Note: This time of year is always very busy for me. Last year, I hadn't really started blogging yet, so I was able to keep myself above the craziness. This year, I am. My blog is slightly inactive due to the holiday craze. Hopefully will return to the regular posting after the new year. :)


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011: Books

Note: This was kind of supposed to go up yesterday. It didn't. Oops.

This is part of a short series, Best of 2011. This is the last part. As 2011 comes to a close, it's the time to talk about the rest of the year. Being in the bookish community, this means I'll be talking about bookish things. Here goes!

This time, we're finishing up. Here's the books that came out this year that were my favorites.

10, for its interesting world and idea.

9, for its photographs and unique story.

8, for its super awesome ghosts and mystery-esque thing.

7, for its kickbutt MC and mythology.

6, for its characters, world, and prose.

5, for its unique vibe and refreshing genre.

4, for its magic realism elements and characters.

3, for its amazing idea and strong MC.

2, for its beautiful story and prose.

1, for its strong storyline, fascinating world, and brave MC.

Those are my top ten of the year. What are yours?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best of 2011: Debuts

This is part of a short series, Best of 2011. The last part will go up the following two days. As 2011 comes to a close, it's the time to talk about the rest of the year. Being in the bookish community, this means I'll be talking about bookish things. Here goes!

Time to give a little love to the new authors that made their way on the scene this year!

10, for its main characters and paranormal elements.

9, for its location, mythology, and supporting characters.

8, for its new take on an old tale.

7, for its awesome MC, great mythology, and action.

6, for its cool vibe and refreshing genre.

5, for its gritty but need-to-be-read story line.

4, for its interesting photographs and the story it tells with them.

3, for its beautiful prose, strong characters, and wonderful story.

2, for its rhythmic prose, fierce MC, and awesome mystery.

1, for it's unique world, dauntless (eh, eh?) heroine, and fast-paced story.

Those are my top ten debuts of the year. What are yours?



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best of 2011: Covers

This is part of a short series, Best of 2011. The other two parts will go up the following two days. As 2011 comes to a close, it's the time to talk about the rest of the year. Being in the bookish community, this means I'll be talking about bookish things. Here goes!

Today's part is one of vanity, but we did have some fabulous covers on books this year.

10, for its simplicity and ability to give a true feel for the book.

9, for having just the right amount of creepiness for you to remember.

8, for an amazing color choice and also being relevant to the story.

7, for being delightfully creepy and illustrating the story well.

6, for having an amazing color palate and image.

5, for its amazing background and vibe.

4, for its artistic qualities and overall truth to the novel.

3, for its color, simple font choice, and perhaps a double meaning.

2, for its meaning and simplicity.

1, for its stunning way of showing the story in the best way possible.

Those are my top ten covers of the year! Leave a comment and let me know what yours are!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review - Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Amazon Link
Goodreads Link

Page Count: 344
Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

Let me just start this review out by thanking Shannon for sending me a copy of it. I am grateful to get a chance to read this book, so thank you.

Now, onto the review.

Between Shades of Gray was a novel that, for a bit, I honestly had no clue what it was about. The cover, while I do like it, now that it makes sense, made it seem like a contemporary novel, which I'm not too into. After reading seeing it on Goodreads and figuring out what it was actually about, I'd wanted to read it.

Lina, the main character, is a sixteen year old girl who dreams of being an artist. Beyond that, she's brave. She shows this unfathomable courage, I think, even when she's afraid. Lina, her brother, Jonas, and her mother, Elena are sent to work camps. She's constantly surrounded by death and sickness and sorrow, but Lina never breaks. She hurts, as any normal person would, but she refused to let her captors break her. I admire her for that, because it takes more strength than I think a lot of us have.

Something that I have always been a fan of is history. It's likely my second favorite subject, under English, because, unlike everything else, it tells a story. I'm that kid who can spend an hour online, reading articles about something historical that she just meant to google briefly.  Perhaps that's why I was a fan of this one. I don't know.

It is such a raw book. I don't use the term raw lightly here. It's a sad book, but it's something that should be read, I think. Deaths are frequent in this book, as is abuse and hatred. It's a gritty book in the best sense of the word, to the fullest extent. It is brutally honest and unabashedly so.

It has a favorable writing style for me. I somehow enjoyed it, but I can't really tell you exactly how it was different. Lina's point of view was nice. She was unafraid to be brash, unafraid to say things like they need to be said. It's not too flowery, nor too plain, and that fits the story. It's a perfect balance that doesn't leave you drowning in a sea of prose or clawing a blank room, if you get what I mean.

