November 29, 2012

A Variety of Books to Give as Christmas Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner and I'm sure your Christmas shopping has begun! Here is a list of some great books you can give as Christmas gifts. Even many non-readers will like these awesome books! Who doesn't want to give the gift of a good book for Christmas? 

Most of these I have read, or I have heard great things about them from family and friends.

To make shopping even easier, if you click the title of the book it will bring you to the Barnes and Noble website in case you want to find out more about the book or purchase it!

Book Gift Ideas for:

The Kids:
The Twilight and True Blood Fan:
The Mother:
The Inquisitor:
    The Romantic:
    The Harry Potter Fan:
    The How I Met Your Mother Fan:
    The Young Adult:
      The Religious/Spiritual:
      The Girly Girl:
        The Dog Lover:
        The Gamer:  
          The Mysterious:
          The History Buff:
          The Comedian:
          The Bride to Be:
          • Vision in White by: Nora Roberts
            • Four childhood friends run a wedding planning company and the first book in this four part series focuses on Mac, the photagrapher, and her story of the fairy tale romance.                                  
          • The DIY Bride by: Khris Cochran
            • Wonderful DIY projects for any bride.
            The Sports Guy:
            The Feminist:
              The Chef:

              If there are any other book suggestions you want to see just let me know! I'm sure I could come up with a lot more. I was just recently at Barnes and Noble and found so many good books!
                  November 27, 2012

                  Top Ten Tuesday #1: My Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013

                  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This is the first time I am participating. I was so drawn in by the topic that I couldn't resist. So, here are the ten books I’m most excited about that will be released in 2013 by order of release date. (I couldn't possibly figure out which one I'm most excited about so I couldn't order them that way.) 

                  1. January - The Essence (The Pledge #2) by: Kimberly Derting
                  2. February - The Kiss (Witch and Wizard Series #4) by: James Patterson and Jill Dembowksi
                  3. February - The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
                  4. March - Requieum (Delirium #3) by: Lauren Oliver
                  5. April - Taken by: Erin Bowman 
                  6. May - Dead Ever After (Sookie Stakhouse Series #13) by: Charlaine Harris
                  7. October - The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4) by: Rick Riordan
                  8. Untitled (All Souls Trilogy #3) by: Deborah Harkness
                  9. Untitled (Divergent #3) by: Veronica Roth
                  10. Untitled (Nathaniel Cade Series #4) by: Christopher Farnsworth
                  What books are you looking forward to in 2013?
                  November 23, 2012

                  Review: The Kill Order by: James Dashner

                  The Kill Order by: James Dashner
                  Publisher: Random House children's books
                  336 pages
                  Genre: Young Adult

                  Summary: This book is a prequel to The Maze Runner series. It is the story about Mark and Trina and their fight to stay alive when the sun flares hit Earth.

                  Review: I believe that The Maze Runner series ended rather nicely, all tied up like a pretty bow. (Well, not perfectly pretty but pretty much.) I'm not sure Dashner needed to write this prequel, but he did, I read it, and I guess I better tell you what I think.

                  This book has love, adventure, death, struggle, and was somewhat disappointing. I know this is a prequel which means we pretty much already know what happens in the long run thanks to the last book in the Maze Runner series, but I can't help but saying I was slightly disappointed, especially with the ending (not the top-secret classified files at the end, those rocked). Although, I did enjoy some of the really awesome fight scenes.

                  It took me a while to really latch on to the two main characters, Mark and Trina. For some reason I was hoping we would be getting more information about the characters from the first book in the series. In the end, I grew to tolerate them and even, dare I say it, like them a little. (I believe the old army guy that hangs out with these two is way more interesting.)

                  On the other hand, this book will give fans of the series some more insight on what happened when the sun flares hit Earth and how it completely changed people's lives, how long it takes for people to go a little crazy, and why they did. So, if you are looking for answers this book is pretty helpful. If you have the patience. The narrative jumps back and forth from Mark's point of view from when the flares went off to the present, giving the reader answers while at the same time Dashner continues to drag out the reveal of these answers by constantly going back and forth from the past to the present. I know he does this to add suspense and usually I don't mind and enjoy when authors do this, but for some reason I was just overly frustrated with this aspect of the novel.

                  Okay...Okay...Okay... I feel like I am being a little too negative here, so I can promise you one very important positive thing about this book. The top-secret files at the very end of the book will make reading it worthwhile. It was cute, and although slightly expected, made the whole series really come together.

                  I may have initially picked up the book with a little bit of negativity, I wasn't a huge fan of the last book in the series and it just seemed like it should be over, but if you have read the other books go ahead and read this one. If you look at the book as a whole, it's pretty good.

                  Rating: 3.5/5  BUY The Kill Order

                  November 21, 2012

                  Library Loot #3

                  Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

                  My Library Loot

                  Outlander by: Diana Gabaldon

                  I was in the mood for a good romance novel and after a little research on the internet this is what I came up with. It is an older book, published in 1991, but it sounds intriguing.

                  Wolf Hall by: Hilary Mantel

                  I have heard only good things about this book. I usually enjoy novels that take place in the 1500s so I am going to give it a chance.

                  Monument 14 by: Emmy Laybourne

                  I always love the young adult survival books, who doesn't love the apocalypse? I am however a little nervous about this book because I prefer young adult novels where the kids are at least 17 years old because they usually are less annoying. Although, I am not sure exactly how old the kids are in this novel and I do really enjoy the Percy Jackson series so I'm going to take a deep breath and dive in.

