Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top 10 Books I'm Dying to Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Words that Make Me Pick Up a Book, but here's the thing, I don't think there are ten specific words that make me pick one up. Maybe there used to be ten words that did that, but not anymore. There are probably ten words that will immediately make me put one down though. HA! I should have done that topic. Anyway...here's my Top 10ish Books I'm Dying to Read... .

1) The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, # 4) - Richelle Mead (expected release date November 19, 2013)

2) City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, # 6) - Cassandra Clare (expected release date March 1, 2014)

3) Cress (Lunar Chronciles, # 3) - Marissa Meyer (expected release date sometime 2014 )

4) Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, # 2) - Veronica Rossi

5) This Girl (Slammed, # 3) - Colleen Hoover

6) Lady Mightnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) - Cassandra Clare (expected release date March 2015)

7) Losing Hope (Hopeless, # 2) - Colleen Hoover (expected release date July 9, 2013)

8) Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, # 2) - Robin LaFevers

9) The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys, # 2) - Maggies Stiefvater (expected release date September 17, 2013)

10) Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, # 3) - Katie McGarry (expected release date November 26, 2013)

11) Half-Blood (Covenant, # 1) - Jennifer L Armentrout

12) Origin (Lux, # 4) - Jennifer L Armentrout (expected release date August 27, 2013)

I could keep going people....but I'll make myself stop. What are you dying to read? Or what words make you pick up a book? Let me know!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Grave Mercy - Review

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, # 1)

By: Robin LaFevers

Published: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

549 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Source: Borrowed from my local library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

You guys? Why didn't someone tell me to read this book sooner??? Seriously!

So Grave Mercy was one of the first ebooks I borrowed from my library, but I waited too long to start reading it and only got about 50% finished before the library snatched it back from me. Luckily there was only 1 person ahead of me to re-check it out. And so I finally got it finished. Love borrowing the ebooks from my library. This is a new service from my local library so I'm totally stoked. Especially since the ebooks available are better than the hard copies my local library has in stock.

Now about the book. I totally loved Ismae in this book. She's a strong woman who though she's been wronged by plenty of men in her past keeps trucking on and doesn't completely turn herself off to the male gender. She's turned over to a convent that serves the god of Death. And there she learns the careful art of assassinry. (Yes, I just made up that word.) Though still a novice who hasn't taken her vows, Ismae is assigned the important task of finding out if the half brother of the Duchess is a spy for the French, and if not, then who is. Despite everything that Ismae's been through, she doesn't consider herself a victim. She's a strong, heroine who can take care of herself. This is the kind of female lead I like to read about.

Duval...well what's not to love? Robin LaFevers doesn't spend pages upon pages describing how attractive Ismae finds Duval which I actually love. She does find him attractive and there's a moment when she sees him without a shirt that she spends a moment admiring what her eyes find before her, but it's his character that she falls for. It's how he treats his sister, how serious he takes his responsibility to protect her, how respected he is by his friends. All of that and her own experiences with him lend to why he's a swoon worthy character.

The plot was great. I mean I figured out the main traitor pretty early, but what I couldn't figure out was the motivations behind the traitor's behavior. Therefore, I had enough questions to keep me going and prevented me from feeling like the story line was too predictable.

Grave Mercy isn't a book you read if you're just looking for make out scenes, but Grave Mercy is one of those books that makes me appreciate the genre and all that it's capable of being. Grave Mercy is one of the YA redeeming books for me. And so I can't help but give Grave Mercy 4.5 stars. Definitely looking forward to Sybella's story, Dark Triumph, published this year.

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Post - 42 & Stacking the Shelves - 15

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.

I'm traveling back from a short beach vacation with some girl friends. We came down Thursday (YAY 3 day work week) and will come home this afternoon. We've had a blast. Check out my High Five for Friday post below to see more about my trip!


