Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is:


This was a really fun list this week!  I'm going to admit that I actually have a book song playlist on my iPod.  It started out as my Twilight playlist and has slowly become a playlist of songs that remind me of my favorite books.  So here goes!

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare:  Broken by Lifehouse

To me, this song just captures the pain of Jace and Clary.

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer:  Lion by Rebecca St. James

This song always reminds me of Edward. Always.

3. Ditched:  A Love Story by Robin Mellom:  In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

Well, I had to pick a song from the 80's for this book. If you've read my review, you'll know why. This classic from Peter Gabriel seems to sum up the whole book. Also, there is that great movie scene with John Cusack.....
4. Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong:  Back Where We Belong by Thriving Ivory

This song made me think of all the running away that Chloe and Derek did in this series. Both the literal running and the metaphorical running....

5. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson:  The Everglow by Mae

This song made me think of that moment in this book where they could just go for it or just pretend things are still the same. Thank goodness they went for it!!

6. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick:  The Rescue by American Hi-Fi

This fits with the other books, but it really seems to nail the third book in this series. They rescue each other, he was gone from her life, the broken wings......oh Patch!

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins:  I Love Paris by Ella Fitzgerald

It's cheesy and clich├ęd, but I'm a French teacher. What do you expect??

8.  Fallen by Lauren Kate:  Wicked Game by Bassbossa

I love the original version by Chris Isaak, but the girl singing matched better with this novel.

9.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:  This is Love by The Script

To me, the lyrics of this song just sum up The Hunger Games because in many ways, that book is about the sacrifices people make for love.

10.  The Hollow by Jessica Verday:  Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

I just think about Caspian and how Abbey is the only one who can see him when I hear this song.


So that's my book soundtrack! Do you have suggestions for these books or other songs that you put with different books? I'm always looking for new music, so I'd LOVE to hear what music my readers all recommend!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Book:  Silence
Author:  Becca Fitzpatrick
Date: October 4th, 2011
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source:  Purchased
My grade:  A

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

My Review

There will be spoilers for the first 2 books in this review!!!!

It feels like these books just keep getting better.  Of course, the cliffhangers keep getting better as well, grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first 2 books, and I really liked both of those.  In this book, the mystery was kicked up even more after it is revealed that Nora has lost her memory.  That means that she doesn’t even recognize Patch when he makes his first appearance in the novel (although the reader knows who he is!)  I really enjoy the intrigue in these novels.  Sort of like in Harry Potter, I’m constantly looking for clues to reveal what is really going on.  That really pulls me into the story and makes it hard to put the book down.

I enjoyed Patch’s character much more in this book.  In book 2 especially, I wasn’t sure that I liked him at all.  But after seeing all that he did for Nora in this book, I’m sold on him.  In fact, I really liked both Patch and Nora a whole lot more after reading this book.  I seriously want to be their BFFs.  I still don’t like Vee very much.  And I just want to slap Nora’s mom silly in this one.

It was interesting to read this book because some of the things that were a mystery for Nora were not a mystery for me.  Of course, there was plenty to still keep me interested because even though I knew things that Nora couldn’t remember, it just meant that I had a different take on the things that neither of us knew about!  I’m not sure if I’m really explaining the whole experience the right way, though.  You may have to experience it for yourself to understand!

But I do have a message for Becca Fitzpatrick:  Woman, your cliffhangers are giving me heart fail!!!  This one was a total surprise and left me with my mouth hanging open!  I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.

My grade for this one is an A.  These books just keep getting better.  October 13, 2012 cannot come soon enough for me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books I'd Save If My Home Was On Fire
(you know...once I get all the people and valuables out :P )

I have a lot of books that are signed by authors, so I think those would be the ones that I would focus on most.

Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer:  I would not, however, save Breaking Dawn. 

All my Cassandra Clare books:  City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince

All my signed Blue Bloods novels by Melissa de la Cruz

My signed copies of Fallen, Torment and Passion by Lauren Kate  

Will Grayson, Will Grayson signed by David Levithan  

Beauty Queens signed by Libba Bray  

Anna and the French Kiss signed by Stephanie Perkins  

The Pledge signed by Kimberly Derting  

Nightshade signed by Andrea Cremer  

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (obviously not signed, but this book is falling apart because of the number of times it has been read.  I love it!)

    I might also grab my copy of The Riverside Shakespeare just because it has all my notes in the margins. 

    Let me know what you would grab!

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

    Book:  The Wolf Gift
    Author:  Anne Rice
    Publisher:  Knopf Publishing Group
    Date:  February 14, 2012
    Source:  Netgalley
    My grade:  C+

    A daring new departure from the inspired creator of The Vampire Chronicles (“unrelentingly erotic. . . unforgettable.”), the Lives of the Mayfair Witches (“Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature”), and the angels of The Songs of the Seraphim (“remarkable.”). A whole new world—modern, sleek, high-tech, and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history—the making of a werewolf, re-imagined and re-invented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create it.

