Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

The question of the week is:

"What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"

My Answer:  Like most, I think I want a room with bookshelves galore. One thing I would most certainly need is a window seat, like Clarissa had in that tv show from the 80's 'Clarissa Explains it All'.

I'd also love to have a hardcover compilation of 'The Dark Is Rising' sequence. At this moment, I have three books of the five in hardcover. I really want to either finish that 'set' or get a full blown hardcover compilation!!! I love my paperbacks and they're great for travel, but a hardcover would be really nice!!

Off-topic, my fonts here on blogger are going crazy.  Please ignore any weird font related items!!!  Also, anyone know how to get a friend/follow button on a wordpress blog?  I keep a doll blog, too, and it's on wordpress...  (Visit that if you want-- Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review: Paranormalacy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalacy
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: YA, supernatural, romance, action, coming of age
Perfect for: readers who love 'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer' action/romance
Star Rating: 4/5 stars

Description taken from Goodreads:
"Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal. 
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. 
So much for normal. "
What a fun read!  Honestly, fun is the best word to describe 'Paranormalacy' by Kiersten White.  Reading this quick, witty read was a lot like watching an episode of 'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer'.  The long and the short of it is this-- the characters are likable, the plot is engaging, and the voice of the novel is witty and entertaining.

A cover is important, regardless of what people say and this cover is fantastic from front to back.  I like that this cover actually makes sense after reading the book, unlike some (*cough*Hex Hall*cough*).  Also the back flap color scheme is perfect.

Evie is a great narrator.  She brings a fresh, new perspective to the idea of paranormals.  To her, they aren't all gorgeous hunks,  most are just plain weird looking.  The character of Evie is quick-witted and spunky.  She is very Buffy like with her light, pop culture sort of humor.

Her love interests, Reth and Lend, are equally fun to read.  Reth, honestly, I just wanted to slap the guy a few times because he never gave us enough information.  He'd always disappear right before the big reveal.  Come on, Reth!  Stop being so secretive!  Lend, oh, Lend...  I really do like Lend.  He is your typical sweet, good natured, sort of guy with a quirky sort of humor needed to go perfectly with Evie and her character.  (Call him the Xander to Evie's Buffy!)  Also, the fact that he can change faces?  Just plain cool.

Off-ish topic, I have to give author Kiersten White kudo's on her name choices.  She did well finding new names that haven't really hit the YA market yet.  In my book, she's now joined Scott Westerfeld on the list of authors who 'name' well.

The story and plot elements are fun, light, and engaging.  Evie's POV is quite a page turner.  It was hard to put down this title because every chapter ended with one of those 'need to continue' sort of lines.  As far as this being the beginning of a trilogy or series, I would have expected a little more to be revealed (hear that, Reth?) than what was.  That, however, is my only complaint.

I don't want to spoil this unique story, so I'm ending my review here.  This title is cute and definitely one you don't want to pass up!

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is 'The Flappers Vixen' by Jillian Larkin.  This debut novel comes out December 14th, 2010.  'The Flappers Vixen' is a welcome departure from the supernatural high school romps I've been reading lately.  Here's a blurb from Goodreads on this upcoming title:

"Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . . 
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . . 
From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes."
This is the first book in a series and will be the first book I've read (or heard about on the YA market) that is set in the roaring twenties.  Who knows, maybe it will start a trend?

Monday, October 25, 2010

For The Love Of Reading Meme

I haven't done a meme in a while, so here ya go!

Q: What have you just read?
A: 'Wired' by Robin Wasserman... I really don't want to revisit that right now. Check my review if you are interested in seeing what I thought of it (check the sidebar for the author or just scroll down a few entries)...

Q: What are you reading now?
A: I have JUST started 'Paranormalcy'. So far, it seems like a really fun read! (Not to mention, it has really good cover design!)

Q: Do you have any idea what you'll read after that?
A: No idea! I usually think one book at a time!

Q: What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
A: 'Catcher in the Rye', with 'The Great Gatsby' come in at a close second!

Q: What's one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
A: To kids: 'Aliens Ate My Homework' OR 'Castle in the Attic'. For teens/adults: 'Hex Hall' OR 'The Host'.

