Saturday, March 27, 2010

Library Lovers

Libraries are in need and you can help.

I know my blog is small and insignificant but if I can get even one person to help out, then I will feel like I've done something so here goes..

Check out Jennifer Hubbard's Livejournal by clicking here and visit the blogs listed. By doing so and leaving a comment on the individual blogs, you can help libraries get a much needed donation. Each blogger is donating an amount from their pocket to their local library for every person who leaves a comment. It's just that simple.

If I had the funds, I would participate in a heartbeat but since I cannot, I am helping by supporting other libraries around the country. If you read this and decide to comment on any of the blogs then I thank you.
YAY Libraries!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth

Something is coming and it's only a matter of time. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, the people of Camp Half-Blood are worried about a possible invasion from former camper Luke and his cronies whose goal is to resurrect the evil Kronos. Although the camp boundary is protected by the golden fleece, Percy and Annabeth accidentally stumble upon an entrance to Daedalus's labyrinth and soon they realize this is how Luke is planning on invading the camp. Percy and his friends must go on a quest to find Daedalus and try to persuade him not to team up with the other side. However, navigating the labyrinth can be tricky because the maze changes and people who go in, are not guaranteed to come back out the same.

It's no secret that I have been liking the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. These books are just quick, fun reads that I cannot seem to get enough of. There seems to be so much stuff going on, but with the way Riordan writes it, it's not overwhelming and it just works. It's not difficult to envision what is going on and I only wish that future movies stay true to the book because they could be fantastic.

Although I only have one book left to read of this series (sad!) I cannot wait to see what happens next to Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Tyson, and even newcomer Rachel.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

Released April 6, 2010

The anticipation for John Green and David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson is high. After missing out on Jessica's (Forever Young) ARC tour of this book, I will admit, I was slightly bummed but I have been keeping up with her guest bloggers and their reviews and each time there's a new entry it gets me even more psyched to read this book.

I love the fact that this book is about a Will Grayson meeting another Will Grayson and each Will Grayson is written by a different author.

From Goodreads:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

When I first heard about this book I knew I was going to add it to my TBR list, but as time went by I kept hearing more and more good things about Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall and I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. It took me about a span of four days to read it since I was only reading before bed, but last night I just had to finish and ended up doing so around 2:30am.

Samantha Kingston is popular, has great friends, good looks, and a boyfriend all the girls in school envy. She wakes up on Friday, February 12th and is expecting just another normal day. On the way home from a party, there's an accident and Samantha is killed..or is she? She wakes up the next morning to find out that it must have all been a dream and then finds out she's reliving Friday again. This goes on for seven days and Samantha finds out that even if there is a small difference from her original Friday, everything changes and she'll still wake up on the 12th. Samantha must find out how to break the cycle and along the way she finds herself.

At first I had a hard time getting into this book. The beginning was just very repetitive, but understandably so because of the storyline, however, it was needed for Samantha to know that something more than a dream or deja vu was going on. It was nice to see her character progress from a mean girl who just followed the leader to a girl who cared about others and learned to stand up for herself.

Before I Fall was well written and the characters had such depth that I really felt like they were real people. Even as much as I hated Lindsay I couldn't help but feel pity for her towards the end and there's always a popular boy in school like Rob who thinks he's all that but in reality is just a huge jerk. I did adore Kent and totally developed a slight book crush on him.

This book definitely reached my expectations and I can't wait to read more from Lauren Oliver.

This was book #3 in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge.

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

I finished reading The Secret Year last week so I'm a little late on posting my review but I guess better late than never, right?

Colt Morrissey has been seeing popular girl Julia Vernon for a year, however, their relationship has been kept a secret because they come from different parts of town and she has a boyfriend.

Colt's world is rocked when he finds out that Julia was in a car accident that took her life. Now Colt must deal with her death alone because nobody thought they even knew each other. Later, Colt is given letters Julia wrote to him in diary format during the time of their relationship.

Colt learns a few things about Julia over the next few weeks and also starts to understand her hesitation when it came to breaking up with her boyfriend so she could be with Colt. He also befriends Kirby, but is really over Julia enough to move on?

I've seen other reviews that say The Secret Year is a cross between Romeo and Juliet and The Outsiders and I would have to agree with a point. Colt and Julia's relationship is secret, but only because they choose for it to be since they find it easier. As for The Outsiders, the whole "socs" and "greasers" thing is just substituted with Black Mountain kids and those from the Flats. The social standing takes on a more visual aspect because where they live determines their rank on the social ladder.

I liked the fact that Colt was a more mature male voice and the writing was very well done. The grief and the guilt he felt over losing Julia was real and if you've ever lost someone you know those two things tend to go hand-in-hand and no matter what the circumstance is, there's always a "what if.." hovering in your mind. They were passionate about each other and it came across well from Colt's memories and Julia's letters. I also liked how a few things came full circle and some of the characters were better able to understand others' actions.

This was also book #2 of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

I know I've been lacking in updates this week but part of the week has been depressing while the other half has been busy. I'm back though and I come with the books I bought this past week.

The Life of Pi - appropriate title for today since it's Pi Day
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
The Bell Jar
The Alchemist

What did you get this week? Have you read any of the books I bought?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

I'm pretty pleased with the books I acquired this past week and I absolutely cannot wait to start reading them.

I picked up the fourth book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series earlier this week so that I could have it on hand when I finished some of my other books. I'm really looking forward to seeing where Riordan takes Percy and crew.

Next up is Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. After watching the movie with Leah, Julie, and Heather a few weekends ago, I really wanted to read the book. Initially, I thought it was a horror book and I'm not a huge fan of feeling like I need to put my book in the freezer when I can't take it and was pleasantly surprised with the movie. I can't wait to start this book, especially because of the book-into-movie accuracy.

