My Contests:

Coming Soon :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Waiting on" Wednesday: The Art of Lainey

WoW is a weekly meme showcasing books we can't wait to get our hands on. It is hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine so check out all the other posts and be prepared to add lots of new books to your tbr!


Author: Paula Stokes

Release Day: May 20th, 2014

Summary: (goodreadsSoccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame. 

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him... 

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.

My Thoughts: The synopsis sounds a bit cheesy, but I haven't read a light-hearted book in a while. It sounds like it will have some really interesting situations, a good dose of humor and a cool MC. Sounds just like the kind of book I need right now!

What are you most looking forward to this week?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop was originally a part of Jennifer's Crazy for Books Blog and is now hosted by Billy at Ramblings of A Coffee Addicted Writer.

Each week, participants answer a question from those submitted. Here is this week's prompt:

3/21/14 Prompt: What is your favorite weekly meme? Asked by Kisha.

I don't really participate in memes all that often. In my earlier blog days, I enjoyed going through the Mailbox Monday posts, Teaser Tuesdays, and Waiting on Wednesdays. The meme I have stuck the longest to (on and off) has been Waiting on Wednesday, because I absolutely love adding new books to my tbr pile. Even when I haven't had time to blog, the WoW posts have allowed me to stay somewhat connected to the blogosphere and in the loop on upcoming releases making waves throughout.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is now hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer after it originally ended over at Jennifer's Crazy for Books blog. 

Each week, a question is picked from those submitted to be asked. You answer on Fridays and spend a week looking through other responses! In an effort to keep writing, I hope to become a regular participate of this meme.

3/14/14 (PIE DAY) Prompt: What is the most creative thing you have ever done with a book? Asked by Veronica.

Although they were not my books, just two weeks ago in lab, my lab partner and I were doing an experiment which required a beaker to be clamped onto a stand about a foot in the air.

In order to stabilize our set-up, she pulled out a copy of Lemony Snicket's The Bad Beginning, a book on theater, and her kindle stacking them up to create a makeshift stand for our chemical-filled beaker. It had been quite a while since I had seen non-textbooks, so I think I might have shed a tear or two at the sight.

I was also extremely worried we would spill something on them but the books were safe and our experiment went well. We couldn't have done it without you darling books!

Is it Spring Break Yet?

Hello!

This blog has not been updated in several months. Mostly because I haven't read anything for the last two terms. But Spring Break is coming up! I will be busy eating, sleeping, and reading novels for FUN. Things which I have not done as much (or at all as is the case with reading) as I would have liked to.

Couple of things:

-If you want to find out about some new books I am interested in reading and hopefully you will be too, request me on Goodreads or follow me on Twitter (links in sidebar) since I regularly add books to the to-read list. My free time consists of napping and ogling all the books I wish I had time to read. I also read a lot of the excerpts on Amazon and such since that is all I really have time for.

-One thing that has stood out to me about being away from my blog, is that I don't write much anymore. Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced everyday. Blogging is a great way to improve. I think that my writing quality has diminished since I am not doing it as frequently. I find it MUCH harder to write reviews or critique work now. My point? Write and read as much as you can. Even if you aren't showing your writing to anyone, you develop a sense of intuition on what looks and sounds right. Reading also helps you develop your writing skills.You need the skill to get into university or grad school, to get scholarships for school, to express your concerns on legislation or other public matters in text, to write an e-mail asking for a letter of recommendation, to BS your way through your science paper on blood pressure...all while sounding like a coherent, confident and credible person that deserves to be listened to. Yup.

It is 3am. Near the end of Dead week. Forgive me if I sound anything but coherent!

-First book I will be reading and reviewing (sometime in the next two weeks) is INK by Amanda Sun. My first impression based off the first three pages is that the main character sounds sassy. I think I will like it!

-I will likely be writing all of the Waiting on Wednesday posts I have missed out on purely because I can go through my to-read list and pick out the top books I really want to buy and/or nag people to buy for me, and also because of cover lust. Covers!

That is all. The end. I struggle with conclusions. Smh.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Deadly To Love Book Blitz + Excerpt + Author Giveaway/Raffle



Hey there!

