Category: Uncategorized

June is Audiobook Month!

Posted June 19, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

 

So, June is Audibook Month (I know! I’m way late!), and I think this is a wonderful time to introduce myself to audiobooks! I’ve listened to half of The Da Vinci Code, and got really bored… fell asleep… and that was it! But since there’s an entire month devoted to audiobooks, maybe I need to rethink my decision!

Anyway, there’s this website called audiobooksync.com that is giving away two audio books a week from now until August 22nd. There are some awesome titles on their site, so I thought I’d let you know about them! The titles include Anna Dressed in Blood, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Sense and Sensibility, A Tale of Two Cities, and more. And they are FREE if you want them! I’m really excited about this!

Here is the schedule. Right now, they are giving away The Eleventh Plague and the Grapes of Wrath.


In My Mailbox (#4)

Posted June 3, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Hi, guys! It’s been a while since I participated in IMM. I’ve been in Europe for the past 6 weeks, and just got home a few days ago. I received lots of books while I was gone, and can’t wait to tell you about them all!

Books Gifted:

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
On the Street Where You Live by Mark Higgins Clark

Books I received for Review:

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Florence by Ciye Cho
The Lost Kingdom by Kris Ellsworth

Blogs/Reviews/Books Mentioned:

Rather be Reading
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Magan’s Review of Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Read about my fan-girling over Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
I’ve got a great summer read for you! – Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
Author interview and giveaway of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (USA/CAN)

In My Mailbox (#3)

Posted April 1, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

In My Mailbox is a really fun meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we get to gush about all the books we received, and share our thoughts on them!

Hi! This is going to be a pretty short video this week, as my book haul was a bit smaller than usual. What I lack in quantity, though, I make up for in quality! I am so excited by what I’ve purchased and received over the last week or so. :)

 

 

 

ARC of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, from Michelle at The Passionate Bookworm
ARC of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, from Brooke at Brooke Reports
Paperback of On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves, and swag from the author!
Kindle copy of I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins-Clark (purchased).

 

____________________________________________________________________
Check out my review of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Let me know what you thought of it!
Join in on the awesome conversation about copycat covers, and voice your opinion.
Watch the whimsical bookish video, Oscar 2012 winner for best animated short!

That Artsy Reader Girl just reached over 10,000 page views! *throws confetti in the air* Thank you so much to all my readers for stopping by and joining in on the conversations and book chats. I love getting to know all of you! And as always, thanks to my Twitter followers and Facebook fans. :) I love reading about what’s going on in your lives, and sharing your enthusiasm and excitement for books, as well as life in general. :)


In My Mailbox (#2)

Posted March 11, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

 

In My Mailbox is a really fun meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we get to gush about all the books we received and share our thoughts on them!

I haven’t participated in IMM since February 19th, so I have quite a few books to share. I won a few books from different blogs, got some for review, and bought some (of course…). So, let’s get started!

 

Won:

Signed copies of Legend by Marie Lu and Across the Universe by Beth Revis, plus a bunch of swag from Tiffany Schmidt’s Breathless Reads Giveaway on her blog, Letters, words, thoughts, ideas, stories.
I recently got a personalized copy of ATU from Alexa at Alexa Loves Books as well, so this second copy will be up for giveaway soon! :)

Signed copy of The Crystal Princess by Kimberly Norton from Readinista.

Thanks so much to the both of you for hosting such wonderful giveaways!

For Review:

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers exclusive promo galley on Netgalley.
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis from Magan at Rather by Reading from her trip to Ala Midwinter.
Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham from the publisher for review at The Broke and the Bookish .

Thanks to the publishers (and Magan)! I’m excited to read these. :)

Purchased:

Evernight by Claudia Gray (with bonus materials) – Free on kindle!
The Boyfriend Bylaws by Susan Hatler – Free on kindle!
Blue Eyes and Other Teenage Hazards by Janette Rallison (kindle)
Oppression by Jessica Therrien (because of Alexa’s review) (kindle)
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier> (Paperback)


In My Mailbox (#1)

Posted February 19, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 25 Comments

 

Hi guys! This is my very first IMM, and I’m so excited! I came across some wonderful books this week, and I’m excited to share them all with you! Vlogs terrify me, so let’s see how this turns out!