                  Dark Lover by: J.R. Ward

                  I am always interested in new vampire books. I know this series has been around for a while but I never got into it. Therefore, I have finally decided to try it out and hope that I don't get too addicted.
                  November 13, 2012

                  Review: Mark of Athena by: Rick Riordan

                  Mark of Athena by: Rick Riordan
                  Publisher: Hyperion Books for children
                  608 pages
                  Genre: Fantasy/Mythology/Young Adult

                  Summary: Percy has his memory back and is finally reunited with Annabeth. These two demigods along with five others, Jason Grace, Hazel Levesqu, Frank Zhang, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdezgo, must go on a quest to save Hazel’s brother Nico di Angelo from the clutches of the Giants. Annabeth must also branch away on her own quest to learn more about the Mark of Athena and the legendary treasure to which it leads. Greek and Roman demigods must fight together if they have any hope of stopping Gaia.

                  Review: Riordan brings us another exciting adventure, even if it can somewhat become repetitive, in a world where demigods exist and monsters must be fought.

                  I am a huge Percy Jackson fan and I couldn't wait for this next installment in the series to be published. I will say with absolute certainty that fans of this series will not be let down. Once again Riordan managed to pull me so far into the book that I sometimes thought I was also a demigod in a fight against time.

                   My favorite part of the book is getting the story from Percy’s point of view.  Although it can be refreshing to get different characters perspectives on what is going on I will always prefer Percy Jackson’s point of view and his quirky personality. I do however believe that it was necessary to show view points from some of the other characters for the reader to really be able to follow what was going on.  Occasionally the characters would split up and go on different smaller missions, switching the point of view gives the reader more insight into what the other characters are doing and thinking instead of just Percy all the time. On the other hand, it sometimes got overly frustrating with it always switching around.

                  I want to give props to Riordan for really having the characters grow in his books, especially Percy and Annabeth who readers have followed since they were 11 and are now in their late teen years.  In this book in particular Riordan showed us how much these characters are growing, which is essential not only because of their age but because of the many different obstacles, dramas, death, and fighting that accompany their quests, and of course  how the whole have to worry about saving the world thing may change someone. Don’t get me wrong they can still be a little whiny, but I want to remind you that these are books are written for young adults. The amount of relationship talk in this book can get a little overwhelming, but it isn't enough to drive you away from reading it.

                  It may seem repetitive at times when this book, the third one in the Heroes of Olympus series, still continues to have the same quest plot which includes the demigods facing many small challenges, usually outsmarting smaller Gods, and continue on to their bigger quest that gets resolved only to the extent that the main big baddie of the series doesn’t get defeated, but I enjoy these plot lines and what would a quest be without them? Plus, Riordan throws us enough tiny curve balls along the way that you probably won’t even notice any repetitiveness.

                  With a huge cliff-hanger at the end of this one I guarantee you will be like me, counting down till the next book comes out. I say read this book as soon as humanly possible. If you haven’t read any books in this series yet then I suggest you start cracking.

                  Rating: 5/5
                  November 6, 2012

                  Review: Tall, Dark, & Lonely by: R.L. Mathewson

                  Tall, Dark & Lonely: A Pyte Series Novel by: R.L. Mathewson
                  Publisher: Smashwords (self-published)
                  334 pages
                  Genre: Fantasy/Vampire, Romance

                  Summary: Madison is a school teacher who also happens to be the one that has been taking care of her younger sister and brother for several years because their mother, Candy, can’t be bothered to take care of her own children. Madison finally catches a break and her whole family moves in with her grandmother at her boarding house. Madison no longer has to be the sole person taking care of her siblings. Things start to look up, until she discovers who the police detective living in the next room really is.

                  Review: If you want a book full of sex, vampires, romance and action then this book is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel in the Pyte/Sentinel series and I can promise you that the other books in the series are even better. I will warn you that my review does point out some of the not so great sides of this book, but in the end try to look past those and read this book anyway.

                  I was skeptical of this book at first. I mean I bought it for 99 cents on my e-reader. Let’s be honest, sometimes those really cheap books that are self-published are not that good. Now this book does have some typos and errors in it, which drives me a little crazy since I am an editor, but the typos/errors were not as bad as I thought it would be given the price and that it was self-published.

                  Yes, there is a broody vampire and he of course falls in love with the woman with the messed up life, and don’t forget that their officially getting together takes a good while, but don’t be discouraged. Beyond that vampire nuisance there is a whole new vampire world to devour. Sit back with this book and enjoy the new and interesting take on vampires that R.L. Mathewson shows us. It is refreshing. Ephraim, the main vampire, is a Pyte, a whole different rare species of vampire that will have you wanting more. I refuse to say more about what a Pyte is, you will just have to read the book to find out.

                  I would call this book Twilight for adults but with a little more action. Even though I would say this book is considered to be a romance, I also think that it has a decent amount of action for those of you, like me, that want more than just romance in their books. The characters are also far from boring. You will find Madison and Ephraim entertaining. You will find Candy to be intolerable and Joshua to be a cutie pie. All the characters are different and all of them are worth reading about.

                  I do wish this book was a little bit longer, but the other books in this series are a longer so I have decided that I can’t really complain. This electronic book is worth the 99 cents. Please take a chance on this author and check out this book. I highly doubt you will be disappointed.

                  Rating: 4.5/5
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