Sunday, May 31, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The Caster Chronicles by Garcia and Stohl

I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.
Last week's poll was over The Avengers. And it was a tie between Thor and Iron Man!

So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Caster Chronicles
You can choose from:
1)  Ethan Wate

or 2) Wesley “Link” Lincoln
I’m Team Ethan! I like Link, but I haven’t read his spin-off books yet. Heck, I don’t even know if they’re really about him and Ridley. Oh, and I don’t like the cast for the movie at all, I just couldn’t find any good pics people I think they look like.
If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books (And why not!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from the Beautiful Creatures summary (which favors Ethan, oops) below:
Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?
In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .
There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes. 
There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


  • Team Ethan
  • Team Link
More polls: Create you own poll
***Please note that I stop checking the poll the Friday before the new poll comes out (on Sunday). Also, please only vote once so everyone’s vote counts, unless you need to vote for both guys. I give you permission to do that because sometimes choosing is tough.***
**Also note that these are not my images. I found them online.**

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The Surprise Edition

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme that is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

I totally wasn’t expecting to get any books this week, so when I got an email from my apartment’s front desk lady, I was immediately curious and excited. And it turns out, I was right to be excited because this is what I got:

 
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I’m so glad I put off buying this book. Thanks, Macmillan! 

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the picture.


Hee hee hee. You’re at my mercy, Dean Winchester.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Willowgrove
(Hemlock #3)
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Hardcover, 368 pages, Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Willowgrove is Kathleen Peacock's riveting conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy, a dark, romantic, paranormal suspense series that pits friendship against survival, and trust against love.

Ever since Mac's best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy's ex, Jason, have investigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf "rehabilitation" camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is now at an all-time high, and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf.

What makes Mac even more afraid, though, are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on wolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Uncovering the truth about what happened may be the only way for Mac to save everyone she loves and end her nightmares for good.

My Review

WARNING SPOILERS may lie ahead! This is the third book in a TRILOGY, so don’t read my review unless you want SPOILED.

Mac, Jason, and Kyle are trying to fix the world—or at least the United States—and its horrible treatment of werewolves in this installment of Peacock’s trilogy. There’s a lot going on in this last book, but the amount of action and prejudice isn’t as jaw-dropping, exciting, terrible, and/or anger-inducing, than the second book, Thornhill. Maybe this is because, instead of being in a rehabilitation camp setting (which is actually more like a concentration camp), the characters are all back at Hemlock.

Mac hasn’t really changed any since the first two books; she’s still the same somewhat na├»ve, yet caring and determined girl. Kyle, Mac’s boyfriend, also hasn’t changed any. He’s still protective of his friends and he still doesn’t talk much. However, Jason, the rich bad-boy with a complex has grown. He’s risking himself for the sake of others and he’s understanding the problems his decisions have caused. So for overall character development, I’d have to say that there just wasn’t a lot of it in this book. The plot took up a majority of the storyline.

While, like I mentioned, the plot didn’t shock me as much in this book, I did enjoy it. It’s always awesome to read about characters fighting for civil rights. And yes, this includes werewolves’ rights. Mac, Jason, Kyle, Trey, and Selena are having to run away from bad people, stand up for what’s right, and deal with all the craziness in a fairly short amount of time. I think the book was set in less than a week, so there was always something happening. However, what the book made up for in action, it lacked in romance. And I’m a huge lover of romance. Now, don’t get me wrong, action-packed books are awesome, I just like to read about hot guys more than I like people killing people. Ya feel me? And while Kyle did provide some nice alpha-maleness some of the time, it just wasn’t as often as someone with my romance standards requires.  

All in all, I love werewolves. Oops, not what I meant to say. Let me try that again… All in all, Peacock’s Hemlock trilogy is a great addition to the werewolf world, so if you’re missing some paranormal in your life, definitely think about checking this series out.


*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

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

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Blood Kiss
(The Black Dagger Legacy #1)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Paperback, 496 pages, Signet
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first five or so books in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so I’m excited to see what she does with these spin-off books.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Very Own Book M*A*S*H. Because I'm Cool Like That.

