Announcement!

I am still accepting books for review but on a VERY limited basis. If you are interested in my reviewing your book please check out my review policy and feel free to contact me at bookjunkie221@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mini Book Review ~ Ladies in Waiting by Laura L. Sullivan

Ladies in Waiting

Title: Ladies in Waiting
Author: Laura L. Sullivan
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: ARC from ATWT

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis:

Eliza dreams of being a playwright for the king’s theater, where she will be admired for her witty turns of phrase rather than her father’s wealth.
 
Beth is beautiful as the day but poor as a church mouse, so she must marry well, despite her love for her childhood sweetheart.
 
Zabby comes to England to further her scientific studies—and ends up saving the life of King Charles II. Soon her friendship with him becomes a dangerous, impossible obsession. Though she knows she should stay away from the young, handsome king, Charles has a new bride, Queen Catherine, and a queen needs ladies in waiting.

And so Zabby, Beth, and Eliza, three Elizabeths from very different walks of life, find themselves at the center of the most scandal-filled court that England has ever seen.

Review:

I really like history and I thought that I would give this book a try.  I unfortunately found out that this book just wasn't the book for me.  I like to feel some sort of connection with the characters in the book and I just didn't connect with the characters in Ladies in Waiting.  I did like that they all got to present their own stories and points of view but there were times I literally thought "I don't care."  Harsh? Maybe, but it is what it is. For me I thought that the story progressed pretty slowly.  This isn't a big "action all over the place" kinda book, this is a book that is about three ladies in waiting and there life inside a most scandalous English court.

It maybe just me, that's happened before, where I seriously dislike a book that it seems so many really enjoyed. But again, just because I didn't care for the book, doesn't mean that you might not really like it.

Book Review ~ Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan

Title:  Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Source:  ARC from ATWT

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:


What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

Review:

I got the opportunity to be a part of an ARC tour for this book and naturally jumped at the chance.  I LOVE football and I LOVE reading about women who break the "gender barrier" in sports.  Just this morning I read two articles about 2 different female football players (you can read the articles here and here) breaking the "gender barrier." That being said, this review has been tough to write because it seems that "everyone" loves this book and it was barely above "not for me" on my rating scale.

Our main character Jordan is a QB and has high hopes of going to Alabama for college.  That is until Ty transfers into her school and joins the football team and is ALSO a QB from TEXAS.  I thought that all the football talk was authentic and real.  I also really liked how Jordan wasn't "just" a girl on the football team...she was "one of the guys" and a leader.  But there were things about this book that I had issue with.

  •  I completely understand Jordan's desire to go to Alabama for college, but I really thought that she was written as a little bit OCD in her preparation for the scouts.
  • Every story needs some conflict...it adds substance to the story right?  Well for me anyway there wasn't enough conflict for my liking.
  • There were more than a few places where I could guess what was going to happen next, making the plot a bit predictable.
  • Then there was the Insta-Love...I'm not a fan of Insta-Love since it happens so much these days in YA.
  • Ty, not a fan.  I thought that he was a control freak and was trying to control Jordan.
Overall,  Catching Jordan has it's good moments and it has it's not-so-good moments.  Don't let my mostly negative review color your vision of this book.  Just because I didn't care for doesn't mean that you won't like it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog Tour Review/Giveaway ~ The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman

The Kingdom of Childhood

Title: The Kingdom of Childhood
Author: Rebecca Coleman
Release Date: October 4, 2011

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman; sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother's extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zachthe elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is, for Judy, only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.

Rebecca Coleman's manuscript forThe Kingdom of Childhood was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. An emotionally tense, increasingly chilling work of fiction set in the controversial Waldorf school community, it is equal parts enchanting and unsettling and is sure to be a much discussed and much-debated novel.

Review:

WOWZERS!  This stunning debut shows the destructive power sexual obsession can have on one's life!

Judy MacFarland is a kindergarten teacher at a failing private school in Maryland.  Now that her husband Russ has begun his doctoral dissertation he seems to have all but forgotten that he even has a family.  Their son, Scott, is one of the "cool kids" at the school who would rather spend time with his friends than his family and their daughter Maggie is away at college.  If you add all those things PLUS the recent death of her best friend you get a VERY lonely woman on a downward spiral.

