Friday, December 30, 2011

The Iron King

Author: Julie Kagawa

Source: Library

Summary: (back of book) Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Review: From the buzz that this series has created throughout the blogosphere, I was expecting a lot from this book. And it surprised me! I wasn't expecting Meghan Chase to be the character she was. Rough on the edges. Living in the middle of nowhere. Essentially identifying herself as a "backward hillbilly". She was such a different character from what I had gleaned from off the gorgeous cover of this book.

And she become almost unrecognizable by the end of it. Her growth was astounding! She became an amazing person who I would love to have as a friend. Meghan showed her ability to be mature and confident when the situation called for it. Her strength didn't come as much from within herself as it did from the loyalty she felt to the people around her even if they weren't always that nice. I felt that this book was very character driven.

The other people in the story were also vividly written and together, they were quite the motley crew. Ash was cold til pretty much the very end. I am anxiously awaiting getting to know him and what exactly goes on in his mind in the following books, but for now I am satisfied by the swoon-worthy factor. Robin Goodfellow, or Puck, is quite the sarcastic, sardonic, cynical, goofy faery. Or fairy? Or fae? Or fay? I get confused. I see that Puck's relationship with Meghan is the result of mutual disregard or attempt at disregarding the opinions of others towards them. Although they don't seem particularly close, Puck keeps the story interesting.

My absolutely favorite character of this crazy-weird-iron-fae land is Grimalkin. The talking cat. He is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Everything that should be in a cat is found in Grimalkin's voice. Begrudging respect toward Meghan after putting her through many side ordeals. A swishing fluffy tail. Seriousness and cranky wise-ness emanate from this lovely, darling (he would probably hiss at me right about now) kitty make him the endearing character he is.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

*Not a five, because Ash wasn't characterized enough for me to see his interaction with the other characters such as Meghan.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 26


Hello! Yes...for the past three Wednesdays it has only been WoWs on here. Too many good books to read. And that are due oh-so-soon at the library. Tomorrow in fact. D: Anyway, let us get on with it. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine that shines a light on a book we are anxiously awaiting the release of. Here is this week's pick:


Title: Croak

Author: Gina Damico

Release Day: March 20th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates to the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice--or is it vengeance?--whenever she's forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die--that is, people who aren't supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent--Lex's curiousity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage--or will she ditch Croak and join in?

My Thoughts: First off, the heroine of this story sounds spunky. I want to read this because the character really seems to be lively and strong. Also, the cover is pretty! Oh and Croak is kind of an awesome name. Secondly, this is about grim reapers. Something a little different in between the myriad of fairy books I've been reading recently. Hopefully it is as cool as it sounds!


May I ask what it is that you, fellow readers, are waiting for?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 25

I've been a terrible blogger lately. Sorry about that. I got my first job at a retail store and since it is the Holiday season...I've been a very tired worker afterwards. I've been reading A LOT. Just haven't been up to making the time to review, but I will get on that quickly now :)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at BreakingTheSpine and it highlights the books we are eagerly awaiting the release of.
Here is what I am waiting for:
Title: The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Author: Ruth Frances Long
Release Day: August 16th, 2012
Summary: (goodreads) The trees swallowed her brother whole. And Jenny was there to see it. Years later, when she returns to the woods where Tom was taken to say good-bye at last, she finds herself lured into a world where stunning beauty masks the most treacherous of evils, and strange and dangerous creatures await—creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with allegiances that shift as much as his moods. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice—and not just her own.
My Thoughts: I love the cover. I love the title. And it seems like a sort of historical type of fantasy books which I would absolutely love to read.Man-eating trees? Intruiguing!
What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 24


I present to you this week's WoW. "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine that highlights the books we are most looking forward to.

Here is what I am SUPER EXCITEDLY awaiting;


Title: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Release Day: March 13th 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

My Thoughts: I am in absolute awe with this series and I cannot wait to continue off from where the last book left off because it was quite the cliffhanger. And I also can't wait to possibly hear more about Cal? He is my second favorite character in the book. Oh alright. Archer too. :) I don't know if I can wait 'til MARCH!

