Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Dark City

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

Black City (Black City, # 1)

By: Elizabeth Richards

Expected Publication: November 13th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR

384 pages

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

That's what I'm waiting on this week. What about you guys? Which books are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Also, today is the last day to enter my 100 GFC Follower Givaway where the prize is a $10 Amazon or B&N Giftcard (winner's choice). Stop by and enter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top 10 Kick-Butt Heroines

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Kick-Butt Heroines.

Can I just say that I loved this Top 10…so much that I couldn’t just choose 10. I think it’s really important for us to celebrate the strong female characters we read about. And even though I have more than 10 I want to celebrate today, often times the female lead in YA is just not as strong as she needs to be. Sometimes that makes for a good story (if the character grows over the span of the story), but I much prefer a story where a good, strong female lead is able to grow even more than where she was already. I’m not a feminist by any means, but we need strong characters for our youth to look up to, that’s for sure. Here’s my Top 10 Kicking-Butt and Taking-Names Heroines…

1) Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead) – Rose has ALWAYS got to make # 1 in this category. She’s a totally baddie. She beats up guys her own age. Stakes (and decapitates) evil, crazy fast, crazy strong vampires. She survives losing the love of her life. She travels to Russia by herself (which I don’t think I could ever do). She overcomes addiction. She breaks into jail, breaks out of jail (twice), and just all around generally schemes and does all kinds of awesomeness. Plus she says whatever she wants whenever she wants, even if it means calling the queen a sanctimonious…to her face. Just saying…heroines don’t get much strong than Rose.

2) Katsa (Graceling – Kristin Cashore) – Katsa has a wee bit of an advantage. She has a Grace which allows her to be able to take care of herself. Survival first. Katsa can use any weapon or her bare hands—those work too. She can survive the mountains in the dead of winter carrying an 11 year old girl on her back while pretty much never stopping. Yep…Katsa totally fits this Top 10.

3) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins) – Obviously! Katniss is a master with the bow and arrow. She hunts for a living, for her family, and against the laws of the government. She not only survives the Games, but she wins. And by brilliance of mind, she’s able to win along with Peeta. She faces challenge after challenge forced upon her not just by the government but the actual leader of the government, President Snow. She has an entire country watching her every move. She doesn’t want to be the face of a revolution, but she stands up and takes on the part as only a kick-butt heroine can.

4) Tris (Divergent – Veronica Roth) – Tris embodies what it means to be dauntless. And anyone who can face their fears like she can deserves major kudos. She does go through a self-sacrificing stage that irked me in Insurgent, but overall, Tris is willing to do what it takes to make a difference even when few (or none) stand with her.

5) Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen) – You might wonder why I put her on the list because she fights no battles, she faces no physical threats (other than possibly being poor), but Elizabeth Bennett speaks her mind in such a way to Mr. Darcy with such honesty (however faulty her facts may be) that not many of us can say we’re willing to do. With Mr. Darcy’s station in life and the sensitivity of the subjects involved, she sure does let him have it. I love it! True heroism sometimes takes no more effort than speaking the truth.

6) Sydney Sage (Vampire Academy & Bloodlines – Richelle Mead) – Ok so far Sydney hasn’t had to make the REALLY hard decisions, sure she put her neck out for Rose multiple times throughout the Vampire Academy series, but we find out what steps she’s taken to bring some justice and revenge for her sister in the Bloodlines series. She’s terrified of the vampires that she’s befriended, yet she repeatedly sides with them when she feels it’s the right thing to do. Going against something you’ve been raised to believe is extremely hard. I’ve had to do this myself and it’s almost as hard as learning that yes really means no and no really means yes and you were taught wrong from the beginning. Tough. Besides all of that, I have high hopes for the strength that Sydney’s going to have to use to get through the next 4 books. Bring it on Richelle Mead, Sydney can take it.

7) Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare) – When we first meet Isabelle she’s brandishing this whip, and come on now…any female who can work a whip as an actual weapon and not just fooling around (or crazy S&M stuff) deserves to fit into this category. Isabelle’s the silent rock of her group. She holds the pieces together in a way that isn’t often recognized by the ones around her, but it’s true. Plus she’s learning vulnerability, and vulnerability can be a huge strength.

8) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter – JK Rowling) – No Top 10 heroine list is complete without Hermione. Hermione saves the day so many times for Ron and Harry because she’s so smart. She takes school seriously and is therefore in a position to help when Ron and Harry just goof around. With villains running around almost constantly, Hermoine chooses to learn as much as she can. Ron and Harry wouldn’t have survived year 1 without her. Aside from all of that, Hermione is completely happy with who she is. Being comfortable in her own skin is a must for any strong heroine, and many of today’s females could stand to learn a lot from her.

9) Lisbeth Salander (Millineium Trilogy – Stieg Larsson) – Um…yeah. I don’t like to think about what all Lisbeth has gone through, and obviously she’s a bit screwed up in the head. BUT, she takes care of business. She causes bad guys to have car accidents which kill them. She binds and gags sex offenders. Skipping some details, she tattoos deterring statements to warn other women away from said sex offender. And she’s smart enough to cover her tracks. Not sure she’s a role model for our youth, but she’s a strong female lead, that’s for sure.

10) Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire – George R R Martin) – Arya is one tough cookie. She's made her first kill already and she’s like what? 8 or 9 years old? (I can’t keep up.) She’s travelled just about all over the kingdom trying to get back to her family after escaping the Lannisters in King’s Landing. She’s gone from one captor to another. She’s worked as a slave, pretended to be a boy. Oh and I’m pretty sure she’s just like Bran with the connection to the wolves (a skinwalker), she just doesn’t know it yet (at least where I am in the books—beginning of book 4, A Feast for Crows). If any of the ladies from this series deserved to be in this Top 10, it’s Arya.

Honorable Mentions:

1) Clary Fray (The Mortal Instuments – Cassandra Clare) – Clary’s been through so much. Her memory of the Shadowhunter world was repeatedly wiped growing up, so she’s pretty much thrown into this world of angels and demons when her mom goes catatonic and she gets attacked by a demon. She falls in love with a boy she finds out she can’t have. Her father is a crazy maniac. Let’s just say, Clary has A LOT to overcome, but she never quits fighting.

2) Daenerys Targaryen (A Song of Ice and Fire – George R R Martin) – Um…yeah…she’s the mother of dragons. I could stop right there and it would be enough. But Dany’s been sold, survived the death of her husband (and only 13 years old), stayed with Khal Drogo through his funeral pyre (yet didn't burn to bits), led her people across a dessert, been tricked, been betrayed. And boy has she taken control trying to get an army raised so that she can cross the sea and take back her kingdom.

3) Karou (Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laini Taylor) – Karou’s got skills that’s for sure. Of course, most of them were wished into being, but she flies and has bright blue hair. Come on. Plus in her previous life she was in epic battles, stood up to an entire race for the love of her life and was killed for it. Yep….kick-butt heroine, she is.

4) Fire (Graceling – Kristin Cashore) – Fire is the epitome of strength under pressure. Because of what she is, she’s constantly bombarded with people trying to take advantage of her. Yet she does what she can to shelter others from herself. She tries to minimize the affect she has on others.

5) Kira (Partials – Dan Wells) – Going up against the government is hard enough, but when it appears that you’re in support of the very creatures that destroyed the world it takes more than a little courage. It doesn’t help that Kira finds out that she’s not who she thought she was all along. But she steadily faces danger for the sake of bettering the world she lives in.

I assure you, there are many more note-worthy heroines. And I’m sure there are so many out there that I haven’t even had a chance to read. Who are your top 10 kick-butt heroines? Let me know!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Raven Boys - Review

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, # 1)

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.

The Raven Boys didn’t blow me away. I wanted it to. This being my 7th Maggie Stiefvater book, I was expecting excellent things, but what I found was more like a case of SOANS (Start Of A New Series) Syndrome. Sometimes the first book in a series isn’t the best because there’s so much world building and character backgrounds and establishing plot lines and such that it takes getting to book 2 to really be able to love the story, and I think for me that’s what’s happening here with The Raven Boys. Normally, the first in a series is my favorite BECAUSE of the new world being presented to me and new characters I get to know. But there was a disconnect for me this time.