Monday: Review of The Struggles of Caregiving by Nell E Noonan (3 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less

Wednesday: Waiting on Golden

Thursday: Review of Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire (4 Stars)

Friday: High Five for Friday


Monday: Review of Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday - I don't really like the topic so I might do my own thing. We'll see.

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, # 1) by Robin LaFevers

Friday: High Five for Friday

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend (Confessions, # 2)

By: Louise Rozett

Expected Publication: June 18th 2013 by Harlequin

288 pages

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

Belonging (Temptation, # 2)

By: Karen Ann Hopkins

Published: April 30th 2013 by Harlequin TEEN

408 pages

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--I left everything I knew behind.

But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.

If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE

together forever.

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

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!

Friday, April 26, 2013

High Five for Friday (04/26/2013)

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

High Five for Friday is hosted by Lauren @ The Lauren Elizabeth.

1. First off...I'm on vacation! At the beach!!!!! Check it out and be jealous. *wink wink* That's the view from our balcony.

2. So our group (girls only) have done this two years in a row. But we each bring our favorite thing to share with everyone. So check out the goodies that I got. (Not pictured, a blue beach towel with my name monogrammed on it.) (And yes, that green t-shirt says "Hey Jack." Anyone who watches Duck Dynasty will get that. Love it!)

3. I should have mentioned this first, but I only had a 3 day work week this week! AWESOME!!!!

4. We also play this game every year where each girl picks some songs (this year it was 6) to add to a beach-road-trip mix that we listen to on the way down to the beach. We each try to guess who chose which song. It's really fun.

My contributions to the CD this year were: 1) Gungor - Beautiful Things; 2) Jason Walker - Down; 3) Pink - Glitter in the Air; 4) Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up; 5) The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine; and 6) Birdy - Skinny Love. I LOVE these songs. I hope you'll hunt them down on YouTube or something. (I would have added their videos, but I'm trying to pump out this post so I can change and head down to the beach.)

Oh and I won this game. Well tied with my friend, Lacy! (That makes two years in a row for me. I've got a title to defend. I'm quite competitive, so this is a big deal.)

5. We went shopping yesterday at Pier Park. I got two shirts and a pair of black capris that I can wear to work from Maurices (LOVE this store and we don't have one at home) and a pair of black pumps from Rack Room Shoes that I was in desperate need of. I'm quite satisfied with my purchases.

That's it for my week and my High Fives. What have been the top 5 things of your week? Let me know!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Walking Disaster - Review

Walking Disaster (Beautiful, # 2)

By: Jamie McGuire

Published: April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

448 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

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.

I read Beautiful Disaster and I really enjoyed it. I thought the two main characters were an emotional wreck and that they didn't particularly have a healthy relationship. When I started reading Walking Disaster, I thought "well this isn't as bad as I remember. They seem mostly normal." Well...that didn't last too long. I definitely got another dose of "these two cats are CRAZY." But, I still enjoyed it.

As the Goodreads description states, there are two sides to every story. And while, I can promise you that I do NOT want to read every book written from one perspective to be turned around into another book written from the other perspective, I did enjoy it in this case and I think there are a couple of other books I'd be all over (Midnight Sun anyone? IJS!). I felt like Beautiful Disaster was enriched knowing Travis's point of view, what was going on in his head, and how his emotions played into their relationship. The behind the scenes stuff that Abby couldn't possibly know is the stuff that I like most about Walking Disaster.

Along the same lines as the behind the scenes stuff, I enjoyed the epilogue from Walking Disaster. We get a quick peak at where Abby and Travis are down the road. While I think it'd be less than likely that they all of a sudden have a healthy relationship immediately following the ending of Beautiful Disaster, sometimes it's nice to pretend.

Did Walking Disaster change my opinion of Beautiful Disaster? Not really. But that's not a bad thing for me, because even though I can tell the relationship between Abby and Travis is a roller coaster of unhealthy emotions and co-dependency, I still enjoyed reading their story, and I enjoyed reading it again from Travis's eyes. I will say that if I complained about the number of f-bombs dropped in Beautiful Disaster, well you can at least double them because that's a staple of Travis's vocabulary and thought process.

