Saturday, July 31, 2010

ARC Giveaway

     So this is one of the best giveaways I have seen in a while. 21 Pages is hosting a fantastic giveaway of six ARC's that are due to come out soon! The contest includes:
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze, Rina Onur
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
     Enter the giveaway here! Good luck to all!
     Which book are you hoping for? I'm really, really looking forward to Clockwork Angel (which may be why it is the only one pictured...) but the others look fantastic too!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (3)

     It is Friday once again (is it just me or did this week fly by?) and that means the Friday Hop has started! My blog is one of the many relatively new kids on the block. The hop seems to be going great though, don't you think? Thank you Jennifer at Crazy for Books!
Book Blogger Hop
Question of the Week:
     Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?
     I'm not really sure about this one... I haven't read but one book by him, and yet Markus Zusak has definitely caught my attention with The Book Thief. I loved that this book was able to reach me on so many levels. He did a beautiful job with all of the characters in this.
     Who is your new favorite author?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Reading Sundays (2)

     Summer reading assignements always seem to be such a controversy among students when school is ending or starting up again. I'm not necessarily a fan of assigned summer reading, but then again I'm not against it either. I simply think the books leave something to be desired most of the time.
     I'd love to hear about any of your experiences with summer reading! You don't have to still be a student to tell me about something you were assigned to read. Maybe your boss decided you needed to read a particular book for the job. Or, better yet, talk about a book you assigned yourself! Did you love the book, hate it or have no opinion on it? Did you feel that the book was age appropriate?

7th Grade-- Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville
     I know it's horrible, but I was dreading having to read this book just because of the title. By this time I was past reading books with titles like this (about time, I would think). I thought it sounded much too childish to have to read for seventh grade (because obviously seventh grade is so superior, right?)! So I procrastinated and whined about having to read such a horrid book, and I never whine about having to read something unless it is that bad.
     When I finally sat down and started Aliens Ate My Homework I was pleased. It was not anywhere near as terrible as my imaginings had conjured it up to be! Yes, it was still a bit too childish for my taste, but it wasn't bad. It was even kind of funny and it had plenty of plot twists too.

     In the book, Rod Allbright gets in trouble for telling his teacher that aliens ate his math homework. The thing is, aliens really did eat his homework. They are also trying to get Rod to help them find an alien criminal. A criminal who Rod has been up-close and personal with many a time while he was being bullied by said alien criminal.

     Rod was a typical sixth grade kid, in my opinion. He had foregone believing in aliens by that time and was just trying to do his homework. The aliens were a welcome distraction none the less!
     My favorites of the aliens were Madame Pong and Tar Gibbons. They were the sweetest and the most helpful. Plus they had more personality than most of the others.
     Rating: 4 
     While this wasn't my cup of tea, I'm sure some people would like it, particularly younger kids between the ages of 8 and 10. Look for Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville just about anywhere including Amazon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (2)

     This will be my second time participating in the hop! I'm pretty excited! I am a new blogger (about 2 months) and I am loving it. Thanks to Jennifer at Crazy for Books for creating the Book Blogger Hop!
Book Blogger Hop
Question of the Week:
     Tell us about the book you are currently reading!

     Well, right now I'm reading the dreaded summer reading assignments.  ;)  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is about the murder of the Clutter family and the police investigation that followed. So far, I'm about 100 pages in. It isn't really my kind of thing though. The majority of the last 100 pages have been exposition leading up to the murders and not so exciting. The family is somewhat interesting to read about, but the killers are just plain creepy!

     What are you reading? Anything that will surely have you up until the wee hours of the morning?
     Feel free to browse around my blog! I know it isn't much just yet, but who knows, you might find a post of interest.

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

     Impulse was an... interesting read, to say the least. It follows three teens as they receive help after they've made attempts on there lives in a rehab facility, Aspen Springs. Tony is the pill popper, Vanessa the cutter and Conner the gun wielder. All of them have deep, dark secrets that are the key to their success, or their demise.
     Ellen Hopkins did the world of poetry such justice in this book. I thought it was amazing that she managed to weave three different stories together, all in verse. It was beautiful and powerful. How she was able to pick the perfect words to convey the elements of the story, I've no idea, but she did so well.
     Vanessa seemed like the kind of girl I could get along with. She was generally good-natured and intelligent. She cared about people. At the same time though, Vanessa had some serious flaws. Don't we all? Her family life left some love to be desired. Tony and Conner missed out on the love in their homes too. 
     I think that's the most important thing these three are seeking: love. Sadly, they already looked in the wrong places and look where it got them. Still, they have the potential to make their lives better and find the kind of love they are truly looking for. Vanessa needs to move on after the death of her mentally ill mother and the secrets surrounding the incident. Tony has to figure out who he is and what he wants out of life. Then, there is Conner. If only he could escape the suffocation of disappointed parents.
     Impulse was definitely inappropriate at certain points and even a bit too graphic for some readers. I was actually quite disturbed by some of the things in the book. Regardless, I enjoyed the lessons that it offers and the plot that was developed.
     Rating: 6
     To read Impulse, look for it at Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Lovin' Giveaway

