Saturday, December 29, 2012

Read-a-thon Update 2

Okay, I'll admit I am pathetic. I haven't read anything except for the two chapters of The Wizard of Oz that I am currently reading to the kiddo. So for the second update--no progress.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Read-a-thon Update 1

I am sorry to say I haven't had much time for reading.  So, unfortunately, I have progressed as much as I had hoped.

Reading progress:

Dodger by Terry Pratchett  (Two Chapters)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Read-a-thon Starting Line

I signed up to participate in the end of the year Read-a-thon with Squeaky Books! I know I am no where near the goal I set for myself this year. Like last year, I had hoped to finish 100 books, but as of today I have only read 68. I know I will not make my goal, but I had hoped to pump up the number a little before the end of the year.

Here are some of the books I hope to read during this read-a-thon.

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor (Already Started)
  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett (Already Started)
  • Scent of Power by Maria V. Snyder (Already Started)
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

  • Wish me luck. I am going to need it. I don't have much time and my attention span is lacking.

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    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Audiobook Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

    Title: Carnival of Souls
    Author: Melissa Marr
    Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
    Publication Date: September 4, 2012
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    ISBN-13 Book: 9780061659287
    Audiobook Publisher:  Harper Audio
    Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins (Unabridged)
    Disclosure: I purchased an audio download from Audible.  This is my honest review!

    Carnival of SoulsCarnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    For her whole life, Mallory and her father have moved from one place to the next always in fear that the daimons would find them and take back what her father Adam stole from their leader, little does Mallory know, that she is the item Adam stole. Her father’s powers as a witch have always kept them safe until now.

    Aya and Kaleb have chosen to compete in competition that would allow them to move up in the rigid class system of their city. Aya longs to rule, and become more than a wife and a mother as she is expected. She longs to be free and hopes that winning the competition will allow her to hide her deadly secret. Kaleb has always belonged to the lowest class in their society, and sees winning the competition as his opportunity to join the ruling class. He doesn’t plan on Mallory changing his life.

    I know part of my burn out with teen books lately has been the lack of anything original on the market. Oh, I know it is out there (this novel is proof of that), but it seems like lately everything is the same old story being rehashed. What I liked about this novel is that while it involved witches and daimons, it did it in an original and somewhat gritty manner.

    The story of a girl not knowing her parentage is not new in YA lit, especially in the paranormal genre, but this fact didn’t stop me from liking Mallory. Mallory has been raised by the witch Adam since she was a baby. He has protected her and kept her safe, and ignorant of what she really is. She has been carefully trained to fight off any daimon that gets near her, but she didn’t count on being attracted to one.

    Kaleb is the typical bottom of society boy, who wishes to be more than the status he was born to. He hopes by joining the fights he can rise to the ruling class and make the world better. Then he meets Mallory and his whole life changes.

    While not terribly original, I found these characters compelling. I couldn’t wait for Mallory to discover who she really is, and determine what her life will be like. She is a pawn in a greater game, and I hope that before this series is over (yes, I said series) she will show all the other characters, that she can take care of herself and most importantly make decisions for herself.

    The setting is really what makes this novel shine. The Carnival of Souls is gritty, and dangerous. It is a place of mystery and hidden traps. It definitely isn’t a place I would want to find myself in, but I think that is what makes it so intriguing. Our characters wander around the Carnival of Souls with purpose, and fear. I want to know more.

    As I said earlier, this novel is the first in a series. It is a different take on witches and daimons, and I admit to some curiosity as to where this series may lead. I will definitely be giving the next book a chance, because I long to see Mallory come into her own strengths.

    Audiobook Review:
    I purchased the audiobook from Audible. It is narrated by James Masters, who did a wonderful job with the narration. I was able to lose myself in this audiobook, and I consider it a good narration when I am so wrapped up in the story, that I cease to notice the narrator. His narration never pulled me out of the story, which is the mark of a good narrator. The audio is 8 hours and 5 minutes long and is produced by Harper Audio. I highly recommend listening to this book on audio.