Now this is where things start to get interesting....Sixteen year old Zach Patterson is new to the school and is a friend of Scott's.  Plus he has some family issues going on at home.  When Judy is approached by Zach's mom to supervise him while he is working on a project for the school auction, Judy jumps at the chance.  This is where the sexual tension between Zach and Judy starts to increase as the two of them spend more and more time together.

 While the subject matter may be disturbing to some, I believe that Coleman's writing is captivating as she gives us the readers a glimpse inside the minds of her flawed and, in my opinion, emotionally barren characters. The more we learn about the true depth of Judy's emotional disturbance, the more we are drawn into the story and you really can't help but feel for Judy.


GIVEAWAY!

In an effort to clear some space on my bookcase before my niece/nephew shows up in March, I am giving away my copy of this book.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post with a valid email address AND please leave a comment on the guest post as well.  The giveaway ends 11/5/2011.  US and Canada addresses only please.

Blog Tour ~ The Kingdom of Childhood Scavenger Hunt and Guest Post

Before The Kingdom of Childhood
 
by Rebecca Coleman, author of THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD
 
It's difficult to pinpoint the moment when the story that would become The Kingdom of Childhood first kindled itself in my mind. Perhaps it began at the candlelight carol singing I attended at a Waldorf school when I was 14-- the first time I had ever seen such a place-- when the sensory beauty of the environment and my great fear of all the fire surrounding me came together in a story about both. Or it might have been on the playground of another Waldorf school 11 years later, as I watched my young son play joyfully with his classmates and realized that his teacher-- this embodiment of quiet peace and thoughtful nurturing-- had it in for him, because her perceptions of my wonderful son were so much at odds with mine. I lost a little of my idealism then, and even as I continued to love the Waldorf way, I never quite forgave that teacher's ill judgment of my son.

But these impressions remained rootless until the morning when, as I folded laundry in front of the TV news, I saw an item about a teacher arrested for an affair with a young male student and decided that was a story I wanted to tell. Raise the stakes, goes the sage advice about writing fiction-- always make the stakes for your characters as high as they can be. And so it didn't take long for the notion to strike me that a Waldorf teacher would be the best-- or worst-- to cast in that role, because there is no other philosophy that places such a high value on the purity, even the sacredness, of childhood. The crime Judy commits in The Kingdom of Childhood is not only taboo; in her community, it's nothing short of anathema.

What intrigued me in equal measure, though, was what it would be like to be the teenage boy playing opposite such a teacher. I knew what I didn't want him to be-- mature for his age, superficial in his thinking, experienced with girls or squabbling with his parents. All of those things would make his motivations too simple, and the joy of writing teenagers is that they are some of the most complex people in the world: so much bravado and pride, so much desire to be perceived as mature, and yet so thoroughly naive. On the news, we hear the names of the teachers involved in these scandals; we learn about their families, their awards, their reputations. Yet the boys remain a mystery, always. We tend to assume their motives are obvious: driven by their hormones, they are unfettered, willing victims. But when are human beings ever so simple?

Somewhere inside all of that complexity I found the story I wanted to tell: one about the collision of naivete and wisdom, comfort and fear. Life is lived in the contrasts, after all-- but the stakes are never higher than when the line between those contrasts draws paper-thin.

I should have affirmed that it was. I knew the full litany of what he did not want to do, and this was where it began. If there had remained any possibility that life could throw a cup of cold water in my face and reverse the course of things, it would have been that moment, that question.Instead, I climbed into the back of the car.

*Head over to  The Pen & Muse on October 28th for the next installment from THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blog Tour/Giveaway ~ A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller

A Lawman's Christmas: A McKettricks of Texas Novel

Title:  A Lawman's Christmas
Author:  Linda Lael Miller
Series: A McKettricks of Texas Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

The sudden death of the town marshal leaves Blue River, Texas, without a lawman…and twenty-five-year-old Dara Rose Nolan without a husband. As winter approaches and her meager seamstress income dwindles, she has three options. Yet she won't give up her two young daughters, refuses to join the fallen women of the Bitter Gulch Saloon and can't fathom condemning herself to another loveless marriage. Unfortunately she must decide—soon—because there's a new marshal in town, and she's living under his roof.

With the heart of a cowboy, Clay McKettrick plans to start a ranch and finally settle down. He isn't interested in uprooting Dara Rose and her children, but he is interested in giving her protection, friendship—and passion. And when they say "I do" to a marriage of convenience, the temporary lawman's Christmas wish is to make Dara Rose his permanent wife….


