Sunday, September 29, 2013

Swoon-Worthy Sunday (1)

It's Swoon-Worthy Sunday!

Oh my gosh, I just created a meme. 

Well, with this first installment of Swoon-Worthy Sunday (giggles) I bring you Robert Pattinson, slayer of hearts, icon of good looks, devourer of romance. 

Totally mysterious, mystifying, educated, romantic, handsome, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy...

Trailing off here! But may I put out emphasis on the word "Educated"

This quote by the famed Robert Pattinson only made me fall deeper in love with him. Delve into this quote he stated about literary girls... And begin your fangirling.

"If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable." -Robert Pattinson

Let's all just take a moment and...


Now that that's over with... See you next Sunday! ;)


Sorry it's been kind of quiet here lately guys! Between signing up for my first blog tour, getting hired to blog for THREE other blogs, studying and preparing for my end of the semester tests, practices for the multitudes of clubs and teams I am involved with, yada yada yada.... I've been busy, lets just say that. But I'm here, and that's all that matters, right? *crickets chirping*

Alright, so for the update:

I'm currently reading 5 books:

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
Red Dirt Road by Annie Rose Welch (eArc via blog tour, stopping at NPR on October 17th!)
Branded by Keary Taylor
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
The Fallen byThomas  E. Sniegoski

I have finished reading Raven by Suzy Turner (review for this one coming soon! I accidentally forgot about it, actually...)

I have added a few new features to the blog after getting an analysis from a blog tour company. I have added AdSense too!

I've won 6 books in the past week, and one should be arriving in my mailbox shortly. Stay tuned for those!

Hmmm.... I think that's about it! A new review coming soon, and many more after that, plus my first blog tour stop! Yippie!

Keep turning the page with us and stay tuned!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update! (And a Little 80's Rewind...)

It has been an AMAZING two days for the reader-nerd inside of me! So, yesterday, I came home to my inbox with the following emails:

~That I would be participating in my first book tour on October 17th for Red Dirt Road by Annie Rose Welch

~That I won the giveaway of Claudia Mills' Zero Tolerance! From Eden a

~That I had been chosen to blog and review fantasy books for the awesome blog Reading Angels!

Then came today, which started off alright and ended with a bang. After 8 grueling hours of class, and an hour and a half of volleyball practice, I came home to an inbox full of emails- and wonderful surprises!

~I was notified that I had randomly been chosen to win an ARC of Chasing Shadows from Random House Teens

~That I had been chosen to also blog for the awesome blog Pure Textuality.

~I received my first 4 book review requests from authors requesting me from this blog.

~I won a signed copy of RELATIVITY from the RELATIVITY Blog Tour

~I had been chosen to also blog for a imprint website of the Teen Network for Bauer publishing.

It has been an amazing two days, and even amazing-er (it's a word) few weeks! I am so glad to have finally set off on my blogging career, and I just can't wait to share the experience with you all!

"No, I don't know where I'm going
But, I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises
In the songs of yesterday
And I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time
Though I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I'm looking for
Oh Lord, I pray
You give me strength to carry on
'Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams
And here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time"
-"Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reading Rebels- Celebrate Banned Books Week 2013

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.    
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.
Please visit the Banned Books Week website at for information regarding Banned Books Week events taking place in your community" -Taken from (the American Library Association) 

It's Banned Book Week across America, and it's time to celebrate banned books for everyone, and the freedom to read whatever we see fit. It's up to you to prove to everyone that reading is a right and freedom that you hold in your hands. Read your banned books with pride, you reading rebels! 

Here is a list of the banned books that I feel are the most wronged, most likely because I have read or owned them, and I disagree with their position on the Banned Books list. 

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: offensive language
  2. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit 
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Reason: religious viewpoint 
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
  7. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  10. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins. Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  11. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  12. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  13. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  14. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

    There is many more, of course, and you can see the full list here

    I understand that these books may contain themes that seem inappropriate, but that should be up to the reader. If the reader feels uncomfortable while reading a novel, such as Fifty Shades of Gray, per say, than it should be up to them to stop reading. And I also point out that several of the novels above are contemporary novels, and it is in their nature to mention sex, suicide, abuse, drug and alcohol problems, language, etc. because they are based off real life. If you want the contemporary novels to get more subtle and 'safer,' then why don't you naysayers try and change the world first, because all these authors are doing is writing down what they see in the world. If you want your children to read a contemporary novel in which everything is fine and dandy with the characters and the world is perfect, then... Exactly. It's just not going to happen. So quit trying to limit us mature readers to your fake view of the world. Welcome back to reality.

    Now, stepping off my soapbox here, I believe it is time to read freely and support your banned books and show your banned books pride! This week, I am going to make it my mission to read more about banned books, and maybe every attempt to read a few! 

    Tell me in the comments below, what banned books have you read or owned that you still love, despite their banned status?

