Monthly Archives:: August 2013

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves (Mini Book Review)

August 28, 2013 Adult Fiction, Book Review 4

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves (Mini Book Review)Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series: On the Island #1.5
Also in this series: On the Island
Published by Penguin on July 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Survival
Pages: 160
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.

Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind.

But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.

And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.

I loved being reunited with T.J. and Anna! It was a lot of fun to hear about what they’ve been up to since On the Island, even though they were not the focus of this novella. We are introduced to Owen, who chose to maroon himself on an uncharted island to get away from his crazy life. I really, really liked Owen. Even though he was wealthy, he wasn’t happy because his life was full of money and not relationships and simple pleasures. I love that he recognized this, because so many people these days believe that money buys happiness. His time on the island proved to be therapeutic, and he ended up learning a lot about himself in the process.

From time to time, Owen would head to the mainland for supplies and a shower before going back. One time he met Calia, a cute British girl, and her brother, James. The three went back to the island together, and I really liked reading about the bond they formed. James really cared for his sister in a, “you mess with her, you die.” kind of way, and I’ve always loved it when siblings have that kind of relationship. Romance also blossomed, and I really loved seeing what it did to Owen. It totally changed him–the sign of a great relationship. I also really liked Calia, although you don’t get to learn a ton about her. Adventure happens, as is Tracey’s mantra. It’s amazing the things that happen on this little island.

Most of this story is a flashback and Owen tells Anna and T.J. about his experience being stuck on an island. It was easier for him in that he had a pilot flying in to check on him and a satellite phone, but it was also very hard. And, of course, we get to discover how his story relates to theirs. It was all very exciting.

This book is quite a page-turner! With all the adventure and mystery, I tore through it. Tracey’s writing is still amazing. She is so good at describing the island, that I’m sure she’s been there. I can’t wait for more books from her!


Wanted: One Ghost by Loni Lynne (Book Spotlight + Giveaway)

August 26, 2013 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 4

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It’s my pleasure to promote Loni Lynne’s new book, Wanted: One Ghost, and to be a part of the blog tour hosted by Christine Marie! I love books with ghosts, and this one sounds pretty amazing! Check out some of the reviews it has gotten so far:

“It’s a traditional love story mixed with a mystery and a handsome ghost.”

Read the full review by Rebecca on Goodreads

“The ending will capture your heart. Sweet and innocent, and full of heat, Ms Lynn has come up with a WONDERFUL ghost story, rife with compelling characters and dynamic challenges.”

Read the full review by Louann on Goodreads

“For debut author Loni Lynne I applaud her for writing a story that hooked me at the start and creating a complex historical timeline that was so detailed, I felt like I was really there.”

Read the full review by Kristen on Goodreads

“The story, though it is filled with danger and ghosts, frequently made me laugh.”

Read the full review by Danielle on Goodreads

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Wanted: One Ghost by Loni Lynne
Release Date: May 31, 2013
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Add to Goodreads  •  Buy the Book

Stuck in ghostly limbo for 238 years, James Addison can’t move on to an afterlife. After being falsely accused of treason and executed, fate’s cursed him to remain an earth-bound specter until he meets a historian sent to research his past. Distrustful of fate, Dr. April Branford wants to be taken seriously, but her unique ability to divine history by touching objects seriously compromises her credibility. Her latest assignment? James Addison, a legendary colonial ladies’ man with a shadowy past. Without much to go on, she doesn’t hold out much hope to discover the man behind the legend until the day she accidentally touches him and brings him back to life. With the help of family and ghosts from James’s past, they unravel the truth. But after falling in love and with time running out, it’s hard for April to believe in fate and a future where forever is now.

Loni Lynne

About the Author: Loni Lynne

Born in Michigan, Loni grew up all over the mid-west. From Michigan to Texas and everywhere in between before joining the Navy and meeting her Army husband. Together they were stationed in Hawaii for four years before returning to settle close to family in Maryland. Raising two beautiful daughters, Loni went from being a domestic goddess to a writer and finally a published author when her husband gifted her with a laptop,portable hard drive and a membership to Romance Writers of America for her birthday. He then challenged her to, ‘finish a book by her next birthday,’ and she did it! A few years later she was blessed with one of those novels, Wanted: One Ghost, as her debut novel.

Website  •  Author Facebook  •  Find the book on Facebook  •  Twitter

Keep an eye out for my review of Wanted: One Ghost coming in the future.

