Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Reading Reflections: July 2013

Books Read:
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
The Social Code (The Start-Up #1) by Sadie Hayes
In Too Deep by Coert Voorhees

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 4

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 28

Favorite Read: The Social Code (The Start-Up #1) by Sadie Hayes

Highest Rank: 5

Lowest Rank: 4

Overall Reflection:
Well, I'm finally starting to pick my pace up a bit. We'll see how the month of August goes...I'm supposed to be moving...however that is dependent on a construction timeline. Going Vintage and In Too Deep were both great summer reads. Paper Valentine had some dark and ominous tones, and was a little bit of a let down coming from Yovanoff, in comparison to her other works. The Social Code proved to be engrossing and gripping tale. Can't wait for the sequel. All in all, a great month of reading.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In Too Deep by Coert Voorhees

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can't fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn't care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.
Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren't the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?

Book Review:
I was looking for a fun romantic adventure and that's what I got with Coert Voorhees In Too Deep. Overall, the plot was predictable and a little far-fetched, which is why I deducted a point from the overall rating. However, I enjoyed the fast pace and overall story arc. This is a perfect beach read or something to pick up when you're looking for a good romance packed with adventure. The diving theme laced throughout the story was interesting and refreshing.

Favorite Quote:
"Garcia whistled. 'Interesting.'

'There's a speargun over by the fins back there,' I said into the glass. 'Just put me out of my misery.'

'So tempting'."

Cover Art Commentary:
Okay, I'll admit it...this cover caught my attention almost immediately. It's got a great beachy feel. I love the skull made out of sand. It's sort-of Pirates of the Caribbean-ish. ;)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Say What?! (Take Two)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT pick up a book 

Character Disconnection
2nd Book Syndrome
Selfish Characters
Poorly Executed

What words/topics instantly make you want to PASS up a book?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lola's Lounge: When A Blogger Stops Blogging

Recently I've been thinking about the blogging community. During my blogging journey there have been bloggers that I've faithfully followed. These are the blogger's whose reviews I look forward to. They make smile to myself and feel inspired to read. Then one day, I go to visit and their blog is closed up. Done. Finished. The worst for me is when this happens without warning. Either the blog no longer exists or there is a lack of updates for months-to-years, and I finally succumb to the idea that my beloved blogger is done blogging for good. I tend to adapt better when they leave a final goodbye post, but I still get bummed out all the same. I was wondering, dear readers, how you deal when some of your favorite book bloggers close-up shop. Do feel that a good-bye post helps? Are all blogs doomed to eventually end? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.
With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Book Review:
I was really excited to read another book by Brenna Yovanoff. I have just adored her other books. However, this one fell a little flat in comparison. The premise is interesting and the plot is full of mystery and suspense. However, the character's were a bit bland and disconnected. I was initially interested in Hannah's relationship with ghost Lillian, but the relationship was a bit bizarre. I know, I know, I'm talking about a human being having a friendship with a ghost, but other books have been a bit more successful in making this a bit more engaging and believable. I did enjoy Hannah's relationship with her family, particularly her sister. Overall, an interesting read, but not quite up to par for Yovanoff. I still look forward to her next book!  

Favorite Quote:
“You can't keep acting like this," Lillian says, and for the first time in months, it's like she's actually trying to be nice. "Tragedy isn't this evil thing that came from outer space. It's just there, you know. Along with everything else.”

Cover Art Commentary:
As most of you know, I am sucker for a pretty cover. This beauty is no exception! I love the intricate designs and the color scheme. This cover caught my eye right away!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Author:Anna Jarzab
Works Include: All Unquiet Things
The Opposite of Hallelujah
Why She Deserves More Recognition:Jarzab's voice is unlike any other that I've read before. She brings raw emotion to her well-written plots with a fierceness that has yet to be matched. 

Author:Gail Carriger
Works Include:
The Parasol Protectorate series
The Finishing School series
Why She Deserves More Recognition:Carriger brings wit and snark to her Victorian steampunk novels. I especially love her Parasol Protectorate series! 

