Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Trailer for Torment by Lauren Kate

I just found this trailer for Lauren Kate's book Torment on the boards at Random Buzz.  Check it out.

You Choose, I Review Last Day To Vote for July's Title

Today is the last day to vote for the title you want me to read and review in July.  Remember this is your choice, which of these books would you like to see me review?  Please vote today!

Waiting on Wednesday and eBites: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

Blog With Bite

As some of you may know I received a Barnes and Noble nook for Mother's Day. I have really started to love the nook, and enjoy the fact that the ebooks, for the most part, are cheaper than the print copies. Since I am enjoying this format so much, I have decided couple this weeks WoW with Blog With Bite's new meme called eBites which celebrates books we look forward to reading in the ebook format.

If you are interested in participating in this meme, go to this week's Blog With Bite's eBites and add your link.

This week my eBite and "Waiting on" Wednesday is The Scorch Trials by James Dashner.  I read the first book, The Maze Runner, and can't wait to see what happens next.

The Scorch Trials

· Delacorte Books for Young Readers
· eBook · Ages 12 UP
· October 12, 2010
· $17.99 / $13.36 at
· 978-0-375-89611-8 (0-375-89611-2)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review: Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Genre: Historical paranormal fiction
Publication Date: August 2009
Publisher Book: Little, Brown Books for Young
Publisher Audio: Recorded Books
ISBN-13 E-Book: 9780316053341
Source: Purchased e-book version from Barnes and Noble.

Prophecy of the Sisters Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After the death of her beloved father Lia discovers a book that indicates that she and her twin sister, Alice, are part of a horrible prophecy. A prophecy that has divided them an put them on opposite sides of an ages long battle between good and evil. Not knowing who to trust, and seeking answers to the mystery of the prophecy, Lia must find a way to stop Alice before she destroys everything Lia seeks to protect.

I have to be honest, this book is not one of my favorite reads this year. For some reason I found it entirely too easy to put this book down. I would say my biggest problem would be with the pacing of this novel. I felt that the clues and pieces of the mystery were doled out too slowly, and too hesitantly for my liking. I kept losing interest in the novel and actually had to force myself to pick it back up. Normally I would have set aside, but since I bought it, I was determined to finish it.

The novel had potential. After reading the first couple of chapters I was really excited about reading it to see where the novel was going to go, so I purchased the book. Little did I know that I would spend the rest of the book frustrated because it felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. In the end, I would say that I had learned little more than I knew in the beginning, and to top that off, we get a nice cliffhanger to lead us into the second book Guardian of the Gate which is due out August 1, 2010. I plan to attempt to read the sequel, but I don’t plan on buying it until I know it is worth the investment.

The character development is okay at best. You can sense the distrust between the sisters, although Alice’s character could have been more completely developed. I didn’t feel like I knew or understood Alice at all; she was just a stock character playing the bad guy of the novel. You have the wise mentor in Aunt Virginia who is completely unable to truly explain or help Lia even though she and her sister, Lia’s mother, lived through the same experience. The rest of the characters were just pieces to move the story along.

I hate writing poor reviews, but I have to admit, this novel disappointed me. If I not for the fact that I purchased this book, I would not have finished it and there would be no review. This definitely would have fallen into the “did not finish” category, but since I forced myself though this novel, I think it is only fair to give it a review.

Overall, I feel that the novel lacks substance, and a narrative hook. So much is set up for the next novel, I can’t help but hope that the sequel will go further and bring about some forward progression in the story line. I felt that this book just didn’t go anywhere, and that it left me completely without any resolution, making the sequel required reading. In most books with a sequel, you do get some sort of a conclusion. I can’t say the same happened here.

If you like historical paranormal novels, you might give this one a try, but I think there are other more vibrant novels out there right now. One that comes to mind is Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series that begins with the novel A Great and Terrible Beauty. Be warned that you will most likely need to read the sequels to Prophecy of the Sisters to see where the story intends to go because the first book won’t answer your questions. I will attempt the sequel and I hope that it will be better, but I will definitely wait before I buy it.

Cautions for sensitive readers: No language or sex in this book, although there is some violence.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review: Jumped by Rita Williams Garcia

Title: Jumped
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
Publisher Book: Amistad
Publisher Audio: Recorded Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780060760915
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9781449809201
Source: Checked out from public library.

Jumped Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Trina knows she’s special, she really has it going on, from her looks to her art she is top notch. Dominique just wants to play ball, basketball that is, but she has been benched because of her grades. Leticia, just wants the scoop and the juiciest gossip, and boy has she found it this time. You see Dominique is going to teach Trina a lesson. Dominique is going to make sure that Trina knows she is there and make sure that Trina will respect her space. At 2:45 Trina is going to be jumped.

In 2009 this book was nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. After that nomination I read the book for the first time, and truly didn’t appreciate it. Not only is this type of realistic fiction, not my favorite genre, I just felt a total dislike for all of the characters. After my second time through this book though, I now realize that is what I was supposed to feel.

William-Garcia’s characters are superbly developed. In fact this entire book could be a study in character development. She does an excellent job showing us and not telling. We know these characters by their own thoughts, actions, and flashbacks. I honestly can’t say that you will like any of these girls, but you will know them. The only character I really questioned was Trina, I have never met a teen with the kind of self confidence and self esteem Trina exhibits. She had no doubts, or insecurities, her world was one big happy place where she is the enviable center of attention. Letisha, too, is self centered, more worried about her manicure and the latest gossip than the fact that her classmate is going to be attacked. Dominique has anger issues, and is clearly a threat, but she believes that all her actions are justified.

The audio version of this book is outstanding. It is produced by Recorded Books and narrated by four different narrators, each taking on the voice of our three main characters. (Yes I did say four narrators.) The fourth narrator is Mark Turetsky who narrates a single chapter at the end of the book from the point of view of Ivan, an artist who knows Trina. The three girls are narrated by Shari Peele, Cherise Boothe, and Blanca Vasquez. These narrators give the characters flavor and texture, making them sound like genuine teens and making the narration all that much more believable. It is an outstanding audiobook and at only 3 discs, not much of a time commitment.