 I saw this Book M*A*S*H game over on Booktube and I thought it was awesome. I’d never actually got around to doing it until now, though.

Book M*A*S*H was created by JessetheReader. I didn’t really use all of his categories, but I did use most of them.

I’ve taken pics of my papers. The first one shows which categories I chose (with little detail about what they mean because I’m evil like that and I want it to be a surprise) and the second one shows what I ended up getting. I’ll explain all of my results below.

First Book M*A*S*H Paper



Second Book M*A*S*H Paper



Results

Mansion*Apartment*Shack*House: I’m going to live in a Mansion. (I know there’s a red line through the “M,” but I promise I just messed up with my counting, I didn’t cheat.)

Book Boys: I’m going to marry Cal from Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. YES! And thank god it wasn’t Tom Riddle!

Book Girls: I’m best friends with Sydney from Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. I’m actually not sure how I feel about this. While Sydney is a great person, she’s also super smart and I think I’d be intimidated—and probably jealous—of her academic prowess.

World: I’m going to live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogwarts here I come!

Number: I’m going to have SEVEN kids! At least it’s better than 13.

Pets: Hedwig will be my pet owl. At least she’ll have a better life with me than she did with Harry.

Vehicle: I will be riding a horse if I want to go anywhere. This will suck when I’m towing around seven kids. I’ll have to invest in a buggy.

Clothes: On my wedding day I will be wearing armor. Not sure how I feel about this…

Occupation: I will work at Hogwarts as the Charms Professor. Move over Professor Flitwick!

Weapon: And since I’m going to be a Hogwarts professor and live in the Wizarding World it stands to reason that my weapon of choice will be a wand.

Person: And lastly, my archnemesis will be Queen Levana herself. I wonder if Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and the gang will come help me. Hopefully Wolf comes. Although, Cal might not like me drooling over him…

All in all, I’m okay with my results. While I wouldn’t have chosen all of the Harry Potter stuff originally, it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I have Cal to help me out (and my seven kids *sigh*), so things will be alright.

You should definitely do your own Book M*A*S*H and tell me your results!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow

The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages, Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Contemporary

A poignant and unexpectedly funny novel about Francis - one of the best and bravest teenage boy narrators since Adrian Mole. This is an emotionally honest story about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad things can be.

Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have been other hardships closer to home since then. At fifteen years old he already knows all about loss and rejection - and to top it all off he has a permanently broke big brother, a grandma with selective memory (and very selective social graces) and a mum who's at best an acquired taste. Would-be poet, possible intellectual and definitely wasted in Tyne and Wear, Francis has grown used to figuring life out on his own. Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukemia that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself. There's the horror of being held back a year at school, the threat of imminent baldness, having to locate his best shirt in case a visiting princess or pop-star fancies him for a photo-op . . . But he hadn't reckoned on meeting Amber - fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber - and finding a reason to tackle it all - the good, the bad and everything in between - head on. In Bloom is a bright, funny, painful and refreshing novel about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad it can be. It is a novel about how to live.

My Review

Francis Wootton is a normal kid. Well, as normal as a 15-year-old English boy with few friends, a love of literature, and a dastardly case of leukemia can be. He’s supposed to be strong and stoic in the face of potential death, but how can he be when his mother is seemingly going off the deep end and his big brother keeps stealing their food? In pops Amber, another teenager stuck in the chemo ward. And once Francis sees her, it’s kind of… err… not really, love at first sight. But there is chemistry.

Francis is an eclectic character. His mannerisms, jokes, views on life, and everything else about him will make you smile from ear to ear. And his interactions with his family, while sometimes sad and depressing (but that’s bound to happen with any story about sick children), are the stuff of every YA readers dreams. For once there is a family depicted in young adult literature that is so imperfect that it’s beautiful and wonderful. Instead of this book focusing on the dynamic between two love-struck teenagers, it focuses on the overall relationships a young, sick boy would have with those around him. You get to know his overbearing-ish mother, his broke brother, and his crazy grandmother all without detracting from the storyline.