Q: Is there a book you absolutely love but for some reason people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?
A: My favorite series is 'The Dark Is Rising' by Susan Cooper. For some reason, no one ever picks it up or reads it (at all!) when I recommend it. Maybe a reader of this blog will read it? Then I'll feel like less of a failure in recommending my favorite book series?

Q: Do you read while you eat?
A: Typically, no. Sometimes, though. If it's not messy, finger food.

Q: Do you read in the bath?
A: I don't know how you would do that without getting the pages wet... Unless it's a kid's bath book, that is...

Q: While you watch movies or tv?
A: Usually not, though if my family is watching something boring, I'll pick up a book.

Q: While you listen to music?
A: Can't do that. I can multi-task, but not with music and reading!!!!

Q: When you're on the computer?
A: I don't really do the ebook thing just yet. So, no?

Q: When you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?
A: Nope. But honestly, I wouldn't have cared if they did!!!

Q: What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?
A: 'Firelight' by Sophie Jordan. So good!!! 'Tiger's Curse' by Colleen Houck was also one of those 'must read till midnight' books!

Q: Have any books made you cry?
A: Ball? No. Tear up? Yes. 'A Certain Slant of Light' had such a touching ending that it did make my eyes a little glossy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

Due out on December 7th, 2010, 'Last Sacrifice' is the final book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. I was introduced to this series by a friend who said I 'had to read' them. It took years, but eventually, I DID pick up the series and haven't put it down since. There are various reviews of the books in the series here on the blog, for anyone interested. (Just click the tag below with Mead's name to pull them up!)  Also, I made up a fantasy cast a few months back, you should take a peek at!

The finale to this series is sure to be packed with romance, action, and some serious girl power! Here's a blurb, taken from Goodreads:

"Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them."

What do I want to see? Staying away from specific spoilers... I want to see Dimitri gone. Honestly, I just don't like the guy and never really have. Ohhh, I'd love to see more with Rose's dad. He's a great character.  I'd also like to see none of the main characters die. (Let's not have a repeat of 'Mockingjay', please!!!!!)

Looking forward to this release? What do YOU want to see?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

The question of the week is:

"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

I read all over the place, but my favorite place to read is on the couch, preferably on a gloomy, rainy day! Trains were fun places to read when I commuted, at least when I wasn't seated next to someone who decided to take over their chair AND my chair, as well...

Completely off topic, don't forget to check out my recent reviews and the post about Julie Wise and her fantastic contest!

Also, Did anyone watch Vampire Diaries 'Plan B'... OH. MY. GOSH. This show gets better and better! Both Damon and Stephen had me at 'hello'. :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dream Bigger Reinvention Challenge

Just wanted to post a quick heads up to my followers!  This is a bit out of the realm of YA, but bear with me for a bit!!!

Debut author Julie Wise is hosting a contest sure to please anyone whose looking for a chance to make their dream a reality!  'Dream Bigger' is an inspirational book designed to help readers discover their passion and learn the tools and tricks to achieving their dream!

In honor of her book's release, Julie has come up with the 'Dream Bigger Reinvention Challenge'.  All you need to do is post a video or write a few paragraphs about what your dream is and why you want to achieve it. 

Prizes include:
  • A signed copy of Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease
  • "Spread Your Wings and Dream" sterling silver butterfly piece from Amanda Jaron Jewelry ($200.00 value)
  • 3 months of personal dream coaching from Julie Wise, life and relationship coach and author of Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease ($1000.00 value)
  • 3 months of Spiritual Finance coaching from Kerry Cudmore, certified life and business coach and founder of the Spiritual Finance Initiative ($900.00 value)
  • 1 month of Media Consulting Services from Dunn Pellier Media ($1000.00 value)
  • 1 month of Social Media consulting from Assisting Authors Online ($500.00 value)
So, what are you waiting for?  Head over to the contest and enter today!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quick Reviews: Various Titles

Some books need long, over done reviews.  Some need short.  These few need short, quick review!

Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore
Genre: YA, Juvi, Action, Adventure,
Star Rating: 3/5

I think this book was a little over hyped. It reminded me a bit of James Patterson's 'Maximum Ride' series. Lots of action. I like the idea of aliens hiding out on earth with the whole number system, but it wasn't my favorite book. That being said, typically, action titles aren't my favorite titles... I am looking forward to the movie, though.

Title: The Limit
Author Kristen Landon
Genre: Juvi, technology, mystery
Star Rating: 3/5

What a bizarre world. The concept is great and the story is executed well. 'The Limit' is a very quick, simple read. Perfect for the juvi set (especially boys) more so than the YA set.

Title: Dead Beautiful
Author:Yvonne Woon

Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance, High School
Star Rating: 4/5

I'm a sucker for YA that takes place an unusual academy (think Harry Potter or Knightly Academy sorts of schools). Ignore the cover. 'Dead Beautiful' is a fun read. I quite enjoyed it. The two leads were great, especially bad boy Dante. I recommend taking a peek at this title, though warn you, you might have a few questions towards the end!!!

Title: Infinite Days
Author: Rebecca Maize

Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Star Rating: 3/5

Highly recommended from a friend of mine, I did enjoy this book. I had to mark a few stars off just because the writing (which is executed quite well) took a while to get into. I always felt a bit disconnected to the story. The romance was a bit generic, but the lead character makes up for it. Word to the wise-- if you want the ending to mean anything, don't read the excerpt from the next book directly after. Wait a day or two.  That is my advice to you.

Review: Tigers Curse by Colleen Houck

Title: Tigers Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Action, Romance
Perfect for: romantics (who don't mind minor writing issues)
Format: ARC
Release Date: January 2011
Star Rating: 4/5

Kelsey is done with high school and on her own, well sort of. Her job at assisting the Tiger trainer at the circus parked in town has her pretty busy. Strange things begin to happen when she feels drawn to Ren, the Tiger she takes care of. When rich Mr. Kadam offers her a job in taking Ren to a preserve in India, she can't refuse.

Trouble is, Ren isn't just a Tiger. At least, not all the time. As it turns out, he's also a 300 year old Indian prince who was cursed by an evil man in hopes of de-throning him. As Ren and Kelsey try to break the curse that binds him, they feel more and more drawn to each other until they break.

If this sounds familiar, it might be because you've already read it. This book was available as an ebook last year for Kindles, as well as it's sequel. I, sadly, just found this via ARC and now cannot hunt down a copy of said sequel to save my life! And yes, I really want to continue this saga.

The story is pretty original. I mean, how many YA titles take place in India? And star an Indian prince who is cursed to play Tiger almost 23 and a 1/2 hours a day? Not too many. It's a nice change from Vampires, Werewolves, and that whole lot.

The writing has some problems. We are 'told' a lot, as opposed to learning it on our own. There are some big blocky paragraphs of texts that are just never fun. There's also a bit of redundancy sometimes, but the overall story and characters cover for the lack of refinement.

The characters are likable and you really do start rooting for them as you read on in 'Tigers Curse'. The romance between Ren and Kelsey is actually quite cute and (somewhat) more realistic than other supernatural YA novels. (My only complaint about the characters is that I really hate the nickname 'Kells' and the name 'Kelsey' in general, but that's just me. :p)

'Tigers Curse' is one of those reads that grabbed me without me even knowing. I found it hard to put down and I looked for info on a sequel almost immediately after finishing. All signs point to this being a fantastic series and I'm really looking forward to taking the journey with Ren and Kelsey.

I recommend you take a peek at 'Tigers Curse'!

Review: Wired by Robin Wasserman

Title: Wired
Author: Roin Wasserman
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Perfect for: Well, anyone who wants to read the conclusion of the trilogy
Star Rating: 2/5 stars

Lia Kahn is a mech-- a machine with memories and feelings of the deceased Lia Kahn. 'Wired' is the third book in a trilogy that follows her, her family, and mech friends as they learn if peace can really be had between orgs and mechs.

Okay, folks, if the 2/5 star rating didn't tell you, I'm not a fan of 'Wired'. I was on board with her first two titles and typically recommend them for those looking for good sci-fi. This book, however, not so much. There are low points and very few high points in 'Wired'.

