Monday, March 28, 2011

Bargains on Amazon

In an attempt to stay awake during my break between classes, I've been browsing the bargain books on amazon. I found a bunch of great deals that you might be interested in:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wake by Lisa McMann (mini review)

Title: Wake (Wake Trilogy #1)
Author: Lisa McMann
Source: Purchased; paperback 210 pages
Challenges: 2011 Blogger Recommendation
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant…
My Rating: 3.5 stars 1/2
My Thoughts (mini review):

This was a very quick read. I finished it in two sittings (though it would’ve only taken one if I hadn’t started reading the book at 10PM on a school night). It’s written via third-person narrative, and usually in short simple sentences (which was personally kind of off-putting for me); here’s a few lines quoted from the book, so you can see what I mean:
“She sighs and rests her head on the table. Tries to pull herself out of it, but fails miserably. She’s too tired today. Too hungry. She really doesn’t have time for this.
And then.”
The book was kind of dark, but I liked it. I enjoyed the plot and characters very much, but I was left with A LOT of unanswered questions. Hopefully most of them will be answered in the next book, which I am eager to read. Overall I thought the book was good, but not fabulous. I definitely had higher expectations.

Warnings: There was a lot of mature content in this book – sex, drugs, underage drinking, and even some child abuse.

In fact, when this book came in the mail, my thirteen year old sister said that she would like to read it when I was finished. Will I let her? Of course! I would never censor a book from my sister; I just don’t think it’s right to do that - ever.  However, this isn’t something I’d go out of my way to recommend to her. I’m definitely going to mention some of the content that I think may be “questionable” for a reader her age, and then let her decide on her own whether or not she still wants to read it. 

Next in Series: Fade

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Clock - A Short Story By Me

I haven't blogged in a while, and I'm stilllll working on my half-finished reviews, so I decided I'd post a short story that I wrote for one of my classes last semester. To be honest, I hate creative writing because I always get super-frustrated, and this was one of the first things I've written that I've ever been proud of. Hope you guys like it & thanks for reading =)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (#12) version: I have no time for life outside of school x_x

Sorry this is super rushed, I say "um" a LOT, and make a terrible grammar error: "as is many other books". It makes me cringe but I had no time to re-shoot the video!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Books Mentioned:
(Big Thanks to: LiLa Roecker & Random Buzzers!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winner of The Lovely Bones

First off, I'd like to say I'm sorry I haven't been posting that much... school is kinda kicking my butt at the moment! I haven't even had time to read. I'm working on some of my back-logged reviews; and hopefully I'll have them up soon!

Second order of business: announcing the winner of my Lovely Bones used book giveaway! has spoken and the winner is....

Farrah from I Eat Words!

Congrats Farrah! I'll be emailing you shortly and you'll have 48 hours from that time to respond  with your mailing address or else a new winner will be chosen. If you didn't win this time, fear not! I have more giveaways planned for the future! ☺

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #9

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
"No Calla." His voice became hushed. "This is only about love."

And then he was kissing me. His lips moved over mine in a slow caress, hands running over my body, every touch begging me to stay.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Source: ARC 368 pages
Publication Info: March 22, 2011; Simon&Schuster
Challenges: DAC 2011; Dystopia; 50 States
 By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?
My Rating: 4 stars ★★
My Thoughts: 
This book is so creepy awesome! Well, it actually is creepy, but in a good way!!! There were so many lines in the book that sent shivers up my spine! The whole concept of this virus that causes all women to die at age 20, and men to die at 25, is brilliant – as well as very scary for me. I could not imagine living in a world like that. And the fact that North America is the only continent left standing after a nuclear war (all the other land masses got buried underwater) – also super scary!! But these fearsome elements created such a complex and interesting dystopia. It was a world I was happy to get lost in, as long as it only exists in the book rather than real life!!  I think the reason I found it so frightening was because these things are not completely improbable for the future, y’know?

I truly loved all the characters in this novel. I enjoyed the contrast between Rhine, Jenna, and Cecily - it was interesting to see many different girls’ reactions to the situation. I also liked Gabriel and Linden, who both seem like very complex people, and I’m hoping we get to learn more about them both in the next novel. Now, let’s talk about House Master Vaughn. *shudders* DeStefano definitely succeeded in creating a character that makes your skin crawl!!! In my mind, he reminded me a little bit of President Snow (from The Hunger Games) on the creeper/control-freak scale. Seriously, he is one extremely eerie man. That being said, the book would be severely bereft if he was any less macabre. His character brought so much to the story.

I cannot wait for the next book in this series!!!!! A great debut novel. If you like science fiction or dystopia, I would highly recommend this to you.

Cover Musings: While the cover is beautiful, I think the two circles connecting the wedding ring and the caged bird are a bit too blatant. It’s already obvious that Rhine feels like a prisoner because of her forced marriage – do we really need the cover to spell it out for us like that? It’s insulting to our intelligence as readers. What do you guys think?