(Haha… The girl in a Long, Long Sleep is not a benefactor… She didn’t give anyone money!! She’s a long-lost heir to something… Haha… benefactor. Silly me! And WOW. I am pale! Haha. I’d blame it on winter, but I’m that pale all year, so I can’t!)

 

Purchased:

Valentine’s Presents (From my Mom): 

For Review:

Won:

I’d just like to thank all of you for supporting my blog! I love all the comments, e-mails, Tweets, Goodreads chats, and shout-outs on your blogs! I participated in the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon this week, and came away with some awesome new blogs to follow, some new friends, and a lot of warm fuzzies! Thanks to all of you who mentioned me, and came by to spread the love. I wish I could have participated more, but I was passing a kidney stone… Lame. But I love all of you! I’ll see you around the blogosphere, and can’t wait to get to know you better. :)

Now… what did you get this week? :) Link me to your posts and I’ll be sure to stop by! Or… tell me in the comments. :)  Thanks for stopping by!


Coliloquy Titles On Sale Through February!

Posted February 4, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

Hi again! So, I’m sure you’ve heard about the digital publishing company, Coliloquy, that publishes “active fiction” for Amazon Kindle. They are like choose-your-own mystery books! For the month of February, they are all on sale for $1.99 (usually priced around $5-$7) on Amazon. I just bought Getting Dumped and Witch’s Brew, and thought you might like to see check them out as well. Here they are! I’ve included the summaries below.

Dead Letter Office:
When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues. 

Kira has written Parish Mail like a TV series–there are over-arching mystery and romantic story arcs that extend between the episodes, while each episode has a smaller case that is presented and solved. Along the way, she asks you, the reader, to make several small decisions as you read. These choices do not impact the overarching storyline, but certain combinations “unlock” clues to the series’ mystery, which are embedded in the text. Kira also asks you to cast a vote at the end of the episode, to get additional feedback from her fans about their preferred love interests in future episodes.

Getting Dumped:
Losing a cushy marketing job only to end up driving heavy equipment at the landfill would be a tough blow for most women.

But JJ Schultz isn’t most women, so she gamely swaps office politics and dry cleaning bills for a chance to crush garbage with a 150,000 pound machine. As it turns out, she doesn’t miss her old life too much…though her love life was sure a lot simpler when she didn’t wear a hardhat every day. Between her hot new co-workers and her on-again-off-again boyfriend, JJ has her hands full.

The drama kicks into high gear when JJ and her sister, Lori, find evidence of a counterfeit handbag operation – something local police deem only slightly more urgent than collecting fruit flies. JJ soon finds herself unraveling a sinister plot in the company of a tie-tugging accountant, a straight-to-video action hero turned secretary, a suspicious but sneaky-hot engineer, and a host of other characters with questionable hygiene and morals.  

In Getting Dumped, Tawna gives you one very simple choice point: Which guy should JJ call? Depending on your choice, you’ll get to know one of the guys a bit more intimately. Don’t be afraid to read all three versions–it’s for JJ’s own good, after all! And of course, feel free to re-read YOUR favorite over and over again. Tawna still isn’t sure who JJ should end up with, so she’s eager to see who her readers prefer. She sees the aggregate statistics on who gets picked the most, so the more you read, the more you influence what she writes.

Witch’s Brew:
The Spellspinners of Melas County is a fantasy YA romance series about a witch, a warlock, and their fight for their forbidden but prophesied love.

Once soulmates, the witch and warlock covens of the California coast have been estranged for a century. Raised to hate each other, their teenagers meet in the Solstice Stones, a magical battleground where they draw energy from each other to maintain their balance. 16 year olds Logan and Lily have spent years training for their first Stones…only to discover just days before that the enemy may not be what either of them had thought.

In Witch’s Brew, Lily is torn between her feelings for Logan and her coven’s need to know who—or what—he is. The young lovers race against time, their distrust for each other, and the powerful influence of their elders to unravel the mystery of their pasts before their future is destroyed.

