July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #11: Undead with Benefits, Keep Your Friends Close, & Half Wild

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

The Short Waits

Undead with Benefits by: Jeff Hart
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2014
Goodreads Summary: Jake and Amanda are in love, on the run—and undead. They've teamed up with Cass, who’s ditched her former job as shady government psychic zombie-tracker, and they're headed across the border into Iowa, where there’s rumored to be a zombie cure.
Armed with a trunk full of guinea pigs (aka zombie snacks), they're ready to take on the Midwest’s first undead warlord, the psycho psychic out for their blood, and their own super awkward love triangle. But the virus is spreading faster than you can say "zombie apocalypse," and Jake, Amanda, and Cass have to find the cure—if it even exists—before the whole state of Iowa goes up in flames.
With its heartwarming blend of guts, romance, and spot-on teen humor, this road trip–ready paperback original is perfect for fans of Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies and AMC’s The Walking Dead. Readers will devour Jeff Hart's fresh, funny, and irreverent take on love and life (well, unlife) in an eat-or-be-eaten world.
Why I'm Waiting: I enjoyed the comedic zombie novel Eat, Brains, Love a great deal, so why wouldn't I read its sequel?



Keep Your Friends Close by: Paula Daly
Release Date: Aug. 19, 2014
Goodreads Summary: From breakout thriller writer Paula Daly, Keep Your Friends Close is a riveting and electrifying story of a husband and wife and the devious best friend who comes between them.

Natty and Sean Wainwright have a rock-solid marriage—with two daughters, a successful business, and a beautiful house, they are a model family. When their younger daughter falls ill on an overseas school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty’s best friend from college, Eve Dalladay, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the Wainwright household. But Natty returns home to find that Eve has taken to family life a little too well: Sean has fallen in love with her. With no choice but to put on a brave face, Natty attempts to start anew—yet no matter how hard she tries to set herself upright, Eve is there to knock her down again. Then Natty receives a mysterious note that says Eve has done this before—more than once—and the consequences were fatal. On a mission to reveal Eve as a vindictive serial mistress, Natty must navigate through a treacherous maze of secrets and lies that threatens her life and the safety of her loved ones.
Why I'm Waiting: There is just something about this book's creep factor that has piqued my interest.

The Long Wait

Half Wild (Half Life Trilogy #2) by: Sally Green
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Goodreads Summary: "You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.
Why I'm Waiting: Do you see the cover? Do you? I can't believe they released the cover so early just to drive me insane. I really liked the first book, Half Bad, and I can't wait to get my hands on this pretty.

What are you waiting on?

18 comments
July 28, 2014

Review: Storm by: Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental #1) by: Brigid Kemmerer (2012)
353 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Supernatural
Publisher: Kensington
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . . .

My Review

I enjoyed Storm more than I ever thought I would. I feel like I haven’t read a young adult supernatural novel in while that I really truly enjoyed, until now.

What I Liked
  • It’s quirky and made me laugh.
  • I loved how it was written. We get to know what is going on from Becca and Chris’ perspectives. I liked both and you really get the whole story.
  • The characters are likable. Storm gets a lot of points for not having the main male character be a complete jerk. Although some of his brothers were, but that’s fine. I also greatly enjoyed Becca’s snark.
  • Real life teenage issues are discussed, such as bullying. I always feel like it’s hard for supernatural books to also seem real. Although Storm did stretch the imagination a little too far at times, it did a nice job at showcasing real life problems, not just supernatural ones.
  • The action scenes were awesome. Fists were always flying or the weather was going crazy almost all the time.
  • Supernatural powers where people control the elements... Yup. I like it.
What I Didn’t Like
  • There weren't any big or small shocking reveals. Everything was pretty predictable to me.
  • The bullying could have been handled a little better. There really was no resolution to the issue.
  • There is a love triangle, but surprisingly I didn’t hate it, I just wasn't a big fan.
Bottom Line: Even if I’m not sure I fully understand why I liked this book as much as I did I would still tell you to give it a try. I will be reading the second book as soon as I get it from the library.


7 comments
July 25, 2014

The Loves of My Life - My Bookcases Part 3

My Bookcases Part 3 - Let's Get Personal Again


**Don't miss my first two posts featuring my bookshelves. The first one can be found here. I participated in a fun exercise where I really examined what books are on my shelves. Check it out and join in on the fun! The second post takes an even more in depth look at my first bookcase and can be found here.

The General Organization of My Bookcases

I labeled them so you could all follow along a little better and use this photo as a reference if needed.

