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

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!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Post: Steve Watkins (What Comes After)

So today we have Steve Watkins, author of What Comes After, stopping by the blog today! This is one of few things I've read recently that actually made me think deeper about things.

Why did you decide to write about such a heavy topic?

In a way, the story of Iris in WHAT COMES AFTER started several years ago when I was sitting in a juvenile and domestic relations court during an emergency removal hearing, reading an autopsy report on a little 5-year-old boy. I can't use his real name so I'll call him Donny. He had more than 40 pronounced contusions, two broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a skull fracture--all in various stages of healing, indicating that he had sustained the injuries over an extended period of time. In the autopsy photos he appeared emaciated, as if he'd been starved. He also had two severe traumas to his abdomen caused by what the medical examiner said were powerful external blows. The second, and most recent, was the one that killed him.

None of us who worked on that case, which lasted two long years and led to terrible revelations about Donny and his siblings, have ever been the same. It was my job as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to investigate Donny's story, and the stories of his brothers and sisters, and to write a narrative that would bring those children to life for the judge presiding over the case-- and, in a way, to bring Donny back to life, if only in my report, and if only for a little while, and if only for the court. None of us doubted that the surviving children would be scarred by what happened to them, but thanks to the love and dedication of a lot of people involved in the case-- therapists, attorneys, social workers, foster parents, teachers--Donny's brothers and sisters ended up with families who loved them and promised to take care of them. They had a chance-- at least a chance--to recover, and grow up safe, and live meaningful lives.

When I read an article two years ago in our local newspaper about a girl who had been badly beaten by her cousin, on orders from her guardian aunt, I was struck by how few details there were about the girl--though that is usual in the case of underage victims, who are rarely identified to the public by police or prosecutors. The article didn't say what her life had been like before she was beaten, or what happened to her after, except for this one sentence: "The girl is now in foster care." The more I thought about that girl and what happened to her, though, the more I felt drawn to tell her story, too--as I imagined it, for a wider audience than the court. That story became WHAT COMES AFTER. I knew the girl in the article wasn't just another
foster care kid, and she wasn't just another victim. She must have had a life, and a story worth telling. All children do.

After reading this, it really made me think of those people who have no heart and honestly don't care about others. I guess they just don't appreciate the life around them.

Steve Watkins' Website

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Release: 2010
Pages: 287
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Review: I can't believe that I waited so long to read this book after having read Ally's first series! I should have known that this book would be just as awesome as the books in her first series would be.

First we meet Katarina Bishop who happens to be at one of the best schools that there exists. She is being accused of committing a terrible thing against the headmaster of the school. After being taken back to the life that she tried so hard to leave. After she is told why she was forced to leave what had been her home, she has to go through a journey that will help her father.

I loved Kat! She was smart and didn't let others decide for her. She was determined and had courage to do what she had to even when everything seemed to go downhill. Those are the kind of girls that I wish authors would write about. She was funny and had to make some decisions that affected others, not only her. Some of the things she did shocked me a bit but they seemed to fit her.

Hale was also great! He was always saying the funniest things that lightened the mood. I could tell that he really cared for Kat and only wanted to help her. He wasn't from the family but was always willing to help when it was needed. Plus, he was smart enough to figure some things out and that's something that I enjoyed reading about.

And how about the others? Of course they were equally as awesome! The conversations between Angus and Hamish were hilarious! Gabrielle, Kat's cousin, seemed to be like any typical girl who worries about boys and looking good but deep inside she's just like Kat. Simon serves as the genius who knows all about technology.

I never thought that I would enjoy reading a book about a thief but Heist Society changed my mind. I loved reading about the plans they had to do and the things they had to find out before even attempting to steal what they wanted. I can't wait to read Uncommon Criminals since I know that Ally Carter will have done an amazing job on it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Title: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Release: May 23 2011

Goodreads Descpriton: Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

How awesome does this sound? People right now us computers for many things but to get to the point to think you wouldn't enjoy being with ihters? It sounds like an interesting book!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Angelfire
Author: Courtney Allison Moulten
Released: February 2011
Pages: 452
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
Review: All the great reviews that I read about this book made me want to read it from the beginning. I'm glad that it lived up to all those reviews that I read!
Ellie is living a normal life when she finds out things about herself that change her life. As she starts to know more about herself she also starts having life problems. She has to fight to stay alive while visiting her past lives and knowing how she has died and trying to know what she is.
Ellie is like any other teenage girl who worries about teenage things. At first she didn't care about taking up the job that was thrown at her. It's something I liked since it showed that she wasn't like those that seem to be fine with a huge change in their life. Little by little she accepted the fact that she had to do this while still worry about normal everyday things. I loved that when Ellie started seeing Will she reacted the way I think girls should react to stalkers.
Will was a great character! He cared for Ellie and was there for her when she needed it. He showed her all that she needed to know while still trying to help her with her normal life things. We get to see him through the visions that Ellie has of her past lives. It was always nice to see how their relationship was different in the past. One scene I really enjoyed was knowing how Ellie and Will met.
I didn't really expect knowing what Ellie was! I honestly didn't think that would be the case. All that killing of the reapers made the book even more interesting! I hadn't read a book were there was so much blood killing and I think it's one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much. If you haven't read it yet then you should!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness!

Book Soulmates

So Isalys and Vanessa from Book Soulmates are hosting Random Acts of Kindness once again this month! I can't say how much I love this!

• Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
• Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
• Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

I bet you want to participate now, right? Go sign up now!

If you want to see my wishlist just click here!

During the month of April I got Heist Society by Ally Carter! Thanks to Jennifer @ A Girl That Reads for sending the book!