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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

"Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances."-GoodReads.

Hardcover496 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by HarperCollins Children (Katherine Tegen Books)

Wow. Divergent was an INCREDIBLE story. So much so that when I was done reading it I wanted to start it all over again. There have been only two other books that I have wanted to do that with. 
The characters, the plot, the world...everything was amazing.

I read the first page and a half one Sunday morning on my way to church. Not the best time to start this book, because I was hooked. I was so intrigued by what happened on that first page that I had to know more, I had to know why, and I had to know soon. It was a bit difficult to put the book down and go inside. 
The illustrations that Veronica Roth paints with her words are just so vivid and make her story come to life. 

Oh, and Veronica, thank you soooo much for writing such a great lead female. Tris was perfect. Unlike so many main girl characters who whine about everything, act weak, and depend on guys to do everything for them, Tris knew she had to become strong in order to survive, so she did. Not without difficulties, and not totally alone, but she didn't think everyone else should be fighting her battles. I don't think I have ever felt so connected to a character as I did to Tris. Finally a girl that I got to actually think "hey that's what I would do!"
And also Veronica, thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating Four. Strong, mysterious, a born leader...ah-maz-ing! Seriously...can I have him? Cause I want him, real bad.
The secondary characters brought so much life into this story, as well. There are a lot of them so it took me a little bit to remember everyone, but they all add something to the story and make it feel just that much more real.

Not only does this book have great characters, but it has an awesome plot set in dystopian Chicago, which was really neat. For the most part we are in only one of the factions (which one I will not say), which works for this story, but I am hoping in the next book we get to go out into the world that Tris lives in and explore it more (and by the way Divergent ended I'm pretty sure that will be happening).

Divergent is most definitely one of my favorite books now. Just writing this I am craving a re-read, to be able to get back into the characters heads and sucked back into their world. I cannot wait until my to be read pile is down a little bit so I can dive back into this one.
If you haven't read this one yet I would like to know why not? Go to the store, buy it, go home, and read it. Now. Do nothing else until it is finished. That's an order...or peer pressure. Which ever will actually make you read it.
And don't forget to add Insurgent (Divegent book #2) to your reading list. The expected publication date is May of 2012. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

"This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action. 

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember."-GoodReads.

Hardcover453 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books

I had been putting off reading this one for a little while because of that scary ol' hype monster. I literally do not think I have seen one bad review for this book, so I was just not sure if it really was what everyone was saying or if people were just bandwagoning it.
I finally caved, obviously, and read it. After finishing it, putting it down, and thinking about it for a little bit, I have decided that I did really like it. 

I'm not a big Ellie fan. She would have been more enjoyable if she hadn't complained so much. Or acted like such a brat sometimes. Girls like that annoy me. Though she did end up having some cool moments, I stuck around for Will. I liked him. A lot. You know what I loved most about him? His love for root beer floats. I love them too. So anyone who likes them is cool in my book. So he was awesome because of that, and his undying dedication to Ellie. No matter what happened he was right by her side ready to do whatever she asked him to do.

My biggest problem with the book was Ellie's mom. I mean, really, she has to be the most unrealistic mother EVER. "No alcohol at your party," *later catches Ellie drinking* "Oh Ellie, we know we can't actually stop you from drinking, so I guess I would prefer you do it in the house then out other places." *Mother forbids Ellie to see a certain guy then later finds out Ellie really likes said guy, a lot* "Oh Ellie, I know we can't actually stop you from seeing this guy, so just be careful with him, okay?"
*FACEPALM* Seriously Mom? She is your daughter, living under your roof, you can tell her not to do things and she is supposed to listen to you...that's called 'being the parent'. I wanted to throw the book multiple times because of things like this...but decided against that since I was reading the book on my Kindle...

Other than the few things that I did not care for, I do have to say, Courtney Moulton does know how to write a super action packed book though. It was page after page of heart-pounding action. And it was appropriate, not over done at all.

If you love action-adventure, fantasy, and forbidden romance, give Angelfire a try. And don't forget to keep your eyes open for the release of Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire #2) which is supposed to be released sometime next year, and then Hymn to the Fallen (Angelfire #3) which is scheduled to be released in 2013.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, altered my opinion of the story or my review.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost."-GoodReads.