Red Glove by Holly Black (Book review)

Title: Red Glove by Holly Black
Series: Book 2 of the Curse Workers trilogy; sequel to White Cat (See my review here.)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books. 
Release Date: April 30, 2011
Genres: fantasy, romance, action, mystery
Medium: Hardback, borrowed from local library
After reading the Spiderwick Chronicles and White Cat, I knew I definitely wanted to continue reading Holly Black's work. When I came upon this sequel in the library the other day, I knew it was the perfect time to read this. And Holly Black did not disappoint this time around either.
With a riveting plot line and plenty of twists and turns, Red Glove is an action-packed, mysterious, fantasy with undertones of romance. In this great sequel, Cassel learns he is a curse worker, a transformation worker actually, maybe the only one in half a century. His family is full of con artists, dream workers, memory workers, etc., although they are all more malicious than he. Working with a conscience, he works to clear his name, after finding out his own brother worked him to forget the murders he committed. A giant mystery unfolds. Underneath all of this, the girl he is in love with has just been emotion worked by his mother, forced to love Cassel and think she's in love with him.
The writing was very good. With the high fantasy in this novel, her writing had to be descriptive, yet believable, and must be very suspenseful and gripping, and be full of cliff hangers and hooks. And it did have all of those things. Holly Black manages to write a dark, sensual fantasy that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer (Book review)

Title: A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Genres: Action, Post-Apocalyptic, Drama
Medium: Paperback ARC via Random House Publishers
A Matter of Days was so much more that I expected. What I expected was a run of the muck (sorry for the odd cliche) apocalyptic novel that would be like every other one on the market right new. Instead, this novel was very interesting, suspenseful, realistic, and descriptive. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the BluStar pandemic virus has killed practically 98% of the population, a recently orphaned girl and her kid brother must pack up and travel across the remains (no pun intended) of the United States in order to meet up with their remaining survivalist family members, the same ones who gave them the shots to keep them from dying of the virus.
This novel was very realistic, in terms of stating survival techniques, real-life situations and choices, dealing with the best and worst people, adapting to needs, accepting the fallout, etc. This novel hit very close to home and was a reminder of what can happen in the near future without preparation, and the fallouts of the unsuspecting people. The characters convey the emotions perfectly, showing that even in a world full of dead bodies and heartless survivors, that there can still be friendship, family, and romance. 
The writing was very nice. I've never read any of Kizer's work, but now, I am sure to correct that mistake. I will definitely look into her other work after this. Her descriptive language weaves a tale of a brother and sister going from being lost to finding their way, all the while, suffering through devastating concepts such as death and life-threatening injuries. She captured the reader's attention immediately, and kept them hooked until the end. Her chapter cliff-hangers and hooks were odd, very unique, and very enticing. You didn't want to stop as soon as you started. 
With a twisty plot and intriguing character and 'new world,' this close-to-home novel is sure to grab and hold readers' attention.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (4)

I know STS posts are supposed to be weekly occurrences, but darn it if I don't get post happy! Sorry for so many STS posts so close together, but while I am currently reading another novel, I also stopped by my library for the first time in close to 2 years. Crazy, I know!

It's just that I started back at school last year and my trips to library got less and less frequent. Between schoolwork, new friends and teachers, old friends and family, football games, pep rallies, holidays, birthdays, yada yada yada... I just stopped going, and started buying all my books. This was also around the time I discovered ARCs and such things I'm addicted to now. 

But yesterday, I was walking downtown with my friends during the 125th anniversary of our town's settlement, when I decided it was time to go back to the library.

She had to update my card and account and everything, and I don't think she recognized me until she read my name on my account, but I got to borrow some books, and that's all I wanted. Most of these, I just read the titles on them and didn't have to read the plots n the back, because I already knew I had been wanting them!

It's a little hard to see, but the books I borrowed were (besides the antiques price guides at the bottom): Neferet's Curse, The Book Thief, The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys, Halo, Reached, and Red Glove.

The library may become a more common destination for me now, because since school has restarted, I'm a little low on funds from over the summer. 

But I'm psyched to have gotten all of these amazing novels and get to read them now! These have all been on my TBR list for a long time.

What did you get this week? 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (3)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you feature the books you have recently bought, borrowed, been gifted, won, etc.!

Yay! Just got this in the mail! Thanks to Star at the Bibliophilic Book Blog for an amazing contest and to Michael Raymond for this awesome personally signed book of his! Can't wait to read this in time for Halloween! 