In the last 40 pages, I was crying. I was really crying. Not anything big. No blubbering, but it was the simple kind of tears that blur your vision, you know? I almost got annoyed with myself because I couldn't read from tearing up every 30 seconds.

I'm utterly at a loss for words now, really. I don't think it's a book that's supposed to be talked about, but read. It's one of those books that you really have to read it for yourself. But I do think more people should read this one. I know they have it at my county library, but I'll be requesting it at my school library when the opportunity presents itself. It seems like a book teens should read. We're not nearly informed enough, I think.

I hope you'll give this book a chance, even if it is out of your genre. It's a novel that will make you cry, but only in the best sorts of ways. It'll leave you breathless. Try it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Amazing quote:
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.

 Songs I listened to while reading:

(I picked this one because it started to remind me of Munch.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alex for the Win!

I don't know how many of you have read Half-blood, but I'm about to semi-fangirl over it. If you don't like that sort of thing, then you don't have to read this, but I still encourage you to vote (maybe for Alex? #icanalwaystry) in the tournament.

So, why should Alex get your vote? Other than the fact that she could probably kill you (Just saying!)? Well, because she's pretty awesome.

First off, she's hilarious. Being the witty girl Alex is, she always has the best comebacks, and they often come around during  the times when most other people would keep their mouth shut, but not Alex. She's brave - and a little rash - enough to speak her mind, and I like her for that. She's sarcastic and fierce, and willing to say what she feels, though maybe she doesn't always think it through first.

Secondly, she's tough. She can of course stab her enemies, - with everything from a dagger to a garden spade, as long as it's made out of titanium - but she's tough all around. She doesn't usually let insults get her down. She won't let people boss her around. She stands her ground and is definitely willing to yell at anyone who tries to make her do something she doesn't think is right. She will do things herself if she feels the need to, and she will not take no for an answer.

Thirdly, she is tough but not unreachable. How many times have you read a book with a kickass heroine, but they're just tough, and that's it? Not Alex. She's tough, but she cares. As I said above, a lot of the reason she rebels is because she wants to do what's right. Alex is fiesty, but, trust me, I think she's got a heart of gold (And I hate using that phrase.). She'll risk her life for others and she'll do it because she wants to.

If you need further convincing, you can check out Momo's defense for her here. Andandand, in celebration of Alex's win, Momo is giving away a copy of Daimon, Half-blood, and Pure on her blog! And also, (yes, there's more!) if Alex wins this round, Jennifer will post chapter sixteen from Half-blood from Aiden's POV. Which. Well. C'mon. 

Cover Reveal: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.
Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.
But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

I personally think this book sounds awesome. The idea of the infertility and then creating new life seems fascinating. I have no clue why, but some of my favorite books are the ones where something bad happens to the population and the government has to fix it.

The cover is also super gorgeous. What do you guys think of it?

This book is the first in a series of YA dystopian books. Chosen Ones is scheduled for release in April, as of right now.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Year in blogging.

I've been trying to write this post for like, three days now, so don't give me crap if it sucks. It is also super, super, SUPER cheesy! You've been warned.

A year. Wow.

I don't know what it is, but something feels like this is a big accomplishment and something feels like it's just a little one, at the same time. It's a weird experience.

To be completely and totally honest, I've had several blogs before. A ranty one, one about becoming a vegetarian (which, sadly, I failed.), another about nerdy fashion. You name it, I've tried to blog about it. With each and every one of these blogs, I figured that the people would somehow just find you. I was, of course, wrong. It takes work. It takes a backbone.

So somehow with my little book blog, I decided to make a twitter to follow some people, and hell, maybe I'd get some people to read my blog. I'd previously tried and hated twitter for the same reason I'd hated blogging before: I thought it would just happen.

I think from the outside, blogging seems so easy. You read something, you write your thoughts about it. But it's a bit more stressful than one would think. You feel like you have to have a super pretty blog. You have to find your own review style and stick to it. You'll start to get stressed because you aren't reading fast enough, and therefore aren't posting enough. There's drama, be it over the relationships people form with other bloggers (or the lack of those.) or how many ARCs someone gets.

But while it can be hard, it's the most fun I've had in a long, long time. I've read books I never would've read before. I feel comfortable wanting to be a writer, knowing that there are at least a hundred other people on my timeline who want the same thing. I've actually let people other than Riley and my other friends read my work. (Not that I don't trust their opinions. It's just nice to have someone who has nothing to lose by saying they don't like your work.)

It's so much fun, you guys. I've talked to authors whose books I adore, and they'll talk back. I go to liveshows and read their blogs. It's nice to know that they're not as high up as the name on the book can make them out to be.