Review:

I LOVE Linda Lael Miller.  She's one of my all time favorite romance authors.  So naturally, I jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour for A Lawman's Christmas.  Here's a random confession:  I did a "happy dance" when I opened up the envelope that this book came in and saw that it was in there.  Good times here at The Eclectic Bookshelf.

The book takes place in 1914.  Right as things in Europe are REALLY starting to heat up and it's looking like there is going to be a war.  Which means that Armies are going to be in desperate need of beef to feed their soldiers.  Our hero Clay plans on being ready.  What he doesn't plan on is Dara.

See when Clay accepts the position of marshall of the town of Blue River, Texas he has a plan.  One that involves a ranch, a wife and a house full of children. But there is a slight wrinkle in his plan....Dara Rose Nolan, the widow of Clay's predessor.

Dara and her two small children are living in the cottage that has been promised to the new marshal as part of his pay package.  If they have to leave their home they will have no where else to turn to.  Dara is determined to not end up homeless and Clay is taken aback by Dara's determination and situation.  Clay decides that he can stay at the jailhouse until Dara can come up with a more suitable situation.  But circumstances happen which lead to a marriage of convience for Clay and Dara.  But how long will it remain "convenient" considering both Clay and Dara are more than a little bit attracted to one another?

Overall, I thought that this was a very good Christmas story.  I was hooked from the very beginning and I really liked Dara.  It had to be beyond difficult to be a woman in that time in history and I could not help but cheer for Dara.

Giveaway!

I am giving away 1 copy of A Lawman's Christmas (in an effort to clear some space on my overflowing bookcase) to 1 lucky commentor.  All you have to do is leave a comment with an email address and answer this question:  Do you like to read romance's where the hero is an alpha male cowboy and why? Contest ends on October 27.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday October 18, 2011




Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along in this bookish meme.  Here are the "rules":

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my Teaser's for this week:

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)
"My name is Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn, third sone of the Unseelie Court." Though his voice was soft, it never wavered, and I felt breathless at hearing is full name.  pg. 128

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)

"But they all had powerful hands, rough with calluses and stained with engine grease.  Even little Harley, who couldn't have been more than eight, looked like he could go six rounds with Chuck Norris without breaking a sweat."  pg. 76


Review ~ The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

The Scorpio Races

Title:  The Scorpio Races
Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
Format: ARC from ATW Tours
Release Date: October 18, 2011

Rating: DNF

Synopsis:

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.



Review:

I've been VERY excited about this book since I heard that it was coming out.  I really enjoyed Shiver and I'm really excited to read the last two books in that series as well.  As much as I really wanted to get into this ARC I was not able to.  In this case it wasn't the story that I had a problem with, the chunk of it that I read I REALLY liked a LOT, it was the layout of the ARC itself that I had a problem with.  I'm hoping that this is changed in the finished copy, because I AM going to go out and by a finished copy.  I WANT to know what happens.

What I noticed first and foremost about Scorpio Races was that it was COMPLETELY different from Maggie's "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series.  The chunk of this book that I did read I thought was unique, different and a breath of fresh air to the Young Adult genre.  I'm all about different and unique these days.

I also noticed, in the ARC anyway, that the story is told from different points of view.  Normally, this isn't an issue for me.  In this case it was a big issue for me.  I felt that the constant changing of POV's was a distraction and ultimately turned me off to the ARC.  I hope that this issue has been dealt with in the finished copies.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Packers/Steelers Football Sunday


It's Sunday and that means it's GAME DAY!  I'm a football fan and I have an AFC and an NFC team.  My NFC team is Green Bay, my home state team and my AFC team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Happy Game Day everyone!













In My Mailbox October 16, 2011


~For Review~

Helpless
Nine years after he left Shilo, New Hampshire, former Navy Seal Tom Hawkins has returned to raise his teenage daughter, Jill, following the murder of his ex-wife, Kelly. Despite Tom’s efforts to stay close to Jill by coaching her high school soccer team, Kelly’s bitterness fractured their relationship. But life in Shilo is gradually shaping up into something approaching normal. Normal doesn’t last long. Shilo’s police sergeant makes it clear that Tom is his chief suspect in Kelly’s death. Then an anonymous blog post alleges that Coach Hawkins is sleeping with one of his players. Internet rumors escalate, and incriminating evidence surfaces on Tom’s own computer and cell phone. To prove his innocence, Tom must unravel a tangle of lies about his past. For deep amid the secrets he’s been keeping—from a troubled tour of duty to the reason for his ex-wife’s death—is the truth that someone will gladly kill to protect.

