Sunday, January 31, 2010


First of all, Book Bound is having a Mega-Giveaway, and she will add more winners the more followers she gets! So check it out here. Contest ends Feb. 5

Shut Up! I'm Reading is having a 200 Follower Shin-dig, and you can enter here. This one ends Feb. 14

And lastly, Steph Su is having a V-Day Giveaway, where one winner will win 5 books! You can enter that one here. This one also ends Feb. 14

Good luck!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sweet Far Thing

Sorry I've been a bit AWOL lately, posting only contests. So here's a review for the book I just finished last night:


Title: The Sweet Far Thing

Author: Libba Bray

Pages: 819

Rating: ****1/2

Summary (from Goodreads): It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

Review: I enjoyed this book greatly. Though Felicity officially got on my nerves at some parts, I liked the characters and their interactions. It was mysterious and everything was questioned. When I thought I had it all figured out, everything flipped. Who is good? Who is evil? Who can Gemma trust? No one, it would seem.

It took me a little bit to get into the book, as the rest of the books in this trilogy have. It really didn't pick up for me until almost halfway in, which is over 400 pages. That could be why it took me over a week to read it. When it picked up however, it really got going. I couldn't put it down, which sucked with school and everything.

The ending was a bit skewed it seemed. It was almost too hasty, but I'm starting to believe it was meant that way. Readers are supposed to start questioning things, even Gemma. The ending wasn't a perfect, everything turns out alright ending. It is a war, and not everyone will make it.

All in all a great read. If you enjoyed Libba Bray's other books, do not waste any time in picking this one up. Don't let the length scare you!

Recommended for: historical fiction junkies, romantics, fantasy fanatics; high school ages and up

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best. Contest. Ever.

Okay I know I post a lot about contests (And yes I get credit for them) but seriously, this is possibly the best contest I have ever heard of. There are tons of books, and the more people who enter, the moe people will win! So check it out, it's over at Teens Read and Write, and you can enter here.

Ends March 7, so you've got plenty of time :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Monday, What are You Reading?

So I had finals last week so I honestly haven't read that much recently. I'm currently reading:
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (have been since November on my Kindle, and I just haven't gotten around to reading more of it).

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby

Listening to:

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (I've already read it, but I'm refreshing my memory. Love it)

Up Next:

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

O, Juliet

Front and Center



(Yeah, I have a lot of books to read!!!)

What are you reading this Monday?


Steph Su is having a blogoversary giveaway! She's giving away a ton of amazing books, like Linger, Guardian and the Gate, and Sisters Red. So go check it out here. Contest ends February 28!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dreaming Anastasia

Title: Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams

Author: Joy Preble

Pages: 310

Rating: **1/2

Summary (from Goodreads): What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?
Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.
In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

Review: This book just didn't do it for me. I was really intrigued by the summary, and it had gotten great reviews. I can't completely place my finger on why I didn't like it. Maybe it was the writing. Maybe it was the unrealistic feel. I know it's a fantasy book, but it is set in the real world, so I thought I'd be able to connect more with it. Also, the cover is pretty except for the creepy ghost of a guy's face. I forced myself to read it so I could just have it over with. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this one.

(I read this book about a month ago, which is why I don't have many real details. Just my overall feeling that I remember).

Recommended for: Anastasia obsessers; age 13+ if you feel you must read it

I thought it was time for a review of a book I didn't like (they are few and far between, however).

Question for bloggers: How do you remember details for reviews from books you read a while back? Do you keep notes, or do you just have better memories than I do? Just curious because I've seen the "slideshows" of a whole list of books waiting to be reviewed. I can't even remember details from the book I read a month ago.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rebel Angels

Sorry for such a long silence! Finals are totally time consuming. But they are officially over, so I'm good!!! So here it is:


Title: Rebel Angels

Author: Libba Bray

Pages: 592

Summary (From Amazon): Gemma, Felicity and Ann, (her girlfriends at Spence Academy for Young Ladies), use magical power to transport themselves on visits from their corseted world to the visionary country of the Realms, with its strange beauty and menace. There they search for the lost Temple, the key to Gemma's mission, and comfort Pippa, their friend who has been left behind in the Realms. After these visits they bring back magical power for a short time to use in their own world. Meanwhile, Gemma is torn between her attraction to the exotic Kartik, the messenger from the opposing forces of the Rakshana, and the handsome but clueless Simon, a young man of good family who is courting her. The complicated plot thickens when Gemma discovers a woman in Bedlam madhouse who knows where to find the Temple; Ann shows signs of being enamored of Gemma's loutish brother Tom, and their father's addiction to laudanum lands him in an opium den.

