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Friday, December 31, 2010

With a new year comes resolutions.

So I don't usually do resolutions, mainly because I never kept them (shame on me). But I decided this year I would make a few and would really try and keep them. These are mostly blog/book related. I have some for my "real" life too.
-I want to keep better track of my books.
-I am going to keep track of how many pages I read.
-Go to the library more than the bookstore (I need to save money).
-When I think of a good idea, actually write it down instead of waiting then forgetting.
-Try to do some author stuff on the blog....I haven't so far because I'm a too big of a chicken to ask.
-Spend more time reading books than other blogs...instead of the vice versa I do now.
-Be a better commenter. I go to tons of blogs and read tons of entries but can never figure out what to put as a comment. I WILL do better with that this year.

Sooo yeah, that's a small list of what I want to do in 2011.
Maybe I'll think of some more later and add them.

Did you make any resolutions?

AND! Debut Author Challenge 2011 starts tonight at midnight! WOOHOO! So excited to start. I will be starting Across the Universe as my first book. What are you going to start first?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Into The Old World Reading Challenge.

About the challenge:
Starts: 1st January 2011
Ends: 31st December 2011
Eligible Books: Any books published BEFORE 2009 . All Genres included

I will be making a challenge page for this and working on a list of books to read. Hopefully that will be up in the next couple of days. But I have tons of books on my TBR list that are before 2009 so this is just the kick in the pants that I need to start reading them. Should be loads of fun :D!
Go sign up HERE.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Letters To Elise by Amanda Hocking.

"In My Blood Approves, Peter Townsend fell in love with Alice Bonham, but she wasn't his first love. In a new novella told through his letters, his history is revealed."- Goodreads.
ebook, 101 pages
Published December 20th 2010

I absolutely LOVE Amanda Hocking's "My Blood Approves" series. One of my favorites. And my favorite character happens to be Peter. I love him. I can prove it. Just call Santa up and ask him what was on my Christmas list. Peter was. 
Well, I don't think Santa will be showing up with him and putting him under my tree, but this book was a pretty good alternative.
In the "My Blood Approves" series Peter is very quiet and distants himself from his family when Alice starts coming around. 
In this novella, it's all about Peter, and boy is he an emotional being. Talk about a tear jerker!

It's a pretty quick read. I got it done in about 2 hours. I liked how it was written in letter form. Very different and you really got to see his personality and how he became who he is really well.
Oh! And the last entry! Let me tell you, that was not fair. 
I don't just want the next MBA book, but NEED it because of that entry.

You should definitely read this though.
If you haven't read the "My Blood Approves" series you should read that too. I personally would suggest those first, then this one because some things would make more sense. But it would probably work reading this one first. Either way you do it. Read them!

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)-Suzanne Collins

 "Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying."- Suzanne Collins Website.

Hardcover, 391 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press

I was so nervous to read book 2 in The Hunger Games trilogy. I LOVED the first one and was scared this one wouldn't live up to how great the first was. I didn't even actually know what was going to go on in this book because I didn't read the description first.
It was amazing, to say the least. This was one of those books that I did not want to put down. I actually hid it under the corner of the table when my husband's aunt held poker night for us and some of his family. I wasn't playing but they wanted me to watch. But I read instead.

As I've stated before, I love dystopian stories. And this is by far one of my favorites. 
The world that Suzanne has created is actually scary to me. The control the Capital has. The sick pleasure the people of the Capitol get from watching kids slaughter each other in The Games...just everything makes me happy I don't live there.
Katniss is trying to keep everyone she loves safe by pleasing the Capitol, but also isn't sure she likes what she has gotten herself into with Peeta. I like what Haymitch tells her about Peeta though, that she could do a whole lot worse. Which is true. Peeta is great. So sweet too. 
I loved where this book when. I didn't see it coming and I cannot wait til I can get to the bookstore to buy Mockingjay. Cannot wait to see how the whole thing ends!
If you have not read this series, seriously, start it now. It's getting crazy. I've actually started having dreams about it!
5/5 for Catching Fire!

Matched by Ally Condie.

Matched (Matched #1) "Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow." -Goodreads.

Hardcover, 366 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

"Do not go gentle into that good night."

This was a really fun read. I love dystopian stories so when I heard about this one I could not wait to get it. The cover is what caught my eye and then the description intrigued me even more.  But seriously, what an awesome cover. So simple, yet says so much about the story. I appreciated it even more after I read it. There would be parts that I would read then close the book and look at the cover and think how it just goes.

I really enjoyed Cassia. She has lived her whole life in this Society and has only heard a little bit about what life was like before and was told everything about our world and way of living was wrong. That they need to be told what to do and how to live in order to live correctly. Everything in her life is controlled. So when Cassia sees Ky's face on her Match screen she starts to wonder how a mistake like that could happen. 
Then her Grandfather gives her something that makes her start question everything even more. 

