Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review ~ The Demigod Files

The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson & The Olympians)
By Rick Riordan
Published By Hyperion

Summary: How do you handle an encounter with Medusa on the New Jersey interstate? What's the best way to take down a minotaur? Become an expert on everything in Percy's world with this must-have guide to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Complete with interviews, puzzles, games, and original short stories by Rick Riordan.

My Thoughts: While the mini interviews and other things were interesting, I mainly picked this up for the short stories.
PJ and the Stolen Chariot: Clarisse's brothers, Deimos and Phobos, have stolen their father's chariot that Clarisse has to return before the end of the day. I tend to like Deimos and Phobos in stories and they worked in this. We get to see more of the up/downs of Percy and Clarisse's relationship.
PJ and the Bronze Dragon: This one really didn't add anything for me. We got to see another inch forward in Percy and Annabeth but that was it. I didn't really care about the other characters so I didn't care if they were rescued or not (I know, Bad).
PJ and the Sword of Hades: This was my favorite part of the whole book. It read more like the full novels and added to the overall series. I have not read book 4 yet and I believe this story takes place after it. It didn't really spoil anything but made me want to read it that much sooner. I liked having the big three's kids all together on this quest.
Overall, while not as in depth as most companion novels I've read, you do get to know some of the main characters a little better. Definitely recommend picking it up just for the short stories.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Releases ~ Week of January 30, 2012

A look at a few of the new releases for the coming week.

Jodi Meadows
release date: 1/31/12

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire #2)
Courtney Allison Molton
release date: 1/31/12

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)
Darynda Jones
release date: 1/31/12

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?
A: This may sound bad but I avoid a lot of contemporary and classics. With classics I worry I'm not going to like it but I should because it's A Classic and contemporary tends to depress me. I want to get lost in my books.

Happy Reading and Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Undeadly

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1)
by Michele Vail
Published by Harlequin Teen
expected release: February 28,2012

Summary: The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly—against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

**The summary actually made me want to read this, plus I picked it as one of my Debut Author books.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review (Shorts) ~ The Unquiet

The Unquiet
contributors: J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas

Summary: From J.D. Robb: Eve and Roarke return to investigate a series of murders connected to a brilliant young surgeon in Chaos in Death.

From Mary Blayney:A shopkeeper's solitude is complicated by a magic coin, a daring rogue, and dreams of her late husband, who whispers but one word...wish.

From Patricia Gaffney:A lonely woman and a hotline psychic turn their astonishing connection to the other side into an unexpected romance.

From Ruth Ryan Langan:The shattered soul of an angry spirit imprisoned in a Scottish manor house could be a young widow's only salvation.

From Mary Kay McComas:A young ghost eases his brother's pain and guilt by inviting him into the dreams of an imaginative author of children's books.

My Thoughts: I got this book for the In Death short. I love this series and have picked up most of the anthologies that include them.
Chaos in Death (#33.5): This is definitely not a place to start this series. It starts after Dallas gets back from Dallas and is still not 100% healed. I actually liked this short right up until the end. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole jekyll/hyde that took place.

Her Greatest Treasure: I have never read this author before but the premise sounded like something I would enjoy so I took a chance. After reading this story I will be looking for the rest of the shorts that follow this wishing coin. I love the idea of a recurring item through a series rather than a person.

Those are the only two stories I read but may go back at some point and check out the others. Have not read any of these authors but J.D. Robb.

Rating: 4 for the stories I read

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Not much this week. I've been sick for the past four days which is why my blog has been so quiet. Starting to feel better so hopefully this week goes as planned :)

Only one book this week and it was from the library:
Shadowcry (Wintercraft #1) by Jenna Burtenshaw

Have a Great Week and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Night Seeker

 Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Night Seeker (Indigo Court #3)
by Yasmine Galenorn
published by Berkley
expected release date: July 3, 2012

Summary: Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the dark Fae to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they could have imagined. Now, the Vampiric Fae are on the move, hunting anyone in their path. As the war with the vampires ratchets up, Myst, Queen of the Indigo Court, enshrouds New Forest in her chilling grasp.

Cicely Waters, owl shifter and Wind Witch, has rescued the Fae Prince Grieve at a great cost. Their reunion has lost them the allegiance of the Summer Queen-and the tolerance of the vampires. In desperation they turn to the Consortium for help. Now, to regain the good will of Lainule, they must dare to enter the heart of Myst's realm. But as Cicely and Grieve embark on their search for the heartstone of Summer, Winter is already wreaking her terrifying revenge.

