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Monday, May 31, 2010

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

Title: Kiss of Death (Morganville #8)
Author: Rachel Caine
ISBN: 9780451229731
Publisher: Signet

"Vampire Michael Glass just received the call he's been waiting for all his life. His music has attracted the attention of a heavily connected music producer who wants him to cut a demo and play some dates - which means Michael will have to enter the human world.

But he won't be alone. He's been assigned an undead escort, which includes immortal enforcer Oliver, as well as Michael's human friends: rebellious Eve, oft-misunderstood Claire, and courageous Shane. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a roadtrip from hell.

But what waits for them proves more perilous than they thought. Caught between humans who hate them and a savage party of traveling vampires out to create a blood-soaked feast for themselves, Michael and his friends may not make it to the show on time... or ever."
First Lines:

"The way the Glass House worked, on a practical level, was that there was a schedule for the stuff that had to be done - cooking, cleaning, fixing things, laundry. Technically, they were all on every housemate's list."
Page 3

I'm going to be honest here and say that I don't particularly look forward to the latest Morganville Vampires book - it's not a series that I sit on pins and needles waiting for. And I always end up sitting on the book for a while before I pick it up to read.

All of this doesn't mean I don't like it. I guess it's just hard for me to get jazzed up about. It's a solid story with really great and dynamic characters. There is just something very similar about each book - and they're all cut off in the middle of the story. I do understand that for the sake of having multiple volumes and such... it's just hard to jump back into as a reader.

A few things were different about this particular story. Instead of the whole thing taking place in Morganville, there are several of the characters that are granted permission to leave the city limits for a few days. I enjoyed a lot of the things that happened - mostly because they couldn't have happened in Morganville. There are a few wrenches thrown in to keep the whole thing interesting. And it does quite the job of it.

There are, of course, lots of loose ends. This story probably created a lot more questions than it answered. I will always read the next book just to see what happens. I'm definitely hooked. I will continue to hand this book to kids as well. If you haven't read any of them, here are the rest of the books in the series:
Glass Houses
The Dead Girls' Dance
Midnight Alley
Feast of Fools
Lord of Misrule
Carpe Corpus
Fade Out
Kiss of Death

Here's the author's website for you to see what's coming next! Enjoy :).
Other Blog Reviews:

Paperback Dolls
Rex Robot Reviews
Fresh Fiction
Reading Angel
I Heart Monster
Wicked Little Pixie

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (8)

Check out the Book Blogger Hop at the Crazy-for-Books blog. It's a great way to find other wonderful book bloggers. It's also nice to see some of the new ones that are popping up every week! I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday Fill-In (16)

Friday Fill-In is a fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. My dad's macaroni salad -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer is gonna be hot and sticky. blech.
3. I can't walk in flip flops.(for very long, at least)
4. To love someone is to accept every single thing about them... and enjoy it all!
5. Sometimes it's nice to go on a long hike.
6. When I crave food, it's usually something sugary and terrible for you. Like candy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having three days off, tomorrow my plans include a calm day off and Sunday, I want to have a nice day with my mother-in-law-to-be!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Title: The Julian Game
Author: Adele Griffin
ISBN: 9789399254694

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Full Disclosure: ARC from the author - to be released in August 2010


"All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means using a fake online identity as sexy blue-wigged 'Elizabeth' to reel Julian in, then secretly sabotage him. While a fun and dangerous thrill at first, Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself - and igniting Ella's rage.

Now with the real-life Julian interested in her, Raye has to reconcile the temptress he fell for with her real-life self. Meanwhile, Ella is serving up her own online revenge against the traitorous Raye. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way to get out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and get back to the relationships that matter.

Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the dangers of pretending to be someone else, real versus online love, and the pitfalls of posting your personal life online for the world to judge."
First Lines:

"'This is the craziest idea you ever had,' said Natalya.
'My idea?' My heart was racing. 'What are you talking about? It was your idea.'"
Page 1

Okay, so in this instance, the "first lines" teaser really didn't do anything much for the book. It gets clearer a few sentences later. But I'm not gonna go quoting the whole first page - then there wouldn't be room for a review! And we all know that's what you're waiting for. Right? Just say yes. So, on to that...

This book was so. much. fun. It's a lighthearted (for the most part) story about some trials and tribulations that are very high school oriented. I mean, who doesn't play around online and think about making fake profiles and stuff. Well, maybe I did... but that's beside the point. And this story shows just what can happen when those profiles are used for anything other than good.

