Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Things that don’t fit under a category.

Do I Belong? – The Reason Behind My Absence.


Hi all,
As you may have noticed, I’ve been absent from my blog for quite a long time. Yes, part of it was due to college finals, medical issues, and catching back up at the beginning of second semester, but a majority of the reason is because I’ve been questioning my place in the bookish community.
For quite a while now, I’ve been questioning whether or not I really belong as a true part of the bookish community. For me, it’s not even about not having anyone to talk to. Instead, it’s about whether I can stand with all the other amazing bloggers and whether or not I can keep up with their reading pace. Part of it is also because of the number of ARC reviews I see people posting.
Yes, I know it isn’t about reading all the ARC’s or getting higher ratings–it never started off as such for me. At the same time though, I’m a little fearful people won’t like my blog because I DON’t have as many ARC reviews up or don’t post as many author interviews, guest posts, etc. Even now, I am not considering getting back into blogging because of the ratings or ARC’s at all. I want to blog because it’s something I like doing and because at least one person gets something out of the content I post. I want to know that even though I don’t have the time to read and review as many ARC’s because of school, that people will still find me relevant. But mostly, I want to have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m making a difference for someone and that my opinion matters.
This brings me to my next point–reading became a task for me. Since I wasn’t sure people enjoyed my blog for the reviews I posted that weren’t new releases or ARC’s, I felt that I had to read those kinds of books as quickly as possible to keep up with them all. Thus, I started feeling that I had to read as quickly as possible in order to keep up with the new releases I wanted to read–and that I thought people wanted to read about on my blog. Not only did this make me unhappy, but I started to feel as though I wasn’t proud in what I was putting out on here for people and began questioning my place in the community.
Lastly, I questioned my place in the community because of the reduced amount of books that college has made me able to read. In high school I could easily read and review six books a month and still be able to keep up with my school work, but now I can only get through about three on a good month. Maybe it’s just an adjustment period, but I needed to come to terms with that and appreciate what I can do in a month. Basically, I needed to take time to reflect on the new changes college has brought about.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I do want to get back into blogging, but I want to start fresh. I want to be happy with what I’m producing and know that it doesn’t matter if I have old books or new books on here. Yes, reading ARC’s would be nice, but I’m going to limit myself and not participate in blog tours in order to stabilize myself and get back to where I want to be. I want to be happe doing what I love–reading and reviewing books so that more people find out about them. . In short, I’m coming back to blogging, but I’m going to start out with one or two posts a week, and I’m not going to worry about reviewing the newest and latest books.

I’m sorry for the extremely long post, but I’ve been fighting with myself on whether to write it and what people would think. I’m honestly scared to post this, but I’m hoping that doing so will make me feel better about my decision and will help me come to better terms with the fact that I’m reading less.

Sidenote: i’m having one surgery for sure in May so I’ll be able to do lots of reading and I might have another in June so look out for more books.:)

