Thursday, January 31, 2013

Follow Friday #46

Thanks to Parajunkee and Alison Can Read for hosting Follow Friday every week!

This week's question is a toughie....

Q: What is the first thing you would do if you woke up to find yourself in your favorite book? via @GizmosReviews

A: There are so many different books for me to choose from I don't know which one is my all time favorite. I'd go for the Harry Potter series first of all, in which case I would run and make friends with Ron, Harry, and Hermione of course. Then there's Pride and Prejudice and if I woke up in THAT story I'd probably go for a walk with Lizzie Bennett or something. Then there's The Chronicles of Narnia. I'd want to wake up in time to see the creation of Narnia with Diggory and Polly.

I just can't pinpoint one favorite book. And this may sound weird, but I often find myself wondering this very thing. But... alas... it will never happen.

How about you guys. What would you do?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #9

Thanks to Tynga at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week!

This week I couldn't help myself... I went and bought The House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake. Movie edition cover and all.

Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan, as the sole survivor. Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.
What did you all get this week?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Covers Around the World - The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

New edition of Covers Around the World! This week is The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

English Language Edition
English Language Edition
English Language Edition
French Edition
Czech Edition
Spanish Edition
German Edition
Italian Edition
Polish Edition
Swedish Edition
Dutch Edition
Greek Modern Edition
Vietnamese Edition
So which one's your favorite? I like the Spanish and Czech editions. And the third English Language edition. The German one was pretty creepy too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review - The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman

What could go wrong in the 14th-century
for three time-traveling teens?
How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disasterous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.

Do they have a future in this past?
Normally I don't read books that are in a series one right after the other. Sometimes I find that I get over-saturated with the characters and the story line so I have to take a break and read a couple other books before I come back to the rest of the series. That is NOT the case with the Verona Trilogy. Not in the slightest. The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman is an amazing story. I couldn't get enough of it.

It's suspenseful and thrilling and completely action-packed. The only thing I disliked was poor Gina (the donkey, not the cannon). Hansum is now the Podesta's man much to his (and Guilietta's) dismay. He's doing a good job keeping his head above water amidst all the nobility that surrounds him, but at the same time he keeps digging himself a deeper hole that he may not be able to get out of.

I did find the explanation of creating salt peter and the process of making everything to do with the cannons a bit tedious and hard to stay interested in (much like the process of making the "discs for the eyes" in book 1) but if that was the worst thing about this book, I'll take it.

Lincoln is no longer a teenage jerk, but a productive member of the medieval Italian society and an important role in the story. And I love the relationship between Shamira and Guilietta. I find it weird that Shamira was ever considered a "hard case" and sentenced to History Camp to begin with, but I suppose if she wasn't we would have had an entirely different story on our hands.

I was extremely frustrated with the way things were playing out (in a good way though) but the end of the story just brought more twists and turns and loose ends that needed to be resolved in the third book or I'd have thrown the whole series across the room. It was sad but hopeful and I couldn't help but immediately grab book 3 to find out what happened.

Again, I would absolutely recommend this novel to anybody. Especially if you're interested in Post-Dystopian fiction (or you've already read book 1). It was a phenomenal read and I just didn't want to put it down.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review - Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks

In the Arena, you're either a killer or a victim.

If survival meant murdering an innocent person in cold blood every week, could you do it? Are you able to stick the knife into your opponent's heart while they look at you with fear in their eyes? Life in the Arena turns everyone into sinners.

When a starving and homeless boy is kidnapped and brought to a modern-day gladiator arena, hidden deep within the abandoned city of Bimini, he is forced to fight for his life. The crude death matches are a source of enjoyment for Ryker, who resides over the Arena as its vicious master. Given the name Dog, the street boy must find a way to survive, even if it means murdering other innocent kids in combat at the expense of his humanity. With every dead body he leaves behind in the pit, the blood and the violence threatens to wake a beast inside him.

Allegra, a slave girl in the pits and a victim of Ryker's constant abuse, is his only key to salvation. She has lost everything already -- her family, her innocence, and her dignity -- while her will to live hangs on by a thin thread. Can she save Dog's humanity before she too succumbs to the horrors of the Arena? With death casting it's long shadow over everyone, how can anyone survive?