I do worry about the all of the Facebook references dating this book before its time. But as for right now, it's completely relevant and will sing to anyone who has gotten into the whole online life.

One thing that I really loved was all of the quirky things about each character. They all had something to latch on to - Ella and her OCD, Natalya and her SciFi, Raye to her oversize sweatshirts... and so on. It just makes for a really cool element to the story. Getting to know all of the characters was a lot of fun. I either know people like them or would like to know people like them. I was also really happy with how the story turned out - but I'm not going to mention that here.

All in all, I thought this was a great book and will be recommending it far and wide once it's published. Definitely look for this one when August comes around - It'll be the one with the awesome cover decorating your library and bookstore shelves. I would love to see a movie of this book. Would be so cool!

Check out the author's website here... I didn't realize she had a few graphic novels (not to mention that they're vampire related). I may have to get those for my library.
Other Blog Reviews:

So, I couldn't find any other reviews out there. I saw a lot of people waiting for this one and loving on the cover. But no reviews... have you read this one yet? I guess it is a bit early. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

Title: The Tear Collector
Author: Patrick Jones
ISBN: 9780802787101
Publisher: Walker and Company

"Between hookups, makeups, and breakups, there isn't a day at Lapeer High School without drama turning into trauma turning into tears.

And tears are just as essential as air for Cassandra Gray. She and her family are vampires who thirst for human sorrow, and the energy that they soak in from a good crying jag can keep them fueled up for days.

Anytime a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, Cass is there. Anytime a boyfriend gets too secure, she breaks his heart. Cass's work as a school peer counselor and hospital volunteer also provides the perfect cover and access to her family's energy source. But she is getting tired of all the lies and manipulation - especially no that she's actually fallen in love with a human. Can she bear to betray her family for a chance at happiness and a life lived with joy?"
First Lines:

"'Are you crying?' I ask as I tap on the driver's side window of the white Chevy Impala. Inside the familiar car, I see the unfamiliar sight of my best friend, Robyn Berry, crying."
Page 2

This is another book that was recommended to me by one of my coworkers. Honestly I thought the whole concept was interesting - vampires who live off of energy instead of blood. If nothing else, this concept is what pulled me in. I wanted to see how that would be done.

After reading this book, I've decided that calling them energy vampires doesn't do it justice. There's nothing vampiric about them except that they are taking something from humans to live. The whole vampire thing is very sensual, personal, and a bit barbaric. The "vampires" in this book pose as caring people in order to take something that humans are giving anyway - tears. So I guess I wish there was a different term used other than vampire. It would have fit better, I think.

There was a lot more religion conversations than I was expecting. That was another thing that didn't jive with the vampire picture... the amount of discussion about god and angels and demons and so on. I mean, it did work with the story at some points, but it seemed to crop back up at odd points. Maybe that's just my take on it though.

One thing I didn't like about the main character (Cass) was the way she pulled emotions out of people. It made me have a difficult time trying to like her. I did have moments where I was thinking she was pretty cool and I'd like to know someone like her - other times I just wanted her to leave people alone. Let them deal with their grief the way they need to. I know that was part of her character and all, but it gave me a hard time.

I did think the concept was interesting and I think there are some people who would love all of these aspects of the book. Probably girls because of the main romance aspect of it. I'd say it probably shouldn't be billed as vampire romance but paranormal romance.

I wasn't able to find an actual website for the author, but there are a few places that list his information. Here's one of those.
Other Blog Reviews:

Library Lounge Lizard
The Book Spot
Harmony Book Reviews
Green Bean Teen Queen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Title: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Author: Jessica Day George
ISBN: 9781599903286
Publisher: Bloomsbury

"When a great white bear offers a woodcutter's daughter untold riches in return for her company, she accepts, believing she has made a wise decision. Even though the lass is offered every luxury at the bear's castle, she begins to feel like a prisoner. Then, when servants start to disappear, the lass realizes the bear may know more than he will say. Determined to learn the truth, the lass sets out on a windswept journey east of the sun and west of the moon to fight for the man she has only just discovered is her one true love."
First Lines:

"Long ago and far away in the land of ice and snow, there came a time when it seemed that winter would never end. The months when summer should have given the land respire were cold and damp, and the winter months were snow filled and colder still."
Page 3

After reading two of her novels, I feel I can safely declare my love of Jessica Day George. She is an amazing storyteller that can easily make me lose grip on reality. There are a few reasons I didn't pick this book up until now... I mean, the title is a bit of a mouthful... the cover isn't exactly "pick me up!" material... the summary is about some bear?! So yeah, I'm ecstatic that my coworker convinced me to read this one. I promise, if you ignore all the silly outer stuff, you too will find that the inside is pure gold!

