Friday, March 29, 2013

MIA Next Week

Just a quick post to say that I'll be MIA over the next week. I'm taking a vacation, and I haven't scheduled any posts for the upcoming week. I hope all is well and that you continue to make progress on your books and reading goals. I plan to do my Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves next week (4/7) recapping this past week and featuring the books I got this week (and if I get any over the next week). I look forward to catching back up with you when my vacation is over. Have a great week!

(Photo Credit)

The Immortal Rules - Review

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, # 1)
By: Julie Kagawa
Published: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
485 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you, Harlequin!)
Goodreads description--To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.


The Immortal Rules is about a world that's dominated by vampires and creatures called rabids, that didn't quite make it into vampires. But don't get confused, this isn't a book about sparkly, animal-blood-drinking vampires. No sir (not that I mind that kind personally). There are no short cuts for these vampires. Sure they can physically down animal blood to the point of having a right sloshy belly, but animal blood in no way satisfies the Hunger.

Kanin, Allison's maker, tries to tell her this when she awakens after being turned. He tries to teach her all sorts of lessons ranging from vampire history to sword fighting to hunting and feeding. However, some lessons (most apparently) have to be learned the hard way. After Kanin and Allison get separated, Allison has to learn to make it on her own as a newly turned vampire. But what she finds is a reason to live--to keep pressing on. 

Allison was really the only character I truly connected with while reading The Immortal Rules. I wanted to like the others, even Zeke, but something just kept standing in the way for me. I pretty much hated Stick, and while I can applaud Allison for her compassion and I think it was necessary to show her humanity--that she wasn't a completely jaded human being--before her change, I would have thrown Stick to the wolves a long time ago. Kanin, I wanted to connect with more, and maybe that's going to be possible with book 2, The Eternity Cure, but I just didn't. And the same goes for Zeke. I can't really explain why, but I just didn't quite understand them. I can appreciate the reasons why Allison likes Zeke, but the emotions just didn't filter through the book and into me like they normally do. I don't think the reader was really supposed to connect too much to any of the other characters, except perhaps Caleb.

I definitely enjoyed the step away from the sexy vampire bad-boy who falls for the human girl. The Immortal Rules was certainly different from any other YA vampire book I've read, but it was very similar to the movie Daybreakers. So The Immortal Rules wasn't a completely new concept for me. 

Overall, I'd give The Immortal Rules 3.5 Stars. And I am interested in seeing what happens in book 2, The Eternity Cure. Have you read The Immortal Rules? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jane Eyre - Review

Jane Eyre

By: Charlotte Bronte

First Published 1847

507 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

My 5th and 6th grade reading teacher read Jane Eyre to us one of those years (I can't remember which), but she skipped some sections, and I truly didn't remember too much about the story. I remembered there being a crazy woman living in the house and I remembered Jane being a governess because that was the first time I learned what a governess was. So when I decided this year to add reading six classics to my goals for the year, Jane Eyre made obvious sense to me. Plus I saw the recent film adaption and loved it--which of course ruined any surprises for me, but that's okay. I'm not complaining.

It took me a while to get into the story. I guess it was really by the time Jane reached Lowood school that I really ended up getting into it. Helen is one of my favorite characters in a long time. While she doesn't have a huge part in the story, she makes a huge impact on Jane. She helps Jane to see past her anger and hatred. She tames her in a sense. Plus in a world that is so largely anti-Christian, I eagerly devoured a character that appeared to me to demonstrate true faith and true Christianity. Today's YA literature sorely lacks a representation of accurate Christian characters. Mind you, I'm not talking about Christian literature. While I realize this story takes place in an entirely different era than the one we're now living, it was entirely refreshing to find talk of God, religion, and spirituality so repeatedly mentioned, discussed, and indicated as part of their daily lives. Of course, we do have to throw in a Mr. Brocklehurst who completely misuses and abuses Scripture and religion. There must be one of those--and in truth there are many Mr. Brocklehursts alive today that give Christianity a bad name.

I applaud Jane over and over for making the hard choices. For sticking to her beliefs when the very core of her being wishes to follow after it's desires. She sees that she must respect herself because if she does not then no one else will. She sees that Mr. Rochester truly would have lost respect, admiration, and love for her had she indeed stayed, for she would no longer be who and what he fell in love with. And I can't help but wonder, if this book had not been a classic but a modern day story, how many readers would have thrown the book across the room and been utterly angry with Jane for not staying? For not satisfying her every whim and desire?