What are you waiting for, fellow bookworms?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hex Hall No. 2: Demonglass

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Source: Library

Summary: After Sophie Mercer's exciting semester at Hecate Hall, she finds out things she didn't want to know about herself. She is a demon and she would rather face the possibility of death. But that may not be her choice to make when what she thought she knew unravels before her and Archer Cross may be the only one willing to give her some of the answers.

Review: I've determined that the strongest aspect of this amazing series is Sophie Mercer. Her realness and personality are just empowering driving the story to the very end.

We hear more from the other characters in this book too. There is a different side to Mrs. Casnoff that kind of reminded me of how it can be weird to see your teacher buying groceries because in your mind they kind of belong with the school. Did that make any sense? Anyway, Sophie's dad joins the picture and their relationship is described very realistically.

Finally! Archer+Sophie becomes three-dimensional for me. In the first book, I couldn't really understand their connection. I love Archer as a character because he is so quirky and snarky and cool, but I didn't get what chemistry there was between him and Sophie. Although this book fleshed out their relationship more, it is rough going. I'm conflicted.

I actually have a preference for Cal who is supposed to be the groundskeeper at Hecate Hall. Just his personality is sweet, but strong and his amazing looks is enough to make the heart of any girl melt. Sorry Archer. Sophie should take note!

It might have even been better than the first book. Sophie's vulnerability is of doubting herself and the people around her. Learning to properly hold trust lets her mature toward the end a little more. This book ended with a horrid cliff-hanger, and I cannot wait for the next one. So excited! I love this addicting series.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Other Books in the Series:

1. Hex Hall
3. Spell Bound

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 23


WoW is a weekly meme highlighting the books we are most looking forward to. Check out the host, Jill at BreakingTheSpine, to find what other people are waiting for and to link up your WoW!


Here's what I'm waiting for today:


Title: The Savage Grace

Author: Bree Despain

Release Day: March 13, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.
With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders. The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

My Thoughts: The first two books in the series were amazing and I cannot wait to read the rest of the story. Book number two ended on a huge cliffhanger after an amazing action scene that left me breathless. I need to know what happens to Daniel! So excited!

Other Books in the Series:

2. The Lost Saint

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers

Author: Lynn Weingarten

Source: Around The World Tours - ARC

Summary: (goodreads) When her boyfriend breaks up with her on the first day of sophomore year, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life. Enter three stunning girls with a magical offer Lucy can’t refuse. All she has to do is get a guy to fall in love with her in the next seven days, and then…break his heart and collect one of his brokenhearted tears. As the girls teach Lucy how to hook a guy (with the help of a little magic), she quickly discovers how far she is willing to go—and who she is willing to cross—to get what she wants.

Review: Lucy's life changes dramatically and her character's growth is magnificent throughout the novel. She goes from heartbroken and uncertain of herself in every way to dealing with her problems in a manner that strengthens her emotionally. Lucy did have the help of magic, but there actually isn't much of that at all. The most powerful magic is the one Lucy believes she has inside of her. The message of this book is having confidence and self-esteem and as corny as I make it sound, this book is amazing at convincing me of that argument unlike no other.

I was kind of expecting a cute read. Lucy is sweet in nature, but this book is actually a bit more raw than what I thought it was going to be. I felt for Lucy. Although she was full of flaws and clung too long to the wrong person, her struggle was very realistic. The heartbreak was painful for all the characters involved and the book was really intriguing because of the subject matter.

I read this book in one sitting, so I would say it had a strong plot. Lucy definitely made some bad choices throughout the novel, but I think that only made her growth as a person more real. Nobody changes from one day to the other. I loved the way the writing was descriptive and made the book colorful (there is also some colorful language) which gave it the whole magic aspect of it a stronger presence. All of the characters were fairly well developed and although I wasn't surprised by the ending at all, it was still an enjoyable read that left me wanting more and a tidier resolution.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wither

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

Review: I am a little conflicted on this book, so forgive me if I contradict myself a bit throughout.