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

~Bought~

 

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.


The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1)

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

I bought this book on a whim the other day at work and I have found it to be extremely captivating.  If you haven't checked out this new series by Rick Riordan do so NOW!

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)



Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
 
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Top 100 YA Books

I found this on The Book Vixen's blog and I thought that I would share with you what I've read and what I have yet to read on this list.

READ - Books that I've read
TBR - Books that are in my TBR pile

  1. Alex Finn – Beastly
  2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  3. Ally Carter – Callagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Ally Condie – Matched 
  5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
  7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
  9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
  10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
  12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence
  13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
  16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
  17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
  18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
  19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
  20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
  21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
  22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
  23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
  26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
  27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
  28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
  29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
  31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
  33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
  34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
  37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
  38. John Green – Paper Towns
  39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
  40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Beautiful Creatures , Beautiful Darkness
  41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
  42. Kristin Cashore – Graceling, Fire
  43. Lauren Kate – Fallen, Torment, Passion
  44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
  46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
  47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
  49. Maggie Stiefvater – Shiver, Linger, Forever 
  50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
  52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
  53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
  54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
  56. Maureen Johnson – 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope
  57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
  58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
  61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
  63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
  64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
  67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
  69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
  70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
  71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
  72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
  73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
  74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
  79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
  80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
  81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
  82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
  83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
  84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
  86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
  87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
  88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
  89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
  90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, Chain Reaction
  92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
  93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
  94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
  95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
  96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
  97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
  99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
  100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

So I've READ 14 of books that are on this list and I have 31 in my TBR pile.  How about you? What are your numbers?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2012 Romance Reading Challenge

This reading challenge is for any genre of Romance with the exception of YA and Erotica.  Have fun with this one peeps!

Rules:
  • Anyone can join
  • You don't need a blog to participate.  For non-bloggers, please leave a comment with a link (if you review somewhere else) to the review or leave a list of the books you read on the monthly link up post.
  • Audio, ebooks, and bound books are ok.
  • No re-reads
  • Create a sign up post and post the link in the linky below.
  • Challenge goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012
  • Challenge Crossovers are ok.

Levels:

Level 1 - Read 4 Romance novels
Level 2 - Read 10 Romance novels
Level 3 - Read 14 Romance novels
Level 4 - Read 15+ Romance novels



2012 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge

Rules:
  • Anyone can join
  • You don't need a blog to participate.  For non-bloggers, please leave a comment with a link (if you review somewhere else) to the review or leave a list of the books you read on the monthly link up post.
  • Audio, ebooks, and bound books are ok.
  • No re-reads
  • Create a sign up post and post the link in the linky below.
  • Challenge goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012
  • Challenge Crossovers are ok.

Levels:

Level 1 - Read 4 Romantic Suspense novels
Level 2 - Read 10 Romantic Suspense novels
Level 3 - Read 14 Romantic Suspense novels
Level 4 - Read 15+ Romantic Suspense novels


2012 Banned/Challenged Book Reading Challenge

We all know that there is a whole week devoted to Banned and Challenged books.  But why stop at a week?!  Why not a whole YEAR?!

Rules:

  • Anyone can join
  • You don't need a blog to participate.  For non-bloggers, please leave a comment with a link (if you review somewhere else) to the review or leave a list of the books you read on the monthly link up post.
  • Audio, ebooks, and bound books are ok.
  • No re-reads
  • Create a sign up post and post the link in the linky below.
  • Challenge goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012
  • Challenge Crossovers are ok.

Levels:

Level 1 - Read 12 Banned/Challenged books
Level 2 - Read 24 Banned/Challenged books
Level 3 - Read 36 Banned/Challenged books
Level 4 - Read 37+ Banned/Challenged books


Goodreads Lists to refer to:

American Library Association Links:



2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge


Rules:

  • Anyone can join.
  • You don't need a blog to participate.  If you are a Non-blogger please leave a comment with a link (if you review elsewhere) to your review or with the book(s) you read.
  • Audio, ebooks (some libraries allow ebooks to be checked out), bound books are ok.
  • No re-reads
  • Create a sign up post and post the link in the linky below.
  • Challenge goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012
Levels:

Level 1 - Read 12 library books
Level 2 - Read 24 library books
Level 3 - Read 36 library books
Level 4 - Read 37+ library books



2012 ARC Reading Challenge


I am using the term "ARC" loosely here in the name of this challenge.  I will go over what reading material qualifies for this challenge below.