St. John was utterly confusing to me. While I appreciated how much Jane could still look at him as a brother and a good person, it was hard to watch that relationship develop. It reminded me of an emotionally abusive relationship and again I have to applaud Jane for standing her ground in not marrying him and being able to see that to do so would be to commit a suicide of sorts. I wish our teenage girls today were as self-aware.

Jane Eyre was another story where one party decides to better himself in order to be worthy of the other party. Yet again, another aspect I wish we saw in today's world more often. While Jane was utterly terrified of what would become of Mr. Rochester--what he would run off and do--after she left, he did nothing of which she feared, and it's because of her that he didn't.

I realize that reviewing a classic such as Jane Eyre is a bit risky and there's probably nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, but I enjoyed the overall story so much that I couldn't help but want to spread the love.

Jane Eyre gets 4 stars from me. Have you read Jane Eyre? What did you think? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Waiting on Crossing the Line

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

Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, # 1.5)

By: Katie McGarry

Expected Publication: April 1st 2013 by Harlequin TEEN

67 pages

( Goodreads)

Goodreads description--Katie McGarry captivated readers with her “riveting, emotional”* Young Adult debut, Pushing the Limits. In this gripping novella, she tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, who discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love…

Lila McCormick, Echo's best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.

Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.

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

Top 10 Books I'd Recommend

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week's topic is: Top 10 Books I'd Recommend. 
Apparently a lot of people are nervous about recommending books to other people. Me, not so much. I like what I like. I realize that others might not. It is what it is. Obviously, I hope they enjoy whatever book I recommend, but it's no big deal if they don't. It happens. Because of that, I had a hard time narrowing down my top recommendations. However, I only ended up getting it down to about 15ish. I broke them down into three categories.
Here are my top paranormal fiction books that I've recommended...


1) Harry Potter - One of the best series ever!
2) Twilight - Because I love it. Hate if you want.
3) The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices - You have to recommend these together and that they are read in order of publication, even though that means criss-crossing the series.
4) Vampire Academy & Bloodlines - Again, these two series must be recommended together. Love Richelle Mead. Love Rose. Love Dimitri. Love Sydney...Ok must stop because I could keep going.
My top contemporary or emotional fiction...don't need to add anything to these...

5) Pushing the Limits
6) Slammed & Point of Retreat
7) Hopeless
8) The Sea of Tranquility
9) Back to You
10) The Fault in Our Stars

My top self-help recommendations....

11) The Power of a Praying Woman - Single-handedly changed my prayer life.
12) The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage - Who doesn't want a better marriage?
13) Made to Crave - Changed the way I think about food in relationship to God.
14) Crazy Love - Challenging
15) Boundaries - Changed the way I think about relationships with other people.
16) 48 Days to the Work You Love - Helped me get a job that fit more in line with what I want out of work.

That's the top 16 books I recommend to others. What are you top recommendations? Let me know!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Indigo Spell - Review

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, # 3)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: February 12th 2013 by Razorbill

432 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

Richelle Mead really knows how to write a book, I tell you. She's got this way of just making every detail important, fit into the exact location in the story that it should, and she doesn't fall into the traps that many authors today fall into. For one, I love her main characters. Rose from Vampire Academy is extremely strong and impulsive. Sydney is very intellectual, calculating, and the very opposite of impulsive. Rose's way works for her and Sydney's way works for her. There is no getting the two confused. They each have very distinct voices along with distinct problems. As a specific example, Sydney, because she's so thoughtful in every aspect, when she comes to putting pieces in the puzzle together, I never find myself screaming at her to open her eyes and see this trap or not to forget this piece of information. She's on top of it. That's not to say she can't be caught by surprise, but Sydney most definitely will not be caught by surprise when it comes to the obvious.

Of course, I'm not speaking of emotions--Sydney's heart. I've been speaking of her brain. Sydney definitely has a lot more trouble interpreting her feelings than she does clues or some sort of mental problem that needs solving. Without going into too much detail, I was afraid that Sydney was going to find herself in a particular emotional situation that we find quite prevalent in the YA genre and I was cringing my teeth waiting for it to happen. Yet Richelle Mead avoids that situation with such a wide berth that I can only applaud her.

Speaking of, Adrian. Oh Adrian. If you thought he pursued Rose, then well, just prepare yourself for how confident and determined he is about pursuing Sydney. *sigh* Loyal and always willing to be by her side, Adrian puts himself out there in a way that can only be admired considering how recently his heart was broken by Rose. Kudos for seeing what he wants and going after it.

