Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

In My Mailbox this week, I got some books that I won, as well as my first bunch of swag! I also got a new book for my Kobo (thanks to sales discounts, of course!). Check out what I got:

Won from Susan at Wastepaper Prose
The DUFF ARC by Kody Keplinger {Goodreads}
Stork ARC by Wendy Delsol {Goodreads}
The DUFF reading guide, Ascendant bookmark, The Secret Year bookmark (signed), The Mockingbirds bookmark (signed), The Mark bookmark (signed), Sea postcard, Losing Faith postcard (signed), The Dark Divine sticker, The Mockingbirds bookplate (signed), Losing Faith sticker (signed)

Bought from Kobo
Intertwined by Gena Showalter {Goodreads}

Downloaded from Kobo
Beasts and BFFs by Shannon Delany {Goodreads}

I was so excited when I finally got my winnings from Susan. Because I was third runner up in the giveaway she did, I didn’t know what I was going to get because I got whatever was leftover. It was really excited to open the package and see the two ARCS of books that I’d heard about, but probably wouldn’t have picked up for myself. It gives me a chance to expand my reading horizons. I also kept hearing about the Intertwined series and they look really good. So, since I had a coupon code in my email inbox and Intertwined was already marked down, I decided to go for it. While I was perusing I also found Beasts and BFFs for free download, so I jumped on it. I haven’t read 13 to Life yet, but I have it and I definitely want to.

What’s in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

This is a new meme that I found online in my travels around the blogosphere. I decided it would be a great chance to showcase some of the books that I want, but haven't bought yet (because I have so many already). I'm hoping it gives my followers a better idea of some of the books I missed when they first came out, but that I still want to read. I hope we all have some fun with this!

On My Wishlist this week:
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: September 21, 2010

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

I first heard about Brenna Yonvanoff through the Merry Sisters of Fate, which I heard about through Maggie Stiefvater. The Replacements sounds completely different from anything I've heard of or read before. I've read a bunch of reviews for it, as well as an except or two, and it seems like a pretty great book. Plus, I've had a taste of Brenna's writing on the Merry Fates blog (the ladies take turns posting short fiction each week), and enjoy her style.

What's on your wishlist?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
Publication Date: February 15, 2011

I don't like Kathryn Pease. I could pretend everything's fine between us. I could be nice to her face, then trash her behind her back. But I think it's better to be honest. I don't like Kathryn, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

I saw a commercial where singers used their voices to shatter glass, but the whole thing is pretty much a myth. The human voice isn't that strong.
Human hatred is. Anybody who doubts that should feel the hate waves coming off of Brooke Dempsey. But I don't shatter; I'm not made of glass. Anyway, the parts that break aren't on the outside.

Brooke and Kathryn used to be best friends . . . until the night when Brooke ruthlessly turned on Kathryn in front of everyone. Suddenly Kathryn was an outcast and Brooke was Queen B. Now, as they prepare to face off one last time, each girl must come to terms with the fact that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had.

I don’t read enough contemporary fiction. I found out about this one when I was looking through Goodreads giveaways awhile back. Also, it centres around a music: Brooke and Kath are both singers who want to make it big. I like it when I read a story that also includes some of my interests. I grew up taking piano lessons and playing flute in school, and sometimes just like to belt out a good tune. I just love music overall. You can check out the Goodreads site for a different synopsis of the story. It seems a bit more in depth than the one I got from HarperTeen.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (8)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from Beautiful Darkness, the second book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I read the first book, Beautiful Creatures, in the summer. I think I missed being in Gatlin and in the Caster world because I’m really enjoying it so far. Here’s my teaser:

She wouldn't jump on the back of some random guy's bike.
Not unless she knew him.
Right then, I didn't know which was worse.

So far, there is a lot going on in this book. I don't really want to say anything and post spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that. Apparently, I forgot a lot of stuff from the first one. Like Kelting (I didn’t remember that’s what it was called) and what happened to the Book of Moons, and the green and gold eyes. I feel like a bad fan, ha ha! But I’m really enjoying getting back into the world that Kami and Margaret created. It’s fun and dramatic and confusing. I’m only about a quarter of the way through, so I’m excited to see where it is going to go!