    I was in the mood for something different, and I would say that Melissa Marr delivered with this novel. True you will see some of the motifs in other novels, but this novel feels different and has enough gritty details to keep the pages turning. I will definitely be seeking out book 2.

    View all my reviews

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Audiobook Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent [Including a Mini Review of the Novella My Soul to Lose]

    Title: My Soul to Take
    Author: Rachel Vincent
    Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
    Publication Date: August 1, 2009
    Publisher: Harlequin Teen
    ISBN-13 Book: 978-0373210039
    Audiobook Publisher:  Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
    Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins (Unabridged)
    Disclosure: I purchased a copy of the audiobook from Audible.  This is my honest review!

    My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Kaylee just wants to be a normal girl and date a normal attractive guy, but it is hard to get a guy when you are a freak. At least that is what Kaylee believes she is, because every time she is around someone who is about to die, she starts screaming and can't stop. When classmates start dying, Kaylee can't help but scream, literally.

    I put off reading this series for quite a while. Mostly because I don't have much interest in bean sidhe (banshees). Still, I purchased the audio from audible when it was on sale, and thought that sometime I might listen to it. For a long time, that didn't happen, until one day I found myself short on listening material and decided to give this one a go. And you know what? I liked it!

    I loved Kaylee's character. She believes she has some sort of anxiety disorder at first, and everyone is keeping something from her. Turns out she is a bean sidhe. She knows when someone is about to die, and it causes her to scream.

    Like I said earlier bean sidhe aren't really my thing, but I liked how Vincent built her story around the mythology, and expanded it. The toying with death (and the reapers) did seem a bit bothersome to me, but it did make for an interesting story.

    The plot is good, and the characters are interesting. I am glad I gave it a chance, and would consider reading the next book in the series. It didn't create the intense need to read the next book some series do, but I would say this one is worth a go if you are in the market for a different type of paranormal type book.

    Audiobook Review:
    As I said before, I purchased the book from Audible. It is narrated by Amanda Ronconi who does an amazing job with this book. I loved her narration and found it believable. The download is 8 hrs and 31 mins in length, and the production seems well done. I would not have read this book if it hadn't been for the audio, so I am definitely grateful for this format. I should mention I had started the book a couple times before and put it down--audio was definitely the way to go for me.

    This was something different. I don't think there is a lot of bean sidhe's in teen lit, so it is a welcome change from the typical paranormal I have been seeing. I would definitely say give it a shot.

    View all my reviews

    Title: My Soul to Lose
    Author: Rachel Vincent
    Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
    Publication Date: July 7, 2009
    Publisher: Harlequin Teen

    Audiobook Publisher:  Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
    Length: 1 hr and 48 mins (Unabridged)
    Disclosure: I purchased a copy of the audiobook from Audible.  This is my honest review!

      My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers, #0.5)My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This novella was an interesting addition to this series. It was nice to see how Kaylee first discovered her "talent." While her abilities are not fully explained here (that is covered in the first full length novel), this story, which is briefly referred to in book 1 gives us insight in the character. A quick read, definitely worth picking up for fans of the series.

    View all my reviews

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Audio Book Review: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

    Title: Finale
    Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
    Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Angels Fiction
    Publication Date: October 23, 2012
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    ISBN-13 Book: 9781442426672
    Audiobook Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Audio
    ISBN-13 Audio:  9781442352933
    Length: 8 CDs (570 minutes) Unabridged
    Disclosure: I received a copy of the audiobook for review from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.  This is my honest review!

    Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Nora is now the leader of the Black Hand’s Army, and is expected to lead the Nephilim to war against the fallen angels, but really all she wants is peace and a chance to lead a normal life with her boyfriend, the fallen angel Patch. Everyone is out to get her—the nephilim because they believe she doesn’t want to lead them and they wish to supplant her with a leader who will destroy the fallen angels, the fallen angels because they want to make an example of her, and suddenly an Archangel is after her to get to patch. Worse yet, Marcie Miller her longtime nemesis has decided to move in with her and her mom. What’s a girl to do, but learn how to use her Nephil strength and kick some bad guy butt!

