Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Publisher: Ace (September 3, 2008)
Age Group: Adult 18+
Pages (Mass Paperback): 292
Series: Sookie Stackhouse* 1
Source: Bought
ISBN-13: 978-0-441-01699-0
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
*Originally: Southern Vampire Mysteries

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. Then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome--and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting for all her life...

But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire with a bad reputation. He hands with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of--big surprise--murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next...

Having watched True Blood before reading this book, I struggled with interest in it because it was as if the show had been ripped right off the pages, most of it word for word. I pushed through the lack of interest to realize that there were elements of the show that I loved and the book left out the ones that I were uninteresting (Note: If you are going from the show to reading, there is no drug usage).

The first thing that stood out in Harris' writing was her ability to convey voice. The creation of Sookie Stackhouse's first person was done phenomenally well. It really gives the appropriate mood and draws you into the setting of the backwards Louisiana town it is set in. There was not a moment where Sookie's voice flawed.

Sookie is a solid character that is able to interact with slew of amazing support characters including Sam, Bill, and Eric Northman. Her "disability" is shut down with her interactions with them and she is really able to shine as her own person. Set in the first person, at the point in the series, we have not had the opportunity to really understand and construct ideas of the support characters other than Bill.

As an adult read, this book provides detailed, not obscenely graphic, but rather short adult love scenes, As a paranormal romance reader, I thought this book would take the turn the show takes and be heavy on the "romance" but rather, it is more geared as a mystery in the book setting. I was disappointed though; when it came to solving the clues and putting the pieces together of the murderer, Harris doesn't provide a lot of points to go on other than finger-pointing at Jason, Sookie's brother. This leads to an unbelievable end to the book because there was no reason to suspect who was really behind the idea. This left me feeling unfulfilled in terms of a suspenseful mystery.

If you are an adult fan of Twilight and paranormal romance, this book comes highly recommended due to the uncanny similarities of mind readers, "shields", human-vampire love, one of them fighting the weirdness of the relationship, the other "love" interest, etc.

Rating out of 5:
Please disregard any inconsistencies you may notice in the coming reviews.
I am working on a new template.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

This week wasn't anything especially glamorous; I picked up two books from the library and that is it for this week.

I just finished reading The Iron King and it is a fantastic read with a great story and such profound characters that I couldn't help but snag these two off the shelves; it was the first time I had seen The Iron Daughter available and since they just happened to be together, might as well!

Be sure to let me know what you got in your mailbox!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fantastic TV Spots

The days until the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 release are dwindling; we are at 20 and counting! Full blown trailers have ended but they are releasing new television spots that are new snippets of the movie with new elements and commentary from the characters as well as what is said to be the Grey Lady; we haven't had ghost interaction since Chamber of Secrets! This movie will be, and I revert back to my favorite word, PHENOMENAL! ((More videos behind the cut!))

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday (7)

In addition to First Impressions Friday, I take part in the blog hop Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.

In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...
Let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale 
or story that revolves around the fae?

This is a pretty interesting question. I don't know much about the fae lore though it has always appealed to me. I'm sure there are lots of selections I know about and don't realize are fae but right now I am reading The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and it is a great collection of the tales from A Midsummer's Night Dream and so far it has been a spectacular read!

First Impressions Friday (8)

First Impressions is a meme hosted here at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

Pottermore details were announced yesterday and on the site are some screenshots of the things that are to come with the website. Take a look.

I truly believe that this can give a unique spin on the reading expereince depending on the way it is implemented. From the feel of the Hogwarts Express shot, it has a setup that is similar to those found on the Special Features of the DVD; very linear exploration or game play. JK Rowling said that she has new and extra material that she has been holding away for something like this to come along and I cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeve so I will definitely try to get an early pass to the site, but for now, I am not quite sure how unique this will be.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Recently, J.K. Rowling set up a site called Pottermore that for nearly a week directed you to a digital countdown, counting the days until her biggest announcement of what Pottermore is and actually will be.

Pottermore has now been officially announced as a unique addition to an online reading experience built for all ages around the reading of the Harry Potter books.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. ...

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first  book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup. ...
J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.

J.K. Rowling commented,“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years,and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.” -excerpt from the press release

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Goodreads | Amazon

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (April 5, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 424
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 4)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9781442403543
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most important of all - Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare. She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever...