Giveaway

Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

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Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)

August 23, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 7 ★★★★★

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)Renegade by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Revelations, Rebellion
Published by Tor Teen on November 13, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 364
Format: eBook
Source: From Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide), From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Renegade was a highly anticipated read for me, and I regret waiting so long to get to it! This book is absolutely amazing, and definitely a new favorite of mine. Thanks so much to Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide for giving me a signed copy for Christmas last year! Anyway, my main points are bolded, as always. :)

1. I love the setting in Renegade: Elysium. These people live in a glass structure at the bottom of the sea. Who needs wallpaper when you’ve got whales swimming past you? It’s absolutely beautiful, even though it is hiding a very creepy world inside.

2. Yeah, the world is creepy. Everyone is perfect. They all have blonde hair, blue eyes, never do anything wrong, etc. It’s a utopia, but it’s so perfect that it becomes weird and creepy.

3. Originally, I thought this was a mermaid book. It’s not. Everyone’s a human, and that made me happy. This book is original!

4. Evelyn has been sheltered from reality her entire life. She has been brainwashed to forget things, act a certain way, and think other things. As a result, her life is sunshine and roses. She sits in her garden playing with the flowers, and has no idea what’s going on. As she started figuring things out, with the help of Gavin, I started to really like her. She found out she was betrayed, and rather than denying it or crying about it, she became filled with this utter disgust for her mother. I loved that. She has a brain, even though it’s being altered, and she is strong enough to see the truth even though she’s not supposed to. She has no idea what her world is like, but she’s going crazy trying to escape it. And as the brainwashing gets worse, she has to fight herself to save herself. This girl has guts. I love her.

5. Oh, and Gavin. Mmm mmm. I love Gavin. Talk about a knight in shining armor. He randomly ends up in Elysium from the surface, and is being hunted for killing by the people here. Rather than hiding and trying to escape on his own, he decides to help the most valuable and protected girl there. He got himself into a real pickle for this, so it’s obvious that he’s completely fascinated by Evelyn. I love the he grounds her. He is her rock, and she can function if she has him by her side. And he says some of the sweetest things!

6. I mentioned Mother before, and italicized it for a reason. She is the leader of Elysium, and everyone calls her Mother. Somehow, long ago, she founded this world as an escape from the evil surface dwellers. She has lied to, controlled, and molded her people into thoughtless shells of themselves. And Evelyn is her prized possession, the Daughter of the People. She will stop at nothing to keep her below the surface. She will have her killed before she will let her escape. I’m sure you can imagine the crazy adventure and suspense that ensues. There’s something about a completely heartless, indifferent villain that makes a book SO much better.

7. SO much craziness happens! This book had me tearing through the pages. There was never a dull moment, and I could not handle the suspense at times. It’s wonderful.

8. The writing is gorgeous. Where has this author been all my life? The descriptions of the scenery, the world, the feelings, the romance. It was all incredibly beautiful.

I tried to keep things vague so as not to spoil the experience for you. Renegade is an amazing dystopia, and the start of an intoxicating series. I can’t wait for the next book (seriously, can I have it?), so I can continue reading about Evelyn and Gavin. Definitely try this if you’re a fan of dystopia. It does not disappoint.

 


Top Ten Things that Make My Life as a Book Blogger Easier

August 20, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 14

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Life as a book blogger is by no means easy, but it’s amazing and I love it! I had no idea that I’d still be blogging three years later! Today I get to share with you my list of awesome stuff that makes being a book blogger just a bit easier.

 

Goodreads (and Goodreads App)
Oh my, Goodreads is a godsend. I have no idea what I would do without it! I use it for investigating the books I’m asked to read and review before accepting, keeping an inventory of the books I own or want, posting my reviews for extra publicity, finding new blogging friends and groups to join, and networking with authors. I’m always updating what I’m reading and what page I’m on, and I love to keep track of what my friends are up to! I have found some amazing books through recommendations on Goodreads!

Netgalley/Edelweiss
These two sites are just no good for me, even though I love them so! I love the easy access to galleys, and the fact that you can submit your review to the publisher through them. It’s much easier to receive a book through these sites, because it costs the pubs less… so that means more opportunities for me! AND… they take up no room on my shelves, so I can request so many more!

Nice, polite authors
I love authors that support book bloggers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received an email or tweet from an author, thanking me for my review. Sometimes I’m even thanked for bad reviews! It really makes life so much easier when authors understand us, and recognize that we’re doing what we love.

