Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In My Mailbox- October 28, 2013



In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

MONDAY
Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)- Miranda Kenneally--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










Love Waltzes In- Alana Albertson--from publisher for review











TUESDAY
The Dark Unwinding- Sharon Cameron--from publisher for review











WEDNESDAY
The Beautiful and the Damned- Jessica Verday--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Sunday Salon- October 27, 2013

The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins











Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally











I fulfilled items in the following challenges last week:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 53, 54
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 42, 43

2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 32
2013 Quick Fix Challenge: 22

I'm not currently reading anything because I'm waiting for a tour book to come in!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review- Racing Savannah

I finished Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally today for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…


Usually I find the books in this series way too religious.  But I was happy when I realized that there wasn't a hint of any religion in this book.  Yay!  And it was by far my favorite of the series!

I loved the topic--horseback riding.  I've secretly always loved horses and wanted to learn how to ride them.  So this book was fascinating to me.  I loved reading about being a jockey.

And I loved Savannah (love the name too!)  Her humor was great and she was so strong even though she was raised in a way that I'm not used to--poor with college  not a given.  I'm still not exactly sold on Jack though.  He grew on me by the end, but during the story, I wasn't sure how he was going to turn out.

I really enjoyed this one!

Racing Savannah will be released on December 3, 2013

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 54
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 32
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 43
2013 Quick Fix Challenge: 22

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review- Demonglass

I finished reading Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins on Tuesday.

From Goodreads:

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a
reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?


This second book in the Hex Hall series had me entertained the whole time.  I didn't want to put the  book down!  I once again absolutely loved Sophie's sense of humor.  She's just so sarcastic and I can completely relate. 

There were definitely some little parts of the book that I didn't see coming.  Especially at the end!  I liked the little love triangle that was going on (though I'm not really sure you can call it a love triangle) but once you read the book, you'll understand what I'm saying. 

And I want to know what's going to happen next.  I need to get my hands on the third (and fourth!) books in the series!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 53
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 42

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In My Mailbox- October 21, 2013



In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

TUESDAY
Love Struck- Chantel Guertin--contest win from Goodreads











FRIDAY
The Supreme Macaroni Company- Adriana Trigiani--contest win from Goodreads

The Sunday Salon- October 21, 2013

The Sunday Salon
I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Shadow of the Mark (Carrier #2) by Leigh Fallon











Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins











I fulfilled items in the following challenges last week:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 51, 52
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 30, 31
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 40, 41
2013 Sophomore Reading Challenge: 5
2013 Embarrassment of Riches TBR Reading Challenge: 6


I am currently reading Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins and up next is Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Review- Hex Hall

I just finished reading Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.

From Goodreads:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes.
Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
 
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
 
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Cindy from Princess Bookie knows what's on my bookshelves and asked if she could pick what I read next.  I said sure and she picked Hex Hall for me since I love books about boarding schools.  And she was sooo right!  I loved this book!

This book was light and funny and I loved Sophie's sense of humor.  I also loved her sense of loyalty and her good heart.  I also enjoyed the side characters of Elodie and Archer.  I certainly didn't want to like Elodie but for some reason I did.  And Archer too!

This book was a fun way of looking at the life of witches, fairies, shapeshifters, werewolves, and vampires.  I loved how they all interacted and lived together. 

There were some surprises that I enjoyed and didn't see coming.  Always love when that happens!  I have the next book in the series, Demonglass, in my hands and I can't wait to start!

I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 52
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 31
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 41
2013 Embarrassment of Riches TBR Reading Challenge: 6

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher for a review. 



 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review- Shadow of the Mark

I just finished Shadow of the Mark (Carrier #2) by Leigh Fallon for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Their love could destroy them all.

Through the ages, Marked Ones have harnessed the powers of the four elements: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Much about the elements is shrouded in mystery, but one thing is certain: A relationship between two Marked Ones has the potential to cause widespread devastation.

Megan and Adam—Air and Water—are determined to defy the risks.

But the power that swirls inside Megan is growing in twisted ways. And the closer she is to Adam, the closer Megan comes to unleashing a dark force that could spell destruction for the entire Marked line.


I read the first book 2 years ago, so I had a bit of a hard time remembering what was going on.  I kind of got myself caught up, but not completely.

I liked the DeRises.   I liked Megan and Adam together and it was interesting to read about how their elements reacted to each other. 

But there were lots of things that left me confused.  I didn't really get the whole Knox versus the Order thing.  And the end confused me with the fifth element thing.  It mostly just went over my head. 