    The time is the present.

    The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

    A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

    As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

    My Review

    Oh how I love Anne Rice!  I fell in love with Louis in Interview with a Vampire and then went on to love Lestat even more.  Honestly, Queen of the Damned is one of my favorite books of ALL TIME!  I eventually gobbled up every other supernatural novel that Anne Rice wrote:  The Mayfair Witch novels, The Mummy, The Servant of the Bones.  I read every single one of the vampire novels.  All of them.  And I loved all of them.  I even bought the official guides to The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witch novels.  I read them from cover to cover.

    So when I saw that the gothic horror queen herself had taken on the werewolf genre, I was beyond excited.  After all, who could write a better werewolf novel than Anne Rice?

    To say that I am disappointed doesn’t even sum it up.  I expected great, great things from this novel.  Instead, I found myself on page 300 of a 384 page novel and I realized I didn’t really care about any of the characters.  I could have put the novel down and probably not thought of it again.

    Obviously, I did end up reading until the end.  Luckily, the last 50 pages redeemed this book somewhat.  And it needed that.  Because in the first 100 pages I had to keep looking at the title to make sure I hadn’t accidentally gotten my hands on a superhero comic.  I kept imagining bad ink drawings of a superhero who looked like Teen Wolf in a bad spandex outfit with a giant W on the front.  Nope, not even kidding.

    The story was alright.  I mean, it was fairly slow-paced but it kept moving.  I found that I could read for a while and then put the book down without feeling like I just had to get back to it.  It certainly did not keep my family from eating meals (for which I am certain they were grateful!).  When I read Anne Rice’s vampire novels, I would sit and read until I was finished.  With this one, I didn’t.

    The last 50 pages was the best part.  Margon’s story was the one redeeming quality for this book and if she writes any more wolf novels that will be the only reason I would pick them up.  Hearing more of the history of the wolves would be interesting, but I don’t think I could read another book this tedious.

    Since I normally only review YA on here, I do need to let my readers know that this book definitely has more sexual content.  I mean, it’s not erotica, but there is sex and it is described.  Just be forewarned that it is, indeed, an adult novel.

    My grade for this is a C+.  The last part of the book managed to get the + added on, but I have read much better Anne Rice novels and much better werewolf novels.  If you love vampires, you can’t go wrong with Anne Rice, but if you want to read a fantastic werewolf writer, pick up Kelly Armstrong instead.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is:

    The Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart Just a Little.

    This was a hard topic for me.  Why?  Because I avoid these books like the plague.  I cannot begin to comprehend why so many people like to read Nicolas Sparks.  If I want to cry and be depressed, I'll watch CNN, thanks!

    However, sometimes even the books I do read have elements that are heartbreaking, so that's what I looked for.  And here are my top ten......

    Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
    The ending with Will and Tessa.  Enough said.

    New Moon by Stephenie Meyers

    When Edward left her in the forest, I thought for sure it was just a bad joke.  Or that he would realize how stupid he was and come back in a couple of days.  When I realized that wasn't the case, I did something I NEVER do--I TURNED TO THE BACK OF THE BOOK AND MADE SURE EDWARD CAME BACK IN THE END!!!   I didn't even look at the ending in Deathly Hallows, but I swear, I wouldn't have read any more if Edward didn't come back at the end.

    City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

    When the big "secret" about Jace and Clary is revealed at the end of CoB, I thought I would die.

    The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    King Arthur stories always end badly and I know this, but it always breaks my heart.

    Harry Potter books 5,6 and 7 by J.K. Rowling

    I cried in book 5 when Sirius died, I bawled like a baby in book 6 when Dumbledore died and in book 7, I sobbed inconsolably when Dobby was killed.  Over and over again, my heart was breaking for Harry.

    The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

    This whole situation was heartbreaking.  All of Kaelyn's losses were so hard to bear.

    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    The ending of this book was as happy as it could possibly be, but parts of it still broke my heart.

    Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

    I won't say anything about this book because I know a lot of you have probably not had the chance to read it yet, but my heart fail might not make it until the next book!

    Torment by Lauren Kate

    When she stepped into that Shadow and away from Daniel, I thought I would die from heart fail that moment.  Never mind the fact that her attraction to another boy throughout the novel was giving me heart palpitations.

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

    It was hard to feel anything but heartbreak when reading this novel.  Mary's selfishness broke my heart.  So did the way the others were willing to sacrifice themselves.

    So these are my top ten.  Are any of these part of your top ten?  Which ones are on your list that aren't on mine?

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Valentine's Day Books With Love Blog Hop!!

    I'm so excited to be participating in the Valentine's Day Books with Love Blog Hop!  This great event is sponsored by Good Choice Reading. Thanks, Damaris!!!