Walking Disaster gets 4 stars from me. Have you read Walking Disaster? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Golden

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


By: Jessi Kirby

Expected Publication: May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

I love the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay," so this sounds right up my alley!

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top 10 Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less.

The Ones I Expected More From:

1. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher - I loved the book cover. And even the premise of the prison being alive. But this book fell WAY flat for me.

2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- I'm a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan. And I believe I've read all of her published works. However, The Raven Boys was probably my least favorite out of all of her books. It has potential as a series to get better, and I plan to continue reading the series because I still love Maggie Stiefvater, but this one just definitely fell short.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Dude, everyone made such a huge deal out of this book. And while it wasn't BAD by any means, it just wasn't as big of a deal to me as to everyone else.

4. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich - I've come to expect my Stephanie Plum books to be hilarious. And I guess it's hard to consistently write material that makes people laugh out loud. And after 19 books in a series, perhaps the funny has run dry. But either way, I expected more.

The Ones that Pleasantly Surprised Me:

5. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - I won this in a giveaway, but truth be told, I just didn't expect much of anything out of it. Perhaps I liked it as much as I did because I wasn't expecting much.

6. Back to You by Priscilla Glenn - I almost turned this book down when the author contacted me about reading and reviewing it. But I chose to take a chance and I couldn't put it down.

7. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - I requested this one from NetGalley but just had this uneasy feeling like I might be requesting one that I'm not going to get into. I think it was the cover that I didn't really love.

8. The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Well I wasn't a vampire fan when I read Twilight, and I wasn't a sci-fi fan when I read The Host. I expected to not enjoy The Host because aliens just aren't really my thing, but this turned out much better than I thought. It had a slow start and I didn't think the romance was near the level of Twilight, but I still enjoyed it. (Haven't reviewed this one. Link goes to Goodreads.)

9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - Everyone reviewed this one and loved it. And while most every review I saw on it said that the reader went into it not really expecting much but ended up loving it, I still felt like the description didn't draw me in. I love love stories. Not best friend stories. But I did end up loving it.

10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I wasn't expecting to dislike Jane Eyre. I just wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Jane is one of my favorite heroines and I think every teenage female should be forced to read this book.

That's it for the books that either exceeded my expectations or have let me down. What about you? What books did you like more/less than you expected? Let me know!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Struggles of Caregiving - Review

The Struggles of Caregiving: 28 Days of Prayer

By: Nell E Noonan

Published: February 1st 2012 by Upper Room Books

72 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--Caregiving is a demanding task that takes a huge toll on the person providing care mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Not much of a description there, is it?

I originally requested this book because at the time a friend of mine had recently taken on the role of taking care of her father who was diagnosed with dementia and quickly progressed into the stages of Alzheimer's. When I saw the title, I thought it might be a nice book to recommend to her for this difficult time period. And so I requested the book from NetGalley.

Because this wasn't something that I was personally struggling with, I put off reading the book. It's a short read and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Having never dealt with being a true caregiver in my life (I don't even have children yet), the struggles that one might go through facing these types of situations were completely lost on me. And I have to say that having read The Struggles of Caregiving, I have a new found appreciation for the daily struggles that anyone having to be a full-time caregiver must face.

I liked that the book was fast and to the point. Nell E. Noonan addresses some of the darker issues that caregivers face, and I have to applaud her for being so honest and real. I think that for anyone facing a care-giving situation, if nothing else, it would be a tremendous comfort to know that they are not alone. I haven't done a search on the subject, but I can't imagine that there are too many books out there that address this subject (I could be completely wrong about that, I've just never noticed any others). It's kind of like parents of abusive children--there's like hardly any "help" out there in the form of books.

