Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get Your Finished Faces Ready!!

I finished my first semester of college!

Sorry for the lack of posts this last week but things were hectic with finals and everything so I just didn't have time, but I am DONE!

I feel like I can breathe again, but I am just so unbelievably happy.

I have missed all of you and I can't wait to be back in the swing of things.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

I don't think I can do a review for this book.

I have been thinking about it since completing it Wednesday and it's just too hard to put into words how I feel about the book, and specifically how the end of this series is making me feel.

On one hand, I love having an ending, but on the other I hate to see the series end. It's even different than Harry Potter because when I read the last Harry Potter I was so excited and I wasn't nearly as involved in the book world as I am now, so I just wanted the book, I never thought about the fact that it would be over. I was 15 and dumb.

This time though with my second favorite series I knew what was coming and I knew that this would be it.

Yes, there is a spin off and yes I think it will be amazing but still it won't be Rose, and that is what has me so messed up today.

Last Sacrifice as a book left me satisfied, more than satisfied really, but I don't know what I'm going to do now.

What will I do without Dimitri, Rose, Lissa, and Adrian?

I feel pathetic because I actually cried when I reached the end. This is just what books do to you I guess. I can't imagine not being a reader and not having this emotional pull to characters that feel more real to me than people I know in the real world.

I don't know how nonreaders make it through life without this.

Last Sacrifice is a great end to an even better series, I'm just sad to say goodbye.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This Week's Question:
What do you like most about reading book blogs?
My Answer:
Really for me it's not the guest posts or the reviews even, my favorite thing about book blogs and any blog in general is the person who runs it and seeing their personality come through in what they do. Just in the way they write reviews and do discussions, the books they like, how they portray their excitement. I like getting a sense of the person behind the blog. That's my favorite.

Follow Friday is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee at Parajunkee's" View

This Week's Question:
Do you have an undernoticed author you think we should all know about?

My Answer:
YES! Maria V. Snyder is a personal favorite of mine and I think she is amazing so you should definitely go read her. Her Study Series is one of my favorites. Also, Tara Altebrando's The Pursuit of Happiness was one of the first YA books I ever fell in love with. It's a must read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and its purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. The water calls to her, draws her in, forces her to sing her deadly song to unsuspecting victims. If she succumbs, she kills. If she doesn’t, the pain is unbearable. To keep herself and those she cares about safe, she shuts herself off, refusing to make friends or fall in love—again. Because the last time she fell in love with a boy, he ended up dead.

Then Lexi meets Cole. Against her better judgment, she finds herself opening up again, falling in love when she knows she shouldn’t. But when she’s offered the chance to finally live a normal life, she learns that the price she must pay to be free of her curse is giving him up.

In Ripple, Mandy Hubbard spins a sea-ravaged tale of melancholy beauty, and the choices one girl makes between land and waves, love and freedom, her future—and her heart.

I'm so excited for this one! I love Mandy Hubbard and have been reading her since her days on Fiction Press, so I'm sure this one will be amazing!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You'll Never Guess...

So, I have not spoken to all of you in two days! I just wanted to let you all know that I am currently 100 pages from finishing Last Sacrifice and then I shall resurface to all of you and humanity in general.
My friend and I went to four different places to find it at midnight last night, but it was so worth the sleep deprivation. I don't even mind I slept four hours last night.

I'll do a post about it and what not, but so far I am very, very happy.

Now to go back to reading.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi aka The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

This week I got...

I wasn't able to do an In My Mailbox last week so this is for the last two weeks. I'm excited to read everything, though sadly I have finals coming up. :(

Who else is going to go buy their copy of Last Sacrifice at midnight tomorrow?! There are few things I will risk school for but I NEED THAT BOOK. I'm so excited and I don't even care that I will be a creeper going in to get it, they're not even having a release party. *sigh*

Team Dimitri! I'm crossing my fingers. :)

What did you get this week?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How Well Read Are You?