The writing is amazing! I can see, feel, smell every detail the author writes and the main character experiences. There were some very dreamy scenes and I felt whatever Rhine is going through. Her grief is very palpable as is her ambivalence about where she is and what she wants.

Although the writing is mesmerizing and sensory, there were some things that I wasn't completely convinced of. Like the virus. It is a little out there to expect me as a reader to believe that a disease can kill everyone when they reach a certain age. Everyone's body is different, so I can't wrap my head that it would occur like that.

Another point is that only North America supposedly exists. The other countries blew themselves up to smithereens. It is really hard to imagine that happening and the book didn't convince me of it as well as I think it could and should have.

For technicalities, this book isn't going to float your boat if you are picky about the realistic-ness of the settings. If you pay any attention to the lack of world-building, then it is going to impede how you enjoy the book.

If none of the above bothers you, and all you care about is the characters and story line, then you will love this book. The vividness of the posh lifestyles, Rhine's friends, the need to get away...this author's writing is beautifully done to reach you.

Rating: I don't even want to rate it, so read the review before making up your mind based on the numbers!

Technicalities: 2
Story: 4.5

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Source: Library

Summary: (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.

Review: Sophie Mercer has quite the voice. Her personality is sarcastic, spontaneous, smart. Actually, all of the characters rock. This book combines so many different personalities and types of monsters that it makes for a pretty funny and interesting read. The bff is Jenna. And she is a vampire obsessed with the color pink. Jenna is really nice, but also supports Sophie when she needs it. She can be strong.

The "gorgeous warlock" is also full of spunk although I imagine he is very swoon-worthy. His snarky comments are what spark the relationship between him and Sophie and ultimately make both characters very alive. Except I kind of felt a lack of connection between the two romantically which I suspect will develop more in the next books.

I absolutely loved all of the characters and the story and everything. Hope you guys enjoyed it or will enjoy it as much as I have :)

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Monday, November 21, 2011

Five Flavors of Dumb

Author: Antony John

Source: Library

Summary: (inside cover) Eighteen-year-old Piper has gotten herself into a mess. Because of her big mouth, she has one month to get a paying gig for her high school's hottest new rock band, called Dumb. In Piper's mind, the band couldn't have a more perfect name. Just look at the members: one egomaniacal pretty boy, one silent rocker, one talentless piece of eye-candy, one angry girl, and one nerd-boy drummer--five discordant personalities who, when put together, seem ready to self-destruct at any moment. Getting them an actual gig seems impossible. Add to that fact that Piper doesn't know if their music is good or not, because well, she's deaf.

But Piper is determined to get the band a gig to show her classmates that being deaf doesn't mean she's invisible. And as she gets to know the five flavors of Dumb, some hidden talents, secret crushes, and crazy rock music emerge. She doesn't need to hear the music to sell it, but Piper wants the chance to feel the music too.Does she have what it takes to manage Dumb and discover her own inner rock star?

Review: Reading books from a deaf person's point of view have been unique experiences. Although I haven't read many (two total), this book just seems to be so wonderful! It is about music. It is about discovering hidden talents. It is about bonding with the unlikeliest of people. And is in executed in a fast-paced, quirky story.

Piper is definitely a great character. I loved her voice and sarcastic remarks. The dialogue gave me a good idea of Piper's personality. Her growth as a person is realistic and the ending was awesome! Although she is strong, her flaws are very human. I loved reading about her deafness and how that made her feel. The interactions with her baby sister, her bouncy brother, her parents and the band members all provide insight into that aspect of the story. But it isn't the bulk of it. I think this book centers more on self-discovery than on being deaf. The vessel is just a super unique backdrop.

The story progresses really quickly. There isn't a slow moment and it builds up to the show which was detailed and very vivid. I liked that the love interest was not completely obvious from the very beginning and the development is gradual being very sweet and cute and just awesome. There were some things that I was not expecting from this book. The villain turns out to be someone kind of unexpected, so that kept this fresh and interesting.

