Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Fill-In- December 31, 2010

Friday Fill-In

There isn't a new fill-in this week, but I didn't get a chance to do last weeks, so here I go.

1. These are a few of my favorite things: best buds, Kory, Bella, family, reading, flavored popcorn and the Florida Gators.
2. Since Christmas is my mom's birthday, we always have steak and lobster for a holiday dinner.
3. What's that I hear in the hall?  Oh, its just Bella eating her food.
4. It's never just quiet, quiet.
5. Some of my favorite holiday memories include my family.
6. I'm not afraid of rodents, not even a mouse.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the Goldsteins house to celebrate the New Year, tomorrow my plans include watching the Gators play their bowl game and Sunday, I want to relax!

Friday Finds- December 31, 2010

Here are my finds for the week:

Illusions (Wings #3)- Aprilynne Pike
Illusions, the third book in Aprilynne Pike's New York Times best-selling series, continues the story of a not-so-ordinary girl named Laurel.

"I don't do patrols, I don't go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life, I'll keep you safe," Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. "Or die trying."

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail. (From Aprilynne Pike's website)

Through My Eyes- Tim Tebow
Over the course of the last five years, Tim Tebow established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of college football and a top prospect in the NFL. During that time he amassed an unparalleled resume—winning two BCS national championships, becoming the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman trophy, and in the face of massive public scrutiny, being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

Now, in Through My Eyes, Tebow brings readers everywhere an inspirational memoir about life as he chose to live it, revealing how his faith and family values, combined with his relentless will to succeed, have molded him into the person that he is today. As the son of Christian missionaries, Tebow has a unique story to tell—from the circumstances of his birth, to his home-schooled roots, to his record-setting collegiate football career with the Florida Gators and everything else that took place in between.

At every step, Tebow's life has defied convention and expectation. While aspects of his life have been well-documented, the stories have always been filtered through the opinions and words of others. Through My Eyes is his passionate, firsthand, never-before-told account of how it all really happened.  (From Goodreads)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review- The Mockingbirds

Early this morning I finished The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney for a Star Book Tours.

From Goodreads:

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

I feel like this is such an important book.  Date rape is unfortunately something that way too many teens (and females in general) are a victim of.  And this book seemed so real.  The main character, Alex, seemed to handle it the way a real teen might.  She didn't want to go to the police because she didn't want her parents to find out (although, I do think she should have gone) and she went through the emotions that I imagine a date-rape victim would go through.  At the end of the book, in the authors note, we learn that the author was a date-rape victim.  And while that is horrifying, I don't think the book would have been as real as it was without that tragic event.

And I love the idea of the Mockingbirds, although I'm not sure that a system like that would really work in a school.  I can't really see the kids who think they have the power at the school really let a school-run organization "police" them, especially when the adults don't do anything about it.  But like I said, I do like the idea of it.  And I did like the checks and balances that were put into place.

I liked all of the main characters--Alex and her roomies T.S. and Maia.  And I loved Martin--such a good guy (I always like the geeks!) And I loved the students who made up the Mockingbirds board. 

I think that every female teen should read this.  Especially ones who are rape victims.  I think it would help them see that they aren't alone and that their feelings are normal.  My heart goes out to Alex and to all other victims.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 159
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 124
2010 Debut Author Challenge: 41
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 113

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday- December 29, 2010

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

by Mandy Hubbard
Publication Release Date: July 21, 2011

From Mandy Hubbard's website:

For two years, I have not killed.
But tonight, I stand in the shadows behind a tree, watching as a boy skips rocks on the lake.
He shouldn’t be here.

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. The water calls to her, draws her in, forces her to sing her deadly song to unsuspecting victims. If she succumbs, she kills. If she doesn’t, the pain is unbearable. To keep herself and those she cares about safe, she shuts herself off, refusing to make friends or fall in love—again. Because the last time she fell in love with a boy, he ended up dead.

Then Lexi meets Cole. Against her better judgment, she finds herself opening up again, falling in love when she knows she shouldn’t. But when she’s offered the chance to finally live a normal life, she learns that the price she must pay to be free of her curse is giving him up.