A Quick Reminder of My Bookcase Organization:
I order my bookcases basically by my mood, how much I love a book, shelf space, and if they are adult or young adult. I hope you will be able to see the pattern (or at least what I think is a pattern but really probably isn't to anyone but myself) as you read along. At the very least you can sit back and relax while reading my bookish rambling.

A Tour of Bookcase 2

High Importance/Very Special Shelf - Adult Edition

Quick Description: The top shelf in my smaller second bookcase features my very special shelf adult edition. 

Fun Fact: My copy of Shadow of Night is signed by: Deborah Harkness. Although I did not get to meet her myself, my husband got a family member to go to the signing (we didn't live nearby) and get me a copy and ship it to me as a surprise. Isn't he the best?

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: A Discovery of Witches by: Deborah Harkness

Messy ARC Shelf
Quick Description: This is my wonderful ARC shelf. I have read most of these, but there are a few I haven't gotten around to yet.

Fun Fact: Nicole from The Quiet Concert, a fellow book blogger/bestie got me a copy of Afterworlds by: Scott Westerfeld while she was in BEA as a surprise. I forever owe her. I plan on starting it very soon. :D

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau


Is it funny my engagement picture happens to be on a shelf with a lot of romance?
Quick Description: Here is a grouping of my adult books, mostly featuring Nicolas Sparks.

Fun Fact: You may not be able to see it well, but the second to last book on the right is Out of Sync by: Lance Bass. I was a mega huge Nsync fan (like crazy obsessive) when I was younger and Lance was my favorite.

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Nineteen Minutes by: Jodi Picoult


Random
Quick Description: This shelf is just a random mix of young adult and adult books with a stack of TBR books sitting in front of them. It contains books I wanted to display but didn't really fit on the other shelves.

Fun Fact: I went to college with the author of How to Date An Alien! Magan Vernon also wrote The Only Exception and many other books. She is a really nice person and good author. :)

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Fangirl by: Rainbow Rowell



Quick Description: My husband is the proud owner of the Game of Throne series. I sincerely hope to read them some day, and because of this I let him display these ones on his very own shelf...almost. Those three books in the corner are mine.

Fun Fact: I bought my husband The Lands of Ice and Fire which is a large book full of huge fold out maps of the whole Game of Thrones world, perfect for when he needs to once again explain to me which character is from where when watching the television show. 

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Morrigan's Cross by: Nora Roberts

This concludes my bookcase posts. I hope you enjoyed them! Please feel free to share your bookshelves with me. I would love to see the bookcase behind the blogger. :)
25 comments
July 24, 2014

Review: Hungry by: H.A. Swain

Hungry by: H.A. Swain (June 2014)
384 pages
Publisher:Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Source: The Library
Purchase:Barnes and Noble|The Book Depository| Amazon
Goodreads Summary: In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.

H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.

My Review

I honestly don't even know where to start with my review of Hungry. I'm not glad I took a bite out of this one. After reading the synopsis I wanted to see how this whole no food thing would work... too bad I was so curious.

My general feelings towards Hungry are as follows:There were cults, idiots, hunger, and more idiots featured in Hungry.The setting/world seemed not far enough in the future for how it was built, the characters were ugh, and nothing really worked. It's wasn't realistic or believable to me. It had the same dystopian formula/plot as all the others, there was nothing really unique about it. I didn't like the format of the novel either, there were no chapters. It was just weird.My feelings for Hungry were very hot and cold throughout the entire novel, sadly being mostly cold. Every once in a while I would enjoy a scene a great deal and then a few sentences later it would fall flat. Too bad there weren't more than just a handful of scenes that I actually enjoyed.Overall Hungry made me feel...

Now let's talk characters. I didn't like them. They were pretty dumb. Sure some could say that they were dumb due to being insanely naive,but I don't think that is the only reason.

The main characters were just so frustrating. I didn't want them to talk, act, or anything. I only liked one single minor character, Thailia's friend, Yaz, simply because she wasn't dumb, and had some believable character development. The romance was awful. It was insta-love and the two characters are completely wrong for each other, all they do is fight and never really see eye to eye. I just don't understand it. I understand opposites attract, such as my husband and I, but this was just a disaster. Because of how the characters acted I originally thought this would be a good book for a younger audience, I changed my mind when I got to the ending. I'm honestly not sure what audience this book would appeal to. So a quick character summary...

Even if all of those things didn't completely turn me off, one big reveal toward the end of the book did. Without giving anything away all I can say is that this was my response...