The side characters were good. I know Piper and Flinn really well. Piper's dad is familiar by the end of book as is Ed from the band. The other members though were really hazy and flat for me though. Even though I really liked this book, they play a big role, but I just didn't connect, so that is why this isn't a 5 for me.

It is highly recommended if you are looking for something different, or something fun that will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Review: I don't know for sure what I was expecting from this book, but from what other bloggers had said about it, I was thinking it was going to be super duper mind-blowing.

It is a good book, but it left me feeling desolate and helpless. The story drained me while the bleakness of Mary's situation settled into my mind. The way she is written to pull through is incredible. In the face of the obstacles Mary overcame, I would have just wanted to end it all.

As strong as her character is, I felt her to be lacking as well. She was stubborn and very selfish. Even if she felt she knew the correct path, Mary could have been more careful, more tactful about presenting her views to others, but her grief overshadowed the feelings of those around her. This incessant need for more also made it a little difficult to read Mary's mind. I couldn't really connect to any of the characters of this book. I'm not completely sure if this is due to the emotions they were experiencing were it would make sense they would be withdrawn or if it was just that the characters lacked more depth.

Thankfully there is a sequel where I can ponder these questions and wallow in despair once again. The tiny glimmer of hope that keeps me looking forward to the next book is not nearly enough to let me think that Mary's choices were worth it. But because this book made me feel, I know the writing must be good and the images are very vivid. This world full of zombies is sketched to perfection allowing me, as the reader, to see it clearly. And it is scary. Very scary.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 22

Oh my! I think I've participated for three weeks in a row now. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme invented by Jill at BreakingTheSpine to showcase the titles we are eagerly awaiting the release of. Visit her blog to link up your own WoW post and check out what others are waiting for.


Here is my WoW-

Title: Cursed

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Day: September 28th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

My Thoughts: For one, I am enthralled by the font and color scheme and just overall awesome cover. The story itself sounds very reminiscent of Midas, but worse. I want to see how the characters deal with this ability and possibly regret of being saved? Looks really cool.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bronze and the Brimstone

Author: Lory Kaufman

Source: Publisher

Summary: (goodreads) What could go wrong in the 14th-century
for three time-traveling teens?
How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disasterous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.

Do they have a future in this past?

Review: While this is YA, I found that it would be more appealing towards older teens. The center protagonist is married after all and he is very serious in his dealings with those of the upper class. There is also a sense of descriptiveness in the novel which vividly details the setting. This can also be a con as the images can be overwhelming.

There is a very detailed explanation of the processes used to make the saltpeter for gun powder as well as other things. There is lots of action and the only slow parts are the descriptions, but those actually offer a respite after an adventure. Sometimes I put down the book and just soaked in the information. So many things happen quickly and there are several characters to keep track of that it can be difficult to keep the story together without going over some of the smaller details.

The writing was wonderful. The never-ending action made this a thoroughly enjoyable read and I definitely felt a connection to the characters although they were in 14th century Verona. The setting was well done and I felt that the three main characters acted as they would after spending that much time there.

The concept of Pan, the Artificial Intelligence, was explained realistically! I shy away from sci-fi and especially time travel, but this is a more historical type book with details of their future world. Everything fit into place, the setting was see-able, the characters were three-dimensional, and the adventure was endless.

I was very worried when I started it though, because I realized it was part of a series. The second book in the series to be precise. And I had not read the first book, so thought I may get lost in this one. But there was just enough back story that I was perfectly able to connect the pieces right away and works well even as a stand alone.

This book could span several sub-genres and I think any older Young Adult book lover would find it a great read.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Other Books In This Series:

3. The Loved and the Lost

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mini-drama Reviews

I haven't reviewed or updated on dramas I've watched mostly because I finish one and then immediately start another one to rid myself of that empty zombie feeling you get when you finish reading a book or watching a super awesome show.

