"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (50)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. Now that school has stopped taking so much time and golf season is over I can start to blog again! I missed it so much and now I'm super happy that I finally have the time to dedicate myself to it. =) These are the books that I've bought while I was gone.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

What did you get this week?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Published: August 16 2011
Pages: 308
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

Review: Now that I've read all 3 of the books of the Fuentes I can say that I absolutely love the Fuentes brothers!

Luis is the good brother who knows what he wants how to get it. His story starts at the wedding of his older brother, Alex. There he meets Nikki and doesn't see her again until he has to go back to the place where he grew up. Being the good brother, makes Luis understand that he needs to stay away from gangs and get good grades but the more he explores and meets people the, more he gets closer to the dark side of the Fuentes brothers

Despite having Luis as the good brother who doesn't get in trouble he still manages to have the appeal that his 2 older brothers did. Luis had grown in the south side of Fairfield but he had never been exposed to the gang. After returning everything seems like it has changed but it doesn't mean that everything has stopped. After Luis finds some things out he feels like he's been betrayed and does some very bad decisions.

Nikki was different from Brittany and Kiara. After going through some hard stuff with a boy who just played with her, she is hesitant to trust any boy she meets. I loved how she refused to like any guy but at the same time you could see that she was scared that it would happen. She might have been a hard person to get to but knowing what she went through makes the reader more understanding of her.

I loved seeing Alex and Carlos back in this book. You get to see how their lives are going after their story was finished. They are both now good boys who don't want to go back to the way they were but when they see that Luis is in some trouble they are willing to help him. And also, I loved seeing the chemistry teacher back in this one!

I'm sad to see the stories of the Fuentes brothers end but I know I enjoyed reading all 3 books. Simone's books have something that makes me not want to stop reading them because I always want to know what happens next. I would definitely recommend this book and the first 2 to anyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (49)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! These books were actually from last week but since I wasn't home I couldn't do an IMM.

From RAK:
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first 2 and really enjoyed them so I'm excited to read it!
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
I recently read the first one and it really left me wondering what was next.

Thanks to Anna from Anna's Book Blog and Crystal from Elegantly Bound Books!

So did you get any good books this week? =)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Title: Glow
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release: September 27th 2011

Goodreads Summary: What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

The fact that Waverly is being proposed at age fifteen and has all this pressure from others so that younger people start having children makes me want to know more about how things are run there. Also, I can't imagine living in a vessel and not having any other place to go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Released: September 2010
Pages: 216
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

Review: At the beginning Charlotte is just a girl who wishes her family, at least her parents,were a bit more normal. The story starts off with Charlotte and her older sister in Charleston while their parents are their doing some work. After convincing her parents to settle down for her last year in high school, Charlotte's parents, and herself, figure out that things are more weird than they've ever encountered.

All ever Charlotte wanted was to be able to settle down. She got it, except not as normal as she would have liked. She tried to keep her life as normal as she could despite the things that were happening in her life. I liked how at times she just wanted to give up and leave things the way they were but she always went on with things. Also, I liked how she tried to help others even if she thought it wouldn't be much help.

One aspect of the book that I really liked was that Charlotte's parents were present. They were trying to figure things out along with Charlotte so she kind be finish with all that was happening. Her parents were trying to protect her and respected her decisions but also tried to guide her.

It was an interesting story but I did think it went a little too fast at the end. But overall I would recommend this book to those looking for a book that isn't too heavy but still deals with some delicate things. Now I can't wait to read the next book and find out what other ghost and spirits Charlotte finds herself with.

I recieved this book for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for!
Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Release: September 20th 2011

Goodreads Summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

This seems to be one of those books that I know I will enjoy. I love all kinds of books but these are the ones I'm always looking out for. =)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for!

Title: Juliet Immortal
Author: Stacey Jay
Release: September 13th 2011

Goodreads Summary: "These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

I read Romeo and Juliet this year and I liked it but I think this is much more interesting sounding. And it will be a good change to see Romeo as the bad guy. Definitely one I really want to read! =)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guest Post: Shawn Thomas Odyssey (The Wizard of Dark Street)

Today stopping by the blog is Shawn Thomas Odyssey, author of The Wizard of Dark Street! He's here to tell us a bit about his favorite books and his recommendations.