     Another wonderful summer, another wonderful contest!  ;)
     Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic has 10 days of prizes to giveaway, and (oh, my!) does she have some prizes! Today is the first day of the contest, so take a gander. Today's giveaway happens to consist of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles among other things.
     Good luck to all who enter!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Named by Marianne Curley

     I absolutely adored this book! It was the perfect, riveting page-turner that I needed. I've read this book before, but I decided to borrow it from my friend again. If possible, I think I may have fallen even more in love with it.

     The Named are members of the Guard, an organization created to protect history. They are the lucky few for whom history truly comes alive. Ethan Roberts, now sixteen, has been part of the Guard since he was four. He loves his 'job' and is completely dedicated to it. When he gets his first Apprentice, he couldn't be more happy. Isabel Becket is fifteen and the perfect Apprentice (her tomboy-ish ways come through for her during her training). Arkarian, Ethan's trainer helps them, but thanks to the Order of Chaos, Ethan and Isabel are in for quite a bit of trouble.

     Marianne Curley created some fantastic characters! They are all just so real. In fact, they're so great, I'm not sure who is my favorite. Ethan had a bit of a troubled past and yet he functions just fine. He is funny and surprisingly deep and caring.His loyalty is beyond amazing. Isabel is a girl, but she has never let that stop her. She is strong and extremely intelligent. At times her curiosity gets the better of her, but this only makes her even more awesome. Then there is Arkarian. His blue hair and violet eyes make him an odd but amazing sight to see. He cares about everyone and does his best to help.
     The world Curley creates is astounding! I can see every detail in my mind's eye. The mountain that houses Arkarian's chamber, the forest where Ethan and Isabel train, and even the different places they visit all jump off the page into action. The way the book switches between the perspectives of both Ethan and Isabel adds to the story. It's great that I was able to get into both of their minds.
     I also liked the idea of protecting history. As Ethan says, "I guard time. More specifically, history. My job is to make sure it all happens the way it's supposed to, the way it already did." The whole concept would be a little mind-boggling, except that the book explains it so well.
     I highly recommend The Named! Like me, I doubt you will be able to put it down. So, you might not want to start it until your days off, so that you aren't pulling an all-nighter and then have to get up for work, or school like me.  ;)
     Rating: 10
     If you would like to find this amazing read, check Amazon or Books a Million.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Torment Contest


   For those fans of Fallen by Lauren Kate, there is a new contest to win a copy of the next book Torment! Carly B. of Writing From the Tub - My Life As a Writer in Bath is giving away a copy of the book until August 1st .As I'm sure you know, the book actually comes out in late September of this year, but this is an ARC! Enter to win here.
   Good luck! I know we're all pretty much dying to get our hands on this...  :)

One in a Million by Kimberla Lawson Roby

        Kennedi Mason is living her happily ever after with her husband, Blake. Her world is changed drastically when Blake decides he wants a divorce though. What he doesn't know is that Kennedi just found out that she had every number on the Mega Millions lottery ticket she had bought on a whim.
     Kennedi is devastated at first, but she quickly makes up her mind that Blake shouldn't receive even one cent of her winnings. She then sets about the task of figuring out her life without Blake.

     One in a Million reminded me of a Lifetime movie (which I have a secret love of). It wasn't something I would normally read, that's for sure. Some of the dialogue in the book seemed slightly forced, in my opinion. I didn't think it flowed as well as it could have. Despite this, I didn't dislike the book, it just wasn't my favorite.
     Kennedi was actually a fairly interesting character. While the fact that her husband was divorcing her was despairing, she didn't just moan about the fact throughout the entire book. She was able to get on with her life and realize that she didn't need him.     
     Obviously, I despised Blake. He was a complete jerk in the book! I must say that I almost felt bad for him even though he was so terrible. He was just so pathetic.
     All in all, this wasn't a horrible book. If you are a feminist in any way, you can probably appreciate some of the sentiments in the book. :D
     Rating: 3.5
     If you'd like to read One in a Million, check Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Reading Sundays

