May 30, 2013

Review: He Belongs to Me by: Theresa Rizzo

He Belongs to Me by: Theresa Rizzo (2013)
392 pages
Genre: General Fiction/Romance
Source: I received a free copy from the author for my honest review.
Goodreads Summary: He Belongs to Me is a love story . . . a tale of betrayal and deception and of a young mother's determination to recover what belongs to her.

Forced to leave her baby and tricked into relinquishing her parental rights, four years later Catherine Boyd is back and she'll do anything to regain custody of her son--even reconcile with the husband falsely accused of killing their son's twin.

All in the name of love for a little boy, generations of pain and tragedy are exposed in a courtroom drama.

My Review

He Belongs to Me will pull on your heart strings and make you boil with rage (in a good way), it’s a well written novel about family hardships and a mother who will do anything in her power to be reunited with her son once and for all. This is a strong first novel by Theresa Rizzo.

When I first started reading He Belongs to Me I was a tiny bit nervous, the plot just seemed to be really unbelievable. What woman would be dumb enough to accidentally sign away her parental rights to her child? Luckily, this question gets answered and actually made the story more unique than many other family drama novels that I've read. It works itself out just fine as the story progresses and makes more sense. 

There are so many family secrets and issues that pop up throughout the novel between both Catherine and Thomas, the parents of Drew, the boy who everyone is trying to get custody of, and Catherine's grandparents, the ones fighting them for custody. Although I could fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces of these secrets on my own while reading, there were many that I just couldn't put my finger on until later in the book when they were revealed. This made me curious and more invested in the novel.

Catherine and Thomas are great characters. They both have their flaws, but Rizzo brought them to life. Their story is hard, romantic, crazy and everything in-between. I really loved reading about their reconciliation, it was hard for them but still playful, and some of the scenes were so sweet and funny. They were super cute. The romance aspect of this book was done really well, along with the family dynamics. As for Catherine's grandparent’s, they are perfectly evil but semi-misunderstood villains. And the little boy Drew is darling, a real heart-breaker.

The part of the novel that took place in the courtroom was awesome. I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but this book did an amazing job at the back and forth questioning between the lawyers and their clients. I was on the edge of my seat.

This is a well written novel that you should not overlook. It touches on a lot of sticky subjects so you may need to be in a certain mood to read it, but when you get there you will be glad you did.

** A big thanks to the author for giving me a free copy of this book! This in no way hindered my honest review.



4 comments
May 28, 2013

Review: Pulse by: Patrick Carman

Pulse by: Patrick Carman (2013) 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper)
371 pages
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: From New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman, a teen fantasy-adventure of epic proportions. In 2051, some teens have a “pulse,” the power to move objects with their minds. Compulsively readable, with thrilling action scenes and a tender love story.

The year is 2051, and the world is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with great talent, the mind—and the heart—can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.

Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy is a stunning, action-filled triumph about the power of the mind—and the power of love


My Review


A strong start to an interesting trilogy, Pulse will have you curious from the beginning but won’t pull you in completely until the last half of the book, where it will take its hold and never let go. 

I just want to say that it is becoming harder and harder to find a dystopian novel that I really really love, I'm starting to think that maybe there are just too many of them now, making them less unique. Anyway...

This may not be my favorite dystopian novel and it may not be the best, but it was a fun read that left me wanting more. It took me a week to read this book when in all honesty I could have read it in four hours, but it just wasn’t captivating me, that is until I hit a little bit past the midway point, then I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one sitting. So if you start reading this book, just hang in there, it gets better. I mean it gets so good that in the end I had to give this book four stars.


What I Liked:


Teenagers with a Pulse, the ability to move objects with their minds, is an awesome concept. It wasn't executed quite as well as I had hoped but it was still interesting and a great idea that involved some pretty cool scenes. (I'm pretty sure I have a Pulse. (okay maybe I'm just wishing) I just haven't discovered it yet.)

I really loved Faith's friend Hawk, the nerdy young kid who is super smart. At times he was kind of creepy, but overall he is just too much fun for that to bother me. Dylan is also a great addition to Pulse and is my favorite character. The love story between Dylan and Faith works well. It is actually the only instance of love that works in this book. There are some other "love" relationships that make no sense and are kind of pointless. 