Reading is a part of writing. It is a cycle. Put something in and something comes back out. The more diverse the input, the more original the output. For instance, if a writer reads nothing but cold war spy novels, then what comes out of them will likely be pretty similar. But if they threw in, let’s say, some Ray Bradbury, a little Tom Robbins and a few Cormack McCarthy novels, something very different might take place. Maybe they’d still write a spy novel, but it might take place on a desolate, post apocalyptic Mars and involve deciphering secret messages through smelling various bottles of perfume. (Hey, I kind of like that). The books that a writer puts into his or her head are likely the biggest influences on their work, whether they are aware of it or not.

Interestingly, as I think about the books that I have read over the past few years, especially the ones I was reading during the writing and editing process of The Wizard Of Dark Street, I’m struck by the interesting and eclectic range of words and stories I’ve been putting into my head, some of them in my genre of writing, and many of them not. One thing I’m sure of, however: if it’s a book I loved, it influenced me in some way as a writer. Heck, if I loved it, it influenced not only my writing but my life: the way I think and behave. Even if the book was nothing like my chosen genre, I can guarantee it still had an impact on what I was typing. It’s like it all gets scrambled up in my head, most of it I think on the subconscious level, and then sits there, stewing, marinating, waiting for the right moment; waiting for the muse to scoop it up and present the dish to the judges in a form that I, the author, would never have been able to predict.

Here is a list of some of the books I read and loved over the past few years while writing The Wizard of Dark Street. Not nearly all of them.

Pillars of the Earth: Ken Follett

World Without End: Ken Follett

The Harry Potter series: J.K. Rowling

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Sincket

Leaving the Bellweathers: Kristin Clark Venuti

Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell: Susanna Clark

The Green Mile series: Stephen King

Echo falls mystery series: Peter Abrahams

The Name of The Wind: Patrick Rothfuss

1984: George Orwell

The Road: Cormac McCarthy

A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

Lord of the Rings: J.R.R Tolkin

A song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones): by George R. R. Martin.

The Wizard of Dark Street is available in bookstores nationwide and online in both hardback and eBook formats.

Please visit: http://www.thewizardofdarkstreet.com/

Where you can find Shawn:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Teenage Garage Sale with Alex Epstein (The Circle Cast) + Giveaway!

Stopping by the blog today is Alex Epstein, author of The Circle Cast! He's here to tell us some of the things that would be in a garage sale in his teenage years if he was to have one.

Stiff Records T-shirt, with the slogan “F*** Art, Let’s Dance.” I still have it, rips and all.

Red silk smoking jacket with black satin trim. I picked it up at my high school’s thrift store, along with a cashmere overcoat. I was in the theatre clique, and at the time we all wore thrift store clothes and jeans with holes in them. The smoking jacket was too big, and sort of ‘40s, but it was just so cool I couldn’t not get it.

One velvet doublet from a Shakepeare production. Basically a black velvet jacket with a high collar, very Swingin’ London 1965, except that it was New York in the 1980’s.

I didn’t wear either of these jackets except at parties. But I treasured them, because they seemed to come from different worlds than mine.

Case of Korbel Brut champagne. I never had that many people at my parties in high school, maybe because I only invited people I actually liked. I’d have like a dozen people, tops. But I remember buying a case of inexpensive but drinkable champagne. I didn’t have a fake i.d. or anything, but it was New York in the ‘80’s. I might have had trouble buying a fifth of vodka, a case of champagne was okay.

About 300 records on vinyl, mostly New Wave. Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols. The Clash. London Calling. Talking Heads ’77. More Songs About Buildings and Food. Parallel Lines. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. A few folk albums. Court and Spark. The Woodstock soundtrack. And Beatles and Stones.

Around 20 wargames. These were elaborate simulations of historical battles, with paper maps and cardboard chips representing the units, and twenty-page rule books in 6 point type. I used to replay Waterloo and beat the English every time. Unfortunately I didn’t have any friends who played wargames. The only time I got to play against a real live player was when I went downtown to the game publisher’s office on 23rd Street and playtest new games from 6 to midnight on Friday nights. My folks would give me cab fare home, but I’d walk up from 23rd Street to 96th Street to save money, and then take a cab to my folks’ apartment on 114th Street and Riverside. In those days, you didn’t want be between 96th Street and 110th Street after dark.

