Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just Checking In!

It's no secret by now that I'm definitely not the most consistent of bloggers.  I work, I do schoolwork, I read when I can, which has happened more frequently here lately, but I just haven't had the motivation to write.  I've thought about writing reviews for each of the books I've read, but a passing thought has all it's been. 

I also know that when I write, the writing is mainly for myself.  By no means is this a complaint, I write for the fun of it, and as a way to get the thoughts out of my jumbled brain after I read a book.  I am completely grateful to those who occasionally stop by and comment, or just stop by to read a review before moving on to the next thing in their busy day.  It is highly likely that no one will even read this or has even noted my absence, and that is completely A-OKAY.  I'm horrible at keeping up with stuff at times, and blogging is obviously one of them. 

Anyways... just last week I had a GREAT idea for an original story, or so I think.  I'd like to start jotting my ideas down on paper but I find it all so overwhelming and I have no clue where to even start.  I'm also afraid that I'll start writing and eventually stop without finishing it.  But it seems like such a great story idea!  Anyone have any extra motivation lying around to help me get a jump start?  I can bake, I'll pay you back with yummy cookies.  *sigh* One day, one day I'll get it started.  To write a novel, even if its just for myself, would be an amazing accomplishment for an avid reader such as myself. 

Well, it seems I've rambled on long enough.  I've got a review on a book that needs to be written.  This one I HAVE to write because its the sequel to the last book I reviewed.  Well, I don't have to, but it would be nice to share my thoughts on this one.

Until next time, bookworms,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: The Raven Boys

Book being reviewed: The Raven Boys
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

I just want to start off by saying that I am undoubtedly impressed by this book.  It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Mrs. Stiefvater's Shiver.  I remember being bored with it and couldn't grasp that reader connection we all hope for in a book.  With The Raven Boys, however, I had an undeniable connection as a reader.

There are so many detailed aspects to this book.  The characters themselves were so well thought of and brought to life with so much detail, and each and every single one of them were completely different from one another.  This is saying a lot, since there are TON of characters you come to know within the story.

I enjoyed getting to know characters like Blue, Adam, Gansey, Noah, and even Ronan at times.  Even though Ronan scared me, he's still a character that has much more to him and we have yet to see exactly what it is.  Every character had their strengths and weaknesses pointed out in many ways, which gave way to so much detail about them.  And one aspect that I truly enjoyed was, despite all their differences, they all had so much love for one another and showed it earnestly in anyway each one of them knew how.   Even Ronan, who acted like he could care less about anything in the world, showed he cared in his own way.

This could just be my own personal observation, but one thing I noticed in Shiver that I also noticed in The Raven Boys is Maggie Stiefvater's unique style of writing.  I didn't particularly care for it in Shiver, I thought it was odd, but it fit with this novel.  Some authors like to incorporate humor in their writing, and Mrs Stiefvater does but hers is a dry type of humor.  You either get it or you don't, you either think it's funny or it isn't.  I found myself laughing periodically through the book. 

As much detail as there was in the book, there's still so much mystery that has yet to be discovered.  The Raven Boys gave you enough to keep you hooked through the book, but now I'm itching to get my hands on the The Dream Thieves to get one step closer to unlocking the mystery that is The Raven Cycle series.

Might I add, thank you to those book buddies of mine who insisted I read this book!  You were right, The Raven Boys is a great book!

Raven Boys fan signing out,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: Switched

Book being reviewed: Switched
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.
Possibly 3.5 owls.
I can't make up my mind, as usual.

 When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

Switched is truly an interesting read.  I took an entire Saturday and blew right through this book.  Some would say I wasted the day away, but did I?  I think not. This book was worth it.

The book revolves around mythical creatures known as Trolls, or the Trylle as they prefer to call themselves.  Rather than being the ugly creatures we've come to know, the Trylle in Switched are stunningly beautiful.  They have a hierarchy system with the Queen being the head honcho, and the higher you are up on that system the more powers you'll likely have.  Now, where the Trylle are similar to the ugly Trolls of legends, they take from others to gain for themselves without remorse.  They switch out their own babies with a baby born in a rich human family, which is how they make their money.  It's evil and they have no respect for their human counterparts at all.

The lead female in the book, Wendy Everly, was a girl I enjoyed getting to know.  In some ways she was your typical teenage girl, like the ones we've come to know in most paranormal YA novels, but the girl knew how to throw a punch.  Literally.  She wasn't afraid to fight to defend herself, and she didn't back down from a fight by expecting everyone else to save her.  Of course she had her Trylle gift of persuasion, but that wouldn't necessarily come in handy during a hand-to-hand fight when Wendy still doesn't quite understand everything about her gift. 