Love Ky. He is so sweet and willing to do whatever he can to be with Cassia, even if it is only for a short time.  So I'm pretty sure I am rooting for Ky.
I liked Xander, but I just didn't feel like I really got to know him so I really didn't care if he got Cassia.

There are some pretty good twists in the story too, so I cannot wait for the next one!
4/5 for Matched!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

"Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love." -Goodreads.

Hardcover, 440 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2011 by HarperTeen

I received this book from Netgalley and HarperTeen to review.

"Love. It kills you both when you have it, and when you don't."

This was an AMAZING book. I cannot wait til I can buy a copy to add to my bookshelves.
I am very big on love. I believe everyone deserves it and I love giving it. So when I read the description of a book that is about a world that "cures" love, I HAD to read it. Let me tell you, I felt a whole slew of emotions during my reading time. I even ended up crying. 

The characters are great. Molded by the society they live in and what they think is right. The writing is wonderful and just pulls you right into the story.
Lauren Oliver makes the world feel small. That the place Lena lives is the only place to live. But then as Lena starts realizing how much world and life is beyond the fence you can really feel a shift in the feeling of the story. It's so great.

The whole book was pretty fast paced, but the last few chapters. Oh wow, heart-pounding and intense. I do not see how I am going to be able to wait until 2012 for the next book.
So awesome.
5/5 for Delirium!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting settled in.

Thank you to everyone who wished my husband and I a safe move. It ended up being a pretty smooth transition.  Except it took our new internet company almost a week to set everything up. Why?...that I don't know. But it did. So now I have TONS of blogs to go read and catch up on. And 4 reviews to write and post. Hopefully I will be all caught up in the next couple of days.

And thank you to all the new followers. It was very nice coming back and seeing all the new faces and comments.

While I am writing reviews, I think everyone should tell me what their Christmas plans are and if you have any special books on your list to Santa :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Going MIA for a little bit.

In a few hours my husband and I are going to be heading into Nashville to pick up his parents. They were nice enough to come up from Texas to help us move.
Today is going to be pretty busy, tomorrow is going to be even busier with loading everything into the Uhaul and Friday we leave for Colorado. AS much as this move has stressed me out I am very excited and feeling very blessed that we get to go to Colorado. I love it there, my husband loves it there, it's going to be great.
This is where I am going to be living: :)

So beautiful.

I'm hoping a couple of the hotels we stay in over the weekend have free WIFI so I can do a couple posts from the road. But on the off chance they don't I will be back hopefully by the middle to end of next week and I will have a couple of reviews to post to make up for lost time.
And I'll probably have to post some pictures to show off our new home.
Don't have to much fun around the blogosphere without me, okay? :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once in a Full Moon.

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
Release date- December 28th, 2010 
Published by Katherine Tegen Books

"Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.
Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.
Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon."-Goodreads.

I got this book through Netgalley to review.
There were aspects that I liked, and aspects that I didn't like. It was a good premise, but the story just didn't seem to develop. Every chapter was Celeste wanting to be with Brandon, but stating all the reasons why she should stay with Nash. I really saw no competition there; Nash was a jerk. She said so, in every chapter. She also said the only few things he had going for him were that he was hot, popular, and her 2 best friends were dating his 2 best friends, so they all liked hanging out together. Those are not reasons to stay with someone. Her friends didn't help much either. Celeste said many times they were just looking out for her, but they were controlling.
I didn't feel like I got to see anyone's personality, other than Brandon's (and his still felt a bit limited).  I just never got to "know" any of the characters really well.

My favorite parts were Celeste and Brandon. He is such a nice character and made the love story part really sweet.
Ellen Schreiber 's website says it's part of a new series, and there is a bit of a surprise at the end that will lead nicely it into another book. So if you read this one, be expecting to want to read the next so you know what happens.
If you are looking for a quick and easy read, this would be it. Doesn't take too much time to get through. And there are some cute parts in it, so I'm sure if you love YA and fantasy you will probably eat this right up. I'm hoping the next books picks up a little bit more though.

I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

Busting The Newbie Blues.

I first saw this post on Katie's blog over at Call Me Crazy and really liked the idea. So I went over to Small Review and checked out the main post about it. I chose to do the "established blogger" questionnaire. And I will explain why in the questions below.

  • When did you start your blog?

  • I started it in August of this year. But for many many months before that I followed a bunch of other bloggers. I'm one of those people that, in some situations, I like to watch other people and see how they do something before I do it. So I sat back and observed for about 4 or 5 months before I set mine all up.

  • Why did you start your blog?

  • I've always enjoyed reading. I read my first book by myself when I was 4 and haven't stopped since. I went through a couple reading slumps, especially when I started working 50+ hrs a week and going to college full time. Then I got married last Oct. and became a stay at home wife and haven't started going back to school yet, so I had lots of time on my hands to fill. So I did, with reading. My husband even bought me a Kindle for our first Christmas last year. I don't know a lot of people that like the books I like and I can't help but talk about them. So after some internet research this seemed like the best idea. Talk about books all I want with other people that love them just as much as I do.

  • What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?