This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.

I am an avid fan of The Mortal Instruments; in the series, Clare develops a shadow set world where all matter of supernatural creatures exist in a haggard attempt at peace. In this installment, that thin layer of peace between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters is tried and tested as the world of the vampires is thrown into a civil battle and someone is after the blood of Shadowhunters.

Overall, I thought that this book picked up intensely from the events in the City of Glass that were left obscure and unsettled. As we begin to watch the plot unfold, it is a deep and interesting point and climax to the book and the unsettling mystery that has drifted through the story. However, and to refrain from spoilers, I will simply say the ending the plot was a little too simple. How were two teenage Shadowhunters and a Vampire really able to pull that off? I think it was powerful and illustrated the significance of inner power, but it was just a little on the impossible side.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed this book but compared to the others in the series, it was not the thrill ride I was prepared for. In the first three books, every time you thought you were settled into the story, another twist and another turn were thrown at you, keeping you at the very edge of excitement and page-turning. But that wasn't the case for this book, the plot was linear until the end, vamping up the setup for the next book, City of Lost Souls.

I also felt that there was too much of a focus on the relationship between Jace and Clary. I admit that it is a hot blossoming romance but there are so many other couples and so many more story plots that could have been introduced if we weren't always thrown back to the (hot) almost-sex scenes of these two. Jordan's introduction was strong and well planned and made for a great addition to the TMI cast; he helped to expand on Mia and all the intricacies of the support characters including Simon, a focused character in this book. But then we go back to Jace to realize that he hasn't changed throughout the series, he hasn't grown as all the characters have. He still finds withdrawal his safest place and still refuses to fully accept Clary they way she deserves and craves.

Rating out of 5:

A Need So Beautiful Release & Trailer

Released yesterday, June 21, is the first book in a new YA angel series, A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young from Balzer & Bray. Rumor has it in the blog world that this book is a phenomenal and heart-wrenching read and I can't wait to get my hands on it! Check out the synopsis and official book trailer!

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

I bought...

After reading The Hunger Games when I checked it out of the library, I was immediately hooked and wanted to read Catching Fire but I was in a pickle because there were over 40 people in line! So with a giftcard in hand to Joseph-Beth Booksellers, I went in search of Catching Fire...only to find out it was out of stock from the publishers and the only copies were available in the box set. I went on a wild ride of "Should I buy the whole set? But I wanted Girl in the Steel Corset...but Catching Fire..." in the end I bought it to the pleasant surprise of being 20% off! With the gift card taken into consideration, I got the whole set for cheaper than 1 book!

From the library...

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
Red Glove by Holly Black
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

I really only intended to check out the remaining Forest of Hands and Teeth books to fill my dystopian need but when all these other great titles are just there, how could I say no?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday (6)

In addition to First Impressions Friday, I take part in the blog hop Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.

Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre?
Which book in that genre made it your favorite?

That is really a tough decision. I would have previously said Fantasy for all the Harry Potter glory and my obsession over it...Then I would have moved into saying paranormal because I LOVE VAMPIRES (I don't mean sparklepires even though I enjoy Twilight)...and now I could say dystopia because of Wither or The Hunger Games or Divergent...in the end I would say it is a tie with Paranormal and Dystopia.

With much more ease I can say my least favorite genre is Chick Lit.

And note...I am just in love with ellipses today... ... ... totally...

First Impressions Friday (7)

First Impressions is a meme hosted here at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

So I know that I have been "impressioning" on Harry Potter quite often lately but let's face it, every new release makes me that much more excited because they are each that much more phenomenal which means that the movie will be the cinematic event of a lifetime...and I'm watching it in IMAX.

This is the last trailer before the release of the movie on July 15th and it is...did I already use phenomenal...I need another word...PHENOMENAL! After the roller coaster of excellence and failures I feel the Harry Potter Movie adventure has been, this will be a...PHENOMENAL...ending to a mind-blowingly magical saga.

In the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I felt devoid and robbed of epic battle but with this, I finally feel I will get it all in all of its JK Rowling glory. It is going to be great and you will be missing out if you don't see this one in theaters!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veroinca Roth

Divergent by Veronia Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 3, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 487
Series: Divergent Trilogy Book 1
Source: Gifted to own
ISBN-13: 9780062024022
Genre: Dystopian

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.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 


A lot of times, the excellence that is Divergent, is compared to its 2008 predecessor The Hunger Games. Having never read The Hunger Games, I was able to give Divergent its ability to wow me own its own, with no competition and it set an amazing standard. This book was artfully crafted to give you a fully created Dystopian Chicago setting in a world where true human nature is always prevalent.

