Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Finds (1)

Welcome to my first ever Friday Finds!

My finds this week are:
FOUND AND BOUGHT: (mainly because they were free/really cheap on kindle and/or looked to be worth reading!)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading in which I will post my favorite finds from this week! It doesn't have to be books I bought or read, just ones I discovered!

Feature & Follow Friday (1)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

This Week's Question...
Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you've read and loved?

Honestly, this was a hard one. I am a major cover whore. But what made it easier was that the cover I picked had to be a cover I loved AND a book I loved. :) So here you go!


by Brandon Sanderson

Just look at it! It's full of fantasy gorgeousness, and that dress is just plain fantastic, along with the colors. THE COLORS.Anyways, this is a fantastic book. I don't usually read every book by an author, but I did for Brandon Sanderson. And this is one of my favorites. The magic system is FRESH and had not been done before, and the characters rocked, and it had a twist, and basically GO FREAKING READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Throwback Thursday (1)

This weekly event is hosted by Take Me Away.

Hey there! Welcome to my first Throwback Thursday post!

Check it out on Goodreads.
Check it out on Goodreads.

This week I chose The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones. She has so many marvelous older YA fantasy novels, but this series was my favorite, especially the first book of the series, Cart and Cwidder (Closely followed by the fourth The Crown Of Dalemark.)

Check it out on Goodreads.
          Check it out on Goodreads

I read this series for the first time when I was 13, and have read it several times sense. Every time I read this series I like it even more. Each of the first three books tells a different story and the fourth brings them all together. Diana Wynne Jones did a fabulous job on this series. The characters are lovable but more importantly, relatable. Sometimes I want to punch them in the face, but that's an important quality in making a character more like a real person. People aren't perfect, so characters shouldn't be either.

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme in which I spotlight a book from my past or one I've wanted to read, one that brings back memories, a classic or a book that not many people know about, etc.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

This awesome weekly event is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
(PS: That's where I got this adorable button!)

Hi! This is my first ever Waiting on Wednesday post! Hope you like it!

The book that I'm most eagerly anticipating at the moment is:

I am FREAKING OUT waiting for this book! I absolutely LOVED the first one! It was so refreshing and fantastically written. And the heroine wasn't gorgeous and perfect and skinny! She was plump and realistic and young. That being said, the changes and growth she makes throughout this novel is absolutely fascinating and satisfying and MAN do I love it! It's seriously one of my new favorite novels lately. AND the magic system and the politics and the world is just so rich! anyways, there's my soap box.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Hi there! First Teaser Tuesday post, here we come!!

City of Lost Souls

The Mortal Instruments Book 5.
by Cassandra Clare

"There were boulders strewn across the plain, like icebergs in an un-moving sea. She scrambled up the rough edge of one, trying to get a better view of the battlefield, but she could make out only the close-pressed bodies, the flash of weapons, and the dark, low-running shapes of wolves among the fighters." 

Anyone can play along!
Just do the following:
~ Grab your current read.
~ Open to a random page
~ Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
~Be careful not to include spoilers!!
~ Share the Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday: In which I post two sentences from a random page of the book I am currently reading.
Hosted by: Should Be Reading

Giveaway Suggestions

When I reach 30 followers on my blog, I've decided that I will have my first giveaway! So tell your friends to come follow!

I'd love suggestions as to what book(s) should be the prize and what format they should be in! Also, I'm pretty crafty and I'm considering making some cool fan-like prizes to throw in as well. (for example, jewelry, clothes, bookmarks, notebooks, etc that have to do with whatever book/series I decide to giveaway!)

So comment with your suggestions! This will help me gauge where your interest lies and what would be the best book(s) to give away! Thanks everyone so much!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Musing Monday (1)

This week’s musing — hosted by Should Be Reading is:

What is the weirdest/strangest/craziest book you’ve read?

See info on Goodreads.

Frozen Fire

by Tim Bowler.

This book was just weird. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it or that it wasn't well written. It was. I liked it. BUT IT WAS STRANGE. Not only was it a little random, there were elements of it that challenged 'okay' topics to talk about (which I normally LOVE) but in this instance it was just out of my comfort zone.
That being said, I liked being out of my comfort zone. It's nice and good for me. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Divergent

I've seen Divergent floating around book blogs, bookstores, and all over campus for quite a while now, but for some reason, I've noticed, it took me quite a while to pick it up. I noticed that this happened with Hunger Games as well. Maybe I have something against post-apocalyptic societies with different regions/sections/districts? Anyways, here is my long-time-coming review for Divergent.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Five Stars.

I've been putting off writing a review for Divergent for quite sometimes simply because I have no idea how to do it justice. I'll admit that I'm fairly easily pleased when it comes to YA novels, but nevertheless it is also quite rare for me to find a book that simple amazes me.