While Nell E Noonan makes her religious affiliation (Methodist) clear throughout the book, I think there are principles that can be gathered from the book whether you're associated with the Methodist doctrine or not. That being said, my standard disclaimer is always to go to the Source (the Bible, the Word of God) for any questions and for Truth on any issue.

At this point in my life (because I've established that circumstances and experiences do play into my ratings), I can only give The Struggles of Caregiving 3 Stars. Were I going through a full-time care-giving situation that rating may be completely different--higher or lower.

Have you read The Struggles of Caregiving? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Post - 41 & Stacking the Shelves - 14

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.


Monday: Review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Heroines

Wednesday: Waiting on The 5th Wave

Thursday: Review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (4 Stars)

Friday: High Five for Friday


Monday: Review of The Struggles of Caregiving by Nell E Noonan

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: BEACH! Oh and also, Review of Walking Disaster (Beautiful, # 2) by Jamie McGuire

Friday: High Five for Friday

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I forgot to add this one to my post last week...


By: Erin McCarthy

Expected Publication: May 7th 2013 by InterMix

238 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

And this one I'm STOKED about...

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

By: Richelle Mead

Expected Publication: June 4th 2013 by Dutton Adult

464 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you, thank you!!!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

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.

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!

Friday, April 19, 2013

High Five for Friday - (04/19/13)

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

High Five for Friday is hosted by Lauren @ From My Grey Desk.

1. This is a great year for movie releases of my favorite books. The trailer was finally released this past week for Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, # 2). It looks good! Check it out! (Coming to theaters November 22, 2013.)

2. My husband and I went out to eat at Longhorn and went shopping for me a new beach chair. I rarely get to go out to eat. For one thing our meal plan doesn't allow us to eat just anywhere. For another, it just doesn't work out timing wise for me (I say "me" because my husband goes out with his team at work every Friday) to go out much, so it was a nice treat to go to Longhorn. Of course, I got steak and veggies so as to not stray from the meal plan. Then we ran by Target to get me a new chair for the beach. Paid a little more for it than I wanted to, but that's okay. Below is a picture of the one I bought. You can find it here.

3. Went to see my neice, Ashlyn, play softball last night. Bless her heart, her team got stomped last night so bad that she only had one turn at bat. It was bad. But apparently they've had better games and have even won some. Check her out. Such a sweetie!

4. Vampire Diaries started back last night! I love that show!!!! Photo Credit

5. And finally, my friend, Jennifer, got engaged this week and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! Congrats to Jennifer and Reggie! YAY! I'm so excited for her. And excited to be a part of her wedding.

That's my top 5 things from this week. What are your high fives?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scarlet - Review

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, # 2)

By: Marissa Meyer

Published: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

452 pages

Source: Personal Library

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tales

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

When I wrote my review of Cinder, I commented that I was disappointed that we were switching from a Cinder and Kai focused to Scarlet and Wolf. But I must say that the people who commented on my Cinder review telling me that all would be okay were absolutely correct. It's possible that I might like Scarlet and Wolf's story even more than Cinder and Kai's! WHAT!!!!! It's true.

As with Cinder, being familiar with the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, which is what Scarlet is based off of, I was full of anticipation to see how Marissa Meyer would bring in the different aspects of the story and how everything would play out. Not only was I impressed with Scarlet and Wolf's story, but the way that Marissa Meyer incorporated this fairy-tale retelling in with Cinder's existing story line was nothing less than brilliant.

I feel like I can't say much else because I don't want there to be any spoilers. Just know that I really enjoyed this book. The same reasons why I really liked Cinder were carried on and improved upon with Scarlet. And I even liked the new characters in Scarlet just as well. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Cress with the incorporation of Rapunzel.

I'm giving Scarlet 4 Stars. Have you read Scarlet? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on The 5th Wave

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

The 5th Wave

By: Rick Yancey

Expected Publication: May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

480 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Sounds good to me. Dystopian. Possibly a relationship? The debate on whether to let someone else in and risk death or remain alone and alive but with what quality of life? What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Heroines

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Rewind so I picked Top Ten Favorite Heorines.

1. Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - Rose kicks butt. She's passionate, loyal, and does nothing with less than 100%. I love her snarky attitude.

2. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Elizabeth has her flaws, but she's willing to grow, and that's one of the main things I love about her.

3. Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore - She's got so many things fighting against her that she has to hide herself with clothing and using other methods. Yet, despite pretty much hating what she is, she still strives to be good about all else.

4. Gabry from The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan - Truthfully, Gabry is scared crazy, but who can blame her? Zombies are a part of her every day life. But she pushes herself outside of her comfort zone and beyond the walls for a friend more than once.

5. Ismae from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - Ismae has been marked as different from birth. Most people avoid her. But she finds strength and despite the bad things that have happened to her, she doesn't allow herself to become a victim. She turns her troubles into an opportunity to empower herself.

6. Scarlet from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Scarlet runs head first into the danger zone to save her grandmother. Yet, in my opinion, she didn't go in half-cocked like so many young adult "heroines."

7. Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Bless her. Cinder's another person that's just had it rough from day 1. Along with her troubles, she also hates herself for what she is (doubly), yet presses on for the cause of the Commonwealth, the world, Prince Kai...etc.

8. Sydney Sage from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - Sydney is very different from Rose, but she's extremely intellectual. I hate reading about daft leading ladies. Sydney can solve problems with the best of them. And she's ever growing and changing as time goes by.

9. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by JK Rowling - Again with the intellectual characters. How many time did Hermione save the day? Love her! She's everything that a heroine should be.

10. Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Jane is seriously a role model. She respected herself to the deteriment of her personal happiness. I can do nothing but respect Jane and hold her in high esteem. Able to forgive as well which is a huge characteristic missing from so many these days.

You guys know how hard it is for my to stick to 10. Honorable mentions are Arya Stark and Daenarys Targaryen from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin, Anne Elliot from Persuasion by Jane Austen, and Puck from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

What about you? Who are your favorite heroines? Let me know!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Unearthly - Review

Unearthly (Unearthly, # 1)

By: Cynthia Hand

Published: January 4th 2011 by HarperTeen

435 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

I've got mixed feelings about Unearthly. For the most part, I enjoyed it. Angel books are nothing new, but this one felt like what an angel book should be. For one, this wasn't a story about a fallen angel who happens to be a really hot guy. Of course, fallen angels, or Black Wings, do make an appearance in Unearthly, but at this point, the story doesn't focus on the fallen.

Clara's a sixteen year old, quarter-angel, girl. Her mother is a half-blooded angel and her father is human. Clara's mother told her the truth about their background when Clara was fourteen years old and ever since Clara's been waiting on receiving her purpose--IOW, her purpose in life, her mission. Considering most of the other angel books I've read are just about fallen hot angel boys, it was refreshing for Cynthia Hand's angels to have a mission--a purpose from God. And Clara's mother does a great job showing that the purpose is the priority in their lives, so much so that they move across country in order to accomplish this purpose.

The additional cast of secondary characters include Clara's younger brother Jeffrey who I expect we'll hear much more about in the future books, her mother who also has more information to spill, Angela who's the only person that really understands what Clara's going through--expecting further developments concerning her research--Wendy who is one of Clara's a BFFs, her twin brother Tucker, and Christian--Clara's purpose.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I like the direction the story is headed in. I was all pumped about the fact that these angels have a purpose, a mission from God. I was pumped that they don't outright deny the existence of God, and there were moments when I was impressed with Cynthia Hand for touching on their belief of God and all of that jazz. However, without getting too spoilery, this book plays with the concept of "what happens if an angel decides that they want to follow a different path than the one they've been destined for?" And well...I'm not sure what happens in this series to these angels, but I know what happens to ones that think they know better than God. And I guess for once I'd like to see a YA novel about angels actually stick to the truth in this area.