Warnings: kidnapping, murder

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March R.A.K.

Random Act of Kindness (abbreviated R.A.K.) is a monthly event hosted by Book Soulmates, in which everyone creates a wishlist, and some good-samaritan blogger may buy or send you one of the books you want! Also, you get to make someone happy by sending a book or two from another blogger's wishlist. Good karma all around!

Here are the rules, taken from the sign-up post:
• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Lets's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

My wishlist can be seen HERE on goodreads.

Friday, March 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (#11)

In My Mailbox is Hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren

Books Mentioned:
  • Starcrossed (ARC) by Josephine Angelini (big thanks to Josie!!)
Wicked Lovely e-book Deal (99 cents!!) - Kindle // Nook

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #5

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that features books we're anxiously awaiting the release of. My pick for the week is:

Title: Wolfsbane
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin Group)
July 26, 2011
This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended.Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer,one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #8

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Be sure to comment with a link to your Tuesday Teaser post (or if you don't have a blog, share your teasers in a comment) so I can see what you're reading =)
My teaser is from an adult book this week, because that's what I happen to be reading...

Title: On the Hunt
Author: Gena Showalter  
(and others, but my quote is from her story)
"His lips twitched again, and her heart raced. No one should be that handsome. Especially a man who had just kicked her ass."
from Ever Night

Monday, March 7, 2011

Behind The Blog (#4)

Jacinda & Jasmine 
from The Reading Housewives of Indiana

  • If you were a Crayola Crayon, which color do you think you would be? Why?
Jacinda: Manatee
When I was little I wanted to be a Marine biologist. The manatee was my favorite animal at the time…weird I know.

Jasmine: Jazzberry Jam...Um, I don't think a color could be any more perfect for me. My nickname has always been some form of "Jazz" so this would totally be me!

  • If you could live in any place during any time period (including the present), where/when would you choose? Why?
Jasmine: 1800s I would want to be able to dress up like Tessa and Jessamine from Clockwork Angel...who wouldn't!? I've just always felt like I was meant to live in a different time. I'm not tan, and I don't have a body built for clothes today. I would have done much better in a time when pale people ruled the world!

Jacinda: 1920s Ever since I read Bright Young Things I always think about that era. Being able to smoke cigarettes not knowing they would kill you, dancing all night, and gorgeous fabulous flapper dresses all sound fun and exciting to me. Then once I really think about it I remember that The Great Depression and World War II follow the '20s. 

(Alyssa: @ Jacinda: Being as pale as I am [Alyssa the friendly ghost, at your service! =P] I'm totally with you in the pale-people-should-rule-the-world department lol & I LOVED Clockwork Angel!! )

  • What are your favorite TV shows?
Jacinda: The Vampire Diaries (that's a given), 90210 (new cast), Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Degrassi, Big Brother, Survivor, Big Bang Theory, Glee, and Good Luck Charlie.

Jasmine: The Vampire Diaries, Glee, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, My Life as Liz, Top Chef, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, Jersey Shore, Degrassi, Jerseylicious, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, pretty much anything on HGTV or DIY Network...And I'm sure there's more. When I went to answer this I swore I didn't watch that much TV, but I guess I do!
(Alyssa: wow! you guys watch a lot of TV. Ever since moving to college I've stopped watching most of the shows I used to follow ☹)

  • Do you have any weird reading habits?
Jacinda: From what I'm told, I can block out any and everything while I'm reading. The world could be ending and I would continue to read. My husband doesn't have the ability to do this, he has to have everything be dead silent.

Jasmine: I only stop reading at the end of a chapter. It drives me NUTS if I have to stop in between. I feel so lost! I also always have my legs up under me. I guess I feel like I need to make my own little reading bubble.
(Alyssa: @Jacinda: That's a good thing! I get easily distracted by noises around me, which makes it hard to read unless it's reallyyyyy quiet! @Jasmine: OMG I used to be like that too!!! Recently I've gotten better though, and I can stop at the end of paragraphs or pages now.)

  • How did you come up with the name of you blog?
button1Well, we are both currently housewives and we love to read! We wanted a play on words, and all of those "Real Housewives of" shows are really popular right now, so change a couple of words and VOILA! You have The Reading Housewives of Indiana!

Genres reviewed on their blog: YA/MG, Paranormal

Thanks Jacinda & Jasmine for stopping by and answering some questions!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (#10)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

(Update: I totally lied. Idlewild Books does have a website! HERE's a link)

Books Mentioned:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Source: Library; Paperback 472 pages
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
My Rating: 5 stars (favorite!) ★★★★★ &
My Thoughts (mini-review):
I read this book a couple of months before starting The Babbling Bookworm, and even then it wasn't a "new" book, but I thought it still deserved some bloggy love for being an incredibly awesome read... hence this mini-review! I'm warning you in advance, it's going to be very informal and stream-of-conscious-ish.

