerson and Amelia much better as a married couple. Elizabeth Peters deals with the joys of marriage in the most realistic and yet non-specific means possible but really, I giggled way too much with this book. Amelia is in tip top form and I enjoyed getting to know her little family better as well as going along for the ride as she solves yet another mystery.

Random Aside: After getting halfway through this I simply had to watch the Mummy again. It was perfect. Evie, whilst not as competent as Amelia, gave great inspiration. The movie was a lot better done than I remembered, especially considering it was done before 2000. I kind of have gotten snobby about special effects when it comes to movies, even some presently are horribly done, but the Mummy’s effects only added to the overall feel and helped get me more in the mood for archeology, mummy’s and Amelia!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Overall Impression: 

Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Challenges: Debut Author Challenge

Publication Date: May 24th 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.
Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.
Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.
Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.

My ReviewI really like the main characters voice. The cover is what caught my attention first, though it wasn't until I had seen it 10 times or so that I realized the brown thing was a mummy!

Agnes was spunky and fun, has girlish desires (reads Jane Austen, or 'the Lady' as she was known, and wants to find her own Darcy!) but is intelligent to the point of knowing when to cover her intelligence. I like this a lot! The plot was somewhat predictable but still very enjoyable to follow along. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is only the beginning. Things tie up nicely but there is more than enough to work on in future additions to the series (because there will be more....right? right?)

Waiting on Wednesday: The American Heiress

(This adorable button is from Lindsay at the Violet Hour)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Here bloggers share
with others what releases they are most eagerly anticipating. 
This week I have chosen:

Title: THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin (ps- goodreads is hosting a giveaway for this title, so if you haven't already entered, you should!)

Release Date: June 21st, 2011

Reason Chosen: I had heard about this series quite a while ago and it sounded pretty good. THEN, my mom, sister and I got completely hooked on the Masterpiece Theatre production "Downton Abbey" and this book has become a MUST READ! Really excited for this one! (ps- for fans of the series, word on the street is that season 2 will be airing Jan. 2012. A ways to wait, but so happy that they are continuing!!!)

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood #1) by Juliet Marillier

Overall Impression: 

Source: Library

Challenges: Library, Once upon a time

Publication Date: Jan. 2007

Short synopsis (Goodreads)High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.

My Review: Adorable. Juliet Marillier truly is a master story teller. I love almost every single one of her books. For some reason this one never appealed to me until recently but I am so glad that I picked it up. The covers of her books so perfectly set the tone for the worlds that they usher us into. This one is whimsical with a darkness underneath it but goodness that prevails without. I liked how there were aspects of classic fairytale elements, but they didn’t dominate to where this was just another retelling. This is a story all of its own and I loved it!

Apparently this is JM’s young adult series. It did have a slightly lighter feel to it, so the YA made sense, but only after the fact. I have the second in the series and am really excited to start reading it and find out more about this amazing family and the world they thrive in.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Overall Impression: 

Source: Bought

Challenges: Debut Author Challenge

Publication Date: May 3rd 2011

Short synopsis (Goodreads)In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

My Review: Where to start with this fantastic book! While it wasn’t as close to the Hunger Games as making it feel like I was reading the same thing all over again, there were quite a few similarities. The world that Roth created is ruthless, just like the Dystopian world of the Hunger Games. Tris, the main character isn’t your normal girl, she’s a little more detached, more rational and more survival oriented than others. This also reminded me of Katniss. That being said, Divergent is it’s own book.

I was surprised by Tris’s choice of which faction she joined but at least that way she was able to grow and become her own self…and meet Four. This made me very happy. I’m very excited to see where this goes. My sister was furious with me for having her read this book and then having to wait this long for the next in the series. It’s pretty addictive!


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