In Divergent, Roth has created an immense set of sound and solid characters including the main heroine Tris, the male protagonist Four, and a slew of other support characters. The depth and connection that Roth provides to these characters is miraculous and fine tuned to include a beautiful array of personal and familial details. 

The concept of the Divergent is unique and one that helps round out the idea of the factions that she has created for the founding of the society. The society forces each person to look deep within themselves to fit into a model, a cookie cutter, of their personality and be manipulated into world peace but this book clearly and intelligently illustrates that that is not always possible and adds a realistic feel with the play on humanity.

The plot of this book was riveting; there was actually a point when I could not put it down. I understand a lot of people say that quite often but I say it with the utmost honesty. Once I was thrown into the whole plot of the book and the excitement built towards the climax, my heart was racing for Tris and I could not physically put it down because I had to know what was coming and by the end of the book I was exhausted. I felt like I had been on a nail-biting roller coaster for the thrill this book gave me.

Rating out of 5:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hourglass Release & Trailer

Releasing today is new supernatural YA debut: Hourglass by Myra McEntire is hitting the shelves today, June 14 from Egmont. This book has already had flooded the blog world with amazing reviews and I cannot wait to check it out! Check out the synopsis and official book trailer!

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

I bought...

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

I won...

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Thank you, Wendy from the Minding Spot!

I happened to stumble into Joseph-Beth Booksellers unknowingly during their Kid's Bargin Book Blowout! I got Pretties to match Uglies that I bough a little while ago, and Hush, Hush for $3 a piece. They had some great selections starting at $1.50 and I browsed it all but decided not to buy series seconds unless I had the first which ended in the best interest for my pocket!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday (5)

In addition to First Impressions Friday, I take part in the blog hop Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.

The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says 
"You & your favorite [book] character can switch places!" 
Who are you going to switch with?

What a tough decision. My answer for a while has been Bella Swan. I know that she is emo and has had her rough moments but I have always been so swooned by the deep and eternal love that she shares with Edward. The fact that she gets to have it all, the beautiful baby, the loving husband, vampire glory, and pretty strong and sound mental capabilities is all a pretty nice package. She also serves to be the part of the bridge between natural enemies. It also comes with more perks like driving a Mercedes Guard or a Porsche 911...who wouldn't want that?

First Impressions Friday (6)

First Impressions is a meme hosted here at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

The Breaking Dawn P1 Official Trailer

I will admit to being a big Twilight fan. Edward graces one of the walls surrounding my desk full out with the Edward Barbie Doll & aluminum water canteen...really. My biggest concern about the movie after reading a statement by Kristen Stewart (in EW) that the love scene wasn't "vampire-y" I thought I was going to be disappointed. Stephanie Meyer was writing some great "adult" scenes that never had the chance to flourish in a YA setting and in my love of paranormal romance, they were scenes I was really excited to see on the big screen; with the anecdote out of the way, I will admit to ACTUALLY SQUEALING when he cracks the headboard. No seriously, it's true, I made a fangirl noise! And I may accidentally make one every time I watch it.

Aside from all of that and my glorified profession of Team Edward, I think this movie looks phenomenal; so far it looks like it has all the aspects the book has to offer and that I might not have to sit in the mind of an angry teenage wereboy, and that is a good thing. I'm interested to see how the P1 will end and leave the entrance for P2, I can only imagine her waking as a vampire to be the only point to do so.

Is he getting married in the sun!?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Publisher: Razorbill (September 21, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 343
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9781595143372
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

This book has the dark theme of infant children being snatched at birth with a nonhuman "replacement" left in its wake. We are immediately introduced to Mackie Doyle who is significantly different from his human counterparts from his pale skin to his dark eyes and his overall level of freak. Yovanoff did a great job at the alienation that Mackie experiences when everyone, including himself, knows he is different.

