Sunday, September 30, 2012

In My Mailbox - 22 & Sunday Post - 13

In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers can discuss the books we got in the mail this week.

Passion (Fallen, # 3)

By: Lauren Kate

Published: June 14th 2011 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2011)

420 pages

Source: Borrowed the paperback from friend, Paula (Thanks PB!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn't need to be that way....

Luce is certain that something - or someone - in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime...going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel...and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames...forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

This is the only book I got in this week. The TBR list of books in my possession is starting to stack a little high. Plus I have some review books I've been neglecting. Got to tighten up.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Because I already participate in the In My Mailbox meme (above), I'm just going to use this one as way to recap my week.


Monday: Review of Flutter (My Blood Approves, # 3) by Amanda Hocking (3 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10ish Series I Haven't Finished

Wednesday: Waiting on Notorious Nineteen

Thursday: Review of Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich (3 Stars)


Monday: Review Wisdom (My Blood Approves, # 4) by Amanda Hocking

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday Topic: Top 10 "Older" Books You Don't Want People to Forget About -- I'm struggling on this one. We'll see what I come up with.

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday --hopefully.

Thursday: Review Switched (Trylle Trilogy, # 1) by Amanda Hocking

Friday - Sunday: Oh and I've just decided kind of last minute that I'm going to participate in Kimba's Fraterfest Read-a-thon. This is my first read-a-thon, so I'm totally stoked about it. But nervous since it's spontaneous.

That's it for my mailbox and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you get in your mailbox this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Explosive Eighteen - Review

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, # 18)

By: Janet Evanovich

Published: November 22nd 2011 by Random House Audio

305 pages

Source: Audio version borrowed from my sister

(Goodreads | Amazon)

Goodreads description--Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she’s flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photograph—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the Bail Bonds Agency it’s business as usual—until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their “largest” FTA yet, lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment, and everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?!

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

Ok guys, so here’s the lowdown on Explosive Eighteen. It was okay. Having come to expect my Stephanie Plum novels to have me looking like a fool when I literally laugh out loud listening to these at work, Explosive Eighteen fell a wee bit short. The thing was, there was nothing “wrong” with it. It wasn’t overly funny. It was overly anything. It felt like a filler novel. After my full out belly laughing from Smokin’ Seventeen (my review), I don’t suppose I should have expected to be blown away by the follow up to that. I mean seriously, when you’ve got 18 novels in a series (and more to come), how can they all be awesome?

And so Explosive Eighteen was only mediocre to me. These books don’t fall into what I think of as “serious reads.” They are lighthearted and funny. They are quick and playful. So I don’t go into them expecting my world to change or anything like that. And that being said, this one didn’t. It wasn’t bad, there have just been better novels in the series.

So Explosive Eighteen gets a low 3 Stars. (Feeling like I should go back and give Smokin’ Seventeen 4 Stars.)

Have you read Explosive Eighteen? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Notorious Nineteen

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I've gone about this series all wrong. Having listened to books 14-17 on audio and having read the first one in paperback form AFTER that. I still need to listen to book 18. BUT knowing I will, I'm still excited and anticipating the release of #19. Check it out.

Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, # 19)

By: Janet Evanovich

Expected Publication: November 20th 2012 Bantam

320 pages

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Finally!!! A description has been posted for this one. But I only saw it on here it is.

Amazon description--New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. The problem is, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Plum is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Plum accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly special-forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did it? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck , she’ll have to remember: no guts, no glory. . . .

That's what I'm waiting on this week! What about you guy? What are you anxiously awaiting? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top 10(ish) Series I Haven't Finished

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished. However, I find I can't stop at 10 this week. But I have to say that leaving something unfinished is literally painful for me.

1.) House of Night by PC & Kristin Cast - Oh boy! Do NOT get me started! I am forcing myself to finish at least Destined (book 9 I think), but I just don't know if I'll be able to finish this series or not. Ugh! Unless something drastic changes, I'll probably be donating my series to my local library.

2.) Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - I've read the first six books or so, but they've really gotten increasely frustrating in the same way (but not quite as bad) as the House of Night series. I also haven't finished this series because I don't own it. I borrow these from my sister-in-law. So if I get the chance, I plan to finish this one...eventually.

3.) Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - I've read the first three in this series. I've owned book 4 since June of 2011 and haven't brought myself to read it yet. I really enjoyed the first book, book 2 not so much, and book 3 was one I forced myself to read. Heidi @ Bunbury in the Stacks really loves this series, and I've found that I agree with her on a good bit of books, so I'm hoping they get better. I plan to keep pressing on.

4.) A Song of Fire & Ice by George R R Martin - I've read the first three books in this series too. I'll definitely finish this series, but I just need a break from these between books since they're so long.

