Saturday, November 22, 2014

[Read-a-thon]Black Friday 2014

Hi all! I'm excited to say that I am participating in the first ever Black Friday Read-a-thon. This read-a-thon is hosted by Anna @ Don't Blame the Butler. It's a pretty chill read-a-thon for those of us who will either A) be in the long lines from hell or B) don't want to leave the comfort of their home on this business-driven holiday. I fall in the latter category and I don't think I will leave my house at all that day (true story: I went to Jo-Anns Fabric Store about 10 years ago on Black Friday around 9AM...the line was out the door. No thank you).

The rules are simple:

1) "Sign up" by commenting on this post.

2)  Start reading after all of the Thanksgiving festivities and it ends Friday at 23:59

3) Open internationally! Any excuse to read is a great excuse!

4) If you want to read, read. If you have to work, work. If you want to shop, then shop. NO PRESSURE. 

5) Bonus Points* for reading books with black covers or with the word “black” in the title. (*Note: Bonus Points are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may in fact be utterly worthless. Consult with your doctor if Bonus Points give you an ego boost lasting more than four hours.)

I'm not too sure what time I'll start seeing as the hubs and I will have three rounds to make on Thanksgiving (having a big family is great...but also not so great on the holidays). I don't know what my goals and what my reading pile is just yet, but I'll probably update Friday morning with all that jazz.

I hope you all can join!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: Siege and Storm

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult // High Fantasy // Romance (??)
Format:  Physical Copy
Source: Library
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm (goodreads).

You know, I wasn't even going to continue this series, (remember how I said I was picky about series I read?) Thank God I did, because 

Plot: Seige and Storm picks up in the aftermath of book one and there is not a lull one second of the book. One second we're  hanging out in hiding, then there are dragons, and then we were along side Alina as she prepared an army. I'm happy to say that there was action every step of the way and I was never bored. Be it actual combat or political strategies. Many bloggers will let you know that The Darkling was missing for a good chunk of this book, but my eyes were glued to the pages when he did make an appearance!

Characters: This was the first time we actually got to see Mal as an independent character, not the "ideal man" version that Alina made up in the first book and I must say, that kid leaves much to be desired. I didn't mind Mal much at the beginning as he seemed to support Alina and did everything he could to protect her, then the novel continued and he just got whiny. Alina, on the other hand, grew fabulously and I loved seeing her struggle between trying to be the girl pre-Darkling and the girl post-Darkling. It's kind of like they say, you can never go back home. We are also introduced to some new characters who found their way into my heart, as well as reintroduced to some old characters from Shadow and Bone. Oh, needs more Darkling. 

World Building: It's unbelievable to me when authors can create a world out of thin air. Not only is this world imaginative, but Leigh Bardugo's writing makes it seem as though these lands could be placed on a map. Everything is described so well and the cultures and well developed. I don't want to leave

Short N Sweet: Siege and Storm is pretty close to perfection. It focuses on character relationships and has a moving plot every step of the way. Needs more Darkling though. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: Masque of the Red Death

Title: Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult // Steampunk 

Format: eBook
Source: Purchased (
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her (goodreads).

Masque of the Red Death is an imaginative read about a political power struggle and a sickness that is spreading across the lower class families. Oh, and what's a plague story without a love triangle? 

Plot: Masque of the Red Death caught my attention immediately with it's glitzy lifestyle and obvious class division. Unfortunately, the charm wore off by the fourth chapter. I still enjoyed it, I just didn't love it. The ending was a total game changer that made me raise my eyebrow and I'm still not too sure if that is a good thing of bad thing. As I have not ventured more into the Edgar Allen Poe realm, I can say that Bethany Griffin really made this story her own and it takes a special skill to completely reimagine a work by one of history's most beloved novelists. 

Characters: As I was reading this story, I decided to do some research on the author (as The Fall had just come out as well). She described herself as a character driven writer but I didn't get that while reading Masque of the Red Death. Araby was an interesting character, with her obvious flaws and drug addiction, but I never felt as though she was fully fleshed out. She discussed her past with other characters and why she does the things that she does, but I hardly feel as though she grows without being told to. I was really interested in her relationship with her family but the dialogue always felt forced and incredibly awkward. Like I said before, there is a love triangle in this novel and it's pretty central to the whole story. The terrible part is that I have no idea who she will choose and hat annoys me, I'm a control freak like that. 