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 1, 2011
Genre: YA, dystopian
Pages: 305 (Kindle edition)
Series: Delirium
1. Delirium
2. Pandemonium (expected pub 2012)
3. Requiem (expected pub 2013)

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I honestly don’t know how I’d live in a world without love. I suppose if I was born into it and it was bred into my bones that love is a bad disease that would eventually kill me, I might I have different opinion. Lena is definitely all for the cure for amor deliria nervosa. When she was younger, her mother was unable to be cured (she had the procedure three times, but it never “worked”) and she ended up walking off a cliff. I can definitely sympathize with Lena: I wouldn’t want to fall in love or feel love at all if it was so bad that it caused my mom to commit suicide.

In the days before her 18th birthday, her cure date, Lena must complete the evaluations in which she must stand before a panel of four lab scientists and answer a series of questions. This is so that she can be paired with her future husband, but I think it is also a prescreening to ensure that she has not contracted the disease. Her evaluations don’t go very well, but there is an "incident" at the labs the same day, and she is lucky enough to get a do-over. She’s also lucky because this is the day she meets Alex, who ends up turning her life upside down.

Her best friend Hana is more outgoing and introduces Lena to new parts of her world that are “forbidden”: she listens to illegal music, she sneaks out after curfew, and spends time with boys (breaking the segregation rule). Somehow, Lena ends up being sucked into this world and she and Alex become friends. Since he is “cured” (she can tell by the mark that all cureds have), she feels that this is ok.

Aside from the more indepth synopsis of the book I’ve just given, I’m not really sure what to say. I know what I WANT to say, but it is totally spoilerific and not fair to you who haven't read it. I will say that I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I haven’t read Lauren's debut, Before I Fall, and I can’t recall reading any dystopian novels before, so I was going in blind. I am no longer blind, my friends! The romance in this story is beautiful because Lena is just discovering it for the first time. Along with that is her fear of love and fear of her society. She gets really tangled up and doesn’t know where she belongs because Alex is opening her eyes to things she has never seen before, things that the government hides from people to “keep them safe.” I could feel all of Lena’s emotions throughout the novel, from pain to curiosity to fear to love to confusion and more. It was all very powerful, which indicates to me that the writing is fantastic.

The last thing I will say is about the ending, and I will try my hardest not to spoil anything. The ending was absolutely amazing and shocking. I didn’t know if I should cry or not, scream or not, be happy or not! There are upsides and downsides to the way it ends, and I think I understand why the characters made the choices they did. It’s still really hard to read, emotionally. I had to reread the last two pages at least five times and still didn’t believe it. If you’re one of those people who reads the last few pages of a story before reading the story itself, I’d recommend for you not to. I’d say don’t ever, for any book you ever read, but especially for this one, just DON’T. Just read it. Read it and enjoy it, because you and I both know you will.

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for the eARC!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lauren Oliver's Delirium Contest

So I don't usually do this type of thing (blog post about contest), but I just finished reading Delirium last night and it was really freakin' amazing. I haven't tried writing the review yet, and I'm usually pretty good about starting reviews shortly after finishing reading, but I cannot find words to describe Delirium. The ending totally caught me off guard and I didn't know whether I wanted to cry or scream or what. I was in shock.

If you want a chance to read this awesome book, you should head on over to Lauren Oliver's blog and enter for a chance to win one of five signed copies of Delirium! You can also win a book thong which looks pretty cute.

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Publication Date: June 21, 2011

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It's as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.

This book sounds so interesting! I have really been enjoying angel stories, and this one is completely different from any of the others I’ve read (such as Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series, and Lauren Kate’s Fallen series). I think it’ll be a really great book!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

Title: Happy Ever After
Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley Books (Penguin)
Publish Date: November 2, 2010
Genre: Romance, Chick-lit
Pages: 333 (paperback)
Series: Bride Quartet
1. Vision in White
2. Bed of Roses
3. Savor the Moment
4. Happy Ever After

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac—the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut's premier wedding planning companies.

Parker Brown turned the quartet's childhood game of Wedding Day into their dream jobs. And now she's the face of Vows—the one who meets every bride's demands; keeps every event on schedule; and brings Emma's romantic flowers, Laurel's delicious treats, and Mac's stunning photgraphy together in one glorious package. She knows how to make dreams come true...

Mechanic Malcom Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker Brown—with her mile-long legs—is no exception. But as a good friend to Parker's brother, Mal knows that moving from minor flirtation to major hookup is a serious step.

Now man has rattled Parker in a long time, but the motorcycle-riding, raven-haired Mal seems to have a knack for it. His passionate kissess always catch her off guard, much like her growing feelings for him. Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart.