Author:Jeannette Walls
Works Include:The Glass Castle
The Silver Star
Why She Deserves More Recognition:
Walls writes from a honest, gritty perspective, some of which stems from her childhood. She allows her audience to come to terms with the fact that life is full of less-than-ideal situations. 

Author:Kate Forsyth
Works Include:The Puzzle Ring
The Starkin Crown
Why She Deserves More Recognition: I became familiar with Forsyth through a book tour hosted by Juju from Tales of Whimsy. Not only are her works phenomenal, she is a wonderful, down-to-earth person. I've been dying to get my hands on a copy of The Gypsy Crown, but it has yet to be released in the U.S. 

Author:Lindsey Leavitt
Works Include:Sean Griswold's Head
Going Vintage
Why She Deserves More Recognition:Leavitt has a wonderful way of writing whimsical tales that revolve around realistic characters. I highly appreciate this talent in an author. 

Author:Mindee Arnett
Works Include:The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)
Why She Deserves More Recognition: Let's face it. YA Paranormal Romance has been replicated so much, It teeters on the edge of predictable and boring. Arnett brought life and wonder back into the genre. She is definitely one of my go-to authors. 

Author:Molly Harper
Works Include:Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Why She Deserves More Recognition: Sometimes you need a whimsical read that is full of humor and romance. That's where Harper comes in. You'll turn your frown upside down quickly when you start flipping through one of her books. 

Author:Rae Carson
Works Include:The Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Crown of Embers
Why She Deserves More Recognition: Carson brings women heroines to the forefront in her Fire and Thorns series. I love the combination of strong women protagonists in the center of fantasy novels. There is a need for more authors like Carson!

Author:Robin Benway
Works Include:Audrey, Wait!
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
Why She Deserves More Recognition:Benway is a phenomenal author with a talent for writing fun, light-hearted tales that always bring a smile to my face. She has a way of connecting the characters to the reader so you want to get to know them better!

Author:Sarah Beth Durst
Works Include:Drink, Slay, Love
Enchanted Ivy
Why She Deserves More Recognition:Durst has the fantastic ability to write books in various genres with a unique voice. I have read all of her books to date, and look forward to her two upcoming books, one YA and one adult. 

So dear readers, who are your top ten authors who deserve more recognition?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Social Code (The Start-Up #1) by Sadie Hayes

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Eighteen-year-old twins Adam and Amelia Dory learned the hard way to rely only on each other, growing up in a small town where they understood the meaning of coming from nothing. But everything changes when both are offered scholarships to Stanford University – and catapulted into the dazzling world of Silicon Valley, where anyone with a good enough idea can skyrocket to fame and fortune in the blink of an eye…
Amelia is almost as pretty as she is smart – almost. A shy girl and genius, she is happiest alone in the computer lab, but her brother has other plans for her talents: A new company that will be the next Silicon Valley hit, and will thrust Amelia into the spotlight whether she likes it or not. Where Amelia’s the brains, Adam’s the ambition – he sees the privileged lifestyle of the Silicon Valley kids and wants a piece of what they have. He especially wants a piece of Lisa Bristol, the stunning daughter of one of the Valley’s biggest tycoons.
As Adam and Amelia begin to hatch their new company, they find themselves going from nothing to the verge of everything seemingly overnight. But no amount of prestige can prepare them for the envy, backstabbing and cool calculation of their new powerful peers.

Book Review:
Ok, I admit, I was a sucker for this cover. I am soooo glad it hooked me because this book was well worth it! Within the first few pages, I was deeply immersed in Adam and Amelia's world at Stanford. Hayes has a created a well thought-out and rich character profile for not only the main character's, but the supporting cast as well. Somehow all of the character's lives are interconnected, which can be tricky, but Hayes pulls it off seamlessly. Even if you aren't a fan of technology, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of The Social Code. It has a little bit of something for everyone...romance, adventure, deceit, mystery, and more! Fair warning, the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger! I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel The Next Big Thing!