World Building: Bethany's world is beautiful and desolate. There are two parts of town and it's incredible to see the different descriptions and the different priorities of both "neighborhoods." I also loved the crazy fashion, it reminded me a lot of the Capital from The Hunger Games. Lots of color and pazazz! 

Short N Sweet: Masque of the Red Death is an interesting take on a classic story, but I felt as if the characters did more "telling" than they did "showing." 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#51]

 Title: Ensnared (Splintered #3)
Author: A.G Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 6, 2015

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after (goodeads)?

Jeb you cool and all but MORPHEUS!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

[Meme]Teaser Tuesday [#46]

"You're not my prop," said Knox, his tone softening. I'm trying to protect us both. What we're doing , dangerous as it is-is the right thing to do. You know it is. Don't mess it up because you're having a bad night." 

Page 13
The Captive by Amiee Carter

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: Tease

Title: Tease (The Ivy Chronicles #2)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Genre: New Adult // Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased (
What happens when a girl who always calls the shots meets a guy who's too wild for even her?
A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She's always chosen her hookups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:
Never let them see the real you.Never fall in love.Always leave them begging for more.
Then Shaw comes along. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he's immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn't even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy, dark-eyed, bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.
But instead of making Shaw beg, Emerson finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she's throwing out her rule book. Suddenly, she's the one panting for a guy she can't control—a guy who won't settle for anything less than the real Emerson and who forces her to do things she's never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.
A guy who just might leave her wanting more. . . .(goodreads)

After reading Foreplay, I new I had to continue this series, and I'm happy that Tease did not disappoint!

Plot: We are first introduced to Emerson in Foreplay, but this is quite a different Emerson I remember reading about. Emerson was portrayed as coy, free, and a downright heartbreaker, we get a completely different story in Tease. Emerson's story will punch you in the gut and you'll be rooting for Shaw and Em from the first time they make eye contact.

Characters: To be honest, Emerson threw me off for most of this book because she was so different from how Piper portrayed her in first book, once I started to imagine her as an independent character from the Ivy Chronicles trilogy, I  was able to understand her better. Shaw proves himself to be a worthy adversary for Em, the girl who had been dubbed a tease on campus. Their chemistry is undeniable and I loved how they were a mixture of sweet and downright sexy. We see returning characters from Foreplay and get even a little more insight to Georgia who is the lead MC in the series' third installment, Wild.

World Building: Just like in Foreplay, Tease is a college romance in title only. The girls go from class to dorm to bar with very little emphasis on the college experience. I would have really liked it Sophie Jordan balanced the romance with classmates, and assignments, and just university tomfoolery.

Short N Sweet: Tease is equal parts sexy and sweet. Emerson's story kept me turning pages in hopes that both characters would find their happily ever after.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: Nov 9-Nov 15, 2014


Blah, I've been slacking this week! Well I survived my third polar vortex of the year so that's got to caught for something!

Sorry for the delay and lack of blogging guys, it's home stretch for the end of the semester/quarter and as a teacher AND student, I am SUPER busy. Gotta dole finals out, as well as take them as well! :) But Thanksgiving week is coming up so I'm going to do ALL OF THE READING (as well as all of the studying...maybe). 

I just want to say congrats to Cali and Lea who won my Birthday giveaway! :) I have received your emails and should be sending out your books soon (as soon as I find time, bear with me)!

I have about 100 pages left of Crown of Midnight and I think I'm in the minority with this series. I just don't get it. Maybe because I find Dorian to be more interesting and Caleana doesn't seem to be giving him the time of day. :/ I think I'm just bitter. Haha

That's all from me this week! Link me to what you've been up to this week!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review: Poison Princess

Title: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Publication Date: October 2, 2o12
Genre: Young Adult // Dystopian // Romance
Format: Physical Copy
Source: Library
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can't do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side (goodreads).