Kindle
My Kindle holds so many more books than my shelves ever could! I’d hate to have to stop reading because I had no more room! Never fear, this can’t possibly happen anymore!

Business Cards
Oh yes. Business cards are a must. You can hand them out at events, slip them in to books you giveaway, leave them on boards at libraries or book shops, etc. It’s definitely a great way to get your name out.

Blogging Friends
You, my friends, make blogging so much fun! I love talking books with you, reading your reviews, participating in your memes and book events, sharing ARCs, and finding you at events! I’m not sure I could do it without you. :)

Twitter
I love interacting with you all through Twitter! And I love using it to promote my posts.

iCal/Google Calendar
I have no idea what I would do without these calendars for scheduling out my posts. I’d be double-booked all over the place!

Amazon Prime
Books in two days? YES. Plus, you can borrow a lot of Kindle books for free through Amazon Prime.

Book Events (signings, ALA, BEA, etc.)
Events are the best way to network with the pubs and authors you email all the time. Showing up at events shows them that you’re in this for the long haul. It builds trust, plus they get to put a face with a name and you do too!

So, what am I missing? Are there any secrets out there you’d like to let me in on?


Do you Suffer from Blogging Anxiety?

August 19, 2013 Discussion 11

As many of you know, I have been traversing the entire United States by minivan because of my grad school orientation at Valdosta State University. I have been gone for over two weeks, and this blog has suffered so much. I feel like I’m going crazy here! I had these huge plans to read lots and write reviews when I get to my hotel every evening, but by the time I get to one I’m too tired to do anything! Last night I got into the hotel at 12:15 in the morning, and the night before I got in at 1AM! Who has time?

And, of course, this has made me very anxious. My inner blogging monster is screaming at me to review ALL THE THINGS. And write ALL the posts!

 

So, what do you do? Are you plagued by this obsession to post all the time? How do you handle it? Are you ok with taking blogging vacations? I mean, I know you’re not all going to leave me because I take a little time off, but still! This just feels weird…
 
In other news, I get home tomorrow night! Phew!

Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Jodi Meadows

August 9, 2013 Author Interview, Book Spotlight 2

 

I am so excited to have Jodi on the blog today, because she is one of my very favorite authors EVER. Basically, she’s a rock star. I’m sure you remember my raving reviews of Incarnate and Asunder. One of my favorite things about Jodie is that we’re on the same wavelength. Her writing style meshes so perfectly with my imagination, that I see everything in my mind a split second before I read it. This doesn’t mean that her stories are predictable. It means that her writing gives me everything I could want. And more. Her world building is immaculate, she writes a pretty swoony male lead, she is the master at writing romances and tension, and you can just tell from her lyrical writing that she loves music just as much as I do. Just READ some of these quotes, people. Honestly.

“Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.”

“My heart wasn’t big enough to hold everything I felt, but I couldn’t bear the thought of asking him to wait while I caught up.”

“Breathing in the scent of his hair, I realized I’d needed him my whole life, before we even met. First, his music and the way he taught me through books and recordings. Then, he saved my life and refused to abandon me no matter how much I deserved it.”

I’m almost always speechless after closing a book of Jodie’s. She’s also pretty funny, especially when she talks about her beloved ferrets. I just know that we’d have so much fun chatting over books, chocolate, and love stories.

The Author

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.

*A Kippy is a cat

 

 

The Interview
Jana: Jodi, I am SO excited to host you on my blog today! I absolutely loved Incarnate and Asunder, and I am dying to find out more about Ana and Sam, and what’s in store for them in Infinite! Thanks for stopping by to answer a few questions. :) 

Incarnate introduces its readers to an amazingly unique take on reincarnation. I love that the characters remember their past lives, and have taken those memories and lessons learned with them into their current life. What was past-life Jodi like?

Jodi: Into stories, probably. Writing, reading, music. Past-life Jodi probably had better handwriting because the computer wasn’t around. Though maybe she would have lost all ability to write legibly thanks to the typewriter. I guess it depends when past-life Jodi lived.Past-life Jodi probably wished she could explore the galaxy like on STAR TREK, too.

Jana: I think we’d all love to explore the galaxy! Ana is a brand new soul with no past lives at all, and Sam is a guy who has been reincarnated many times. And they fall in love. The age difference is quite massive, yet their relationship is so normal and believable. What kind of planning did you have to go through in order to have their story come off as romantic rather than strange?