The Bottom Line: Hungry left me unsatisfied. The strong epilogue and the occasional light in the darkness couldn't save this novel from being one of my least favorite dystopians ever. I just can't recommend this book to anyone. I just can't. Maybe tech geeks would like this, or people who like reading about cults, I don't really know. If you do read this book I hope it sits better with you than it did me.


4 comments
July 23, 2014

Library Loot #23


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire fromThe Captive Readerand Linda fromSilly Little Mischiefthat encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** I can't stress enough how much I LOVE my loot this week.

My Library Loot

1. I'm in an exercise kick and this story just really appealed to me.

2. It's supposed to be THE book of the summer.

3. I've heard good things so I'm going to take a chance.

4. This one has been on my TBR for a bit now.

5. Nicole loved it and I trust her bookish opinions.
10 comments
July 22, 2014

TTT #24: My Top Ten Deserted Island Friends

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

I love this week's topic! If only it was real. Maybe. Kind of. Yes. No. Well.. if I did ever end up on a deserted island I hope it goes exactly as I have planned below.  In no particular order here are the top ten characters I'd want with me on a deserted island.


~ I will need to be fed. I can't hunt. Enough said.

~ He is freaking adorable beyond words. He would keep me safe always. (Once I figure out how to get rid of his actual owner.)

~ He would be loads of fun to hang out with. Not to mention that if need be I'm sure he could find a way to get me off the island. He is the son of Poseidon after all.

~ I just love them and would love for them to hang out with me all day every day.

~ I'm sure she would be able to find me some fresh water to drink.

~ She attracts bad luck like no other, I would feel lucky around her even if I was trapped on a deserted island. She is also a good friend.

~ She kicks major butt. I would throw Chaol in there as well so she could be with her love and so I could have some eye candy and have a good leader, although maybe if just Chaol came he could be mine... but I'm already married so I guess that wouldn't work out. (Yes, obviously me being married is the only problem with this scenario.) So I'm going with just Celaena this time.

~ I would probably need some comic relief, we all would. (I know I have both of them listed. Let me be.)

18 comments
July 21, 2014

Review: The Princess in the Opal Mask by: Jenny Lundquist

The Princess in the Opal Mask by: Jenny Lundquist (Oct. 2013)
325 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Source: I bought it!
Goodreads Summary: Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . .

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face—including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

My Review

I chose to read this book simply because the cover is gorgeous, I don’t regret that choice. The Princess in the Opal Mask is a sweet fairy tale fantasy novel. It’s a little gritty and completely likeable. It’s an easy, nice, sometimes adorable, and always interesting read. I was weary when I first started reading, but I quickly changed my attitude, I was weary for no reason.

This fairy tale is told from the dual point of views of two young women, Elara and Wilha. Both are different, both unique, and both are very interesting. While reading I flip flopped back and forth between which girl I liked the most. I honestly still don’t think I know. Elara and Wilha grow and change throughout the novel and have their own unique issues, making them characters I very much enjoyed reading about.

I was also very fond of the author’s easy to follow storytelling. It is rather simple, but it didn’t bother me and I don't think that The Princess in the Opal Mask having this quality is a bad thing, it does make the book a good choice for younger teens as well as older. I also didn’t find the plot overly unique, but that also didn’t really bother me. Although the whole novel is less complex than a lot of fantasy novels I have read, it wasn’t any less of a good solid story. The plot is nicely paced, but I was kind of sad that there aren’t a lot of surprises.

Bottom Line: I liked The Princess in the Opal Mask a great deal. Next time you are in the mood for a slightly lighter less complex fantasy novel then this should be your pick. It’s a good book, a solid story full of interesting characters, and I will be reading the second one.

4 comments
July 20, 2014

The Bookish Report

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 and enjoy your Sunday!

News

  • HapperCollins has updated its website so us bookish folks can purchase their books directly from their website.
  • Marvel's Avengers Now! bookswill feature a female Thor, an African-American Captain America, and Iron Man gets a make over. I don't read comics, but I like the change up.
  • I'm sure you have all heard about and read the new mini HP story on pottermore. Well, I honestly don't know how I feel about it but this articlehas some interesting things to say on the topic. I do find it weird that J.K Rowling decided to post this article by Rita Skeeter, who is not a reliable narrator.
  • Walter Dean Myers has passed away. I love his novel Fallen Angels. May he rest in peace.
  • Amazon has launched kindleunlimited. For $9.99 a month you can receive unlimited ebooks. It sounds like Netflix for your reader. While I can see this as being a cool concept, simply because I love books, if I want ebooks I either get them from the library or purchase them. Either way, this just sounds like a dumb concept for those of us who have a local library that does this for you for free already.Not to mention, Amazon is already getting a bad reputation with books.