Poison Princess is a fast paced dystopian novel with a touch of magic and maniacal serial killers. So clearly I had to check this one out!

Plot: In most dystopian novels, you start in the dystopian world and the narrators explains to you how the world got to such a tragic state. Not in Poison Princess. Here are accompany Evie as she goes from normal high school kid to one of the handful of human beings alive within 24 hours. I definitely liked the direction this story was going in, it involved tarot cards and I had quite a bit of an obsession with card reading a few years ago (mostly because their designs are always so pretty, I wonder if Kresely has created any Poison Princess inspired tarot cards...). My one complaint is that there wasn't any resolution in the first novel, instead it felt like an extended prologue. We had a realization, but it only promised further expansion in the sequel. But I guess that's how authors get you! 

Characters: Evie is an interesting character. She's the popular girl at school but she is by no means the Queen B. She's sweet but a bit annoying towards the beginning, it's interesting to see her toughen up in this new world where women are used as currency and food is scarce. Also I'm going to have a very unpopular opinion. I don't like Jackson. Sorry guys. I know he's the token bad boy but I didn't find any of his qualities attractive, nor did I think he and Evie were a good fit for each other. I also felt like some of the secondary characters weren't well developed and didn't really care for them, I'll have to keep reading to see if my attitude changes. 

World  Building: Kresley's Post-Flash world is disturbingly realistic. We have insight to terrible paranormal creatures and power hungry militia. I could perfectly picture every aspect of her world and it brought tingles down my spine! 

Short N Sweet: Poison Princess is a creative dystopian tale that blends in some magic elements flawlessly. I only wish I loved the characters as much as I loved Kresley Cole's world. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

[Book Review]Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak!
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary // Romance
Format: Physical Copy
Source: Library
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door (goodreads).

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a cute novel about lost love and the everyday struggles of family. And of course, I managed to devour this one in less than a day, Stephanie Perkins you are a wizard!

Plot: Stephanie Perkins takes us stateside to sunny California where budding fashion designer Lola Nolan is dealing with her fathers not liking her rocker boyfriend. I thought the pacing to was perfect and I never found there to be a lull in action or story. Likewise, Perkins has this uncanny ability to make any situation light before you get bogged down by too much emotion. 

Characters: Where Anna was soft and sweet, Lola is all edges. Lola is spunky and flawed. I'll admit, there are times where I didn't like Lola, but Stephanie Perkins read my mind and addressed each flaw later in the book and managed to make Lola's flaws likable. I don't know how, it's magic. I feel really bad because I kept comparing this book to Anna and the French Kiss and that may have taken away from me enjoying this book completely. I welcomed any scene that had a cameo from Anna and St. Clair and more often than not, I thought about rereading Anna. Lola and Cricket have a very cute story and I loved the two of them together, but I think Anna and St. Clair have ruined me. Moving away from the romance, I think my favorite characters in Lola and the Boy Next Door are Lola's family. Lola has an interesting family life, it's not perfect but you can just feel the love that they have for each other. 

World Building: One thing that I learned from Anna and the French Kiss is that Stephanie Perkins can transport you to any land - hell if she were to write a story that takes place on Jupiter, I'm sure that world building would be superb. I felt as if I were in San Francisco (which is probably in park to the cover update) and walking with Lola and Cricket on the hilly streets during chilly nights. It was spot on, which is truly a display of Stephanie Perkins writing abilities. 

Short N Sweet: Lola and the Boy Next Door is a super cute and emotional story about imperfect people who learn to live with their flaws. While I couldn't help compare this to Anna and the French Kiss, I did enjoy it. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#50]

Title: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
Author: Annie Kaufman, Megan Spooner
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: December 23, 2014

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.
Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.
Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.
Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war (goodreads).

I downloaded the audio book for These Broken Stars on a whim (whim-OMG THAT COVER). I was surprised how much I enjoyed it since I'm usually not a fan of sci-fi/space things. I can't wait to see what else this world offers (and I hope Lilac and Tarver make an appearance)!