Wendy always knew something wasn't right with her as she grew up, she never fit in anywhere and she could never connect to the other humans around her.  Her "mother" tried to kill her when she was six simply because she knew Wendy wasn't her daughter.  The only two people in her life that accepted Wendy unconditionally was her Aunt and her brother Matt.  Then Finn came along and completely turned Wendy's world upside-down.  He introduced her to a whole knew world, and deep down, Wendy knew that's where she belonged.  She had to choose between staying with her Aunt and Brother, or go with Finn and find out who she was born to be. 

I absolutely adored Finn.  Being very mysterious, yet never being able to tell a lie to Wendy because he promised her he wouldn't, he was always so sweet and very considerate of her.  To be honest, I have having a difficult time finding a flaw in him.  Anything he did that irritated me always had to do with what he thought was best for Wendy, I couldn't very well stay irritated with him because of it.  Very swoon-worthy, for sure.

This book was all over the place, but in a good way.  The plot flowed easily enough, it just seemed to jump around a lot.  Usually I don't like reading a book like this because the jumping around can leave a lot of holes, but it worked.  Somehow.  And my reasoning behind the possible 3.5 owls is because I didn't like where the book ends.  You know we've all been there, not liking the way a book ends.  And now I'm itchin' to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next.  With that aside, truthfully, Switched was a very entertaining read, and I would easily recommend it to any of you paranormal YA lovers.

Have you read Switched?  What did you think?

From one book lover to another,
happy reading,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pity Party Time

The last month and a half or so of my life has been complete chaos. 
Complete and utter insanity.
Do you believe me? 
Well, let me 'splain.

I have cared for 5 kids that are all under the age of 10,
and two of those are toddlers.
I know, I've lost my mind.
But I love them all dearly.
Most of the time.
This would be me at least once a day.
 I have also had to cook, do laundry, and clean up after 
said kids, all while being tied down
with a pile of school work during
the summer semester. 
It is just shy of 8:30 PM right now and
I can hardly keep my eyes open,
but I still have schoolwork to get done
for the night. 

 Do you know what all of this means?
I have had no time to read my beloved books!
Perfect example being the two library books that
I just very recently renewed to keep for THE
SECOND TIME, which means this is my
last two weeks to keep them.
I am not a happy camper over this.
Nope, not at all.

On a lighter note, my wonderful boyfriend and I
adopted a kitty cat over the weekend from the humane society.
He's a little fireball and tends to walk into walls,
but he's sweet and the kids love him.
So I'm going to close out here and try to
wrangle in our little Patches to come snuggle
with me while I do some homework.

Share the love,
read a book for me,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Override (Glitch #2)

Book being reviewed: Override
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.


Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. She is finally free, but she is far from safe.

Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor's control. Challenges abound at every turn, and Adrien, who has become silent, distant, and tormented by his visions of the future, only adds to the growing certainty of defeat. But worst of all, as Zoe's team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation.

Full of high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Heather Anastasiu's Override is an exciting continuation of this popular young adult trilogy.

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I was pleasantly surprised with this one!  After having read Glitch and not liking it as much as I had hoped,  Override made up for everything that the first book was lacking.  

The story did start off a little slow, but eventually picked up after awhile and I couldn't put the book down.  One part of the book I really liked is Zoe's character and the role that she plays.  She's such a strong female, even in the times when she think thinks of herself as weak.  She lives through half of the book thinking that she can't live up to the image of this heroine that every sees her as being, mostly because she had no control over her telekinesis powers because they terrified her.  Finally, halfway through the book, she learns to control her telek powers by reigning in her fear.  I really enjoyed reading that part of the book where Zoe is mentally challenging herself to gain control over her power and let go of the fear that has control over her. 

One aspect I could never quite understand is how with all the amazing technology that's been developed, how could Chancellor Bright never exactly pinpoint the location of the Foundation?  I understand that anyone who has visited the place could never remember anything about it due to Simin's unintentional power of making people forget everything when they're around him, but it seemed like there could have been a way outside of the Foundation.  With all the immense technology and endless amenities that the Chancellor had control over, it seemed like she could have found a way to locate the Foundation and ultimately Zoe.  Maybe it's just me, but I felt that because there was so much intrigue detail to all the technology, there could possibly have been a lot room for gaps within the story.  And Zoe being Linked when she went to sleep every night, wouldn't that have been a way to track her down?  That question might have been addressed in Glitch and I just don't remember, but it's something I asked myself often while reading Override.  This is probably just me being critical and looking too deep into it.  I've always been the person who constantly looks for holes in the story and questions the what-if's and whatnot, but that didn't make me enjoy the book any less!