I think one of the things I struggled with the most was the relationships. Everyone in Blue’s family is a psychic but her, and all of her life she’s been told not to kiss anyone because if she kisses her true love then he will die. Then she finally sees a spirit who tells her his name is Gansey (granted he’s not a dead spirit…it’s almost like a prophecy spirit—meaning he’s going to die within the next 12 months). And since Blue doesn’t normally see spirits, she’s a bit freaked right. But to make matters worse, she’s told that the only reason she’d see Gansey’s spirit is if he is her true love or she kills him. I don’t think it’s irrational for someone to jump to the conclusion that both are true. If he’s her true love and she kissed him and then he died, well then he’s both her true love AND she killed him. I hope this isn’t a spoiler, but I need to say it anyway (it doesn’t feel like a spoiler to me). So I’m led to believe that it’s quite possible that Blue and Gansey are going to get their hook up on, right? Yet, throughout the entire book, Blue and Adam develop a relationship. There’s definitely a hint of a possible future with Gansey, but right now it doesn’t look like it’s really headed in that direction so much. And so I struggle with the fact that according to the book these psychics are actually very accurate, yet this one fact doesn’t seem to be panning out the way they predicted. Of course, it could always turn out that Blue truly does simply kill Gansey and he was never her true love to begin with, but that’s doubtful. Either way, I had a hard time completely connecting to the characters and their relationships with each other.

The plot definitely had points that I found intriguing and wanted to know more about but more in a secondary way than I wanted more information about the characters. I definitely felt like the search to find Glendower and the ley lines was almost more important to the story than the characters and for me it should be the opposite. There was a bit of a twist that I didn’t see coming with Noah, and even when it was revealing itself, I still didn’t connect the dots on what was actually happening until everything was spelled out. That was the biggest twist in the plot to me, and while I didn’t see it coming and couldn’t figure it out until it was over, it really shouldn’t have been the biggest twist in the book.

All in all, I wanted to love this book. I prepared myself to love this book. But I just didn’t. Out of the 7 books I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater, this one is probably my least favorite. I’ll definitely check out the other books in the series because I’m still a huge fan of her work, but this one just didn’t have the pizzazz that her work usually has for me. Anna @ Anna Reads said it well when she said that the writing wasn’t as lyrical as we’re used to getting from Maggie S. And I completely agree with that, and I really think that was a huge thing I was missing from this book and one of the things I’ve come to expect from her writing.

I’m giving The Raven Boys 3 Stars. I wish I could give it more, but I just can’t. Have you read The Raven Boys? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In My Mailbox - 26 & Sunday Post - 17

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.

I only got 1 book this week, but I need to keep it that way for a while until I catch up.

Midnight City (Conquered Earth, # 1)

By: J Barton Mithcell

Expected Publication: October 30th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

384 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (THANK YOU!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first novel in the Conquered Earth series, and a stunning work of imagination from debut author J. Barton Mitchell.

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 Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover (4.9 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit in Top 10 Tuesday

Wednesday: Waiting on Gameboard of the Gods (the first in a new series by Richelle Mead) in Waiting on Wednesay

Thursday: Review of Hollowmen (The Hollows, # 2) by Amanda Hocking (3 Stars)

Saturday: 100 GFC Follower Giveaway (Prize is a $10 giftcard to Amazon or B&N, winner's choice); and a Review of Deadlocked by AR Wise (3 Stars, but only because of how short it was).


Monday: Review of The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, # 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Tuesday: Top 10 Kick Butt Favorite Heroines

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday (hopefully)

Thursday: Author Interview and Giveaway for Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood, # 4) with Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Friday: Review of Crave (The Clann, # 1) by Melissa Darnell

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!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Deadlocked - Review

Deadlocked (Deadlocked, # 1)

By: AR Wise

Published: December 20th 2011 (first published November 9th 2011)

54 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library (Freebie!!!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they're safe?

Deadlocked puts you into David's head as he struggles to get home. Then a final confrontation occurs that will guarantee his family's survival, but at what cost?

This is a really short read at only 54 pages, but there’s a lot packed into these few pages. Basically we get to experience the zombie outbreak from day 1 which is not something we typically see in any zombie story. We usually pick up with years later or a character that has been out of it while the world went to pot. But this is the first experience I’ve had with seeing everything as it happens.