The concept of Gracelings, people graced with a certain skill (cooking, sewing, fighting... could be anything!) and identified by having two different colored eyes, was super fresh and original! I LOVED it! Furthermore, Cashore did an excellent job at world-building - I felt like I was really there along with Katsa. Honestly, this book was what inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try my hand at creative writing. I was absolutely amazed at how Cashore was able to create such vivid images out of nothing! I also very much enjoyed the romance in Graceling; it wasn't cliche, and was absolutely adorable ♥. And Katsa was a great easy-to-love character; who doesn't like a badass kick-butt chick?

I recommend this book very highly!

Other Books Like This: Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade (Nightshade Series #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Source: Purchased; Hardcover 452 pages
Challenges: 50 States, 2011 Blogger Recommendation, Shifters
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything-- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
My Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★
My Thoughts: 
This is a novel that starts in media res; on the very first page we are hit with major plot points and crucial action! I’ll admit, being immediately thrown into a world of witches and wolf-shifters (aka Keepers and Guardians) with no explanation was a bit confusing for me at first, but after a few chapters that feeling faded and I very much enjoyed finding out the rules and secrets of Calla’s world along with her and the other characters – mainly Shay, who starts out just as clueless as the reader does.

When I was at the Breathless Reads Tour, Cremer stated in response to one of the interview questions that she likes to think of Nightshade as a “wolf book” rather than a “werewolf book”. At the time, I had not read Nightshade and thought to myself, “Well… it’s a book about humans that shape-shift into wolves… How is that not a werewolf book? It sounds like a werewolf book...” Well, I was wrong. After reading Nightshade, I totally understand what she means. This really isn’t a “werewolf book”; I think a more accurate description would be ‘a book about wolves that have the power to take human forms due to very old magic – like, centuries old.’ This fact is one of the things I enjoyed most about the novel. If you’ve read some of my past reviews, you may know that as much as I love werewolf books, what I love even more is when an author is able to take a popular topic (such as werewolves or wolf-shifters) and turn it into something new and original.  Cremer does exactly this. The concept of the Keepers and Guardians was super-interesting and different than anything I’ve read before.

Aside from loving the concept/plot as a whole, I also particularly enjoyed the romance aspect of the book. For some reason, the Ren/Calla/Shay conflict didn’t strike me as the “average” love triangle. Usually I dislike love triangles, but I didn’t mind this one at all… perhaps that’s because I was so busy gushing over Ren. Ohhhh Ren. *LE SWOON* He’s definitely up there at the top of my Book Boyfriends list - right after Marc Ramos from Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series – I’m all about the protective-and-badass-yet-still-sweet alpha males ♥. He seems like such a complex person; I can't wait to get to know him better in the next two books!

I also loved Ansel, Brynn, Shay, and (of course!) Calla ... just not in the obsessive way that I love Ren LOL. Cremer does an amazing job at creating intriguing characters; I even liked many of the characters that were "bad guys" or people that I didn't necessarily agree with, because they were still so interesting!

Overall, I thought this book was excellent, and I wish I had read it sooner!!

Cover musings: LOVE this cover!! The color is fabulous (purple is one of my favorites!) and I adore the metallic glittery finish. Also, I like that Calla is holding calla lilies; it’s pretty clever.

Why is July so far away?! 

Next in Series: Wolfsbane (July 26, 2011)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Used Book Giveaway - The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

During one of my many book-buying-binges at STRAND, I stumbled upon a used paperback copy of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for only a dollar!! I read this book five-ish years ago and really loved it, but my mom already owns a copy, so I didn't see the need to buy the book for myself however I couldn't pass up a great deal .... hence this giveaway! I'll admit the book is a little bit heavy (it deals with rape and murder), so you might wanna read the synopsis before deciding to enter:
When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in Heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, Heaven, and living.

As for the actual book, the copy I picked up is a paperback. The cover is a little beat-up, but other than that I think it's in good condition:

 Rules for Entering:
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter
  • Must have a US mailing address (sorry... I can't afford international shipping!)
  • I am not responsible for anything lost or damaged in the mail
  • I reserve the right to disqualify any entry at any time and/or end the contest at any time
The winner will be chosen via and will have 48 hours to respond to my email with his/her mailing address, or a new winner will be chosen.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Recap & Giveaway Winners!

 So this month I read a decent amount of books, but have really been slacking on the reviews...
  1. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  2. The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
  3. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund [review coming soon]
  4. The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter
  5. Wither by Lauren DeStefano [review coming soon]
  6. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer [review coming soon]
Favorite February read: Once again, it's a tough choice but I have to go with Nightshade!!

Random News:
I joined Amazon Associates

And now the part you've all been waiting for:
The Winners of my 100 Follower Giveaway!! has spoken and the results are:

The winner of a signed copy of Matched is......
The winner of a signed Breathless Reads poster is.....

Congratulations! The winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond, or else I will choose a new winner. Thanks to everyone who entered and/or spread the word & don't worry if you didn't win this time around, I will be having more giveaways in the future☺
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