Let's start with the high points, shall we? 'Wired' showcased a lot of Zo, Lia's 'org' sister. We've seen the relationship crumble in the earlier books and it was nice to see the sisters rebuild their bonds. Their banter back and forth was cute, especially when Jude was involved.

Jude is the other high point of the novel, and for no other reason than I've always found him a bit intriguing. He's the Han Solo character who you have to root for, even if he's a scoundrel.

Now onto the shortcomings... And boy were there shortcomings! The main problem is the writing. Lia's voice has always been a bit hard to follow, but this was way worse. Conversations were hard to follow and action was just confusing. So many new plot elements were introduced, only to be left open-ended and unfinished.

Even the main story of this novel and this series was pretty poorly executed. I understand cliff hanger endings when you're reading the first or second book in a trilogy, but if you are finishing the story, never visiting that world again, why not at least resolve the main storyline? Preferably in a way that isn't completely confusing to the reader. I kid you not, I had a lot of trouble following the last few chapters. I still don't know what exactly happened to Lia. If you have any idea's, please leave them here, because I'd like to know.

This whole novel rubbed me the wrong way. I expected something that would wrap up Lia's story, but got a whole lot of crazy plot lines and no real conclusion. It felt a lot like the third book in a four book series.

I would NOT recommend this unless you have read the first two books and feel you need to finish the series. And what does that mean for me recommending the series to new readers? I don't know. Maybe I still will, maybe I won't. I really hope Wasserman is considering writing a companion following two specific characters (you'll know who if you read 'Wired') and left this book without much conclusion because of that.  Even as I think about that, though, I might be hard pressed to pick up another novel in this series...

This book was just highly disappointing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quick Update!

I'll be back on Monday with a review of the most recent book I've read (Tigers Curse) and some mini reviews of some other titles I've read this past month!!!

I'd love to pop in here and post this weekend, but am planning a huge American Girl event for my bookstore and  it's taking MUCH of my weekend.  :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy October!

With a new month comes a new site update!  My house is decorated with fun Halloween decor already.  Actually, I really enjoy Halloween.  I love dressing up in costumes with fun makeup and new hairdo's.  That reminds me... I don't actually have a costume this year yet!  Oh no!

I must apologize for the lack of updates last week. Long story short, I got hit with a lot of work last week from my two jobs and it sucked a lot of time from my blogging schedule!  I'm back on track now.  :-)

As for October,  expect more reviews.  I read a book called 'Tigers Curse' by Colleen Houck.  It officially comes out from Sterling in January 2011, but has been out in self published ebook form for some time now.  I was quite surprised by how compelling the book was and well, how well written it seemed to be.  Expect a review soon.  Though, I warn you, you will probably end up looking high and low for the self published sequels!!!  For some reason, it's even harder to wait for a sequel when you know others have read it already!!!  Seriously, I really need to find the other novels in this series!

Check back late tomorrow for the next S.O.S title.  Also, by now, any books winners from last months contest should have received their books!  Enjoy the reads!

See ya all later!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Title: Personal Demons
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Perfect for: those in need of light reading
Star Rating: 4 Stars

To be honest, I was a bit worried about this book in the beginning. The final publication cover is not a favorite of mine. Were I judging just by the cover, odds are I wouldn't have picked this title up. However, you're not supposed to judge books by their covers and in this case I'm quite happy I gave this title a shot.

The story follows high school senior Frannie, a good catholic girl who toes the line when it comes life. She's a complicated character who holds a lot of emotions balled up inside her. Because of that, she's completely unprepared for the arrival of Luc, a demon in human form looking to tag her soul for Hell, and Gabe, an angel in human form looking to tag her soul for Heaven. Feeling an attraction to both boys, Frannie must choose what path to take and figure out why she is so important in the first place.

I had fun reading this book. This is a great popcorn read. It has two charismatic guys and a leading lady with a bit of depth. I think you'll find it hard pressed not to fall for Luc, even though you know his intentions are so not good. And Gabe, well, it takes a while to really get his character, but once he becomes more involved, you'll love him, too!