We finally got to have a lot of action toward the end of the book, and the waiting was totally worth it. So, let’s talk action, omg moments, and death. There is a fantastic vividly described fight scene with flying vans and other various objects that I could almost see first hand. There were also several moments that had me in shock, like serious eyes popping out of my head omg moments people. And yes my friends, there were even some prominent deaths in the first book of this trilogy. 

What I Didn't Like

The third person writing style threw me off a little at first,and although it grew on me, there was just something about it that bothered me.

There is a small plot hole with one of the characters. I can't go into detail because that would cause major spoilers.

The book took a while to really pick up. I hate to admit it but I was kind of bored throughout the first half of the book.

There was a moment that reminded me too much of Twilight. Once again, you must read the book to find out what I'm talking about. Don't worry, you can't miss it.

The Cover

If you think the cover is awesome now, just wait until you read the book. I can't wait to see what the second book's cover will look like!

In The End

If you are looking for a dystopian novel that features teenagers with the ability to move objects with their minds then this is for you. It reminded me very slightly of the television show Heroes. This was a good dystopian novel and an overall enjoyable read. It just didn't quite hit epic status.



7 comments
May 26, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week


Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness. 
Click away!

I apologize for the short list this week. It was a busy week for me and I only have a few things to share. I hope you are all having a great Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy!

ARTICLES

As we all know Borders is long gone, and luckily for me I am a Barnes and Noble girl so I don't have any left over Borders gift cards. However, if you do have any here is a hilarious post on what you can do with those old gift cards. 

The cover reveal for House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4) by: Rick Riordan will be on May 31! I'm super excited about this one! If you haven't been able to tell by my recent posts I'm a huge Percy Jackson fan. :)

PICTURE


1 comments
May 23, 2013

Review: Charlotte Street by: Danny Wallace

Charlotte Street by: Danny Wallace (2012)
Publisher: William Morrow
416 pages
Genre: Fiction/Romantic Comedy
Goodreads Summary: Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley) is in a rut. He gave up his teaching job to write snarky reviews of cheap restaurants for the free newspaper you take but don't read. He lives above a video-game store, between a Polish newsstand and that place that everyone thinks is a brothel but isn't. His most recent Facebook status is "Jason Priestley is... eating soup." Jason's beginning to think he needs a change.

So he uncharacteristically moves to help a girl on the street who's struggling with an armload of packages, and she smiles an incredible smile at him before her cab pulls away. What for a fleeting moment felt like a beginning is cruelly cut short—until Jason realizes that he's been left holding a disposable camera. And suddenly, with prodding and an almost certainly disastrous offer of assistance from his socially inept best friend Dev, a coincidence-based, half-joking idea—What if he could track this girl down based on the photos in her camera?—morphs into a full-fledged quest to find the woman of Jason's dreams.

My Review

I enjoyed Charlotte Street more than I thought I would. It was a really nice darkish romantic comedy that reminded me a little bit of Bridget Jones’ Diary but from a male perspective. This is a good book, but it didn't leave a lasting impression.

The main character, Jason, tells us his story about love lost, finding a job that works for him, friendship, new love, and life. The writing voice was fun and engaging. I was pulled into this character’s life from page one. He is a reviewer (of music, movies, restaurants  you name it, he reviews it) for a newspaper and his job is probably one of the most interesting parts of this book. Charlotte Street really got me laughing out loud many different times throughout. Sometimes the jokes were duds, but not every joke works on everyone. Although I found Jason very interesting, I can’t say that he is my favorite fictional character or anything like that. Sometimes I loved him and other times I just rolled my eyes at his patheticness. He could get frustrating, but not overly so.

The plot line in Charlotte Street wasn't anything overly new but it held strong. I could guess what was going to happen most of the time, but there were still a few surprises. I felt like the book did ramble on a little too long. Sometimes it felt like a chore to read, which rarely happens to me when I’m reading a romance novel. That it isn't to say I didn't enjoy it. I was able to finish it just fine. The ending was cute and perfect.

This would make a good rainy day read. If you are in the mood to read a quirky British romantic comedy that has a touch of darkness but a lot of laughs, then you should read Charlotte Street.

RATING 3.5/5

3 comments
May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #7: The Son of Sobek by: Rick Riordan

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm Waiting On...

The Son of Sobek by: Rick Riordan
Release Day: June 18, 2013
An exciting new short story from Rick Riordan where Carter Kane meets Percy Jackson!

