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Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
February 2nd, 2012

Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Creatures in this fast-paced thriller

When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her – and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.

Gorgeous cover? Check. Epic trailer? Check. Intriguing synopsis? Check. Seriously, I keep getting more and more excited to read this book the more I hear about it. If you haven’t yet watched the trailer, you must! It gave me chills and looks pretty much like a movie trailer. I can’t wait for this book to be released!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’m Excited To Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy 2012! This is my first post of the year, and I think it’s quite a fitting one. There are so many amazing books coming out this year; it was hard to narrow this list down to just ten books! But I did manage, so here are my top ten books I’m excited to read in 2012:

1. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
I need more Clara and Tucker in my life! Oh, Christian can come too… I guess…

2. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I need this is my eyeballs. Like, right now.

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is probably the best post-Hunger Games dystopian novel out there; I have little doubt the second in the series will be just as awesome.

4. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
It’s written by Julie Kagawa. ‘Nuff said.

5. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium was one of my favorites reads of 2011, plus the ending left me screaming for the sequel.

6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A cyborg Cinderella! How could that not be awesome?

7. Lucid by Ron Bass and Adrienne Stoltz
It’s about dreams and stuff! I love dreams (and stuff)!

8. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
I’m a sucker for greek mythology, especially the Hades and Persephone myth, so this is right up my alley.

9. Revived by Cat Patrick
It just sounds so cool and science fiction-y (that’s totally a word).

10. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
It’s based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe… Poe is awesome, you guys. I am excited for this book.

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Goodbye 2011… and Hello 2012!

First of all I want to apologize for being MIA for the past week. I was spending time with family, playing with my new Kindle, and generally being lazy. But I’m back for the last post of the year, just a few hours before it ends to look back on the year that was and to look forward to the year that will be.

Looking Back on 2011

2011 was the year of sorting out my life. I finally got my school stuff back in order after fudging it up last year; I decided that I wanted to major in graphic design, and then pursue a masters degree in librarian sciences; and I decided which college I wanted to transfer to after I complete general education classes at my community college. It was such a relief to finally decide what I wanted to do with my life after having absolutely no idea. I have a plan now and I’m eager to get my schooling done so I can become a librarian.

2011 was also the year my adorable niece was born. I also spent more time with my dad and he even took my little sister and me to Disneyland! I hadn’t been in more than six years, but it was just as magical and amazing as I remembered it to be. I turned 21 in July and got much better at driving; I spent most of the year acting as a chauffeur for my little sister. I finally caved and got a Kindle for Christmas after years of saying I never would because I loved physical books too much. I’m happily eating my words now; my Kindle is freaking awesome!

And, of course, I started this blog in November. My first post, which was a review of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, went live on the 19th. I have since posted since 23 posts, including 9 book reviews, and have received 65 comments.

So there you have it! It might not have been the most exciting year, but it was loads better than 2010. Here’s hoping 2012 will be even better!

Books Read in 2011

  • 20 books read
  • 7292 pages read
I know, only 20 books read is kind of pathetic. Lol. In my defense, I read one book back in May, and then didn’t read any more until November. In fact, the main reason I created this blog was to encourage me to read more. I had gotten out of the habit of reading due to school and generally not having time. I’m so glad that I started reading again and I’m looking forward to next year to read even more!

Favorites

These are my favorite books that I read in the year 2011, not necessarily books that came out in 2011. I have linked each title to my review, if I have written one.

 

  

Reading/Blogging Goals for 2012

  • READ MORE BOOKS! I read a pitifully small amount of books this year, so it won’t be hard at all to top. I’m planning to read at least 100 books in 2012. I think I should be able to do it easily, as long as I read consistently.
  • Post more. And not just reviews and memes. I’m planning on starting my own weekly features next year and having more discussion posts. Hopefully once Lovely Literature has taken off more, I’ll be able to participate in blog tours, author interviews, and giveaways!
  • Write better reviews. I need to start taking notes while I’m reading a book. The system I have in place for reviewing now is to write down my thoughts, stream-of-conscious-style, right after I finish a book. And this has been working fairly well, but I still find that I forget some of the thoughts I had in the beginning by the time I write everything down.
  • Socialize more. Use twitter, comment on other people’s blogs, etc. This is the hardest thing for me. I’m naturally rather withdrawn/shy but I’m going to try to break out of my shell next year and maybe make some new friends.
  • I’m thinking I might want to buy a domain name and self host. Right now I’m pretty limited with what I can do on a free wordpress blog. I want more control!

This year has gone by so fast! I almost can’t believe it’s 2012 already, but I’m looking forward to starting out fresh. I hope everyone has had a safe and fun holiday season. I look forward to talking with you all in the new year!

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REVIEW: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Nov 15th, 2011
HarperCollins
Source: Library


Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I really wanted to like Shatter Me. I’d heard so many good things about it and was incredibly excited to read it, but it failed to live up to its hype for me. The book started with such a promising premise, but soon devolved into overly dramatic and shallow romance.

Juliette wasn’t a particularly likeable protagonist, I’m sorry to say. She’s broken and scared due to her traumatic childhood and thinks of herself as a monster, and, while this is realistic I suppose, it’s not very fun to read about. Especially since she didn’t seem to become stronger at all. I wanted her to own her power more. There were a few scenes in the book where she did, but it wasn’t enough to offset her all the other times where she hid behind Adam, her love interest.

Unfortunately, the romance didn’t work for me; I didn’t find it believable or compelling. There were many steamy make-out sessions, but there just wasn’t that much of a real emotional connection. I felt like Adam idolized Juliette and didn’t really love her as a person, which really rubbed me the wrong way. And Juliette seemed to fall in love with Adam extremely fast–mostly because she didn’t really have any other option. Once their romance began, Adam was pretty much all Juliette thought about. What about Juliette’s feelings about her power, about her guilt, and her fear that she’s a monster? There was some of that to be sure, but not enough to satisfy me.