A tale about survival, tragedy, and human perseverance, SHADOW OF WRATH allows us a glimpse into the world of the Sins of the 7.
Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks is an interesting book. Interesting in that, while it's in the same type of genre and has the same idea as some other books I've read, it's completely different. Imagine a gladiator type scenario meets something akin to The Hunger Games. Children are kidnapped off the streets and forced to fight for their lives in an arena where they're watched by gang bangers, outlaw biker clubs, sex traffickers, etc. Every kind of low-life you can imagine is probably watching them.

Dog, one of our main characters is pulled off the street with promises of food and a warm place to sleep but he's drugged and thrown in a cell where he wakes up to find that he's now a pawn in the arena master's sick and twisted entertainment seeking.

Allegra is just as imprisoned as Dog, but in a different way. She's a medic in the arena, left with the task of trying to save the boys that DON'T die in the arena so that theyre able to fight again another day. Something she's tried to de-sensitize her self to without success. Every death makes her sick and every injured boy breaks her heart.

Dog and Allegra both seem much older than the age that's conveyed in the books. Whether that's because both are forced to grow up much quicker than their years on earth would normally allow or for some other reason I'm not sure. Allegra, I believe, was just 14. Dog was not much older. Young lives forced to fight for them.

It was a good book. I had one issue with how quickly the beginning went. At first, I was glad that I was thrown right in to the action when Dog gets into the fight that leads to him being taken to the arena. But everything else went just as fast. He was in several fights and the only mention of how they went was how long they lasted. Not that I necessarily would LIKE to hear about how he had to kill each person he fought, but so much else was described so wonderfully and so fully that it seemed the fights themselves were kind of lacking.

There was a point where the book fast forwards 2 years in a paragraph. Dog is in love with Allegra, but I never really saw a point where they even had the sort of relationship where he could fall in love with her. She was kind to him, yes, but the build up was missed in my opinion.

The ending was frustrating and sad. But in a good way. The way it was supposed to be. I can't tell you why, because that would spoil the book. I CAN tell you that it did NOT end the way I expected it to. At all. It was a fast read, only 165 pages. But it was a good one that I'm glad that I read. I'd recommend it to people interested in dystopian type books or just something with a lot of action and twists and turns.

You can check out the authors webpage by clicking HERE!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Movie Trailer - Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Looks like an interesting movie. Kind of reminds me of Jackson Pearce's Sisters Red. Anyone going to see it?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review - The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

BOOK #1 of The Verona Trilogy:

Young Adult, Post-Dystopian Fiction

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.
I was hoping to win a copy of The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman in a Goodreads giveaway some time ago, but was not so lucky. So when I saw the chance to participate in a blog tour for the Verona Trilogy I jumped on it.

Hansum is what they call a "hard case". He's incredibly bright but he just doesn't.... get it. Know what I mean? He takes for granted the things that he has and the life that he lives because he never knew the struggles and the hardships of centuries before. So he, along with 2 other "hard cases" are sent to History Camp to learn to appreciate the way that they live.

Only... Hansum brings along something that influences the trio to more or less kick the beehive and cause trouble to the enactors at the camp. Shortly after they are spirited away to ACTUAL 1347 Verona, Italy and are forced to apprectice with someone who is DEFINITELY not an employee in a History Camp. Scared and left on their own they have to figure out how to assimilate and get along with Medieval times and do what they can to get by until it's time for them to go home.

The book was exciting. It got right in to the swing of things from the very beginning when Hansum is sentenced to 2 weeks of History Camp. No time is wasted on getting him there and then the fun begins.

Hansum is a very likeable character. That may be because he knows how to charm the pants off of anyone he comes in contact with... or the fact that he's quick witted and good in a pinch. He may be a hard case, but no worse than a lot of teens in the days we live in now who take advantage of the things that are given to them. Shamira also doesn't seem like much of a hard case. She's quiet and reserved and a brilliant artist. She's a quick learner and eager to help those around her. Lincoln irritated me at first. Immature and rude, but what 14 year old isn't? He certainly proved himself later on in the story and actually became quite likeable. And an invaluable apprentice to the Master the trio was serving under.

The secondary characters in the story are very endearing and you can't help but smile at Master della Cappa. You can't help but hope that Hansum and Guilietta get to be together despite the fact that Hansum is a servant and Guilietta is the Master's daughter.