Apparently..."The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

I am bolding the ones I have read.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
•Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
•Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
•His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
•Great Expectations– Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
•Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
•Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare (umm, I've read 3...)
•Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
•Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
•The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
•Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (LOVE!)
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
•War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
•The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
•Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
•Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
•Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
•Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
•David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma -Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
•The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
•Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
•Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
•The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
•One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
•A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
•The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
•Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
•The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
•Lord of the Flies – William Golding
•Atonement – Ian McEwan
•Life of Pi – Yann Martel
•Dune – Frank Herbert
•Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
•A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
•The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
•A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
•Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
•The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
•Love in The Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
•Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
•The Secret History – Donna Tartt
•The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
•Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
•On The Road – Jack Kerouac
•Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
•Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
•Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
•Moby Dick - Herman Melville
•Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
•Dracula – Bram Stoker
•The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
•Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
•Ulysses – James Joyce
•The Inferno – Dante
•Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
•Germinal – Emile Zola
•Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
•Possession -AS Byatt
•Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
•Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
•The Color Purple – Alice Walker
•The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
•Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
•A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
•The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
•Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
•The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
•Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
•The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
•The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
•Watership Down – Richard Adams
•A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
•A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
•The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
•Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Counting series books I have read 40! Yay! I'm in the process of reading more, I've gradually been going through my classics.

Take that BBC! (Though, I actually adore BBC, they make my favorite Jane Austen movies... plus they have Chef Ramsey).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This Week's Question:
What hyped about book did you not enjoy?

My Answer:
The first one to come to mind was Fallen by Lauren Kate, it just didn't work for me for whatever reason. There's not really many though that I haven't enjoyed, I am a reader who is very easily pleased. I didn't necessarily enjoy writing my review for Fallen but I was honest. We just weren't meant to be book friends.

Follow Friday is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee at Parajunkee's" View

This Week's Question:
What do you do besides reading/reviewing as a hobby?

My Answer:
Great question! It's almost hard for me to think of a hobby I do outside of reading and blogging honestly... because that's really the main thing I do in my spare time. I guess when I'm not blogging I'm writing, crocheting, or doing something with friends. My biggest hobby is still definitly reading though, I get grumpy if I don't get reading time. I actually give up quite a bit of sleep to guarantee I have my reading time. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and its purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

This is Agnes Wilkins’ debut season and already she’s attracting the attention of one of England’s most eligible and desirable men: Lord Showalter. He’s been quite forward about his intentions and Agnes finds this at once thrilling and terrifying. He is handsome and wealthy and has this quirky interest in helping England amass the world’s finest collection of Egyptian artifacts. It could be a good match—but everything Agnes knows about courtship and high society romance comes from A. Lady novels, and it seems to be a rule that men who are too good to be true are usually hiding something.

But, what Showalter is hiding is not crumbling finances or boarish behavior. He is deceiving the whole British Empire. He is spy working for Napoleon, his orders smuggled into London in Egyptian artifacts—like the one Agnes pockets while at a mummy unwrapping party at Showalter’s home. Her innocent interest in this trinket (and childish need to keep it) jump starts a chain of events that bring out dangerous characters, dangerous circumstances, and the biggest danger of all—true love.

I think this book sounds amazing! It sounds like a regency and if you know me at all you know I adore regency themed things! So excited!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Weekly Write [1]

This is a brand new thing that I will be doing every Monday, since I have recently decided to take my writing seriously I need to keep track of it somehow. :)

For one day a week I will consider myself a writer, and I will share with you whatever I have discovered on the writerly journey so far.

This week was extremely hectic because I was out of town for Thanksgiving and I had a ton of school work to do, of course this didn't stop this editing craziness...

This is the crazy that has been my life this past week. I have been editing the partial draft like crazy, which means that I have just been going through and adding description because apparently my first draft brain hates description.

I found gems like this while going through and the question was raised, what was I thinking?

As I was editing, I made the mistake of going back through and reading my edits which resulted in me editing my edits. :(

I haven't finished the first 100 pages yet, and this week is known as Hell week at my college so it may be another hectic week, but I know that editing is a completely different game than writing.
I actually find it interesting how my vision is the same, and what I wrote and what I wanted to write in edits matched perfectly. Because of the break and the editing I have done so far, I really think I know exactly where I'm going.

I actually had a brain blast the other day where I realized something about the plot that was obvious, but I'd just never noticed it before. I'm excited to get back. My goal is to have it all done by January 1st and to have critique partners reading it the 2nd. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of my followers who celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving!!

I'm off to go play in the ocean and eat some turkey.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nano Update/I'm a Failure.

I failed NaNoWriMo. :(

I started Nano so excited and so full of confidence that I would and could do it, and I still think that I could have.

I was ahead actually when I decided to quit but I don't feel like a failure because the reason I stopped involved my story. I reached a part in the novel where I realized I had done something wrong, and I'm still not completely sure what that thing is. At times it felt too strained, my main character felt flat and I decided that if I kept writing without fixing this problem I would be in a very deep hole. Now I have 100 pages of something I need to fix so I'm going to do that first.