Apparently this story is taken from old folklore somewhere, but as I'm not a scholar in Norwegian folklore, the whole story was new and wonderful for me. The entire northern landscape was a bit exotic in my eyes - it's not something I know well. So the first part of the book had me completely hooked. At first, it seemed like everyone was living in fear of things that didn't exist - trolls, dragons, enchanted reindeer, etc. The fact that those things are real makes this story so very interesting.

I almost immediately fell in love with the characters. You follow them quickly through childhood in the first few chapters, but all of those events are important. This story is just so well crafted, you don't even realize how much information you are getting from the author. Because the family is so big (nine children), you never really get to know all of the siblings. I know you don't need them for the story, but it almost made me wonder why we didn't hear from any of the rest of them. That probably would have jammed up the beginning of the book too much - because most of them were married and gone by the time the main segment of the story starts - but it would have been nice to get a sense of all of them.

Can I stress how much I loved this book?! If you haven't read any of this author's novels, I would suggest getting your hands on one of them immediately. And you're in luck, because her next book Princess of Glass comes out this week! Ta da! Seriously, check out this author - especially if you love historical fiction... or retold fairy tales/folktales... or books in general. The writing is spectacular and I can't say that enough.

Here's the official website of Jessica Day George. I'm going to have to start following her blog! I didn't even realize there was one out there :). You should too.
Other Blog Reviews:

Reality Bypass
Becky's Book Reviews
Book Rat
Reader Rabbit

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Pack by LM Preston

Title: The Pack
Author: LM Preston
ISBN: 9780984198979
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Street Date: August 1, 2010 (ARC from the author)

"Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little does anyone know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals' most unlikely weapons against them - the very kids they have captured.

In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another person, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. Yet in order to save her brother's life, she is willing to risk everything."
First Lines:

"She often walked this way home, listening for all the familiar sounds. Adjusting the handle of her small bag across her chest, she strolled slowly on the long suburban block that stretched quietly in front of her. It was night out, but it made no difference to Shamira, for she lived in the dark for most of her life."
Page 7

I have to admit, I had reservations about reading this book at first. I had read summaries and such on it and I just wasn't completely sold on the whole concept. But after reading the story, I have to say that the ideas were really cool and the book had a story that kept me coming back.

I thought that the whole idea of the main character being a blind badass chick was really cool. I was a little disappointed when she was given her sight back within the first 75 pages. It was almost like the character got a totally new perspective and I had to change my entire perspective on her. That made the story a little rough for me - just because I was getting a handle on her character right as she changed.

This is a very action-packed story. The main character was bred to be a leader of the security force on Mars and is doing vigilante rescues because of the kidnappings. I mean, how much cooler can you get? There's tons of fighting and gadgets to keep boy readers interested. I do realize that this book is meant for teens... but I have to agree with a few other reviewers in that it's probably written for a bit younger. There are teen-ish circumstances, but the writing is really aimed at a younger reader.

I thought the ending was gripping and I had a few moments of really not wanting to put the story down. I hope others can find this bit of sunlight as well. Check out Preston's website. There's a pretty cool book trailer posted there too.
Other Blog Reviews:

Chick Loves Lit
The Lost Entwife
Emma Michaels

Book Blogger Hop (7)

Check out the Book Blogger Hop at the Crazy-for-Books blog. It's a great way to find other wonderful book bloggers. It's also nice to see some of the new ones that are popping up every week! I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Title: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
Author: Richelle Mead
ISBN: 9781595142504
Publisher: Razorbill

"After a long and heartbreaking journey to Siberia, Dimitri's birthplace, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's -and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives outside of the academy's cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and how her worse fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he has silenced her... forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey - whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what - and who - matters most to her. And in the end, is true love really worth the price?"
First Lines:

"There's a big difference between death threats and love letters - even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you. Of course, considering I once tried to kill someone I loved, maybe I had no right to judge."
Page 11 (aka the first page of the story)

I've decided that the Vampire Academy series is my absolute favorite vampire story... vampire romance... vampire action... everything. From the first book to this one, the story just continues to get better and better.