One boom box. Occasionally I would walk somewhere and blast music along the way. A lot of people were doing that then. But mostly they were not blasting Duke Ellington.

One portrait of me by Abstract Impressionist painter Gerry Monroe. My parents have lots of artist friends. Gerry came to visit and wound up doing my portrait.

A slew of posters from the Venice Biennale. My folks took me to Venice when I was 15. They’d just plaster one poster over another there, until they were an inch thick and falling off the walls. I pulled one stack of posters off a wall, rolled them up and took them home. Then I soaked the glue off them in the bathtub and gently pulled them apart to see what the posters looked like. Some of them were pretty snappy.

One Shure professional quality microphone. I was briefly in a band called The Girls, because there were no girls in it. I wrote lyrics; my roommate Mike Jung wrote the songs. I still have a couple of recordings of our songs; they don’t entirely suck.

Where you can find Alex:

As part of the blog tour Alex is offering 4 ebook copies for giveaway. Just leave a comment and the winner will be chosen at the end of the week out of all the stops in that week. So if you comment in other post you will have better chances of winning! =) If you would like to see the other stops you can click here.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox (48)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! I went to Borders yesterday and I picked up some books that I had been wanting to read for a while.

Bright Young Things by Anna Goderbersen
I read Anna's Luxe series and I love it so I'm hoping this one is just as good!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Hearing all the good things that everyone keeps saying made me really want to read it!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
This was one that I had been wanting to read since it was first published and I'm super happy that I finally have it!

What did you get this week? =)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Title: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Released: August 1998
Pages: 281
Rating: 3/5
Synopsis: Halley and Scarlett have been best friends ever since they met. Halley has always been the quiet one, Scarlett braver and more outgoing. Halley has always turned to Scarlett when things get rough, and Scarlett has always known just what to do. It's the perfect setup. But everything changes at the beginning of their junior year, Scarlett's boyfriend is killed in a motorcycle accident; then Scarlett finds out that she is carrying his baby. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Now Halley has to learn how to be strong for Scarlett. It won't be easy, but Halley knows that she can't let Scarlett down. Because a true friend is a promise you keep forever.

Review: Halley has always been the quiet one while Scarlett has always been the one to take action. After the death of Scarlett's boyfriend dies Halley knows that now it's her turn to help Scarlett get through this. Along the way Halley goes through a journey of her own that is like nothing she has done before.

I honestly didn't really like Halley I mean I did but her actions often frustrated me. I get that she would want to grow up and explore the world around her more but she should have done it in a different way. I also felt that she was trying to be someone who she wasn't just to stay with Macon. Going as far as almost doing something she wasn't ready for. I loved how despite everything they were going through she was trying to help Scarlett.

I think the reason that I didn't enjoy it as much was because Halley wasn't like I would want most girls to be. I always want to read about a female character who isn't afraid to be who she really is. I did love that at the end she recognized what she had been doing and tried to change her ways. Despite the story being told through Halley's perspective, I enjoyed reading the bits where Scarlett is. Even though she was going through a tough time she tried to be strong.

It had been a really long time that I had been wanting to read something by Sarah Dessen. I don't really read many contemporary novels, much less those that deal with these kind of issues but I'm glad I got the chance to read this one. I have a couple more of books so I'm excited to start reading more of her more recent books!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Author Interview: Keary Taylor (Eden)

Today stopping by the blog is the amazing Keary Taylor, author of Fall of Angels seriesEver Burning and Eden! I had the opportunity of asking her some questions about Eden and here is what she had to say!

Do the names of your characters have any special meaning?

I don’t know that they really have special meaning; it’s more just that a certain name felt right for a character. West was originally name Tyler and it sooo was not working! I couldn’t get into his character and eventually I realized that he just had the wrong name! As soon as I figured out his name was West, he sorted himself out.

What traits does Eve have in common with you? Different?

We both can be really stubborn and tend to think we’re right. We get confused by emotion and aren’t always sure what we’re feeling. Different? Well Eve kicks some major @$$ and I’m kind of a wimp, lol! Sometimes I wish I was as tough as her!

What was the hardest part of Eden to write?

There is a scene where a certain character dies and I was really surprised at how emotional I got over killing them! I had debated killing them off earlier in the book but decided to hold off and when I finally did it I just felt so terrible!

What was your favorite scene to write?