Jodi: I knew early on that Ana and Sam had to have some kind of connection besides the hots for each other’s bodies — something real and soul-deep. That connection was music. I think having their friendship be based on something like that helped a lot.

I was also careful to mention that their relationship might be strange. Some characters think it’s weird and wrong, while others believe they were meant to be together. Ana and Sam do have to deal with their massive age difference. But while they know their romance is unusual, that doesn’t make it any less real for them.

It helps, I think, that they’re both aware of the strangeness, and consider all the issues. They’re both mature enough to make decisions — together — from there.

Jana: Wow, I love that! And I love that the maturity surrounding their relationship is so believable. It made me love them so much more.

Ana’s appearance causes a major rift in the world. She’s ostracized, belittled, mocked, and feared. I think we’ve all had times like that in our lives, of constantly wanting to prove that we’re more important than we’re given credit for. Her feelings and struggles were portrayed in such a real way, that I can’t help wondering if a little bit of you was written in her. Is that true?

Jodi: Those are pretty universal feelings. We all know what it’s like to feel excluded and belittled. We’ve all been new to something — school or work or towns, or even situations we’ve never before encountered. So I think there’s a little bit of everyone in Ana. Including me.

Jana: That’s a beautiful concept. I love that Ana was written in a way that everyone could relate to her on some level.

Sam is still my absolute favorite male in young adult fiction, because I love his wisdom, his musicality, and his compassion and capacity for love. Is he inspired by anyone in particular?

Jodi: My characters appear in my head fully formed; they’re never based on anyone in my real life, though sometimes I notice similarities between people I know and the people living in my head. Sam, though . . . I knew he had to be kind and gentle and compassionate in order to reach Ana. Her past was such that no one but the most empathetic person would be able to help her overcome what she’s been through. Which isn’t to say that he doesn’t make mistakes! He makes plenty over the course of their relationship, but that kind and honorable part of him always shines through.

Jana: *swoons* I just love Sam! Music plays a huge role in the Newsoul trilogy, which I love. It is practically a character all on its own. What made you decide to make music such a strong part of Ana’s and Sam’s stories?

Jodi: As I mentioned earlier, I needed something strong to connect Ana and Sam. Music is a universal language. It affects everyone somehow. For Ana, music became her lifeline. It was the thing she had when she had nothing else. It was what kept her going through her entire childhood. And Sam connects with her using that.

Also, I love music. It’s always been a huge part of my life. I took dance all through my childhood and teenage years, so music is also a very physical thing for me. And I played the flute through middle and high school. (I still have my flute and bring it out occasionally, but not as often as I should.) I’ve always felt a strong connection with music; it seemed natural to give something like that to Ana and Sam.

Jana: See, I love that! I’ve always connected deeply to music, and I’ve never read a book that depended on music so much. It worked so amazingly well, even though a book is silent. With movies, you can have pretty scores accompany the story, but with a book you don’t have that luxury. On that same note, if Incarnate were a song instead of a book, what would it sound like?

Jodi: I actually do have a piece one of my readers showed me. 3055, by Olafur Arnalds.

I’d describe it for you, but you should probably just listen to it instead. Watch the video, too. It’s wonderful. 

Jana: Wow. That’s beautiful! I love it. And that video reminds me so much for Sam and Ana.

So… the masquerade ball in Incarnate had me swooning more than I care to admit. It was absolutely beautiful, and I loved the message it portrayed. (For those who don’t know, The ball is held for two souls who have pledged their undying love for one another across all their incarnations, even if sometimes one of them happens to be 80 and the other one 5. Or… if they both happen to come back as members of the same gender. It’s their souls that matter, not their bodies or age. So they celebrate all of this with a masquerade ball, where nobody knows who anyone is dressed as. The goal is for this couple to find each other anyway.) I love the underlying message of love being eternal, and having no bounds. Is there a love like this in your life?

Jodi: The masquerade is one of my favorite parts, too! Swoon all you like; there’s no shame in it. :) And yes, I do have a romance of my own. I met my husband online in a chat room (completely unrelated to romance). We started talking over instant message, then over the phone, and after about six months of that, he flew to Texas where I lived, we drove back to Virginia, and got married. A lot of people said it wouldn’t work, and looking back, I see how they thought it was dangerous. But I knew then that it was right, and here we are ten years later, still very much in love.