     Sadly, the days of summer break are dwindling to an end for those of us still in school (noooo!). Now we have to think about reading our assigned books for school. The reading part isn't what irks me though. It is the books themselves.
     I understand that the books teachers assign us are usually ones that they believe will make us think or are somehow related to the material we will be studying later on. None the less, some of these books are boring! It'd be nice if we were able to choose our own, even if it were from a limited list.
     I was lucky in the fact that I never had summer reading assignments in elementary school, which left my entire summers to read whatever it was that I wanted to! Imagine my surprise in sixth grade when I was made to read a book over the summer... :)
     So, this and future Summer Reading Sundays are dedicated to discussing any books we've had to read over the summer. Please email or leave a comment about the worst, best or any book in between that you were assigned for summer reading!

     I'll start with my earliest experience: 6th grade--Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls.
     I had high hopes for the whole summer reading thing because of this book! I remember that I really loved this book when I first read it. When my brother got to 6th grade he had to read it too, and I couldn't contain myself. I was absolutely overjoyed that I would have someone to discuss the book in depth with.
     Summer of the Monkeys basically followed Jay Berry around the creek bottoms near his home as he searched for and tried to catch circus monkeys. The circus was giving out rewards for their monkeys to be brought back and Jay figured if he could catch all of them he might be able to make enough money to help his physically disabled sister, Daisy.
     I thought Jay was pretty funny, especially when he was getting frustrated with the monkeys for out-smarting him. Rawls did a great job with Jay I think. He seemed real to me, which was partly why I liked this book so much. Besides that, I liked the plot. While I could predict some things, there were still enough twists to keep me going.
     I liked Daisy too. I know she wasn't the most prominent character in the book (at least not at first) but she seemed so sweet. Jay was always getting annoyed by her, but isn't that just the brother-sister relationship? I know my brother is good at driving me crazy!
     The setting was quite amazing as well. I loved how well I could picture their home and the creek bottoms!
     I must also admit that I thought the movie did a pretty good job keeping with what happened. I liked who they picked to play both Daisy and Jay. They seemed to resemble the Daisy and Jay in my mind well. Obviously the book was better though.
     Rating: 7
     Get Summer of the Monkeys at Amazon or Books a Million.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

     Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives in the Theatre Illuminata with all of the characters of every play ever written. She is not an actor or anything of the sort though.
     Bertie and her friends have fun in the theater. She loves her home. So when her home is threatened, she must find a way to save it. This requires that she learn more about herself, her past and secrets of the Theatre Illuminata.
      I really loved Bertie in this book! She was fun and spunky with a great mind. Her story draws you in, leaving you to wonder exactly what is going on. Plus she has blue hair, and anyone with the audacity to have blue hair is awesome!
     The fairies are ridiculously hilarious! Peaseblossom is the only female fairy and obviously the most sensible one. ;) Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed are in turn sweet and mischievous. Peaseblossom is most certainly my favorite though. When Bertie loses control, Pease is there for a healthy pep talk or to take some of the burden onto her own shoulders.
     Then we have all of the department managers... They all helped to raise Bertie, especially Mrs. Edith who is almost like a mother to her.
     Eyes Like Stars is a wonderful book! It combines elements of a play and a novel nicely. Throw in some fantastic characters and you have yourself a great read. I'm eager to read the next book in the series Perchance to Dream.
     Rating: 7.8
     Look for Eyes Like Stars at Amazon and Books a Million.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crescendo Contest

     Speaking of my need to read (hey, that rhymed!) Crescendo... I've found a new contest to win an ARC! Click here to enter.

Book Blogger Hop

     I've decided to join the party! I'm a new blogger and this seems like a great way to meet (so to speak) other book lovers. Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books.
Book Blogger Hop
Question of the Week:
     Right this instant, what book are you dying to get your hands on (past, present, or future)?

     Honestly, I am anxious to read quite a few books! My top three are Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and The Dark by Marianne Curley.

     Who else is jittery with excitement for a book? Come on, don't be shy! What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Shadow Hills Contest

     Anastasia Hopcus put up a new contest to win some fantastic prizes! Obviously, you also have the chance to win a copy of her book Shadow Hills.
     Click here to enter. Good luck to all contestants!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shadow Hills Contest

     Who doesn't love winning free books? Not to mention, signed ones! If you would like to enter to win a signed copy of Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus click here.
        Also, read the first chapter or watch the enticing trailer.