That’s got to be the scene when Eve finally decides who it is that she really loves. The whole book had been building up to it and the scene is also very violent and action packed. My heart was pounding as I typed the words out!

Is there a reason why you named the place Eden?

Well the Garden of Eden was supposed to be this really peaceful, perfect place, and even though my Eden wasn’t that way, it was a refuge for those still left in this Fallen world. It just seemed fitting.

What was the hardest part of creating the world of Eden?

Creating the world actually wasn’t that difficult to me. I always had this clear picture of exactly what had become of the world. I suppose the most difficult thing involved though would be keeping the timeline straight. There’s a lot of events that have happened in 6+ years prior to where Eden starts and so it was sometimes hard to keep track of when things happened, who they happened to, how old people where when it happened, etc.

What was your first thought after you finished Eden?

HOLY CRAP! IT’S FINALLY DONE! Haha! It’s always a great feeling to finish a book. My heart starts beating really fast and I just feel plain awesome!

Where you can find Keary:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eden by Keary Taylor

Title: Eden
Author: Keary Taylor
Published: June 2011
Pages: 408
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: Eve knew the stories of the Fall, of a time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. She's seen the aftermath of the technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter, able to grow new organs and limbs, how it evolved out of control. The machine took over and the soul vanished. A world quickly losing its humanity isn't just a story to her though. At eighteen, this world is Eve's reality.

In their Fallen world, love feels like a selfish luxury, but not understanding what it is makes it difficult to choose between West, who makes her feel alive but keeps too many secrets, and Avian, who has always been there for her, but is seven years her senior.

The technology wants to spread and it won't stop until there is no new flesh to assimilate. With only two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction. While fighting to keep Eden alive, Eve will discover that being human is about what you will do for those you love, not what your insides may be made of. And even if it gets you killed, love is always what separates them from the Fallen.
Review: I had read a book by Keary before I had read this one and I knew that I would enjoy it but I never thought I would love as much as I did!
The whole story is about how the little bit of people who have survived up to this point are trying to keep themselves alive. Eve lives in a community that they call Eden. She's basically the one that people see as the one responsible for bringing everyone safely back when they go on raids. As the story progresses you learn the world they live in and how Eve tries to deal with everything that she learns about herself.
Eve has had to grown up in a world that is different from the world it used to be. For Eve it doesn't matter how the world used to be because she can't seem to remember anything about herself before arriving at Eden. After finding out some things about herself Eve has to deal with the emotions that she's feeling, especially since she had never felt these things before. She did talk a lot about her feelings or both West and Avian but I think that was part of finding what she wanted. A really good thing about her? She sure can fight the Fallen.
I think West and Avian were both important for Eve to truly find herself and not feel to bound to Eden. West came to Eden and had to earn the trust of them while Avian has always been there and seems to be a leader. All along you seem to notice that there's more to West than one thinks but after finding out some of his story you realize that there's a reason why he keeps things secret even if I don't agree with it. Avian seems to be the one that's always there and helps Eve whenever she needs it and is willing to die for her. I'm not going to say who Eve ended up with but I was happy with the choice. =)
Keary Taylor has written one excellent book that I absolutely loved! I couldn't stop reading even when I knew that it was time to sleep. I enjoyed reading the many adventures that Eve had and also the things she did for the people of Eden. This is definitely a very good book!
I received this book from the author for an honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for!

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Release: August 30th 2011

Goodreads Summary: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

I've seen books where the ghost is a guy but I haven't seen one where a girl is the ghost. And the cover looks a bit creepy with that huge house which makes me want to read it! =)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Author Cover Interview: Arlaina Tibensky (And Then Things Fall Apart)

Today stopping by the blog is Arlaina Tibensky, author of And Then Things Fall Apart which comes out on July 26! I got to ask her some questions about her cover and this is what she said.

What were you're first thought when you first saw the cover?

“This is it!” was my first thought, or something just like that. This is my very first book and you have your whole life to write your first book but I never got as far as imagining the cover. And this cover is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I mean really-- If the cover of my book was a person, I take it on a carriage ride around Central Park and then go for a late night espresso and slice of cheesecake and then ask it to move in with me.

What is so amazing about the cover is that And Then Things Fall Apart is about lots of things: first love, literature, poetry, vintage clothes, family, figuring out who you are, books, friendship, fathers, mothers. This cover says it all in a glance. Jessica Handler, the cover designer is a genius!