The version of the e-book that I read had an author’s note at the end that I felt really enriched the entire book and experience for me. AR Wise, the author, poses the question to the reader as to whether or not the reader would actually believe the events taking place if they were to take place in the reader’s real life. And of course, truth be told, I have to say no. I mean even considering the events of the not so distant past where there have been several instances of cannibalism in the world within a matter of months (Chinese Cannibal Attack Caught on Video as Drunken Bus Driver Chews Off Woman's Face, Homelss Victim of Cannibal Attack, Another Cannibal Attack in Florida, Zombie Apocalypse Continues New Cannibal Attack Sees Maryland Man Eat Victim's Brain, and Pennsylvania Cannibal Attack: Zombie Apocalypse and Bath Salt Fears), I would never truly attribute these events as a zombie outbreak. Because of the increase in popularity of zombie books and movies, I believe some of us are more aware of the zombie fictional world enough to crack jokes about these instances being zombie attacks (so much so that the CDC had to make an announcement that there is no zombie virus going around). But come on…none of us actually believe zombies are real (well….maybe some do, but that’s a different subject for a different day.) I digress.

AR Wise threw rules right out of the door when it came to this short, action packed starter to his zombie series. He quickly lets us know that no one is safe in his zombie world. Truth is though, we don’t get a lot of information about the zombies themselves and David has run-ins with living human beings just as much if not more than actual zombies.

The scenes are somewhat graphic, and language is quite strong in the repeated use of the f-bomb, so this is not a read for younger readers.

All of that being said, Deadlocked was a really quick and intense read perfect for Halloween. I’ll give it 3 stars but only because it’s so short that just as I was getting into it, it was over. I have high expectations for the rest of this series.

Have you read Deadlocked? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

100 GFC Follower Giveaway

***SO SORRY I didn't get this posted yesterday. Between going to a Pinterest party last night and being sick, my mind just wasn't on the blog yesterday. OOPS!!!!

Hey guys! So this past week I hit 100 GFC followers, and I can't tell you how absolutely stoked I was about that. Considering my very first goal for the year for my blog was to have 15 followers, I'm more than pleased with where my blog is and where I feel like it's headed.

But more than anything, I wanted to thank everyone who has supported me, everyone who has commented, followed, liked, or even just visited my page. This community is so much more than I ever expected. I'm sure bad experiences are coming because it's pretty much impossible to completely avoid bad experiences in life, but I haven't had any to date. And for that I'm also thankful.

So without further ado, please enter my giveaway below as my way of giving back to you. The prize is a $10 giftcard to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice).

Please don't forget to check out my updated Contest/Giveaway Rules as some changes have been made since my last giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hollowmen - Review

Hollowmen (The Hollows, # 2)

By: Amanda Hocking

Published: November 10th 2011 by Fraggin Aardvark (first published November 8th 2011)

194 pages

Source: Borrowed friend's kindle. (Thanks Paula!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--The sequel to Hollowland.... After six months in the quarantine, Remy finds out things are much worse than she feared. Her plans to escape come with a heavy cost, and she realizes that zombies aren't the worst of her problems.

That's not much of a description there is it?

With Halloween quickly approaching, this was the perfect pick to get me into the mood for the season. Hollowmen picks up about 6 months after Hollowland ended. Remy’s been operated and experimented upon during the past 6 months. In the mean time, the zombies appear to be getting smarter. They’re organizing and communicating with each other. SCARY!!! And Amanda Hocking’s zombies are creepy-fast when first turned. These are definitely similar to the 28 Days/Weeks Later zombies and are personally the scariest type for me. Zombies that are crazy fast and smart too….AH!!! There’s no hope!

Because the zombies are now creating organized attacks upon the quarantine, the people in the quarantine have been grouped off and incrementally evacuated from the quarantine. Remy is almost left there to die, but with the help of an old acquaintance from the previous book, she makes it to the group of last evacuators.

