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. :)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review - Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Amazon Link
Goodreads Link

Page Count: 320 pages
Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life. 

    Anna Dressed in Blood is a hard book to talk about without spoiling things. It's not really a mystery book, but there is a mystery here. It's full of twists and turns. And, where I thought the book was going to end, I still had more to read and more story to digest. And I don't think I would've liked it as much as I do now if it had ended where I thought it would.
     Anna is, by far, my favorite character in this book, which is unusual. Most of the time, it'd be the main character, but this time, it's Anna. She's a deeply thought out character. She's strong and weak at the same time. Selfish and selfless. Sarcastic and serious. She's never just one thing. Anna was a flawless character for me, not in the sense that she didn't have faults, but that she was just perfectly balanced and well-created.
    Cas was bitter in such a good way, if that makes sense. He's slightly angry at the world, and it's a well-deserved madness. He's strong, but still knows that he's not perfect, that he is weaker than some. He's realistic with his thoughts. He's slightly impulsive, but I think that has to do with his instinct to fight.
    The other characters are good, too. I adored Carmel - Yes, her name is Carmel - and her bravery, despite not having any special lineage. Cassio's mom was sweet and I loved the way that she reacted realistically to her son being put in such dangerous situations. It would've bothered me if she had just thought it was safe. Real mothers worry. She did too.
     It was a little slow in the beginning, getting to the actual story. It starts off with a completely different ghost and it takes a few chapters for him to even see Anna. It picks up pretty fast after that, though.
     The writing style switches between being full of prose and being a gritty sort of beautiful. It did swear a lot, but I found that it's really the worst in the middle part of the book. In the beginning and near the end, it's much better about it. Cursing in books doesn't usually bother me. In fact, usually, it feels a little unrealistic if it doesn't do it just a bit. But it does curse quite a bit. I counted some of the F-bombs and found at least 12 in the first 150 pages or so.
      It's a highly unpredictable book. I did not even consider what happened at the end to happen. I didn't consider nearly half of the book to be there. I thought it would've ended with something that happened around half-way in, but it kept on going.
     I didn't really like the semi-cliffhanger type ending. Though, does anyone? I want the next book. Like, right now. Ah.
     I will leave you with this.
     Anna Dressed in Blood will not leave my mind. It has taken up there, refusing to leave my thoughts.
     Anna will haunt your dreams and break your heart. When you lie in your bed at night, staring up at your dark, dark ceiling, you'll wonder if she's lurking in the darkness. Out of the corner of your eye, you'll think you catch glimpses of her dark hair. She will not leave your mind. And you will not be able to forget her.
     But I'm not entirely sure if I want her to go just yet. I'm not entirely sure if I want her to leave at all. I think I'd miss her far too much.

Songs I listened to while reading:


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme is:
Top Ten Books That Are On The Top Of My TBR List For Fall

10. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I've heard a lot of really good things about this book, both from bloggers and authors, and I'm pretty excited for it. I want to read this one, but not nearly as much as the rest of the list.

9. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey 

The idea of zombie romance seems highly creepy to me, but bringing the dead back sounds a lot more bearable. I know some people have read this and they've liked it, so it seems like it's not going to be a flop.

 8. Wintertown by Stephen Emond 

One of my closest bookish friends really liked this one. Not to mention, this just sounds awesome to me. Seems like a realistic sort of book that I can get into.

7. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

This. Sounds. Beyond. Awesome.

6. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

This one just sounds really interesting. I don't always read mysteries, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this one.

5. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Love all of the elements that are supposed to be in this book, including folklore. Sounds awesome and a lot of people rave over it.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

So much love for this book everywhere. It's supposed to be amazing. And it sounds  crazy awesome.

3. Fateful by Claudia Gray

Titanic and werewolves? How does a book get cooler or more unique than that?

2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I'm sure that most everyone will have this on their list. It just sounds so good.

1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Please excuse me while I go fangirl.

But, seriously. I want to read this. I want to read this so much.

What books are you looking forward to this Fall?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Daily Dose (18)

Daily Dose is hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly.

Play your favorite cd on repeat.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

IMM (19)

 In my Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

This week I got...


The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (Amazon - Goodreads)

Which, by the way, I totally put my bookplate in. :D

So, what'd you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crushing on covers!

Recently, I've seen some really awesome new covers! I thought that I'd just make a simple post, showing off some of my favorite covers.

So, those are just some of my favorite covers. There are tons more, but I got tired of picniking. Haha.
What are your favorite covers?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A new Idea, randomness, and questions.

Part One: The New Idea

    Recently, I've been thinking back on blogging and how it's changed me. I've become comfortable with the idea of writing someday, because I now know that I'm not the only who wants to do that. I've stuck to one WIP because of the lovely people who are reading it as I write. I know they won't let me switch it out or give it up. I've found so many new books that I loved or am really, really looking forward to. I've had the chance to talk to other readers, writers, authors, publishers, and bloggers. They're an awesome bunch of people to surround yourself with.
     But, as I was thinking about how great it's been, I have also realized that at one point, I wasn't having nearly as much fun as I am now. I stuck it out, but I had help meeting people and I got to know others. I'm a fairly shy person. I don't particularly like talking to new people because I'm awkward. It's hard to start making connections.
    I made friends and they introduced me to other people. That's how it works. But it can be hard to get yourself out there, to talk to people and build relationships.
    That's why I've come up with this idea.
    I'm not the first person to try something like this, and I won't be the last, but I want to reach out to my readers and the people who may not go to some of the other blogs where things like this happen.
    So. I'm offering to be that friend, the one who will introduce you to new people and friends. I'm going to do a form below this and, if you're a new blogger (or just want to meet some new people!), you can fill it out. This isn't final yet. I'm still seeing if they're are people interested in participating. But I've had great experiences with group things (remember the readathon?) and this community before, so I have faith in trying this.
    Basically, I'll have guest posters on this blog for about a week sometime soon. I'll also be giving others interview partners and guest post swaps and such. The idea is to mingle and to make friends.