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Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Publication date: August 16, 2007
Number of pages: 332
Synopsis: Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When it comes to paranormal fantasy, I’ve got to admit I absolutely love the genre if written right. Vampire Academy was one of the paranormal fantasy books I’ve really liked in a while.
For one thing, I really like the innovative idea Mead came up with by introducing the Moroi and Strigoi vampire battle with Dhampirs thrown in the mix. All the distinctions between the different races were well-explained and I was never confused as to what each race was.
I also really liked the fact that Vampire Academy was set in a high school as I feel it gave me a better understanding of the Moroi society. Being in high school myself, I was able to understand what Rose and Lissa felt and the motivations behind their actions.
Next, I really liked both Rose and Lissa as main characters and liked how Mead developed their relationship and explained the reasons behind their friendship. Both girls were distinctly unique while still being relatively similar. I was able to connect with both on different levels and understand their struggles as they related with each other as well as the rest of the society.
The development of romantic relationships between Rose and Dimitri and Lissa and Christian was also well-executed and I appreciated the fact that the relationships did not take up the whole story. Each relationship was slowly developed and I liked how Mead took time building the trust and substance of the relationships.
The rest of the characters in the novel were also unique, well-developed, and each enhanced the story in a certain way that kept up the action and/or helped explain the society, other characters, or develop new plotlines. I never once got confused with characters or forgot who was who as they were all distinct and each had a purpose in the story.
Lastly, I really liked the action and pacing of the book. Although the book wasn’t entirely action, the bits that weren’t fight scenes or action packed weren’t boring at all. Since the storyline, characters, and world were being developed, scenes that weren’t filled with action were welcome and necessary for my understanding of the book and my overall enjoyment as they prevented me from getting confused or frustrated. That said, all of the action scenes were well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat. The balance between action packed scenes and non-action packed scenes made this book have a perfect pace and kept me interested the whole way.
Overall, I really enjoyed Vampire Academy because of the relatable characters and setting, well-developed world, characters, and plot, and the excellent balance between action and non-action scenes. I am definitely going to continue the series to see what goes on with Rose and the rest of the characters.

SST 4 – Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang


Title: For the Record
Author: Charlotte Huang
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Number of pages: 320
Synopsis: If Almost Famous were a YA novel… a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?


**I received a copy of this book on a read to review basis in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the SST, the publisher, and author for the opportunity.**


For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading For the Record because of it’s light nature and topics. I absolutely love singing and music so reading a book about a girl who joins a popular band and the adventures, ups and downs, and drama that ensued was wonderful. The book was a fun read and I definitely enjoyed reading about the tour Chelsea and the rest of the band took.
I also really liked the characters because they all had their own personality and little quirks that made them different from each other. Chelsea in particular was really easy to connect with for me because I could understand where she came from–being bullied and wanting the fame of being in a band/singing. She was also just very easy-going and got with the flow of things very quickly. At the same time, I thought that some of her actions were a little annoying, but can’t completely blame her for them as I’m not sure how I’d react to so much fame. Overall though, I really connected with Chelsea.
The other characters in the book were also really easy to connect with and I liked most of them. While I liked most of the characters, there were a few I didn’t care for much, but whom grew on me by the end. However, there was one character in particular that shrunk on me so to speak and whom I just couldn’t stand in the end.
I really liked the plot and pacing of the novel and would definitely recommend it. However, the only reason for the 3.5 instead of 4 is because of the ending! I won’t say anything except I need more! If you’ve read this, please discuss with me because I just can’t deal.
Overall, I really enjoyed For the Record and would recommend it for people looking for a light, dramatic and romantic read. I will definitely read more of Huang’s work in the future as I really enjoyed her writing style.

Review: Oppression by Jessica Therrien


Oppression by Jessica Therrien
**I RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS NOVEL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THANKS TO YABOUND BOOK TOURS AND THE AUTHOR FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.**

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I love books with a mythical twist to them, but I especially love Greek myths. When I saw the synopsis to Oppression I was immediately hooked. I’m so glad that another Greek myth book was written, but this book was more than that. The book definitely brought out some new aspects and twists to the Greek myth. Moreover, it had a diverse cast of amazing and relatable characters.

First, Oppression was completely different from other Greek myth books I’ve read. It kept most aspects of the myths while twisting some in a very different and innovative way.

Next, the book has an awesome cast of characters. Elyse, the main character is one of the most kickass heroines I’ve seen for quite some time. She knew what she wanted and although she had to get used to a new world, she knew who she was as a person and she knew that she had to find her way in this new world. Despite being new and getting used to this new world, she kept going forward even though various people were against her.