In Ripple, Mandy Hubbard spins a sea-ravaged tale of melancholy beauty, and the choices one girl makes between land and waves, love and freedom, her future—and her heart.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mailbox Monday- December 27, 2010

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

The Chaos- Rachel Ward--review for a Book-It Forward ARC Tour

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Review- Angelfire

I finished reading Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton for an Around the World Tour.

From Goodreads:

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
This book seems to be a good start to an awesome trilogy!  I really liked the main character, Ellie. She was sarcastic and girly and kick-butt, all at the same time.  I liked that she kind of remembered who she really was, while staying true to normal teenage self.  And Will was great too!  It's so sweet and romantic, in a twisted kind of way, that he always looks for Ellie every time she dies and comes back to life.  I mean, I know that its his job, but you could tell how much he cared about her.
Some of the plot got a little weird for me towards the end. Sometimes I found myself getting a little confused at which villain was which. And I want to know more about Ellie's father.  I think there is some reason why he is suddenly so mean and I think there might be a subplot there somewhere.
Anyways, I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the next book, Wings of the Wicked.
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
Angelfire will be released on February 15, 2011.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 158
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 123
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 112
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Exciting News!!

So, on Sunday Kory and I got engaged!  Finally, after four and a half years!  He proposed at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Dancing Lights.  And he set it up so we were in line to have our picture taken by the Disney people, since I always love to have it done.  So the whole thing was caught on camera!  I'm so excited!  Right now we're either looking at a wedding date of June 11, 2011, or sometime in April of 2012!


Book Review- Steel

I finished reading Steel by Carrie Vaughn for an Around the World Tour.

From Goodreads:

When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.
This was definitely a unique story.  You don't find many pirate stories that have a girl as the main character (or at least, I haven't read any).  I liked reading this from a female point of view.
This was definitely an action drived story.  There really didn't seem to be much character development.  But hey, its a pirate story.  It's going to be action-packed, right?  I would have liked to get to know a little more about Jill and even Henry.  And while the summary of the book says that romance was in the air, I find that to be kind of false.  There was only one brief romantic scene at all.
If you're looking for a unique, action-packed story, then I think you'll like this one.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
Steel will be released on March 15, 2011.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 157
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 122
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 111
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mailbox Monday- December 20, 2010

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

Last Night at Chateau Marmont- Lauren Weisberger--PaperbackSwap
The Sweetest Thing- Christina Mandelski--from publisher for Class of 2k11 tours
Memento Nora- Angie Smibert--from publisher for Class of 2k11 tours

The Mockingbirds- Daisy Whitney

Undead and Unfinished (Undead #9)- MaryJanice Davidson--PaperbackSwap
Darkborn- Alison Sinclair--PaperbackSwap

Mercy- Rebecca Lim--Book-It Forward ARC Tour

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Sunday Salon- December 19, 2010

The Sunday Salon

This is another super busy week!  I only read one book and that review won't be posted until February.  So I don't really have anything to post here!  I am soooo glad its finally winter break!  Two weeks of freedom, and hopefull catching up on reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mailbox Monday- December 13, 2010

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

Eternal Lover- Hannah Howell, Lynsay Sands, Jackie Kessler, & Richelle Mead--PaperbackSwap
My Invented Life- Lauren Bjorkman--review for Teen Book Scene
Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires #8)- Rachel Caine--PaperbackSwap

Steel-Carrie Vaughn--review for an Around the World Tour

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Sunday Salon- December 12, 2010

The Sunday Salon

Another slow week with the reading.  Only one book read!  I am getting behind!  But I'm enjoying my time with my puppy!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 156
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 121
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 110

I am currently reading My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman and up next is Sounds Like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday Fill-In- December 10, 2010