When you first started writing the book did you ever think that it would have the cover that it has now?
I had this ridiculous idea that it would be an alternative version of a classic The Bell Jar cover so that Sylvia Plath fans would fall in love with it immediately. But as my editor and even Kirkus reviews keep saying- it is not ABOUT Sylvia Plath. The cover puts the book firmly in Keek’s world, where it belongs. I feel like the cover “gets” my book, which is why I love it so…

If you could change one thing about it what would it be?

I wish it were available in poster size so I could wallpaper my office with it.

Was there anything in particular that you wanted the cover to have?

I just knew what I DIDN’T want. I didn’t want any people on the cover, random teenagers kissing or weeping or leaning against cars/lockers/brick walls. No sunsets. No “quirky alternative” girl in striped tights drinking orange juice through a straw.

Who was the first person you showed the cover to and what did you tell them?

My mom. I said something like “Well, there it is…” I was still in shock at its magnificence. And she said “”…and it’s gorgeous!”

You can find Arlaina at these places:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (47)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! I didn't do an IMM last week because I was being lazy. =) So this week's IMM will be from last week too.

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Life of Pi by Yan Martel
This is actually for homework that I was supposed to start a long time ago. =)

Open Wounds by Joseph Lunievicz
From when I participated in Armchair BEA!

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
Since I'm part of Harlequin Teen Panel I got this book.

Thanks to Joseph + Armchair BEA and Harlequin Teen Panel!

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenges!

I decided to post all the mini challenges together in 1 post. I'm not sure why I did it this way. =)

Mini Challenge #1- Hosted by IB Book Blogging

What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?

Greek. I love mythology overall but I've always had something for Greek mythology. Even though my name is the name of a Roman goddess.

What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?

I don't think I've read many books that have had some type of mythology in it but with so many books coming out with mythology I plan to change this. The one book that I remember reading would have to be Percy Jackson.

Mini Challenge #6- Hosted by Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing

Pick any book you want and tell me and the world why it should be read and loved.

The book I would recommend to everyone would be Anna and the French Kiss. I just love this book! The way Stephanie writes and describes things make me want to visit Paris! And can I just say Etienne!

The second is what you would pick as your favorite of the read-a-thon.

I don't think I have much to pick from since I only manged to read 1 book. I know, sad. But my family seems to not want to let me read. Plus, I'm a really slow reader (extremely slow).

So there you have it. I didn't get much time to read or to do the other mini challenges but it was still fun to participate! =)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-thon!

So I know I'm a day late in this but I've been kind of busy with some stuff. Since I'm starting on Tuesday I'll only have 2 days to read but I hope to take advantage of those 2 days and read as much as I can! =)

I don't really know what I'll be reading but since I'm a slow reader I know I will probably only be able to read 2 books. And since I think it's time to start my homework since I only have a month to finish everything, it will be taking some time off my reading.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Title: Bloodspell
Author: Amalie Howard
Published: June 2011
Pages: 394
Rating: 4.5/5
Synopsis: The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?
Review: Victoria is trying to live her life as normal as she can when she knows that there's something different about her. When there's an accident at school she realizes that there's more to her than she thought. On her seventeenth birthday Victoria starts to learn things about her family and herself. She has to learn as much as she can to learn how she can control her power before it controls her.

At the beginning I didn't know what to expect from Victoria. As the book progressed I started to know her more. At first she denied being a witch and wanted nothing to do with it. As she learned more about her power and how to control it the more I felt that she had control over the things that happened. One thing I liked was that she was powerful but she had to find a way to control it.

 I loved how this was like to book I had read before. The supernatural creatures that were put in the book was a pairing that I had never seen before and something that I enjoyed. Another thing I loved was that the blood of Victoria played a big role in the things that she could accomplish. And those who turned out to be bad? I knew there was something up but I didn't think one of them was going to turn out to be that bad.

I wasn't expecting much from this book but I'm glad that I got more than I asked for. The rules that were put between Christian and Victoria made it harder for them but they didn't give up. And since there's going to be a sequel I will definitely want to know what else happens to them. If you're looking for a book that has that supernatural element but a little different then I would recommend that you try out Bloodspell.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!

Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted by Crazy For Books. Enter your link and go hop around other blogs that are out there, ready to be discovered!

