Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Onyx (Lux #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
# Of Pages: 366
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 14th 2012
Source: Purchased
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Verdict

I almost gave this book four hearts instead of five because there were a few things I didn’t love about it. Then I was thinking, any book that roots you to a chair for eight hours because you can’t pull yourself away to sleep like a normal person, or has you seriously considering driving an hour to the nearest library that has a copy of the third book deserves the full five hearts!

Now down to business, I want to apologize upfront if a few of my details are a little off. I read all three of these book so close together that they have become one big blur in my mind.

It’s funny because Katy & Dameon pretty much switched places for me in this book. In the first one I really liked Katy and hated Dameon. In this one Katy bugged me a good three-quarters of the way through, while Dameon took a total 180 and was super sweet and not 98% jerk Dameon that we met in book one. 

We get introduced to some new characters in book two that bring along some interesting twists and turns I didn’t see coming. We also got to learn more about the Luxen race, their powers, and history, which I really enjoyed. Also, every little comment about book blogging brought a ridiculous smile to my face +D

There is SO much more I want to say but can't without spoilers so my lips are sealed!

Overall, while it got off to a frustrating start it really picked up and easily became my favorite one in the series so far. Bring on book number three! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quote of the Week: Where She Went

Quote of the Week is a new segment where I will be sharing some of my favorite quotes, whether they be from books or just something I find inspiring.

"A day might just be twenty-four hours but sometimes getting 
through one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.
                                                                          -Gayle Forman

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shuffle Saturdays 16: Greatest Game Ever Played Main Title Overature

Shuffle Saturdays is hosted by the girls at Pretty In Fiction, where you post a random song from your ipod each week. 

I love this movie.
I love Shia LaBeouf who is in this movie.
I love this movie soundtrack.
I love this song.
Lots of love here today <3

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
# Of Pages: 361
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: November 23rd 2011
Source: Library
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts 


(From Goodreads)
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Verdict

I can’t tell you how excited I was to read an alien book! Vampires, werewolves, zombies, there are plenty of books out there about them, but aliens? Not so many. I don’t know if any of you have seen the TV show Roswell (or read the books) it’s about a group of teenage aliens and my favorite show ever! If you haven’t seen it I highly suggest you go watch it immediately! Anywho, the synopsis of this book sounded very similar; boy saves girl, girl finds out boy is an alien, chaos ensues. So obviously I had to read it.

The whole love/hate relationship between main characters Katy and Daemon is what really pulls you in. There is something addicting about their constant bickering that keeps you turning pages.
I really liked Katy most of the time. Her snarky comebacks, loyalty to her friends, and selflessness were admirable. Plus, she gains a few bonus points for being a book blogger =) However, there was one event, (a school dance) where she made some unbelievably STUPID decisions against her friends warnings just to spite them. I was like WHY are you being so stupid?! Listen to your friends, they’re trying to protect you!! Also the way she would totally melt down and believe Dameon hated her when he would lie about his feelings for her. It was obvious he liked her, but when he would say otherwise she totally believed him even though she denied her feelings for him as well.

Dameon was a piece of work. Looked like a Greek god, acted like the biggest jerk on the planet. His attitude was infuriating 98% of the time. There were a few moments where he was actually sweet, but those moments were far and few between!

I think the alien part could have been done better. The fact that Dameon and Dee had been hiding their true identities for years was hard to believe, considering they weren’t very good at it. They said completely obvious things to Katy like “You’re not one of us” and  “I want Dee to have friends like her” but didn’t expect Katy to pick up on the fact that something was off. How dumb did they think she was? Some of the alien aspects also weren’t explained enough for my liking but what can you do.

Overall, this book kept me turning pages and dying for the next installment, which I’m probably going to end up downloading on my Kindle because the library only has one copy that’s going to take way too long to arrive!! It was no Roswell, but I’ll take what alien love stories I can get thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Nelson Mandela

Title: Nelson Mandela
Author: Kadir Nelson
# Of Pages: 40
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2013
Source: Library
Level: Children’s (Pre-School - 4th Grade)
Rating: 4 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country's capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy's determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela's triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.