Review: I absolutely loved this book. I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, so I was really excited when I got this book for Christmas. In this sequel, the characters come even more into their own. Readers accept Felicity as the cold brat who always gets her way and Ann as the mousy sidekick who refuses to stand up for herself. however, some new insights are brought in for all of the characters, which helps you understand a little more about them. I loved how this book didn't just focus on the realms, but on the world outside it as well. Felicity, Ann, and Gemma attend parties and balls and meet fashionable young men, as is normal for teenage girls. Throw in the realms and this book covers everything. The realms are disturbed, and it's up to Gemma to restore the order before the evil spirits of the Winterlands take over for good. Gemma learns a lot about herself and her powers in this book, which I really enjoyed. The characters seemed to be filled in a bit more in this novel. And there are the twists I didn't see coming , which of course I won't spoil for you here. All in all, I liked Rebel Angels even more than A Great and Terrible Beauty. I just started The Sweet Far Thing (The final book in the trilogy), so I'm really excited!

Recommended for: historical fiction junkies, mystery and fantasy lovers, high school age+

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who Loves You Baby! Award

Gah a third award! I love this wonderful blogging community :)

I received this award from J. Kaye's Book Blog. It's purpose is to give back to those who have given you awards. So thanks to:

Helen's Book Blog for the Happy 101 Award


Reading in Color for One Lovely Blog Award!

Thanks so much! You guys rock :)
P.S. 21 followers! So excited! :)


Katie at Katie's Book Blog is giving away Once a Witch as her third blogoversary giveaway! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds awesome! Enter here. Contest goes until January 30!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Another great book giveaway! This one is A Match Made in High School, which sounds simply amazing. It's being held by Princess Bookie, and you can enter here. Open through January 26!!

P.S. Not only do you win the book, you get a bunch of swag also!!


In Which a Girl Reads is hosting a HUGE and AMAZING contest! She's having three winners, and there are 25 books to choose from! And trust me, they are some good ones! you can enter here. Contest ends January 19! So hustle along!

Also, thanks so much for following this blog! I've hit 20 followers, which is really exciting for me :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

RYOB Challenge

This is a challenge being held by Miz B's Reading Challenges. I realize I'm jumping in a little late, but I haven't read any of my own books yet so I think I'm good.

My goal is to read 50 books from my bookshelf. I have a little over that now, so hopefully I'll read most of them!!

1. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

2. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

3. Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
4. O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell
5. Heist Society by Ally Carter
6. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
7. The Star Shack by Lila Castle

8. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
9. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker

10. Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

11. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
12. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
13. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
14. Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
15. Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

16. Avalon High: Coronation #3: Hunter's Moon by Meg Cabot/illust. by Jinky Coronado
17. Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer/illust. by Young Kim
18. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
19. "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

20. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
21. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
22. Sea by Heidi R. Kling

23. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

24. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

25. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
26. Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill

27. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
28. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
29. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
30. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
31. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

One Lovely Blog Award

Oh my gosh! Two awards in one week! I am so excited right now, you have no idea!!

I received this award from MissAttitude at Reading in Color. Thanks so much!!!

The Rules:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs you've recently discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I actually haven't found many new blogs lately (not because there aren't good ones out there I haven't found, just because I haven't had the time!!) So I give this award to a just few blogs:

1. 2 many good books, 2 little time

2. Books at Midnight

3. Book Crazy

4. J. Kaye's Book Blog

Sorry for such a short list, but these are some great ones!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy 101 Award

I received the Happy 101 Award from Helen at Helen's Book Blog! Thanks Helen!!! My first blog award! I'm so excited (can you tell by my excessive use of exclamation points?)!!!

Rules: List ten things that make you happy and then pass this award on to ten blogs that brighten your day!