Carefully crafted and well developed this novel is fantastic. Sometimes a book needs a second reading and this one definitely did for me.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence and foul language are both present in this novel and may disturb the sensitive reader. Sex is mentioned, but not in any detail.

View all my reviews >>

Follow Friday!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee at Parjunkee's View.

If you want to join the fun, click on the picture above to go to Parajunkee's View for rules.  Happy Hopping!

Book Blogger Hop (#11)

Each week Crazy for Books hosts a Book Blogger Hop, where all those interested in book blogging can find other blogs out there that they might like.  Using this Hop I have found some really great book blogs. It is a great place to locate new blogs that interest you or find old blogs you didn't know were out there.  It is also a great place to make new blogger friends.  So go check it out and find some new great blogs to follow!  Last week I found several great new blogs and met some new people!

Here are a few of the great blogs and bloggers I met or found last week!

YA Reader at Mostly Reading YA

And many others!  Check out the Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

Audiobook Week: My Favorite Audiobooks

Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week June 21st-25th.  Want to participate?  Head on over to her blog for details.

Here are my top 5 favorite audiobooks:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  I know I have already mentioned this one this week, but I really like how this book was done.  The format of the book was perfect for audio, and the story itself was gripping!
  2. Th1rteen R3asons Why
  3. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.  This was a very hard book for me to get into when I first started reading it, but the audio pulled me right in.  The narrator's Australian accent grounded the book in a very specific place and just made it unforgettable.
  4. Jellicoe Road
  5. Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia.  I am really surprising myself by putting this one on the list, but here it is.  When I read the book a year ago, I wasn't terribly impressed, in fact I would almost say I didn't like it.  I was so angry at the characters in the book, for their self-centered, irritating personalities, that I really didn't enjoy the work.  That all changed when I listened to the audiobook.  Don't get me wrong, I am still irritated by the characters, but hearing the voices of the audio, made me understand a little more about where these characters were coming from.  The audio is so dramatic, with four different narrators.  The narration of the three girls is spot on and you can believe that these are really teens telling their rather shocking story.  At 3 discs this is a rather short one too, and very worth the time.  
  6. Jumped
  7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was a book I am very glad I listened to. I don't think I could have read it through the tears and laughter. Not only is it a fabulous story, it has a wonderful narrator too.
  8. If I Stay (Audio CD)
  9. All of the Harry Potter audiobooks. Okay, I couldn't pick just one for this. Jim Dale is one of the most skilled and entertaining narrators in the business. While I have read the books, the audio version brought a new freshness to the story, and is one I will listen to over and over. Definitely a great series to listen to on audio.
  10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Those are my five. What are yours?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Feud
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Genre: Vampire Fiction
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher Book: Walker Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13 Book: 9780802720962
Source: Won ARC copy from contest at Teens Read and Write.

Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles, #2) Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Hounds delegation arrives for Helena Drake’s coronation lead by Isabeau St. Croix, a young vampire with a tragic history. Isabeau survived the French Revolution, only to be turned into a vampire and buried for centuries. She seeks revenge against the vampire who turned her, a lieutenant of Montemartre called Grayhaven. What she doesn’t count on finding, is the young roguishly handsome Logan Drake, who will do anything to protect his family, and now Isabeau, from the scheming of Montemartre.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles takes off at breakneck pace. Like the first, this book has action, vampires, magic, and romance. The story is told from the point of view of the two main characters in alternating chapters. Isabeau’s character is convincingly developed and believable. Flashbacks provide insight into her past, and outline her motivations for finding Grayhaven. Logan’s character is much better developed in this second book, and we begin to see how loyal he is to his family.

With this second volume, I got what I needed so badly in the first, a family tree! I am finally able to keep better track of who is who in the drake clan. Like the first though, this book is a fun easy read with likable characters who you just want to root for. I also think this second volume shows an improvement in Harvey’s writing. These characters, especially Isabeau, are so much better developed than the characters of the first book, and I really enjoyed the rich descriptions of Isabeau’s past. Logan’s character, while better developed in this book, remains a little flat and predictable, but still extremely likable.

Overall, this book is a wonderful continuation of what promises to be a great series. Like the first book, this vampire book is safe for sensitive readers as there is no sex and only mild language. It does contain violence, and some gore, but considering it is a vampire book that is only to be expected. Harvey is a talented author, and I find myself looking forward to the next installment in this great series. This series is like candy—you can’t get enough.

View all my reviews

Thursday Thoughts: Ten Things I Wish People Knew About the Library and Librarians (Guest Post at Emily's Reading Room)

I am so excited!  I got to do a guest post this week at Emily's Reading Room!  The topic she suggested had to do with my profession and I thought that would be the perfect topic for this week's Thursday Thoughts. As you probably know I am a teen librarian at a public library.  She suggested I write about things I wish people to know about libraries and librarians.

It wasn't a hard list to come up with, but in some ways it was a sad one for me.  Libraries have been hit really hard by the economy in the last couple of years.  For the first time in the history of our library we actually had to lay people off.  I was one of the lucky ones, I kept my job, but I now work 3 hrs less every week, have mandatory days off without pay, and am seriously worried about my benefits.  When you look at the big picture over the course of the year, what I actually got was a 12.5% pay cut.  Needless to say it has been a hard year.  It still hurts to think of the coworkers I have lost, and we still fear that more cuts are on the way.  The library is like one big family and they have been so supportive in this time.  But sometimes seeing the glass as half full isn't as easy as it sounds. 

I hope you take the time to visit her blog and see what my Ten Things I Wish People Knew About the Library and Librarians are.  Let me know what you think!  I know there are some other librarians out there, so please share the things you wish people knew about libraries and librarians.

When Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week June 21st-25th.  Want to participate?  Head on over to her blog for details.

As most of you probably know by now, I do most of my audiobook listening in my car.  I don't have a long drive to work (anymore), but it is enough time that I get a little bit read everyday.  Sometimes it takes me a week or more to finish an audiobook, but I can actually say I am progressing and finishing those books.