I've argued that fiction is fiction and that we shouldn't take it too seriously at times, but I've been frustrated with repeating patterns in fiction lately. So I'd be happy to see the Unearthly series break pattern. I'll definitely continue the series, but we'll have to see what happens in book 2 before I can say that I'll certainly finish the series.

All in all I give Unearthly a wary 4 stars. I feel as if I can't give an accurate representation of my feelings toward the book without spoilers, so I'm just saying that I enjoyed Unearthly, but I am a bit uneasy about the direction in which the story is headed.

Have you read Unearthly? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Post - 40 & Stacking the Shelves - 13

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 felt like a short week to me. And for the most part it was pretty low key. Both of which are completely fine with me. Yesterday I spent some time outside vacuuming our pool. The weather was so nice and I was hoping to get some sun.


Monday: Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Read Before Blogging

Wednesday: Waiting on This Girl

Thursday: Review of Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (3 Stars)

Friday: I participated in a new-to-me meme called High Five for Friday.

I also signed up for Blog Lovin' this week.

Follow on Bloglovin


Monday: Review of Unearthy by Cynthia Hand

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Heroines

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, # 2) by Marissa Meyer

Friday: High Five for Friday

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Deepest Cut

By: JA Templeton

Published: October 1st 2011 by Julia Templeton (first published June 27th 2011)

304 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.

When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.

Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace.


By: JJ Bonds

Published: Novemeber 2011

310 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--When Katia enrolled at Crossroads Academy she knew things weren’t exactly going to be easy. The sole heir to the worlds’ most powerful vampire, her presence was bound to cause a stir. But nothing could have prepared her for this. Whispers follow everywhere she goes. So does trouble.

Bodies start turning up in nearby Rutland and Katia is sucked into a twisted web of danger and deceit. Haunted by nightmares she can’t explain and a thirst for blood that is never sated, Katia will do whatever it takes to keep her past buried.

Nothing at Crossroads is what it seems and Katia’s secrets may be the darkest of them all.


By: Abbi Glines

Published: December 13th 2011 by WIld Child Publishing

161 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository )

Goodreads description--What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

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!

Friday, April 12, 2013

High Five for Friday - 1 (04/12/2013)

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

High Five for Friday is hosted by Lauren @ From My Grey Desk.

I'm participating in a new feature/meme this week called High Five for Friday. Because I already do a weekly recap (Sunday Post), I'm using High Five for Friday as more of a way to highlight my week, book related and not. And here's to hoping that I can meet some new people that I might not have met if sticking to only the book blogging community.

1. My number 1 is that this is my first High Five for Friday post. How exciting!

2. I finished Day 100 in my daily Bible reading schedule on Wednesday. Obviously today I've finished Day 102. This is my 2nd year in a row where one of my goals is to read through the entire Bible in a year. I'm 27% through.

3. I started re-reading The Mortal Instruments book 1, City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare this week in preparation for the movie that's set to release August 23rd. Here's the newest and longest trailer available. EEE!!! It's looks so good!

4. The weather has been so nice this week and I've been in the spring kind of mood so I painted my fingernails and toenails some extremely bright colors. The hot pink is on my fingers, and the brand is Sinful Colors number 920. The neon green is on my toes, and the brand is Salon Perfect named Loopy Lime. These were my first bottles from either ones of these brands (purchased at Walmart). They were both extremely fast drying which I LOVED. And once covered with a top clear coat, they shine quite nicely.

5. Jim Madaris came and shared his testimony with our church Wednesday night. He's recently found out that he has cancer, mesothelioma to be exact, and his testimony is really about continuing to worship and praise God despite his circumstances. I really admire that. Here's a video of his testimony.

On a related note, check out A Wordy Woman's blog. Another person who has taken praising God through unbearable times to a new level.

That's it for my High Five for Friday. What's great things have you experienced this week? Let me know!