Today I am sharing some info on a new book! I have not read it yet, but I really want to and that is why I signed up for this blitz. It started from the 23rd of September and is going on until the 29th. You can find more information on other blogs hosting by clicking on the author links below.

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Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy

ASIN:  B00BDQ3QGA

ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

Summary:

The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Buy Links: 

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!

Praise:

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

I will admit I scoffed at the way it started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

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Mia Hoddell has kindly provided an excerpt! Enjoy :)
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Excerpt:

Happy with the amount of photos I had collected I started to head back out of the forest, still flicking through my shots. As well as close ups, I had taken a few landscapes and as I was almost at the edge of the forest I noticed something in one of the photographs that made me stop.
In the left hand corner was a figure that looked mostly human, but was blurred as if they were moving on the spot.
A cold shudder shot through me.
Looking over my shoulder I became slightly panicked and felt as if someone was following me.
My eyes flicked and searched the shadows. Even though there was no sign that anything had ever been behind me, the forest looked different now - dark and threatening.
Instinctively I broke away and ran, still clutching the camera that was displaying the freaky image. Surrounded by trees I didn’t stop until I was free of the forest and back in the open light and sight of my house.
Throwing open my door, I slumped against the inside of it, regaining my breath from the short sprint. Once I had recovered I looked down at the photo once more, just to make sure that I hadn’t been seeing things. The old saying “the camera never lies,” came into my mind and for the first time I wished it not to be true. Sure enough though, as I looked down at the screen, the figure was still there and this time I noticed a red and orange glow around where its feet should have been. The image almost looked like the person was on fire but I thought I would have surely noticed if there had been a burning man in front of me. 

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

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It is giveaway time! The prize is a possibly really high amount on an Amazon gift card, so make sure to enter and share the giveaway to amp up the stakes!
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Giveaway
Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:
No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth...
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!

To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It's only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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That is it for today! I hope your interest is piqued and happy reading! And thanks to Mia Hoddell for all the cool information.pictures. Success!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Author Interview + Giveaway: Q&A with Maria Andreu

Hello blogosphere! Today on the blog is author Maria Andreu answering a few of my questions. Her novel The Secret Side of Empty is close to its release day and deals with a very relevant subject. Check it out on goodreads here.
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ABOUT The Secret Side of Empty

It's the story of a teen girl that is American in every way except for in one very important way: on paper. She was brought to the U.S. as a baby without proper documentation, so she's "illegal." As the end of the safe haven of her high school days draw near, she faces an uncertain future. Full of humor and frustration and love, The Secret Side of Empty speaks to the part in all of us that has felt excluded or has had a secret too scary to share. What M.T., the main character, finally discovers is the strength of the human spirit and the power that's unleashed when you finally live the truth.
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Q&A with Author Maria Andreu

1.      What made you interested in the subject?

My novel’s main character, M.T., is an undocumented teenager.  She was brought over as a baby by her parents and has none of the usual papers that make grown-up life possible:  no social security number means no job, no college, no driver’s license.  I was interested in looking at how a character would deal with the regular pressure of growing up plus those circumstances.

2.      What sort of insights do you think you are providing through The Secret Side of Empty? What makes your novel unique?

What I hope that readers will take away from the book is that we have many more things in common than we do differences.  I think we all hear a lot about “illegal” immigrants but most of us don’t know a lot about their lives.  What’s it like to feel American but to be told you don’t believe in the only country you’ve ever called home?  I hope The Secret Side of Empty will make people ask themselves that question in a new and unique way.

3.      Did you draw from your own personal experiences? Did you conduct other research?

I did draw on my own experiences.  I was an undocumented teen and was put on a path to citizenship through an amnesty right after I graduated high school.  I vividly remember the feeling of hopelessness when I looked to the future and saw no options.  But, of course, I also learned that there is always hope.  I tried to express that through the novel.

4.      Is there something you most love about your novel? A particular character? A particular setting?

M.T. has a boyfriend that I think is dreamy.  I just love the scene in which they meet.  And pretty much every scene they’re both in.

5.      Which character was the toughest to flesh out and why?

I had a pretty strong sense of each of the characters so I didn’t find one particularly tough.