  • The biggest challenge so far has been finding a reviewing style that fits me. Every blogger has a different style, whether it be shorter, longer, really in-depth, or just skimming the surface. It really stressed me out at first because I was nervous I wouldn't do it right and no one would want to read what I wrote. Don't do that. It's not worth it. Just write what you want to say. It's soo much easier that way. And much more enjoyable not to stress over how other people are doing things.

  • What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?

  • Feeling like everyone had such a big head start on me. All these other people had awesome blogs and always seemed to be getting new books all the time I didn't think I would ever be able to catch up and make my blog noticeable. Once I got going I just started realizing it's okay, everything comes with time. Everyone else put time and effort into their blogs and that's just what I needed to do too. Everything will come with a little bit of time.

  • What do you find most encouraging?

  • Other bloggers. Everyone I have met has been so nice and encouraging. Also when other bloggers and readers stop by and tell me they like something I've posted, that's always nice. Let's me know what I am doing right. Reading all the Dear Story Siren posts (The Story Siren) help a lot too. She is really great about answering questions. Stuff new bloggers would like to know but don't know where to get the answers. It's encouraging seeing how awesome her blog is and she started just where I was, and she's willing to share what she's learned. How nice :) Click on the link above to go read her stuff. Trust me, even if you're not new, it's great stuff.

  • What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?

  • I love when bloggers find out about new books coming out, so I really hope to be able to keep up with new stuff coming out and bring it to readers attention. It always fun putting a new book that you're really excited about on your to be read list.

  • What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?

  • Bloggers bashing authors and/or books. I understand not every book is for everybody, but you don't have to bash it. Just tell me what you didn't like about it, if there is anything that you did like about it. Usually bloggers that bash just make me want to read that book more to see if they were just over reacting and if they are credible and a good blog to follow. 

  • Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

  • Don't try to rush everything. It is hard seeing other blogs with tons and tons of followers, and doing giveaways all the time or receiving ARCs of books you want. But it takes a little bit of time. If you try to do everything all at once, you will get burned out and it won't be fun anymore. That's not how it should be. It should be fun and relaxing.

  • How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?

  • Well, I don't have a lot of followers yet, but I am not aiming to get tons of people. If I get 4000 followers that will be the coolest thing ever, but I don't want to be focused on only doing things to get a following. I just do stuff in the blog community. Memes help, commenting on other peoples blogs. Readathons a great way to get to know other bloggers. Find one and get involved :)
    Just don't spam blogs. No one likes spam comments.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

  • It was easy to feel intimidated in the beginning, but there's no point in that. Everyone starts where I started and had to work their way up. So that's all I'm doing too, working my way up.  
    And it also makes for a much more enjoyable experience if you don't stress about getting ARCs. Publishers and authors will reject you but that's okay. They aren't saying no for forever. Just that time. Don't be afraid to try again :)

    In My Mailbox #1!

    I am very excited about this post, it being my first IMM and all.

    In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. It's a neat meme for book bloggers to display books and other goodies they received or purchased for review that week. (Book links go to Goodreads.)
    This week I bought:

    Catching Fire-Suzanne Collins
    Matched-Ally Condie

    From NetGalley I received:

    Angelfire-Courtney Allison Moulton

    The Cellar-A.J. Whitten

    Received for review:

    I had no idea this was coming. So thank you Penguin for that VERY nice surprise. When the FedEx lady handed me the package I thought it was my order of Matched, but when I opened it and found this gem inside I almost hugged her. That lady is now my hero for delivering this to me.

    I'm really excited about the books I got this week, even though I have to wait until January 1st to read 3 of them since they are on my list to read for the 2011 Debut Authors Challenge (also hosted by The Story Siren).

    So what did you get in your mailbox?

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Beginning of Day Two. #Readathon.

       As predicted I didn't get as much reading done yesterday as I would have liked. But I got a TON of packing done. Hopefully today since I don't have as much packing needing to be done I can get a lot of reading in.

    How are you doing in the readathon?

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Holiday #Readathon!

    The Holiday #Readathon starts tomorrow! The 2nd-5th.
    Quite a few people have signed up and you still have time to sign up to if you haven't already.
    All the information is HERE.
    And it's for a good cause. If you'd like, pledge a certain amount, such as a penny or two for every page you read and keep track of all your pages. At the end of the readathon add it up and donate the amount to a charity of some sort for the holidays.

    I am pledging $5 a book with a minimum of $10 because I know I won't be able to read as much this weekend as I would like to since I am still working on packing up my apartment to move next week. So no matter what I won't be giving less than $10. But if I do more than 2 books I will give more.

    I really hope you sign up. It's going to a lot of fun and lots of blogs have mini challenges so you can win some really neat prizes too.
    And on Sunday there is going to be a Twitter party that just for participating in you will be entered to win a prize.

    So go sign up and join in the fun!
    Hope to see you around the blogosphere or on Twitter with your readathon updates this weekend!

    p.s. We are using the hashtag #readathon on Twitter.