In Witch’s Brew, Lily and Logan’s fate is already decided, but Heidi explores several different possible pathways for how they get there. She shares scenes that wouldn’t normally fit in a book format and gives readers more precious moments between the two young lovers. As the series progresses, you’ll see some normal narrative forms, interspersed with smaller scenes, alternate points of view, and a lot of “what if” scenarios.

Arcania:
In Arcania Trial By Fire, your input influences what happens to Adia, a young sorceress. Born without arcania in her blood, Adia has lived in the shadow of her magical twin, until the day she inherits her sister’s spellcasting talents. As she leaves for the training academy, there are plenty of people to show her the ropes: Grey, the darkly passionate top shield, Seger, a swashbuckling rogue with a talent for daggers, and Finola, a clever and empathic healer. With a battle heating up, Adia must learn to master her magic and earn a spot on a fighting team before the ancient war between the forces of magic destroys her loved ones on Earth. The author sees the aggregate statistics on what option gets picked the most, so the more you read, the more you influence what she writes! 

(According to the Goodreads descriptions, “Active fiction” is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways.)


2011 End of Year Book Survey

Posted December 29, 2011 by Jana in Uncategorized / 6 Comments

 

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
I’d have to say that Anna and the French Kiss was my favorite book this year. It was really the book that turned me on to not only young adult contemporary, but contemporary fiction in general. I’ve always thought of reading as an escape from my life, so I’d read a dystopia, historical, paranormal, etc. Reading about the impossible or the “once upon a time” made me leave my own life and become immersed in another. Because of that, I’d never been interested in reading anything that took place right now. Then it wasn’t an escape, and I’d be reading about someone like my next door neighbors, or my students. Contemporary is an escape, though! I’d like to thank Stephanie Perkins for showing me that.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto disappointed me beyond anything I could have imagined. If you head over to The Broke and The Bookish, you will find all the reasons why I disliked this book so much.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Delirium surprised me the most! The hype that surrounded this book had me worried I’d be extremely disappointed. I was also pretty leery of reading a dystopian that marked love as a disease. I worried it would be really sad, or really dumb. Or both. Oliver’s writing is amazing, though, and I ended up really loving it! And, when you think about it, love really can be a disease. Breaking up sucks and leaves you depressed for a LONG time, and sometimes being in love makes you do really weird things. It’s pretty awesome, though, once you’ve found it. Just like Oliver’s characters, I think the positives of love outweigh the negatives. :)

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Haha. I have been singing praises for Anna and the French Kiss for months now. I really can’t be quiet about it. But hey. It did get me started on a whole new genre, which made my TBR list grow exponentially in a matter of weeks.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series… Ally Condie’s Matched Series… Lauren DeStefano’s Wither series… Sophie Jordan’s Firelight series… It was a good year for series! Or, trilogies, rather. I’d love more stand-alones for 2012!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Oliver, Rachel Cohn, David Levithan, Maureen Johnson, John Green. I made so many discoveries this year!!