I just printed out my partial draft and I'm taking it with me to edit during the long car rides I have ahead of me this week and hopefully by the time I return home I'll know where I'm going.

So, all in all I don't feel like a failure, I have something that needs fixing that I believe has potential - that was my goal in the first place.

I think I'm going to start doing a Weekly post that solely focuses on how writing is going. I don't know if any of you are fellow aspiring authors, but it would help to talk about it. :)

I will be partially MIA this week because Thanksgiving means hectic travel in my family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guest Post: Who Doesn't do Crazy Things For Harry Potter?

Today we have Diana from Books By Their Story here discussing some of the crazy things her love of Harry Potter has made her do!

Who hasn’t done crazy things for the love of Harry Potter?

When I first discovered Harry Potter I fell in love with the books immediately. This was about 4 years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to the world of Harry Potter. I just couldn’t believe that such amazing books could exist. Then came the crazy part.

Being the little kid that I was, my friend and I decided to give roles to everyone in our class. This meant that one of our friends could be Hagrid and the other could be Lavender Brown. We used to have a book that kept all the names of those in our class, and even those who weren’t, and next to their name was the character who they were.

Sometimes we gave them a character according to their personality or simply because they had the same color hair. Some of them even responded when we called them by a character instead of their real name.

We went as far as saying that rulers were our wands! We used to cover them up in colored paper and would go to lunch with them and pretend we were fighting with them. One day while we were in the classroom doing nothing, we decided to have duel with our wands. We were just playing around when all of a sudden the desk that one of my friends was pointing at with her wand fell. We thought it was really creepy since it looked like it had fallen magically.

To this day many of those who were involved in this crazy thought of still remind me of the things I did. Most of them now know that I love Harry Potter and I also think that they believe I’m a bit weird.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Post: Harry Potter and the Gift of Reading

Todays guest post is from Jill at Owl For YA! It's all about how Harry Potter has shaped the way kids read today. :)

It feels like I can’t remember a time in my teaching career without Harry Potter. They have become such an engrained part of being a 7th grade English teacher. Each year new kids decide to pick them up, and each year more kids fall in love with Hogwarts, Harry, Hagrid and the thought of having their own wand. I am one of the mass that love Harry Potter now, but when he first came on the scene you would’ve never thought I would be.

I have never been a big fantasy fan. Books like The Lord of the Rings never interested me. I didn’t like the idea that I had to learn a whole new world beyond my own. I found it confusing and frustrating so I never got very far. This was even true for the Chronicles of Narnia series because so much of it was spent in that “other” world so different from our own. When so many of my students were reading the Harry Potter books I thought there was no way I was ever going to read them. But, after awhile I knew I should at least attempt the first one, so I would know what my students were talking about. With that I picked up book one.

By the time Harry meet Hagrid I was back at the story buying all the other books. I was in love with Harry Potter. Buy why? What did Harry Potter have that all those other fantasy books didn’t? There are two things I can think of. One: the “fantasy” world doesn’t start right away. I get to know Harry without having to get to know a whole new world at the same time. And that whole new world is still a part of the world I knew. I didn’t have to learning everything new. Two: Harry. How could you not fall in love with Harry? His poor little life made me just feel for him, and I wanted to keep reading because I knew it would get better. I was rooting for him, and I couldn’t quit reading until I knew his life was better.

So I continued reading. I laughed with Harry and Ron. Rolled my eyes at Hermione. Smiled when Harry “saw” Ginny for the first time. Worried about all characters as they battled to save what they loved. And saddest of all, cried when Dumbledore died. Harry Potter is a part of my life and a part of the lives of my students. I am thankful for those books because I know they have created a love of reading in students who might have never found it. What a gift to give to me and to generations of children.

Guest Post: Why Harry Potter is a Fantasy Classic

I'm Alison of Alison Can Read. I've been blogging for 5 months. I review mostly young adult literature with some middle grade books and manga.

I read my first Harry Potter book in the summer of 2000, when I was 18 years old. Up to that point, I hated the fantasy genre. Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time was confusing and boring. I had no desire to read C.S. Lewis. There were a few exceptions, of course. I loved Roald Dahl's Matilda and Lois Lowry's The Giver. But for the most part I stuck solely to historical fiction, contemporary fiction, or historical non-fiction.

From the moment, I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I was entranced with the series, immersed into the world of Harry and Hogwarts. I immediately picked up the second and third books and actually worked at Barnes & Noble the night of the midnight release of the fourth book in July 2000. For the next seven years, I waited with bated breath for the remaining three books to be published and now re-read the entire series every year. Since reading my first Harry Potter book, I've given fantasy a fair shot. And to my surprise I love it! Now, paranormal romance, high fantasy, and urban fantasy comprise a good percentage of my reading material.