*I really enjoy this series and it comes out around my birthday every year. I do hate the year wait between each book though :)

Book Review ~ Lord of the Wolfyn

Lord of the Wolfyn (Royal House of Shadows #3)
by Jessica Andersen
published by Harlequin
*recevied via netGalley/Harlequin for review

Summary: Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.
To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.

Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of "Little Red Riding Hood" catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man….

Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength.

Strength he needed to rescue his royal parents. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.

My Thoughts: I'm torn with this book. As with the first book in the series I did not enjoy the mix of the "human world" and the realms. This did get better as the book went along and everything took place in the realms.
While I found Dayn more tolerable, I could not stand Reda through most of this book. She was very weak almost all the way through. For someone who grew up being told these fairytales from her mother, until she passed, she seemed quite ignorant and quick to believe anything someone said even if it was the people trying to kill her. I kind of lost any hope when we first see Dayn change into his Wolfyn, her paranoia and inability to believe she's human and capable of having her own feelings was too much.
Despite this I still am enjoying this series. We have three of the four siblings (possibly all four) at or around the castle with a battle ensuing. I'm looking forward to reading Lord of the Abyss to find out how it all comes together.

Rating: 3.5

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review ~ Helpless

by Daniel Palmer
published by Kensington Publishing
release date February 1, 2012
*received from author for review

Summary: Nine years after he left Shilo, New Hampshire, former Navy Seal Tom Hawkins has returned to raise his teenage daughter, Jill, following the murder of his ex-wife, Kelly. Despite Tom’s efforts to stay close to Jill by coaching her high school soccer team, Kelly’s bitterness fractured their relationship. But life in Shilo is gradually shaping up into something approaching normal. Normal doesn’t last long. Shilo’s police sergeant makes it clear that Tom is his chief suspect in Kelly’s death. Then an anonymous blog post alleges that Coach Hawkins is sleeping with one of his players. Internet rumors escalate, and incriminating evidence surfaces on Tom’s own computer and cell phone. To prove his innocence, Tom must unravel a tangle of lies about his past. For deep amid the secrets he’s been keeping—from a troubled tour of duty to the reason for his ex-wife’s death—is the truth that someone will gladly kill to protect

My Thoughts: I found myself interested in this story right from the start. There is something eerie and compelling about reading a story that can believably take place.
The father/daughter relationship was well done based on a bad divorce with one parent trying to pit child against the other parent. Having Tom struggle to build this relationship of trust with Jill while also trying to prove his innocence really helped this aspect.
The story itself was interesting and kept me reading until the end. With the prevalence of sexting among this age group you can see many things from this book already taking place in our society. Then add in the cop with a grudge who is so blinded by past grudges that he wants to blame Tom for everything that is happening in his town, to so called friends who have a unique way of dealing with things you don't know who the real bad guys are.
The only thing that didn't work for me was the attempt at romance. It kind of felt like it was added to appeal to a certain audience and I didn't need it to enjoy the story. Both characters were strong enough to carry their roles without adding more to it.

Overall I enjoyed the small town politics of Helpless over the corporate intrigue of Delirium.

Rating: 4 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren
Darkness Unbound (Dark Angels #1) by Keri Arthur
Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

Altar of Bones by Philip Carter
Thanks to Dreamonus

The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates; I've never heard of this but the author is from Michigan so giving it a try.

Happy Reading and have a great week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

A. I tend to be all over with my listening. I'm still on a country kick right now with some top 40 types mixed in. Mainly been listening to Luke Bryan, Adele, and The Band Perry. I cannot wait for the new Carrie Underwood, just love her voice. Nothing else has really grabbed me .

How about you, what are you listening to while reading those new favorite books?
Happy Reading and Hopping! Have a Great Weekend

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Arcadia Awakens

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating

Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1)
by Kai Meyer
published by Balzer + Bray
expected release date: February 14, 2012

Summary: To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her.

Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.

Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can.

**I found both the cover and summary interesting and different from what I've been reading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Off Topic ~ Tuesday

I originally started this blog to vent about a character I didn't like in a book. I've decided to take a day a week/month, whenever I fell the need to vent about random stuff. So here is my why,why, why for today.

