Friday, April 29, 2011

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.

Sounds a bit dramatic, huh? I couldn't wait to get this book! I've been on the holds list at the library for ages, and the only thing that stopped me from just buying it was the fact that I've read too many mixed reviews. The book description made it sounds awesome though, in my opinion.

I'm sad to say that for me the book fell short of the description. I was thinking it would be action packed and well, different. Don't get me wrong, I did like the book, it just wasn't what I was expecting. For it to be a really spectacular book for me, it would have needed a lot less talk and a lot more action. It was a well written story, but knowing that this is the first book in a series? It makes me sad for the books that will follow.

I've talked quite a bit about series that don't have a strong starting book lately, and unfortunately this was one of those. I am really curious to see the movie now though. Anyone seen it? Or read this book? Am I the only one that was slightly disappointed??

This is a book that you are just going to have to read and decide for yourself. Like I said, I did like it. I think I'll just have to continue the series when the next book comes out in August and see where it goes from there.

Have a good weekend everyone! And as always....

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 25, 2011

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

This is the THIRD book in a series. The book description contains SPOILERS. Do not read this review (yet) if you plan on reading City of Bones and City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments series).

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that by doing so she is breaking the Law which could mean death. Even worse, Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by Shadowhunters who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

Luckily, Clary finds an ally in mysterious Sebastian, who holds a strange attraction for her. As Valentine musters a demon army, can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their ancient hatred to work together? And can Clary harness her newfound powers to help save them all—whatever the cost?

I was talking to my friend Chaleese the other day about this series and she told me that this was only supposed to be a trilogy, but the author signed an additional three-book contract, so now there will be SIX books total. Holy mother of pearl--that's a lot of writing.

I have to say, I am so glad there will be more books. If this was the final book, I would have burned my copies of them. Or fed them to my dog. No, seriously. Any way you look at it, they would have died a horrible death.  My feelings on the matter are that you just can't make certain revelations and then tie it up with a pretty bow, tuck it away, and be done with it. Not if you want the entire (or my entire, at least) literary world to hate your guts. Forever. So I'm really happy to report that there are more books. The fourth book in this series, City of Fallen Angels, was actually released a few weeks ago. I'm curious though--where does it go from here? I have my ideas of what's going to happen as this series continues, but it's pure speculation. And I hope I'm wrong. My imagination tends to run away with me sometimes.

I also want to point out that I love Cassandra Clare. Why, you ask? I love authors that aren't afraid to kill off characters in their books. I think it would be really hard to develop a character and know them and then make them die. I applaud any writer who has the guts to do it. Cassandra Clare falls into this category. That said, killing people off doesn't work in every instance, obviously. I hate when I read a book about war though, and no one dies. C'mon. How realistic is that??

I know I was a bit dramatic at the start of this review about destroying books and all,  but I really did love this book. It had all the essential elements of a really fantastic book. It mad me laugh and it made me cry. I felt love, hatred, anger, joy, sorrow....and relief. There were revelations left and right in this book. It was like a roller coaster ride of discovery, for the characters and the reader.

This is a series you definitely don't want to miss. I am going to take a mini break before I read book four. Rest and recharge and all that. I need a new storyline and new characters for a minute. Watch for it the review though. It is coming!

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Countdown to Illusions

I am so excited for this that I could literally fall over and die. But...then I'd miss it! 10 days... Just 10 more days.


If you've already jumped on the Wings bandwagon, then you know what's up. Illusions is the third (and much anticipated) book in the series. (10 DAYS! Eek!) You can read the first chapter of Illusions by clicking HERE!

And click HERE to read Chapter Two.

But if you are not caught up on the series, I wouldn't recommend it. :D Instead, click HERE to get a FREE copy of Wings and join the revolution. Or something. :D

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

 by Cassandra Clare.
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially handsome, infuriating Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help [Valentine]?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
Now I can offically say that I love this series. I know it was iffy after I read City of Bones, but I really loved this book. I thought the twist at the end of the first book would ruin any hope this series had for me, but it was actually the opposite. Am I still upset about that twist? Yes. Will I ever get over it? Possibly. :D
I was hooked on this book from the start. I was about 100 pages in (which I devoured in one sitting) and I was thinking, How in the world am I ever going to be able to put this down?? It was that way through the entire book. This one seemed a lot more action packed than the first and it had so much less to explain, which was really nice. I wasn't constantly trying to remember everything. I just got to sit back and enjoy where the story took me.
I have to say that I am now 100% Team Jace. After reading this book, I felt much the way Clary did in book one--Simon?? Who's Simon? Things with Simon really change in this book, City of Ashes. Although I still feel bad for him, I don't want Clary to be with him. Is that horrible of me? After Clary, Jace, Simon and Isabelle went to the Seelie Court in this book, everything changed for me. Ahh! Just read it!
This is most definitely a series you don't want to miss. And yes, it's now officially buy-worthy. Which is good, since I bought them all to begin with. :)
Happy Reading!