Why is the Harry Potter series such a good introduction to the fantasy genre? Harry Potter exemplifies the best of the genre. Fantasy can transport you to another world. And I mean that almost literally. When I'm reading Harry Potter, I am immersed in the world of wizardry. Everything around me fades away. Part of me truly believes that this world actually exists. It seems entirely logical. Rowling does an incredible job of building a world that seem very much like our own, in a way. There is school, family, sports, bureaucracy. The parts that are unfamiliar are explained so well, with such detail, history, and symbolism, that the fantastical is on equal par with reality.

Fantasy is an excellent vessel for themes that are hard to get across in realistic fiction without insulting someone, or sounding extreme, depressing, or preachy. For example, government corruption is a strong theme throughout the series, yet no particular government or political party can legitimately claim the book is attacking it, since the Ministry Of Magic is not real. Deathly Hallows practically hits the reader on the head with a Christian allegory, yet it is presented in a way that doesn't make you feel as though you were reading a sermon.

In the best fantasy novels, the reader really relates to the characters, knows them as well or better than he/she knows people in real life. This is crucial to any novel, of course, but particularly important for the fantasy genre, where the characters are naturally harder to understand because they live in a world where the reader does not. The author has to work extra hard to make the characters feel just as human, just as three-dimensional as the reader. This is where J.K. Rowling truly excels. Every one of her characters are complex, flawed, real people. Harry Potter is brave, loyal, and selfless, yet also has a horrible temper, isn't unusually bright, and makes rash conclusions. Dumbledore, one of the series' heroes, is wise, brilliant, and caring, but is also cold, calculating, and arrogant. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy seem like heartless villains, yet their love for their son ultimately saves Harry's life and thwarts Voldemort. Snape turns out to be incredibly brave, loyal, and an eternal romantic, but he is a resentful, bitter, and heartlessly cruel man

Classic good versus evil tales work better in fantasy than in realistic fiction. The stories can be more extreme than reality allows - evil is elevated to a higher level when the supernatural is involved and the hero is endowed with extra skills to defeat the bad guy. This is certainly the case in Harry Potter. With a single swipe of their wands and an incantation, the villains and the heroes can fly, torture, and kill. Mere muggle battles simply cannot compare. Rowling also does a marvelous job of showing that good versus evil is not a black and white world, something that is difficult to do in any kind of novel. In my opinion, the two most evil characters in the series are Voldemort and Delores Umbridge, and they are on different sides of the Dark Arts battle line (Bellatrix Lestrange gives Umbridge a very good run for her money, but even she has a human weakness - she's in love with Voldemort). The fantasy world reflects the very human reality that people who are arguably on the "good side" can be just as evil and cruel as the villains.

Harry Potter has earned a spot aside such venerable classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. It is a marvelously complex tale that manages to be fun and heartwarming at the same time. The series certainly worked it's magic upon me and opened my eyes to a whole new world of literary possibilities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Candace Read Harry Potter Campaign!

Some things are just not right with the world. There are a few things that should be guaranteed, Life, Liberty, and the Opportunity to read Harry Potter and Candace at Candace's Book Blog, has never read Harry Potter!

I can't even begin to comprehend how a life without Harry Potter must feel so we need to help her! This is what she had to say:

It's really a combination of reasons, first of all it was so hyped that I think that I lost any interest in reading them for that reason alone. If I hadn't read Twilight before it was something HUGE then I probably never would have read them either.
Another reason is those books are freaking HUGE! I mean seriously! I have 60+ books waiting for me to read NOW and I could get through at least 3 of them in the time it would take me to read ONE HP.
HP is for little kids. Okay, so let me explain that one. Many years back when my brother Seth was only 10 or so I got him an HP book cause my mom said he liked them. It was the small version, for the younger kids, I assume. That stuck in my head though and I guess it may have influenced my decision.
And then last, but not least, those books are HUGE (oh, did I say that already?) well, that is really the main reason.
So tell me, why should I take my precious reading time and put it into reading HP? Is it really worth putting off those other books? -Candace

Clearly, she needs us.

She needs us to convince her to read the books! She doesn't know what she's missing. So if you are as horrified at this as me please support the Make Candace Read Harry Potter Campaign. There are many ways you can help out, and all of them are easy! You can grab the button below for starters, and then visit Candace at her blog, leave a comment telling her why she should read Harry Potter. You can even send her a tweet with the reason why she should read them. Please put your support behind this!