Honestly, I never thought I'd enjoy reading about a lensmaker as much as I did. Granted, at the beginning while they were describing the process I kind of skimmed over that. I'm not good at reading lengthy directions (personal flaw, what can I say) or instructions. But other than that the book was a very fast read. It was an interesting look in to Medieval Verona and it was fun to imagine what life was like for the teens in that time. I'm very excited to really get in to book two, The Bronze and the Brimstone to see what happens to our "hard cases".

I'd recommend this book to absolutely anyone. Once you get pulled in to the story you'll find it hard to make your way back out until the book is over.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #8

Thank you thank you thank you to Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week. I love seeing the books you all get!

This week I got a super interesting sounding book that I won in a giveaway (WOoT!).

A signed copy of Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.
Seriously, does that not sound like a book you wanna read?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Catching Fire Preview Cover

So I'm super excited about Catching Fire hitting theaters in November and everyone's been showing off the new EW cover and movie stills and I wanted your opinion on cast choices. What do you think of Finnick? And I know this has been no secret, but how about Jena Malone cast as Johanna Mason?

I've seen her in Pride & Prejudice and she did fairly well. Didn't much care for her part in The Hatfields & McCoys. But I have to admit, most of what I've seen her in was when she was younger. She's just not the person I pictured to play Johanna. BUT.... Jennifer Lawrence wasn't how I pictured Katniss and yet... darken her hair and slap a quiver on her back and BAM. You've got the Girl on Fire.
I reckon I'll have to wait and see how the new cast fits in to their roles. Regardless, I can't wait to see the movie. November is so far away!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Late Christmas Swag

Again, I know I'm late. I KNOW. I can't help it.

But I got some pretty cool stuff for Christmas that I can share on here. Thanks to my wonderful fiance. Yes... I said it. FIANCE. That's what he is now.
Yeah... excuse how tired I look there please. I'd not been getting much sleep.
Where was I?

Christmas goodies.
Ready for this?
 A cuddly, plush, pull-apart zombie (no really, you can pull him apart, everything is velcroed together) and behind it a book of my own photographs!
A Dixon (as in Daryl.... a-thank you) Crossbows sweatshirt which is SOOOOO soft and comfy

A pretty pink zombie hunting nerf crossbow :-P (he got himself a real one which I'm a pretty good shot with)

The Zombie Survival Guide and a sardine tin with survival items in it

And zombie targets for my crossbow
Is he not the greatest? He's the ONLY person that got me ANYTHING book related. Guess he knows me better than anyone else. :-P Family included. But seriously, I loved everything I got. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

End of 2012 Book Survey

This survey was created by The Perpetual Page - Turner, and I know that I'm more than a week late, but hey... I get credit for doing it. Right?

I may skip a few questions here and there because unfortunately, I didn't read as much as I wish I had this year and I can't just name every book I've read for every question. :-P

Anyways, here we go.

1. Best book you read in 2012?
   Wow. It's hard to pick just one. And even with the 4 that I think are tied for first, there are a bunch more that could be right up there with them. But right now I'm going to have to go with Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev, and Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

2. Best series you discovered in 2012?
   Well, not necessarily that I discovered it, but I didn't start reading it until this year. But I read book one in The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck and even though the main character is irritatingly ridiculous at times, I enjoyed it enough to want to read the rest of the series. Although I can tell by reviews written by other people that it's going to infuriate me almost as much as book one did.

3. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
   Hmmm... this one is probably an easy one. There are LOTS of gorgeous (and some not so gorgeous but equally as awesome) covers... but I'd have to say that it's a tie between Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore and Mark of Betrayal by A.M. Hudson.

4. Most memorable character in 2012?
   Hands down, Cole St. Clair from the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.  He was my hero from the moment I finished Linger and I loved him even more in Forever. It also helps that I adore listening to this man narrate his part. ::cough:: Wow. Dan Bittner is just.... ::sigh:: I may also have to go with Jason Knight from The Dark Secret Series. He had a rough start in the series but he completely redeemed himself and he's just wonderful.

Moving on...

5. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
   Oh geez. This one isn't steamy or anything like that. But War Horse by Michael Morpurgo literally had me so frustrated I threw my book across the room. It was basically one of those "anything that can go wrong will go wrong" type of books and I just felt SO bad for that poor horse and the good people involved with him (just the good people... the bad ones can go and.... ::ahem:: nevermind). I'm the type of person where if I watch a movie and a person dies, it's sad. But if I'm watching a movie and an animal gets hurt or dies.... it ruins my WHOLE week. And I'm sobbing like an idiot.