6.      Your bio mentions that your cats are named after fictional characters with one being named Katniss. Can you share with us the names of any of your other cats? Or names for future feline friends?

My other cat is named Hermione, from Harry Potter.  I have a dog named Scarlett, after Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.  I didn’t set out to name my pets after literary characters but when you’re a bookworm I guess it just works out that way.  I had a dog named Merlin (which was funny because he was the scruffiest little mini schnauzer ever).  The one exception to this rule is my gorgeous dog, Sky.  She’s a miniature Australian Shepherd and one of the smartest creatures I know.  Her name comes from her sky-blue eyes.

7.      Can you share with us a little bit on your works currently in progress?

I am working on a second YA novel and a memoir.  The YA novel is about a romantic relationship gone wrong and how that plays out in the digital age.  The memoir is about, well, you know.

8.       Through your novel, is there a sentence or two that can summarize what you want readers to take away from the experience?


I have a quote in there from the Reverend Martin Luther King that says, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”  The Secret Side of Empty is not an “issue” book at all but I hope that readers will walk away feeling like M.T. is in an unfair situation.  That said, I hope they remember that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.  Injustices always get corrected, even if it takes a long time.
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Giveaway Info

Maria is giving away two separate prizes on her tour, a $250 Amazon Gift Card AND a Kindle Fire.

   For a chance to win the $250 Amazon gift card, OR the Kindle Fire leave a comment on her blog post for that day. Winners will be randomly selected on September 30th.

Maria Andreu’s Bio:

Maria’s writing has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post and the Star Ledger.  Her debut novel, The Secret Side of Empty, is the story of an “illegal” high school senior.  It was inspired by Maria’s own experiences as an undocumented teen.  Since becoming a citizen, Maria has run her own business and has become a soccer mom. She lives with her 13-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son in northern New Jersey.

Links

Maria Andreu’s website- http://mariaeandreu.com/
Maria Andreu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritersideofM

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Thank you very much for answering my questions! I wish you the very best with your book launch and look forward to reading it! Happy reading and until next time! :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Roomies

WoW is brought to us by Jill at BreakingTheSpine. This weekly meme allows us to highlight the books we are most eagerly awaiting!


Author: Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando

Release Day: December 24th, 2013

Summary: (goodreads) It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

My Thoughts: I am writing this five days before I meet my roommate, so to have a book accompany me through this new facet of my life would be just a little bit amazing. Its relatability is why I am hoping to get this novel soon. ASAP soon. They should have planned its release in September. I wonder how my experiences will differ or concur with those of the main characters and how much I will gush about it to the roomie. I project a whole lot.

Leave links to your own WoWs in the comments below and I will be sure to check out what it is you are waiting for this week!

Visit again soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mixed Ratings Information

Hello!

I just wanted to clarify something about my blog. I notice that the ratings I give books on Goodreads are sometimes different than the ones that I give them on my actual blog. This prompted me to make a short post about how I rate on my blog versus elsewhere, so that readers aren't confused.

Goodreads has a different rating system than I and that is why ratings differ for the same novel. On Goodreads, a three means "liked it" while a three on my blog is "Okay. One or two elements of storytelling stood out and were strong, but overall the book had a lack of drive/direction. Take it or leave it."

This is why I stress that readers of my blog take both the rating and the review together before forming an opinion. It is also good to remind readers that ratings are subject to interpretation. Most book blogs will have a detailed explanation of what their ratings mean (if they use them), so be on the lookout for that.

Find more detailed explanations about the rest of the numbers I use on my Rating System page.

Thank you for reading and have a fantastic week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Today we will be privileged to read the review of a guest. My younger sister fell hard for this series, so much  so that she took time away from studying to write a review of the first book.
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Author: Rick Yancey

Source: Bought

Summary: (back of book) Monsters are real. 

Will Henry is the orphan apprentice of a doctor with an unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. When a midnight visitor brings them the body of a young girl entwined with the corpse of an Anthropophagus, it is the start of the most mysterious case of Will Henry’s life. Anthropophagi are headless monsters whose razor-sharp teeth are in their stomachs—and they are supposed to extinct in this part of the world. Now Will and the monstrumologist are in a race against time to put a stop to the plague of monsters before they kill again.