Only we can help her!

If you Tweet her or leave her comments come back and let us know! It's worth 5 extra points in the giveaway!

Make Candace Read Harry Potter Campaign

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Harry Potter Week!

As you may remember this week Lori from Pure Imagination and I are giving you an entire week of Harry Potter goodness!

We have great guest posts planned, a giveaway and an amazing cause that we need your help on so be sure to check back and join in the fun!

For now grab the button and get ready for the HP giveaway!

Harry Potter Week

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi aka The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

This week I got...

This week was full of amazing, I still can't quite get over it.

I'm so excited to read everything!

What did you get this week?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop + Follow Friday!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This Week's Question:

If you see a book that looks good, but it is part of a series, do you start with book one or just read the one you want to read?

My Answer:

I always, always, always start with book one. I can't read just part of a series. Series are all about getting indebted in the characters and becoming immersed in the world and I can't do that just reading the last book or book 2. My brain just doesn't work that way, plus I'm kind of nosy when it comes to my characters. I want to know as much as I can.

Follow Friday is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee at Parajunkee's" View

This Week's Question:

What is your monthly book budget?

My Answer:

I don't have a monthly book budget really, maybe if I did I would be more organized with my buying but really I just pick up things randomly. I do try to only go once a month in order to pick up things I only really, really want, but that normally doesn't happen... and when I go to signings (which seems to be fairly often recently) that idea goes out the window.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and its purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.


Doesn't it sound awesome?! Pirates?! Please!!

Released: March 15th

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 9

I meant to do this post yesterday, but I had an essay that stole my soul. It was horribly hard and I'm still unsure on my topic, but I refuse to think of that now.

I am going to focus on what is more important to me at the moment, and that is how my essay made me feel about the book I'm writing.

I had been longing to write all day, but I knew from the time that I woke up that I couldn't until I had written this first draft. I needed to have something to bring to class tomorrow and that fact absolutely destroyed my inner drive to do it.

I ended up doing something essayish which will definitely suffice for a peer editing discussion, but I have never wanted to write so much in my life as I did today. I was thinking about the next scene constantly and I was so ready to just write as much as I could and I missed my characters.

I missed my characters, people that don't exist.

It kind of surprised me, I missed them, really missed them. I didn't get to write and be a part of their world until almost midnight and only writing 1k was torture, but it was worth it because now I know that I have to finish this story.

I really hope NaNoWriMo where be where I do it, but school has to be priority. So far I am fine, but I don't know how much I'll be able to write with this horrible essay due Monday.

At least I know, I have to keep writing.

Word Count: 17145

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Much Do You Love Harry Potter?

How much do you love Harry Potter? Were you like me, and completely obsessed with the books? Did you write very bad fan fiction? Can you quote the movies word for word?

Did you cry when you didn't get your Hogwarts letter?

Maybe you didn't like Harry Potter, maybe you for some odd reason, were in love with Draco Malfoy or even Seamus Finnegan.

Either way, I want to know all about it.

Lori and I are doing Harry Potter week and we are seeking Guest posts! If you love Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Hedwig, and the entire Potter universe as much as we do, we want to know why.

Just send me an email at books_are_life@yahoo(dot)com if you have an idea and want to write about it.

But for the rest of you... get ready for Harry Potter week! I know I'll be wearing my Gryffindor tie proudly...

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen [Review]

Date Released: April 6th, 2006
Publisher: Viking
Rating: 5 keys
Source: Bought.


Last year, Annabel was "the girl
who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.


There is a truth universally acknowledged* that I adore Sarah Dessen. In reality, all of Sarah Dessen's books are amazing, but I have never reviewed Just Listen, and I feel it is time I do so.

Just Listen was the first book by Sarah Dessen that I ever read and because of that it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it is not just because it introduced me to her that I love this book. Just listen is just amazing in general.

I'm afraid that any review of a Dessen book I do won't be the average review because of how amazing I feel they all are, they're almost in a separate category in my mind that goes from, Okay, Good, Great, Sarah Dessen, I really feel that is an example of how my brain works half of the time, but I digress.

Annabell's story is amazing and in Just Listen Dessen really h
its on the issues of perfection and the entire girl who has everything idea. Nobody's life is perfect even if it seems that way and in Just Listen we get to experience that through Annabell.

There are so many different things going on in Just Listen, there is a concept of family dynamics, the idea of friendship, perfection, and eventually just getting it right.