The other characters we've come to love advance in story, but truthfully not too far. The majority of this book was focused on Sydney herself and her struggles coming to terms with what the Alchemist truly are and where she stands in the mix. We do see some of Jill, Eddie, Angeline, and Trey, and I can't wait to see how these stories play out through the remaining books in the series. As well as, the introduction of new characters, Marcus Finch and his band of "Merry Men." What will become of them? I can't wait to find out.

Of course, Richelle Mead had to leave us with one piece of information at the very end that changes the game for the next book, and considering how many references were made to "the fiery heart" in The Indigo Spell, I can't wait to get my hands on that book already.

The Indigo Spell gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read The Indigo Spell? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Post - 38 & Stacking the Shelves - 11

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.

This has been a big week for me. Meetings at work. My mother-in-law's birthday was Thursday, and then she retired on Friday. Busy, busy busy...


Monday: Review of The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian (4.5 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Just Had to Buy But Are Still Unread

Wednesday: Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop (Ends March 25th)

Thursday: Review of No Mercy (Cambion, # 2.5) by Shannon Dermott (4 Stars)


Monday: Review of The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, # 3) by Richelle Mead and the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop Ends

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Recommend Most

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Friday: Review of The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, # 1) by Julie Kagawa

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, # 3)

By: Cassandra Clare

Published: March 19th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

568 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?

Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

I'm still trying to keep my book acquiring to a minimum until the end of the month. Also since I'm participating in this challenge, I figured I'd give a recap of how I'm doing so far.

I've read 7 books from my TBR pile since the beginning of March. They are:

1. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, # 1) - Robin LaFevers

2. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, # 1) - Julie Kagawa

3. The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, # 1) - James Dashner

4. The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, # 1) - Jessica Sorensen

5. Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, # 1) - JL Bryan

6. Rule (Marked Men, # 1) - Jay Crownover

7. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, # 1) - Jessica Sorensen

I finished Walking Disaster (Beautiful, # 2) by Jamie McGuire and Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, # 3) by Cassandra Clare this past week as well, but since neither have a publication date before this month they don't count toward this challenge.

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Mercy - Review

No Mercy (Cambion, # 2.5)

By: Shannon Dermott

Published: July 24th 2012

76 pages

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--This is a novella in the Cambions series. Even though is set before Beg for Mercy it should be read after Waiting for Mercy.

Warning - this book is intended for mature audience. Excessive language and sexual situations may not be suitable for younger teens.

Best Friends until the end huh?

Flynn McAllister, bad to the bone, at least that’s what the girls say about him, is heading out of town for the weekend. He’s meeting up with a girl he met last summer. She and her sister will keep him and his best friend busy for the weekend. At least that’s what he thought, until a girl and other things get out of hand.

Luke Bishop isn’t an angel like everyone thinks. Okay, technically, maybe. But when it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words. And his shout that he’s more than what meets the eye. Getting out of town is a welcome idea. He just didn’t plan on meeting her and all the hell came with her

So I've been getting kind of frustrated with this series. Mercy bounces back and forth between like 4 main guys but there are several additional guys. This novella takes place before Beg for Mercy (book 1) and does not really include Mercy at all, though it does mention her.

Told from alternating POVs between Flynn and Luke, we delve deeper into their friendship and the crazy situations they get themselves into. I think this novella really helped me with this series. I feel like I understand Flynn much more having read it. Although, I'm not sure the novella did anything to improve my opinion of Luke and possibly just the opposite.

The fact that Flynn "saw Mercy first" is mentioned more than once throughout Beg for Mercy and Waiting for Mercy, and the reader is left to believe that Flynn first spots Mercy at the senior party they attend during the first scene of Beg for Mercy and this is where he lays claim to seeing her first. However, we find in No Mercy that Flynn spotted Mercy much sooner than the party--like at least a year before that party--but also he and Luke have discussed her in length before that party which makes the argument they have about driving her home make more sense.

All in all, I enjoyed the additional information included in this novella and thought it helped round out some of the characters, specifically Flynn. No Mercy gets 4 stars. Have you read No Mercy? What did you think? Let me know!