(Warning: SPOILERS if you haven’t read any of the previous novels in the series)

I loved this whole series. I’m one of those girls who imagines what they’re wedding day will be like: the dress, the colours, the wedding party, the groom ;). Of course, many of these aspects are to-be-determined, but I’ve always been a dreamer when it comes to weddings. I just love them. I’m a true romantic at heart. Because of this, I think it was fitting for this series to be the first books from Nora Roberts that I read. I wasn’t disappointed. I think the romance in them flows so magically. She definitely has a way with words.

In the final instalment of the Bride Quartet, Parker is the last one left without someone special. Her three best friends and partners at Vows have found love and are getting married within the year. Then Parker meets Malcolm Kavanaugh, the tough, sexy mechanic with a knack for calling her “Legs” and making her heart flutter. Parker thinks she doesn’t need anyone - she’s got her work. So why does Malcolm keep bumping into her life?

I thought this was such a great way to end the series: with Parker’s love life. She’s the small details and overall PR lady at Vows and I can’t even imagine how she would find time for a relationship with the amount of work she does. She's superwoman. Malcolm is that dark and troubled man with a mysterious background. When Parker and Malcolm come together, not only does romance bud and do sparks fly, but they both try to do what they do best: figure the other out. This turns out to be difficult for Parker, since Malcolm isn't one to open up and talk about his feelings or his past. They clash in more ways than one and it makes for an exciting and romantic story.

I really loved Malcolm as a leading man. I could totally picture him riding his motorcycle up to the Brown Estate or working on a car in his garage. He's sexy and smart and he revs Parker up, which is not an easy task. We were introduced to Malcolm in Savor the Moment and I liked him from the beginning (he stood up to Linda!). When Mal finally open up to Parker and we learn about his childhood, I loved him even more. His story is one that you never want to hear about a child. Especially as a future teacher, thinking about what Mal had to go through as a child breaks my heart.

Nora Roberts has such beautiful writing. You can tell she does her research before writing her stories because she knows so much that she could be a florist, a baker, a photographer, a mechanic, a lawyer, and more, with the detail she provides in this series alone. I know that this won't be the last book from Nora Roberts that I read. Next time I need a great romantic chick-lit, I know what to reach for.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

I'm very excited to get to post my first IMM for the year 2011! I went away for the weekend for a conference, and when I came back, I had three books waiting for me! Not only that, but I also got a NetGalley title this past week. Here's what I got:

Bought from The Book Depository
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand {Goodreads}

Won from Bitten By Books
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick {Goodreads}

Won from HarperCollins Canada's Facebook Page
Origins: (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec {Goodreads}

For Review (from NetGalley)
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan {Goodreads}

I'm pretty excited to get these books this week. First of all, SUPER excited to get my copy of Unearthly! I can't wait to reread it in hardcopy! It's so pretty. I'm interested to read Origins. I've never read any of The Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith, but I am a big fan of the TV show. I do have an audiobook of The Awakening that came with the Season 1 DVD set, that I have yet to get to, but it's on the list.

What did you get this week?

In other news: I finished Happy Ever After and am getting to the end of Delirium, so you have those reviews to look forward to within the week! Make sure you check back if you are interested in reading them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: September 15, 2011

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the pure-blooded Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

For starters, check out that cover. No, don’t just look at it. Click on and see the full image. You need to. I’ll wait while you do that…Back now? What do you think? I think it’s awesome. It looks so magical and the purple is so strong! I can’t wait to see what it looks like in reality.

The plot itself really interests me. Forbidden love. The fear of what is to come in the future. Gods and mortals combined. All in all, I’m pretty excited for this book and am really looking forward to it!

What are upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (7)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from the much anticipated Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I’m about halfway through and really enjoying it. Here’s my teaser:

Grace’s life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer. My world exploded because of a different word: suicide.
Correction: That was the
first time my world exploded.

I love that we’re finally getting into the romance part of this story! I’m a sucker for romance and there's not much in the beginning. The book starts out by teaching us about the world in which Delirium is set, through the eyes of Lena. It’s really different because there's segregation, the sympathizers, the regulators, the cure, and so on. It’s a really interesting read so far and I’m excited to see where Lauren Oliver is going to take the story.

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!!

When I woke up this morning, I totally didn't expect to find an award waiting for me!! Thanks so much to Cheree at Justified Lunacy for the award! Make sure you check out her blog, too.