Owen is one of my favorite boys in the world, and he still is to this day having read this book 4 years ago. Owen is completely misunderstood and the person he is now in no way reflects the person he might have been in the past which is itself is a powerful message. He is never without his Ipod and the music he loves, which is at times, not even considered music, is one of my favorite aspects of the novel.

Annabell's story is powerful and if you haven't read Just Listen yet, I can't even express how much you are missing out.

Don't think or Judge. Just Listen.

*Thank you Jane Austen for lending me part of that line.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi aka The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

This week I got...

For Review:

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin


The Morganville Vampires Volumes 1 & 2 by Rachel Caine

Huge thanks to Harper for the surprise fun!

I went to a Rachel Caine and Heather Brewer signing this week, I have yet to read any of the Morganville Vampire series, but I have heard such amazing things I'll read them soon.

As soon as November is over. If you're doing Nano, you know my pain. :)

So, what did you get this week?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nano Update: Day Five


Oh dear...

Today has been completely filled with self doubt about my story. It has been awful. I wrote quite a lot, I just hit 3000 words, but it was not easy and I hated every second of it. I'm not sure where to go to get from where I am to where I want to be, but I think it will become easier once I completely figure out what will happen with certain aspects of it.

Anything that is wrong I know I can fix in revision but I guess my self editor has just been in full bloom today. Everything I wrote sounded too stupid, and I was never able to fully get rid of that feeling. I keep telling myself I'll go back and add the lyrical prose I love to read, but I do not believe myself apparently.

I have never written a contemporary before, or a book told in the first person. Both of these things are proving relatively challenging for me because they're just so new, but I am still writing and I still love my characters and my story! Which is the important thing.

Oh well.

Word Count: 10,125

Time to go reread The Truth About Forever. Yes, I have read it already this year. Don't judge, it's research.

Friday, November 5, 2010

And the winner is...

My contest for an ARC of Siren is officially over!

So, I picked the winner (with the help of a bajillion tiny pieces of paper) and the winner is...


Insert the streamers and balloons!

Congrats Danielle and I will be sending you an email soon.

Now, I'm off to write 10,000 words for Nanowrimo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This Week's Question:
How do you feel about losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?

My Answer:
Losing followers leaves me paranoid. I always wonder what I have done wrong and I begin to really hope it was a Blogger mistake, but it is what it is. I myself have never unfollowed a blog because if I'm following you, that means there was something about your blog I liked. I'm not a big fan of seeing my numbers drop, but thankfully it doesn't happen that often.

Follow Friday is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee at Parajunkee's" View

This Week's Question:
Who are your favorite authors?

My Answer:
I have a ton. Sarah Dessen, John Green, Stephenie Meyer, Richelle Mead, Jennifer Echols and the list goes on, and on, and on...

Nano Update: Day One!

So far I have been very pleased with the way Nano is going! My goal word count for each day has been 2000 words and so far I have met that without really even trying!

I have always had to make myself get away from the computer so far to quit which can't be a bad sign.

I thought it would be horrible on me honestly because I'm a full time student and I have animals that need to be taken care of and a blog that has to keep running and reading! I need to read!

Reading has kind of taken a hit, but it's day three. I'm still getting used to this. :)

I don't know how much writing I'll get done today as I'm going to a book signing, but I'm three days ahead according to the Nano counter. I hope I can write some at least - I really like the next scene.

How are you guys doing? Anything that has been difficult?

Word Count: 6227

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Defense of NaNoWriMo

Yesterday around the blog world there was a bit of a controversy (I say controversy for lack of a better word, it wasn't bad) on NaNoWriMo.

Maggie Stiefvater (who we all love) came out with an Anti Nano blog post which actually really surprised me. I'd never heard anything bad about Nano before so it was strange to see a published author not liking it.

Her reasons are solid and I understand where she's coming from, but there's one point where I think we definitely disagree. She said in her post that doing Nano wasn't really realistic for publication because essentially your writing will be awful, and I have to say I agree with her on that...

But that's the point.

NaNoWriMo is not supposed to be a perfect novel. The point of Nano is to make you write. It makes you give yourself permission to write crap which honestly I feel is very important. I have tried many times to write whenever the inspiration hit me or whenever I had the time, but at the end of the day, I had no reason to keep going. I was writing so gradually that eventually I didn't care if it ever got finished because I lost the passion for it.

Nano is something that will make you keep going and if you reach 50,000 words or you finish your first draft in December you will have something completed to revise and you will be able to work with something. All first drafts are supposed to be crap, it's just how it works.