Jana: Wow… What a fun story, and so romantic! I love hearing how couples meet and fall in love.

As we move from Incarnate to Asunder, we start to see a stronger emphasis placed on emotions and feelings. We see Ana start to change and value her purpose in life more, and we see the more human side of Sam–flaws and all. What’s in store for us in Infinite?

Jodi: More of all of that! Plus, Ana has to make some huge decisions and discoveries. Stuff goes down. And . . . up. (You’ll see.)

Jana: Ah, I’m so excited! I heard we’re getting a prequel novella from Sam’s point of view, which I am SO excited about! Can you tell us a little about it?

Jodi: I’m excited, too! Phoenix Overture revolves around a major, major choice Sam had to make early in a past life. If you’ve read Asunder, you might even be able to guess what choice that was. Stef is there, as well as some other familiar names.

Jana: That sounds awesome! I just know when the Newsoul trilogy comes to a close, I’m going to die a little bit. You’ve got a new project in the works, though, from what I’ve heard! Are you sworn to secrecy, or can you give us some details?

Jodi: I’m mostly sworn to secrecy for now, but I can tell you a tiny bit. The Orphan Queen is about identity, parents’ legacies, and believing in oneself. There’s kissing, swords, and people wearing pretty, pretty outfits.

Jana: Oh, how exciting! The Orphan Queen sounds so wonderful. I have a couple questions left for you, just for fun! 

If you could be a character in someone else’s book, who would you choose and why?

Jodi: Oh gosh. What is the book with the least conflict that’s mostly about kissing and reading and drinking coffee? I want to be in that book.

Jana: Haha. I think we all would! Tell us about your favorite knitting project.

 

Jodi: I don’t have a favorite knitting project, but I recently finished this tank top and I’m pretty proud of it. I also have this lace shawl I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. (Since I do most of my knitting while watching TV or when I need to sit and think about writing, I don’t knit this one much. It takes a lot of concentration.)



 

Jana: That tank top is so pretty! The shawl also looks like it’s coming along nicely, although I’m not a knitter so I might not be seeing everything I should be seeing. I should learn to knit. That would be awesome. Tell us about these ferrets you speak of.

 

Jodi: I have two ferrets right now, Todd and Hiro, though I’ve had others in the past, up to seven at once. (It was just as crazy as you might imagine.) Mostly, the ferrets sleep, but sometimes they get up to bounce around and wrestle with each other, or stash their junk in boxes or their cage. Sounds like a pretty good life, right?



Jana: Oh, to be a ferret. They are so cute! I can’t imagine having seven, though. I bet that’s a ton of work! What kind of chocolate did you eat the most of last month? I’m partial to Dove milk chocolate.

Jodi: I also like milk chocolate best! I’m not sure what I ate most of last month, though. I mostly don’t remember last month, as I was too busy writing Sam’s novella to do much else. Did we really have a June? I had just a Sam.



Jana: Haha. You had a Sam. I can’t help but giggle at that! What’s the funniest or most memorable thing a devoted fan has asked/said to you?

Jodi: All of my readers are wonderful, and I love them, but one of the funniest things was when one brought me a wooden spoon to an event, because I’d mentioned on Twitter once that I didn’t have one. Now I have one. Crisis averted?

Jana: Oh, that is hilarious! What an attentive fan! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Jodi: I’m currently drinking coffee out of a Hooray for Books! mug. I think that makes the coffee taste even better.

Jana: Hehe. Books make everything better, that’s for sure! Thanks so much for stopping by, Jodi! Best of luck with the upcoming release of Phoenix Overture, and the 2014 conclusion to the Newsoul trilogy, Infinite!

Jodi: Thank you!!

I just loved chatting with Jodi and getting to hear more about her books, both released and unreleased! If you have not yet picked up the Newsoul books, or if you’re not ready for the upcoming releases, I highly suggest running to your bookstore and picking them all up!

 

The Books

 

Incarnate

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Asunder, Phoenix Overture (coming September 4, 2013), Infinite (coming January 28, 2014)

 

Do you love Jodi Meadows, too? Leave her some love here, or go visit her:

Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

August 6, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 28

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello! It’s Sunday night, and I’m writing this post two days into my road trip across the USA (from Utah to Florida). Right now, I’m in Topeka, Kansas at a Comfort Suites.