William was the other main character and he was so sweet! He wasn’t the bad guy girls usually fall for–such a cliché–but was instead more of the boy next door. Like Elyse, William knew who he was and how he wanted to change their world. William befriended, and soon fell in love with Elyse. However, unlike most novels where the heroine waits for the guy to save her, Elyse was her own person and she didn’t let anything or anyone dictate what she did. William was more of a guiding figure who followed Elyse and showed her things about the world she’d been introduced to. Lastly, the romance in this book was a slow evolving romance and I absolutely love how it didn’t take center stage. Instead, it evolved as Elyse found out more about the world she’d been introduced to and her role in it.

The rest of the characters in this book were as diverse and unique as Elyse and William. Each character had his or her own unique personality and power, and each character had a purpose that moved the story forward.

Overall, I really enjoyed Oppression and would recommend it to those who like Greek myths and those who like a slow, sweet romance.

Review: Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips


Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips
Synopsis: “Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing.” –Huntley Fitzpatrick

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High’s resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I really liked Faking Perfect as it brought up some great issues. Like in What Happened to Goodbye, it featured a main character who wanted to be someone different to try and erase her past. To me, this was fascinating as I have never wanted to be someone different and it was interesting to see Lexi’s reasons for choosing to be a different person at home and at school.

The book also dealt with issues of addiction and alcoholism and their effects on families and children. I thought that Phillips did a good job in conveying the negative effects having an alcoholic mother and a father who abandoned her had on Lexi. At the same time, I liked the sharp contrast between Lexi’s dysfunctional family and a fully supportive family who would be their for her.

I also really liked how Phillips dealt with the issue of perfection and how it’s just an illusion. Most often times, I feel that as a teenager, whenever I see people who have perfect grades, are in a bunch of different clubs, and seemed to be well-liked by everyone have a perfect life. It was reassuring not only to see my own feelings confirmed, but to also see that it’s not usually true.

However, I only gave this book a 3.5 because it seemed rushed at times. Yes, it was a short book, but I feel it should have been longer so that it could convey more of events’ affects on Lexi. I personally would have wanted the beginning a little more fast-paced so that the middle and end could have been better explained. Lastly, I would have wanted to see more character development in everyone. Yes, I did like seeing how they developed, but I felt their was room to expand on it.

Overall, Faking Perfect was a good story with some very interesting lessons and concepts. I felt that it was rushed at times and some characters needed development, but I will read some of the author’s other works.
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Blog Tour&Giveaway: Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little


Forbidden Kimberley

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

AMAZON * Barnes & Noble

 

Praise for Forbidden

*STARRED* Review, ALA BOOKLIST

“. . . At its core, this is a romance, with all the push and pull that goes along with impossible love, and Little elevates the story by creating a perilous landscape, both outward and inward, as Jayden must deal with the hardship of desert life as well as her own desires.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“This is a fast-paced, entertaining choice which will appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance.”

“Lush, lyrical, romantic. Forbidden transports readers into a vividly imagined place and time.”
–Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author

“The harsh beauty of the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia come to life in Forbidden, with beautiful descriptions that will make you crave water and check for sand in your clothes. Your heart will break as you root for Jayden to triumph over the many struggles that threaten to tear her world apart, and the ending will leave you thirsting for more!”
–Sara B. Larson, author of Defy

 

EXCERPT:

The night was starkly beautiful under a canopy of jeweled stars. I savored my moments of freedom, which were marred by the realization that it was dripping away day by day.

The sizzle of coffee beans roasting in the skillet floated across the still air. Cups clinked on a tray as my father passed them around the circle. The aroma of roasted brew spiced with cardamom seeped into the night.

As I tried to slip past, Horeb’s eyes caught mine. Firelight flickered over his face, outlining his jaw and wind-tangled black hair. He was devastatingly handsome just as all the girls said, but his lips curled into a smile that sent shudders down my spine.

Horeb’s glance lingered on my body, settling not on my face, but lower, as if he was undressing me right there on the dirt path.

His eyes locking onto mine, Horeb rose from the circle of men. I jerked around, breaking off his stare. Walking faster, I turned the corner of the tent just as his arm reached out to stop me.

