Monday, May 31, 2010

Mailbox Monday- May 31, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

Gifted: Better Late Than Never (#2)- Marilyn Kaye—PaperbackSwap
Gifted: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (#3)- Marilyn Kaye--PaperbackSwap
You Wish- Mandy Hubbard--review for an Around the World Tour

Raised by Wolves- Jennifer Lynn Barnes--review for an Around the World Tour

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson #5)- Patricia Briggs—PaperbackSwap
Rules of Attraction- Simone Elkeles--for review from publisher

Unraveled- Gena Showalter--surprise book for review from publisher

Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single- Heather McElhatton--Bookmooch
Fly Away Home- Jennifer Weiner--for review per publisher request

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Firsts- May 28, 2010

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.
~Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
~Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
~Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)

"People say I'm a glass-half-empty person."~You Wish by Mandy Hubbard (ISBN 978-1-59514-292-4)

Friday Fill-In- May 28, 2010

Friday Fill-In

1. Chicken tenders and potato salad from Publix -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer will be here for me in 8 school days!
3. I own waaaay too many pairs of flip flops.
4. To love someone is magical.
5. I am not a person who likes to take a long hike.
6. When I crave food, it's usually salty foods.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my trip to Las Vegas, tomorrow my plans include winning money at blackjack (hopefully) and Sunday, I want to maybe catch a show in Vegas!

Friday Finds- May 28, 2010

Here are my finds for the week:

The Karma Club- Jessica Brody
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act.

But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another.

Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.  (From Jessica Brody's website)

Misguided Angel- Melissa de la Cruz
After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence--with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the seven gates that guard earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silverbloods.

As the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads--and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires. (From Goodreads)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review- Something Like Fate

I finished reading Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti for a Traveling ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control?

From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can't deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she's known him forever. She's not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn't matter. Because Jason is Erin's boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend.

How long can Lani keep running from the boy who might be her destiny?
This book was just okay for me.  I just thought the whole thing seemed a little immature and I didn't feel like there was a lot of depth to it, besides the character of Blake who was gay.  And he was my favorite character.  I know a lot of other readers loved Jason, but I don't feel that we really got that far into his personality and who he really was.  And while Erin seemed a little shallow, I don't blame her for being as mad as she was (not that I condone what she did) but I feel that Lani was wrong in how she behaved with Jason while Erin was at camp.

And for some reason, the way the characters spoke bothered me.  I'm sure its  just the way a teenager would speak, but I just didn't care for it. 

It was a quick read though, and I read it in one night.  I have a feeling that teenagers would appreciate this more than I did, so I'd say give it a shot.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 66
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 48
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 47

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Traveling ARC Tours.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Wordle- May 25, 2010

Here is a screen shot of my Wordle for the week (Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from words that is seen on my blog)

Waiting on Wednesday- May 25, 2010

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Alyson Noel
Publication Release Date: August 31, 2010

From Alyson Noel's website:

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday- May 25, 2010

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My two teasers:

" 'Take that back!' 'No.' "
~ pg 3, Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Book Review- Wayfarer

I just finished reading Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson for an Around the World Tour.

From Goodreads:

The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love.

R. J. Anderson has artfully crafted a world of stunning magic, thrilling adventure, and delicate beauty, where a girl far from home must defeat the pervasive evil befalling her beloved faery realm.
To me, this book wasn't as good as the first one, Spell Hunter.  The characters were just okay to me, as was the plot.  I found myself getting a little confused about who was who and what was going on.  I thought it was a little slower too--I had a harder time getting into it.
That's not to say that it wasn't good.  I think that the younger crowd will once enjoy this one.  I just liked the first one so much better.  It seems like the ending is left for there to be another book following this one, and if so, I will definitely be picking it up.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
Wayfarer comes out June 22, 2010.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 65
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 47
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 46
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mailbox Monday- May 24, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week

All Eyes on Her- Poonam Sharma--Book Ring
A Bump in the Road- Maureen Lipinski--Bookmooch
Shade- Jeri Smith-Ready--review for an Around the World Tour

Irreplaceable- Stephen Lovely--PaperbackSwap
Betrayals (Strange Angels #2)- Lili St. Crow--Book Ring

Dead is Just a Rumor (Dead Is #4)- Marlene Perez--from publisher per my request
The Clearing- Heather Davis--from publisher per my request
Wayfarer (Faery Rebels #2)- R. J. Anderson--review for an Around the World Tour

Something Like Fate- Susanne Colasanti--review for Traveling ARC Tours

Firespell (Dark Elite #1)- Chloe Neill—PaperbackSwap

Book Review- Immortalis Carpe Noctem

I just finished reading Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas for a Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tour.

About Immortalis Carpe Noctem

Walking back home through the badly-lit campus of UNLV, twenty-five year old Alyssa is brutally attacked by two savage men. By the time a handsome stranger intervenes, Alyssa has almost bled to death, and doesn’t even struggle as her new protector sinks his sharp teeth into her neck.

Alyssa wakes to a harsh new reality, and to a raging thirst she’s never felt before. Lysander, the sexy yet aloof man who turned her, must now teach her the way of the immortals – and with such a desirable teacher Alyssa starts to realize that her fate is not as dark as she first feared.

But, just as sparks begin to fly between the pair, Lysander is alerted that his enemies are on the move and determined to destroy them both.

Led by the cunning and ruthless, Santino Vitale, the fanatical Acta Santorum have vowed to hunt down and destroy every last immortal in God’s name, and they have the vampires of Las Vegas in their sights.