Since I have watched a plethora of them since my last post, I'll list the ones of watched and provide a mini-review for my most favorite ones while loosely rating them all on a scale of 5.

Korean Dramas are (k)
Taiwanese Dramas are in (t)
Japanese Dramas are in (j)

1. Secret Garden 5 (k)

Episodes: 20

Typical tale of rich guy falling for a working girl...except for a lot of things. While on a hike in the woods, the two main leads come across a weird establishment, drink something they were given by the patron and end up switching bodies when it rains. The girl is a stunt woman, so it is hilarious when the switch happens. This is an amazing drama and Hyun Bin is a wonderful main male lead. If you like Korean dramas then you
must watch this one.



2. Mary Stayed Out All Night 4 (k)
3. Playful Kiss 5 (k)
4. My Princess 5 (k)

Episodes: 16

A college student, Lee Seol, has a massive crush on her history professor. He in turn is still fostering feelings for the curator of the Royal history museum. And that curator takes for granted that she is to marry Park Hae Young. Park Hae Young is the grandson of the man that was friends with Lee Seol's deceased father. Her dad happened to be the runaway prince and Park Hae Young's grandfather vows to bring back the Royal Family. Park Hae Young is put in charge of making Lee Seol into the people's princess, but falling in love with her can put the restitution of the Royal Family into danger because of public opinion and a conflict of interests.

I wasn't really expecting to love this drama because there was going to be lots of politics and lessons on the Korean royals and such. But no. Lee Seol is hilarious and with a guy like Park Hae Young, it is hard not to keep watching. The romance really takes center stage and develops wonderfully.

5. Paradise Ranch 5 (k)
6. Sunny Happiness 4 (t)
7. Can You Hear My Heart? 4 (k)
8. Lie To Me 4 (k)
9. Heartstrings 4 (k)
10. Goong 3 (k)
11. Ouran High School Host Club 3 (j)
12. City Hunter 5 (k)

Episodes: 20

THIS may be my new all-time favorite drama, possibly even surpassing Secret Garden. The two leads were dating in real life, so that could be an explanation of why they had such unbelievable chemistry.

The story line is about a man that grows up in the Triangle of Thailand training to take revenge for soldiers killed by their own nation. The reason for that betrayal is to cover up a secret mission in North Korea in order to keep a good image internationally and the five authorities involved to protect their positions. Only one of the 21 soldiers sent survives and he takes the son of his best friend that died in the mission to hunt down the five. Their means of achieving their purpose differ.

This drama is actually based on a book by Tsukasa Hojo.

I'm not a huge action fan preferring rom-coms to blood and melo-dramas. City Hunter is mind-blowing though! Doesn't hurt that Lee Min Ho is the lead. The way the drama starts is powerful and action-packed. There aren't any lulls in the evolution of the story and all of the characters are strongly portrayed. The female lead is a kick-ass government bodyguard! Love. Love. Love!

13. Protect the Boss 4 (k)

Episodes: 18

As the son of a Chaebol family, Cha Ji Heon is expected to take over the family business while competing with his ambitious cousin. Unfortunately, Cha Ji Heon has agoraphobia, so he in misunderstood as incompetent. But then he finds a secretary that changes his perspective on life. No Eun Sol is from the working class, but her enthusiastic perseverance lands her that awesome job, except it may be too difficult to keep when her boss and his cousin both fall for her.

You can't hate any of the characters even if there are supposed to be many villains. You will end up liking all of them and especially the Cha Ji Heon's childish relationship with his cousin. Really funny!

14. The Greatest Love 4 (k)

I keep a notebook of the dramas I watch in case I want to re-watch something, but can't remember the name off the top of my head. They are in chronological order with no. 14 as the most recent drama I watched. Hope you find something new to watch! Make a wish its 11/11/11 today hahaha.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 21

Here is another episode of Waiting on Wednesday brought to you by Jill at BreakingTheSpine. It is a weekly meme dedicated to highlighting the books we are most anxiously awaiting to get our hands on.



