11.30.2011

December Plans

Hi everybody! I've been sending loads of emails and making tons of plans for December, including a book tour and at least three giveaways (four if I reach 100 followers!). I can't wait to get started!

Also in honor of the season, I changed my design! What do you think? It makes me think 'snow' and that's something I'm definitely looking forward to this year.

Just 'cause I'm in the Christmas mood, here is on of my favorite versions of on of my favorite Christmas songs:



Thanks for reading and happy (almost) December!

11.29.2011

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):                      It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
My Review: The Scorpio Races is beautiful. It is breathtaking, enchanting, ensnaring, bitter-sweet, and beautiful. I already had high expectations for this book, and as always with Maggie's books, it rose above and beyond them. I will say that it wasn't what I expected at all, the main reason being I had no idea what water horses are. That was resolved rather quickly, though.

It was written in present tense, like The Hunger Games, so it was like I was right there in the story, rather than being told a story. It was also written in two different perspectives, like Shiver, so I got a good look into the minds of both the main characters, Puck and Sean. To top it all of, it was beautifully written:
"Her expression was fierce and uncompromising, full of the intrepid bravery of a small boat in an uncertain sea."
How can you not fall in love with that? What I loved the most about this book was the way Maggie painted pictures with her words. It was perfect.



The Scorpio Races is a stand-alone novel. I didn't want it to end, but I did like the way it ended a lot. As usual, Maggie managed to ensnare me with her words. As usual, I can't wait for her next novel! Here are some links you can check out if you're interested:


Thanks for reading!

11.27.2011

I spy with my little eye... a Ninja Leaf-Blower!

So I've been gone for a few days for Thanksgiving break. While I was gone, some things happened. Yep that's right. It's list time!

1). I realized I remembered by cell phone charger but forgot my cell phone.
2). I realized The Lion King 1/2 isn't as funny as it was five years ago.
3). I had strawberry-banana yogurt for breakfast.
4). My grandma's bird perched on my shoulder for a while.
5). My little brother got super-licked by my grandma's dog.
6). I had a huge Thanksgiving dinner with 13 other family members
7). My other grandma gave us super old KitKats.
8). My grandparents took us out for dinner.
9). We saw a Ninja Leaf-Blower!

My brother, my cousin and I were all sitting by the window of the restaurant eating rolls when we saw a guy with a leaf-blower. We weren't paying him much attention... until he started flipping it around. You know, it was pretty darn awesome. Apparently, this guy is kind of famous around there. He even has his own Facebook page. I was doing some Google-ing and I also found this:




There you have it: a Ninja Leaf-Blower! Haha thanks for reading!

 

11.21.2011

Chapter Samplers

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll probably have heard about Random Buzzers. It's a pretty awesome website of which I am a member (feel free to add me!). Random Buzzers is set up by Random House publishing. There are a lot of cool things there, including ARC giveaways, other giveaways, author interviews, discussion boards, Q and A with authors, activities, and quizzes. They also have samplers of the novels they publish. I was recently looking through the available samples when one caught my eye: The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittrege


 
In the city of Lovecraft,the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust.
The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.
Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.


The cover is very... eye-catching don't you think? Anyway, I read the sampler and now I'm interested. I've seen it a few times around the blogosphere, but I've never read a review. If any one has, a link in the comments would be much appreciated! In the meantime I'm going to dig around and see what I can find.

Also on Random Buzzers are all kinds of announcements, including book tours, giveaways, and new books. Today another book was announced. It happens to be titled The Kill Order and it happens to be by James Dashner. It also happens to be a prequel to The Maze Runner. Whoa! Excitement! Read more here!

With that note, thanks for reading, and if I don't post again before Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey Day!


11.20.2011

In My Mailbox (5)


Hi everyone! In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. If you want to learn more, here is the link. I'm doing sort of a catch-up post this week since I haven't done it for a while. 


  • First book: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
    • I got it at a half-price bookstore downtown
    • I've already read it, and loved it!
    • Here is my review
    • Here is the Goodreads link

  • Second book: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
    • I got this one at Walmart
    • I've already read this one as well
    • Here is my review
    • Here is the Goodreads link


  • Third book: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
    • I got this one at an airport
    • Just finished it the other day
    • Review coming soon
    • Goodreads link

  • Fourth book: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
    • Half-price bookstore (gotta love those)
    • Just finished it
    • Review coming soon
    • Goodreads link

  • Fifth book: Settling by Shelley Workinger
    • The author emailed me a copy for review
    • Reading now!
    • Review coming soon
    • Goodreads link



Hopefully next week's post will be featuring Inheritance by Christopher Paolini! So now I want to know, what did you get in your mailboxes? Let me know in the comments! Leave links to your IMM posts!

Thanks for reading!