Meanwhile, after seeing that Lysander has taken a new mate, the beautiful and pitiless Kallisto, is out for revenge. Alyssa soon finds out that hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.

This was the first book in the Immortalis series and I enjoyed it.  This book was a little darker, and not as light as the paranormal books that I tend to read, but that didn't stop me from liking it.

I really liked Alyssa.  She seemed like a real college student, and someone I probably would have been friends with.  Plus I feel like her transformation into her new life was real (well, as real as I imagine it would be.)  And I liked her relationship with Lysander.  I wasn't too sure if I liked him or not at the beginning, but he slowly grew on me.

There were some differences in this story and other vampire stories that I have read--I won't tell you what though.  But I enjoyed reading about this version.  And I enjoyed reading about how vampires in this story came to be.  It was a neat sort of mini history lesson.

Random note--I also enjoyed reading about Las Vegas.  I am going on a trip there next weekend, so there were a lot of things that I added to my "To Do" list while I am there :)

I look forward to reading the next book, Immortalis: Hunters & Prey when it comes out next year!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 63

About Katie Salidas

The youngest of four children, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she’s dreamed up fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires at an early age, she devoured every book, featuring those blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. She claims that, of all the monsters out there, vampires had always been the most interesting.

It was only natural that a love of reading about vampires, and a love of writing, turned into a desire to write her own stories. Thus, Immortalis Carpe Noctem was born.

A Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin, Katie loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories. You can find Katie at her blog, My Immortal Stories and Rising Sign Books.

Katie Salidas Virtual Book Tour Schedule, May 17 – 28, 2010

May 17th
Just One More Paragraph

May 18th
Cheryl’s Book Nook

May 18th
Just One More Paragraph

May 19th
Writing Daze

May 20th
Book Marketing Buzz

May 20th
Paperback Writer

May 21
The Wayfaring Writer

May 25

May 26
Books R Us Online

May 27
The Life and Lies of an Inanimate Object

May 28
Books R Us Online

May 28
Down Under Views

*FTC Disclosure: I was sent this book a part of Pump Up Your Book Promotions for a honest review.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Sunday Salon- May 23, 2010

The Sunday Salon

Another un-eventful week.  I can't believe the school year is almost over!  We only have a 5-day week, then a 4 day week, then a 3 day week left!  I can't wait til summer!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 62, 64
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 45, 46
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 43, 45
2010 Debut Author Challenge: 17
I am currently reading Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson and up next is Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti.

Book Review- Shade

Last night I finished reading Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready for an Around the World Tour.

From Jeri Smith-Ready's website:

Love ties them together.

Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

I thought this book was so unique.  The premise that people born after the Shift can see ghosts is so creative!  I was hooked on the story right from the beginning.

This story brought out a lot of emotions in me.  There were times when I was saying "How can she do that when Logan has only been dead for a little while?" and then at the end, I was definitely teary eyed.

The book left on a cliffhanger.  I want more!  I want to know what happens next!  And there are still so many questions that I have--who are Aura's parents?  Why was she the first baby born after the Shift?  and a bunch more that I don't want to say so I won't spoil the story.

The sequel, Shift, comes out in May of 2011, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 64
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 46
2010 Debut Author Challenge: 17
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 45

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Firsts- May 21, 2010

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.
~Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
~Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
~Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)

"I hate waiting!"
~Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas (ISBN 978-0-9844196-0-9)

Friday Fill-In- May 21, 2010

Friday Fill-In

1. My kindergarten students telling my they love me never fails to make me smile.
2. I'm looking forward to my Vegas trip next weekend.
3. The air conditioning is what I'm listening to right now.
4. Potato salad must have potatoes in it!
5. Chocolate chip cookie cake was the best thing I ate today.
6. Today was hot.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading, tomorrow my plans include relaxing and Sunday, I want to find a way to get out of work!

Friday Finds- May 21, 2010

Here are my finds for the week:

Paranormalcy- Kiersten White
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated. (From Kiersten White's website)

Husband and Wife- Leah Stewart
Sarah Price is thirty-five years old. She doesn’t feel as though she’s getting older, but there are some noticeable changes: a hangover after two beers, the stray gray hair, and, most of all, she’s called “Mom” by two small children. Always responsible, Sarah traded her MFA for a steady job, which allows her husband, Nathan, to write fiction. But Sarah is happy and she believes Nathan is too, until a truth is revealed: Nathan’s upcoming novel, Infidelity, is based in fact. Suddenly Sarah’s world is turned upside down. Adding to her confusion, Nathan abdicates responsibility for the fate of their relationship and of his novel’s publication—a financial lifesaver they have been depending upon—leaving both in Sarah’s hands. Reeling from his betrayal, she is plagued by dark questions. How well does she really know Nathan? And, more important, how well does she know herself? For answers, Sarah looks back to her artistic twenty-something self to try to understand what happened to her dreams. When did it all seem to change? Pushed from her complacent plateau, Sarah begins to act—for the first time not so responsibly—on all the things she has let go of for so long: her blank computer screen; her best friend, Helen; the volumes of Proust on her bookshelf. And then there is that e-mail in her inbox: a note from Rajiv, a beautiful man from her past who once tempted her to stray. The struggle to find which version of herself is the essential one—artist, wife, or mother—takes Sarah hundreds of miles away from her marriage on a surprising journey. Wise, funny, and sharply drawn, Leah Stewart’s Husband and Wife probes our deepest relationships, the promises we make and break, and the consequences they hold for our lives, revealing that it’s never too late to step back and start over.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Wordle- May 19, 2010

Here is a screen shot of my Wordle for the week (Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from words that is seen on my blog)