What I am waiting for this week:

Title: Green Heart

Author: Alice Hoffman

Release Day: February 1st, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) A two-fold tale of grief and hope, loss and love, told as only Alice Hoffman can.

When her family is lost in a terrible disaster, 15-year-old Green is haunted by loss and the past. Struggling to survive in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story.

As she heals, Green lives every day with feelings of loss. Her family is gone, the boy she loves is missing, and the world she once knew has been transformed by tragedy. In order to rediscover the truth about love, hope, and magic, she must venture away from her home, collecting the stories of a group of women who have been branded witches for their mysterious powers. Only through their stories will Green find her own heart's desire.

My Thoughts: I loved Green Angel and I loved Green Witch. These books are really unique and reach me at my core. Hoffman's writing is magically spell-binding...and I also kind of have a thing for nature/magic books. Can't wait for this one!

What are you waiting for this week?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

150 Follower Giveaway

Uh yeah...I've reached 150 awesome followers! *Squeals happily* What does this mean for you? Why, a giveaway of course! Unfortunately it will only be open to US/Canada addresses. I'm very apologetic to my international followers, but shipping costs are ghastly! I wanted to give you a variety of books to choose from, so I made a list. There will be one winner. Thanks to all my followers :)

Prize: One winner will get to choose ONE book from the following list of titles. Although they have been read once, they are all in pristine condition! Links to Goodreads page.

List:

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo (Adult) (Paperback)

Logic of Demons by H. A. Goodman (Adult) (Paperback)

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters (YA) (Paperback)

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (YA) (ARC)

Runaway by Meg Cabot (YA) (Paperback)

Middleworld by J&P Voelkel (MG) (ARC)


Ends: December 3rd, 2011

Must be a follower to enter. Please fill out the form below and the best of luck to all! :D


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amplified

Author: Tara Kelly

Release Day: October 25th, 2011

Source: Publisher

Summary: (goodreads) When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . .

Review: Want a wild ride? Parties. Music. Spunky characters. That is what Amplified can offer you! I sound like a salesman (or woman). But in all seriousness, it was good.

Jasmine's personality is very vividly written. She holds back a lot, guarding and keeping mostly to herself. Her love interest, Sean, is the epitome of calm and collected. I enjoyed the development of their relationship because things did not go exactly as I had expected.

Sean was dealing with getting over his ex-girlfriend while Jasmine was trying to build self-confidence. The guys and Sean's sister liked girls, so it made it hard for Jasmine to convince the band of letting her stay with them because she was a minor and therefore "jailbait". She really had to prove herself.

When Jasmine played, or when someone else was, the scenes were well-written. I did not know reading about how a song sounds could be so real! Although there is guitar jargon that I would have no knowledge about, it still felt like I could hear the music. And let me tell you, Jasmine has loads of talent. Every song was uniquely described and it didn't feel boring or repetitive or nonsensical.

I would have liked to learn more about where Jasmine came from. Her home life is a big part of the baggage she carries. Her relationship with her father is clearly defined, but it was difficult to come up with that contrast of her "privileged" life versus living with C-Side. The book starts off with Jasmine already out on the streets looking for a place, so that is why the contrast is missing.

Jasmine's character and interactions as well as back story were sufficient though, so this is just a question on my part. Otherwise, it was an interesting book on achieving dreams, fixing relationships and finding a place to belong.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 20


Welcome to another edition of WoW hosted by Jill at BreakingtheSpine. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme in which you share what book you are anxiously awaiting the release of. Check out Jill's site link up your pick and browse others' selections. Look at what I am waiting for:


Title: Undeadly

Author: Michele Vail

Release Day: February 28th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads)

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly—against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

My Thoughts: This is the first book in what is supposed to be The Reaper Diaries. Apparently the next hit thing is going to be tales about hell. That cover is very pretty. I love books on elite training. And then a mystery so reminiscent of the cases of petrified kids in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Sounds AWESOME!