Hardcover299 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by The Chicken House (first published May 4th 2009)

When I first saw Stolen on GoodReads I knew I had to read it. I have an unhealthy 
love for psychological books. And an even more unhealthy love for Stockholm 
Syndrome stories. Just in case you are not familiar with Stockholm Syndrome, let me
explain it a little bit. Basically it is when "hostages express empathy and have positive 
feelings towards their captors; sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are 
generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who 
essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness."-Wikipedia

That is Stolen in a nutshell. At first Gemma hates Ty, but the longer they are together
and the more stories Ty tells Gemma about watching her grow up from a distance,
she starts to wonder if he is really all that bad. Maybe, he did actually save her by
taking her away from the life she lived before. Before she was with Ty, she was
ignored by her parents and basically just going through the motions, but now
she is the center of Ty's world. The only thing he cares about is her. But are her
feelings for him true? Or just the result him being the only person she has talked to
for months?

Don't pick up this book thinking it is going to be some kind of adventure and that
there is going to be tons of action.
It is much more subtle than that. There is some action, like when Gemma tries to escape
but mostly it is about Gemma and Ty at his home in the middle of nowhere, why he wants
her, and her internal battle of trying to escape of staying there with him.
I absolutely love that Stolen is written in the form of a letter. At first I wasn't too sure
about that but it really makes this book stand out.

The ending really took me by surprise. I was expecting something completely different to 
happen. When I read the last page, closed the book and set it down, I actually said "Wow."
It was pretty mind blowing. So if you like books that deal with psychological issues and
has some tough decisions in it, this would be the book for you. It does get a bit graphic
in a few scenes with Ty and how wild he is from being on his own for so long, but I 
would recommend giving this one a shot. It was fantastic.

Also, I would love to know if you know of any books like this one that you would recommend
me reading as I have had a bit of a hard time searching for them. I already have Forbidden by
Tabitha Suzuma on my list to read, so let me know if you of any more!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Wrap Up!

It's already over?? Awh, man. How could 3 days have gone by so fast?!
This read-a-thon was just so much fun. Especially the mini challenges...except they kept distracting me from reading haha.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

(3 of the 5 books I wanted to read)

Mini Challenges Participated In:

I didn't get to read as much as I thought as I was going to be able to, but that's because I didn't really get to do any reading yesterday. Prior to finding out that I had signed up for the readathon my mom planned to take me to the ladies shopping day day at our local antique stores. So we were there most the day (which was a blast). But I still got a pretty good amount of reading done, and I was a lot closer to my goal then I have ever been. 

Can't wait til the next readathon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Mini Challenge #2

This mini challenge is hosted by: YA Bliss.
Her challenge is to name our top 3 love triangles.

dont panic

On her blog post she put that she thinks what makes a really good love triangle is when you really just cannot decide between both characters. That it is not just an obvious decision for the person having to do the choosing. I completely agree with this, though that is not usually how my mind works. Even if it is not an obvious choice who she (I use she because girl deciding between 2 guys is the only kind of love triangle I have read) should pick, I pick one guy and stick with him. I am very dedicated to the team I choose to be on. It is a very VERY rare thing for me to change sides. So since I am that way, what makes it a good love triangle for me is even if I have picked a guy to root for, I question it sometimes and see why the girl is having such a hard time deciding.

This took me a little while to think up three. I love books that have love triangles so I have read so many books with love triangles it's hard to narrow it down to three. I know, I know, so many people are sick of them, but I just can't help it. I like drama in my books.

But the second I read the challenge, I know who my first favorite love triangle would be.

Dimitri, Rose, and Adrian from the Vampire Academy series. The second that we meet Dimitri in Vampire Academy I was hooked. He had my literary heart.
Then came Adrian. He took me by total surprise. Richelle Mead actually almost got me to switch to Team Adrian...but then I decided against it. I just loved Dimitri wayyyy too much.

The next one I thought of was: Luc, Franny, and Gabe from Personal Demons. You would think that Luc being a demon and Gabe being all angelic it would be an easy choice right? Wrong. Luc is smoldering (no pun intended...okay...maybe a little one was) and Gabe is just all kinds of perfect. I went back and forth with this one for a little bit, but finally decided I like Gabe best. I guess I'm just an angel kind of girl.