Friday Fill-In

1. I wish that next week will go quickly and that Christmas break will get here soon!
2. I'm so tired...that's what I'm thinking.
3. Please bring me some ideas on good puppy purses.
4. Having a puppy is so amazing.
5. One of my fondest hopes is that I will be engaged before the new year.
6. I have a boyfriend who's been more wonderful with the puppy than I could have imagined and I just wanted to say thank you.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to a friends Christmas party (well, I already went), tomorrow my plans include going to see Tangled and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Finds- December 10, 2010

Here are my finds for the week:

Bumped- Megan McCafferty
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they search for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable. (From Megan McCafferty's website)

Life After Yes- Aidan Donnelley Rowley
This is the story of Quinn—born Prudence Quinn O'Malley—a confused young Manhattan attorney who loses her father on that tragic September morning that changed everything. Now, at an existential crossroads in her life, Quinn must confront impossible questions about commitment and career, love and loss. Her idealistic beau desperately wants a wedding, and whisks her away to Paris just to propose. But then Quinn has a dream featuring judges and handcuffs and Nietzsche and Britney . . . and far too many grooms. Suddenly, her future isn't so clear. Quinn's world has become a minefield of men—some living, some gone, and traversing it safely is going to take a lot more than numerous glasses of pinot grigio.

Life After Yes is a blisteringly honest, thoroughly modern tale of life and love in chaos, marking the arrival of a truly exciting new voice in contemporary fiction. (From Goodreads)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Cards

Every year, I love to send out photo Christmas cards.  I love trying to take the best picture throughout the year, and Kory will often ask me if a certain picture will be on the Christmas card.  We took an awesome picture in front of Cinderella's Castle at night, and of course, I'll have to add a picture of Bella!  Shutterfly has some great photo Christmas cards.  I had a fun time trying out all of the different styles with pictures that I liked. (it's so easy to lose track of time playing around on the site!) There are so many that I'm having a hard time choosing which one I like best.  I'm thinking of deciding between these two

But Shutterfly is great all of the time!  They also have great birthday cardsdesk calendars, and cute gifts like photo mugs.  Now I just have to sit down and decide which card I definitely want to get.  I was originally looking at the cards with three pictures, but I think I might go look at the ones with just two and take out one of the pictures of me and Kory. Anyways, I can't wait to get them in the mail!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review- Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

I finished reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan for an Around the World Tour.

From Goodreads:

"I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
First off, let me say that I love the plot of this story.  I mean really, really love it.  I love scavenger hunts and I love anything romantic and this story kind of tied both of them together.  I think it would be incredibly neat to find a notebook and leave clues and notes for each other around a city.  (Anyone want to tell my boyfriend this?  *hint hint*)
But for some reason I didn't really get any of the characters.  Dash was okay.  He wasn't your stereotypical male lead character--wasn't a jock, wasn't big into drinking, wasn't a player.  He was a sensitive soul.  But I didn't really care for Lily.  Once again, her character seemed too young for her age.  I don't know, maybe she was just too eccentric for my taste.
That being said, back to the plot.  I loved reading about all of the places that Dash and Lily went to leave the notebook or to get it.  I love NYC so reading about the touristy (and the not-so-touristy) spots were fun.  And I liked how the book ended.  Not too far-fetched but just right.
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 156
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 121
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 110
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Wednesday Wordle- December 8, 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- December 8, 2010

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

Bloody Valentine
by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Release Date: December 28, 2010

From Goodreads:

Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz offers readers a new story about the love lives of their favorite vamps - the passion and heartache, the hope and devastation, the lust and longing. Combined with all the glitz, glamour, and mystery fans have come to expect, this is sure to be another huge hit in the Blue Bloods series.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday- December 7, 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:

"(Pull my wimple! PULL MY WIMPLE!)"
~pg 31, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (ARC)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mailbox Monday- December 6, 2010

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

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares- Rachel Cohn & David Levithan--review for an Around the World Tour
The Secret Lives of Dresses- Erin McKean--from publisher

Choker- Elizabeth Woods--accepted request from publisher
Darkness Becomes Her- Kelly Keaton--accepted request from publisher
Ten Miles Past Normal- Frances O’Roark Dowell--accepted request from publisher