I can't completely explain it, but the audiobooks in my car help me concentrate.  When I was driving so far to work everyday, the audiobooks were a real blessing.  Sometimes listening to the radio or my music CDs I felt myself getting drowsy while I was driving.  Something about the audiobooks kept my mind engaged and I never felt that way while listening to an audiobook I was enjoying.  I also get migraines from time to time, and the audiobooks helped me concentrate on something other than my migraine long enough for me to drive home.  I can't say enough about what they have done for me, but I do love them.

My husband and I have on occasion also listened to audiobooks together instead of watching TV.  It is kind of a nice change of pace, and when you can't find anything on TV to watch, it just makes sense to listen an audiobook. 

When do you listen to audiobooks?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Audiobook Week Meme

Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week June 21st-25th.  Want to participate?  Head on over to her blog for details.

Instructions for participation:  Here’s something quick and easy for the middle of the week, just a short meme. Just copy/paste (and obviously change the answers to your own).  Make sure you sign the Mr. Linky at  Audiobook Week Meme- Audiobook Week Discussion on Devourer of Books blog.

Audiobook are you currently reading/you read most recently: Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

Impressions?: The story itself is frustrating me because of the type of story it is, but the audio is fabulous!  It has three narrators who are narrating the points of view of the three protagonists.  The accents, and the style is perfect for this book.  I can really believe these are three teenage girls telling this story.  It is terrific!

How long you’ve been listening to audiobooks: Almost 8 years now.

First audiobook you ever listened to: Wow that is a hard one.  I can't be positive, but I think my first audiobook was One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.

Favorite audiobook title: This one is a hard one, but I think my favorite audiobook was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  I think the format suited the book perfectly since the main character was listening to tapes recorded by a dad girl.  The narration was perfect and it was just so believable you were transported into the story.

Favorite narrator: I admit, I am a Jim Dale fan.  I think he could read the phone book and make it sound good.  The Harry Potter novels have to be some of the best audiobooks out there and his reading is great.

How do you choose what to listen to versus read? Mostly by availability.  If it is available on audio and I can get my hands on it, I really do prefer audio.  Unless the narration is poor, I am usually guaranteed to finish it--I can't say the same thing about my print books.  For me, audiobooks are a real time saver.  Sometimes I have to struggle to get a book read, it isn't like that with audio--I listen whenever I drive, and that guarantees me several hours of reading a week.  Any reader out there who has other commitments (family, work, etc...) knows how hard it is to scrape together time to read--an audiobook in my car guarantees that I will at least read something everyday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You Choose, I Review: Book Review for July

On June 6th I asked all of you for your suggestions for what book you would like to see me read and review. You had a lot of wonderful suggestions. So many in fact, that I had to narrow it down some. Don't worry, I kept the complete list and will definitely try to read some of the suggestions on the list. To narrow it down I decided to limit the selections to books currently available that have been published in either 2009 or 2010. Sorry, but I had to narrow it down somewhere, but I will keep all the others on a list and hopefully read them sometime in the future. Below is the list. Vote for the one you would like me to review in July!

Want to join me? We could read and discuss the book selection together! Let me know what you think. I will announce the book I will be reviewing next Wednesday.

Teaser Tuesday: 06/22/10


Teaser  Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what  you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book  for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles, #2)

"I hadn't expected the ambush.  And that's saying something.  I hadn't become a Hound princess in the year and a half since I'd been dug out of the ground because I was a trusting sort.  If the French Revolution hadn't cured me of that, being bitten and abandoned by one of Montmartre's Host would have." pg. 16  Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey Released today 6/22/10!!!

Audiobook Week June 21st-25th: Writing Audiobook Reviews

Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week June 21st-25th.  Want to participate?  Head on over to her blog for details.

Today's theme for Audiobook week centers around reviewing audiobooks.  Any of you who follow me know that from time to time you will see a reference to an audio because about half of my reading is done on audio.  I have always thought it was important to review the books I listen to on audio the same way I would review a book I read.  Yes, audio can affect your perspective of a book through dialect, intonations, accents, etc..., but in many cases a reader adds most of that stuff anyway.  If I feel a poor narration is going to influence my review, I will not continue to listen to the audio and instead pick up the actual text. 

I tend to put my audio thoughts near the bottom of the review, so that I can emphasize the merits of the story.  I want my reviews of audiobooks to be accessible to both the audiobook listener and the actual book reader.  I like to look at the work as a whole.  If the story was great I say so, but I will mention my feelings on the narration too.  I have had a very good story have a narrator who just sounded too young to be the age of the main character.  I will mention problems like that in my reviews.  Likewise if a narrator is not believable as the character they are portraying in the story, or if the accent is too thick, etc...  I want my reviews to appeal to both the reader and the listener.

What do you think is important to include in audiobook reviews?  What do you wish I would do differently on my audiobook reivews? 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: an Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer

Title: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Vampire Ficion
Publication Date: June 5, 2010
Publisher Book: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Audio: Listening Library
ISBN-13 Book: 9780316125581
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9780307746832
Source: Checked out from public library.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Bree lives in a home with several other newborn vampires. To call them a coven would be incorrect, since a coven would work together, and it seems like all the newborns do is work against each other. If it weren’t for her hiding place behind Fred, a newborn with unusual powers, she might not have survived so long, but self preservation is a strong instinct. Then one night hunting, she gets to know Diego, another new born who has begun to question things like she has, and she begins to think she might have finally found a friend. Just when she begins to puzzle out her new life, she is told that she has a terrible enemy who is coming for her.

In many ways, this novella had more appeal to me than any of the other Twilight saga novels. Bree was a tough character to like, but once you did, she is a hard character to forget. She is strong, smart, and desperate to survive. In many ways, she is also a better drawn character than you find in the original novels. You see her motivations, her desires, and her pain. Bree is a brilliantly developed character.

The other characters in this novella are not nearly as fully formed as Bree. Riley is a shadowy character at best, who speaks for the creator who Bree doesn’t remember. The other newborns are stereotypically savage and in turns stupid. Diego, is a little better developed, but we don’t spend enough time with him to fully flesh out his character. The one character I found myself wishing I could know more about was Fred.

Anyone who has read Eclipse knows where this novel will take us, but that doesn’t make the journey any less enjoyable. I really found myself wanting to read more of Bree and enjoying her story. I found this story to be better developed and thankfully missing much of the melodrama that was present in the other Twilight novels.