I've talked to book lovers galore. When you only have two or three people to talk to, it's nice to talk to others about books. I mean, I write down my thoughts for over 200 of you, and believe me when I say that I'm thankful for everyone of you.

So next year, around this time, I'll write another post about how much I love you and I'll still mean it, whether some of you leave or some new people start to follow along. Here's to hoping that I'm still around. Blogging's been a heck of a ride.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Deity Cover Reveal!

Okay, so two cover reveals in a row for the same author. Judge me if you will, but I'm a sucker for seeing the shinies. 

Deity, which doesn't have a summary yet, is the third installment in The Covenant series, following Pure. 

So here it is!

And with the others:
Pretty right?
Also, if you're a Half-blood/Alex fan, you should remember to vote for her in the Heroine tournament!

What do you guys think of the new cover? Awesome, right?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout cover reveal!

Has anyone else noticed that Jen always gets awesome book covers? This time is no different!

First off, let me just tell you this.

Obsidian, the first book in the Lux Series comes out on December 6th! That is in three days, guys. Jennifer writes awesome books and you want this. I promise you do. I have not read it, but I want the heck out of it and I will be grabbing a copy when it comes out.

Buy it at:

Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

Do it. I double-dog dare you.

Okay! I'll shut up and show you the pretty now.

Insert dramatic pause here.

Insert you scrolling down now.

Insert cover here:
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Isn't it awesome? I think I may love this one more than the first! What do you think? Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Breaking Dawn Part One

Yes, I am going to talk about a movie. But it's a movie based on a book, so it's relevant. Also, this post will contain spoilers for both the book, Breaking Dawn, and the movie based on it.


The movie stays pretty true to the book, unlike some of the others. There's not a lot of it that they've changed.

The soundtrack was awesome, just like the rest of them. You can hate the movies all you like, but I love the music.

The acting was slightly better in this one. Don't really know what it was, but it was there.

The scenes where Bella's life is flashing through her eyes was pretty good, too. Like I imagined it.

Bella definitely looked sick. They worked some freaking magic with making her look thin and bony.


It did kind of feel a little tiresome. I know the book was tiresome for me too, though, because it took me eight days to finish, when I got the first three in around 2-4 days. But still. A little less ZOMG, NO BELLA and a little more the wolf pack is gonna kill you, please?

Birth scene. 'nuff said.

Speaking of, I wish the wolf pack tension was a little more prominent. There was one scene that was excellent, in my opinion, where the pack is tricked while the Cullens are able to leave. That was a nice one. The rest of it was sort of...meh.

Can we please discuss the very end? Okay, I know it's been like, three years since I read breaking dawn, but please tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't remember the whole, "Oh look, my baby!" scene? I know Bella lives, but I thought the idea of Edward tearing Nessie out of Bella's stomach and then being like, "LOOK BELLA." was stupid. It was like this:

Edward: "Lookie! Here's the baby!"
Bella: "Wheee." *Is internally bleeding*
Edward: "She's pretty. I like her."
Bella: *dead*

This is the equivalent of a girl getting shot and her boyfriend, instead of calling an ambulance, is trying to show her a shiny rock. *headdesk* Epic fail on that one, guys. Here's a bit of advice. If you are a guy, and your girlfriend is about to die, maybe you should hold out on showing her the shiny rock/baby. She'll appreciate it later. You know. When she's not dead.


Honeymoon. 'nuff said.

The scene where they're showing that Jacob imprinted on Nessie? That was kind of annoying. I don't really mind it as much, because they couldn't have really had Jacob be like, "I imprinted!" Or like, have him burst into song or something. But the flashes of Nessie as a teen and stuff were kind of annoying, especially since the little girl was either wearing some sort of very fake looking wig, or the effect they used were just not so good on that. So yeah. Kind of annoying, but okay for movies, I guess.

Final statement:

Breaking Dawn had a pretty good setup, but I'm not fond of the book itself, so. It's probably the best one of the bunch. I'm not particularly looking forward to the next, considering I know all about the anti-climatic ending, but I will probably see it anyway.

What'd you guys think of the movie? Leave a comment.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm baaaack.

No, really.

Okay, I'm sorry. I give you permission to kill me for being gone for so long. In my defense, there was NaNo and the holidays and I am writing so much. Not to mention, I have to plan a giveaway for you guys, and it has to be awesome.

Because you are awesome.

But I am trying to get back on track here. Back with the blogging. Still not really doing IMM for a while, because I have too many books on my shelf that aren't being read because I want the shiny new books. I really, really need to go back and read these books.

Also, I am planning on doing a new bookshelf tour vlog, and my favorite books of the year vlog. These will both probably happen in late December or early January. Yeah.

Just updating you.

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