My Verdict
I know I don't usually review children's books on here but since this one was told in verse, I made an exception =) 

The biography of Nelson Mandela and his role in Apartheid is brought to life by author and illustrator, Kadir Nelson, through free verse and beautiful paintings that are rich in color and large in scale. A fellow blogger reviewed this book and when I heard it was told in verse I knew I absolutely HAD to read it!

It’s very unique to have a biography written in free verse but I think it worked really well and will help to keep kids interested. This book is a great resource for kids to learn about an important time in history but also one that I think they will thoroughly enjoy reading as well.

“Nelson stood proudly
with the wind at his back
and spoke to a colorful sea of people.
‘We must forget our terrible past
and build a better future for South Africa,
Let us continue to fight for justice
and walk the last mile to freedom.’ "

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book News: Cover Reveal

Looks like I'm a few days behind with this one but I still had to share because I love, love, LOVE this series! On the 14th Ally Carter announced the title and cover of the sixth and final Gallagher Girl book! EEEEPPPPPPPPPPP =O

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

I LOVE both the title and cover! I can't believe Cammie's graduating *wipes tears from eyes*
I've been reading this series since 2006, that's 8 years! I've read most of them 2-3 times each so I'm both super excited for the last installment as well as completely depressed that it's over. Excuse me while I go cry...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quote of the Week: Dr. Seuss

Quote of the Week is a new segment where I will be sharing some of my favorite quotes, whether they be from books or just something I find inspiring.

"You're off to great places,
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!"
               -Dr. Seuss

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shuffle Saturdays 15: Pomp and Circumstance

Shuffle Saturdays is hosted by the girls at Pretty In Fiction, where you post a random song from your ipod each week. 

Okay so this song isn't really on my iPod but I'm posting it because Pomp and Circumstance has become known as "the graduation march" and guess what? TODAY I'M GRADUATING!!! I may  even be walking across the stage as you read this. As of today, I will wield a Bachelor's Degree in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and my dreams of becoming a book cover designer are one step closer to coming true!!! Enough gushing and enjoy the symphony genius below =)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Expo America 2013

Ever since I joined the blogosphere a couple years ago I had heard sooo much about BEA and how wonderful it is. I briefly thought about going last year but didn't really understand how it worked. It  just seemed so overwhelming I decided not to go. Which I ended up regretting for months to come. So this year when I heard a few other bloggers had registered, I decided I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass me by again. I signed up! I'm still a little confused and overwhelmed by it all but I know that it's going to be an AMAZING experience and I cannot wait!!!

I am now in the planning stages, wading through the ocean of information to try and make a rough plan of everything I want to do while I'm there. Unfortunately, I'm going to be arriving mid-day Thursday which means I miss the chance to meet three of the most awesome YA authors there; Ally Carter, Lauren Oliver, and Veronica Rossi!  =''( 

During my searching of authors attending BEA for autograph sessions I came across a lot of familiar names whose books have been on my TBR (some for a VERY long time). In the next few weeks I'm going to try and read as many of these books as possible so I don't pass up the opportunity to meet a great author and regret it later when I do read their book and fall in love with it! Without further ado here is my list:
  1. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (finished)
  2. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (finished)
  3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (started)
  4. Taken by Erin Bowman
  5. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
  6. Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore (Children's)

Are YOU going to BEA? What author are you most excited to meet?
Gone to BEA in the past? Any helpful hints?  I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordlover Wednesday: Bunbury

Todays Wordlover Word is...

Bunbury (BUN-buh-ree)
Noun- An imaginary person whose name is used as an excuse to some purpose, especially to visit a place.
Earliest Documented Use- 1899
Example- "There are birds who bunbury. One of them is the blackbird."

Discover more about this word here:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shuffle Saturdays 14: If You Told Me To

Shuffle Saturdays is hosted by the girls at Pretty In Fiction, where you post a random song from your ipod each week. 

Bought this cd on a whim after hearing only one song and LOVE it!
His voice reminds me so much of the lead singer from Rascal Flatts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book News: Cover Reveal & Movie News

Guess who revealed the final cover in their bestselling trilogy today??


Feast your eyes on this baby!
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

And in case you haven't seen this yet . . .