The audio version of this book was read by Emma Galvin, who does a superb job of narrating Bree’s story. She was clear, and believable as she voiced the newborn vampire Bree. I could easily imagine it was Bree telling her own story, and that is a mark of a good narrator.

Overall this was a fantastic addition to the Twilight saga and a must read for fans of the series. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, I am afraid this isn’t the place to start as some parts of the story will only make sense if you have read the other books.

View all my reviews >>

Audiobook Week June 21st-25th: Why Audiobooks?

Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week June 21st-25th.  Want to participate?  Head on over to her blog for details.

Like so many other audiobook fans, I came to audiobooks out of necessity. I drove an hour and a half to work everyday, and then home for another hour and a half.  When you spend 3 hrs of your day on the road 5-6 times a week, you begin to realize a few things.  First, radio doesn't cut it; so many times they were talking about things I wasn't interested in or playing music I didn't like.  Second, music CDs grow old after a time.  Third, staying awake while driving is a necessity. Last but certainly not least, you have no time to read a book when you leave for work at 6am and get home at 8pm. 

At first I hesitated to pick them up.  I didn't think I would like the narration of an audiobook, but my first one surprised me and shortly thereafter I was hooked.  To this day, I have at least two audiobooks in my car at all times.  I have to have one to listen to.  I no longer spend 3 hrs of my day in the car, but I still look forward to every minute of listening to my audiobooks and I have to have one with me.  I have grown to love them and appreciate how they make my driving time useful.

TBR Read-a-Thon Finish Line

Well, I admit I didn't do so well, but to be honest, I had a really busy week and weekend.  I know, I know, excuses, but I did finish two book and get pages read on others.  The Huge TBR Read-a-Thon was hosted by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century, and below are my results.

  • Dark Life / Falls--10 pages (pathetic I know)
  • The Hollow / Verday--55 pages
  • Being Nikki / Cabot (currently listening on audio)--Finished (review published)
  • Short Second Life of Bree Tanner / Meyer (not originally on my list)--Finished (working on review)
  • Prophesy of the Sisters / Zink--read to page 251.
  • Blood Feud / Harvey --read 105 pages.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Blogger Hop #10

Each week Crazy for Books hosts a Book Blogger Hop, where all those interested in book blogging can find other blogs out there that they might like.  Using this Hop I have found some really great book blogs. It is a great place to locate new blogs that interest you or find old blogs you didn't know were out there.  It is also a great place to make new blogger friends.  So go check it out and find some new great blogs to follow!  Last week I found several great new blogs and met some new people!

Here are a few of the great blogs and bloggers I met or found last week!

Jo at Fluidity of Time
Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit
Lyndsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory - Book Reviews 
Mystee at A Moment With Mystee
Reading Rachel at 1001 Books
Vanessa Book ♥ Soulmates at Book ♥ Soulmates
Susan at Bloggin' 'bout Books

And many others!  Check out the Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: Audio books and Making Time to Read

Two bloggers this week tackled the topic of the semi-insulting phrase that many of us readers often hear from others, the "I don't have time to read" phrase.  You can read their articles here:

I have to agree with both of these blogger's sentiments, in that the phrase is sometimes insulting to those of us who do read.  It implies that we don't have anything better to do with our time, when in most cases, those of us who are reading and blogging about books have full-time jobs, families, school, and a whole host of other commitments.  What they fail to realize is that we make time and are often creative about how we squeeze in the time to read some of the great books that are out there.

One of the ways I make time to read is by listening to audio books in my car.  I always have an audio book with me at all times in my car.  I prefer to listen to audio books over the radio or even music CDs.  My passion for audio books started about eight years ago, when I had to drive an hour and a half to work each day and an hour and a half home.  When you spend three hours in the car everyday, you get sick of listening to the radio.  At first I was a doubter, I didn't think I would like listening to audio books, but think back to elementary school when your teacher would read you a story or novel--I liked that.  Audio books are no different.  Audio books made that drive fly by, and sometimes I loathed getting out of the car.  Even though my drive is now fifteen minutes, I still listen to audio books.  They make the time I spend in my car useful, and help me get more books read.  I usually also have the book copies of the audio book so that if I really need to find out what happens next, but have to get out of the car, I can keep on reading.  I have been doing this for years, and love it.  Many of my coworkers are audio book fans too.  If you haven't tried them I highly recommend trying one out.  You can also listen while cleaning, exercising, and a whole host of other activities.  My husband and I sometimes listen to an audio book rather than watch TV.

Now I have heard some people say that listening to a book is not reading.  I beg to differ. I actively have to listen and pay attention to the book in order to follow along.  If you were to give me a test about the book, I would do just as well as someone who "read" it, and studies have shown that listening to audio books can increase reading comprehension.  In fact, I often recommend audio books to parents who have teens who are reluctant readers, pared with the book, they can follow along and increase their reading skill.   

In case you didn't know, June is Audio book month, and I encourage all of you to try an audio book this month.  You never know, you might just like it!

My favorite audio book I have listened to this year is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher--it was AWESOME!

Do you listen to audio books?  What is your favorite one this year?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Giveaway! At The Bookshelf Sophisticate and Bibliophile's Lounge

Katelyn at The Bookshelf Sophisticate is celebrating her 200 followers by hosting a wonderful giveaway.  Don't miss your chance to wins some great books.  Check out her 200 Follower Contest!  Congratulations on your 200 followers!

Bibliophile's Lounge is also hosting a contest to celebrate her brand new design.  Check out his blog and enter the contest. Congratulations on your new design!

Book Review: Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Title: Being Nikki
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher Book: Point
Publisher Audio: Recorded Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780545040563
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9781440720857
Source: Checked out from public library.

Being Nikki (Airhead, #2) Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Emerson Watts isn’t sure what’s worse, being stuck in the body of a supermodel and forced into doing the Stark Angels New Year’s Fashion show wearing a diamond bra, or knowing that her major crush doesn’t even realize she’s alive. Everything seems to be going wrong for her since her brain was transplanted into the body of supermodel Nikki Howard’s body. She can’t seem to fit in anywhere, her old family doesn’t know how to react around her, and now she has to deal with Nikki’s brother who is determined to find their missing mother. What do you do when everywhere you turn someone is wanting something you just can’t give and you believe that the corporation you work for is just plain evil?