I loved this book. As soon as I finished it I wanted to read it again. The characters are fantastic, the political systems that sections off the city into four factions is very fresh and fascinating, and man alive, I am just in LOVE with the character "Four"!

The factions are Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity and Erudite. Each one has a specific skill set that they demand in the members of their faction. Those who don't fit into any one faction become the 'factionless' which is basically a group of hobos living in the alleyways of town between the factions. Our heroine, Beatrice, or "Tris" begins the book on the day before she is to choose her faction. She can either stay in the faction of her parents, Abnegation, or choose another.

Beatrice has never felt like she really belonged in Abnegation. I loved her character from the very beginning of the book, but throughout the story she not only grows more of a spine and becomes stronger and more determined, but also develops her personality in so many other ways, proving that she is one of the few of the Divergent, that have potential for more than one faction.

One of the things I liked most about Divergent is the lack of real 'magic' or superpowers or anything. Don't get me wrong, I love dragons, vampires and Harry Potter just as much as the next girl, but it's nice to see a YA novel be so utterly fantastic without all of that.
Sure, each of the factions are special in their own way, but they just have an increase of one specific trait, such as intelligence or fearlessness. The 'superheroes' of the story, (AKA the Divergent) have abnormal talent for more than one of the factions and have some other epic skills that make them useful (I won't give any more away, but these 'skills' are without the use of magic or voodoo. :D)

Finally? Four. You'll find out his real name later, but anyways, 'Four' is the steamy hot brooding mysterious and very young member of Dauntless and is one of the trainers of the new Dauntless recruits. He is everything I like in a fictional crush. Drool-worthy, realistically male and sometimes a jerk, secretly super sweet, and with a tragic past. And I'm pleased to relate that this series has NO LOVE TRIANGLE! Hooray!! (Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional love triangle, but I need a break after the last 3 million of them...) Anyways, he's realistic, he makes mistakes, but he's also AWESOME.

This soared above my expectations, which were pretty high in the first place. I totally recommend it to everyone, no matter the age group, gender or genre-preferred. In a nutshell, I really loved the characters, but the well thought out faction system was what really sold it to me, and the plot is fantastic as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Selection.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Four Stars.

In a nutshell, this book takes the show, "The Bachelor" and combines it with a fascinating caste-system society and somehow convinces me to fall in love with it.

It has all the girly touches of aforementioned 'the bachelor' including competing girls, fashion makeovers, plenty of frilly dresses, and dates with the Prince.

The Selection is a contest held by the royalty of the kingdom to select a wife for their son, Prince Maxon. The point of the Selection is that those Selected are chosen from every caste. Even the poor may have a chance to be royalty.

What makes this story fun? The believable love triangle (and believe me, I'm extremely picky about love triangles.) The first member of the love triangle is Aspen, the boy from home that America for whom her love must be kept secret. The other member is Prince Maxon. While determined to hate him as well as everything else associated with the Selection, America finds that under all his royal pride and resolve, Maxon is really just a boy.

What gives this story meat is the terrifying attacks on the palace. The kingdom has many enemies, and these rebels are violent and this thrusts the girls who are Selected very forcefully into the real world and gives them a taste of what they will have to reckon with should they become Princess.

Warning: This book has many, many negative reviews. All I have to say about that is if you go into reading this book with the expectation that this is a fluffly, bachelor-like novel and not expecting any thick plot or rich mystery, but instead accept it for what it is, you will be very pleased. Come on, people, this is supposed to be a fluffy teen book. What did you expect?

Iron Legends Giveaway!

I'm definitely Team Summer Court (Even though I am Team Ash...weird, I know, I know.)

Iron Legends Blog Tour

Go check this out! Each 'court' is giving away a different book and Court Bracelet!

What a great tour! I'm SO excited for Iron Legends. Go enter the giveaways and follow the tour!

Also Upcoming from Julie Kagawa:

I peed my pants a little when I read the sample.... Gah!

On My Shelf: August 23rd

Hi! I'm going to start doing these 'On My Shelf' posts where I will post what I am currently reading, what I have bought and are next in line for me to read, and what I have recently read but have not yet posted reviews on.

Currently Reading:

I'm 1/2 of the way through!
I'm so in love with this series.

About 3 Chapters in.
I've heard good things, but I've also heard that this book is super degrading to women...
I'm a MAJOR feminist, but many of my friends like it, so I decided I'd give the book a chance.... we'll see how it goes!

Just Finished (Yet to review):

Next Up:

Heard amazing things about it, and it was on sale on amazon kindle books. 
I won this on Good reads First Reads giveaway... so excited! Looks to be a lot like Percy Jackson!
This is sitting on my kindle, taunting me....  I LOVED the first one.

And there are like 10 other books I've got waiting on my kindle, but I'll post them on my next On My Shelf post. Thanks! Be sure to comment with any books you've read lately that you recommend: i'm always on the lookout for new books!