5.) The Soulkeepers by GP Ching - I really didn't like this one so much. This was another book that I forced myself to finish. HOWEVER, the first chapter of book 2 sounded much better than book 1. I truly have no idea whether I'll read book 2 or not. Maybe I'll wait and see if anyone else I know and trust will read book 2 first. (My review.)

6.) The Airel Saga by Aaron Patterson & Chris White - I wasn't that impressed with this one either. So...same as The Soulkeepers, I'll wait and see if anyone else I know reads book 2 and likes it better. If not, then I'll probably never pick up book 2. (My review.)

7.) Angel Burn by LA Weatherly - I enjoyed this one fairly well, but it's another series that I don't own, so whether or not I finish it depends on whether Paula picks up book 2. But I'd be okay with reading book 2.

8.) Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - I've read the first two books in this series. Beautiful Darkness was one of those that I forced myself to read. I plan on finishing this series, but I can't say I'm stoked about it. Again, I've borrowed these from Paula too. So we'll just play it by ear. (My review of Beautiful Darkness.)

9.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I only had to force myself through the first 150 pages of this one. After that it picked up. I own the other two in this series, but I just haven't felt the urge to read them yet.

10.) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher - I just didn't enjoy this yeah, why put myself through book 2? (My review.)

11.) Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich - I totally plan on reading all of these. I'm all out of whack on this series. I've read book 1, listened to books 15-18 on audio and listened to one or two of the Between the Numbers books too. I'd love to jump on book 2, but my po-dunk (meaning "poor; small town, etc") library doesn't have it. *pouts* (My review of my favorite Stephanie Plum book that I've read to date.)

12.) Fallen by Lauren Kate - I defintely plan on finishing this series. I've only read books 1 and 2 currently, but I plan to read book 3 soon. Again, these are ones that I've borrowed from Paula. I'll get to it when I get to it.

What do you think? What series have you not finished? Are any of these on my list must reads? Let me know!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flutter - Review

Flutter (My Blood Approves, # 3)

By: Amanda Hocking

Published: May 29th 2010 by Lulu (first published May 25th 2010)

307 pages

Source: Borrowed my friend Paula's Kindle

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Flutter - the third book in the My Blood Approves series...

Being undead doesn't make life any easier for Alice Bonham.

Her younger brother's love life is heating up, while hers is... more complicated. Mae is falling apart, her best friend Jane is addicted to vampire bites, and if Alice doesn't get her bloodlust under control, someone will end up dead.

Alice volunteers for a rescue mission with Ezra. But going up against a pack of rabid vampires might be too much, even for him.

I don’t know about you guys, but I always find it extremely disheartening when I lose something I’ve worked on. That being said, I KNOW I typed my reviews for Flutter and Wisdom (books 3 and 4 of the My Blood Approves series), but I can’t seem to find them ANYWHERE! And having read at least 5 books since reading these, neither book is as fresh on my mind as I’d like. So this review of Flutter and my upcoming review of Wisdom will probably be very short and to the point.

*Spoiler alerts for My Blood Approves (book 1) and Fate (book 2).

At the end of Fate, Jack makes a rash and selfish decision to turn Alice into a vampire. Doing so breaks the blood bond that she has with Peter and creates a bond between Alice and Jack. But despite the fact that Alice is a vampire and is bonded to Jack, these two crazy kids still have to hold back in the romance department because poor little Alice might get carried away and kill Jack. And because of the way the bite feels, poor little Jack would be content to let her.

Because Peter can’t really take being around Alice and not be able to have her, he takes off and gets himself into a precarious situation with a “pack of rabid vampires" off halfway across the world. Alice insists on going with Ezra to find him to bring him home. This causes the “lycan” vampires to find out that Alice is one of the few things that could really hurt Peter. Go figure, right? Ezra makes an exchange with them, and they allow Peter to leave.

The group comes back home. Milo’s gone and got himself a boyfriend. Mae finds out that her biological granddaughter has cancer and is dying. And Jack is beside himself with worry for Alice and jealousy because of Peter. So basically, it’s mayhem. Not to mention that Jane, Alice’s best friend, discovers the secret of the vampire world and is entirely too intrigued by them. She finds herself in an addict situation if you know what I mean.

Anyway…frustration ensues yet I couldn’t really tear myself away. Stupid decisions are made. People behave ridiculously. No seriously, it’s not bad, but I do distinctly remember being frustrated with the decisions the characters made. And because Jack’s turned into a jealous, pansy boyfriend, he whines more than he acts on his feelings for Alice, I’ve decided I’m definitely a Peter fan.

3 Stars for Flutter. Have you read Flutter? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In My Mailbox - 21 & Sunday Post - 12

In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers can discuss the books we got in the mail this week.

Had to buy this one the day it released!!!

The Raven Boys

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press

408 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

You guys I'm really excited about this one. For one, this is the first physical book copy that a publisher has sent me which makes it extremely exciting in and of itself, but it also sounds pretty stinking interesting! Thanks again Putnam Books/Amy Einhorn Books!