I do have to say that probably more so in this series than any other Amanda Hocking series I’ve read are the “yeah right” moments. You know the ones. The ones that just aren’t possible. Like the fact that Remy stitches herself up from a gaping wound inflicted upon her by the surgeons experimenting on her and then proceeds to fight some zombies and such with little mention of the pain in her abdomen. Oh and how did she not attract extra zombie attention with the smell of her blood. Another thing I didn’t get was how paranoid Remy was over being bitten when she already knows she’s immune. I guess you probably don’t want to risk it. And there’s always a chance that a zombie could rip you apart and you’d bleed to death without the infection even playing a part. I also found more grammatical errors in this book than any of Hockings other books. But I’m willing to let it slide.

I was expecting another cliffhanger ending that Amanda Hocking likes to throw in there, but it ended in a way that left it open for the possibility of future books, but with enough closure to where if she never wrote another one in this series, I’d be okay with that. I do have predictions for at least one event if she ever adds a third book to the series. We’ll have to see whether I’m right or wrong about that.

I specifically enjoyed the addition of Boden in this installment. Stella and Max added a layer to the story, but it’s hard to believe that a six year old could survive the zombie apocalypse for so long. The scene with Clark in the bathroom was particularly graphic and thank goodness for Daniels because I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach there for a minute. As with all zombie books, characters die, but other than Remy I found myself attached to very few of the characters in this book until closer to the end, unlike Harlow, Blue, and Lazlo from Hollowland.

Hollowmen gets 3 stars form me. It was a good, quick read and a great choice to put me in the Halloween spirit. Have you read Hollowmen? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Gameboard of the Gods

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

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, # 1)

By: Richelle Mead

Expected Publication: June 4th 2013 by Dutton Adult

464 pages

( Amazon | Goodreads )

Goodreads description--In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

EEE!!!! Love Richelle Mead. So excited for this new series. And I say it all the time, but I love how fast she can release some books man!!! Seriously!

So that's what I'm waiting on this week. What are you waiting on? Let me know!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top 10 Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit.

Truth be told, I don’t read too many scary books. I’m not that into psychological thrillers, though every now and then one will catch my eye. I read a lot of Goosebumps by RL Stine when I was younger, but even those weren’t my favorite. So here’s my list of Top 10 Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit:

1) The Forest of Hands & Teeth series by Carrie Ryan. Book 1 was really good and it’s where I fell in love with Carrie Ryan’s writing style, but book 2, The Dead Tossed Waves, blew me away. Book 3, The Dark and Hollow Places didn’t quite hit the spot for me when it comes to finishing out the series, but still a decent read. This was also my first zombie series that I read. So it opened some new horizons for me.

2) The Hollows series by Amanda Hocking. Now…this series isn’t going to blow you away, but considering it’s only my second zombie series I’ve ever read (out or 3 maybe), it must make the list. You can read my review of Hollowland, and I'll be posting my review of Hollowmen on Thursday.

3) Wicked series by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie. Again, this was NOT my favorite series ever. It started out good and I had high hopes for it, but it just fell very short for me. There’s a big baddie in this series, and lots of spells, demons, curses, etc. Very Halloween-y.

4) Deadlocked by AR Wise. I JUST finished reading book 1 in this series. Book 1 was short, but packed full of intensity. I haven’t written my review on this one yet, but be on the lookout for it coming soon.

That sums up the Halloween-y-ish books that I’ve read recently. Sure I read lots of books that involve witches, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and the like, but that doesn’t make them Halloween-y reads in my opinion. The following books are ones that are on my TBR list that I’ve been assured will put you in the perfect spirit for Halloween.

5) Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Um yes, I will be breaking down and buying this one soon. I’ve heard great things about it and I look forward to diving in.

6) Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo. The Aussie Zombie has reviewed a couple of these and has sold me on them. Will check them out eventually too.

7) Rapture by Phillip W. Simpson. Definitely want to check this one out.

8) Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater. After participating in Fraterfest hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, I’m dying to read this series.

9) The First Days by Rhiannon Frater. More zombies!!!!

10) Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Though I haven’t read any of his books, I’ve heard this one is mega-scary.

So yeah, that’s my list of Top 10 Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit. Did I leave any out? Any on here that I need to bump up to the top of TBR list? Let me know!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Point of Retreat - Review

Point of Retreat (Slammed, # 2)

By: Colleen Hoover

Published: September 18th 2012 by Atria Books (first published February 25th 2012)

320 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you Atria Books!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Hardships and heartache brought them together…now it will tear them apart.