Monday, April 18, 2011

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

I am almost hesitant to put up a review for this book. The reason being that this is a series. There have been quite a few series that I didn't love the first book but ended up loving the series. Example: the Vampire Academy series, The Hourglass Door series, and, believe it or not- The Seven Realms series (which is now probably my very favorite). It's not that I hated the first book in these series, they were just...slow. They were/are all books the I liked, while I loved the rest of the books following them. (Does that even make sense?? I'm struggling today.)

My point is-- I liked this book, didn't love it. But I am excited to read the next one to see what happens.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. I loved Clary and Jace, of course, but I found myself kind of rooting for Simon. Crazy, I know. That's like being Team Jacob or Team Gale. (Wink, wink) I felt so bad for him though. The whole book Clary would be doing something and then think Oh, I totally forgot about Simon. Simon? Who's Simon? Oh well. Really? He's your best friend! It kind of made me want to slap her. But then, I'd probably do the same thing in the presence of Jace. Which leads me to my next thought...

Why is it that in real life, (the majority of) guys with long hair just look scraggy? It seriously makes me want to break into their homes and shave their heads while they sleep. But in books, guys with long hair-- especially with some curl-- sound so hot?? Oh how I love fiction-- it makes anything possible. :D

As for the storyline, I really liked it, even though parts of it were so unoriginal. Mainly, the villain's evil plot to rid the world of any "unpure" blood. (cough, cough Hitler!) How many times have I read this idea in books lately? A lot. One that immediately comes to mind- the Harry Potter series. I'm okay with that though. It obviously makes for a good villain theme or there wouldn't be so many books with it woven in. My guess is that one of Valentine's parents is going to be a mundane or Downworlder or something, so really he's not a pure blood either. Just like Voldemort was half Muggle and just like Hitler was half Jewish. Just a guess though.

Anyway, I'm off to start on book two, City of Ashes. I'm going to say that this is one you should definitely read, but I'm going to hold off on saying it's "buy-worthy" until I read more of the series. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

And the winner is....

My little B has spoken!
The winner of The Demon King is Stacy!!

A big, HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway. It was so much fun to read through the comments and see what books you're looking forward to. There were many that I added to my "To Be Read" pile. Thanks again everyone!
I have the best readers in the world. :D

Happy Reading!!

**Edit: I should also mention that for a limited time, you can get the ebook of Wings by Aprilynne Pike from Amazon for FREE! It's the Kindle version of it, but you don't need a Kindle to download it. You can download it to your PC. Handy, huh? If you haven't read this book yet, you are missing out!! It's the first book in a series, and the third one comes out next month. Hence, why they are doing this promotion for Wings. Anyway, to get it, click HERE and scroll down. It's #19 right now, but that may change. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Last Chance!!

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway! In case you forgot, I am giving away The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. This is the first in a truly amazing series. You don't want to miss out! To enter click HERE and follow the instructions in the post. Remember, you need to be/become a follower AND leave me a comment telling me what books you are looking forward to reading this year.

If I don't get any new entries today, I'm going to put your names in a hat and let my three-year-old pick one at random.... MEANING: I'll announce the winner early! If there are more entries today then you'll just have to be patient and wait until tomorrow. :D

And since I forgot to post what books I am looking forward to, here they are:
  • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
  • The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
  • The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima (of course!)
These are just a few. :D

Now go enter!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Features!

I added a few new features. You can now enter your email on the left hand side of the screen and have new posts sent to you when I update. That way you'll know right when I add a new review. (Fun, I know. I LOVE technology!) I also added "Reactions" at the bottom of each post. It's easier than commenting, and then I'll know if the review was helpful or not.

What do you think of the changes?? I'm excited for them. I hope you are too!

Happy Reading!

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (best book I've read this year so far) will be released a WEEK EARLY. It'll be out this coming Tuesday, April 19th, instead of the originally planned 26th. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park "guides" find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI--which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging--Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming?

Finn's confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called the Overtakers is plotting to destroy Disney's beloved realm, and maybe more.

This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night, when the park is closed.