I mean I could spend a year writing a novel, but I honestly feel that I would get so into the editing that I wouldn't do much writing. I love Nano because it gives me permission to keep going.

I personally love knowing I have thirty days to do this. All the people in my life who know I'm participating do think I'm crazy, but that's okay and I'm fine with that. I just really love this story now and the more I write, the more I want to write. I've never felt like that before.

Everyone has a different writing style, but I personally need a word count goal and a deadline, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get anything done.

As far as publication goes it is definitely not impossible for your Nano book to be your break.

Just ask Courtney Allison Moulton, the author of the upcoming Angelfire, or Julie Kagawa, the author of the Iron Fey series.

This is my defense for Nano, how do you guys feel about it?

Is Nano good for the writer or is it destructive?

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and its purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

Writing her own love story could drive a girl insane!

When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out.

The next book is overdue, and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast. That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth—that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real.


Does this not sound awesome?! We don't ever hear much about cupid in YA so this definitely intrigues me.

What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney [Review]

Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Source: ARC Tour
Rating: 5 Keys

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.


It has been months since I had the opportunity to read The Mockingbirds and I still think about it constantly. I can't express my love for this book enough or how important I feel it is for everyone to read it.

Alex's character is honest and well developed in every way, she doesn't hold anything from us and the first person narrative just adds to the emotion within the pages. We feel what Alex feels and her story is powerful. We witness the changes that the rape does to not only how she feels about herself, but how it impacts her day to day life and essentially everything within it. It all revolves around IT. Everything, from where she goes, how she gets to class, even whether she eats lunch or not. It all revolves around what happened.

Themis Academy was a great setting for such a story because I myself went to a school which liked to ignore things that happened within the student body, they were there to teach us and that was where it ended. It wasn't because they believed we were perfect, but because they essentially didn't want to know. Whatever happened among us, we could work it out, so I completely took the idea of The Mockingbirds and saw the genius within such an idea. I imagine a lot of schools take that approach to dealing with their students and I wish The Mockingbirds had been there for us.

The topic of consent is what drives this novel and it's an important one that everyone needs to understand. Alex's story of rape is not one that is traditionally told. When most think of rape they think of being dragged off of the street or other such events, but with Alex that is not the case. Her story is about consent. That night she was in absolutely no condition to consent, and her lack of memory of what happened proves that. Only a yes is ever a yes

With all of the serious topics in this novel there are its light moments, particularly those involving Martin. I adored her with Martin because her interacting with him seemed normal and with all of the darkness circulating her recent life she needed some touch of normalcy. Alex had a group of friends who truly never turned their backs on her.

I really believe this book will be taught in schools one day because its subject matter is so important for teenagers to know.

Everyone should be required to read this book.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nano Update: Day One

Today was the first day of Nano and I'm pretty okay with how I did. I have been trying to decide which story I was going to do for weeks now, and I ended up changing my mind last minute. The one I decided on I really don't know as well as the other, but I am definitely embodying the idea of Nano!

I saw this daily update over at Blkosiners Book Blog, and I don't know if I'll do this every day (if you want me to let me know!) but here's my update for day one.

Word count: 2271
Any problems today? Figuring out where I want to go, and just overall character development.
Any victories, no matter how small? I think I picked good names, and I think it will get better.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo is Almost Here!

Nano starts tonight at midnight and I am so excited!

Nano will probably effect my blogging a bit, but I'm waking up an extra hour earlier every morning to write and I have some posts scheduled so if it works out right you won't even notice I'm gone. :)

If I start not replying to emails as often you know where I am.

If you want to add me as a writing buddy my name is I'm amazingly original when thinking up usernames.

I will be doing Nano updates throughout the month, probably letting you guys no how much I am failing, but hopefully I will make it.
50,000 words in 30 days here I come!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What I Wish Was In My Mailbox!

Since this week I didn't get any books I am going to do something a bit different. Rather than the what I got post, this will be the what I wish I got post.

In other words, these are the books that would make me do a happy dance in my driveway if I got them.

I don't think words can describe how much I want need this book. It's kind of ridiculous really and I'm sorry to those who have heard me talk about my want in person. I can get nerdy when talking about Angelfire.

I'm a huge space fan meaning that Star Wars/Star Trek really make me happy. I'm actually wearing my Star Trek shirt right now so a YA set in space? Yes, Please!

I really think this may be the most gorgeous cover I have ever seen and the story sounds super interesting as well. Can't wait for this one!