What did you get?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dead River by Cyn Balog (Book review)

Title: Dead River by Cyn Balog
Publisher: Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: Publisher: April 9, 2013
Genres: Horror, Romance
Medium: ARC via Random House Publishers
I don't usually read horror novels, to be completely honest. But this doesn't mean I hold grudges against books. I read every genre. The only way I can explain it is that I love horror movies and TV shows, things of that nature. I am addicted to them. But when it comes to horror books, a good one comes few and far between, and even then, I feel like there is so much missing. Most commonly, I feel as if they are not scary, and that is a key point a horror novel has to have. I have read books before that make me feel as if the horror genre is just something a novel cannot put into words. In a movie, there is so much more that is added in: creepy suspenseful music, unusual actors, dark sets and dark theaters, and just the overall exhilaration of watching a movie. I have felt as if horror is just a little too much for literature.
Then I read this book. This book is creepy, not too overwhelmingly horror fiction, but keeping it slightly scary. It also has us genres of romance and some slight drama, while staying a very true horror thriller. Sometimes, people write a novel and try to add in every sub genre they can. Cyn Balog manages to add these sub genres in without covering up the main one: horror. The plot was fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and always susepnseful. This novel is a nice, creepy thriller that is perfect for this time of the year as we draw closer to Halloween...
The writing was very complimentary to this plot. It was descriptive, colorful, and always keeping with the tone of the novel. She managed to create a world beyond ours that enticed you in and kept you wanting more. The characters were believable, relatable, and interesting. Their stories were short and sweet, intriguing, yet not being overpowerful and covering up the plot. I really did enjoy this novel, and can't wait to see more from this author. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (2)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where you can post your latest book purchases! 

My latest purchases! (Sorry it's been awhile! Here's the majority of my latest finds, but not all of them!) 

And thanks to Star at the Bibliophilic Book Blog for this signed copy of The Shadow Things by Jennifer Fretag 

What did you get?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Book review)

Title: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Square Fish (MacMillian) 
Release Date: Originally published Oct. 1999. Reprint edition (May 10, 2011) 
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Problem, Trauma
Medium: Paperback, bought
Speak was a deep and meaningful read. It harnessed the written power to express one girl's journey to come to terms with her rape, and showed the steps it took to confess it, confront it, and how she recovered afterwards. 
Written much like a diary, Speak tells the story of a girl named Melinda, who was raped at a summer party, and then bullied at her school afterwards because she called the cops and busted up the party. It showcases much character development as she learns to stand up for herself and attempt to protect others from the guy who raped her, a classmate who still follows her around. It shows the effects of teenage drinking and bullying, and sheds a light on the way-too-common act of rape, and teaches readers to always speak up. This groundbreaking novel is a perfect read for teenage English classes and book clubs, especially with girls, although for boys too, but mostly to educate and convince girls to say no and fight back. 
This novel was written beautifully. It tells the story of a fictional girl, although yet keeping it on a personal basis, so that the characters are very relatable and easy to read about. Anderson keeps the writing clean and educating, while still keeping it page turning and interesting. A very intellectual and mind-turning novel, this is a novel every teen should read. 3 stars. I very much enjoyed this novel.

Chapter Sampler: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Click HERE to read a chapter sampler of The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Looking For Alaska by John Green (Book review)

Title: Looking For Alaska by John Green
Publisher:  Speak; Reprint edition 
Release Date: December 28, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, bought

How I came to decide to read this book: I was at my best friend's birthday party. When it came time to give gifts, I have him a card and a $20 bill. (Pretty lame, I know, but I suck at picking out birthday gifts, and money always seems to make someone smile.) Anyway, my friend Abby had gotten him a book and I couldn't help but think "Why didn't I do that? I'm the reading-obsessed friend." He pulled out Looking For Alaska out of a giftbag, and I vaguely can remember hearing and reading about the book online, but I wasn't completely sure what it was. When I asked, Abby said that her and my friend Bryson had been speaking of John Green and how they had never read one of his novels, but wanted to. She had bought this novel for him. I then went home to search for it, and when I found it on a shelf in a bookstore, I couldn't pass up the chance.

So here we are. I read the book, and I am pleasantly surprised. Looking For Alaska was everything I had expected and more. The novel was funny, passionate, coming-of-age novel, a perfect example of a Bildungsroman novel. Full of psychological and moral growth of the characters, you see as the characters mature from youth to adulthood. Definitely a great novel to read in this day in age. We see the effects of drinking and the consequences of drunk driving. The novel is full of friendship, romance, conflicted emotions and relationships, funny scenes and deep dialogue, and so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and could not put it down.

This is the first novel of John Green I have read, and right away, I could tell I was going to read more by him. His writing is perfect. Sensual, nail-biting, emotional, and even tear inducing. Seriously, is it bad to say that I was crying (AKA, tears puddled up in my eyes, and I was all choked up) in the middle? Well I did, and it made sense, because his writing was that emotional. This novel was a great, refreshing read, and I recommend it to everyone.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Author Talk with Shawn Goodman


Author Talk!