My aunt told me about this book a few weeks ago. It is the first in a series--all somehow tied to Disney. I actually really enjoyed this book. Not that I am surprised or anything....

I have been to Disneyland a dozen times or so, but I've only been to Disney World once--and it was almost 20 years ago! The fact that it's been so long didn't take away from the story. If you are even slightly familiar with Disneyland, you'll be able to picture the places just fine. Even if you AREN'T familiar with the Disney parks, it's still a good read.

I grew up on Disney movies like Sleeping Beauty, so the thought of Maleficent taking over the world was not such a stretch for me. She's creepy. Really creepy. I mean, c'mon, she can turn into a dragon at will. Not. Normal. If anyone is going to plot an overthrow, she'd be at the head of that evil plan for sure.

I can honestly say, I don't know that the rides mentioned in the book will ever be the same for me again. I'd be sitting in the ride car, having a panic attack, waiting for pirates or small children or some other crazy thing to come to life and attack me. Note to self: if it's dark, leave the park!

I am excited to get the next book in the series to read and see where the story goes! This is one to put on your library list!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 2011 Read-A-Thon: How I Did

I didn't do as well as I hoped. I threw in the towel at about Hour 18 1/2. I really tried, but I just couldn't hold my eyes open anymore. Kids tend to have that effect.

I found myself sitting in bed, trying to read, and I kept gradually sliding down to a laying position. After re-adjusting countless times, I finally took the hint and turned out the light.

Anyway, I got almost halfway through my second book, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Total I read about 500 pages, which is pretty amazing since I had so many things going on yesterday. I told my husband when the next Read-A-Thon comes around, I'm going to get a hotel room for myself for the weekend so I don't have any distractions. Chances of the actually happening? Slim to none. It's a nice thought though.

I'm happy with how I did, considering that last year I read less than 100 pages. Maybe it'll just get better and better each time!

I hope you all had a great time participating, if you did. And if you didn't participate, it's definitely something to consider doing at least once. It's a fun little challenge, and it's only twice a year. That gives you plenty of time to plan ahead for it. The next one will be the beginning of October. If you want more information about it, let me know. Until then...

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Hour 16 (And a Half)-- Read-A-Thon Update

So, as I said at Hour 9, I was reading City of Bones.... Well, I'm still reading City of Bones. As in, the first chapter. I took a break and made dinner for my very supportive and understanding husband and kiddos, got kids to bed, and then got sidetracked by Gone with the Wind. I wish I could say I was talking about the book, but alas, I am not. Really though?? Who could say no to Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh?? And does anyone else find it the tiniest bit humorous that Ashley (who is in fact a boy), also had a girly name in real life?

Oh, I digress....

Time to get serious. No dinking around (in the words of my 3-year-old). Back to City of Bones. Ready?? And....BREAK!


Happy Reading!

Hour 9--Read-A-Thon Update

Well, here we are at hour nine (yes, already). I have finished book one and I am working on book two. This is what I've read:
  • My friend's WIP-- 266 pages (in document form)
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (currently reading)
How are you doing so far? What are you reading? Have you had a lot of distractions? I have! But I'm already doing much better than last year. :D

More updates to come. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Hour 3 (And a Half)---Read-A-Thon Update

So, I'm three hours in, and I have to admit.... I haven't done a ton of reading yet. Some, but then I ate breakfast, took care of my kids, and now here I sit at the computer posting about my tiny bit of reading. Sad. According to my Kindle, I am 15% through my first book. I can't talk much about the first book I'm reading-- It's a WIP from my friend. She asked me to read through the final edit before it's sent to publishers, and I am loving it! I'll post more later when I finish reading it. Until then....

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon

The Read-A-Thon is tomorrow!

I should have been more on top of things this week and posted about it sooner. You can still sign up for it though, and it is a fun twice-yearly extravaganza to participate in. I did it last April and failed miserably. I was 3 months pregnant and so exhausted. I had an empty, quiet house--which never happens-- and I ended up falling asleep at about 7PM. Pathetic, I know. I didn't even read much during the day because we had errands to run and a birthday party to go to. It was a really sad attempt. Then I didn't even sign up for the one in October because I was due with my son, and I didn't want to chance having him that day--I didn't, by the way. We did have another birthday party to go to that day too though. And if my memory serves, I was in a bit of a nesting frenzy in the form of sewing-- I made lots and lots of baby booties, blankets, and burp cloths.

Anyway, my chance to redeem myself has come! :D If you want to be official and sign up, you can do so by clicking HERE.

If you want more information about the Read-A-Thon, you can click HERE and browse through the frequently asked questions.