What are you waiting for?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Contest Alert: Destined by PC&Kristen Cast

Although I haven't started The House of Night series, I know several of you are in love with them, so here are a couple places where you can enter for a chance to win Destined. This is my Halloween Treat for you. And yeah...have a fantastic day partying!


Who: Nina from J'adoreHappyEndings

Deets: US/Canada only. Ends NOVEMBER 6th?, so hurry up.

________________________



Who: Melina from Reading Vacation

Deets: US/Canada only. Ends Nov. 02 also.

Good luck! And stay tuned because I will be hosting a giveaway soon also in honor of my now 150 followers :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Re-Read: Shadow Hills

Hey y'all! Lately I've been in nostalgic moods while dusting off my shelves and re-arranging my books. I admire their pretty covers and sigh in contentment about having had the opportunity to review and share them with you.

Most, if not all, the books displayed,I have liked. But then I go back and re-read the summary. Umm...wait what? I don't remember this character. Actually, I don't think I even really liked this book looking back on it now. What was this one even about? And why would I read a book with such a boring synopsis?

This amnesiac feeling makes me sad! Books are my essence! So I've decided to re-read a few of them. Make mini-reviews comparing them to my initial review and see whether maybe my tastes have changed or if I am just in love with those books now as I remember being then. This is a big step since I used to never re-read books. I hope it gives me a new perspective, and even if it doesn't, my books will feel loved :)

Re-Read No 1

Title: Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus

GoodReads Summary: After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA — a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach — the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after — seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills

Mini-Review: (before reading my original review) Shadow Hills is one of the books that I remember loving crazily. Apart from that, the story was kind of a blur, but now that I've read it again, my memory has been triggered.

I like Zach. He sounds sweet. I don't like Trent. What a slimy jerk! Um Phe is okay. Her character is kind of broken at times. In the sense that there are some inconsistencies. Overall, Zach+Phe are pretty cool.

The fights, and descriptions of the powers are awesome and very vivid. Easy to imagine.

The actual story line seems a little weak and predictable, but the vividness of the action really makes this book worth it.


Re-reading my review, I feel the same pretty much about everything. The only thing is what ever happened to Adriana and Brody? Or Graham and Toy? I was really interested in Graham+Toy this time around.

And I still feel bad for the villain and the family.

Do I agree with my first rating of 4? Yep. It isn't mind-blowing, but the scientific mutation versus mythology angle gives it high points for uniqueness. :)

Song It Kinda Sorta Reminds Me Of:


Artist: Blood Red Shoes

Title: Its Getting Boring by the Sea

Language: English

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tiger's Voyage

Author: Colleen Houck

Release Day: November 1st 2011

Source: Publisher

Summary: (goodreads)

Review: This is the third book in the Tiger's Curse series and my favorite so far. The line between the preparation and action of the story was in perfect balance surprising me in how much I still enjoyed the adventure which mostly occurred in the latter half.

How the author can manipulate me into feeling sympathy for Kelsey's emotional situation is beyond me. I'm positive that if it was anyone else, I'd be yelling for them to suck it up and stop being so nit-witted! But I know Kelsey and the circumstances surrounding her flawed decisions that I cannot completely blame her for her actions. Although, I would love to finally just get the ending I want NOW. :)

At 542 pages for the ARC, the fun seemed almost endless and my disappointment at having finished such a wonderful novel was unimaginable. The stories just keep getting better and more wild.

The book was long and the series is supposed to consist of five books total. Series tend not to so well after the first couple of books in my opinion, but these ones definitely are an exception. I think what makes them work so well, is that there was a tale developed from the very beginning where it was obvious that it was going to take a few books to relate the story in its entirety.

This book in particular was also broken up into invisible sections. The preparation side was not passive. There were lots of events that happened which related to the characters themselves and not dealing with the breaking of the curse. The back story developed the characters, allowed them to grow more and set the stage in reality for what was to come. Later, the adventure half was very fantastical bringing me as a reader into a different side of the story. This is the balance I am talking about.