7.  Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Someday My Prince Will Come, by Jerramy Fine. It was my very first memoir, and while it was cute, I had a hard time supporting some of her decisions. I did decide, though, that memoirs are worth paying attention to, and I have my eye on several more!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
OH MAN. This is really hard. Haha. Learning to Swim, by Sara J. Henry was intense, and I was dying to know what happened! Picture this… you’re on a ferry, it’s crispy cold outside, and in the distance you see a bundle thrown off the back of another ferry at the exact moment you pass it. It could have been trash, right? Or a hoodie that blew off the deck. But no, you just can’t shake the feeling that it is so much worse than that. Without thinking you, not even a very good swimmer, jump into the frigid Lake Champlain and make a beeline for the diminishing ripples in the water where the mysterious bundle hit moments before. As you frantically search the murky waters around you, your eyes meet the eyes of a scared, drowning little boy. You grab him, swim a grueling one-mile swim, hoping to avoid the hypothermia creeping into your very bones, and pull him to the rocky shore. He’s not breathing, so you try to remember the CPR lesson you had a LONG time ago. You succeed. He’s breathing. As his eyes open, he looks at you, lets out a little sigh, rests his sleepy head on your arm, and murmurs, “Merci.”Ahhhh! This is what happened to the main girl, and from here on out the craziness happens, and it was this really intriguing mystery with some suspense. LOVED IT. And I SO did not expect it. I’d never heard about this book, so when I was asked to read it, I was worried. It was pretty amazing, though.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
I was really excited for the end of the Hourglass Door series, by Lisa Mangum. It’s called The Forgotten Locket. Books one and two in the trilogy ended in major cliffhangers, and I was so excited to see how everything was wrapped up.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011? .
Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater, has such awesome vector images. Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, has really great typography. Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto has the most beautiful cover, though, which is sad because of how disappointed in the book I was.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
It’s really hard to pick just one. My characters are my friends! There’s Lily, from Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. She is absolutely hilarious, not to mention smart and bookish. And then there was Jubilee from Let it Snow. She’s also really quirky and completely adorable. Jacinda from Firelight was a dragon! That’s pretty groundbreaking. I’ll never forget Anna, and her life that I seriously wish I had. Carrie, from Carrie Goes Off the Map is also pretty awesome. She got back at her ex-fiance by crashing his wedding and destroying a really expensive floral arrangement with a hose! Loved her for that. Marian from Marian’s Christmas Wish got this amazing fairytale. Man, if only I could pick one of these people and live their life for a day! I read a lot of strong female characters, which I think I TOTALLY needed.

12. Most beautifully written book in 2011?
I have always loved Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, so Forever would be my choice. Although… Syrie James’s writing is also amazing. Nocturne is a close tie, but I think Forever pulls ahead just a bit.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
This might sound a little weird, but it was a book I read with one of my reading students. It’s called The Kid Who Ran for President. The book is not what had such an impact on me, but the experience I had while reading it. When I started working with this student, she was timid and didn’t like reading much at all. As we read this book together, we had so many awesome conversations. She’s from Mexico, where things are so much different. I learned a lot about the tough life she had led, her family issues, and how at 11, she was almost the mother of her younger siblings. We really bonded, and I grew to love her a lot. She moved on to junior high, and I’m not sure she’ll remember this experience. I hope she does, though, because I watched this book change her life. She became a better reader, and we became great friends. She grew more self-confident, and she smiled so much more. This was one of those times that I re-discovered how important books are, and how I had taken advantage of the fact that I could read with ease.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Pretty much every book I read this year was published either this year or last year. Or else it wasn’t particularly noteworthy. I did read Dance Through Time, by Lynn Kurland. It’s almost 12 years old, and I loved it! I’m working my way through Pride and Prejudice right now, but it’s taking me some time. I’m really surprised that it has taken me this long to begin it, considering how long it’s been around, and how long it’s been on my TBR list. Loving it so far!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
Ok, so funny story time! I found a quote from Dash and Lily that I absolutely loved. I loved it so much that I posted it to Facebook as my status. Here it is:

“You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here’s a hint—ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn’t just the women. It’s the great male fantasy—all it takes is one dance to know that she’s the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know—this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don’t want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately.”

The girls were all like, “Oh my gosh, I love this! Where is it from?” And the boys were like, “Not true. This is so wrong. I don’t want a snobby, stuck up, selfish princess. I am not looking for a girl who wants me to worship the ground she walks on.” The girls saw the symbolism, and the boys just didn’t get it at all, hence the reason they are boys. I loved this so much because it is SO true! So many of the guys I know want exactly what this quote says. It was nice to see that we girls are not blinded by some illusion of perfection. Guys are too.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Let it Snow, by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. It’s such a sweet Christmas read, and those are hard to come by. I know I will want to read it again next December.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Oooo… Tricky. Haha. At the end of Nightshade (Book #2 in the Poison Diaries series), by Maryrose Wood, I just wanted to die of frustration and eagerness to find out what happened next. One of the worst cliffhangers ever. Same with Delirium. I wanted to die at the end of that also. The problem with Nightshade, though, was that I know nobody who has read it! So I couldn’t vent to anyone, or I would have spoiled it entirely. So I had to suffer in silence. I ended up venting to the publicist for the series, and she felt exactly the same way. It felt good to get it out. lol.