Like Airhead this book has a bit of the fantastical involved especially in the area of brain transplants. On the other hand, if you are willing to suspend disbelief, this book is both fun and entertaining. Em can’t tell anyone who she is, but she is so desperate to have a single confidant she can trust. Everyone around her wants something from her or are accusing her of something, and she can’t tell any of them the truth. I loved the dilemma this put Nikki in, and I just couldn’t wait to see how things worked out.

I listened to the audio version of this book in addition to reading the text. Sometimes I can’t wait until I get back in the car to hear what happens next, so I switch back and forth. This book was one of those times. I loathed putting it down because I wanted to know where the story was going. The audio book is a recorded books production narrated by Stina Nielsen. Nielsen is a superb narrator, with an appealing voice. You can actually believe that she is the character she is reading. One of the best narrations I have listened to this year.

This is the second book in the Airhead series, and there is one more to come. It does leave you at a bit of a cliff hanger, and you will be anxious to know what will happen next. While the events of the book are not plausible, the writing is entertaining and fun, and definitely a great light summer read. Cabot is a master at entertaining.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blood Feud Trailer!

Here is the new trailer to Alyxandra Harvey's book Blood Feud.  Check it out!

Haven't read the first book Hearts at Stake yet?  Check out my review of Hearts at Stake! It is a great summer read!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I am Participating in the Huge TBR Read-a-Thon

I have to admit, that sometime during the end of last week and the beginning of this week, I hit a reading road block. No matter how I tried to push myself, for some reason, I did not want to read another page.  This doesn't mean I have lost my excitement for books, in fact I purchased two this weekend. For some reason I am just hitting a wall when it comes to reading.

To motivate myself (at least I hope it works) I am signing up to participate in the Huge TBR Read-a-Thon hosted by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century.  I have a ton of books at home, plus the two that I just bought this weekend that I need to read.  Hopefully this will motivate me to read what I have, and get some of my neglected committee reading done--yeah I have been pushing that aside too (BAD MELISSA!!!).  While I do work all this week, I am going to focus my off time on picking up some of these unread titles:

  • Dark Life / Falls
  • The Hollow / Verday
  • Knife of Never Letting Go / Ness
  • Lips Touch / Taylor
  • Shift / Bradbury
  • Flygirl / Smith
  • Tangled / Mackler
  • Wherever Nina Lies / Weingarten
  • Right Behind You / Giles
  • Hate List / Brown
  • Being Nikki / Cabot (currently listening on audio)
Any recommendations where I should start?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Title: Tension of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher Book: Egmont USA
ISBN-13 Book: 9781606840856
Source: Checked out from public library.

The Tension of Opposites The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Noelle disappeared two years ago, Tessa stopped living. It just didn’t feel right for her to go on, do things her best friend would not do, experience things her best friend would never experience. Since then, she has had few friends, and none of them are close. Until she finds out that Noelle is alive, and is finally coming home, finally escaping from the man who held her captive for two long years. Now Tessa hopes things can go back to the way they were, that their friendship can pick up where it left off, but sometimes you can’t go back.

One reviewer compared this book to Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl. I would definitely say that there are similarities. While in Living Dead Girl the story is told from the point of view of the victim, this story is told from the point of view of the victim’s best friend. I have to say, that in that sense alone, this book held more appeal for me than Living Dead Girl(LDG). For me LDG was just too voyeuristic and extreme. Tension of Opposites is able to convey the story without making it seem like you are intruding in someone’s very personal pain.

I like Tessa. She, like Noelle, suffers in this book. Not the same kind of suffering that Noelle has faced certainly, but she does suffer. She felt the loss of her friend, the need to protect her friend from the outside world, and even protect Noelle from her reckless impulses. When once she felt safe in her small town, she now fears for her safety, and has lost a lot. For two years, she simply refused to live, have friends, or do anything that Noelle couldn’t. Tessa is extremely well drawn, and very believable. When Noelle returns, Tessa longs for things to be like they were, but she and Noelle have both changed. She tries to be there for her friend, to understand and help her, but Noelle is too impulsive and reckless. Tessa’s need to help Noelle, causes her to put Noelle’s life and happiness before her own, sometimes causing conflict in Tessa’s life.

The question this book raises is whether or not you can return to normal life after such a tragedy. It is thought provoking, and very well written. Although there are some mildly graphic parts, it is much tamer that LDG and shows mostly the struggle of the family and friends of the victim.

Noelle’s story read like Alice’s from LDG. In some ways this was a what would happen if Alice did come home scenario.

Thought provoking, well written, and very well developed. A quick read.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (#9)

Each week Crazy for Books hosts a Book Blogger Hop, where all those interested in book blogging can find other blogs out there that they might like.  Using this Hop I have found some really great book blogs. It is a great place to locate new blogs that interest you or find old blogs you didn't know were out there.  It is also a great place to make new blogger friends.  So go check it out and find some new great blogs to follow!  Last week I found several great new blogs and met some new people!

Here are a few of the great blogs and bloggers I met or found last week!

Niki at Niki's Book Reviews
Book Snob
Super Librarian 
Collegiate Bookworm
Kelly at Bookend Diaries
Lady Scribbles at Lady Scribble's Book Lounge

And many others!  Check out the Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: Hyperlinks in Text

I have seen this issue come up in a couple of places recently--NYT,, and somewhere else I can't remember.  It centers around the use of hyperlinks in text.  Do you find them distracting, or are they helpful? Some suggest that the hyperlinks in the text cause readers not to read the full text of what you are writing.  They see the hyperlink, go with their ADD tendencies, and venture off away from the article.  Some people just don't like them and don't bother to read them.  Personally, I don't think I have ever noticed that problem.  I read the text, hyperlinks and all, and then go back to click on them.  But according to these articles, apparently that is rare. 

So my question to you is do you find the hyperlinks in text distracting?  Would you prefer if I put all the links at the bottom of the text in my blog posts? 