I'm enjoying having no school., especially since I get to stay up very late. =) And getting to read in silence since no one is in the house in the morning.

What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

I don't think I've ever started a book and then stopped. I tend to want to always finish the book I'm reading, even if it takes me months to finish. If I like it or not just depends if I'm enjoying it and I'm eager to know more about what happens to the characters. =)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1.Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
2.Follow our Featured Bloggers
3.Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4.Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5.Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

Picking a favorite book/movie character is really hard so I'll have to pick a book and a movie character!! My book character would have to be Rose from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I could definitely learn some moves from her!

My movie character would be Jack Sparrow! I love how he can both be very smart or very not smart! I would probably just freak out and not believe he was actually there!

If you're visiting, make sure you leave your link and I'll make sure to visit your blog!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Release: August 16th 2011

Goodreads Summary: Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.

I can't wait to finally read this! After reading about the other 2 Fuentes brothers I know that I just have to read this the minute I buy it! Especially after having to wait so long for it. =)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Title: Romeo and Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1595
Pages: 112
Rating: 4/5
Summary: "Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,"

With these first lines, Shakespeare's timeless play of young love and untimely death begins; as in life, it is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, always poignantly beautiful. While our emotions are moved by the imagery and rhythms of Shakespeare's verse, our minds are delighted by the sharpness of his insights into life, death, and the human condition.

Review: Ever since I was smaller I had heard about Romeo and Juliet but I never really had the desire to read the play. Thanks to my English class I read and let me tell you it was fun reading it in class and hearing what others thought about it.

I think everybody pretty much knows what the play is about. You know, about Romeo and Juliet who can't be together and their families hate each other. Even knowing what was going to happen at the end I found myself wanting to keep reading.

I still think that Juliet could have been a better character but I think the way she acted went along with the time period in which the play was written. Still, it just seemed weird reading about how much she loved Romeo the second after they met. And Romeo was no different. He was supposed to be in love with Rosaline and said he would never stop loving her and the moment he saw Juliet he suddenly loves her.

Even though the play focuses on Romeo and Juliet, I found that I really liked reading about the minor characters. Especially the nurse. They each had their role in the play and their equal on the opposite family. And now I have to talk about the nurse. Some of the things she said were hilarious. Especially the double entendres. It just shows that some things just don't change, even with time.

I still don't get why it's such a famous story but I know I enjoyed reading it. Yes, the love between Romeo and Juliet isn't all that believable but I found that I didn't care. By the time we finished it I could easily understand the language that they talked in. The only think that I complain about is that my teacher made us annotate it into modern English which some fun away from it. But she did show us the 1968 movie version which kind of made up for it. Plus, it was just funny watching it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!!

Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted by Crazy For Books. Enter your link and go hop around other blogs that are out there, ready to be discovered!

I know I haven't joined the hop in a while but I figured that now that I don't go to school I can take my time to visit blogs. Plus, I've enjoyed not having to worry about school. And since this week I've done nothing but stay at home and read think I will enjoy visiting other blogs. =)

When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?

I have a long story about this but I'll make it short. It was reading the Harry Potter books. Before then I didn't even like or enjoy reading. I know right? Crazy. That's when I started reading and after something sad happened in my family, I realized that the one place that I didn't feel so bad was in the world of books. So now I can't seem to stop reading. =)

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1.Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
2.Follow our Featured Bloggers
3.Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4.Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5.Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

I'm not big into books that revolve around the fae. So if anyone has any suggestions as to what are some good books just leave them in the comments! But, the one story that I've read about the fae and enjoyed is the series by Julie Kagawa, Iron Fae.

If you're visiting, make sure you leave your link and I'll make sure to visit your blog!

Tens List: Top 10 Scary Moveis (Bloodspell)

Today on the blog we have Amalie Howard, the author of Bloodspell, to tell us her top 10 scary movies!

Scary movies are my kryptonite. Seriously, for someone who writes about blood-sucking creatures, you’d think that I would at least have some edgy horror tendencies. But the sad fact is, I just don’t. Scary movies scare the pants off me! My thinking is that scary movies are like combustive fuel for my already overactive imagination! Sometimes my dreams are so realistic that I talk in my sleep or in worse cases, sleepwalk. That’s the worst! I usually have terrible nightmares after watching horror movies. Put it this way, the other day I watched Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and I had dreams of Medusa chasing me around a maze all night long and trying to cut off my head! If you’re familiar with that movie, those snakes were pretty vicious-looking! That said, I do take preventative measures and have some base rules for watching horror movies – 1) I have to be in the right mood, 2) I have to be with someone (watching alone is a definite no no), and 3) I have to have other people sleeping in my house the night of the viewing. Number 3 is a hard and fast rule, otherwise I will literally stay awake all night long.