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’

Ok guys. I liked this one just about as much as I liked Slammed. I find myself struggling with books in a series where one book seemingly has a happy ending and knowing that more awfulness is headed their way in the other books in the series. Once I get closure, I’m fine with leaving it there. If a book ends in a cliffhanger where there’s not much resolution, then I’m fine with pressing through the remaining books in a series, but not always when book 1 ends happily. And that’s kind of how things went between Slammed and Point of Retreat. Slammed ended in a place where I was satisfied, but starting Point of Retreat was disrupting my characters' happy lives. And that it did. But in this case, I was perfectly fine with the conflict because of how much I love and enjoy these characters and their relationship.

However much of a rollercoaster ride Point of Retreat was, I was extremely satisfied with the outcome. Like life in general, most times we have to go through some extremely painful situations in order to grow and learn. And with the case of love, sometimes relationships need to be tested by fire. I feel like there will probably be a lot of criticism of the ending of this one, but I was completely on board with it. There’s been nothing normal about either Lake or Will’s lives and the ending isn’t any different. They’ve both had to go through an extreme amount of grief and pain in their lives. They’ve had to grow up early. And I really enjoyed how this aspect of the characters’ lives featured something that we don’t always see in YA fiction.

I have no idea if there will be any other books in this series, I’m kind of hoping there isn’t because too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. But I loved the relationship between Will and Lake. I loved seeing things through Will’s eyes and reading his POV.

This series embodies what I love about YA fiction. Real characters with real problems, real pain, in real life situations, forced to grow (I do so love character growth), and more mature than their ages call for. And of course, a love that is tested and strengthened by trials. Yes, yes, yes….more please.

Point of Retreat gets 4 stars from me. I only rate Point of Retreat lower than Slammed because the initially falling in love is one of my favorite parts in a book, and there were a couple of things that I wasn’t thrilled about in this one. Not enough to ruin the book for me, but enough to keep it from 5 stars. Either way, I highly recommend this entire series.

Have you read Point of Retreat? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox - 25 & Sunday Post - 16

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.

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, # 1)

By: JL Bryan

Published: July 22nd 2010

214 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library (Freebie!!!!)

( Amazon | Goodreads )

Goodreads description--Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Deadlocked (Deadlocked, # 1)

By: AR Wise

Published: December 20th 2011 (first published November 9th 2011)

54 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library (Freebie!!!!)

( Amazon | Goodreads )

Goodreads description--David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they're safe?

Deadlocked puts you into David's head as he struggles to get home. Then a final confrontation occurs that will guarantee his family's survival, but at what cost?


By: CJ Skuse

Expected Publication: November 1st 2012 by Scholastic

358 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you Scholastic!)

( Amazon | Goodreads )

Goodreads--She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage?

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..."

Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave.

It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?!

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: Reviewed Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, # 3) by Amanda Hocking (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Authors in X Genre (Top 10 Tuesday)

Wednesday: Waiting on Flutter (Waiting on Wednesday)

Thursday: Reviewed 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller (4 Stars)

Also, this week I hit 100 GFC followers! Thank you so much to everyone for showing your support. I appreciate it so much. And as a thank you to you, I plan on hosting a giveaway this week. I set up a poll in my right hand column at the top. Please vote on the prize for the giveaway. Poll closes on Wednesday (October 24th), so that I can post the giveaway rafflecopter form on Friday (October 26th). As it says, if you have another option you'd rather me offer as the prize, list it in my comments section. Thanks again everyone.


Monday: Review of Point of Retreat (Slammed, # 2) by Colleen Hoover

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books to Get in the Halloween Spirit

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday (hopefully, this one is always touch and go for me.) Also, poll will be closing for the prize of my 100 Follower Giveaway. Please vote!

Thursday: Review of Hollowmen (The Hollows, # 2) by Amanda Hocking (This is my last Amanda Hocking review for a while. I know you guys are probably excited about that.)

Friday: I'll be posting my 100 Follower Giveaway. So come back and check it out!

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!