This was originally released at the end of the paperback version of the last Kane Chronicles novel. However it will be released as an ebook in June! We also will be getting a sneak peek of The House of Hades.

For more information about this book read this article!

What are you waiting on?
16 comments
May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #10: My Favorite Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week's topic: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read, was a really fun one to do, although I'm convinced I am missing some awesome covers because I've read so many books. In no particular order...



    
















Results: I think I am a fan of covers that have some sort of shade of blue on them. :)

What are some of your favorite covers?
19 comments
May 20, 2013

Review: Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline (2011)
Publisher: Crown
374 pages
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: This book was given to me by a family member.
Goodreads Summary: It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

My Review

Ready Player One rocked my world. It took me on an epic adventure that I wish would have never ended. I continually wanted to hit myself over the head for waiting so long to read this. I know this book centers around video games, but I’m telling you right now that you don’t have to be a die-hard gamer to enjoy Ready Player One. It actually made me want to play video games. My husband is a big gamer and I know he will love this book. Also, the book made me realize that video games to Wade, the main character, are like books to me, a chance to escape the real world, and my husband is ever grateful that I understand that connection better now. 

I will do the best I can to give this book the amount of praise it deserves, but I'm telling you it's going to be hard, because this book was geek heaven, and I never wanted to put it down. If this review starts to become a jumbled mess of excitedness I apologize. I did my best. I suggest you read the synopsis above before the review in case you skipped it, there is way too much going on in this novel and it is way too complex for me to explain it all well, but the synopsis can give you a brief idea of what you need to know.

Wade, a teenager who got a bad hand in life and does the best he can with what he has, was and will forever be one of my favorite literary characters. I rooted for him to win Halliday’s game.  I mean I think I actually cheered for him out loud a couple of times. I never once gave up hope. Ernest also did an amazing job at creating a life-like character that is not only easy to relate to, but that actually has realistic and interesting character development throughout the novel.

Are you seeking action, adventure, a few laughs, and a good puzzle? Ready Player One has it all, filled with such great descriptions that sometimes I actually felt like I too was in the OASIS, the video game that has pretty much taken over society. (I pictured OASIS as a bigger and better real-life version of SIMS. You really have to read the book to really understand how cool it is.) Ernest did an outstanding job all around with this novel, and his world building of the OASIS and beyond was way outside the realm of anything I could have imagined, it was pretty much done with perfection. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book.  Reading this book was a roller coaster ride. There were quite a few twist and turns that I never saw coming, moments that had me screaming in rage at the book, always cheering on the good guys and not the horrible corporation, yes of course there is one of those. Not to mention that behind all the awesomeness this book has to offer, there is an important message about the internet and technology and how they are taking over and pushing people to be disconnected from the real world to a crazy degree. Surprisingly and yet not so surprisingly I could see this actually happening sometime in the near-ish future. 

I had only two tiny problems with this book and this is why I only gave Ready Player One 4.5/5 stars. There was a slight lull in the novel where I was bored, but don’t worry that only lasted about 30 pages toward the middle, I easily climbed that hurtle. Second, there were times where I felt like some things were described too much, such as pounding an 80’s reference over your head to make sure you understood exactly what Wade was talking about, or the couple of times that described a video game technique/idea a little too in depth. Other than that this book was golden.

Do you still need more reasons to read this book? If you are a fan of anything to do with the 80s, whether it be the music, movies, video games or television shows, then this book is for you. There are so many amazing references that had me laughing and that I had to share them with my husband immediately. I just really loved relishing in the geekyness of it all.

This book is for everyone, but especially gamers. Your inner or outer geekyness will enjoy every aspect of Ready Player One. This book will get your palms sweating, your heart racing, and your competitiveness gene will be kicked into high gear. So basically I’m saying that if you haven’t read this book yet then you need to. So let the games begin. Are you ready player one?

RATING 4.5/5 

This book counts towards my TBR pile challenge. Check it out HERE.
9 comments
May 19, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week


Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness. 
Click away!



ARTICLES

I love when my favorite books get made into movies. I don't love it when the movies suck and are nothing like the books. Check out Publisher's Weekly's 10 Biggest Book Adaptation Flops article. I haven't watched very many of these but I can say with certainty that I will never watch John Carter.