I LOVE SARAH DESSEN! Sorry for the caps, but I feel they were necessary. Her books really got me into YA and I'm so excited for her newest one I don't know what to do. Her release dates always feel like another holiday to me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry [Review]

Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Source: Publisher.
My Rating: 4.5 Keys.


In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms-no more than trinkets when worn by others-are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . . Berry's debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales-and now she's done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.


I've been thinking all day about how exactly to describe this book, but when it comes right down to it, I honestly don't know how. It has so many different aspects and so many things going for it I just don't know of the word that explains it perfectly. I almost want to call it an adventure because with each page came another twist I wasn't expecting. I literally had no idea what would happen next and I loved it that way.

It has been a while since a book has stumped me, normally I can kind of figure out what is going to happen and really guess the plot just based on the summary but that wasn't the case for Secondhand Charm, it constantly surprised me.

This book is perfect for those who love a good fairy tale because essentially that is what it reads like. It reminds me of the fairy tales I read when I was younger and it's great to see fairy tales aren't dying - even if we all are focused on the horror aspect of them these days with Vampires, Werewolves, etc..

Because it was a fairy tale it contained a lot of fantasy elements which I loved. My favorite creature in the book was definitely the Leviathans because they weren't evil or creepy or anything. By the end of the book I wanted a Leviathan of my own because they just seemed so perfect and loyal.

I really felt Evie grew as a person during her journey and I really enjoyed Evie and Aiden's relationship. I really feel they complemented each other well and I almost wish there was the promise of a sequel because I would love to spend more time with them.

I will definitely be checking out Julie Berry's first book, The Amaranth Enchantment, because if it is half as fun as this one I won't be dissapointed.

If you're still a kid at heart like me, you need to read this book!

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!

This Week's Question:
What is the one bookish thing you would love to have?

My Answer:
I've always wanted a home library with walls lined with shelves, it's kind of a dream thing at this point. The other thing I would love to have is a bit less realistic and that is one of first editions of Harry Potter from its first ever UK printing. They're terribly rare but I think it would be amazing to have one.

Follow Friday is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee at Parajunkee's" View

This Week's Question:
If you have, or think you will ever have a daughter, what book would you want her to read?

My Answer:
There are a lot of books that I would want a future child/daughter of mine to experience. Reading is a huge part of who I am so I would want them to experience the books that made me want to be a reader. I feel like I would read Harry Potter to them from the day they were born. I grew up with Harry, so I would love for them to do the same. The one book though I feel I would have to share would be The Diary of Anne Frank simply because that is the only book me and my mother ever talked about, and Anne's story is just very important to me. Also, she would read Twilight, I would love to hear what she thinks of our Vampires and Werewolves. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have You Heard About My Giveaway?!

If you haven't, this is your last week to enter!

I announced two months ago that I was giving away an ARC of Siren and a signed The Body Finder bookmark, so if you have not entered this is your chance before the giveaway ends on Tuesday!

Here's what you can win:

You don't have to be a follower to enter, but of course that is appreciated. If you tweet or blog post about it you get bonus entries.

If you would like to enter, just fill out this form. US readers only, sorry International readers.

I've had this contest going for forever so I can't wait to see who wins. :)

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and its purpose is to spotlight those titles we can't wait for!

I want this book so bad! I couldn't find a summary for it, but from what I have heard around the blogosphere this one is amazing and I can't wait!

I really think 2011 might be the best year for books I have ever seen.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author Signing: Scott Westerfeld Edition!

Last Wednesday Lori from Pure Imagination, her friend Kristen and I all packed into the car and went off to Alpharetta for the Scott Westerfeld signing!

I'd had next to no sleep the night before, and when I was driving to meet them I actually thought I might not make it the entire night, but as soon as I got in the car the power of books made me sane again! That or it could have just been the coffee.

Scott was very fun and he went into depth on how he got the idea for the Uglies series which in turn really made me want to read them. He answered a lot of questions and I was surprised by how in depth he went into his answers, normally you get asked the same questions so many times it's just a rambling off of facts but it never felt like that when he was talking and I loved it!

He talked a lot about Leviathan and the reason why there were illustrations and he really made me want to read it ASAP, which is perfect because that's what I bought there!

His wife Justine Larbalestier (Liar, edited Zombies Vs. Unicorns) was there and she also signed some books including Zombies Vs. Unicorns for Lori.

I definitely recommend going and seeing him if he's coming anywhere near you! I promise you won't regret it!

*I don't know why this posted twice, but I deleted the other one. Sorry!*

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