The part when Max switches himself with Adrien after the task force's first mission, I wouldn't exactly call it predictable, but I knew immediately Max was using his power to pretend to be Adrien the night of their date.  I could tell by Max-pretending-to-be-Adrien's reaction (wow, isn't that a mouthful?) that his conscience was weighing on him.  He couldn't bring himself to do anything sexually with Zoe because he knew it was wrong.  This is the point where I actually do believe Max when he told Zoe he was truly sorry for what he had done.  As Zoe always wanted to believe in the good in Max during the first part of the book, I will continue to believe in that good now.  Zoe has every right to be angry with Max's betrayal, but I believe that if Max were truly evil he wouldn't have stopped Zoe and would have continued doing "the deed".  I really do think that Max loves Zoe, and I also believe he's going to play a bigger and better part in the next book.  I hope, anyways.

I think I've covered all the points I wanted to bring up in my review.  I will say that I am now excited for Shutdown, the third book in the series.  And I would recommend this series to any dystopian fan who enjoys a little sci-fi kick thrown in the mix.

Until next time,
happy reading, fellow book nerds,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted
by The Broke and the Bookish is
about the top ten favorite book covers
of books you've read.

I love this topic.
I'm a sucker for an eye-catching
cover, even if I didn't necessarily
enjoy the book.

1. Switched
I just recently read this one.
I picked it up while grocery shopping one day.
The cover really caught my eye on the shelves
as I walked by.  Great book!

2.  The Storyteller
Another book I just recently read.
I picked this one up at the library simply
because I liked the cover art.  The rose
and the frost seemed like a beautiful
image to me. 

3. Incarnate
Impressive, no?
I thought this cover was absolutely stunning.

4. Everneath
The combination of red and black really POP
on this one.  I think this particular shade of
red is a beautiful color. 

5. Entwined
The dress, I want that dress!
Even though I'd never wear it,
but still....

6. Die for Me
I think it's obvious that I love the
color red.  Or maybe red dresses.
Maybe both.  
I can never make up my mind.

7. Hourglass
I thought the way the girl was depicted
on this cover was quite interesting.
She seems to be standing upright, but
her dress and hair make you want to 
turn the book to the side and
view it that way.  Then you
realize she's walking on the wall.
Makes you want to read the
book to find out more, doesn't it?

8. Wither
This cover is really pretty,
even if the book wasn't that great.

9. The Body Finder
Simple, yet stunning.

10. Hush, Hush
This one is obviously eye-catching.
So are the other covers to the books that
follow in the series.

Until next week,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

When I love a book....

The other day I got to thinking, after having read book
 #1298047555478927895 at this point in my 
life, what criteria must a book have in order for me to personally
give a rating of 5 owls for a review here or 5 stars on Goodreads? 
 I know most literary hot-shots wouldn't agree with me, but
here's a list of clues that tell me if I LOVE a book or not:

1. 24 hours or less!
Basically.  And I also have a minor obsession with e-cards.
If I pick up a flippin' book at the beginning and I'm so consumed by the story that I'm done reading within 24 hours or less, I know I loved the book.  I'll miss sleep, miss meals, forget about whatever chores need to be done in the house, all because I cannot stop thinking about this book and the need to finish it.  I know all of you bookworms have been there, and I also know that at least one of those books that have had a similar impact on you has just popped into your head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but that book is probably considered one of your favorites.  

2. The Book Hangover
The beloved and equally dreaded Book Hangover.  This one goes right along with the first.  It's that empty yet full feeling you get once you finish a book. You feel full because you've taken in everything that was written from cover to cover and you feel like your life was forever changed by the book.  Then there's the empty feeling of wishing you could take it all back and read the book over again just to experience all those emotions that you felt.
I know I've clutched a book while having that same look on my face.

3. I become demanding
I immediately demand that my book buddies read the same book I loved so we can swap thoughts.
This is me while waiting for a friend to read a book I loved.  Creepy?  Yes.  But they still love me.

I'm always ready to gush about whatever book I fell in love with, and I can be such a whiner when no one else has read it.  Plus, I can also be a fairly impatient person when waiting for a friend to finish a book I loved.  Are these negative qualities to have?  Negatron, my friend.

 4. Must. Read. The. Sequel.
I need to read the sequel.  NOW.
 If there is a sequel to the book, I'll forget about whatever book I had next on my reading list and place the sequel on hold at the library to read next.  For example: the Twilight books, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Bronze Horseman, The Moral Instruments, these are all books I greedily devoured once I started reading the first book in the series.  I know there's more, those were just the ones that popped into my mah head first.  

5. Was the connection there?
One of the most important aspects of any book that every reader looks for is that connection you feel with the characters and the story.  You know the one, the connection that makes you feel as if you've literally jumped into the pages of the book and you're living out the story yourself.  Call me crazy, but when I feel that super connection I almost believe the characters are real because you want them to BE real.   
Exactly my point.

There are probably more that could be added to my list, these are
just the first examples that came to me when I decided
 to write this post.  I'm sure I'll be kicking meself in the
arse later because I forgot to add one.

So, what do you do when you read a book you love?
How do you feel?
How does a book make the cut for your favorites list?
Comment below and share them with me!

Stop lurky lurkin' and comment!
From one book lover to another,