And the last one I decided on is:

Jack, Alice, and Peter from My Blood Approves. Though I wanted to crawl into this story and steal Peter for myself the second he was introduced...I can definitely see the pickle that Alice is in when trying to decide between these two great guys. Jack is fun and adventurous while Peter is soulful and has emerald green eyes that you could lose yourself in forever.
Oh the decisions.

So those are my three.
Honorable mentions go to:
Peeta, Katniss, and Gale from Hunger Games.
Ren, Calla, and Shay from Nightshade.
Tucker, Clara, and Christian from Unearthly.

Who are your three favorite love triangles?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Update #1

So we're nearing the end of the first day and I do have to say, I am really proud of how much reading I got done. I am so very close to being done with Divergent by Veronica Roth and am pretty sure that will get done tonight. That will be an almost 500 page book in one day. I cannot remember the last time I have read a book that big in one day. And even though I am not done with it yet and things could change for the worst in the last parts, I am LOVING it so far. It captured me so much earlier that I when I thought only about 30 minutes had gone by, 3 hours had actually gone by. Whoa.

Not to sure what I will be starting next. Probably an ebook since I will be going to the gym in the morning and it is quite difficult to read a real book there.

But  I am most definitely having a really good time so far!
If you are participating in the readathon, how are things going for you? I'd love to know :)

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Mini Challenge #1

This mini challenge is hosted by IB Book Blogging

Question 1: What is your favorite type of myth?

I have always really really loved Egyptian & Greek mythology. Romani (gypsy) and Irish mythology are close to me though because it's part of my heritage.
Can I just say all of them? That would probably be easiest ;)

Question 2: What is your favorite book with some kind of mythology in it?

Chronicles of Narnia, most definitely. It is such a mash-up of so many different types of mythologies, but they all work so well together. I always have and always will loves those books.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Kickoff.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

It's finally time to get some really reading time in! As soon as I saw the linky for the Once Upon A Read-A-Thon hosted by Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and Candace's Book Blog go up I signed on right away.
I love read-a-thons. But usually they only seem to be one day and I always seem to get loaded down with other things on that one day so I never get any reading done...or there are also the times that I have forgotten all together that I signed up for bad. 
But now that my husband is deployed and I am living at home, I have all kinds of time on my hands. Well, I don't really like that. So I thought "What better way to pass the time then read a bunch of books in three days?"
Finally, I will be able to focus on reading and updating my blog over the next few days.
I am so excited right now.

I've seen quite a few people have actual lists of books up of what they want to read. I can't really do that because I change my mind wayy too easily on what I am going to read.
My goal is to get at least 5 books read though. And they have to be book books. Except when I go to the gym in the morning. Kindle is so much easier there.

Hope everyone who is participating has an awesome and reading filled time!

Wasteland by Patricia Williams

"One year ago, Becca Wilkinson changed the lives of dozens of people. Now, one word will change her life forever... 

Becca Wilkinson is a nobody, and those that are aware of her existence know her as "that quiet girl in the back of class", "loser", or her favorite-"that chick that killed all those people."

While most people at Leeville High have long forgotten Becca's role in the devastating car wreck that happened over a year ago, she still has nightmares. Her memories are in fragments and what little she remembers doesn't make sense--things like hearing voices and moving things without touching them.

New at Leeville, Luke Johnston has everyone eating out of the palm of his hand...except Becca. There's something dark and dangerous about him that she distrusts. Despite her rebuffs, Luke is adamant about getting to know her better.

Becca will have to let her guard down if she wants answers--but can she handle the truth?"-GoodReads.

Published March 14th 2011

First, I would like to thank Patricia Williams for giving me the opportunity to read this great book.

I was really quite impressed with how good Wasteland ended up being. In the beginning it felt a little slow and I kept thinking the story was staying on the safe side, that it was being cautious. But then BAM! There were these twists and turns and caution was thrown out the window. Risks with the story were being taken. And it was all executed wonderfully.

Becca was a great character. Having caused a huge tragedy in her not so distant past, she has a lot to deal with and heal from. She tries to make herself average and not noticeable.  
That works until Luke starts at her school. Even though she is mean to him and tries to get him to leave her alone, he is very persistent. For some reason, he just won't go away. And soon we find out that is because he can help her, and, hopefully, save her life.
Luke didn't like disclosing too much information which bugged me a couple of times, but that leveled off pretty quickly and there was a good balance of him being secretive but then sharing information.