    When I read the first book Hush Hush I honestly wasn’t certain I was going to read the rest of the series. It was intriguing, but fallen angels really aren’t my thing. After the second book came out I did pick it up and read it—actually I listened to it on audio, as I have for the entire series. While it didn’t hook me at first, I have to admit, throughout the series I found myself becoming more invested in the stories of Nora and Patch.

    What I really like about this series is that they didn’t play around with the love triangle motif. Yes, Scott and Dante were introduced into Nora’s life, but they never had a chance next to Patch—she never really even considered them. In this book Nora was supposed to make the Nephilim believe that she was dating another Nephilim, but even then her heart belonged solely to Patch.

    This novel was a great conclusion to the series with a lot of action. I liked that Nora was learning to use her own strength and rely on her own instincts instead of relying on the guys around her to protect her. Even when she made poor choices or decisions, at least she was the one making them. I also liked that she finally got to be the hero.

    Audiobook Review:
    This entire audiobook series is well done. Finale was read by Caitlyn Greer who does an excellent job narrating Nora and all the other characters. Greer also narrated the other books in this series, so this kept a wonderful continuity for listeners. That is a big plus when I listen to a series. The audiobook is produced by Simon and Shuster Audio and consisted of 8 CDs. The total listening time was 570 minutes. The production was clean and free of any noticeable flaws. I loved listening to this series on audio and would definitely recommend it.

    Overall, this novel was a great conclusion to this series. It is nice to know how it finally ended. I am definitely not disappointed.

    View all my reviews

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Book Review: Possession by Elana Johnson + Giveaway Win the Whole Series Below

    Title: Possession
    Author: Elana Johnson
    Genre: Teen, dystopian, science fiction
    Publication Date: June 7, 2011
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    ISBN-13 Book: 9781442421257
    Disclosure: I received a copy of the e-book from the author and CBB Book Promotions for review.  This is my honest review!

    Possession (Possession, #1)Possession by Elana Johnson
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    In the Good Grounds, even touching a boy you are intended to marry is against the law, and when Vi is caught with her future intended Zenn breaking those rules she is incarcerated. But the Thinkers who control her society by brainwashing the population have special plans for Vi. Vi is a free thinker, someone who can’t easily be controlled, now they want her to become one of them. Vi doesn’t want to control people, but she is not sure about joining the handsome Jag in rebellion against the Thinkers either. Vi has to choose between saving Zenn who is being brainwashed, or saving herself.

    Let me start off by saying that I love dystopian stories, and this one was an interesting one. There was danger, adventure, and an uber controlling society—everything that makes dystopian novels so interesting.

    I loved Vi’s character, and you sympathize with her as she is incarcerated for such an innocent offense. You know she doesn’t deserve the punishment she is getting and you long for her to be free. Jag was enigmatic, and charismatic. I loved Jag. I wish he would have come out and told Vi more, but he definitely kept things interesting.

    One thing I wish I the book went into more detail about was the details surrounding how their society became the way it did. You do get some explanation, but I would have loved to know more—maybe that is something I will find in the sequel. It was also frustrating at times, not understanding exactly what was going on because the action was too fast.

    Overall, this book was a fun read. It hooked me right away, and left me wanting more at the end. Will I read the sequel? I think so—I really want to know what will happen to Vi next, and I hope that the sequel will fill in more of the blanks.

    The sequel Surrender came out in hardcover on June 5, 2012.

    View all my reviews

    About The Author:
    Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, ResistSchool teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or TwitterShe also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

    Hardcover of Surrender, a Possession paperback, an ecopy of Regret, bookmarks for both books, stickers for both books, and a Jag-inspired necklace.
    Open to US/Canada
    Ends 12/9/12

       a Rafflecopter giveaway


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