When Tate's sister is presumed dead, Tate forces Malcom to tell her the truth and what he finds out is more truth about himself and suddenly we're thrown into the welcoming plot of the underground paranormal existence that thrives beneath the slag heap. We find out that the town of Gentry isn't as pleasant as it first seems; its past is dark and its a typical setup for the town that thrives in the middle-of-nowhere when all the other towns falter and fizzle. The truth of what happens to the infants is revealed and Mackie, the exception replacement, finds the strength to fight against it.

The plot takes us on an adventure through monsters, plotting, fun, and more until a most predictable and not quite exciting ending. The story was compelling until the finale left me feeling like it ended to easily; it was all set for something epic but it fizzled just like the outlying towns of Gentry. The remaining characters were well constructed and I loved The Morrigan possibly more than any other character; fun and lively this support character had a blossoming personality and a strength about her throughout the story. "She" felt much more well rounded than Tate or any of Mackie's friends with a deep connected history to Mackie.

The one thing that could have been answered with more clarity was what a replacement actually is; we know they do not typically survive, but what are they and why are they cast offs? And if it is assumed they are not to survive, as we expereince with Tate's sister's replacement, why leave them at all?

Favorite Quote:

"I love you, and when I tell you goodbye, I don't mean forever or for long. Just that I'm going home now, and so are you." - The Morrigan

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Reality of YA (Saves)

If you didn't know, the Wall Street Journal published an article demonizing YA literature. In response, the YA community and supporters surged Twitter taking it to the top of trending topics and voice their opinions that #YASaves.

It is hard to deny the point that a lot of YA lit does cover dark material but the point is that these are still issues that teens face in these days.

In Jackie Morse Kessler's gruesome but inventive 2011 take on a girl's struggle with self-injury, "Rage," teenage Missy's secret cutting turns nightmarish after she is the victim of a sadistic sexual prank. "She had sliced her arms to ribbons, but the badness remained, staining her insides like cancer. She had gouged her belly until it was a mess of meat and blood, but she still couldn't breathe." Missy survives, but only after a stint as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. - WSJ article

These issue books  reach out to children and teens who may feel that they don't have another way; they provide a sense of hope and support that it is possible to overcome the agony, the strife, the hatred. Just because they encompass a story in dazzling tales of sparkling vampires or worlds ravaged by war doesn't mean that the message isn't the same: You are not alone.

When you face such dark and difficult times, it seems that where you turn to for help you hear only what they think it is you want to hear and not the truth; not what helps and that is what YA provides for teens who are reading. YA faces a lot of the issues the rest of the world refuses to address or acknowledge; Libba Bray's words ring true:

I genuinely believe that these articles are hurtful, that they goad banners & keep much-needed books out of the hands of the teens who should be reading them. Books are, at their heart, dangerous. Yes, dangerous. Because they challenge us: our prejudices, our blind spots. They open us to new ideas, new ways of seeing. They make us hurt in all the right ways. They can push down the barricades of “them” & widen the circle of “us” And when one feels alone–say, because of a terrible burden of a secret, something that creates pain and isolation, books can heal, connect That’s what good books do. That’s what hard books do. And we need them in the world. -- Series of tweets from Libba Bray

I cannot wait to read Rage because I've been there. I was that teenager and someone else, a girl 17 close to my heart, is there now. These books are more than that; they're great stories that encourage teens to continue reading to continue reaching out. YA helped propel me into a world of reading with its vivid descriptions and characters I could relate to and things that existed only in my happy place like magic. Whether it is the mean girls in high school, GLBT, or eating disorders, YA reaches out and helps, but it lets you escape for just a minute and that minute may be all you need to save your life.

Do you think we just make this stuff up? The darkest parts of my books came directly from my teenage life. - Tweet from Holly Black to WSJ

But if you walk into a bookstore and see only negativity lurching out at you from every angle in the YA section, you should really open your eyes because there is so much more to YA lit than a dark reality...did I mention they were still great stories?

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

I won...
The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
I won this from Colloquium!

I Bought...
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Crave by Melinda Metz & Laura Burns

From the Library...
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

When I visited the Half Priced Used Book Store for their Memorial Day Sale (20% off!), I happened to spot Crave off the bat and seeing that it is my recent new love, I of course had to have it. I may have pulled some things that were not in proper shopping etiquette but that lady didn't seem interested! And with 20% off how could I resist getting some other titles I have been wanting to read?! You're right, I couldn't!