The Trial of Fallen Angels

By: James P. Kimmel

Expected Publication: November 8th 2012 by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

384 pages

Source: Publisher (Thank you so much Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam!!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment.

As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate. That seemingly disparate events during her life have conspired to bring her to a single moment in time that will determine her eternity. And that every act of kindness and cruelty sets in motion things beyond our wildest imaginations.

Spare Change

By: Bette Lee Crosby

Published: September 27th 2011 by Bent Pine Publishing

280 pages

Source: Kindle Freebie at the suggestion of Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…

A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…

A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.

Olivia Westerly knows what she knows—opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.

Winner of a Royal Palm Literary Award…Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman.

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Because I already participate in the In My Mailbox meme (above), I'm just going to use this one as way to recap my week.


Monday: Review Fate (My Blood Approves, # 2) by Amanda Hocking (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Book Covers - I cheated this week! Oops!

Wednesday: Waiting on Inferno

Thursday: Review Forgotten God by Francis Chan & Danae Yankoski (4 Stars)


Monday: Review of Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday. Topic: Top 10 Series I Haven't Finished (this will be a fun one.)

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday...hopefully.

Thursday: Review of Flutter (My Blood Approves, # 3) by Amanda Hocking

That's it for my mailbox and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you get in your mailbox this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Forgotten God - Review

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit By: Francis Chan & Danae Yankoski

Published: September 1st 2009 by David C. Cook (first published August 20th 2009)

166 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads--In the name of the Father, the Son, and ... the Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit—the Helper—so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today's church has admired the gift but neglected to open it.

Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church's power—the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results. Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan's invitation to stop and remember the One we've forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.

You guys, I can’t even explain how much Francis Chan’s books have inspired me. Crazy Love ( my review) just about blew me away. And Forgotten God is the same way. I feel like whatever words I have to say on this one would be inadequate.

Not only do I completely agree with Francis Chan’s assertion that we have removed the activity of the Holy Spirit from our lives and our church, but I’ve witnessed it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “God doesn’t work that way anymore,” Or “God doesn’t speak to us today, except through His Word.” And while like Chan says, I am hesitant to be thought of as overly charismatic or to ascribe movement of the Holy Spirit for my every whim, I have seen and felt and witnessed the Holy Spirit move and work in my life. I have felt His whisper in my ear.

All of that being said, I definitely agree that we’ve taken the Holy Spirit and doused Him with water, over and over and over again. Of course, literally speaking, throwing a bunch of water on God doesn’t mean He wouldn’t be able to work despite that. But He never has and never will force us to choose Him, nor will He force us to allow Him to work through us and in us.

If you need a check on your view of the Holy Spirit and how He works in us, I challenge you to pick up Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. It’s a short book and a really quick, simple read with a powerful message. Forgotten God gets 4 Stars from me. Check it out!

Have you read Forgotten God? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Inferno

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have actually only read book 1, Infinity, in this series, but I've got a source I trust that says this series is worth it. So I'll definitely check them all out. The newest installment to be released in this series is...

Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, # 4)

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Expected Publication: March 4th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--The heat is on, and a new threat to humanity has risen…

Nick has his driver’s license and he’s not afraid to use it. But turning sixteen isn’t what he thought it would be. While other boys his age are worried about prom dates and applying for college, Nick is neck deep in enemies out to stop him from living another day. No longer sure if he can trust anyone, his only ally seems to be the one person he’s been told will ultimately kill him.

But life spent serving the undead is anything except ordinary. And those out to get him have summoned an ancient force so powerful even the gods fear it. As Nick learns to command and control the elements, the one he must master in order to combat his latest foe is the one most likely to destroy him. As the old proverb goes, fire knows nothing of mercy, and if Nick is to survive this latest round, he will have to sacrifice a part of himself. However, the best sacrifice is seldom the sanest move. Sometimes it’s the one that leaves your enemies confused, and you even more so.

And sometimes, you have to trust your enemy to save your friends. But what do you do when that enemy is you?

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Book Covers

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Bookish People You Want to Meet. However, I'm actually not one of those people who really wants to meet celebrities and such. I go by the philosophy that people will let you down, and the thing is, I consider the bloggers I follow to fall into the same category of celebrity as authors and other bookish people. SO...I'm cheating this week and doing my Top 10 Favorite Covers.

1) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

2) The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

3) The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

4) Need by Carrie Jones (Book 1 is not my favorite, but the rest of the series is really pretty with the contrast of the gold and black.)

5) The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

6) Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

7) The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

8) Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto (I haven't read this series yet. I've seen mixed reviews about it, but the covers are awesome.)

9) Matched series by Ally Condie (Also haven't read this series yet, but I like the simple cover designs.)

And because I can't decide who makes the 10th, because there are tons of great covers out there, I figured I'd just stop at 9. What are you favorite book covers? Let me know!