Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lola's Lounge: Ramblings

I'm sure most of you have noticed that my postings have started to slow down. Right now, I'm in the home stretch in school. I have roughly 2 months left. Therefore, postings will most likely be scattered and perhaps scarce. Bare with me. It's been close to 2 years now since I started my degree-completion program, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The sad part is that I won't get a raise at work. However, this degree will offer more opportunities then what is currently available, and that is what makes all my hard work worth while. Hang in there dear readers! I'll return to "normal" before you know it! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Book Review:
When I first saw this cover, I fell in love. I mean, daggers, castles, a creepy hooded person?! It just looks intriguing  doesn't it?! The novel itself lives up to the promise of its cover. A character driven novel full of suspense, drama, romance, revenge, and much more! I gobbled this story up quickly. Perhaps my favorite character is Cleo. She has good intentions, but always finds herself in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Her fiery nature and kind heart prove to be a wonderful and interesting mixture. Jonas is growing on me, slowly but surely. I do wonder what will become of him. Lucia is the character we know the least about, though I have a feeling we'll learn more about her in future books. Magnus. Oh, Magnus. I love and hate him at the same time. I hope that he takes a turn for the better, but my gut tells me otherwise. Overall, a wonderful YA fantasy novel that is sure to please.

Favorite Quote:
“You're the same as you were yesterday and the day before. Nothing has changed. Not really. Forget what troubles you. Regret nothing, but learn from any mistakes you make. Tomorrow will be a brighter day, I promise.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I fell in love with this cover the moment I saw it! Perhaps my favorite thing about this cover is the castle in the background. :)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: TBR woes!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

Etiquette & Espionage
by Gail Carriger
Published February 5th 2013
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I just adored Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series! I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Etiquette & Espionage! I counted down the days until it's release. Sadly, I still have yet to pick this beauty up! I need to make this book priority ASAP!!!

Dearly, Beloved
by Lia Habel
Published September 25th 2012
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I loved Dearly, Departed! I greedily gobbled it up and anxiously awaited the release of Dearly, Beloved. I went to two different bookstores until I finally found it, and it has been on my shelves ever since.
The Essence
by Kimberly Derting
Published January 1st 2013
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I couldn't put down The Pledge! I just adored the world building and story arc. It seemed to take forever for The Essence to be released. I even pre-ordered it! Sadly, this too has been cast into the TBR pile.

The Opposite of Hallelujah
by Anna Jarzab
Published  October 9th 2012
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Jarzab's All Unquiet Things came highly recommended by another blogger via Goodreads. I still think of that books from time to time. So when I saw that The Opposite of Hallelujah was to be published, I could hardly wait! I didn't even need to read the summery to know it would be good! Alas, it too has sat on the TBR pile for far too long!

by Rachel Hartman
Published July 10th 2012
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Seraphina has received many stellar reviews across the book blogging universe. The premise sounds excellent! I bought this book and it has been collecting dust ever since. One of my goals for 2013 is to polish this baby off! The next book in the series is to be published in February of 2014, so at the very least, I need to read Seraphina before then!

by Veronica Roth
Published May 1st 2012
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Divergent was an amazing read! I could barely contain my excitement for the  release of Insurgent. However, it's release came and went, and the poor book still is sitting on my shelf. I've been meaning to pick it up, but the mood hasn't struck yet. Hopefully soon...

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
Published August 7th 2012
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I'm not sure why I haven't picked this up yet. I certainly enjoyed reading fellow blogger's reviews. The sequel comes out this August, so I plan to read it between now and then!

Shattered Souls 
by Mary Lindsey
Published December 8th 2011
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I remember anxiously awaiting the release of Shattered Souls. I finally picked up a copy on a road trip. I couldn't wait to pick it up, but my trip was busier than expected. Then, I just kept putting it off. I still want to read it. However, the sequel wont be released until 2014, so I have a bit of time yet. 

Paper Valentine
by Brenna Yovanoff
Published January 1st 2013
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I have fallen in love with Yovanoff's writing through her other books; The Space Between and The Replacement. She has a dark, bold style that I enjoy very much. I pre-ordered Paper Valentine and it still sits in my TBR shelf on my Nook. I plan to read this very, very soon!

by Marissa Meyer 
Published February 5th 2013
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I certainly enjoyed Cinder, though perhaps not as much as others. I had still been looking forward to the release of Scarlet. I even started to read it the other day, then stopped because I felt guilty for not reading more of my ARC's from publishers. I will get to Scarlet soon!

So dear readers, what books have you purchased only to have left them sitting on your shelves?

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test #3) by Aimee Carter

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Book Review:
I am always hesitant to pick up the final book in a series. It's like saying goodbye to an old friend. I waited as long as I could, but finally curiosity got the best of me. I was a wee bit worried about the storyline since Goddess, Interrupted suffered from the second book syndrome, but The Goddess Legacy renewed my faith in the series. I read The Goddess Inheritance with all the fervor of  The Goddess Test. I finally, FINALLY felt the connect between Kate and Henry that had been lacking all along. I noticed that many reviewers felt that their relationship was a bit off. While the strain of the war certainly played its part, I felt that Kate and Henry finally found their foothold. I enjoyed every moment and every scene they were together in. And Milo, sweet Milo. It would be unimaginable to have your child taken away from you before you could hold him. To have someone re-name them and claim them as their own. I craved justice just as much as Kate and Henry. I also felt at peace with Kate and James' relationship. Overall, I have greatly enjoyed this series. I've enjoyed watching Kate grown into a strong and powerful woman, goddess, and wife. I enjoyed watching Kate and Henry enjoy what they both so desperately deserve. While the re-naming of the gods was a bit confusing, I enjoyed their modernization. A fantastic series! I look forward to Carter's other upcoming works!