My public library summer reading program (which I may blog about later) started this week and when I stopped to grab a reading log, I spotted Silver Phoenix and COULDN'T let it sit there; not when I am so eager to read it! And I have to admit that I wasn't prepared to receive The Hunger Games, I was 27th in line for it but they have so many copies it only took about a week!

Thanks again, Colloquium!

Be sure to let me know what you got in your mailbox! 

PS. Due to the recent events I recently explained and the fact that I have ended up sick, even though this was a vlog worthy haul, its a picture this week!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer & The City Winner

Thank you for everyone that helped make my first giveaway spectacular! The winner has already been drawn and confirmed! Check back later this summer for another giveaway!


Valia from Words are Things

Friday, June 3, 2011

Announcement: The Blogger

The best thing about blogging is that there is someone real behind the blog. In that sense, blogging is personal and we always strive to remind bloggers to blog for themselves. So, I'm stealing a moment away from books to explain the delay in reviews.

I know that I post them slowly, but I do strive for once a week at least. All the same, yesterday I had decided to do my review for The Replacement when I returned home from work. I left my laptop on the couch as always with some tabs still open and I locked the door behind my boyfriend and we left for work.

I came home a few hours later and found my door busted in and through the screen door, I noticed immediately that my laptop was missing. Approximately, half an hour after I left for work, someone broke into my home stealing my new laptop, tore my jewlery box apart stealing my grandmother's ring and my boyfriend's grandfather's ring, with a handful of other important pieces. They also managed to steal an old wallet, thankfully it was not the one my credit cards or SS cards or anything like that was in.

It was devastating but I know that it could be much worse. In truth, the thief was so hasty he threw my pearl necklace and earrings into the floor so I was able to salvage them while cleaning his mess. But all the same, it has left me (and coupled with the emergency that I had last Friday) mentally and emotionally exhausted. I have spent so long cleaning to get his presence out of my house but one room is finished and I am thankful that he left our desktop computers. So right now, I'm in the paranoid and frantic phrase and it is mildly draining; I have this next week off so I am resting; my support system has been so strong for me in this and that is helpful so this is my thanks to everyone.  ♥

Follow Friday (4)

In addition to First Impressions Friday, I take part in the blog hop Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.

What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse
and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? 
(Both of which could be terrifying.) 

Oh the discussions that I have had considering what would happen in the event of the zombie apocalypse.I would love to think that I would be the one with the semi-automatic that makes it to the safe zone all the while finding great places to hole out and restock but in essence, I figure I would be tagging along so hard to my boyfriend's back that he probably can't breathe and I am sobbing uncontrollably. I have recently come to admit that I am a freak-outer. Yep. As for Mel Gibson, I might actually brave the waters, we would just have to see about that one.

What about you? Will you brave the insatiable will of the zombies or the *shudder* that is Mel Gibson?

First Impressions Friday (5)

First Impressions is a meme hosted here at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

The cover for Julie Kagawa's The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) was released this week!

This is the first book to feature a male face on the cover. It is also very in line with the look and feel of the other covers in the series and the blue is a beautiful shade. Of the three covers, this color is absolutely my favorite. I am pretty vain, I do love a pretty cover and this is just so easy to look at. And the color of is his eyes and the intensity just set of the whole mood. I have The Iron King (Book 1) in my TBR pile at the moment so I cannot comment on the book, but as always, I can admire a beautiful cover. This cover is followed in the series closely by The Iron Daughter as the series best. The Passage books that are included in their series have a similar feel but their own style and aren't considered.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

RAK: May Wrap Up

During my first month of participating in Random Act of Kindness hosted by Book Soulmates, I received one book from my best friend. I am so happy to have this, it just made my day absolutely spectacular, I am very grateful!

Random Act of Kindness is a way for book bloggers to just make someone's day by surprising them with a book they have been dieing to get. Sometimes, this world is so depressing when you think about all the cold and selfishness that is within it, this is a chance for us to beat it down and spread happiness and a love for reading. Created by Isalys and Vanessa at Book ♥ Soulmates and restarts and is open to new participants every month. 

• Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
• Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
• Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Some items from the full wishlist are:

    Book Soulmates
  • City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  • Wither by Laura DeStefano
  • The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  • Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
  • Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
  • Starcrossed by Jospehine Angelini
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Thank so much for your thoughts and remember that books always make a bibliophile's day!