Once Becca and Luke were thrown together and secrets started being revealed, the story really got going. At times it felt like it was going by a little too fast. I think that was mostly because I was really starting to enjoy it so much that I didn't want it to go by as fast as it seemed. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a trilogy so there will be more stories.

There is so much more to Wasteland then the synopsis reveals, so be prepared for a wild ride in this story. It really isn't like many other YA paranormal/sci-fi books that I have read. But I'm not going to spoil the surprise and will just encourage you to get a copy of the ebook and find out for yourself what kinds of  creepy things are going on in Wasteland.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, altered my opinion of the story or my review.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Let's Have A Giveaway Winners!!

I am soo excited to announce the winners of the "Let's Have A Giveaway" giveaway!
So let's get to it!

The winner of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is:

and the winner of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is:

(both winners chosen by
Congratulations you two! These are such fun and awesome books and I hope you enjoy them!
I will be emailing y'all in a little bit to get your addresses so I can get your book to you as soon as possible.

If you did not win, never fear, I will most definitely be doing more giveaways in the near future. So look out for those!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July is NetGalley Month!

I know this is a few days late, but time just keeps getting away from me. I cannot believe that it is already July 5th!!
But here is my deceleration of joining in NetGalley July hosted by Red House Books!
I took part in the NetGalley April and it was so much fun. I got through a few titles on my list and it gave me the extra push I needed to get back into reading my NetGalley titles on a more regular basis. You would think I would have learned my lesson though and cut back on the requests, but my list of to-be-read books is just as long as it was before so I am once again joining in the fun and hoping to get some more books knocked off that list.
NetGalley logo request, read and comment on upcoming titles
All you have to do is read as many NetGalley titles as you possibly can. You don't have to have a blog, but make sure to keep track of the books that you read so that you can be eligible for prizes. Yep you read that right. There will even be prizes!
Sounds pretty awesome right?
That's because it is!
So head over to Red House Books and check out the main post and then declare that you are going to join in the NetGalley July fun!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (aka my love letter to this series)

"The astonishing final novel in Richelle Mead's epic series!

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them."-GoodReads.

Hardcover594 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Penguin Group (USA)

(Since I know some people have not yet read this series, I do not want to spoil the whole thing for them by putting any sort of spoilery in a review. I loved this series so much and want everyone else to be able to enjoy it just as much without knowing what happened in another book before reading it, so I am just going to fangirl for a little bit.)

Vampire Academy and I got off to a bit of a rough start. At first, I was just not sure how I felt about it. Rose seemed pushy, arrogant, self-centered, and loud. She just did not come off as the kind of girl I could picture myself hanging out with or wanting to be like.
Then Dimitri Belikov came into the picture. Sweet, sweet Dimitri. I had to know more about him. And when Rose was around him, I got to see this softer side of her, a side that wasn't in total control of everything.
So I stuck with the series. I had to see what happened between these two.

That had to be one of the smartest literary decisions I have ever made. Richelle Mead built this amazing world within our own. She created otherworldly characters, but still managed to keep them realistic. They felt like people I could know. The thought that they could exist somewhere does not feel like a crazy idea. Sure they are vampires and half vampires, but their emotions and characteristics are so very very real. They develop and grow. The Vampire Academy series has some of the best characters I have ever read.

The romance is to die for. Rose, Dimitri, and Adrian are one of the best love triangles EVER. Even though I was Team Dimitri from the first page he was on, I do love Adrian. He is funny, sweet, and so thoughtful, but with enough bad boy edge to keep him very 

There are so many jaw dropping and heart pounding moments in this series. Every book is riddled with them, and most ended up being unexpected. I will also admit I have never cried so much while reading a series as I did with this one. Happy and sad tears. Many of them.
I became so attached to certain characters that I was so nervous to start reading Last Sacrifice. I did not want to be disappointed. The only disappointment I felt after putting that book down was that that series was over. The end of the story left me very satisfied and I cannot wait to see what Richelle has planned for her new series Bloodlines which is set in the same world as Vampire Academy and even includes some characters from that series.