Here is the link to the article:
The hyperlink war by Laura Miller at

Book Review: Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Title: Witch and Wizard
Author: James Patterson
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: December 14, 2009
Publisher Book: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Audio: HarperCollins Audio
ISBN-13 Book: 9780316036245
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9781600247729
Source: Checked out from public library.

Witch & Wizard Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One quiet night at the Allgood home everything changes for Whit and Wisty Allgood. They are torn from their parents and their home and accused of being a witch and a wizard by the new government who calls themselves the New Order. They are imprisoned, tried, and sentenced to death when they turn 18, and they have no idea what is going on. Whit and Wisty are not the only kids being taken from their parents, locked up, and threatened with execution though. Suddenly, both Whit and Wisty begin to realize that they do have special abilities that may make it possible for them to escape the New Order and hopefully find their parents once more.

I have a confession to make. This is the first novel by James Patterson that I have ever finished. I tried to read the Maximum Ride series, but ended up giving up on the first book about 100 pages in. For some reason that eludes me, his books just don’t hold my interest. I know he is probably the most popular author in our library and everyone loves his teen and adult books. Try as I might, adult or teen, I just can’t seem to get into his novels. Until this one. Witch and Wizard changed all of that for me, and now I can finally say I have read a book by James Patterson.

In some ways this story is part dystopia and part paranormal story, which makes an interesting combination. The regular government has been replaced by a New Order (N.O) run by the One Who Is The One, a tyrant who seeks to destroy art, individuality, and anything that isn’t deemed perfect by the new order. Kids are being locked up for being different, for chewing gum in public, and for just being kids. The New Order seeks to make everything perfect in society, but at the expense of other individuals and freedoms. At times I found myself wondering what this story would have been like had the magical element not been included.

Throughout the novel you love Whit and Wisty; they are funny, sarcastic, and very determined. The other characters around them are not as well drawn, but because the novel flies by at breakneck speed, you can forgive that flaw.

The audio version is read by Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke, and is extremely well done. Most audio books don’t have a lot of sound effects, but this one often had music or effects played at the ends of chapters or at suspenseful moments in the text. Sometimes it was distracting; sometimes it did its job and enhanced the reading. Overall though, the audio version is excellent and worth listening to. One note for the audio listener: You may want to pick up a copy of the book because the audio version fails to include a section at the end of the book that is entitled “Excerpts of New Order Propaganda as Disseminated by the Council of N.O. ‘Arts.’” It includes a hilarious list of banned books, music, museums destroyed by the N.O., artists, and a list of vocabulary that has been banned. The vocabulary list alone is useful given the use of some specific words in the text, so I would advise an audio book listener to pick up a version of the text just for that material.

For some reason while reading and listening to this book it kept reminding me of two other novels. Part of it is the supernatural content and to some extent the situational content, but some of it was just the tone of the novel. The two books I kept flashing back to are Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy and Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. I enjoyed both of these books because they were fast paced full of action and wit. The same can be said of Witch and Wizard. This book had a lot of action and a lot of humor. If you liked this book and you want something similar I would try either of these titles.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review: Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Title: Whisper
Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Genre: Paranormal Ficion
Publication Date:  April 27, 2010
Publisher Book: Balzer + Bray
ISBN-13 Book: 9780061799259
Source:  Checked out from public library.

Whisper (Whisper, #1) Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since the age of three, when her sister first showed her how, Joy has been able to hear whispers.  Whispers are people’s desires and wishes, the thoughts they think but don’t often express.  Joy has always gone out of her way to try to give people around her their whispered wishes, but her sister Jessica isn’t as happy with her own ability to hear the whispers and goes out of her way to make people miserable by telling the truth they don’t want to hear.  When Joy hears Jess whisper that she wants to kill her hearing and even kill herself if that is what it takes, Joy knows she has to save her sister at any cost.

This book has a little bit of everything.  It has paranormal abilities, friendships, family, adventure, and even a touch of romance.  I really like Joy’s growth throughout the novel as she discovers that not everything is as it appears to be and that sometimes she needs to think and act for herself.  In the beginning Joy goes out of her way to make people happy even at her own expense.  Slowly she discovers what Jessica has known, that even the best of friends may have selfish desires and thoughts.  She comes to terms with the fact that she can’t make everyone happy all of the time and becomes stronger because of it.

Like a lot of teen novels, the parents in this novel were somewhat clueless, absorbed by their own world view.  While her mother shares Joy and Jessica’s gift for hearing, it is clear that she isn’t hearing everything she should especially when it comes to her daughters.  But unlike a lot of teen novels the parents were present, and Joy often asks herself “what would Mom do,” and demonstrated a need to inform her parents even when they keep her in the dark.

One concern I had was that I thought having a young man enter the story with abilities similar to Joy’s was a bit of a stretch, but I did like Jamie, and in the end, was glad he made an appearance. 

Overall I would say that this book is a fun fast read.  I read it completely in two days, and am a very slow reader.  If you can’t tell by the review, let me just say, that there isn’t much for me to say for this book.  I have struggled for days to write this review, but to be honest I don’t know what to say.  (I even had trouble with the synopsis.)  I liked it, it was entertaining, and a little different from some of the paranormal fiction out there.  The ability to hear whispers was intriguing, but the best part was how Joy struggles to respond to those whispers.  Joy does a lot of growing up in this short novel, and without hearing the whispers this could have been more of a coming of age story than a paranormal story.

Recommended for paranormal fans.

View all my reviews >>

The Versatile Blogger Award

I received an award!  YIPPY!!! (Excited jumping up and down!)  
Thank you so much to Jackie at Housewife Blues and Chihuahua StoriesBe sure to stop by her blog and check out all her great reviews, posts, and stop by for her Birthday Contest.