Here are the rules if you are awarded:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Seven things about me:
I live in Canada and, yes, it's very cold.
My dream trip is a Mediterranean Cruise.
My friends always tell me I'm loud (I guess I can't really deny that).
I currently work sales at a ski hill.
I have been playing soccer every summer since I was 8.
I broke my foot when I was 10 by falling off my platform sandals.
My housemates are my family and we love each other like sisters (none of us are actually related).

15 great bloggers I've awarded:
Amaterasu Reads
Pure Imagination
The Perpetual Page-Turner
Uniquely Moi Books
Unputdownable Books
Girl About Books
Girls Without a Bookshelf
Writer's Block NZ
To the Point Book Reviews
The Diary of a Book Lover
Book Infinity
October Daniels
Icey Books
Teens Read and Write

I've contacted all these great bloggers to let them know I've awarded them! I hope you check out at least a few because these blogs are smart, funny, insightful, and just a joy to read!

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 A to Z Challenge

As you may have seen in my Goals post on Tuesday, I have decided to participate in another reading challenge this year.

The A to Z Challenge is hosted by Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews. Here’s how it works:

The challenge runs from now until December 31, 2011. You can choose the option that works best for you:
Authors -- Read alphabetically by author. Commit to 26 books.
Titles -- Read alphabetically by title. Commit to 26 books.
Authors & Titles -- Commit to reading 52 books.
For more information, you can visit the challenge blog here.

My goal for this challenge is to read 26 books alphabetically by title. My understanding is that you don’t have to read them in alphabetic order, as long as you read one book for each letter of the alphabet.

Right now, I'm reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts, so when I'm done I will have completed 2 out of the 26 books I have to read, specifically D and H.

You can following along on my page for this challenge, which can be found here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Passion by Lauren Kate Cover Reveal

I'm sure the majority of the blogosphere is about five steps ahead of me, but Lauren Kate revealed the cover for the third book in the Fallen series, Passion, today. I recently read Torment, the second book and loved it. The ending wrapped up really nicely, but it also set up the beginning of Passion perfectly. Here you can find my reviews for Fallen and Torment.

And without further ado, here is the cover for Passion:

Isn't it amazing? When I first saw it, my jaw dropped, I gasped, and I started muttering "Oh my God" and "Wow" under my breath. I think it's beautiful. I think that out of the three, it is the most different. This is the first one in which you can see part of Luce's face. She looks unsure of herself, but determined and independent, which I think is perfect because that's how I've always seen Luce as a character. Also, she looks less... tortured, than she does in the other two. Compare for yourself:
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Were you as blown away and awed as I was when I first saw this cover?

In case you missed it, here's what Lauren posted on her blog along with the cover reveal (**WARNING: slight spoilers if you haven't read Fallen or Torment yet):

When I started writing Passion, I knew the series was bursting into some very exciting uncharted territory. This chase backwards through time, with each chapter set in a different country and a different century across five thousand years is undoubtedly the most romantic, most intense, most…passionate book I’ve ever written–and I think you’ll agree it has the cover to match. I love the dramatic bursts of color, the intensity and desolation of the backdrop, and of course, the dress. It’s also the perfect book to show just a hint of Luce’s face. I am counting down the days until I can share the book with you, but in the meantime, I hope you love the cover as much as I do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
Publication Date: July 4, 2011

What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?

Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.

A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.

Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?

Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

I've never read any books about mermaids and this one really caught my attention. It's on my 2011 Debut Author Challenge list and I'm excited to start reading the digital ARC I have from NetGalley. I hope it'll be a fun adventure for my first foray into mermaid fiction!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year to all! I hope you all passed a fun New Years Eve and are ready for the new year to kick start! I hope it brings you all very good things! Keep on reading to see what I'm hoping to achieve in the upcoming year for myself and my reading.

Right now, everyone in the blogosphere is making resolutions for themselves and their blogs. Growing up, my parents never made resolutions or had us make resolutions, so I never really got into the habit. Since I now have this blog (and a ridiculous amount of books to read), I’d like to make a few goals for myself. (Not resolutions, because that word really doesn’t mean much to me.)

One of these goals is to make a dent in my TBR pile. I highly doubt I’ll stop looking at new books and adding them to my list, which kind of means I fail at that goal already. I guess the goal is basically to read more so I can keep up with myself. Here’s hoping this semester at school allows for that. If not, there’s always the summer when I can catch up with myself!