I think one of the things I really love about this story is that Rose is a lot less of an angsty teen than in most young adult vampire books. I mean, it's written into the story that the dhampir lifestyle forces people to grow up really fast and be more mature than other people. So when Rose is faced with some possibly seriously teen moment, it's usually taken on with force and total girl power :). In Spirit Bound, there is a little more of the angsty-ness showing through, but I think that's because of the situation Rose has found herself in. And that situation is very much a "boy trouble" situation.

This fifth installment was pretty action packed from the beginning. I didn't quite expect so much to happen within the first few chapters of the book. But I'm glad it did - started off with a bang! There are parts in the story where I expect things to not work out, but then they do... and other things seem obvious that they would happen, but then they don't. This book (and whole series, really) will absolutely keep you on your toes.

I was discussing this series with one of my regular teens at the Library today - she was telling me that Vampire Academy is just massively better than *other vamp series that everyone loves.* She said she gets excited when other people agree. Me too! There's just something amazingly wonderful about the writing and the way things pan out. It's just all well done - and I'm absolutely itching for the next book! This one leaves you seriously hanging... irritating. But I'm still absolutely hooked. I'm ready to read it!!

I'm actually shocked to see that the next book is coming out in December!! That seems like it wouldn't be too far away! See, I found it on Richelle Mead's website. You should go check that out!
Other Blog Reviews:

Frankie Diane Mallis
(watch for spoilers)
Tynga's Reviews
Alpha Reader

Probably there will be more reviews cropping up starting tomorrow. I look forward to seeing what everyone thought of it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (6)

Another Friday, another Hop! This is a great way to get to know new bloggers and read a lot more reviews. Honestly, it helps me decide what book I'm going to pick up next. So keep reviewing, lovelies!

To be a part of the Hop, go to Jennifer's blog: Crazy-For-Books! She's got the linky set up there and you can see the massive list of wonderful blogs. Check it out :).

Friday Fill-In (15)

Friday Fill-In is a fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. I just had dinner. yep, at 5pm - darn late shifts!
2. I have no idea where my phone is.
3. The third sentence on the 7th page of the book I'm reading: "It didn't scald my hand, which I took as a promising sign." (Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead - the book starts on page 12, so I counted 7 pages of text.)
4. Twizzlers always tickle my fancy.
5. I was walking to work and realized it might actually be warm for a while!
6. Reading Zits cartoons makes me laugh!
7. And as for my weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being off work, tomorrow my plans include being absolutely lazy!, and Sunday, I want to have brunch with a friend who's in town.

Prom Nights from Hell

Title: Prom Nights from Hell
Author: Various
ISBN: 9780061976001
Publisher: HarperTeen

In this exciting collection of paranormal tales, best-selling authors Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), Kim Harrison (Once Dead, Twice Shy), Meg Cabot (How To Be Popular), Lauren Myracle (TTYL), and Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty) take prom mishaps to a whole new level - a truly hellish level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don't hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper - and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.

From angels fighting demons to a twisted take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux can. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, creepy fun."
First Lines:

"The music is pounding in time to my heartbeat. I can feel the bass in my chest - badoom, badoom. It's hard to see across the room of writhing bodies, especially with the fog from the dry ice, and the flickering light show coming down from the club's industrial ceiling overhead."
Page 3 (from Meg Cabot's "The Exterminator's Daughter")

Since there are only five stories in this book, I think I can easily review each one without this review getting too insane. I hope. Here goes:

"The Exterminator's Daughter" by Meg Cabot
This story set off the book with a bang. A literal bang of ketchup from a water gun :). I thought there were some really funny parts in this one - even though it was a life-and-death story (aren't they all). I like how it was from a vampire killer's perspective while digging deep into each character's story. That kept me really wanting to know what happens. I'd love to see a continuation of this one. So good!

"The Corsage" by Lauren Myracle
You know, there is a warning at the beginning of this story about how creepy it is... I should have heeded that warning. I know I've heard other versions of this story in the past, but there was something even more creepy about the way it's written in this story. I wasn't expecting it to be quite so... frightening. Perhaps it's because I read the story at night. But I really think the author did a good job portraying the story in a new way. Props!

"Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper" by Kim Harrison
I really only had one problem with this story - apparently it is a prequel to a book she's written... that I haven't read. So by reading this short story, I'm left without any sort of conclusion. I guess I could go pick up the full novel, but I'm not sure if I want to. I do think the concept is very cool - about warring reapers and who gets your soul and all that. Very cool. It just bothered me that the story wasn't complete. In my opinion, a short story should leave you more satisfied - doing that while getting you interested in more of the author's work. Guess this one just hit me wrong, sorry.

"Kiss and Tell" by Michele Jaffe
I really liked this story. It started out as being very strange - not quite clear about what was going on. But as the story progressed, I really started loving the characters and rooting for them. I think there's more to be explored in the story, so hopefully we will see more along this line. There's something interesting about an annoying little girl being a prophet - almost like there's a lot of background that we don't get in this short story. I guess we'll see if anything comes from it.

"Hell on Earth" by Stephenie Meyer
This story was a very cool concept - demon from hell sent to make prom miserable for everyone. The only thing that put me off this story is the number of characters you have to keep up with. I do understand that in making chaos at prom there are lots of things going on. I just couldn't remember who was supposed to be with whom... why so and so was mad a that person... and so on. While there was a lot going on, I did enjoy the concept. Maybe if it were fleshed out a bit more in a full length novel it wouldn't be quite so much to take in.

All in all, I liked this collection of short stories. It's a great way to get a paranormal fix without getting too involved. I'll definitely be handing it to teens who get into the whole urban fantasy genre.

(note: I do agree with a lot of these reviews saying that these stories were more about beginning a new story line instead of a solid short story. It's an interesting collection, but more full conclusions might be nice.)
Other Blog Reviews:

Love Reading X
Becky's Book Reviews
YA Vampire Books
Young Adult Book Reviews
Bookshelves of Doom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Movers and Fakers by Lisi Harrison

Title: Movers and Fakers (Alphas #2)
Author: Lisi Harrison
ISBN: 9780316035804
Publisher: Poppy - Little, Brown, and Company

"Eccentric billionaire Shira Brazille founded the super-exclusive Alpha Academy to nurture the next generation of exceptional dancers, writers, musicians, and inventors. It's a dream come true for one-hundred lucky girls, but those not measuring up will be sent home at any time, for any reason. The one left standing will win worldwide fame. Who will it be?

Skye Hamilton
Arrived at Alpha Academy to dance circles around the competition, but she's having a hard time feeling the beat. Her newest HAD (Hope and Dream): less stress, more fun. Now Skye's torn between what kind of Alpha she wants to be, and which uber-hawt Brazille boy she wants to be with.

Charlie Deery
Can invent practically anything - except girlfriends. But now Allie A. is warming to her, and Charlie wants to keep it that way - even if it means helping Allie A. land Darwin. But will hooking up with her ex-crush end up crushing her?

Allie A. Abbott
Is serious-leh relieved she hasn't been sent home yet, especially now that everyone knows she's more faux than a St. Tropez spray tan. Can she prove she's a true Alpha after all? Or will she go from beautiful to beta-ful?

If at first you don't succeed, you're not an alpha."
First Lines:

"'Ready?' Charlie turned to her copilot in the passenger seat and shot her brows skyward, excitement twinkling in her almond-brown eyes. She still couldn't believe where they were, strapped into a Personal Alpha Plane, each zippered into a gold Alphas flight suit with an inspirational quote embroidered along the left sleeve."
Page 1

I'm officially a fan of Lisi Harrison. :). I hadn't read her Clique series, but I'm absolutely hooked on this Alpha series. They are just really clever and well written - I love all of the pop culture nods... even though that makes me worry that it won't stick around for a long time.

There's something so clever about a school that is for the best of the best and it's design is all about the best people. I love that the buildings are shaped like what takes place inside... I really wish I had gone to a school like that. I think that's what I like most about it - it's a place I would LOVE to visit. Veg on the pink sand beaches :). It just paints a really cool picture in your head.

Of course, there's all the girly drama - girl likes boy, boy likes other girl, other girl dumped him already... and so on and so on. There are a few twists and turns, but it's still a soap opera. But that's what makes a great chick lit book, right? Right.

I think the language that is so specific to Harrison's writing is wonderful - very on-the-spot with how a lot of teens talk. At least, that's how they think they talk :). Or maybe.... it's the writing like it sounds thing. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's a lot of fun.