“So, little cousin,” Horeb said. “Have you been enjoying the betrothal ceremony? Tell me, are the women telling stories of marital relations?”

My breath caught like a thorn in my throat. The women’s ceremonies were not discussed with any male—only inside the privacy of a marriage bed.

“You shouldn’t be saying these things to me,” I said.

Running his fingers down my arm, Horeb continued to study me. “There are many things I’d like to say to you, Jayden. Do to you.”

There used to be a time when my throat pounded every time Horeb turned my direction. A time when he was growing into those big, dark eyes and that hard, muscular body. Moments when I wanted to touch his thick, black hair, or run my finger along his jaw to discover what a boy’s skin felt like with a newly growing beard. But now that I was sixteen, and he twenty, his stares made me uneasy. My heart still pounded, but not from love. And I wasn’t sure what it was or what to call it.

 

Author Kimberley Griffiths Little
Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

 

Forbidden

Blog Tour Schedule

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/4/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bracken built an incredible world with this book.
I loved how the book took place in the United States. I also liked how seamless the shift from the present to the flashbacks was. I did find keeping track of the various people chasing Ruby and the others somewhat difficult, but it wasn’t distracting enough that I had to stop and go back to find out who was who. I also thought that the identity of the slip kid was very predictable, but maybe that was just me.
Ruby: I really loved her as a character and thought she grew significantly throughout the book. I also liked seeing events from her point of view as a teenager and as a child.
I feel that Liam and the rest of the characters didn’t just compliment Ruby, but they added a whole new level of dimension to the story. Each character was well-developed and experienced significant growth in the story.
I don’t know what took me so long to read this book and I highly recommend this book.
What are your thoughts?
Jackie

{Book Blast and Giveaway} Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner


Cranberry Bluff

Book: Cranberry Bluff
Author: Deborah Garner
Synopsis:
Molly Elliott’s quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie’s bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful – that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden
agenda.
Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly’s past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?
Buy it on Amazon
About the author:
Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever
possible.
Website
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Add it to Goodreads
Cranberry
Check out the upcoming blog tour schedule Here
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Giveaway

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
  • Ends 12/23/14
  • Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.
  • Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you.
  • The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
  • This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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{Q&A/Discussion Post} 1 – Do you listen to music as you read?


Welcome to my first ever Q&A/Discussion post!
I plan to make these at least twice a week on Monday and Friday. Since I don’t have any questions from you I thought I’d pose my own. However, if I get enough questions I’ll use this post to respond to them as well as to pose my own question. I know it sounds confusing right now, but hopefully as I receive questions and make my posts it will become clearer. Now on to the post. 🙂
Do you listen to music as you read?
Personally, unless I’m listening to an audio book, I love listening to music as I read. To me, the music isn’t a distraction because it helps me block out other things around me. When I listen to music I usually listen to the lyrics. For some reason I can ignore the words when I read. In fact, I’ve noticed that when I read and listen to music at the same time I find that I read faster. I also find that the music helps my mind from straying when I read. There’s just something soothing about the music that I can’t explain but it quiets my thoughts. Also, have you noticed how people don’t bother you when you have headphones in?
I hope you liked this post. Leave your answer to the question as well as any questions you might want to ask me in the comments.
Jackie

Messy Buns


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To most people, a messy bun signifies a lazy day, an “I just don’t care today attitude”, or at the very least, a missed alarm clock scrambling to get to work or school on time kind of day. To me, a messy bun signifies happiness.

Now yes, I know that this is a weird analogy, but let’s remember, I’ve conjured up stranger thoughts before. After all,  I did tell you all the things your pimples teach you. So please, here me out. Messy buns are one of the best things in the world. When executed correctly, this style is not only comfortable, but super fashionable. Unlike crocs which in my opinion are neither comfortable or fashionable. Seriously, those little nubs at the bottom are like walking on needles all day.

The messy bun is so simple, so tousled yet elegant, so discombobulated while perfectly put together at the exact…

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