My other goal is to join reading challenges and complete them successfully. I tried my first reading challenge in October, Fall Into Reading 2010. I joined a bit late and had a really busy school semester, so I didn’t get to complete the challenge, but it was a fun first try. For this year, I’ve already joined The Story Siren’s 2011 Debut Author Challenge. There are so many good debut authors and books coming out this year, that I think it’ll be fun and relatively easy. Check out my page here and follow along with my progress.

I’ve been floating around blogs looking for another challenge I might like to participate in. I want to do something fun that will also allow me to read the books I’ve already added to my TBR list without overwhelming me in an amount of books I can’t get through. Early this week, I found the A to Z Challenge and have decided that it will be fun to participate in. Check back on Friday for my post about that challenge and see the page I will have created to accompany it.

Teaser Tuesday (6)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser comes from the fourth book in Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet, Happy Ever After. (And yes, I had to break the rules and go longer than 2 sentences!)

"They've got the hots, the mutual hots." Laurel folded her arms. "I am not mistaken on this."
"He looks at her. Don't give me that smirk." Emma pointed at Mac. "He looks at her, a lot, and she tries not to look at him. I say mutual hots a definite."
"He's got that whole James Dean thing going. Bad boy, all attitude."
"I kind of like that he rattles her," Emma decided. "Our Parker isn't easily rattled."

I’m taking a break from YA paranormal type books for a little while. I think this fluffy romance is exactly what I need right now for a nice relaxing read. Plus, it’s the last book in the series so I’m excited to finally have all the girls wrapped up in their perfect relationships. So far, I’m really liking Parker’s view-point, and I really like Malcolm, as well. He’s that sexy bad-boy type that Parker doesn’t want to fall for, but can’t help being attracted to. It’s just a fun read that’s very uplifiting. Chances are, I’ll go straight back to my YA reads once I’m done here, but it’s still nice to take a break from reading the same type of books all the time.

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: September 28, 2010
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 452
Series: Fallen
1. Fallen (review)
2. Torment
3. Passion (June 14, 2011)

Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

I was a little wary of being disappointed by Torment. I think that’s always a possibility with sequels. Also, I’d just read Crescendo (sequel to Hush, Hush) and I wasn’t as impressed with it as I had been with the first book in the series. Basically, I didn’t want the same thing to happen with Torment.

I really enjoyed Torment, just as much as I did the first. It took me longer to get through it than I had planned, but I didn’t end up finding the relaxing time around Christmas I was hoping for. I’m actually happy I didn’t just devour it so quickly because it gave me time to think about things that were happening throughout the book. Luce is stuck at Shoreline, a school attended by Nephilim kids who are being taught what they need to know to survive the inevitable war. Daniel is off protecting Luce, but Luce really doesn’t have much of an idea of what’s going on, she just feels like Daniel is treating her like a child (which is the way it seems). Daniel wants her to figure things out for herself which seems very vague and hard to do. With the help of the Nephilim friends she makes at Shoreline, Luce attempts to uncover information about her past lives and figure out what exactly it is that Daniel wants from her.

Luce is still the independent, tough young woman that we met in Fallen, which I love. Although she turns to jelly whenever Daniel is around and any frustrations she may have toward him dissipate, she is still independent of him and does what she wants. Granted, she probably shouldn’t always do what she wants because it gets her into trouble, but the point is she’s not afraid to do it. I know I can’t blame her for being upset with Daniel because he sometimes treats her like it’s another time period and that women are subordinate to men. It’s frustrating, so I see where Luce is coming from.

The new characters that were introduced in Torment are absolutely awesome. I really loved them all and think that they are great additions to Luce’s life. They help her fit in at Shoreline and help her discover things about her past lives. Shelby, her roommate, is a little bit like Arriane. She has this tough exterior, but is really just a softie on the inside that would do anything for her friends. I think she’s a great character. Miles is my other favourite. He’s the-boy-next-door material in the sweetest more kindest and cutest way. It’s great that him and Luce became such close friends.

All in all, Torment really answers a lot of questions about angels, demons, and Luce and Daniel’s past. If you thought questions were answered at the end of Fallen (like I did) then be prepared because there’s so much more to learn. The pace of Torment was great, I didn’t think it lagged or went too fast at any point. And, same as before, Lauren is amazing with words and knows how to string them together beautifully. Highly recommended.