What qualifies for this challenge?:

1. Actual Advance Reader Copies - this includes from tour sites like ATW Tours.
2. Any book that YOU ARE ASKED by either an author, publisher, publicist, media group, etc. to review.
3. Book Sneeze, Pump Up your Books, Tyndale and S&S Galley Grab ("they send out a monthly list & the first ~100 to get to their site gets the book to review").

What does NOT qualify for this challenge?:

1. Any book that YOU personally asked for a review copy of.
2. Netgalley

The Rules:
  • Anyone can join.
  • You don't need a blog to participate.
  • Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the monthly wrap-up post on Jamie's blog.
  • Audio, eBooks, and bound books count.
  • No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
  • Create a sign up post and link to the linky below.
  • Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012.
  • Crossover challenges is ok

There are four levels:
  1. The Mini ARC Challenge – Read 4 ARC's.
  2. The "Fun Size" ARC Challenge – Read 10 ARC's.
  3. The Jumbo Size ARC Challenge – Read 20 ARC's.
  4. The Mega size ARC Challenge – Read 21+ ARC's.
NOTE:  You may UPGRADE your challenge but you can NOT DOWNGRADE your challenge.


2012 "Bucket List" Book Reading Challenge

The 2012 "Bucket List" Reading Challenge is the challenge to sign up for if YOU have a list of books that you are dying to read but just haven't gotten to them yet.  The rules are simple for this challenge and I've also included a couple of sample "Bucket" Lists to provide a good starting point.  NOTE:  The link titled "Bucket List" Books is a list that I created and if you would like to add books to that list I encourage you to.

Rules:

1. Challenge starts on January 1, 2012 and goes until December 31, 2012.

2. You don't need a blog to participate.

3. Create a "sign up" post and link to the linky below.

4. There are 4 levels to this challenge....

      a. The Mini Cooper level - 4 "bucket" list books
      b. The Mid-sized Sedan level - 8 "bucket" list books
      c. The Pick Up level - 12 "bucket" list books
      d. The Semi level - 13 or more "bucket" list books

NOTE:  I am adding a stipulation to this challenge.  If you originally decided to start small with the Mini Cooper level and decide to upgrade that is fine.  But once you decide to go big you can NOT downgrade.

5. Each month a review link will be posted.  Please feel free to link up your reviews where ever you happen to post them...your blog, goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Sample "Bucket" Lists:

YAReads
"Bucket List" Books



Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review ~ Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

Title:  Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Format:  ARC from ATW Tours
Release Date:  November 29, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.



Review:

I really LOVED this book.  I really liked how the book was told from dual points of view, ala Simone Elkeles books.   I really liked the main characters June and Day.  Day is considered a fugitive by the Republic and he lives on the streets with an orphan that he looks after named Tess.  June on the other hand is sort of a child prodigy and is in the process of finding her place in the Republic.  Then her brother is murdered and June goes looking for answers.  All the information that she has leads her right to Day.  And what follows is a roller coaster ride of heartache, action, betrayal, romance and so many twists and turns you won't know up from down....I mean that in a good way of course.

Overall, I was extremely happy with the book.  I most definitely be getting a finished copy and I will for sure be counting down the days until the sequel is released.  Is it time yet!?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mini Review ~ Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Dark Eden

Title: Dark Eden
Author: Patrick Carman
Series: N/A
Genre: Y/A, Thriller
Format: ARC from AWTW Tours
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:





Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

Review:

I really enjoyed Dark Eden a lot.  I thought that it was very suspenseful and leaves you guessing right up until the last page.  I found the premise for the book to be very interesting, 7 teenagers who all have phobias.  They are all sent to a rehab center via a suggestion made by their therapist.  Hoping to calm their fears.

I really liked that the story is told from Will's point of view.  Will to me was a very interesting character that I was able to connect to and liked from the very beginning.  For me personally, it was very interesting to watch this story unfold through his eyes.

Overall, I thought that the other characters were pretty well developed.  Though I would have liked to have read a little more about them.  Each phobia is unique and in my opinion well researched.  There were times throughout the book I thought it was moving a little slow, but soon came realize that it was just a build up to major suspense.  This is another one of those books where you have to know what's going to happen next.  It's also pretty fast paced.  I will defiantly be buying a finished copy of this book once they are available!