Things That Make Me Happy

1. Books

2. Chocolate

3. My family

4. My sisters--all eleven of them

5. My friends

6. The Wisconsin Badgers Men's Basketball Team (though they also make me angry, sad, and incredibly frustrated)

7. Writing

8. Book Blogs

9. Blogging!

10. Spring

I'm passing this award on to:

1. The Compulsive Reader

2. Bookworming in the 21st Century

3. Katie's Book Blog

4. That Chick That Reads

5. Princess Bookie

6. BookMac

7. Just Your Typical Book Blog

8. Bloody Bookaholic

9. Frenetic Reader

10. Life After Jane

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Publication Date Change!

Again, I must change a publication date. Only this book is being moved up!

Susane Colasanti announced on Wednesday that Something Like Fate is being bumped up to be published on May 4, 2010, rather than May 18! So excited! She said this was the same day When it Happens was published, and that book is amazing, which means great things for Something Like Fate! (Not that I thought it wouldn't be good before, of course!!)

Friday, January 8, 2010


In my post on Wednesday, I gave you a list of books coming out in 2010. I gave you an incorrect date for one of them (gasp!).

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong will actually be released on May 10, 2010, not May 1. Sorry about that!

The Red Tent

Yeah, yeah I know I suck at New Year's Resolutions. I've been so busy lately it's not even funny. I have two big projects due this week, so I've been working on them. Both are for English classes, and both required me to read a novel, both of which I have now finished! So here is one of the books I had to read:

Title: The Red Tent

Author: Anita Diamant

Pages: 321

Rating: ****

Summary (from Amazon): The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

Review: This book was quite good. The writing was outstanding. It was an interesting story about the hidden lives of women during biblical times. Have you ever noticed how almost all the stories in the Bible are told from the male perspective? This story is no different. Dinah's story is in the Bible--she has about three paragraphs. It tells us about Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, who was brutally raped on a trip into the city. But this is just what her father and brothers say. What does Dinah have to say? Anita Diamant filled in between the lines. There are many connections to biblical stories in this novel, but you don't have to be religious to enjoy it. Religion is actually a very minor part of the story (which you wouldn't expect from a book based on a story in the Bible). The women of The Red Tent are strong, honorable, and loving. Dinah is a powerful protagonist with an honest voice that any woman can connect with. The first part of the story is the story of her mother and aunts, who are all very different but all very loving and important. The second part is about her childhood and teenage years. When the unthinkable ahppens, her life is flipped upside down. That is the third part of the story. All in all this book fascinated me, and made me proud to be a woman.

Recommended for: all women at or above high school age.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Here are a couple contests I thought I'd share:

BookMac is hosting a January contest and is giving away a copy of Secret Society by Tom Dolby (which looks amazingly mysterious and spooky). Enter here. Contest ends 1/31/10.

Katie at Katie's Book blog is giving away Need and Captivate, both by Carrie Jones. Enter here. Contest ends 1/30/10.

Princess Bookie is giving away multiple books with multiple winners, and the books are a surprise! Enter here. Contest ends whenever she says it ends :)

So check 'em out! Lots of great books up for grabs!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Books in 2010 Part One

[EDIT II: Something Like Fate's publishing date has also changed! It is now being published on May 4, 2010!]

[EDIT: The Reckoning will actually be released May 10, 2010. Sorry for the mix-up!]
For Waiting on Wednesday this week (hosted over at Breaking the Spine) , I thought I'd post the list of books I'm excited for in 2010, including mostly the books I mentioned in my Best books of 2009 post. Since that one was a bit long, I thought I'd post this one in 2 parts.

Heist Society by Ally Carter

February 9, 2010

The Guardian and the Gate by Michelle Zink (Sequel to Prophecy of the Sisters)

April 1, 2010

Spells by Aprilynne Pike (Sequel to Wings)

May 4, 2010

Something Like Fate by Suzanne Colasanti

May 4, 2010

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong (Book III in the Darkest Powers Trilogy)

May 10, 2010

Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev (Theatre Illuminata Book II)

May 25, 2010

(The cover art has been revealed, but for some reason it wouldn't let me add it here. You can find it here or at Bloody Bookaholic's blog)

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #4)

June 15, 2010

(I was SO excited when Ally Carter released this cover! Isn't it gorgeous?! The bow isn't part of it; that's on there because she said it was her "Christmas present" to her readers.)