To be honest, I haven't read much about The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg except that it's a cute book. I adore the homage to The Beatles and if there are mention of them throughout, then how can you go wrong? This book will also count towards the 2010 Debut Author Challenge.

The book that I purchased that I am most looking forward to is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. The cover itself is just hauntingly beautiful and I have a feeling the story itself will follow suit. I can't wait to start reading it later today.

I also bought two book related pieces of jewelry that I've been wanting for a while. This ring that says My Thoughts Create My World taken from Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series and this book locket with an owl on it.

What books or book related items did you get this week?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback Friday (3)

Flashback Friday was started by Jacki over at Lovely Little Shelf and is a chance to share with others books that you loved as a kid or teenager.

When I was in middle school a friend recommended I read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and when I did, it became the first book that I ever re-read. I don't know what it is about this book, but I love it. I think it's a great story and each of the main characters are so different from one another but they all complement each other.

This is one of the books that I will forever remember reading.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

The time has finally come for my opinion of Hex Hall and I honestly cannot say enough great things about it. It's only officially been out since Tuesday but if you haven't already acquired a copy, do so now. Seriously, what are you waiting for?! GO!

Sixteen year old Sophie Mercer is a witch and after a love spell gone wrong, she lands herself in Hecate Hall for two years, a reform school in Georgia for prodigium that have put humans at risk.

Things don't go too well for Sophie at Hecate, not only is her roommate and new best friend, Jenna, the sole vampire student and pariah, but she manages to piss off the three resident dark witches. What makes life even more complicated is that Sophie falls for Archer, boyfriend to head mean girl, Elodie.

Before long, things start happening at Hecate and Jenna is the one accused of everything. In order to help clear her friend's name, Sophie begins digging for information and ends up getting answers to her own personal questions like: Why has she never met her father? Why is she an outcast among outcasts? Why do people want her dead?

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much was that it wasn't difficult to emerge myself in Sophie's world. Partly because this book was so well written but also because I share some of the same background as Sophie.

I was always the new girl in school and I totally identified with the part where she says that people aren't really mean to her, they just ignore her. That sums up what high school was for me. Also, Sophie moved around a lot and I literally chuckled out loud when the two states that were mentioned in the same breath were Arizona and Texas, because you guessed it, I lived in both places. By the time I was fourteen I had moved fifteen times so I really knew what she felt like, especially the part about living somewhere for four years being the longest she had lived anywhere. Again, that was me. I lived in a small Arizona town for four years starting when I was nine and it was a shock to me going to the same school for more than a year. When I moved to Alabama from Arizona I felt exactly like she did when she said the heat is different and the humidity is so bad it feels like mildew is growing on your skin.

Enough of my history, back to the book. One of my favorite things about Hex Hall was the humor and wit. Anyone who can reference pop culture this way gets a mega gold star in my book. I thought I saw where the story was going to go and I was right on one account but was shocked by the curve ball Rachel threw in there and I had to put my book down for a few seconds to process. I love when that happens.

I loved this book and am whoring it out to everyone who will listen because it's just plain awesome as is the author (my mom even bought a copy today) and I hated when I got to the last page because I want to know now what's going to happen next. I can't wait until book 2 comes out!

I may even go buy another copy sometime so I can have a giveaway :-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

Released May 10, 2010

One thing I like about the way the Southern Vampire Series (AKA Sookie Stackhouse Series) is released is that you know that until Charlaine Harris is finished with the series, the newest book will be out in May. The down side is the waiting a year and Sookie's outdated wardrobe.

From Amazon:

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Hex Hall

Thanks to MizB at Should Be Reading for hosting Teaser Tuesday's. If you'd like to participate all you have to do is grab the book you're reading, open to a random page, share 2 teaser sentences (non-spoilers please!), and list the name of the book, page number, and author.

" I threw a roll at her, but before she could retaliate, Mrs. Casnoff rose from her seat. She raised her hands over her head and the room fell quiet so quickly, you would have thought she'd just cast a silencing spell."

Page 69 of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

This is also very appropriate to have this as today's Teaser Tuesday book because today is the official release date. Happy Hexy Birthday Rachel!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan

OK, so I know I said I was going to drop everything to read Hex Hall but I changed my mind since I was 3/4 of the way through Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse.

The Titan's Curse finds Percy, along with Thalia and Annabeth, rushing to Grover's side to return to the two half-bloods he has found, back to Camp Half-Blood. Before they are able to leave, the group is surrounded, a fight ensues and ends with Artemis and her Huntresses jumping in to help them out. Unfortunately, when the monsters retreat, Annabeth disappears along with them.

Upon returning to Camp Half-Blood, Artemis decides to go on the hunt for the monster that is rare and so powerful it can bring down all of Olympus. Later, the Oracle reveals that Artemis must be rescued and that two of the five who go on the quest will perish. The huntresses must find Artemis before the Winter Solstice because she holds a swaying vote in Olympus on the upcoming war and Percy is determined to find Annabeth before it's too late.

So far, this has been my favorite book of the series. The characters are a little more mature due to what they've had to deal with and with the possibility of an upcoming war. Like the best of heros, Percy learns that the people he cares for most is his fatal flaw and his enemies know he'll do anything to protect his loved ones. When the time comes, can he put his duty before his loyalty or will the prophecy come true?

Although a small part, I loved Apollo. His addition to the story helped to lighten it up with his love of bad haiku's. Zoe Nightshade was another character that I enjoyed, when she was talking about her past, I felt a little sorry for her and could feel her pain.

There is quite a bit that went on in this book but Riordan's introductions into each event was seamless and the pictures he painted were vivid in my mind. I can't wait until I start book four, The Battle of the Labyrinth.


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