It kept my attention well enough but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was better able to understand what was going on.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 51
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 30
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 40
2013 Sophomore Reading Challenge: 5

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

In My Mailbox- October 14, 2013


In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

MONDAY
Not a Drop to Drink- Mindy McGinnis--borrowed from a friend











The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)- Julie Kagawa--borrowed from a friend










Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea- April Genevieve Tucholke--borrowed from a friend










Red Hill- Jamie McGuire--borrowed from a friend











3:59- Gretchen McNeil--borrowed from a friend




Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Sunday Salon- October 13, 2013

The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano











I fulfilled items in the following challenges last week:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 50
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 29
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 39


I am currently reading Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon and up next is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review- Perfect Ruin

I just finished reading Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting
too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.


I have been in such a reading slump lately.  I haven't been excited to pick up the books I've been reading.  And I couldn't really get into anything.  Until I picked up Perfect Ruin.  This book got my out of my slump, and quickly!

I absolutely love this story.  I loved the plot and the characters.  I loved the writing.  Just a great all-around book.

The plot is completely original.  A whole city up in the clouds.  The people who live in the city know about the ground but aren't allowed to try to get there.  In fact, those that do try, are called "Jumpers" and are almost disgraced.  It was so neat to read about this world and it's rules.  The whole idea of being betrothed seems archaic yet in this world there's something romantic about it.  How this person is perfect for you and you've known it since birth.

And then I loved all the characters.  Morgan is the perfect main character.  She's got her own dreams and notions yet down to earth.  (I just realized that might not be the perfect analogy for this book..lol).  And her best friend is the perfect sidekick.  Pen who is always there for her and strong yet slightly na├»ve when it comes to their world.  Basil is the perfect guy.  He is completely in tune with Morgan.  He knows her feelings and is completely there for her, even when others wouldn't be.

There were a couple of turns in this book but nothing drastic.  It just flowed so well and made me want not want to put the book down.  The ending leaves me wanting to know what is going to happen next--I don't want to wait.  This is definitely my favorite book of the year!!

I gave this book a rating of 4.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 50
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 29
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 39

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

In My Mailbox- October 7, 2013


In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week


MONDAY
Through the Zombie Glass (The White Rabbit Chronicles #2)- Gena Showalter--review for an Around the World ARC Tour










TUESDAY
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)- Lauren DeStefano--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Sunday Salon- October 6, 2013

The Sunday Salon

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Thing I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally











I fulfilled items in the following challenges last week:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 49
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 28
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 38


I am currently reading Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano and up next is Die for Me by Amy Plum.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review- Things I Can't Forget

I just finished reading Thing I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…


I always forget just how preachy and in-your-face religious these books are.  And that turns me off at the beginning.  But I make myself plow through and end up enjoying them.

I liked Kate, for the most part.  I liked that when she was really needed, she looked past her strict beliefs and helped her best friend.  I do think that she went too far with her beliefs.  If she wanted to be super religious, then good for her and that's her right.  But I don't think it was right of her to judge those that weren't.  They're entitled to her beliefs just as she's entitled to hers (although I don't think it was fair of others to judge her either). 

And I do think that was a major theme in the book. She was growing and learning that everyone believes different things and that she has to be accepting of that.  And that just because they don't believe the same things she does, doesn't mean they're bad people.  I think her eyes really became open to the world around her. 

I really liked Matt and Parker and Will.  They seemed like good, strong, teenage role models.  Yes, they veered slightly off the super strict path, but they were still good kids.

The camping aspect of the book was fun to read about and so was the look at first love. 

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 49
2013 ARC Reading Challenge: 28
2013 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 38

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge-- October Update


2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.



Levels: Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books



I am not going to keep a list of the books I'm reading.  I am just going to keep track of how many books I am up to for each month on the last day of the month.  I read 93 books in 2012.

~I am going to try for the Getting My Heart Rate Up level first.

January: 7
February: 12
March: 19
April: 24
May: 29
June: 31
July: 38
August: 44
September: 48
October:
November:
December:

2013 Quick Fix Challenge-- October Update


2013 Quick Fix Challenge

Challenge Details:

  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.
  • Sign ups will be open until mid December.
  • You don't have to be a blogger to participate. However, leave a comment and tell me what level you're aiming for.
  • For bloggers, post up a challenge sign up post saying what level you've signed up for. Be sure to sign-up with your sign-up post in the linky.
  • You don't have to review the books you read however if you do, you will be able to post your links to your reviews here. (I'll have a post up for reviews up in January.)
  • Books have to have less than 300 pages to count.
  • Books such as MG/YA, graphic novels/manga, audio, rereads, can count toward your goal.
    • *Updated* Anthologies and short stories count as well. (I can't believe I forgot about these.)
  • Feel free to crossover the books you read for this challenge with other challenges.
(If you have any questions feel free to ask, I feel like I might be missing something here, but I could be wrong.)