So all that said and caveated, here’s my list of my top ten scariest movies, most of which I’ve only had the guts to see once, and some not even the whole way through! Don’t be surprised if some of them fall into the borderline (aka wimpy) horror categories.

10) The Shining – oh yes, couldn’t go near my window for weeks with this one.
9) The Blair Witch Project – this one was one of the first “reality-type” films of its genre. I saw this in the theater and I was literally jumping out of my skin if someone as much as twitched in the seats behind me.
8) The Grudge – it’s not one of the best movies, but that part with the thing in her head! OMG. Still gives me the shakes!
7) Night of the Living Dead – this was the first zombie movie I ever saw. “Brains, brains!”
6) The Ring – I actually couldn’t watch this in its entirety, it was that petrifying. Even the trailer freaks me out.
5) Rosemary’s Baby – classic antichrist old-school movie. Nightmares for weeks – talk about dreams being scary, imagine the dream sequence in this film!
4) Silence of the Lambs – loved this one, it’s one of my all-time favorites. I’m more into this type of psychopath-type horror/thriller movie. It’s still super creepy.
3) Let Me In – I actually loved this movie. It was scary and dark but also beautiful.
2) Alien – classic “pee-in-your-pants” sci-fi, and definitely has to be in the top 3.
1) The Exorcist – I will never ever watch this movie again or any current or future remakes of this movie ever. That’s how terrifying this one is to me. That’s why it’s number one. The mother of scary movies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Release: July 26th 2011

Goodreads Summary: Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
I haven't read many books that have to do with some kind of mythology but I think this would be awesome! I've been hearing really good things about this book so I can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Published: 1847
Pages: 408
Rating: 5/5
Summary: Part love story, part mystery, part Gothic novel, Jane Eyre is also an exploration of an independent woman's struggle to escape the repressive forces of Victorian society. Jane's life seems to be a search for happiness and acceptance and she narrates her story in such a suspenseful and enigmatic manner that the reader is eager to learn more about her.
Jane is a plain, simple girl, with little to offer her benefactress or the society around her. She is defiant and stubborn with strong moral values that give her strength to overcome the oppression she often suffers. When she becomes the governess for a young French girl, Jane has no idea what lurks in the depths of the isolated Thornfield mansion: joy, laughter, hope, love, fear, secrets, attempted murder...

Review: This was the second time that I read it and I loved it as much as the first time or even more!

Jane starts her story when she is small and in the care of an aunt who doesn't like her or want her to be in her house. She is treated bad and desires to leave her horrible short life to a better life. She is sent to a school where she is treated as bad but soon things turn better. During this time she is given an education that eventually lands her a job where her life drastically changes from the calm and neutral that it is to a life with more things than she could imagine.

I love how Jane seems to belong on a more modern time when women are treated more equally than her time. She keeps to her beliefs and honestly doesn't care what the people of higher status in society will care. Despite the women of her time are not given the education that we now have, she took advantage of the education that she was given and made it the most out of it. Jane might be a very big reason why I love this book so much, how brave and strong she is even though I think at times she might have taken better choices.

And what about Mr. Rochester? He was different from what I read most of the time but I loved him as much. For one, he was double the age of Jane (which I admit creeps me out a bit) and he makes some very stupid choices. This time around I knew what was happening but that didn't stop me from wanting him to make some different choices. I think that what happened to him at the end was something else that made me love him. He didn't end up being perfect but I could tell that this was the way it had to be.

I loved talking to my classmates about it and listening to what they thought was going to happen. During class discussions I wanted to say things but I knew that I shouldn't ruin a great story to the rest of them. Most of the time I dread having to read books that are required for school but this was an exception. Definitely a book that I think even those who dislike classics would enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (46)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! This week I went to Alyson Noel's signing at Orange so I got a book signed by her!

Everlasting by Alyson Noel
I got it signed!