Obviously you can’t write a review about Shatter Me without at least mentioning the writing. It is very different. I haven’t read another book with this particular style of writing before. It’s a sort of stream-of-consciousness type narrative, throwing grammar rules out the window, and of course, containing the infamous crossed out words. I did like it, to a point. I think it added some much needed uniqueness to the story. But I found it a bit tedious after a while. I feel like the prose could have been extraordinary, but there was something about it that held it back from that. It was too… much. Too many metaphors and descriptions that didn’t add anything to the story.

Now that I’ve gotten my criticisms out of the way, I can talk about the things that I DID like. And that was the secondary characters. Namely, Warner.

Ah, Warner. He is the perfect villain: deliciously evil, slightly insane, and so utterly charming that I found myself missing him in the scenes in which he wasn’t present. He is just the sort of character that I find myself drawn to time and time again: the irredeemable bad guy who, despite everything, remains sympathetic. He was also a perfect foil to Juliette; he represented what she could have become. They were similar in so many ways. They both just wanted someone to accept them unconditionally.

In conclusion, despite some of the things I didn’t like, I will say that the book is very entertaining. I finished it really quickly. And, even though I had some problems with it, I can definitely understand why a lot of people really loved it. It just wasn’t for me.

Rating: 3/5

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Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
April 24th, 2012

You will kill. The only question is when. 

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their “pets.” In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive. 

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero…and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She’s passing for human…for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.


Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
May 29th, 2012

The war is over. The humans lost. And in the shattered world that arises, the vampires are king. They rule over the remaining walled cities with an iron fist, none more terrifying than Lord Valentine. His concern is with blood and blood alone, and seeing that it is ‘donated’ on time. 

It’s Dawn Montgomery’s duty to ensure the safety of her fellow humans within the city, but also to serve as Delegate to Lord Valentine. She is the conduit between the two worlds, the human and vampire, and the youngest to ever do so. 

But when Lord Valentine’s son, Victor, steps into her life, everything changes. She assumes he wants her blood, like all vampires. But he’s after more: her heart.

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday theme is: vampires and dystopias! Yeah, I know vampires are overdone, but I think combining them with a dystopian society is a really cool idea. I’m a big fan of the Iron Fey series, (okay, I’ve only read the first book so far, but I did really enjoy it) so seeing The Immortal Rules is written by Julie Kagawa sold me on the book right away. And the synopsis of Darkness Before the Dawn sounds really promising as well. Plus the cover is gorgeous. Really, both of the covers are beautiful!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away already! It seems like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving. But this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is perfect for getting in the holiday spirit–because what’s more Christmassy than making a wishlist of presents you want? lol Anyway, I don’t think I’ll actually get any books this year, but it’s still fun to make a list. I might just have to buy some of these myself…

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
2. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
3. Hushed by Kelley York
4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
5. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

6. The Iron Daughter  by Julie Kagawa
7. Existence by Abbi Glines
8. Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
9. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
10. Legend by Marie Lu

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2012 Reading Challenges

Next year will be my first year participating in reading challenges! I’ve picked five so far; I might sign up for more later, but I think five is probably enough for my first year. I don’t want to overwhelm myself! Below are the challenges I plan to participate in, plus some of the books I plan to read for each one.

Debut Author Challenge

Hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I’m really looking forward to this challenge since there are so amazing debut novels coming out next year!

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  2. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  3. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
  5. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
  6. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  7. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  8. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
  9. Croak by Gina Damico
  10. ExtraNormal by Suze Reese
  11. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
  12. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Sophomore Reading Challenge

Hosted by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit.

  1. Insurgent (Divergent, #2) by Veronica Roth
  2. Hallowed (Unearthly, #2) by Cynthia Hand
  3. The Right & the Real by Joëlle Anthony
  4. Revived by Cat Patrick
  5. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
  6. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Standalone Reading Challenge

Hosted by Hafsah at IceyBooks and Britta at I Like These BooksI love series; I love getting to know characters and being able to follow them throughout multiple books. But sometimes it’s nice to read a book that can stand on its own, since there are so many books coming out as part of a series recently. So this is the perfect challenge!

  1. Fracture by Megan Miranda
  2. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
  3. Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
  4. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
  5. Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard
  6. Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson
  7. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  8. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  9. All These Lives by Sarah Wylie
  10. Auracle by Gina Rosati
  11. The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
  12. Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
  13. Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
  14. The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
  15. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Ebook Challenge

Hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. I’ll be receiving my very first e-reader (a kindle–so excited!) for Christmas, so I plan to buy/borrow/receive a lot of ebooks next year. So of course I had to signup for this challenge! I’ll start out with the CD level with ten ebooks.

  1. Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young
  2. Angelfall by Susan Ee
  3. Destined by Jessie Harrell
  4. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  5. Hushed by Kelley York
  6. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  7. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
  8. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
  9. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
  10. Existence by Abbi Glines

Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge

Hosted by Missie at the Unread Reader and Kelly from Reading the Paranormal. In case you couldn’t tell by the name, this challenge is for reading free ebooks! Not review copies, gifted, etc, but legally obtained free ebooks from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc. In preparation for getting my kindle, I’ve been looking around the kindle store to see what ebooks were available, and I was surprised to find that there are a ton of them are free! And some of them have great reviews as well! I’ve already downloaded 75+ free ebooks, and I keep getting more every week, so I thought this would be the perfect challenge to get those read. I’ll start out with the Coupon Clipper level with twelve ebooks. I won’t list them right now since I have too many to choose from!

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