    I have 3 books to give away.  You must follow my blog in order to enter, but that is the only thing you have to do.  There are ways to get other entries as well if you wish!

    Be sure to check out all the other giveaways by visiting the other participating blogs.  The links are below the Rafflecopter!  Also, check out the link above ::points up:: to get back to this contest!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    1.Good Choice Reading (US) (YA & Adult)2.Once Upon A Twilight (US) (YA)
    3.Livre De Amour-Books of Love (US) (Adult)4.Read My Mind (US) (YA and Adult)
    5.Bumbles and Fairy-tales (US) (YA)6.Books&Beyond (US/INT) (YA) (ADULT)
    7.Paranormal Romance Fanatic(US)(YA and Adult)8.Dreamingdreams (US) ( YA)
    9.Bookworm Lisa (Int) (YA)10.Into the Mystic (US) (YA)
    11.A Book-Lover Review (US/Can) YA & Adult12.Mary @SweepingMe (Int)
    13.Not Now...I'm Reading (INT)14.Short and Sweet Reviews
    15.The Character Connection (INT) YA & Adult16.The Plot Thickens (INT) YA & Adult
    17.City Girl Who Loves to Read (INT) YA & Adult18.Nyx Book Reviews (INT) YA/AD
    19.Shortie Says (INT) (YA)20.Alexa @ Pages of Forbidden Love (INT) YA & Adult
    21.Crystal @ My Reading Room (US/Can) (YA & Adult)22.Devon Ashley @ Crazy Dream Blog (INT) (YA)
    23.Ce-Ce`s Garden of Reviews (Int) (Adult)24.Lena Sledge's Blog
    25.Tami Brothers Live, Love, Write!26.A Tale of Many Reviews (Int) (YA & Adult)
    27.Musings of a Write-Aholic (INT)28.Obscured Vixen (US) (YA & Adult)
    29.Kimberly @ The Windy Pages (US) (Adult & YA)30.Jenna/JL @ An Avid Reader's Musings (US) (YA)
    31.Joselyn Vaughn - Hauntings of the Heart32.I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Int) (Clean Adult)
    33.Jessica Scott (us & intl) (adult)34.Hope, Love, and Happy Endings (YA)
    35.Belle Whittington - (US & Int) (YA)

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

    Book:  Midnight in Austenland
    Author:  Shannon Hale
    Publisher:  Bloomsbury
    Date:  February 6, 2012
    Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
    My grade:  B

    When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

    Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

    The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?


    I don’t really review adult books here.  Well, I don’t really read many adult books, but I loved Shannon Hale’s Austenland, so when I saw that there was a second one, I had to read it.

    What a wonderful, guilty little pleasure these novels are!  I’m not sure that these are books for Shannon Hale fans as much as they are books for Jane Austen fans.  They do a great job of capturing that whole Austenian feel.  They are light and sweet and such an indulgence!

    This novel was the same premise as the original, but with a different storyline.  I like the way she threw in the whole mystery element in this novel.  I wasn’t sure that she was actually going to take it as far as she did, but wow!  Talk about some pretty heavy mystery stuff going on in the Jane Austen house!  It’s like taking Clue and throwing it into Northanger Abbey!

    Although this is an adult book, it could easily be read by older teens as well.  Probably only Austen fans would really appreciate the loveliness of this book.  Teen readers are not really going to identify with the main character, Charlotte, but girls who love Jane Austen will appreciate the Austen story brought to life on vacation. 

    I’m hoping that Shannon Hale is going to turn this into a series.  I think that she could continue to write these and take elements from different Austen works for each one with the common theme being the vacation to Austenland. 

    My grade for this book is a B, maybe even a B+.  It didn’t make me run screaming to the phone or my Facebook page to tell the world, but much like in Austen’s world, I could simply sit in the parlor and savor the loveliness of the book.  It was an indulgence in a sweet little petit four of a novel.  Austen fans, you will love it!

    Huge thanks to Bloomsbury USA and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for my review.

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is:

    Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    I have a hard time figuring out what list this book would not be on!  This book is fabulous!  For the reluctant reader, it has pictures to entice and then once you start reading, it has a wicked sense of humor!

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    Well, duh, right?  This book series is so action-packed and compelling.  I teach plenty of "not readers" who are reading or have read this series.

    City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

    Much like The Hunger Games, this book series is full of action, heroes, bad guys, swords, true love, supernatural creatures.  I could gush for days, but this book series has a little something for everyone and I think reluctant readers would easily get lost in the pages of this book.

    American Born Chinese by Gene Luan Yang

    This book has what every reluctant reader needs--pictures!!  Since this is a graphic novel, I think this is an easy one to get kids to read.  Yet, it's a much more sophisticated read than a comic book. 