For Review:
Eden by Keary Taylor
Ever since Keary started talking about her new book I've been wanting to read it. Now I'm happy that I get to read it!

Swag of Everlasting
I got this at the signing.

Thanks to Keary Taylor and Keri Mikulski!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (45)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! This is what I got in the past 2 weeks which isn't much but I'm excited to start reading them!

Haven by Kristi Cook
From YA Fresh!

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Hunted bookmarks

Thanks to Kristi and DJ!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Title: Uncommon Criminals
Author: Ally Carter
Release: June 21st 2011

Goodreads Summary: Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

I recently read and reviewed Heist Society and I loved it! Ally is a genius! I can't wait to see what next thing Kat does and how she solves the problems that she gets herself into! =)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Published: 2009
Pages: 293
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Review: It had been a really long time that I had been wanting to read this book so when I finally got the chance to read it I was really happy.

The story starts off with Dru with her dad. After she goes to school and sees that her dad is still not home she starts to get nervous. Later when she hears someone trying to get inside her house she realizes that it's her dad, only he's a zombie. Soon after Dru is forced to take a course of action when she's left alone in the world. She uses everything that she knows to survive but she knows that she will need a bit of help.

Dru was a great character! She was left alone and had to find a way to stay alive while all these mean things kept coming at her. She managed to kill them eve if it wasn't in the best way and that's something that I loved. She didn't want to depend on anyone to get her out of things and always took the lead when she needed to. Dru was a strong character that I wish I will see in future books! Plus, I want to see more about her powers!

And what can I say about Graves and Christophe? Graves wasn't the superhero that we commonly see in a lot of YA books. Despite this he should that he was brave and that he wouldn't give up just because he was scared of something. And Christophe happened to be the opposite. He showed up to save the day but i think he was a bit creepy at the beginning.

Now that I've read this book I really want to read the second. I want to see what happens next and how things turn out to be. I'm happy that I won't have to wait for the next book to come out! =) So glad that it turned out to be a good book!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA- Favorite Blogs!

Today we're talking about our favorite blogs! I didn't put all the ones that I love but here are a few of them!

The Story Siren

The Story Siren
Who doesn't love The Story Siren? Everytime I have a question about blogging I go her blog and I know I'll most likely find what I need.


Electrifying Reviews
Alex always has something on his blog and I find that I always enjoy reading what he has to say.

Good Books and Good Wine

April always says what she wants to. Her reviews on books are always fun to read since she doesn't make them too professional and always says exactly what she thought of it.

Midnight Bloom Reads
Liz is a blogger from Canada! I always like seeing her book adventures from Canada.

Moonlight Book Reviews

I love visiting Erika's blog and reading anything that she has to say. And I love her background and layout!

In the Hammock Book Reviews
Ever since I started to blog I've been following Carrie. I love how she has a mixtureof YA and Romance. Romance isn't something I usually read and I like finding books that I think I may like.

DJ's Life in Fiction

I like reading his thoughts on books and his journey on publication. By the way did you know he'll publish his first book soon?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: Best Books of 2011-so far!

Today we're talking about our favorite books of 2011 so far! By the end of the year it will have changed. =) So here they are in no particular order:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Heist Society by Ally Carter

The Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA!

So I know this post is kind of late but there's a reason behind that. School! And my computer wouldn't work so that's why this post is kind of late. BUT! At least it's up. =)

That's me!
 My name is Diana. As most of you know I love to read! If it hadn't been for Harry Potter I don't know if I would ever have liked reading, and honestly that's something I rather not think of. My friends aren't big into reading but that doesn't stop me from talking them into reading a book. When I see that they are actually reading a book I recommended them, it's the best feeling!

I started Books by their Story last year in January. Back then I was in middle school so I didn't worry about much and I had a lot of time to blog about books. Now that I'm in high school it's become a little more difficult but that doesn't stop me from loving to blog!

I pretty much read anything. If it looks good then I'll probably read it. That being said, I love YA! If it's YA then it has a higher possibility of being read. Thankfully my parents don't monitor what I read so I pretty much read anything that I want to. =)

This is the first time that I'll be participating in Armchair BEA and I think I'll have a good time. Unfortunately the only time I'll be able to armchair is after school. =( Another thing that I hate about living where I live? I'm 3 hours behind a lot of people. Either way, I know I'll be doing as much as I can!