Anyway, there is no guarantee that I will have wi-fi in Paducah, Kentucky tomorrow night so I thought I’d be safe and write my post up tonight. Also, because I’m in the hotel I don’t really have time to make a pretty amazing TTT graphic. So, it’ll just be a list today. :(

This was actually a really hard topic for me, because so many of the books I read are already duets or trilogies. Sometimes I just miss the characters, though, so that’s what I will mostly be focusing on today.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I know we get a little bit of these two in Lola, but I want a whole other book for them! I love those two, and I want to know where things went after the story we got to read ended.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I just really love Dash and Lily. And I love books set in NYC. I’d love to see what happened with their relationship, and if they continued with the red notebook of tasks. :)

Nocturne by Syrie James
The ending left SO much more to be desired. Syrie even told me herself that Michael and Nicole’s story is far from over. We only got to see them for three days! I want more!

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
I just love the family in this book, and the setting. I want to spend another summer there!

An extra book in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
I’d really like to see what happens with Jacob and Reneesme.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
I just love Oliver…

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
It needs a sequel, and Stephenie told us she was going to write one! So come on, already!

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
I want to travel more with Bria and Rowan!

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
I love Red, and I love Clementine’s family! I want to see them again!

 

Which books did you choose? And wish me luck as I continue my realllllllly long drive!


Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)

August 5, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★★★★½

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Also in this series: Throne of Glass
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 27, 2013
Genres: High Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4.5 Stars
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, and was very excited when I was approved for Crown of Midnight on Netgalley! I dropped everything that I was doing, and began reading immediately. Sarah made me a fan of epic fantasy, and I’m still a huge fan after Crown of Midnight! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Celaena is such a strong female character, and I absolutely love reading about her. We get to learn more about her and her past in this book, as well as her future and what she is capable of. She’s much more magical and mysterious that I thought she was in Throne of Glass! And even though she’s supposedly this ruthless assassin, she has a conscience. She’s not just the king’s lap dog. She does what she wants. And she likes to giggle, she can down chocolate cake faster than most people, she loves pretty things, and she is obsessed with books. There are so many sides and facets to her, and I’m enjoying getting to know her.

2. Chaol and Dorian are still both vying for Celaena’s heart, but there’s no wishy-washiness on her part. She knows who she wants and she sticks with it, which is a true testament to her strong personality. I really, really like Chaol. He’s sweet and concerned… protective and romantic. But I also really like Dorian. He’s finally having to grow up and find the answers to his own questions. He’s spent his life watching his dad hand out killings and death, and now that it’s Celaena doing it, he’s having a REALLY hard time with that. He has seen her go from a silly little girl to a hardened assassin, and he’s not sure if she’s the same person he fell for, or if she is still the same deep down inside. He’s becoming more noble, and beginning to stand up for what’s right now, and I found that to be a really attractive quality in him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the suave, debonair prince. I’ve always been a fan of Prince Charmings. :)

3. Crown of Midnight is heartbreaking. I’d heard a little scuttlebutt about things, and how this book would be sad, and I was like, “I highly doubt it. My heart is strong.” While I did not cry, things happen that are just downright sad! There is so much emotion and feeling instilled within the book’s pages, and it all ends up a rather rough roller coaster. Celaena, Chaol, Nehemia, and Dorian go through a LOT of stuff.

4. There is SO much magic, and I loved it! This glass castle is definitely enchanted, and more people know it than are letting on. It holds so many secrets within its walls, hidden in the library, lurking in dark corners, sequestered behind locked doors. We get to explore the castle a lot more in Crown of Midnight, and it makes for a creepy adventure.

5. The writing is just gorgeous. The descriptions put you RIGHT THERE. The feelings are written so perfectly that you feel them yourself. I didn’t read this book, I was a part of this book.

I’m keeping this review short, because I don’t want to spoil anything! Basically, Crown of Midnight is an amazing sequel to Throne of Glass, and even though it just broke my heart, everything that happened needed to happen in order to make Celaena progress in her mission. I’ve seen a lot of comments floating around from people who are worrying that Crown of Midnight will be a huge letdown, with no real plot, a focus on a love triangle, and a bunch of emptiness. Let me ease your fears! I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Don’t be scared to read Crown of Midnight, especially if you loved Throne of Glass! I’d recommend this series to anyone who loves amazing world building, strong characters, tons of action, and even those who claim to not like epic fantasy. I think Sarah will change your mind like she did mine.