My review of Beg for Mercy (Cambion, # 1) and my review of Waiting for Mercy (Cambion, # 2).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop

2nd Annual Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop
It's time for some spring cleaning!
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.
Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Top 10 Books I Just Had to Buy But Are Still on My Shelf Unread

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week's topic is: Top 10 Books I Just Had to Buy But Are Still Sitting on My Shelf Unread. *wipes sweat off forehead* That was a mouthful. (*Disclaimer, I didn't buy all of these books--some are bought, some were gifts, and one was from NetGalley.)

1. Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, # 4) - Melissa Marr - I think I've had this in my possession...hmm...June will be 3 years, and I haven't read it yet.
2. Entreleadership - Dave Ramsey - Huge Dave Rasmey fan. Got this shortly after publication, I think December of 2011.
3. Captivating - John & Stasi Eldredge - I actually only just got this for Christmas this past year. Though it's been published a lot longer than that, I just had to have it as soon as I heard about it.


4. Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, # 1) - Richelle Mead - I love Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series, so I jumped on a chance to get Succubus Blues when it was a free Amazon Kindle deal.
5. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden - Jessica Sorensen - Just another one I scooped up.
6. The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium, # 2) - Stieg Larsson - I snagged up The Girl Who Played With Fire after finishing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but I haven't picked it up. I've probably had this one on my shelf for 2 years as well.
7. Wilde's Army (Darkness Falls, # 2) - Krystal Wade - I read Wilde's Fire and wasn't blow away, but I have a hard time not finishing a series. But for some reason, I'm really dreading picking up Wilde's Army despite having it in possession for so long.
8. A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, # 5) - George R R Martin - Well on this one, I haven't finished A Feast for Crows so I can't move into A Dance With Dragons, but since these books are so long, I'll get to it eventually.
9. Destined (House of Night, # 9) - PC & Kristin Cast - Snagged this one shortly after it's release (October 2011), but I haven't made it past chapter 3. Ugh! I will press forward and finish it because I must review this book.
10. Praying the Names of God - Ann Spangler - After finishing Praying the Names of Jesus, I had to get my hands on this one. But like so many "self-help" and Christian books, I take a long time to go through these books because of the amount of information that needs to be absorbed. So I haven't picked this one up yet.
That's it for my Top 10 (trust me there are about 50ish others where these 10 came from that are actually in my possession and need to be read). What are your top 10 books that you just had to get but haven't read yet? Let me know!

The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage - Review

The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage

By: Stormie Omartian

Published: January 1st 2009 by Harvest House Publishers

252 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Stormie Omartian's bestselling books on prayer and marriage have touched millions of readers in a life-changing way. "The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage" helps husbands or wives pray to protect their relationship from 14 serious problems that can lead to unsatisfying marriages or even divorce. For those who are already struggling in these areas, this book will help them find healing and restoration.

Readers will learn how to pray about everything fromcommunication breakdown to struggles with finances and raising childrenmisplaced priorities to anger, unforgiveness, and sexual frustrationpornography and infidelity to depression and addictions

No stranger to struggles in her 34 years of marriage, Stormie looks at these topics and more in the straightforward, hopeful manner readers have come to trust. As always, readers will find Bible verses and personal prayers they can use as powerful resources to help their marriages last a lifetime.

Previously published as "Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage"

First off, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a Stormie Omartian fan. I've read several of her Power of a Praying... books and I plan to continue to read more. She's helped me tremendously on my journey to a better prayer life.

I sought out The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage when my husband and I hit a bump in the road in our own marriage (what marriage doesn't have those?) and despite having The Power of a Praying Wife, I felt like I needed something different--something more. And so I ended up getting The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage. As with the other Power of a Praying... books that I've read, I took this one slow in order to maximize information retention. And there came a point where our marriage felt more stable and secure and I didn't feel the urgent need to press on in the book like I once did, so I put it down for a spell.

The wonderful part about this book is that you and your marriage don't need to be struggling in order for you to benefit from this book. Ms. Omartian's books usually follow the pattern of a different topic per chapter. Within the chapter, she discusses the topic at length and provides a sample prayer and scripture (Promises from God) on the subject. But The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage went another step. She included three prayers at the end of each chapter. The first prayer was always a Prayer of Protection. This prayer is designed to protect you, your spouse, and your marriage from experiencing this particular problem to begin with. Or if you both struggle with the issue, it helps to cover you both in this area. Next was a Prayer for Breakthrough in Me. This obviously covers if you are the partner struggling with the topic of the chapter. And finally, she included a Prayer for Breakthrough in My Spouse designed to cover your spouse should he/she be the one struggling with the chapter topic.