Book Blogging Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
I am limiting myself to only one favorite, or I know I would go on and on and on with this answer. I have met so many new bloggers and found awesome new blogs to follow since I started this blog a month and a half ago. I love Magan and Estelle’s blog, Rather be Reading. I just recently discovered it, but I absolutely love it! Magan and I actually discussed on Twitter how we’re pretty much the same ages and have the same taste in books, which equals perfection. So we either agree with whatever the other posted, or we put the book on our to-read list. They are definitely at the top of my list of blogs to visit everyday. Estelle and I kept reading the same books all December, so it has been really fun hearing her thoughts on the books I’ve been reading too! It’s like a buddy read, but BETTER.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto. This sounds so sad, but because I disliked it so much, my review was really fueled by that passion. I said exactly what I wanted to say in the exact way I wanted to say it. I also had a lot of people who agreed with me, which made me feel better about having a hard time loving it. I also really enjoyed my review of Nocturne, by Syrie James because I had a bit of a Q&A session with her, so I incorporated her answers to my questions within the review. It made for an awesome post!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
My blog is such a little baby, that I haven’t really had any discussions on here yet. This is a goal for 2012. I did recently discuss Bookish Bad Habits, which was fun. I got quite a few responses on here and on Twitter. Earlier in the year, over at The Broke and The Bookish, I posted something on my job as a reading teacher, and how so many people are unable to read these days because of language problems, technology, etc. It spurred a really cool conversation about illiteracy, and how to prevent it. It loved it, and had no idea it would get so much attention!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Over at The Perpetual Page-Turner, Jamie posted a letter to her young blogging self. She posted it around the same time I began this blog, and I enjoyed reading the advice she had for me. It helped me set some of my fears and concerns aside, and just enjoy blogging.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Well… it wasn’t an event really… but I got the very first ARC of Forbidden, by Syrie and Ryan James. I loved that I was one of the very first people to read Forbidden for the purpose of enjoyment (rather than editing, etc.) My review is right here.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
When I started my own blog here! I was so excited! My blog is not even a month old yet (as I write this), and I have already met so many amazing people! AND… Shortly after I started this blog, I read Carrie Goes Off the Map by Philippa Ashley. I’m quoted on her website!! (See it? I’m the first comment under the picture of Carrie Goes Off the Map!) I was SO EXCITED!! I took a screen shot of it. lol.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My Top Ten Books on My To-Read List for Winter. I got 25 comments! That was pretty exciting for me. :)

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Probably my review of Marian’s Christmas Wish. I really loved that book, and wish that more people had expressed interest in it!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Hmmm… I’d have to say my discovery of NetGalley has proven to be extremely amazing. I’ve gotten to read and review so many books that aren’t out yet… plus, they are free! Oh, Kindle. That was also an amazing bookish discovery. I love mine, especially since I can read with gloves now! Kindle + NetGalley = best things ever.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I’m still working on the Goodreads College Students Fall/Winter 2011 challenge. It ends in February, and I’m loving it so much! Here’s my list of challenge reads. I’m going to do more challenges in the future. I did, however, reach my goal of 35+ books for the year on the Goodreads 2011 reading challenge, which surpassed last year’s goal.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
The Watchtower, by Lee Carroll. I read the first book, Black Swan Rising, last year, and I loved it. I was SO wanting a sequel. When I found out they were releasing one, I pre-ordered it immediately. I thought for sure I would have had time to read it by now! I bought it in August!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
PANDEMONIUM!!!! Seriously, I hardly had to think about that one. Oh, but Isla… Oh, this question just got trickier.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
Well, I want to surpass my number of books read in 2011, for sure! I want to read 50 or 60 in 2012. I also want to really get this blog going. I’m SO excited for the reviews that will be going up in January and February. I want to reach over 100 followers, and start hosting giveaways and events. I love book blogging, and can’t wait to love it even more!