Guest Review: 

A thrilling book filled with adventure and suspense of the darkest kind, it’s an edge-of-your-seat-I-fell-off-my-seat kind of tale. Rick Yancey goes further than any other YA horror/thriller. The scenes are more vivid, more disturbing, more perplexing. This isn’t just about monsters; it’s about the human condition and the natural world. No, you won’t be reading about vampires and werewolves, but about creatures unheard of. Truly monstrous things from nightmares.

This book isn’t only about monsters and how best to kill Anthropophagi, but about characters. Each character has their inner demons that plague them from their past and present. Demons that the author has made so tangible that even I felt, if not heart wrenching sorrow, then a deep hollowness at their pitiful states. How will our heroes fare against the physical and mental monsters? And for those destined to find their end, well let us just say that maybe they have it better than those left only with mental scars.

This is a great book for people who don’t mind nightmares, and good literature deserving of its Michael L. Printz Award!

Guest Rating: 5/5
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The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)


My Thoughts: I have yet to read this, but seeing as how it inspired someone allergic to writing to come up with such a positive review, I will add it to my tbr pile! Thanks Inez for your guest post :)


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Memoirs of a Geisha

Author: Arthur Golden

Source: Library

Summary: (GoodreadsSayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geisha, is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess. At nine, in a 1929 poor fishing village, she is sold to a geisha house, the buyer attracted by the child's unusual blue-grey eyes. In Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto, she works to pay back the price of her purchase, while learning music, dance, elaborate costumes and cosmetics, and maintaining a fragile coiffure with a special pillow. With a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival she survives the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war.

Review: High praise was given to this novel and the title is a widely recognized one in the literary world. This is due in big part to the movie adaptation of Arthur Golden's work. In full disclosure of the proceeding review, I watched the movie about three years ago. I also have the vague inkling of a memory in which I read the novel while in elementary or middle school. But it could be pseudo-DejaVu from scenes in the film.

I felt the disclosure was necessary in order to then give my slightly critical review. Too much hype has given this novel a position I don't think it completely deserves. The high ratings are slightly inflated. As a novel, I found this a very good read. It just didn't meet the expectations I thought it would. Memoirs of a Geisha, while a wonderful story, is not a spectacularly symbolic book with extremely deep characters or a quick-paced plot. Now that we have established what my standards were, we can get to a specific review.

The plot moves slow. The pages seem to drag me along and I took frequent breaks while reading this novel. It didn't grab my attention and have me gripping the edge of my seat in anticipation. The narrator prepares the reader for the ending, so in a sense it was predictable.

The author does a good job at setting the scenes and the surroundings for this story to be told. Golden includes a fictional interviewer/translator's note to capture the essence and atmosphere of a memoir narrative. Sayuri sounds like she is telling her stories in an informal setting, looking back and simultaneously reflecting from her experiences while she thinks them. This unique style makes it possible to blur the lines between fiction and reality to convince the reader that this woman's story could have happened exactly as described.

It's believability and structure is a selling point while the reflective nature of the story does slow down the plot. Although geishas were the liberals of their time and were in the business of, in the majority, entertaining in informal parties, I suspect that their Japanese culture would be steeped in traditionalism and strict etiquette. This did not translate well into the voice Sayuri uses to tell her tale. 

The book seems a bit too informal and the word choice is sometimes confusing. There are moments in which Sayuri uses conflicting diction when thinking back on her memories. In some cases, the denotations are used to convey a special meeting, or a sad event, but sometimes the culture and discipline of having lived the life of a geisha does not reach the reader.

In short, this novel did not meet the exaggerated praise heaped on it because it didn't make me want to read it in one sitting. I almost considered not finishing it 300 pages in. As a novel without those added expectations, it is a very good book. The genuinity of Sayuri's memories were well portrayed and it is evident that a lot of thought, and likely research, went into describing the decadent and alluring world in which Sayuri lived. The author's ability to contrast 1930's gion to the effects of war on what seemed like a paradise from the outside, also made this an enjoyable read. As long as you aren't looking for a masterpiece, Memoirs of a Geisha is sure to provide a lyrical trip to Japan.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5