BLOG POSTS

Amazon now has a New Adult category for when your searching for books. This is pretty exciting. I don't read a whole lot of New Adult but the few books I have read I have really enjoyed. 

Check out ParaJunkee's entertaining comic The Adventure's of Evil Book Blogger Ep. 1, Hattie Hate.

Do you ever feel like you never have enough time to read? Or maybe you want to find ways to fit in a little more reading time in your life? Check out 8 Ways to Read More Books over at The Sweet Bookshelf. There are some good tips on here.

I'm sure we have all heard about authors acting badly. But Shelver over at Bookshelvers Anonymous takes the time to also talk about some authors that have been very nice. I love discussing good author behavior instead of just the negative stuff, and I have come across a couple of authors that have been nothing but awesome. Heather Topham Wood and Victoria Schwab, to name a few, are some of those awesome authors that treat their fans well. 

PICTURE

I was going through my old likes on pinterest and I came across this. haha
http://www.polyvore.com/this_way_to_ministry_magic/thing?id=66858980

6 comments
May 16, 2013

Review: Ten by: Gretchen McNeil

Ten by: Gretchen McNeil (2012)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
304 pages
Genre: YA/Horror/Thriller/Mystery
Source: I Purchased This One
Goodreads Summary: SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

My Review

This book was gooood, but don’t read this book late at night right before going to sleep. I’m serious, you really shouldn't.  I got some major chills while reading Ten. I may have gotten just a little freaked out. (Okay, more like a lot freaked out, especially toward the end of the book.) Ten did exactly what it was set out to do, scare me.  I was on the edge of my seat cautiously looking over my shoulder the entire time I was reading. At one point I wanted to be like Joey from FRIENDS and put the book in the freezer, but I toughed it up and made it through to the end.

Setting: I was hooked from page one. McNeil did a great job at setting up the perfect horror setting from the very beginning to the last page. The descriptions of the island, weather, the house, and pretty much every spooky element in this book were excellent and gave some great visuals. I felt like I was really there in the teenage drama house of horrors.

Plot: Although the plot was nothing overly new, it was the same kind of teenage horror plot line that reminded me of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, it still had a "new" feel to it. Plus, when it was overly like every other horror story It didn't bother me, I just found it funny and campy. Ten still had a few unique mysteries, I was so glued to this story that I just couldn't stop until I found out who the killer was and who would die next! Not to mention that it had a twist or two that I didn't see coming. The death scenes were gross and yet brought about the perfect feeling. I don't know if this is weird, but I like a good unique death in my horror books/movies and Ten did a pretty good job at providing some.

Characters: I liked the main character, Meg, she was interesting and seemed like a real teenager. She was frustrating at times, but since most teenagers are it didn't bother me. There were still a few of those moments where you just wanted to yell at the people that they are dumb, but what good horror movie wouldn't have those moments? I think all ten of the kids fit just right into this story. Sadly, I didn't overly love any of them, but that didn't really make me not enjoy the novel. I did however pick and choose which character I did and didn't want to die. Wow, I hope that doesn't make me even more weird. It's not that I wanted any of them to die... but if I had to pick one...well I did. Reading this novel was almost like playing a game of clue.

Read this book if you haven't already! If you are looking for a great horror/mystery novel that will give you a scare then this book is for you. It was a fun, scary, and enjoyable read that I finished in one day. Who doesn't want to read a book that will pull you in from page one and keep you on your toes until you finish? 

RATING 4.5/5

6 comments
May 14, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Soundtrack Challenge

This Soundtrack Challenge is part of Bout of Books 7.0, and this particular one is hosted by Medusa's Library. The goal of this challenge is to create a playlist for one of your favorite books.

I just finished Ten by: Gretchen McNeil and I knew this would be the perfect book to use, seriously this playlist pretty much sums up my experience with this book. So many feels! This challenge was a ton of fun. Click on the song to listen to it on YouTube. 

1. Domino - Jessie J.
2. I Love It - Icona Pop
3. You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette
4. The Lonely - Christina Perri
5. Serial Killer - Lana Del Rey
6. Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
7. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
8. Dog Days are Over - Florence + The Machine
9. I'm a Survivor - Destiny's Child
10. You Found Me - the Fray

By the way, if you haven't read this book yet you should. My 4.5 star review will be up later this week!
7 comments
May 13, 2013

Review: Taken by: Erin Bowman

Taken by: Erin Bowman (2013)
Publisher: HarperTeen
360 pages
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Source: Birthday Present!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?