I've been walking at our local mall in the mornings trying to get into a shape that is decidedly not round. There are a lot of groups of people that come and walk before the mall opens. My why is...why,why (possibly how) do people go walk, get in a good work out, they're all sweaty and then proceed to go to the food court and drink a cup of HOT coffee. EWWW! The last thing I want after working out is something hot to drink. I guess this is a preference thing but still makes me go ewww. Also, the couples that walk around holding hands. Not the leisurely window browsing walking but the power walkers. I don't want to be holding someones sweaty gross hand while walking. Maybe I'm just not romantic enough.
OK so this is probably not all that interesting but it's no longer in my head so I have room to worry about something else.
Have a Great Week everyone and Happy Reading!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review ~ Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
by Cassandra Clare
published by Margaret K McElderry Books

Summary: In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

My Thoughts: As a whole I love this series more than the recent  Mortal Instruments books. There seems to be a unity that has been missing in MI since the first few books. Even though they all have their separate problems that they deal with throughout the book when needed they are all there for each other.
On the other side, I don't love Tessa and Jem. I think they are great characters individually but together they lose something, especially Tessa. She is too much rainbows and roses when they are together or she's thinking about him. She loses that grit and steel that makes her a great lead female and might as well be Jessamine. I don't necessarily like Will with her either, he lost some of his appeal when he reverted to the happy, loving Will.
Overall the story had great flow with plenty of ups, downs, twists and turns that keep you reading until the very end. I'm looking forward to finding out more about Will's sister and what/who turns on our happy little group next.

Rating: 4

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

For Review (links go to books Goodreads page)
Borrowed Heart  Book One of the Evie Sanders Series by Linda Lamberson
End of the World (Champion of the Sidhe) by S.A. Archer

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong

I didn't buy anything this week. Haven't even touched any books I got for Christmas yet.
Happy Reading!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?

A. Sorry can't do it :) My books are still packed away from the move. We are taking our time finding the exact shelving/set up we want for our book room.  The number of books since we've moved that I haven't read is around 20 but I'm sure I would be in the 100s like a lot of people with all my books.

Have a Great Weekend! Happy Reading and Hopping!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ A Perfect Blood

A Perfect Blood (the Hollows #10)
by Kim Harrison
published by Harper Voyager
expected release date: February 21, 2012

Summary: Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth — a would-be creator is determined to make his (or her) own demons. But it can’t be done without Rachel’s blood. 

As a bounty hunter, Rachel has battled vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more. But humanity itself might be her toughest challenge.

**I love this series and have started a reread of it. currently on the 3rd book and cannot wait to read this one.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review ~ Divergent

Divergent (Divergent #1)
by Veronica Roth
Published by Katherine Tegen books

Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts: I loved this book more than I thought I would. Dystopians have been really hit or miss for me. 
This book is set in a beaten down Chicago. Part of what helped was I'm familiar with the landscape and could easily imagine a dried up marsh, etc.  The community being broken into different factions based on their virtue/personality was intriguing. The differences were almost jarring when looking at how different they went about their day to day lives. We learn this from the group of transfers that become friends after they all switch into a different faction. 
Beatrice/Tris became a very strong female lead throughout this book. I liked watching her go from a seemingly weak (of mind and physically) girl to a very strong individual who would not only stand up for herself but her friends as well. The rest of the characters added to the overall feel of the book. Whether they feel into the friends category or evil, they all helped shape Tris in some way.  The romance aspect between her and Four was well done. It wasn't overdone and didn't have that insta-love that always turns me off in books.
Overall this story flowed from beginning to end in an enjoyable roller coaster of a ride. From the ups of jumping off moving trains, buildings, and zip lines to the lows of betrayal and death I couldn't put it down. Cannot wait for Insurgent.  

Rating: 5

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Challenges

It's that time of year again. I will probably be adding to this throughout the week.

Goodreads Challenge
I signed up to read 150 books again this year. I almost made it in 2011 (128)

Debut Author Challenge
The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren. To find out more about the challenge go here.

Some rules: Books must be a Young Adult or Middle Grade novel.
DO NOTE: Just because a book has a teen character or is about a teen, does not mean that it is necessarily a Young Adult novel. 
This must be the authors debut with a release date in 2011. 
If an author has a previous novel published under adult fiction/nonfiction or children's fiction/nonfiction, they can still qualify for the challenge if they are releasing their YA or MG debut. 

Tentative list
1. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5. Above by Leah Bobet
6.Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
7. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
8.Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
9. Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe

Year End ~ 2011

This has been an interesting year for me. I've been blogging for just over a year. I'm still trying to be more consistent with my posts and will continue to work on that in the coming year.
Books read: 128 I didn't make my Goodreads goal of 150, but I only read 61 in 2010 so still a win.
First book finished: World's End (Age of Misrule #1) Mark Chadbourn rating: 4
Last book read: Divergent (Divergent #1) Veronica Roth rating: 5
10 books rated 5, 81 books rated 4 It was either a good reading year or I was being really lenient
Debut Author Challenge: I didn't make 12 ( I did read 5 of original 9 posted) I enjoy this challenge more for finding new authors than the actual challenge.

Looking forward to more reading and blogging in 2012