Mini Review ~ Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession (Possession, #1)
Title:  Possession
Author: Elana Johnson
Series: Possession #1
Genre:  YA/Dystopian
Format:  ARC via AWTW Tours
Release Date:  June 7, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


Review:

First of all I thought that this book was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  I thought that the book had a very "real" futuristic feel to it.  Everything was well thought out and described to the reader in an excellent fashion.  I really thought that the story flowed and the overall build up was AWESOME and lead to so many different things happening through out.

I really LOVED Vi.  I thought that she was a pretty kick ass heroine.  She's a free thinker in a place where free thinking and free will are a thing of the past. Vi's matched to Zee, who is the "safe" choice, but then she ends up in jail with Jag and that's when things get interesting.  I can say though that the relationship between Vi and Jag drove me up the walls at times. But no relationship is perfect right?

I really loved how this book unfolded.  I had a very hard time putting this book down.  I had to know what was going to happen next.  I became completely engaged in reading this book.  I can hardly wait to read the next book!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox October 2, 2011



In My Mailbox is a bookish meme where we book bloggers are able to show off the books that we've obtained.  For me this is a couple of weeks worth of books being featured this week.  Leave me a link to your IMM and I'll drop by and check it out.

~RAK~

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Thank you Benji!

The Mortal Instruments Boxed Set: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass (Mortal Instruments, #1-3)

~Personal RAK~

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)

~Bought~

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

Heaven is for Real

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Slow Ride (Fast Track #5)

I'm a little over 100 pages into this book and I really like it so far.  A lot of humor and a HOT "forced into retirement" NASCAR Driver.

Darkfever (Fever, #1)

I actually have 2 copies of this book.  The original copy is in a "safe place" meaning I have no idea where it is.

~For Review~

All These Things I've Done

Hades (Halo, #2)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Clearing The Shelves Follower giveaway

Peeps!  I have a problem.  I have more books than I have space for!  I know I know, some are saying how is this a problem?  In normal circumstances it wouldn't be a problem.  But I've been doing some thinking recently and I've come to the realization that I need to make some space before my niece/nephew arrives in March.  I've got to find a new home for some of my books.  I can't keep them all.  I've got to set some "free."  So I decided that I would hold a giveaway.  


Rules:

1. You MUST be a GFC follower to win.
2. You MUST fill out the form below.
3. Open to US and Canada Addresses.
4. Contest goes from October 1, 2011 - December 1, 2011.

**For every 10 new followers I will add 2 books to the box.**

Fine Print:  Once the winner is drawn and emailed they will have 48 hours to email me back or a new winner will be drawn.

Titles to start the box off:

Arson by Estevan Vega
Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young
Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Hardcover)
Shiver by Maggie Steifvater (Paperback)
XVI by Julia Karr
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
The Taker by Alma Katsu
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Rage by Jacki Morse Kessler
A House Afire by Emma Kinna
Guest House by Barbara K. Richardson
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Passion Fish by Alison Oburia
In The Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson (Hardcover)
Minder by Kate Kaynak
Adversary by Kat Kaynak
Body Heat by Katherine Garbera
Delirious by Daniel Palmer


Mini Review ~ Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds

Title:  Blood Wounds
Author:  Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: N/A
Genre: YA
Format: ARC from AWTW Tours
Release Date: September 12, 2011

Rating: DNF

Synopsis:



Review:

I had a very hard time getting into this book.  From the synopsis you think your getting a YA "thriller," that is not the case at all.  I felt that I had been duped into the book under false pretenses.  I don't know what it was about the book but I just lost interest in it.  I didn't get very far into the book so I will just touch on the things for the little bit that I did read.

First the positive...I think that the premise and idea for the story are excellent.  I do really enjoy books that deal with "heavy issues" a lot.  I just thought that for the small portion of the book I did read that the execution of  the idea from "notes" to book form left a lot to be desired, again this is just my opinion.

Aside from thinking I'm getting one type of book and getting something completely different.  I overall had a hard time connecting with the book.  Especially the characters. I thought that Willa was a pretty alright character, written in a "real" way.  I felt that the secondary characters were written in a manner that was pretty stereotypical. I know that the author has to build a world for the reader but I thought that the beginning of the book was too much.

Overall, this book was not for me but I've read some pretty good reviews for it elsewhere, so I may just be in the minority about this book.  Don't let my review entirely color your "vision" of this book.
Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.

Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.