I've absolutely fallen for this series and can't wait for the next one to come out. October, I think. I definitely have been handing the first book to girls who love the whole chick lit thing and need something a little different. The setting is unique even though the issues are universal. The perfect chick lit!

Check out Harrison's website and blog. There always seems to be a lot going on. Not to mention it's just fun to LOOK at. :).
Other Blog Reviews:

I'm distressed to report that I didn't find any other reviews. Perhaps I didn't try hard enough, but more people should be reading this series! Please let me know if you've reviewed it and I missed out. Thanks!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Musing Mondays (7)

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...! Just go to her blog to find the topic of the week.

Do you have to carve out time in your day for reading (due to work and other obligations), or does your reading just happen naturally? (Question courtesy of MizB)

You know... this is an interesting question. Mostly because I had to actually think about the time that I've carved out for reading. Here's how my day typically goes in terms of reading:

I ride the train in to work every morning (about 30 minutes) - I read pretty much every time.
As I've mentioned before, I do read during lunch (1 hour) - it's my only non-people time.
I read on the train ride home (about 30 minutes)
And if I'm really into a book, I'll read when I get home. This, of course, depends also on my darling fiance and how much attention he needs :). Typically I don't read all that much at home - maybe 30min-1hour... but if he's on a video game binge, I read a lot more (unless I have hours of tv sitting on the dvr).

So, I guess to me it doesn't feel carved out in my day. Though, I suppose at some point I carved this and now it just feels natural. I think if I didn't have the train rides every day I would read a lot less.

What about you? Does your reading time feel like it cuts into your day?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Title: Burned (House of Night #7)
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
ISBN: 9780312606169
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

"Thing have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird's soul has shattered. With everything she's ever stood or falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey's fading fast. It's seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able to pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampyre High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only seven days left.

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z, but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae's hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home - but it also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She's always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems that Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess's own voice, whether Aphrodite wants it or not. Aphrodite's loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey's fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls... playing with fire... if they don't watch out, everyone will get Burned."
First Lines:

"Kalona lifted his hands. He didn't hesitate. There was no doubt whatsoever in his mind about what he had to do. He would not allow anything or anyone to get in his way, and this human boy was standing between him and what he desired."
Page 1

Longest summary ever. That summary pretty much gives you the entire gist of the story. You would think that they wouldn't need much of a summary at all - given that anyone reading this book has probably read the first six. I mean, they don't exactly back-track in the book at all, so why give a summary that is so complete. Ahem, sorry for the tangent.

Okay, so this is the seventh book in the House of Night series. I think that these books are going to be better read back to back once they are all released. As I said, there's no going back, so when you pick up this book, you're completely right where they left off. I guess that's a good attribute to have, but it's been months and months since I read the last one. It takes me a little time to get back into the story.

There are very few series that I've followed for seven books (namely, the HP series... that might be it). This one I started out absolutely loving everything about it. Now that we've come this far - and have several books to go - I'm wishing for more. I mean, the story is still solid... there are just a few things that are starting to get on my nerves. Like, the accents. It's starting to bother me that Kramisha's accent is so completely exaggerated. It's a little... much. That's the one that really stands out to me, but I was just giving an example.

One thing I really liked about this book is the amount of character development that we got. The other books have been so focused on Zoey, it's almost like the rest of the characters have been jipped a little bit. But you learn a lot more about other people and see how they are growing into almost-adults. You also find more respect for some that I didn't have any for before.

I really did miss the grandmother in this book. Through the rest of the series, she has been sort of a main character - always in the background helping out when needed. In this book, she was almost an afterthought. I'm glad she got thrown in there, but that's what it felt like - she was thrown in.

Even though there were things about this book that I didn't love, I still will be recommending the series - especially if you can get your hands on the whole thing at once! It's really well built and interesting. Definitely one of the great vampire series out right now.

Check out the House of Night website for more details on earlier books and upcoming projects!
Other Blog Reviews:

Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
The Bookshelf Sophisticate
Ms. Martin Teaches Media
I had problems finding more reviews. There are tons of announcements out there, but not as many reviews. Have you reviewed this one? Let me know so I can add you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Fill-In (14)

Friday Fill-In is a fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. Salsa and chips are delish together!!
2. You collect way more condiments than you eat and you've even got mustard.
3. By the time I get home I will be ready to head to bed. But I won't.
4. Finding my favorite items is what I look forward to most when grocery shopping.
5. And I was dreaming that I was a part of some zombie movie!
6. The weather is perfectly spring-like ... is there anything else better?!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending the evening watching tv with my baby, tomorrow my plans include workin like a dog and Sunday, I want to have a relaxing day - even though it will include doing laundry.