Hunger Games III by Suzanne Collins

August 24, 2010

The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Prequel to The Mortal Instruments Series)

September 7, 2010

Fixing Delilah Hannaford by Sarah Ockler

Fall 2010

P.S. Yes, I realize I have already broken my new year's resolution to post every day. Ah well. I'll post multiple times some days, so let's just aim for 7 posts a week, hm?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 100+ Reading Challenge

This is a challenge being hosted by J. Kaye's book Blog. Click on the button to sign up!

Just heard about this challenge, so I'm signing up!
As you read in my New Year's resolutions, my goal is to read 150 books this year, which would complete this challenge. Wish me luck!

1. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
2. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

3. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
4. Bad Apple by Laura Ruby
5. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
6. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
7. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

9. Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
10. O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell
11. Heist Society by Ally Carter
12. One Butt Cheek at a Time by Amber Kizer
13. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
14. The Star Shack by Lila Castle
15. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
16. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
17. Albatross by Josie Bloss
18. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

19. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
20. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
21. The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
22. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
23. Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

24. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
25. Numbers by Rachel Ward
26. After by Kristin Harmel
27. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
28. After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy
29. The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura and Tom McNeal
30. Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

31. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
32. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
33. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
34. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
35. Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
36. The View From the Top by Hillary Frank
37. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
38. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
39. Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
40. It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

41. The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
42. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
43. Avalon High: Coronation #3: Hunter's Moon by Meg Cabot/illust. by Jinky Coronado
44. Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer/illust. by Young Kim
45. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
46. "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

47. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
48. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
49. Up Close: Harper Lee by Kerry Madden
50. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
51. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
54. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
55. Spells by Aprilynne Pike
56. Au Revoir, Les Enfants by Louis Malle
57. Sea by Heidi R. Kling

58. Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
59. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
60. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
61. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
62. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
63. Jump the Cracks by Stacy DeKeyser
64. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

65. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
66. Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
67. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

68. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
69. Grendel by John Gardner
70. Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
71. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
72. Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill

73. Amazing Grace by Megan Shull
74. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
75. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
76. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
77. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
78. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
79. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
80. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

New Year's Resolutions

A day or two late, I have come up with my blogging resolutions for 2010:
  • read at least 150 books. I read 125 in 2009. This probably sounds pitiful, since I know Princess Bookie read 300 this year, but oh well.
  • Blog once a day. Since I just started, I'm still figuring out when to fit blogging into my day. this year, I will try my very hardest to post at least once a day.
  • Email authors for interviews. Before I started blogging, I emailed authors after I read their book(s) is I especially loved it. Now that I have a blog, I can interview them! So I should get on that.
  • Comment more. I know I love to read comments on my blog, so I'm going to try to comment on other blogs more often, and not just to enter contests. I follow so many great blogs--check out the list on the right :)

Cross your fingers in hopes these are all accomplished. I have so far finished one book in 2010, and I have blogged both days! So far so good.


Jenn over at Books at Midnight is hosting a contest to celebrate 200 followers! Congrats! You can read the rules and enter here. Go check it out! There will be FOUR winners and she's giving away a ton of amazing books, including Shiver, Bad Apple, and The Summoning--books I love and/or want to read!!--and many more that look incredible!

Contest ends January 15!

Friday, January 1, 2010


My second Curl up with a Classic feature! I'm not sure if this book can really be considered a classic, but it's fifty years old and a spin off of Jane Eyre, so I'll count it.

Title: Wide Sargasso Sea

Author: Jean Rhys

Pages: 160

Rating: ***

Summary: This is the untold story of Bertha, the crazy wife of Mr. Rochester of Jane Eyre. This book tells the story of Antoinette Mason, a young Creole girl born and raised in the Caribbean. She has a rough childhood; the townspeople hate Creoles (this was a time of terrible race relations), and Antoinette has no one to get close to, not even her family. Enter Mr. Rochester, a wealthy Englishman who promises to love her and make her happy. If only the people of her life could tell more than lies...

Review: I really liked this book. The writing was a little difficult to understand in some parts, but the story overall was fantastic. I loved Jane Eyre, and I'm a huge fan of spin-offs. However, this book did put a shadow over Jane Eyre for me, because it shows the truth of Mr. Rochester. Readers can see it as they wish, a bad deed done by a young, ignorant man, or the truth of his character. It's tough. I liked seeing Antoinette's side of things, and how she became to be Bertha in the attic. A great read.

Recommended for: fans of Jane Eyre and untold stories