The Rules for the award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Me:
  1. I have a 2 year-old son who I love with all my heart, but who doesn't like it when Mommy is reading her own books.  (I am only allowed to read to him.) :)
  2. I have a wonderful husband who I have been married to for 8 years.  (We started dating in high school which means we have been together more than half of our lives.)
  3. I love to read, but I am a depressingly slow reader.  It drives my husband crazy sometimes when we are reading about video game scenarios and he is ready for the next page while I am still trying to read the second sentence.
  4. I have recently discovered that I have a strange fondness for dystopian fiction.  Don't know why but the books are addictive to me.
  5. I kind of miss reading and reviewing adult books--I have two that I am dying to read, but since I want to keep my blog posts up to date (and keep my focus YA), I have set them aside to read more YA.  I am attempting to find a solution to this problem. :)
  6. I originally created this blog to test ideas out for the blog I would be doing at work (hence the inconsistencies you might have noticed on posts earlier than this year).  Over time I found that I loved blogging and sharing my love of books with others, and now I sneak time, whenever possible to blog for myself--not just for work.
  7. I love to listen to audio books in my car.  I no longer listen to the radio, and even though my drive to work is only 15 minutes I still love to listen to audio books.

In no particular order the 15 blogs I want to pass this award to are:
  1. Karen at For What it is Worth
  2. Angela at Bookish Blather
  3. Book Snob
  4. Super Librarian
  5. Lady Scribbles at Lady Scribble's Book Lounge
  6. Kelly at Bookend Diaries
  7. Collegiate Bookworm 
  8. Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
  9. Jennifer at Reading with Tequila
  10. Beverly at The Wormhole
  11. Emily at The Ninja Librarian
  12. Bella at Obsessed!
  13. Girl on a Mission at Only Sexy Books Allowed
  14. Erin at Bookish in a Box
  15. Sara at Along for the Ride

It was very hard to narrow the selections down to just 15.  There are so many bloggers out there who I absolutely love!  These are 15 blogs and bloggers I have recently discovered who have me following their every word.  Congratulations to you all and keep up the great work! :)

"Waiting on" Wednesday #6

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

After all the good stuff that I have heard about this book, the one book that I would love to get my hands on this week is Matched by Ally Condie.  I love dystopias, so this book should be right up my alley.


by Ally Condie
Dutton Juvenile
Release Date:  November 30, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780525423645


In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

For more information visit Matched on

My Soul to Keep Book Trailer!

Okay I admit I have not read the Soul Screamer's series yet.  I have had several people at work recommend them to me and several people online say they were great.  I keep meaning to pick them up, but with so many great books coming out all the time, I just haven't gotten around to it.  Watching this trailer, however, has made me really want to read these books.  Check it out!

And for those of you who haven't read the first book (like me) here is the trailer for her first book My Soul to Take. I need to get my hands on this book! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review: Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa

A short review, for a short novella.  Great reading!

Title: Winter's Passage
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal Ficion
Publication Date:  June 1, 2010
Publisher Book: Harlequin Teen
ISBN-13 Book: 9781426858321
Source:  Downloaded from B& for free to my nook.

Read it for Free now at  Winter's Passage

Winter's Passage Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meghan Chase made a bargin to accompany the Ash, the Winter Prince, back to Queen Mab. She will uphold her promise, despite or maybe because of the growing attraction she is feeling for Ash. But something is pursuing them, and it seeks to keep them from the relative safety of Tir Na Nog. Meghan and Ash must flee before it is too late for both of them.

I loved Iron King and really enjoyed the sequel Iron Daughter (due out 8/1/10) as well. This novella takes place between the two and is a wonderful transition to the Iron Daughter. I devoured this novella in one sitting and found myself longing for more. I love Kagawa’s writing and her characters. It is always action packed and adventurous. This is a sweet read for anyone waiting for the next installment of the Iron Fey series.

Just a warning for those who haven’t read Iron King yet; readers who aren’t familiar with this story will definitely want to pick up Iron King because without the character development you get in that novel, you will be lost. Believe me, it will be worth it!

View all my reviews

Teaser Tuesday: 06/08/10


Teaser  Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what  you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book  for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

Witch & Wizard

"You know life really sucks when you're desperately wishing to be institutionalized, drugged, or shocked back to reality.  I'd gladly take a lobotomy at this point.  I guess that's what you're faced with when freedom isn't even a pipe dream any longer. Give me lobotomy or give me death!" pg. 69 Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blog With Bite Celebrates 500 Followers!

Congratulations to Blog With Bite!!!

You may have seen some of my reviews labeled with the Blog With Bite symbol.  This is part of their monthly book club which I love to participate in.  Every month they choose an adult and a YA title that anyone is welcome to review.  It is a lot of fun to read and see what everyone else has to say about the same book.

Now Blog With Bite is celebrating their 500 followers with a huge 500 Followers Giveaway!  Head on over to see what they are giving away or to see what next month's book picks are!  (Hint:  I've already read and reviewed this months! :))


When you are done visiting Blog With Bite, check out these other four blogs who are hosting contests for this wonderful event!

Congratulations Blog With Bite!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Should I Read and Review? Your Choice!

For those of you who entered my 50 Follower Giveaway, you may remember I asked for opinions on books I should read and review.  Below is a list with your suggestions.  If I received a suggestion more than once you will see a number by it for the number of times it was suggested.

  1. Birthmarked by Caragh O' Brien--Reviewed
  2. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain    
  3. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick  
  4. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
  5. Blue Girl by CHarles DeLint    
  6. WILDWOOD DANCING by Juliet Marillier--Reviewed on
  7. The Sky is Everywhere    
  8. My Soul to Take   
  9. Terrier by Tamora Pierce--read, gave 4 stars on Goodreads, but did not review
  10. Mistwood   
  11. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott--Reviewed on
  12. Jekel loves hyde by Beth Fantaskey   
  13. Graceling--Reviewed on
  14. Looking for Alaska by John Green   
  15. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs   
  16. She's So Money by Cherry Cheva   
  17. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (2 votes)   
  18. Vampire Academy Series   
  19. Matched by Ally Condie (2 votes) (I really do want to review this one--just need a copy!)   
  20. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman   
  21. Spirit Bound by richelle mead--Since I haven't read any of these I would hesitate to jump into the middle of the series    
  22. Mockingjay (2 votes)--I guarantee there will be a review of this as soon as I get my hands on it.   
  23. A Certain Slant Of Light - Laura Whitcomb   
  24. A Short Life of Bree Tanner (Twiliglight Novella)    
  25. Wings by Aprilynne Pike   
  26. Candor by Pam Bachorz   
  27. Numbers by Rachel Ward--read and reviewed
  28. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer   
  29. The Amulet of Samarkand--read, gave 4 stars on Goodreads, but did not review
  30. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (2)--Will happily review when I get a copy.   
  31. Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw   
  32. Gigged by Heath Gibson   
  33. The Unwritten Rule!   
  34.  Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (2)   
  35. Dreaming Anastasia    
  36. Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto    
  37. Raised by wolves   
For the next week I will take additional suggestions and then I will put it to a vote.  You will pick which book I will read and review.  Obviously, the ones already reviewed will be dropped, but if I haven't written an actual review for the book, I will re-read it and write a proper review.  You can find all my reviews at Books With Reviews.  If the book you want to suggest is in my "Currently Reading" widget in the right hand column, I will be reviewing and reading those anyway, so feel free to suggest another title. 