My Review

Even though I finished this book days ago I’m still having a hard time trying to decide how I feel about it. Huge sigh. I just had no strong feels towards this book, either negative or positive. I read it and enjoyed it and that is about it. I can say with certainty that while Taken was interesting, it lacked uniqueness.

I felt like the general dystopian plot for Taken didn’t have a whole lot of new ideas behind it. There was nothing overly unique or new that was brought to the table. I was hoping for something amazing behind the wall, but all I received was pretty much nothing unexpected. I will confess that there was something about this book that held my attention to the very end. I just can’t quit put my finger on why I was so intrigued when I pretty much guessed/knew every single surprise that Taken had to offer. It might have to do with the fact that it had some pretty good action scenes that kept me on my toes. I will also admit that the ending was intense. Because of this I can guarantee you that I will pick up the second book.

Something that was really nice about Taken, the refreshing male point-of-view. I think that Gray portrays a believable teenage male character. I liked his need to always follow his gut instinct, causing him to not always think before he acts. I enjoyed that because he didn’t overthink things and didn’t always need a big plan, although his gut instincts don’t always lead him into the best scenarios. Gray still wasn’t my favorite character though. There were many times when I ended up yelling out loud for him to use his brain and put the pieces together, it is not that hard boy. As you can see I have conflicting feelings about him. I also want to give you a heads up that there is a love triangle in this book, and I didn’t really like it. I usually don’t mind love triangles but they have to be done just right and this one didn’t sit well with me, although Gray did handle it very well. Wow, I’m so conflicting in this review, I apologize, like I said at the beginning, I really am not sure how I feel about this book. 

I’m honestly not sure what else to say for this one. It was a fast paced read. It only took me like two days to finish it, which are my favorite kind of books. On the other hand, it wasn’t as epic as I was hoping it would be. Which may have been because of all of the hype Taken had before its release, I just can’t say. I would suggest you pick this one up at the library if you want to give it a go, a good pick for an action packed fast read.


RATING 3/5
6 comments
May 12, 2013

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon Sign Up, Goals, & Updates

I kept seeing this read-a-thon pop up on so many blogs over the past week. I became very curious so I had to give it a closer look. I finally decided to participate! This is the first time that I am participating in Bout of Books and I'm pretty excited! So here is my very last minute sign up and goals post! I'm super excited! (Just in case you couldn't tell by my overuse of exclamation points!)


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 
- From the Bout of Books team

My Goals

Reading Goals
~ Read at least 5 books. (I normally read 2-3 books a week.)
~ Keep detailed notes as I read so it will be easier for me to write my reviews later.

Social Goals
~ Participate in the Wednesday Twitter chat.
~ Participate in at least one challenge.
~ Discover new book blogs.

The Books
~ Ten by: Gretchen McNeil - This book as been sitting on my shelf for months. It is about time I read it.
~ Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline - One of the many books I need to read from the TBR pile challenge I am participating in this year.
~ The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau - An ARC I need to read for review.
~ Charlotte Street by: Danny Wallace - I received this book through ARCycling and I know they want my review. ;)
~ Eternally Yours by: Cate Tiernan - A book I've been meaning to read for some time and also on my Series Challenge list.



Updates

Monday
Number of pages/books I've read today:1 book = 294 pages
Total number of books I've read: 1
Total number of pages I've read: 294
Books Today: Ten by: Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday
Number of pages/books I've read today: 0 :(
Total number of books I've read: 1
Total number of pages I've read: 294
Books Today: None today :(

Wednesday
Number of pages/books I've read today: 1 book = 372 
Total number of books I've read: 2
Total number of pages I've read: 666
Books Today: Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline

Thursday

Number of pages/books I've read today: 0 :(
Total number of books I've read: 2
Total number of pages I've read: 666
Books Today: None today :(


Friday

Number of pages/books I've read today: 1 book = 325 pages
Total number of books I've read: 3
Total number of pages I've read: 991 
Books Today: The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau


Saturday
Number of pages/books I've read today: none :(
Total number of books I've read: 3
Total number of pages I've read: 991
Books Today: none :(

Sunday
Number of pages/books I've read today: 1 = 409
Total number of books I've read: 4
Total number of pages I've read: 1,400
Books: Charlotte Street by: Danny Wallace

6 comments

Top Bookish News of The Past Week


Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness. 
Click away!