While Amber is somewhat of an acquired taste, her romance with Francis is incredibly realistic. And unlike the somewhat romanticized version of love that’s in popular “sick lit” today, the characters are not only emotionally flawed, but physically flawed as well. There are facial blemishes; disappearances of hair…everywhere; and most importantly, but unfortunately for the characters, there is an abundance of sickness.

While The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise is a fantastic depiction of real people, both the sickly and the not so, remember that this book is written from the perspective of a boy in England, so the first few pages might be a little hard to get into, but once you get used to the dialog, the story will be well worth your time. Just don’t forget to keep a couple of tissues handy.

*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book to review for Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The Avengers Edition


I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Sherlock or Team John from BBC’s TV show Sherlock. Team Sherlock won!


So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from something that isn’t book-related, again. And that is… The Avengers
 
You can choose from: 

1)  Iron Man

or 2) Captain America 

 
OR 3) Thor

 
I’m Team Thor! And then I’m Team Captain America! Iron Man is just too conceited for me. If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t seen the movies/read the comics/watched the cartoons (How is that even possible!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from The Avengers summary below:

 
Nick Fury is director of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peace keeping agency. The agency is a who's who of Marvel Super Heroes, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When global security is threatened by Loki and his cohorts, Nick Fury and his team will need all their powers to save the world from disaster.
 


  • Team Iron Man
  • Team Captain America
  • Team Thor
More polls: Online polls
 
**Note: None of these images are mine. They were found online.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The J.A. Redmerski Edition


"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme that is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

I decided to reward myself for making it through another semester of college, so I went to my local used bookstore and found some books.


The Edge of Never and The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

They aren’t in the greatest of shape, but they were free. I traded for them. I’ve already read The Edge of Never and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure when I’ll get to The Edge of Always.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you watch the video.


This is the first time I’ve ever posted a video, but I realized that I’d never shown you guys the “Eye of the Tiger” video. That had to be remedied. So here it is. And once you’ve seen it, all of your dreams have come true.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Death Marked by Leah Cypess

Death Marked
(Death Sworn #2)
Publication Date: May 3, 2015
Hardcover, 368 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and will thrill fans of Leigh Bardugo and Robin LaFevers.

At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.

Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni's story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.

My Review

Death Sworn was one of my favorite books of 2014. I loved its romance, its action, and all of its fantasy elements! So I was super-duper excited to read the sequel. Unfortunately, I forgot that Leah Cypess’s endings are not the best—they’re actually pretty bad.

I knew going into this book that Ileni wasn’t going to be hanging out with Sorin a lot, I’d just hoped they’d have time together eventually. But it didn’t happen. And I was sad. I really liked Sorin’s character. He was the type of assassin I imagine actual assassins are like. And Ileni wasn’t a strong bada$$ character, but she was growing into one. I was excited to see her growth. But once again, it never happened.

There’s also some new characters thrown into the mix. One of which is a potential love interest for Ileni. The other side characters are just kind of thrown into the story and aren’t explored as much as they could be.

I enjoyed the setting of the story, in the Academy. I thought that exploring the “enemy” through its magic techniques and the mountain was awesome. We were allowed to really question what was right and wrong, and really there was no black and white answer.

However, this exploration of the Academy left little room (as I mentioned earlier) for romance. And romance is something I cannot do without. Additionally, I cannot do without Sorin. And that brings me to the ending (this might be kind of SPOILERY considering my last comment, so you may want to leave now), I like how things weren’t all wrapped up like they normally are in action stories that revolve around fixing societies, but I just don’t like some of the choices the characters made to get to that ending.

All in all, I can’t decide how much I liked Death Marked. I definitely enjoyed it less than its predecessor, but I liked it a little bit. Would I recommend it? Not if you’re looking for a fantasy book filled with romance. If you just want some magic in your life (hee hee. See what I did there?), then I’d say go for it.


*Note: I purchased this book myself.