Put your suggestions in the comments and next week, we will put it to a vote.  Anyone who wants to read along with me will be welcome, and I love to hear your comments on my reviews.  So suggest all you want!  Keep in mind, this will be subject to availability of the book--some of the suggestions are still ARCs so I won't be able to get those right away unless someone miraculously sends me one (hint, hint).

Winners! For My 50 Follower Giveaway!

Congratulations to my 2 Winners for my 50 Follower Giveaway.  I chose 2 winners since during the duration of this contest I went over 100 followers!

Thank you everyone for following and entering the contest.  Now for our winners.  Winners were selected by

The 1st winner is Super Librarian!

The 2nd winner is Julie at My 5 Monkeys!

Congratulations to both of my winners! I will be contacting you by email shortly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Genre: Paranormal Ficion
Publication Date:  February 1, 2010
Publisher Book: Chicken House
Publisher Audio: Brilliance Audio
ISBN-13 Book: 9780545142991
ISBN-13 Audio CD: 9781423396291 (8 Sound Discs)

Source: Checked out audio CD and book from local public library. 

Numbers (Numbers, #1) Numbers by Rachel Ward

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jem has always been able to see the numbers as long as she can remember. When she looks at a person, straight in the eye, she can see the numbers that mark their end, their death date. She has spent years distancing herself from other people so she won’t have to face what the numbers really mean. That is until she meets Spider, a gangly teenage boy who becomes her first and only friend. On a day out together at the London Eye, Jem notices something strange, everyone around her has the same number, the same date, and that day is today. Fearing something is going to happen she convinces Spider that they need to run, but their running has only just begun.

I admit straight out that this review is probably one of the hardest for me to write. I usually don’t finish books that I don’t enjoy, but since I was listening to this one on audio in addition to reading it, I forced my way through it. I kept hoping that it would get better, that I would like it better, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Rachel Ward is a terrific author, her characterizations were fantastic, her descriptions so vivid that you could almost feel, touch, and smell her characters and the places she described. There were even a couple of moments when she had me laughing at the events in her book. If you are a prudent reader you are probably sensing a “but” coming and you would be right. While her book is fantastic, creative, and well written, I just didn’t like it.

This book is one I would place in the “not my cup of tea” folder. I can’t really place why I didn’t like it, but if I had been reading it instead of listening to it on audio I would have put it down near the beginning. I had difficulty relating to and sympathizing with the characters especially the main character and narrator Jem, and I think this is fundamentally why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I might. Jem pushes everyone in her life away, and in a sense this also pushes the reader away and makes it difficult for the reader to connect to her and her story. This book has everything in it, a touch of the paranormal, action, adventure, and even some romance, but still I just couldn’t connect with the story.

The audio version is narrated by Sarah Coomes who narrates the story with a rather strong cockney or London east end accent that, at first, can cause the listener a bit of difficulty. As the story progresses you get more used to the accent, and it isn’t hard to follow along. (In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that after 2 weeks of listening to it, I started thinking in the accent.) Despite the accent, I think the audio is the way to go with this book, it creates a more authentic feel and would help you transition into the story.

Overall, this is an excellently written story, but unfortunately not one that I could easily get into. Will I read the sequel, Numbers 2: The Chaos? I might give it a glance, but I can’t say for sure at this point.

Cautions for sensitive readers: I would recommend this book to mature readers. Language, sex, and violence are all present in this book.

View all my reviews >>

Book Blogger Hop (#8)

Each week Crazy for Books hosts a Book Blogger Hop, where all those interested in book blogging can find other blogs out there that they might like.  Using this Hop I have found some really great book blogs. It is a great place to locate new blogs that interest you or find old blogs you didn't know were out there.  It is also a great place to make new blogger friends.  So go check it out and find some new great blogs to follow!  Last week I found several great new blogs and met some new people!

Here are a few of the great blogs and bloggers I met or found last week!

Books in Chains
Karen @ For What It Is Worth
Une Parole
Angela at Bookish Blather
Grace @ Bookie Monster
Jackie @ Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories 
Alex at Off My Bookshelf
Erika at Erika Breathes Books
Paula at Community Bookstop

And many others!  Check out the Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: What About The Books I Don't Finish?

I have been thinking a lot about making sure that my reviews are fair.  While it seems like a lot of the books I review get high marks, this is mostly because I only review the books I finish, and I usually only finish the books I enjoy.

So my question to my readers today is this:  Would it be helpful or beneficial for you to know which books I don't finish? 

I started thinking about this after I commented on a post by Stella from Ex Libris's when she was posting for ArmchairBEA, Armchair BEA: To post or not to post, that is the question....  Her post was about the posting of poor reviews.  We all read books, and eventually we all meet a book we don't care for. If I finish the book, I will review it, and post that review.  If I give up, however, the book goes away, and I never say anything more about it.  I don't feel like I should review something I haven't read completely.  Would you like to know which books hit this road block and are not going to be reviewed?  Of course, I would give you my reasons and let you know why I chose not to finish the book.

I want you to know that I am being honest and fair in my reviews of the books that I am reading.  And perhaps posting the ones I don't finish would give you the chance to talk me out of setting that one down for good.  If I send a book to this pile perhaps you can convince me to give it a chance.

  • What do you think?  
  • Do you want to know which books didn't make it to review and why? 
  • Would this be helpful to you?
  • Of course if I do this it will have to have a name for the feature--any ideas?


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