Blog Posts

  • She may have been a littlecreepy, but haven't we all been creepy to some degree at some point, especially when it comes to books? I have.
  • I always try to do something bookish on every vacation I take and so does The Reading Geek!

Video

8 comments
July 18, 2014

The Loves of My Life - My Bookcases Part 2

My Bookcases Part 2 - Let's Get Personal

Maybe not this personal... but I couldn't pass up this gif. I do love my books. ;)
**Don't miss my first post featuring my bookshelves. It can be found here. I participated in a fun exercise where I really examined what books are on my shelves. Check it out and join in on the fun!

Now I will finally show you what my bookcases look like, after they have been cleaned up just a little bit of course. (Get super freaking excited to fangirl and judge away.) I apologize for the not so great photos, but I don't have a nice camera and the lighting in my living room isn't great. Anyway, I will shut up now, or at at least long enough to finally post the pictures.

The General Organization of My Bookcases

I labeled them so you could all follow along a little better and use this photo as a reference if needed.

I order my bookcases basically by my mood, how much I love a book, shelf space, and if they are adult or young adult. I hope you will be able to see the pattern (or at least what I think is a pattern but really probably isn't to anyone but myself) as you read along. At the very least you can sit back and relax while reading my bookish rambling.


A Tour of Bookcase 1 (My 1st Real Bookcase)

My Very Special Shelf
Quick Description: My first shelf, my very special shelf, is where I put the young adult books I hold most dear to my heart. So why do I still have Twilight on my most very special shelf? I have no idea. I used to like the books (I don't hate them now I'm just not obsessed like I used to be) and they will always have a special place in my heart, but I will be removing them. The Throne of Glass series will respectfully take their place once all the books have been released. I will eventually put my old HP books away as well (the ones behind the very pretty ones) and have just the new ones on this shelf.

Fun Fact: My copy of Allegiant is signed by Veronica Roth. I got to meet her! Read about that embarrassing story here.

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling



An Ode to Riordan
Quick Description: I LOVE Rick Riordan, in case you can't tell, and I would have his books on the top shelf, but there wouldn't be enough room for my HP books as well. So that is why they adorn my second shelf. I wasn't even a overly huge fan of The Maze Runner series and the Shiver trilogy but I did enjoy them and they fit nicely on this shelf with the Riordan books, although they won't fit that well once I get Mockingjay back and the last Percy Jackson book comes out. I will have to rearrange. Oh darn.

Fun Fact: The Maze Runner is in paperback because I needed it for a college course (the best one I ever took). I bought the other ones later when they first came out. 

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan



The Shelf That Makes Me Feel/Look Smart
Quick Description: This shelf contains mostly books from classes I took in college, the special ones that I didn't want to sell back because I liked them too much. Sadly, thanks to the horrible lighting in my apartment, you cant see what a lot of the books are. I do have The Handmaid's Tale, The Short Stories: Ernest Hemingway, The Thirteenth Tale, and The Castle of Otranto, just to name a few.

Fun Fact: My Sony Reader is on top of my James Boswell book. I store it on my bookcase because I even want my reader to be on display. My husband said I should buy a digital rotating picture frame and put the covers of the books I have on my reader on there so I can really display my e-books. I just laughed at him...or did I? 

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte



Half and Half
Quick Description: Half of the books on this shelf are mine and half are my husband's books. The James Patterson books on this shelf are my husband's books. I was so kind to give him half of this shelf along with most of the one below it. I'm so generous. The books after Taken that are hard to read are books in the Tomorrow When The War Began series by John Marsden. I only own some of them for whatever reason, but I've read them all and they are divine.

Fun Fact: These are just the latest Janet Evanovich books, I actually own all the books in the Stephanie Plum series, a huge mix of paperbacks and hardcovers.

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Any of the Tomorrow Series books.



Mostly My Husband's Shelf
Quick Description: The economics books and the Stephen King books are the property of my husband. The writing/editing books are mine and the library books are mine. 

Fun Fact: Most of my husband's books were purchased by me and given to him as gifts. 

My Favorite Book on This Shelf: Texts From Dog by October Jones (This is my husband's book but I read it and it is hilarious. Its the little short book towards the left-hand side.)

** Come back next Friday (July 25th) to get more behind the scenes pictures of my bookish life. I will be featuring a close look at bookcase 2. Until then, happy reading!

13 comments
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