Romance, action, adventure, betrayal, mystery, love...this series has it all and then some. Pick it up and get to reading it now. You will not be disappointed in what you find. Once I catch up on my reading pile I will most definitely be visiting these books again. I don't think I can go for to long without a dose of Dimitri. 
And I really hope that August comes faster so that I can get my hands on Bloodlines and find out what happens next in the story.

So, again, if you have not read Vampire Academy yet, get to it.
And thank you, Richelle, for creating such wonderful and amazing stories. I cannot wait to read them again...and again :)

If you have not yet read Vampire Academy, head over to THIS blog post and enter to win a paperback copy! Giveaway ends July 8th.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Euphoria (Book 1, Part 1) by Jourdan Alexandra

"Disruption. Initiation. The Unknowable. So say the Runes, the ancient Viking Oracle of marked stones ominously laid out before college freshman Riley Dawson a few days before her departure for Lyndon State College. Leaving the sun of her California childhood for the crisp northern air of Lyndonville, Vermont, Riley soon dismisses and forgets the Runes’ prediction of the choices she would make, choices borne of her own unseen nature, a nature invisible even to herself. 

Dismisses and forgets that is, until she meets Remaunt: enigmatic, sensual, arrogant, and vulnerable. Describing him as the dark shadow of Adonis, his veneer of cool poise captivates Riley from the moment she meets him. Yet, even as Riley tries to deny her growing intrigue and fascination with her magnetically mysterious classmate, she ultimately finds that she cannot evade the truth of what he is. Remaunt is an immortal. Remaunt is a vampire.

And immortals have immortal enemies. As Riley soon finds out, Remaunt is not the only vampire residing in Lyndonville—and, after a few near-death encounters, she is forced to conclude that there are other vampires significantly more dangerous than Remaunt, and that they are not to be trifled with. Posing a formidable threat to not only Remaunt, they endanger her friends, the community, and, most importantly, Riley’s life itself.

With the crisis of disruption activated, the mystic power of initiation summoned, and the fire and chaos of the unknowable at hand, Riley finds herself as bait between several supernatural beings, locked in a war of wills fueled by revenge and anguish destined to a fate not even the immortals could envision"-GoodReads.

Published March 5th 2011

After I first read the description of Euphoria I was very intrigued. Being in the mood for a new vampire story I decided to take up on the author and her offer to read and review it. 

In the beginning Riley is sitting on the beach talking to her mom, who brings up Viking Runes. I became even more intrigued as runes are a new subject for me. Riley then heads off to the East Coast to live with her cousin and go to college. 
That's about the time the story took a turn, and not for the better. Her cousin, Hailey, is super sweet and shows her around town, introduces her to her friends, and treats her like a sister. One of Hailey's friends, Nick, develops a crush on Riley, and he is just the cutest. I was totally digging him.
Right about the time that it becomes obvious to Riley that Nick likes her, she starts acting like a really mean brat. I cannot remember a scene in the book when she is hanging out with her friends that she doesn't act mean, rude, or irritated. And these are the people she is calling her friends, yet her actions make it seem like she doesn't ever want to be around them.

Enter vampire Remaunt. He's mysterious, dark and handsome. And, of course, since he is a vampire, he is irresistible. I often found myself wondering why though. After reading the whole book the only thing I know about him is that he is a vampire and his name is Remaunt. Finding that out was a task in itself. There is no information disclosed about him, so I could not connect with nor care for him. 

I wasn't too big on all the descriptions. Pretty much every word that could have an adjective before it had one. I found myself skipping pages to get to 'the story'.
But I could have handled all of that. It wasn't a terrible story. Just wordy and the characters could have been developed more. Then I got to the ending...or lack thereof. There is no resolve. No questions answered. It just stops. It frustrated me sooo much that I read the whole story and nothing was given to me for it. I understand setting up a story to carry over to a sequel...but I am not kidding when I say this one just stops. There is an epilogue but it's pretty much just a teaser for the next story, which I am still not sure I will be 
reading. There were just too many things going on and not enough answers.

But I am in the minority, I have seen many other reviews on GoodReads by people who have loved it. So if you love paranormal stories, give Euphoria a try. You may end up loving it.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, altered my opinion of the story or my review.