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for this copy
To be published September 3rd, 2013
This is my honest review.

Cover Art Commentary:
Ok, so I admit, the glasses were one of the main features that caught my eye on this cover. I wear glasses. I love LOVE that big plastic frames are in right now. While glasses aren't the focal point of this story, the fact that Amelia is a geek is a staple to the story line. Let's admit, glasses = geek. I am 100% OK with that. Also, I really like the black and white background.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Style

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Movie/TV Show Adaptations

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I loved the book! I also adored the movie movie! Sure there were some discrepancies between the two, but really shouldn't we expect that by now? I have the soundtrack and every time I listen to it, it makes me want to watch the movie again!

2. White Oleander by Janet Finch

I actually saw the movie first. Of course, the book was better. However, the script was true to the novel, they just left out some of the storyline from the book. This was my first movie in which I really appreciated Michelle Pfeiffer's acting!

3. The Shining by Stephen King

I got chills when reading the book and watching the movie. The Shining is Stephen King's best work in my honest opinion. I can't watch any other movie with Jack Nicholson without getting creeped out!

4. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

So I'll admit, I only made it through the second book in the series. This is a prime example of a TV series that is much more successful than the book series. Sad, but true.

5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I made myself get through the book before I watched the movie (which I did...several times). I got the audiobook which really enhanced the novel. I thought the movie stayed true to the book for the most part. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, you need to. Now.

6. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

This is another case in which I saw the movie before reading the book. I really did spoil the book for myself. The movie stays true to the book. I really need to watch this's so good!

7. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Ok, so I had been watching this movie YEARS before I actually picked up the book. They were quite different from each other. However, this still remains my favorite Alice Hoffman books and one of my favorite all time movies!

8. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Another movie that I had seen years before reading the book...I'm noticing a trend here. It's honestly been a while since I've read or watched either, but I believe there were some significant differences. However, I do enjoy both. Side note, this is the first movie that made me really notice Brad Pitt!!!

9. Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I have yet to make it through ALL of the Vampire Chronicles...and let's face it, it will probably never happen. This is another example of where the movie surpasses the book. Probably one of my favorite vampire movies of all time!

10. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Sooooo...I've only made it partially through the first book in the Fire and Ice series. I would like to say that I'll make it through the entire series, but I'm not sure that is an honest statement. I WILL say that I really enjoy the HBO series. A LOT. That, I will continue to watch!

I would love to hear your favorite or not-so-favorite film-to-movie/TV adaptations! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Book Review:
So I have been in a bit of a reading slump. I needed something with a bit of zing to help get me back to my love of reading. That's exactly what Going Vintage did! A story centered around a girl who works past her break-up by making lists and going retro?! Heck yes! I loved the concept of this book. Going back to a simpler time sounds tempting on occasion. Mallory does it with style! I just adore Mallory. She is someone I would have gotten along with in high school. I, too, was a bit of a social "floater," not really belonging to one group or another. Perhaps my favorite part of this book is the relationship between Mallory and Ginnie, Mallory's sister. Mallory and Ginnie act more like best friends than sisters. They are there for eachother no matter what happens. I love books that portray healthy just don't see enough of them! I also really enjoyed Mallory's relationship with her Grandmother a.k.a. her vintage inspiration. I actually would have enjoyed the story even more if their relationship had been a bit more fleshed out. Overall, this was a great summer read. I will definitely be picking up other works by Leavitt! I deducted half a point because I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked a more well-rounded satisfying finish.

Favorite Quote:
"'Hello. This is Oliver Kimball. Is Mallory home?'

'Oliver. Your formality gives me hives.'

'Hey, it earned me a merit badge.' He pauses. 'What else should I say, 'Yo, yo, yo, I needs to get my talk on with Mall-Dawg'?"

Cover Art Commentary:
You had me at hello! The question is how could you NOT love this cover?! The colors are just gorgeous, and of course, I am loving the vintage feel! This cover had me drooling way before the book was even released!