REVIEW: Destined (Wings, #4)

I'm really picky about my YA fantasy novels, especially the vampire and faerie variety. That being said, I really enjoyed the Wings series. There are a lot of fae books out there, and I love the science behind being a faerie along with how they matched faerie history with 'real world' history.

Here's my review of Destined.

Destined (Wings, #4) by Aprilynne Pike

Four stars.

What a marvelous ending! I'll admit that my interest in the first three books of the series was only mild, but this book is what really sold it for me. The characters are rich and have REAL development, which includes mistakes, wrong decisions and consequences. The ending of the book is bittersweet but not totally unexpected, and above all things is very realistic. I fell very much in love with this world and reading this conclusion to the series that ties it all together very well was definitely worth it. Even though I didn't love the first three when I read them, I know that going back and reading them again would be even more of a treat than the first time, now that I know all of the wonderful change that takes place.One word of caution, this book is definitely intended for the young adult. If you go into it expecting a great classic piece of literature, you will be disappointed. But if you appreciate this series for what it is, I believe you will fall in love with the characters and the fascinating world presented with its subtle hints of history; including for example King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinivere, along with Oberon from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Nights Dream."

REVIEW: The Golden Lily

First of all: Let me just say that the Vampire Academy series and now Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead reduces me back to being a screaming teen fan girl. I LOVE them. Just had to get that out of the way! Now, here's my review of The Golden Lily. :)

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
's review 
Jun 15, 12  ·  edit

4 of 5 stars false
Read on June 15, 2012 — I own a copy

Wow. What a cliffhanger! This companion series to Vampire Academy is definitely starting to live up to the expectations I had after falling in love with the world of Lissa, Rose and Dimitri. Richelle Mead really builds Sydney's character so much in this book and she is as interesting, if not more so, than any of the others. Looking at her human view of the vampire world is refreshing and interesting. The plot itself was fast paced and even though I was able to guess many of the plot twists before they were revealed, as a young adult novel, I am pleased with how this series is turning out. I'm not a huge fan of companion series as I usually find them to be lacking. But in The Golden Lily there is a healthy amount of the characters from the Vampire Academy series along with delving more deeply into minor characters and allowing growth in characters like Adrian, who had low expectations set upon him in all of the previous books and is now really living up to the sort of change I love to see in characters that makes the worlds of fiction and fantasy so much more realistic.

REVIEW: Unmasking the Face

Unmasking the Face by Paul Ekman
's review 
Jun 29, 12  ·  edit

5 of 5 stars false
Read from June 15 to 29, 2012

I was very pleased with this book. I've been doing a lot of reading on micro-expressions and watching documentaries and tv shows about lie detecting and reading body language, etc, and this book is one of the most helpful resources I've come across so far. Not only is it easy to read, even for those who are completely unfamiliar with micro-expressions or anything related, it covers the basics while not being overly boring for those who are familiar with the subject. Each chapter has very detailed descriptions of the different components to what each universal emotion looks like on the face, with pictures and diagrams to support the facts. They also include circumstances such as using only "fear brows" and how to recognize the different emotions without all the physically displayed facets of the emotion. This novel also included in these chapters the combinations of faces, such as fear-surprise, anger-contempt, or guilt-sadness. The book didn't skip around and had many clear examples. It also had chapters on the science behind this study and the background. Also explained was why this information is useful in everyday life, even for those that aren't scientists, lawyers or law enforcement.

At the end of the book they had faces to test you on how much you learned and supporting chapters on subjects such as reading motives behind emotions, or how micro-expressions are affected by facial deceit.

REVIEW: Don't Breathe A Word

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
's review 
Jul 15, 12  ·  edit

5 of 5 stars false
bookshelves: own-on-kindle
Read from July 11 to 13, 2012

Warning: This review contains some light spoilers.
I don't give books 5 stars very often, but this book was breathtaking. Joy leaves her home and abusive boyfriend to live on the streets and find a homeless boy who once offered to help her. Being homeless, while completely different than she imagined, was still better than what she left behind.
This book blew me away. The characters are rich, full and realistic. They make mistakes, do stupid things, feel fear and embarrassment and all other sorts of genuine qualities. The main character, Joy, is very true to character in the way that she plays the part of a victim trying to break free of her abuser. She is very lovable and heartbreaking. I wanted her to be happy so very much.
Alert: This book is pretty graphic. It mentions a lot of drug and alcohol use along with rape, violence and self-injury. There are a lot of swear words and this is raw in the way that it portrays the world of living on the streets and gives us a solid look into the terrifying reality that too many people in our world face.
The ending of this book was perfect for me. It was realistic, but still had enough touches of fairy tale ending to please the squealing little girl I have inside of me.
Fantastic work, Holly. I'll definitely read more of your books.