The story is told from Frannie and Luc's perspective. I really wish we would have heard a bit from Gabe's POV, but maybe in upcoming books... As far as the story goes, it takes a few chapters to really get into the story and the voice. Give it time, as it get's better as more is revealed about Frannie and why she is so important to Heaven and Hell.

Overall, 'Personal Demons' is a fantastic popcorn read. Something that is perfect if you're looking for something quick, fun, and not too heavy. Take a peek!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Movie?

You know the book 'Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac' by Gabrielle Zevin? Well, I just stumbled upon the movie trailer for the Japanese movie adaption that was released in March 2010!

I thought I'd share it with you guys who may have read the book and didn't know about this little bit of information. I'm actually pretty interested in seeing this, though I'll have to re-read the book a bit to remember the small details.

What do you think?

*Note: If the video is cut off on the right side, watch directly from YT!*

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Question

Book Blogger Hop

How do you spread the word about your blog?
(e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)

When I first started BBOB, I had no idea how to advertise it and get it out there.  First things first, I hit the search engines and made sure my link was in their system.  I also started editing my reviews on Goodreads to only hold a blurb and then link to this blog.  It brought a lot of traffic in and usually helps those who only go on Goodreads find the blog!  This past few months, I have been joining hops like this, been tweeting about various posts, and have joined Ning's made especially for book bloggers.  

The Final Two installments of 'Banned Book Week! Read, Review, and Recommend your favorite banned book!'

As you know, it's Banned Book Week!  This is the week we celebrate the books that are wrongly banned from books, libraries, and schools!

Guess who missed their update yesterday?  I did!  Here are the final two banned book's I've chosen to highlight this week!!!

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling is the most challenged book series of the decade.  And it gets that honor because it teaches children about the occult!  *insert laugh track here*  Seriously, I've tried turning a light on by saying 'lumos' and it doesn't work.  Repairing glasses by shouting 'occulus repairo' doesn't work either, folks.  If the challengers had even looked into what Wicca actually entails, they'd realize that practicing the 'harry potter' method of magic will really get you no where.

This, 'Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle, is the final book I'm showcasing this week.  Here's the reason why.  I have no idea, no inkling whatsoever, what a parent would find wrong with this title.  I haven't read it recently but remember this being a good fantasy/adventure tale about friendship and family.  Okay, I remember Gregory Smith, too, but that's another story all together.  I really don't recall anything that anyone could blow out of proportion (like the magic in Harry Potter or the religious themes in Chronicles of Narnia).  Do you know why it's one of the most challenged books of this past decade?  I don't, but honestly even if I did, it wouldn't make me recommend this title less to anyone looking for a good, classic read.

And this ends my Banned Book Week festivities. I hope you've enjoyed these past few posts and I really hope that you will continue to read, review, recommend and celebrate these titles year round.  :-)

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I'll let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

Quick bit of info here-- I collect dolls, mainly Skipper.  After too many years of inflated (outrageous, completely ridiculous) prices on the only Skipper doll price guide around, we finally have a second edition!  Released September 29th and now out of stock on (!!!), the 2nd edition of ‘Skipper- Barbie Doll’s Little Sister’ is here!  Put together by Trina Cottingham, Scott Arend, and Karla Hemingway, this book is roughly 250 pages long and looks to have a ton of information!
Here’s a quick blurb from Amazon about ‘Skipper- Barbie Doll’s Little Sister’.
“This long-awaited second edition of Skipper – Barbie Doll’s Little Sister features 16 additional pages of never-before-seen items including rare dolls, prototypes, and gift sets, and a new, updated price guide. Included are U.S. and foreign market Skipper dolls and friends, their clothing, licensed products, and gift sets manufactured from 1964 through 1978, the last year the first face mold was used. An entire chapter features all domestic and foreign issues of Skipper doll’s tiny twin brother and sister, Tutti and Todd, spanning their production years from 1967 through 1980.”
I really wish they would have gone into the 80′s/90′s Skipper lines, but for some reason, they were ignored.

Check back for a more detailed review of the book when I finally get my hands on it!!!  Have you read it?  What did you think?