The author grounded her characters in the real world, making them very normal and then sends them off into a magic filled journey. It made the story that much more believable and connected Kishan, Ren and Kelsey as people to their audience. The main characters are amazing. The side characters are strongly portrayed. The monsters are vivid. I just loved it. All of it. Amazing.

Give this series a try if you haven't already!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Holly Black's White Cat Audio Book Free Download


The first book in the Curse Workers series is being offered for free from Random House :D

I started this book awhile back on-line, but never did get the chance to finish it so I am excited.

Goodreads Summary: Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his fa├žade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.




Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Summary: (goodreads) Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.


Review: Amazing. I haven't been this captivated by a book in such a looooooooooong time! Hearing about it through various different blogs did get me worked up for its release, but I didn't think I was going to purchase it any time soon. I love PulseIt. I saw it was available to be read online, so I decided I could give it a shot. If you don't know already, e-books are so not my thing. Reading endlessly on the computer is awful and tires my eyes out horribly and I honestly didn't think I was going to get all that into it.

As soon as I started it, I sat on my butt for almost four hours straight until the prospect of a blood clot rushing to my heart due to inactivity prompted me to get up. But I was obsessed! All I could think about was Mara's story! The characters are really strong in this book. There is some vulgar language, but really only enough to create a personality. It didn't feel overdone like some other books I've read...or tried to read. Mara is willful. Her emotional strength gets her through the story and although she starts out relying only on herself, Mara learns to ask for help when really needed.

Descriptions of Mara's "episodes" were done in very vivid detail. It was easy to connect to Mara's desperation even though I am not psychotic...or at least I don't think I am. But Mara's way of responding to outside stimuli was realistic. She pushed the thoughts away taking into account that she did have a problem that she needed to deal with. Nothing was overdone or understated. The balance between Mara's conflicting emotions and interactions with the other characters was wonderfully written.

Noah is also a very strong character. He is snark-y, slightly arrogant and distanced until later in the novel. He is very similar to Mara in ways of personality and it shows how they connect in that sense. But at the same time, Noah reveals insecurities that may be more emotionally traumatic than Mara's circumstances. This juxtaposition really shows Mara's ability to overcome, but is still down-to-earth.

The story has some surprising plot turns and I ended up figuring things out along with Mara. I am so amped to read the sequel. The cliff-hanger was devastating to me as a reader. I can't get enough of these characters, but especially the story. A must read.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 19

Hello and welcome to another edition of WoW which is hosted by Jill at BreakingTheSpine. Check out more WoW posts there!


This Wednesday, I am eagerly awaiting:

Title: Crossed (Matched #2)

Author: Ally Condie

Release Day: November 1st

Summary: (goodreads) In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

My Thoughts: Matched was a great novel. This dystopian series really concentrates on the love aspect of society, so it is exciting to read about how things will develop. And the covers! Lovely!

So what are YOU waiting for?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Song: Bilder Mit Katze

Artist: Frittenbude

Language: German

About: Uh...I don't know anything about them, but paraphrasing Wikipedia. They are electro-punk created in 2006. Frittenbude apparently translates to Chip-Shop also. They are known mostly for remixing other songs while adding a slightly humorous and political slant to the lyrics.

I found this song when I looked up 25 Random Songs on emotionalbagcheck.com which I was on through an I Heart Daily e-letter I suscribe to. And must admit I am addicted to the beat! It is just so chill, laid back and mindless. Can't say I know what the song is really about since I don't speak German, but I think I am going to be checking out more material by Frittenbude.

MV:




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 18


Hello and welcome to another edition of WoW which is hosted by Jill at BreakingTheSpine. Check out more WoW posts there!


This Wednesday, I am eagerly awaiting:

Title: Amplified

Author: Tara Kelley

Release Day: October 25th

Summary: (from goodreads) When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified

My Thoughts: The cover is pretty cool and I like the title too. I like music related stories a bit and this just sounds cute and fun.

What are you waiting for?