Shawn Goodman (Author of Kindness for Weakness)

Shawn Goodman has been a school psychologist and has worked in juvenile detention facilities. His novels Something Like Hope and the upcoming Kindness for Weakness, are based somewhat on his experiences. I asked "Being in juvenile facilities, did you ever meet any kids that pulled at your heart strings more than the others? Are they the reason you wrote this novel, or were you influenced in another way?"

Shawn Goodman responded, "Quite regularly I was blown away by certain kids. Day to day, in any job, you get into routines. And especially when it's an emotionally demanding job, you toughen up, so to speak, just so you can do the job and not turn to mush. But even so, when you're in a routine, and you're a bit calloused (as would be the case if you're working too much or under stress), certain kids would blast through the walls and defenses with their honesty, curiosity, or integrity. I can remember very specific stories that kids told me that absolutely broke my heart. I wish I could share them, because they were so moving and powerful, but it wouldn't be right. Suffice to say that this happened enough times over the years to change me and convince me that I needed to write about these kids through the lens of fiction."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate (Book review)

Title: Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Genres: Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Paranormal
Medium: Paperback, bought

I will start off by stating that Fallen In Love is actually #3.5 in the Fallen series. It comes between Passion and Rapture, and is a mini-collection of the love stories of the main characters. Set in the Middle Ages, it tells the stories as follows: "Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda" -Taken from description.

I absolutely loved this short collection of stories. The book could have possibly been read after Rapture (and after the series is over) or right after you finished Passion. Since I had just finished Passion, and this one seems to bridge the gap between the two novels, I decided to read it now, and I am very glad I did. It was a sweet, quaint little read, and a very quick one at that. And I do love quick reads. If you've read the series or are reading it, do pick this one up.

The writing (of course) stayed true to Lauren Kate's style. It was no different than her other novels, and also reminded me that I better get to reading Rapture! I will definitely try to run out and buy this one soon. But anyway, the writing was wonderful, sweet, and definitely page-turning. The characters are relatable and written perfectly, like always. It's a very pleasant, quick read.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (Book review)

Book: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: Reprint addition (July 9th, 2013)
Medium: Paperback Movie tie-in edition

I loved this book. LOVED it. It was a nice, contemporary novel, with equal instances of awkward romance, teenage angst, friendships and fallouts, high school relationships, teenage drinking and substance problems, and undertones of bullying and more.
The characters were completely normal and lovable in their own ways, and I fell in love with Sutter Keely's character immediately. The way Tharp wrote him into the character he is, it was perfect. Sutter started out a bit of hell-raiser, but slowly turned into a caring free-spirit after he met the novel's protagonist Aimee. He learned to love, while teaching her to live. Tharp designed one of the sweetest couples ever, with an awkward romance showcased. He showed one boy's determination to deny his feelings for a girl, only to finally find himself head-over-heels for her at the end.
Tim Tharp's writing (like always) was amazing. Mesmerizing. It was smart, hilarious, and displayed ever ounce of emotion it needed to, never too little or too much of anything. His writing is very personal, and always makes the narrator into a very normal, conversational character. This makes it both easy and fun to read. This novel is also very addicting. You are completely immersed in it when you are reading it, and when you put it down, you can't help but feel yourself drawn towards it. You find yourself thinking about it when it's not in your hands. It is that good. I give it five stars. One of my favorites of the year.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Book review)

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books/Pocket Books
Release Date: February 1, 1999 
Genres: Contemporary, romance, drama
Medium: Paperback, borrow / Ebook, bought
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a magnificent read. I started reading the book with an open mind, after I put it on my to-be-read list, and then had a friend tell me how good it was and offered to let me borrow it. She told me of how addicting it was and how the book grabbed you and would not let go, which was my exact reaction towards it as well. 
The characters in this story are all troubled, yet productive people. Charlie, the main character, has an Achilles heel, and that is that he is always playing the part of "shoulder to cry on." He is always taking in all the emotions around him, but never letting any out. It's as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. So he watches all the people around him with interest, always trying to be the person he cant be for them, honest and compassionate and kind. But it soon takes a toll on him and his friends as they all face the problems that a majority of teens go through- drinking, drugs, sex, death, friendship and relationship problems, "coming out" and being gay, and more. Charlie, along with his two best friends Sam and Patrick, band together to get through these things, even as they prepare to go their separate ways after graduating. 
Written in past tense, much like a diary of letters, the story rolls through Charlie's first year of high school, 1991-1992. Chbosky's writing was great, and I would love to read more from him. The entire novel was very emotional and deep, touching, and heart-felt. It really makes you feel as if you know Charlie, and that you really are reading his letters that he wrote just for you. The beginning and ending of the story match up perfectly, which left you guessing and wondering through the middle of the novel. When you reach the end, you read it with a sigh of relief, glad that Charlie has finally found his way. Enthralling and emotional, I give this book 4 stars, a very nice read for high schoolers and above.