Part Two: Randomness

    I miss being sort of silly with you guys, so here's a short update:

    I've started school. All of our teachers have said they're trying not to give us homework, but I think ALL teachers do that at the start of school. It's happened every year for us. But, hopefully, I won't go into a really huge blogging slump. I'm working on getting more blog posts scheduled, so I hope that'll work out!

     I've got a few books on my shelf that I don't really know what to do with. I'm not very interested in reading them anymore (impulse buys. :P). I'm thinking of maybe doing a short giveaway thing where I'll give these books away so that they can at least go to happier homes, where they'll be read.

     I'm plotting super secret things for a friend's birthday (Hi, Riley! I'm not saying, Of course, I can't tell you what they are, but maybe I'll do some sort of post on that. What to give your bookish best friend. Sound good? Leave a comment and let me know if that sounds interesting!

    I've been writing quite a bit recently. I'm nearing 20k, and I'm super excited to hit that point. I'm actually most excited to start editing. I know, I'm weird.

Part Three: Questions

    Eventually, I want to either do a big blog post or a vlog with a Q&A session. I like letting my personality seep through my blog and I like letting people get to know me. So, if you guys want to ask me something, or even just request a vlog idea, I'll put my formspring here and you can ask me questions there. 

Just ask! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme is:
 Top Ten Books You Loved But Never Wrote A Review For (either books you loved and couldn't bring yourself to write a review for or books that you read long before blogging...time to give them a shoutout!)

Here goes.

10. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

I read this book years ago, but I really enjoyed it then. I don't exactly know how it would stack up with my YA books, seeing as how I both read more book and read books more critically. I did read this when I was pretty young (around 8, I think.), but I was in a higher class level for my reading, so I was with a group of older kids at the time. 

9. Searching for David's Heart by Cherie Bennett 

I know. I put this on the last one. But I did really love it when I read it, which was at least two years before I started this blog. I read it out of boredom in the summer between grades, when I had nothing better to do and nothing else to read.

This is one of the books that really got me back into reading after my sad little departure from it that lasted a few years. It's not really what got me into YA, but it did make me realize that reading was a love that you couldn't really lose if it was important to you.

8. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Once again, I read this one before I started blogging. I still really enjoy it. But, if you've seen the movie, reading the book will be slightly weird. In the film, I believe that Winnie is around seventeen and it's not weird for her to have a love interest. In the novel, she's eleven and it's entirely weird, but the plot makes more sense to me like that.

I think this one sort of started my slight love for some older books that are popular. I don't tend to read many of them, but I'm much more open to them now than I ever have been before.

7. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 

I freaking love this series, but I won't review it for two reasons:

One, being that I read it so long ago it's not even funny. I don't review books that I haven't read recently. It doesn't work well for me. Rule of thumb, I guess.

Two, being that this is actually pretty popular. Everyone and their brother AND their uncle has read these books, so I don't really feel the need to review them. There's an abundance of review for these, so I think people will still be able to decide without one more from me.

6. Evermore by Alison Noel 

I did actually love this one for a while, but I have to admit it's kind of depressing and full of cliches. I'm in the minority, I think. A lot of people liked these, but I feel like it would've been better as a stand-alone and not as a huge series. I read Blue Moon and some of the third book, as well, but I got bored and stopped. 

But, I won't review these for the same reason that I won't review The PJ series - there are already enough reviews for them. Not to mention, I don't really want to review the sequel, either, for the above reason. 

5. Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

I really loved this one for a while. My friend loaned it to me and I read it pretty fast. It was awesome.

But, once again, I sadly did not read this one close enough to the start of my blog to feel okay about reviewing it. I would reread it, but I have other books I need more than this one, and I have no clue if the friend even still has this book, because I haven't seen it on her shelves in forever!

4. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Obviously, this one will probably make a lot of the lists. I just don't want to review it because it has too much publicity already and I don't want all the random haters and the obsessed fangirls running rampant in the comments. It sounds crazy, but I've seen people freak out in the comments over this one.

I went through the phase, sure. Now, I'm indifferent. I've re-read some of them and something I thought was awesome really isn't that great compared to some of the amazing books I've read to the date.  I do thank Twilight for getting teens to read again, but I'm not a fan of it anymore. 

3. Fallen by Lauren Kate

I like this book. I used to love it, but I like it now. I think hype tends to kill the special coziness of books. Once everyone loves it, it's not as special and you lose focus and move on to another.

There are A LOT of reviews for this one. My review wouldn't really be much different. There'd probably at least one thing about how I want that dress and those gloves, about how they're pretty. 

                           2. Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I love this book. I loved Half-blood, too. But I didn't really know when to review this one or how. I was too crazed and too starry-eyed to try to form coherent thoughts. I just couldn't.

It's not that I didn't love this one. Oh my gosh, I did. But I had a lot of trouble with my Half-blood review (that will be up in the future, closer to the release date.), and I had even more trouble attempting this one. 

Long story short, it was not pretty. There were so many exclamation points.

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

For obvious reasons.

Also, I'm beyond positive that this one will be on EVERYBODY'S list. 

So, what are some books you can't review? And, if you don't have a blog, what would you skip on review if you did? Leave a comment and let me know! :)

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