Because each chapter included the three different prayers at the end, I felt each topic discussed was covered in every way possible. Most of the time, I found that even if I didn't think we as a couple or I individually was struggling with a particular chapter topic, once I read and prayed the prayers she included, I realized that I needed improvement more than I originally thought.

As I always feel led to include in my review of any Christian book, Stormie Omartian's books do not contain the standard. They do contain Scripture and I have learned much from her. But I find that there are some things she says that I don't 100% agree with. And so while I do recommend anyone and everyone I can to read her books, we must always compare what man says against what God says. The Source for truth is and always will be the Bible--God's Word.

One I thing I know for certain, you can't pray for your marriage and not see improvement in yourself, your spouse, and/or your marriage. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage gets 4.5 Stars from me. Have you read this book? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Post - 37 & Stacking the Shelves - 10

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.

Husband has recovered from his sickness for the most part. I, however, have developed a slight sinus infection. Ugh! I don't feel that bad though. Did some clothes shopping Friday night. That was nice. Got 2 pairs of shorts and 3 tank tops--summer here I come! Then went to see my nephew play indoor soccer. He was put in at goalie for the second half, and I was really impressed with his skills. Yesterday I was a bum, but that allowed me to finish one book about make it 50% through another one.


Monday: Review of Waiting on Mercy (Cambion, # 2) by Shannon Dermott (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Books on my Spring 2013 TBR List (and I've already finished one of them! YAY ME!)

Wednesday: Waiting on The Dream Thieves and the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop ended.

Thursday: Review of The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks (3 Stars)


Monday: Review of The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Had to Buy But Are Still Unread

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday & The Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop begins (Ends March 25th)

Thursday: Review of No Mercy (Cambion, # 2.5) by Shannon Dermott

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I only got one book in this week because I'm still trying to keep the TBR list under control considering that I'm participating in the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge by Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. But it was a really good one...

Walking Disaster (Beautiful, # 2)

By: Jamie McGuire

Expected Publication: April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

448 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much? Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

Also since I'm participating in this challenge (though not the read-a-thon), I figured I'd give a recap of how I'm doing so far.

I've read 6 books from my TBR pile since the beginning of March. They are:

1. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, # 1) - Robin LaFevers

2. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, # 1) - Julie Kagawa

3. The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, # 1) - James Dashner

4. The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, # 1) - Jessica Sorensen

5. Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, # 1) - JL Bryan

6. Rule (Marked Men, # 1) - Jay Crownover

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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Guardian - Review

The Guardian

By: Nicholas Sparks

Published: April 1st 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 1st 2003)

400 pages

Source: Borrowed from my sister

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Julie Barenson's young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died: a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now, four years have passed. Still living in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, 29-year-old Julie is emotionally ready to make a commitment to someone again. But who? Should it be Richard Franklin, the handsome, sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband's best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she's had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire....

I haven't read many Nicholas Sparks books. Actually, I THINK I've only "read" two including this one. The other being The Lucky One. And both I've actually listened to the audiobooks, but I do love the movies based on his books. It's no surprise that this man is a gifted storyteller.

That being said, Nicholas Sparks has developed a reputation for killing off at least one character in every book. And while death is most certainly a part of life and it's all around us, it lends to his predictability. Every Nicholas Sparks book or movie I begin immediately attempting to discover who's going to end up dead. He didn't disappoint in killing of a character or in his predictability.

I did enjoy The Guardian, but I don't think one thing caught me by surprise. I'd email my sister, who I borrowed the audiobook from, and say "X is a creeper isn't he?" or "X is going to die, right?" She can attest. I do believe every single guess I had was correct.

But the story was well-developed. The characters had a backstory and history. I can see this coming to the big screen and being a hit as Mr. Sparks other books have been.

All in all, I found The Guardian to be predictable but a solid read worthy of a middle of the road rating of 3 stars. Have you read The Guardian? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on The Dream Thieves

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

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, # 2)

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Expected Publication: September 17th 2013 by Scholastic Press

416 pages

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

I wasn't blown away by Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, but as she's one of my favorite authors, I figure I should give book 2 a chance--hoping that it'll be better than book 1. (My review of The Raven Boys.) What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 10 Spring 2013 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week's topic is Top Ten Books on my Spring 2013 TBR List.
First off are the books being released before Summer 2013 that are on my TBR list and will be read as soon as possible.
1) Fragments by Dan Wells
2) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
3) Dare You To by Katie McGarry
4) Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

The others are already in my possession and need to be read ASAP...