ARTICLES

FOX didn't pick up the Delirium pilot. Very sad news. I'm a little surprised because it already has a pretty big following, but this is FOX we are talking about. I feel like they are always canceling shows and there isn't a whole lot I watch on their channel. Either way, we still love you Lauren Oliver! Check out her very nice post about the hard topic. 

There was a lot of discussion yesterday on Twitter about newish FTC guidelines that pertain to us bloggers. After some digging I found a helpful post on the subject. Although some of the items seem a little crazy most seem like they will be easy to adhere to. 

Have you ever stopped to think about gendered book covers? Author Maureen Johnson has and made a bold statement about it this week. Check out some fan cover art where they switched genders of various book covers. They came up with some interesting stuff that really made me stop and think and laugh. 

I just turned 25 last month, I feel very old and may have had a slight quarter life crisis. I found this post with a list of 30 books that women my age should read. I have read some of them, but not all. I'm thinking this may be a new challenge I give myself. 

BLOG POST

I just found this wonderful blog this week and love her Coffee Shop Talk post. This week she discussed books that she didn't like but everyone else did. I'm sure we have felt this way before. 

BOOK REVIEW

Nicole over at The Quiet Concert wrote a great 5 star review of Pivot Point by: Kasie West this week. She got me super pumped up for this one. I can't wait to read it! On the top of my TBR pile it went. 

ALLEGIANT COVER REVEAL

So what does everyone think? I like it a lot, but for some reason I'm not a huge fan of the colors. 


To all the moms out there:
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May 9, 2013

Blog Tour: The Photo Traveler by: Arthur J. Gonzalez (Review & Giveaway)


The Photo Traveler by: Arthur J. Gonzalez (2013)
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
353 pages
Genre: YA/Time Travel
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

My Review

Time traveling through photos… I wish I could do that! This is a unique idea that the author did a nice job at explaining well and making it believable. While reading I kept trying to decide where I would want to jump back to in time and what photo I would use. I have yet to decide on this because I just can’t make up my mind, but boy would that be cool. 

The Photo Traveler is about Gavin, a teenager who is just trying to find his place in the world. I connected with Gavin, and that my friends is a deal breaker. I need to feel something for the characters in a book for me to enjoy it and luckily I did while reading The Photo Traveler. I felt for Gavin and cheered him on, hoping he finds a happier life. Having a male point of view in a young adult novel is refreshing and done well in this book. There were times when Gavin really frustrated me, but no one can be perfect. He just trusted too easily at times which didn't make any sense given his upbringing, but that was just a very tiny flaw. Although the minor characters in this book were not astounding they held their own and tended to grow on me.

The adventurous plot with a secret society had me smiling. It was a fun read and with each chapter I grew more nervous about the impending match up with the “bad guys.” There was even one moment where I was completely shocked at the plot twist, and I’m not shocked easily. Therefore this book gets added bonus points. This book if nothing else, is full of action, and I love a lot of action in my books. My favorite parts of the whole novel were when Gavin jumped back in time. It was fun to experience it with him, and was full of great descriptions. The only thing that actually bothered me while reading The Photo Travel was the excess use of exclamation points. I know I overuse them sometimes when talking to someone online, but I felt that for a book it was slightly overdone. I also felt like there were very tiny plot holes at times, but nothing that bothered me. They could easily be addressed in the next novel, so no worries there. I am very interested to see what is up next for Gavin.

Although this isn't one of my all time favorite reads, it was very enjoyable and is definitely worth a look. If you are a fan of photography, history, time traveling, and/or want a change of pace with a male point of view, then this book is for you. It is a fun and easy read with a new and interesting concept, traveling through time using photos. 

Oh and I just want you to know that I have some major cover love for this one!

** Thank you Xpresso Book Tours and author Arthur Gonzalez for giving me the chance to read and review this novel! Thanks for the free copy. It in no way impacted my honest review.  

RATING 3.5/5 

Author

My name is Arthur J Gonzalez.  I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Miami, FL.  I graduated from the University of Florida.  I am currently   releasing my debut novel, The Photo Traveler.  The premise surrounds 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images. 

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