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

    The Percy Jackson series has several things working in its favor.  Not only is it a great story, but if you are recommending to teen reluctant readers, this one is a much easier level.  Often, reluctant readers are also not very good readers, so this series could be easily read by a high school or middle school student who is still not reading on grade level.

    Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (girls only)  by Beth Fantaskey

    This book is just fun.  Well, it is for girls anyway!  It follows in the footsteps of Twilight, but doesn't take itself seriously.  I think that reluctant readers would enjoy this one, especially if you are looking for a next read after Twilight.

    Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

    This is a great book to recommend to boys.  Girls may like it, but I don't think it is a good recommendation for reluctant reader girls.  This book will appeal to boys because the vampires are basically disease infested.  Also, every other chapter is basically a one page description of a type of blood disease.  The gross out factor will be appealing to boys.

    Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

    Laurie Halse Anderson is always a good choice, because she writes about things that teens care about.  I would choose this one because I think it would have plenty of boy appeal, but it wouldn't turn girls away.

    Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

    Haters can say what they want, but I've heard many high school students, both boys and girls, say that they don't like to read but they liked these books.  There's just something about them.  Even though they probably have a wider appeal for girls, I've taught many boys who read them too!

    Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

    Well, duh!  This book series has revolutionized the children's publishing industry and brought kids back to reading.  Even the reluctant reader that I gave birth to read this series!

    There are several authors that I think are good picks for reluctant readers.  Teens seem to like Laurie Halse Anderson, Sharon Draper, Walter Dean Myers and Sarah Dessen.  I would point teens in the direction of those authors as well.  Also, YALSA publishes a list every year of recommended books for reluctant readers.  You can find this year's list and links to previous years on the YALSA website.

    What books would you pick?  Any that you would kick off of my list?  Leave me a comment and let me know!!

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Entice by Carrie Jones

    Book:  Entice
    Author:  Carrie Jones
    Published:  December, 2010
    Publisher:  Bloomsbury Teens
    Source:  Purchased
    My grade:  B

    Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever.
    But that's not quite how things have worked out.

    For starters, well, Nick is dead.
    Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?

    And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't just turned...she's Astley's queen.

    My Review

    Ok, so I might be a little behind in this series.  Fine, a lot behind! : )  This is one of those books that I’ve been waiting and waiting to read.  I got it when it first came out, but then I had a cataloging class and then I had a YA lit class where the professor severely limited the amount of paranormal fiction I could read.  So, this fine tome kept being put on the bottom of the pile.  Thank goodness I got my hands on an ARC of the 4th book!  That forced me to read the 3rd one.  Hooray!  There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the first 2 books.  If you don’t want to read spoilers, scroll past quickly until you see the big sign marking the end of the spoilers!


    I’m not sure how I want to review this book.  I really, really enjoy this series and I enjoyed this book, but with a few reservations.  First of all, Zara was sooooooo whiny, whiny, whiny!!  It really got on my nerves.  I just wanted to tell her to suck it up already and just do something.  All the teen angst about Nick and Astley was too much to deal with after a while.  I wanted to tell her to just put on her big girl panties and go get Nick and then see what happened.

    On the other hand, I LOVED Astley in this book.  After feeling like pixies are all evil creatures in the first 2 novels, this novel really made me sit back and reflect on my own personal pixie prejudice! (Whew!  Alliteration!)  Astley became my favorite character in this book.  It was very interesting to see that he is the one person/pixie in the whole series who seems to harbor no pre-conceived notions about others.  He willingly accepted anyone who seemed to be good and righteous.  Plus, the fact that he cared enough for Zara to actually help her find ways to get back his competition was just…….swoon!  This book moved me firmly into the camp of Team Astley!

    This fact leads to my next caveat.  I am so rooting for Astley now that if Carrie Jones goes back and picks everything up with Nick and it’s all hunky dory, I don’t know if I can deal with it. She left with not quite a cliffhanger, but it just sort of stopped and I am dying to find out what will happen when it picks up again.  The 4th book has an April date, but I may have to read it sooner and just hold my review!

    *************END OF SPOILERS!  CONTINUE ON!!!!****************

    Otherwise, this book was just as captivating and enticing (bad taste, I know) as the first 2 in the series.  I love the way Carrie just pulls me right into the story and makes me believe that a small town in Maine is under a pixie attack and that Valhalla really exists in the world.  The quest to find the entrance to Valhalla had all the trappings of a great quest….there were heroes, monsters, false directions, self-sacrifice, traitors, misdirection, great injuries and everything else one expects to find on a classical hero quest. If Jason were searching for the Golden Fleece in modern-day Maine, it might look something like this!  Now, if only Zara would stop whining and jump up and become the hero.

    My grade for this book is a B.  I loved the story and I loved Astley, but Zara lost points for being a whiny butt!  Boo!  Zara!  Girls do not have to be whiny damsels in distress.  But on your big girl panties for the next installment!