This is such a fun challenge, and I am excited to participate in it! Even if you don't do it "officially" it is still something that is worth a try. If you sign up for it, you can win prizes though, Definitely a plus!

So, do you plan to participate? Officially or unofficially?

Good luck
Happy Reading!

Stork by Wendy Delsol

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated.

I really liked a lot of things about this book.

I liked the clever, original storyline. I probably say this too often, but how do people come up with these things?? This is exactly why I don't attempt to write. How could I compete with so many awesome ideas and books? Along with a great story, I think it's important that it flows well, and Stork does. I was hooked from page one!

The characters were great-- and there were quite a few of them. I mostly enjoyed Katla and Jack's interactions. Why do I love that they hate each other? I don't know. But it adds to the story, and it gets explained--the WHY they hate each other. I just like that there's some conflict. It makes everything less boring, don't you think?

There were one or two things that didn't quite make sense to me. I didn't get why they were in the book and how they connected, but nothing really took away from my positive opinion of this book. I think this is one worth reading, if only just to experince a different tale than all the fairly similar ones out there.

Don't forget about the giveaway going on! It runs through next Thursday, April 14th. For more information, click the link at the top-right side of the page (above my profile).

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 04, 2011

My VERY FIRST Giveaway!!

I've been at this blogging thing for over a year now, and I've decided that it's time for my first giveaway! I'm mostly doing this because I have the most amazing readers ever, and also because I think I've gotten too many blank stares when I talk about the Seven Realms series that I love so much. After some research of this series, I've found that it was planned to have four books total. So far, two have been released and the third one, The Gray Wolf Throne, is set to be released in September. The problem I'm having with this is that in all my findings, the author, Cinda Williams Chima, has said that this is the title of the FOURTH and final book--the third being The Sword of Hanalea. A bit of a problem since The Sword of Hanalea is non-existent. It is set to be a four-part series though, so I'm interested to see what the final book will be called.

Now-- the giveaway!!

This is the first book in the Seven Realms series....
Here's what it's about:

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties. 
Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

I am so excited to give it to someone I can hardly stand it. Aren't you so excited to read it?? It makes me want to read it all over again! So all you have to do now is ENTER. Here's how:



LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me what book you are dying to read this year--any book, whether it's old or new, and also LEAVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I know how to reach you when you win!

And please tell your friends about this giveaway. The more the merrier!

This ends on Thursday, April 14th at MIDNIGHT, and the winner will be announced Friday, April 15th.

Happy Reading!

***Due to OUTRAGEOUS shipping costs, this contest is only open to those in the US. I'm sorry!! Please still leave me a comment about books you are wanting to read. I'd love to hear from you! And I promise I will do an international giveaway soon! :)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

"Princess, nobody can stop those rumors. People would rather believe in fairy godmothers...than think that you took charge of your own destiny."

Like every commoner in the land, Ella dreams of going to the ball and marrying Prince Charming. But after she is chosen to marry the prince, life with the royal family is not the "happily ever after" that Ella imagined. Pitiless and cold, the royals try to mold her into their vision of a princess. Ella's life becomes a meaningless schedule of protocol, which she fears she will never grasp. And Prince Charming's beautiful face hides a vacant soul.

Even as her life turns to misery, the stories persist that Ella's fairy godmother sent her to the ball: How else could the poor girl wear a beautiful gown, arrive in a coach, and dance in those glass slippers? But there is no fairy godmother to help Ella escape the deadening life of the castle. Can she do it on her own?

This is another one of those fairy tales that I look at differently now. Maybe Cinderella really didn't hit it off with Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Maybe Prince Charming was a jerk. Maybe no magic was involved in his and Cinderella's first meeting, but instead happened by Cinderella's own hard work. Maybe Cinderella just doesn't get enough credit.

I really liked this book. I thought it was such a great new take on a long treasured fairy tale. I thought it was empowering in that it encouraged women, young and old, to not sit around and wait for amazing things to happen, but instead to get out there and make them happen for themselves. Most times "happily ever after" won't just fall into your lap. If you want something, you have to work for it. I loved that about this book.

I thought this was such a fun, clever story. I really enjoyed Ella's interactions with the different characters in the book. I've never really thought much about castle life (I think I'm one out of a million girls that doesn't have a princess complex), but it sounds really boring. And frustrating. And....boring. I don't think I'd want to stick around and do nothing my whole life just to look at Prince Charming's pretty face all day. Not worth it.

This was a quick read--it's a pretty small book. It's definitely worth reading though! Put this on your "To Check Out From the Library" list.

Happy Reading!