11.11.2011

Book Review: Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

Episode 1
When Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van, she has no idea who she is, how she got there, or why anyone would want to kidnap her. After escaping her masked captors, she hurries home, only to discover that she unknowingly left her younger brother behind in the van. Unable to answer the police’s questions with her memories gone, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom where she tries to reconstruct her life. Just as she is settling into the belief that things will one day return to normal, she looks in the mirror—and sees a stranger’s face.
As Abby learns next, she has become a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. With nothing to go on except the vague hints of her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will, Abby sets out to rescue the missing brother. But she will need all of her intelligence, fearlessness, and wit, because if she fails to find him in time, she will remain trapped in this unfamiliar body forever.


Episode 2: Girl Steals Guy

Dropped into the life of a gorgeous senior with a heartbroken best friend, Abby Grace must navigate high school keg parties, football games and power couples as she discovers that love and revenge are sometimes the same thing.




My Review: *I received digital copies of these books from the author in return for an honest review.* I'm intrigued. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about these. They're e-books. They're short, only around ten (short) chapters each. They move fast. Each book is a different episode. Episode three comes out in December. They're easy to read, fun to read, and quick to read. Also, the covers are really cool.

Abby Grace is an interesting character. She doesn't really know who she is, and neither do we. She is sent to help other people, but she has to figure out what she is supposed to do and how she is supposed to do it. Also, she has a time limit. The two episodes I read each feature a different person with a different problem. Neither of them turned out how I expected. It was interesting to see how they worked themselves out.

I was hooked. It had the perfect amounts of paranormal, mystery, and suspense. I couldn't put it down!

If you'd like to learn more about Borrowing Abby Grace, here are some links to check out:



Thanks for reading!

11.09.2011

I'm In An Airport!

Hi everyone! I'm in an airport! I'll be back on Friday with a new book review of Borrowing Abby Grace. Sorry I can't post more now... I have a plane to catch!

Thanks for reading!

11.07.2011

Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):                  My name- my True Name- is Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court.

And I am dead to her.

My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl...

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing gentler feelings the Winter Prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase- a half-human, half-fey slip of a girl- smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer faery can survive,

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through its end- a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way, Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
My Review: Huh. Well I loved the first three in the series as you know (if you read my reviews of The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, and The Iron Queen). I wouldn't exactly say I was disappointed with this book, but I didn't love it. I had high expectations for this one, and it didn't quite meet up with them. It sort of lacked the urgency of the other books. It didn't make me feel like Ash's quest to be with Meghan was as... important as their quest to stop the Iron King.

Ash was different in this book. He wasn't as closed off and harsh as in the other books. He didn't seem as focused on what he was doing, either. I guess I liked cold-Ash better. I wasn't a big fan of Puck's in The Iron Queen, but I liked him a lot in this one. As usual, Grimalkin was one of my favorites. Who doesn't like infuriating Faery cats? There were two new-ish characters introduced, one I loved and one I didn't really care for. Just in case you didn't know, I'm a big bad-guy fan. One of my all-time favorite bad-guys was in this book. That's the new-ish character that I loved. Definitely awesome. If you've read the book, you know who I'm talking about. If you haven't, you should find out. The other new-ish character had been mentioned on and off through out the other books, and I liked the way it was described, but I really didn't like the way it turned out. In fact, I think it was sort of dumb to introduce it but unfortunately it needed to be there for the end. I did like how Meghan turned out, though. I think she sort of deserved a break from all the Faery crazy.

I'm a big fan of Faerie books, but I'm also a big fan of Greek mythology books *cough* Percy Jackson *cough.* I liked seeing the connections between the two stories and myths. Like the River Styx (aka The River of Dreams), and the quests. Speaking of the quests, I think that is what saved this book for me. I loved the quests and what they proved, and I loved how they were handled. I also loved what they revealed about Ash.

The end, luckily, was a good one. I won't say anymore here. I enjoyed reading the book, but I didn't love it. I think the end was perfect, just the rest of it bugged me a bit. Ha.



Quick question for people who've read the book. There was a place Ash and Puck and everyone else visited on their journey. Hint: they were really sleepy. It seems reaaaaaaly familiar to me, and I know it's in another story. I know I've read/heard/seen the story. The problem: I don't remember it! And it's driving me crazy! If you know what I'm talking about, please help me out here!

Thanks to everyone for sticking around, even though I haven't been posting very much. NaNoWriMo+AP Literature=Nightmare Mess of Books and Paper, and I'm going to keep doing it anyway. Wish me luck! Thanks for reading!

11.02.2011

New Book and NaNoWriMo!

The other day I went out to buy a book. I was hoping to get The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, but sadly, I didn't see it anywhere. As I was turning to leave the store, something else caught my eye:


Of course I got it. I'm so super excited to read it! I loved the three books before it, and I hope this one is just as good! Has anyone read it yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

So NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal: write 50,000 in one month. That number looks a bit overwhelming, doesn't it? Some of you may recall me posting about it last year. I tried it last year and only got to about 4,500 words. Not all that great. I have a good feeling about this year, though. I have a good story going. I'll have a progress tracker button thingy on one of my sidebars in a couple of days, I think. Just if you're interested. If you are also doing NaNoWriMo, feel free to leave your username in the comments! I'll look you up!

Thanks for reading!


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