6. Favorite relationship from a book in 2012?
   Ooh ooh. Nate and Bertie from the Theatre Illuminata trilogy by Lisa Mantchev. I love Nate. He's a strong and handsome pirate who's completely smitten with Bertie. And Bertie is a strong and independent woman who has a heart the size of the world. They balance each other out nicely and he gets her. And he's a pirate. Did I mention that?

That's about all I think I'm gonna answer for now. I know it's only 6 questions, but I figure that's enough. And again, sorry I'm late. But better late than never! Word. Now get to reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #7

Thanks to Tynga at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week!

I got a few interesting reads this week. One I've been waiting for for a LONG time and a couple I'd never heard of before I "purchased" them (I use "" because they were free Kindle reads).

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora Grey can't remember the past five months of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks - with no one knowing where she was or who she was with - she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom's creepy new boyfriend.

But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers...and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.
Coyote's Daughter by Corie J. Weaver
Trapped in a world where the legends of Tewa mythology walk free, a young girl must solve an ancient mystery in order to return to her own world. It is the beginning of summer, and twelve-year-old Maggie is angry about her family's move from San Diego to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lonely and resentful at her new circumstances, Maggie and her dog Jack explore their new neighborhood and soon find the shady trail leading up to the Rio Grande. While playing by the river, Jack startles a strange young boy, Ash. Maggie is slowly drawn away from the real world of her family and into Ash's land, one populated by myths and legends. Threatening all is Shriveled Corn Man, a powerful sorcerer in search of vengeance for wrongs long past. Guided by the trickster Coyote and the cryptic Spider Old Woman, Maggie and Jack must travel across Ash's world in order to free her new friend and his people.
Thirst by Claire Farrell
Ava Delaney calls herself a hybrid - a living, breathing human who happens to have vampire poison running through her veins. The only thing greater than her thirst for human blood is her capacity for guilt. She does her best to avoid the human world, for everyone's sake. When Ava accidentally enslaves a human while saving him from a vampire, she realises she has to look for help setting him free. Despite her misgivings, she expands her world but finds herself dragged into a possible vampire civil war. With the help of some new friends with ambiguous loyalties, she tries to find a way to keep her human, and herself, alive.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review - The 57th Keeper by R.G. Bullet

Alturus Burk is set to inherit one of the most powerful items in the wolrd. Will he be able to handle his own greed?
I've been waiting to read the next installment of The Caldecott Chronicles by R.G. Bullet and was pleasantly surprised when I came across the prequel novella to The 58th Keeper (an entirely different series by the same author, but just as wonderful).

The 57th Keeper was way too short in my opinion. But understandably so. If it were any longer we wouldn't have needed the book it preceeds. That is where I first met Alturus Burk. Only for a moment at a time a handful of times in the book, though. I figured him no better than a common thief who'd lucked in to becoming keeper and then completely botched the job.

And that's partially right. But in The 57th Keeper we find out that Alturus WASN'T always just a criminal. Shifty, yes. Somewhat manipulative, yes. But clever. Very clever. He wanted to move up in the world and did what he felt needed to be done to make sure that happened. And who can blame him? I don't think anything he'd done at that point was illegal.

His troubles start when he manages to become personal assistant to a man who owns the boat that EVERYONE wants to work on. Unfortunately the man has some issues of his own and Alturus finds that out almost immediately. What comes from his position on the crew ends up being both a blessing and a curse to Alturus. Which is sad because he honestly had a good heart. And thought he was doing everything for the right reason.

This story is told in flashbacks while Alturus is in therapy sessions, hypnotized in to remembering the events that led up to him finding The 58th Keeper.

It's a quick read, but it's exciting. If you've already read the book that follows, you know how it all turns out, but reading this you forget that. You forget that you know what's going to happen and you're kind of on the edge of your seat waiting to see how it turns out.

I'd recommend this if you're looking for a fast read that's entertaining. Heck, I'd recommend EVERY book written by this particular author. They're written wonderfully and you'd enjoy them completely. Go! Now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year

These last couple of weeks have been extremely busy with holidays and family and traveling and what not. So I thank you all for keeping with me. This month is going to bring a lot of new reviews. I'm participating in a few blog tours and I have some books I'm reading for review on top of those. It'll be a busy month but a good one.

I hope everyone had a safe New Year and that you enjoyed it.

Here's to 2013!


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