Book Blogger Hop (5)

It's that time again to do the hop! Every Friday, Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books hosts a get-to-know-ya meme! It's actually really nice to learn about blogs I probably should have been following in the first place.

I really urge you to check it out - I've found some of my favorite blogs this way! Not to mention that it's lots-o-fun. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Today I am waiting on...

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published: May 25, 2010

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"A first novel in this new series introduces Nick Gautier as a teenager: at 14, Nick thinks he knows everything about the world around him, until the night his best friends try to kill him; saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of immortal vampire slayers called the Dark-Hunters."

This sounds like a great mix of all kinds of urban fantasy. I've heard of this author in adult publishing, so I'm interested to see what she comes up with for teens. I think the premise sounds really exciting, so I'm intrigued. Of course, I would be interested in something with vampires. ahem.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (15)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading:

Burned (House of Night) by P.C. and Kristin Cast

"Aphrodite held Neferet's gaze and felt a sense of shock as she realized the eyes that met hers had changed. They were no longer brilliant emerald green. They had darkened."
Page 30

I hope this isn't much of a spoiler - I haven't even gotten this far yet :). Probably later today I will know for sure. But I'm very much a fan of the House of Night series, so I'm pretty excited to sink my teeth (lame) into this newest one. w000t!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Musing Mondays (6)

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...! Just go to her blog to find her topic of the week.

Do you frequent second hand book stores? Have you ever bought a book home only to find anything interesting within their pages?

You know, I haven't been to a second-hand book store in a long time. I used to go to Library sales all of the time, but I ended up with a lot of books I wasn't all that interested in (mostly because they were like $1). Since I am one of those people who tends to want to read the latest and greatest, the second-hand stores tend to have older things. Which is great and wonderful - don't get me wrong. It's just not my taste, so I don't go often.

Though, I do remember once finding a few pictures in one of the books I got at the Library sale. I felt bad throwing them out, but I can't imagine trying to find out who they belonged to. But that was all years ago. Perhaps I should frequent the second-hand shops more often :).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan

ISBN: 9780385736848
Publisher: Delacorte Press

"Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known,and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.
Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier...
One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery...
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisioned.
Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past."
First lines:

"The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of the before time. When they didn't have to worry about people rising from the dead, when they didn't have to build fences and walls and barriers to protect themselves from the masses of Mudo constantly seeking human flesh."
Page 1
Review: (This may contain spoilers from the first book. Beware.)

I was right to have very high hopes for this book - the first one The Forest of Hands and Teeth was just amazing. I was hooked immediately and couldn't believe all that was going on in the story. When the next novel is a companion, I always have reservations about what the book is going to be like - whether it's going to live up to the original. If it's going to have the same feel to it. And this one absolutely did!

I didn't realize that it was going to take place so far in the future from the last story. It works because the world hasn't changed at all, but it was a little weird to see the original characters be so old and different. I had to wrap my head around that, but once I did, I really enjoyed getting to know these new characters.

At first I wasn't completely sold on Gabry - I really wondered about how the story could revolve around a character that was... well... weak. She sort of was a pushover and didn't seem to have a lot going for her. But the course of the story really showed how much she had grown and turned into quite the woman.

I'm wondering a little bit about the ending. Not gonna tell you what it is, but it's almost like the ending was at the start of a new-ish adventure. I really hope there's another book that's going to pick up where this one left off. I'd love to see exactly what happens from this point. I loved that this book kept the creepy-factor really high - there were times that I almost curled in a ball when I knew (or thought I did) what was coming.

This is such an amazing book - I've absolutely been recommending the first one to almost everyone who I know enjoys a great fantasy. I think really this is a great "series" for anyone interested in a solid, ya, dystopian novel.

Check out Carrie Ryan's website. It says she is working on the next book to come out next spring. I dunno if I can wait that long. :)
Other Blog Reviews:

One Librarian's Book Reviews
I Was a Teenage Book Geek
The Book Smugglers
Book Addiction
The Compulsive Reader
There's tons of reviews out there, so take a look at all of them. It's totally worth it.

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