Favorite Quote:
"'Do you now?' he said, his eyebrows raised. 'Then tell me - how do you plan on getting off of Olympus? By taking the stairs?'

I hesitated. 'Can I?'

'This isn't a Led Zeppelin song, sweetheart. There are no stairways to heaven'."

Cover Art Commentary:
I am really happy that they kept all of the covers within the same design. I love the earthy feel of the background.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Book Review:
The reviews I had read of The Nightmare Affair were mixed. I had to see what all the fuss was about. Boy, am I glad I did. True to what many other reviewers have said, The Nightmare Affair started off a bit slow. However, the story quickly took off and I ended up devouring this book hastily. The Nightmare Affair proved to be a fast-paced, character driven novel packed with action, romance, and adventure. I connected with the main character Dusty, who finds herself a social outcast due to her rare magickind. Growing up, I knew what it felt like never to quite fit in, finding solace in a good friend. In this case, Dusty's best friend is Selene, a siren that works hard at concealing her siren-esque abilities. Let me tell you, this is a chick you definitely want on your side. I ADORED Dusty's interactions with Eli, even the awkward ones. I lived for the moments when they worked together, dreamwalking. While Dusty's relationship with her mother was strained, I appreciated the story arc of the two working hard to mend the past. Overall, I really enjoyed the first book in The Arkwell Academy series and look forward to the next installment! 

Thanks to Tor Teen for this copy
Published March 5th 2013
This is my honest review.     

Cover Art Commentary:
I love this cover! Of course, the massive amount of purple caught my eye immediately! Going a bit deeper, the cemetery and phonex give this cover some much needed depth.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Film Feature: Game of Thrones

Recently I finished the second season of A Game of Thrones (the HBO series). It was sooooo good!

I really enjoyed the first season, but the second season was even better! I finally had to go back and re-watch the first season! Then, I finally, finally picked up the first book in the series. I'm not sure what exactly had been keeping me from it all these years, but there certainly are reasons...perhaps the daunting size, vast number of characters, difficult-to-pronounce names...just to name a few.
However, I can say in all certainty that had I not watched the show, I would have definitely not picked up the books. For that, I am grateful to HBO for producing the series. If you haven't watched it yet, you really should! There is something for everyone to love! This series gets addicting fast! While there are a vast number of characters you grow to really enjoy them whether they are good or evil. You care about them. You root them on (though sometimes in favor of death)!
I am a BIG Stark fan! I would love to see some retribution and gain for their family. I crave to learn more about them. Why do they pray to the old gods? What was life like before Ned's father and brother died? I do favor Robb and Jon of household Stark. I also have a soft spot for Sansa and Aryia. Poor Sansa! What will become of her next?! She certainly has been smart, which is why (I believe) she has remained alive.

Another character I am very fond of is Daenerys Targaryen. I was in utter shock when her brother sold her to the Dothraki's! However, she thrived in her marriage as well as amongst her (new) people. She stands out as a leader in an age where women are considered just a notch above livestock. I truly hope that eventually she will be able to take back the throne. She would be a wise and fair leader. Also, I'm REALLY excited to see what happens with the dragons!

Another favorite storyline of mine is the great wall of the North. The wildings! White Walkers! I NEED TO KNOW MORE!!! Hence, the reading. I just feel as if the show has barely scratched the surface of the wall's history and that of the wild north. Perhaps the first 2 books have not gone into any depth? I'm not sure. Either way, I need to learn more about this.

I'm also curious about the Mad King and his days of rule. How did he come to power? How did they plan to overthrow him? What caused him to go mad?! I hope that the books have some answers for me!

Anyways dear readers, what are your thoughts on A Game of Thrones? Have you read the books? Watched the series? Are you satisfied with just one or the other? What would you like to learn more of?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Alright Spring, let's do this!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Spring 2013 TBR list!
(Plus one for good measure!)

Gameboard of the Gods
by Richelle Mead
464 pages
Expected publication: June 4th 2013 
Published by Dutton Adult 
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Siege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
448 pages
Expected publication: June 4th 2013
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
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Chosen at Nightfall
by C. C. Hunter
400 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2013
Published by St. Martin's Press
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The Rules
by Stacey Kade
416 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2013
Publised by Disney-Hyperion
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The Book of Broken Hearts
by Sarah Ockler
352 pages
Expected publication: May 21st 2013 
Published by Simon Pulse 
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The Eternity Curse
by Julie Kagawa
446 pages
Expected publication: April 30th 2013
Published by Harlequin Teen
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Going Vintage 
by Lindsey Leavitt
320 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2013 
Published by Bloomsbury
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This is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
416 pages
  Expected publication: April 2nd 2013
Published by Poppy
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School Spirits 
by Rachel Hawkins
304 pages
Expected publication: May 14th 2013 
Published by Disney-Hyperion
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How My Summer Went Up in Flames
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
320 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 
Published by Simon Pulse
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The Sweetest Dark 
by Shana Abe
352 pages 
Expected publication: April 9th 2013 
Published by Bantam
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So, what books are you most looking forward to this spring?