Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time for a break

As you may have noticed, my reviews have slowed waaay down. At this time, I have decided to take a break from reviewing. I'll still be around on goodreads and twitter. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Book Review:
I was super excited to read Sarah Beth Durst newest YA novel, Conjured, she is one of my go-to authors. The premise of the novel is unique and enticing. I really enjoyed the multiple magical settings of Conjured. Between these various settings and Eve's visions, Durst creates a layered story full of mystery and wonder. However, after a while, the book hits a repetitive cycle. As the reader, I craved to learn more and became frustrated with the lack of information given. This created a slower pace than I normally like. However, once I hit the final 100 pages, I was completely hooked. The pieces start to come together and you have this moment of "why didn't I put this together sooner?!". Overall, Conjured is a tale of mystery, romance, magic, and discovery. In a very Durst-like fashion, Conjured stands out in the crowd of YA paranormal romance. Recommended for fans of Durst and those looking to try a little something different.

Thanks to Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for this copy.
Publish date: September 3rd, 2013
This is my honest review.

Favorite Quote:
"You say you dream of the extraordinary, but you're extraordinary. I say I'm broken, and you try to fix me. I say I'm lost, and you try to find me. I say I'm empty and you fill me. You're like a night in shining armor..."

Cover Art Commentary:
I like the originality of this cover. YA books are a dime a dozen these days, so it's nice when a cover sets the book apart from the crowd. Now that I've read Conjured, the image of the heart and straight pins make sense, but I don't want to give too much away!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Reading Reflections: August 2013

Books Read:
The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna
Fade Away (Myron Bolitar #3) by Harlan Coben

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 2

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 30

Favorite Read: This is a first, but no favorite this month

Highest Rank: 3.5

Lowest Rank: 3.5

Overall Reflection:
Ok, so this was not my best month of reading. I've already finished my first book for September, so hopefully things are already looking up! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fade Away (Myron Bolitar #3) by Harlan Coben

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): The living room is Martha Stewart. The basement is Legos—and blood. The signs of a violent struggle. For Myron Bolitar, the disappearance of a man he once competed against is bringing back memories—of the sport he and Greg Downing had both played and the woman they both loved. Now, among the stars, the wannabes, the gamblers, and the groupies, Myron is embarking upon the strange ride of a sports hero gone wrong that just may lead to certain death. Namely, his own.

Book Review:
So this book was recommended to me. Admittedly, I'm not a huge mystery fan, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. Overall, it was a light read with good pacing. I got a bit confused at the end. I feel like Coben rushed the ending and left it a bit muddled. The main character is likable. His best friend/sidekick is pretty bad ass. I enjoyed reading Fade Away and would consider picking up another book by the same author.

Favorite Quote:
“He truly believed that no one could love him, and no matter who you are, that hurts. It made you insecure. It made you want to hide and build fences” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I like the contrast of the colors.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Making Life A Little Bit Easier!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Make Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Blog List
My Nook
Google Calendar
My Amazon Wishlist
Barnes and

What things make your life as a reader/blogger easier?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books in Academic Settings
Honestly, the topic was top ten books in "x" setting, but as the start of school is just around the corner, I chose the academic setting.

by Cat Patrick
Add on Goodreads

One of my favorite reads set in an "everyday" academic setting a.k.a. high school. :)
The Liar Society (The Liar Society #1)
by Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker
Add on Goodreads

Great suspenseful story in a boarding school setting!
Meant to Be
by Lauren Morrill
Add on Goodreads

Fun, romantic story in a study-abroad setting. :)
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
Add on Goodreads

Love this contemporary tale told from the "ugly duckling's" perspective. A must-read for any girls who's felt like an outcast in high school.
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Add on Goodreads

This enticing novel is told in a boarding school setting, through a male voice. A definite must read!
by Sarah Ockler
Add on Goodreads

This sweet tale is told from a more after-school-sports perspective. I absolutely adore Ockler's writing and highly recommend her works!!!
All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)
by Gabrielle Zevin
Add on Goodreads

This sinful story is told in a private school setting with the mobster family life thrown in for flair!
The Social Code (The Start-Up #1)
by Sadie Hayes
Add on Goodreads

This scandalous tale is told in a college setting. So far, it has been one of my favorite books of the year!
Also Known As
by Robin Benway
Add on Goodreads

Also Known As is a fun tale full of espionage and adventure with a private school setting.

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
by Robin Benway
Add on Goodreads

Yes, another Benway book! If you haven't read them, why the heck not?! This is by far my favorite Benway novel set in high school! You should absolutely read it!

What are some of your top setting for stories?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.
Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Book Review:
Overall, I enjoyed this book. However, it's not quite what I anticipated. What makes The Theory of Everything shine are the characters. Sophie is the quirkiest, most animated of the bunch. I'm not sure what to make of her "episodes," however. I feel like this aspect could have been fleshed out a bit more. For the most part, the other characters accepted her explanation of "episodes vs. hallucinations." The mingling of physics and love was a bit of a reach as well. The "love conquers all theme" gave off more of a middle school feel vs. YA. The supporting characters are phenomenal, particularly Finny. I would have loved to see more of his character. Walt is a delight as well. Again, I wish his appearances could have been explained better. Overall, I'd recommend this with reservations.

Favorite Quote:
"Mom walked over to the stereo and turned on the radio. New Age music filled the room. 
'Gawd, this is awful,' I said.
'I need to relax,' Mom said. 'I don't want to say anything I'm going to regret.'
'I could say a lot of things about this music that I'd never regret,' I said.
'It's calming!' Mom said in a voice that was opposite of calm."

Cover Art Commentary:
I just adore this cover! It's colorful and whimsical. Besides, how could you not love the pandas?!


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?