This is the first picture that's been released from the set of Divergent. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
# Of Pages: 313
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: January 10th, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Mom
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts


(From Goodreads)

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Verdict

I think I may literally be one of the last people on planet Earth to read A Fault In Our Stars. I'm going to keep this review fairly short because there is nothing I could say that hasn't already been said.

The characters in this book felt so real it’s insane. The dialogue between Hazel & Augustus is pretty much what made the whole book for me. I felt like the two of them spoke their own language, it was strange, quirky, philosophical, and almost always guaranteed to make you laugh. 

After I finished the book, the first thing I did was Google whether or not An Imperial Affliction was a real book. Deep down I knew the answer was no, but I was trying to sustain my disbelief because I really, really wanted it to be real. I wanted to read this spectacular book that meant so much to both Hazel & Augustus. I wanted to connect with them even more through this book they both loved. 

My one eensy, weensy, microscopic complaint was that some of the chapters were gargantuously long. The only reason this bothered me is because I'm one of those people who doesn't like to stop reading in the middle of a chapter. So on nights I only had time for a little reading before bed it always turned into a lot of reading because some of the chapters took like half an hour.

In conclusion, while I am happy I finally read this book and enjoyed it very much, I just didn’t fall head over heals in love with it like most people seemed to. Did I really enjoy it? YES. Do I want to read it over and over and name it my favorite book of 2013? No. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Shuffle Saturdays 13: I'm Only Me When I'm With You

Shuffle Saturdays is hosted by the girls at Pretty In Fiction, where you post a random song from your ipod each week. 

Good 'ol T-Swifty back in the old days when she was still country ='(
I still love her to death and listen to her new music all the time but I do miss her old country self too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book News: May Releases!

SO MANY BOOKS!!!!! I'm really starting to get overwhelmed by the amount of books on my 
TBR (409)  and the realization that I'll probably never get to half of them =(
On that happy note...  here are the May releases I'm still adding to my list.

COMING MAY 7th . . . 

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy 
A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.
Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan 
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames 
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 
First she lost her heart. Then she lost her mind. And now she’s on a road trip to win back her ex. This debut novel’s packed with drama and romance!
Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But her determination starts to dwindle with each passing mile. Because Rosie’s spark of anger? It may have just ignited a romance with someone new…

COMING MAY 14th . . .

Formerly Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham 
Jane Arrowood, otherwise known as Shark Girl, has been living with just one arm for over a year. Now she’s searching for a new normal.

It’s been a year since the shark attack that took Jane’s arm, and with it, everything she used to take for granted. Her dream of becoming an artist is on the line, and everything now seems out of reach, including her gorgeous, kind tutor, Max Shannon. While a perfectly nice guy from her science class is clearly interested in Jane — removing her fear that no one ever would want a one-armed girl — Jane can’t stop thinking about Max. But is his interest romantic? Or does he just feel sorry for her? Formerly Shark Girl picks up where Kelly Bingham’s artful, honest debut novel left off, following Jane as she deals with a career choice (should she "give back" by trying to become a nurse, or is art an equally valid calling?) along with family changes and her first real romance — all while remembering who she was before she was Shark Girl and figuring out who she is now.

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson 
A nuanced novel in verse that explores identity in a multicultural world.

Emma Karas was raised in Japan; it's the country she calls home. But when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma's family moves to a town outside Lowell, Massachusetts, to stay with Emma's grandmother while her mom undergoes treatment.

Emma feels out of place in the United States.She begins to have migraines, and longs to be back in Japan. At her grandmother's urging, she volunteers in a long-term care center to help Zena, a patient with locked-in syndrome, write down her poems. There, Emma meets Samnang, another volunteer, who assists elderly Cambodian refugees. Weekly visits to the care center, Zena's poems, dance, and noodle soup bring Emma and Samnang closer, until Emma must make a painful choice: stay in Massachusetts, or return home early to Japan.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston 
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

COMING MAY 21st . . . 

Transparent by Natalie Whipple 
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

COMING MAY 28th . . . 

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Novels In Verse Challenge: May Linky List!

Last month I held a giveaway for those of you participating in the challenge so
Congratulations to... Angie from Pinkindle who won the verse novel set What My Mother Doesn't Know and What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones.

Keep up the reading & reviewing everyone! =)