Now the Levels/It will hold with:

String: 5 books
Paperclips: 10 books
Duck tape: 15 books
Gorilla glue: 20+ books
 
~I am going to start off trying for the string level
~I finished the String level so now working on Paperclips level
~I finished Paperclips so now working on Duck Tape
~I finished Duck tape so now working on Gorilla Glue
~I completed the challenge on 9/2
 
  1.  Crash (Visions #1) by Lisa McMann
  2.  Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  3.   Eternal by H.G. Nadel
  4.  Shut Up by Anne Tibbets
  5. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
  6.  Poison by Bridget Zinn
  7.  Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone
  8.  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  9.  The Returners by Gemma Malley
  10. Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
  11. Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance 
  12. Disneylanders by Kate Abbott
  13.  Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
  14.  With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent
  15.  Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers #5.5) by Rachel Vincent
  16.  Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee
  17.  The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts
  18.  The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas
  19.  Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell
  20.  The Assassin and the Dessert (Throne of Glass #0.2) by Sarah J. Maas
  21.  Frigid by J. Lynn

2013 Mammoth Book Challenge- October Update


2013 Mammoth Book Challenge

2013 Mammoth Book Challenge

Here are the challenge details:

1. This challenge will run from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.

2. You can join the challenge at any time. All books read in 2013 count for the challenge, regardless of when you sign up.

3. This challenge can cross-over to your other reading challenges.

4. You do not need a blog to participate! If you are not a blogger, you can post your reviews at Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing and link them up here.

5. All formats of books are acceptable: Bound copies, e-books, and audiobooks as long as they meet the guidelines of Point #6 below!

6. Important Information About E-books and Audiobooks: If you are using an e-book or audiobook for the challenge, the bound format equivalent must be a minimum of 450 pages. Only unabridged audiobooks will count!

7. Both adult and children's literature are allowed: As long as it meets the minimum page count of 450 pages.

8. About large-print books: Same rules apply as noted in Point #6. As long as the regular-bound format equivalent is a minimum of 450 pages, this format will count.

9. No anthologies, short story collections, or poetry: Just novels.

10. There are four levels for the challenge:

a. Walrus: Read 3 mammoth-sized books.
b. Hippopotamus: Read 6 mammoth-sized books.
c. White Rhinoceros: Read 9 mammoth-sized books.
d. African Elephant: Read 12 or more mammoth-sized books.

11. When you write your sign-up post, you must choose your level. You can go up, but you cannot go down!

12. There will be a link-up for your reviews, which will be posted on THIS page.

13. There will be a link for your wrap-up post at the end of the year.
~I will start off trying for the walrus level
~Finished Walrus so trying for Hippopotamus

  1.  Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton
  2.  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  3. Wait for You by J. Lynn
  4.  
  5.  

2013 Sophomore Reading Challenge-- October Update


2013 Sophomore Reading Challenge

What books count towards the SRC?
Any second YA or MG book published by an author in 2013 counts – it can be the second in a series, a new series, or a standalone. The only requirement is that it is the SECOND book the author has published in the YA or MG realm (and it must publish in 2013 in your home country)! There is a Goodreads group for the challenge, which includes a selection of books that would count for the challenge – as you can see, there are probably many many books on that list you are planning on reading already :)
The list will be updated as I’m able, but please feel free to read ANY Sophomore book! It does not have to be the second book in a series, just the second YA/MG book the author has published, period.
When does the challenge run?
Books read before January 2014 count for this challenge. This includes books you may have access to now in ARC form!
Why should I join this challenge?
Reading debut novels is AWESOME. It is by far my favorite challenge – it allows me to find many new authors that I love. What better way to support these authors than to read their next published book?
What are the guidelines of the challenge?
Your challenge is to read 10 sophomore YA/MG novels in 2013. To officially participate, you need a Goodreads account or blog where you post reviews in English.
What should I do if I’m an author coming out with a sophomore novel?
I would love to feature you on my blog! Please e-mail me (shanynlee at gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like to be interviewed, featured, would like to offer a giveaway, etc.
How do I join?
Link your blog or Goodreads account below, and make a list of the sophomore novels you’re looking forward to :)
There will be prize packs given away to challenge participants throughout next year. You will receive an automatic entry for signing up to participate – options for additional entries will be announced at the time of the giveway.

  1.  The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
  2.  Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  3.  Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
  4.  Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  5.  
  6.  
  7.  
  8.  
  9.