30 June 2011

Booking Through Thursday (4)

"Booking Through Thursday" is a weekly meme hosted HERE. Be sure to check it out and join in the fun!

This week's question...

What’s the largest your personal library has ever been? What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time? (Estimates are fine.)
Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been? Or have you down-sized?
What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?
Ummm...I plead the fifth? :-)? I think it would be a safe (conservative) bet to say that my husband and I own well over 500 books....and those are just the ones in our house. We have bookshelves in almost every room in the house (really only excluding bathrooms and the kitchen).  We also have books stored in both of our parents' houses.  Right now my personal library is probably the largest that it has ever been! When I was in high school and college, I bought and owned significantly fewer books. Actually, I didn't even purchase a book case for college until at least halfway through my junior year and then it was mostly for school books. As my senior year progressed and I got back into reading, I think my collection probably grew slowly to about 25-50 books (not including school books). That was probably about the smallest it has ever been just because I had gotten rid of so many books from when I was younger through donations.

What does YOUR book collection look like?

29 June 2011

YA Book Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma



Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
© June 2011 by Dutton Juvenille

Goodreads description:


Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
My Thoughts...

Okay, we'll start with a confession here: the first time I saw the cover for this book I immediately knew I had to read it.  When I saw it in person, I was in love. Like, seriously, this cover is captivating. Now that's out of the way, I'll give you a some brief thoughts on the story.  And, when I say brief, I really do mean it this time because I'm still not really sure what I thought/felt about this story.

First, not everyone is going to enjoy this book.  It looks and sounds like a contemporary--I thought it was going to be a contemporary.  It's not really.  There's a paranormal element that comes in, mostly toward the end but you get weird hints throughout, that you don't really see coming...actually you never really find out what it is. (Which I'll admit, was a little annoying). 

The prose is beautiful.  For me, Nova's writing really flowed from page to page and despite confusion about what was going on (which, I think I was *supposed* to be at least a little confused?), I found myself turning page after page to read more about these sisters and the strange events that were happening.  Throughout the story, I had really vivid images of what was going on, but the entire time I also felt a little like I had entered this alternate dream universe.  It had that feeling that I think dreams sometimes give you--the uncertainty, the "haze" surrounding events, the haunting feeling later when you feel like you can't quite remember everything that happened.

In conclusion, the writing is beautiful, and the story is unique/interesting, I felt a little dissatisfied at the end because I still didn't really know what was up with Ruby. I do know, however, that I definitely hope to read more from Nova in the future!

Some other reviews (b/c like I said...not everyone will like this):
I chose this post for Review Appreciation Day (7/7/11) @ The Cait Files!

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers discuss the books that they are most anxiously waiting for! (And this fabulous button was designed by my dear blogger friend Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week I'm waiting on...





Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
© 12 July 2011 by Delacorte Press

Goodreads Description:


Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.

My dear blogger friend, The Bookish Brunette, has been zombie-crazy for awhile now and her blog introduced me to this book.  Well, not really introduced me (because I've seen that cover before) but convinced me that, yes, I probably do want to read this. *grin* Be sure to click on the Zombie Craze button to the right and check out her blog!

Also, I figured I would combine this post with W.W.W. Wednesdays...so here is some more info about my reading for this week! To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…Grab the logo...and post your link at Should Be Reading!

What are you currently reading?




What did you recently finish reading?




What do you think you’ll read next? 


What are YOU waiting on this week?

28 June 2011

Tune in Tuesday! (1)



A weekly feature hosted by GReads! that showcases music! Each week she posts a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Join in the fun and spread the love of music! If you want to participate, follow the link above and link up at her blog...then check out what everyone is sharing this week!




This Tuesday's Tune: Cosmic Love
by Florence and the Machine






I've had a minor obsession with Florence and the Machine lately. Like, put the CD on loop and just keep listening! I had to participate in this meme today just to share my love of this song. It popped up on my Pandora and I want to listen to it again and again. So, thank you, YouTube, for allowing me to do so!

Book Birthday Shout Out! (4)

"Book Birthday Shout Out" is a weekly meme hosted by The Bewitched Bookworms over on their awesome blog.  Be sure to check out which books being release this week your fellow bloggers are super excited about!

This week's Book Birthday Shout Out goes to...


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
© 28 June 2011 by Simon Pulse

Goodreads description:
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be.
Tabitha was born in London in 1975 to an English mother and a Japanese father, the eldest of five children. She went to the French Lycée in South Kensington and was a terrible pupil. In fact, she hated school and refused to work and did astonishingly badly in all subjects except English. She spent a lot of my time writing with my left-hand (I'm right handed) in an attempt to while away the hours. In secondary school she would sit at the back of the class and write stories, which she got away with because my teachers thought I was taking notes.

After university, she taught English as a Foreign Language, worked in IT, was a freelance translator... She finally decided to become a school teacher and did a PGCE in 2000.  She found that she loved teaching and was lucky enough to have the best kids in the world in my class. While teaching full-time, she wrote A Note of Madness (and didn't get much sleep). In 2004 I left classroom teaching and began to divide my time between writing and peripatetic teaching: giving private English tuition and also teaching at the lovely Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. This gave her time to write From Where I Stand (a psychological thriller), followed by Without Looking Back (about a family on the run), followed by A Voice in the Distance (a sequel to A Note of Madness) and my most recent novel, Forbidden , which was by far the most controversial and difficult book she has ever written. She is currently working on her sixth novel, about euthanasia.

From Tabitha's Goodreads Author Profile
This book was astounding.  The writing is gripping. It is so emotionally intense. I don't even know what else to say about it. You can read my review if you're interested.

Other "Book Birthdays" this week...
 


Whose "Book Birthday" are you celebrating this week?

27 June 2011

200 Follower Summer Giveaway!

Hello my lovelies!

So, I hinted on Friday that if I hit 200 followers on Friday I would host a giveaway. Well...I did it!! (with many thanks to Mickey @ I'm a Book Shark and Neri @ In the Name of Books for retweeting for me at the last minute for the final 2 followers!!) I've wanted a good reason to do a giveaway for awhile now just because I LOVE giving people books.  It's good for the soul, lol. So, here it is! My 200 Follower Giveaway!!

(Some of my fav books of 2011 so far!)

So, here's the deal! Two lucky winners will get the chance to win any book of their choice from The Book Depository! The first place winner can choose a book for up to $15. The second place winner can choose a book for up to $10. (If I happen to get to 300 followers by the end of the giveaway, I'll give away a $10 book to a third winner!)

200 Follower Summer Giveaway:
- You must be a GFC follower
- You must be at least 13 years of age
- Open Internationally (anywhere the Book Depository ships)
- One entry per person (duplicates will be deleted)
- Deadline: July 25, 11:59 CST




As an added bonus (if you're still reading this post), I'll give you an extra entry on any NEW review that you comment on between now and July 25 (including this morning review of Hereafter)! So stop by and comment often!

YA Book Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson


Hereafter by Tara Hudson
© June 2011 by HarperCollins

Goodreads description:

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

My Thoughts...

I have to say, first, that the Browse Inside feature offered by HarperTeen may be the death of me (financially, of course) because it causes impulse buys--for example, my Nook pre-order of this book. That being said, from the moment I opened the file to read until the moment that I finished my Nook copy while standing in the Dark Days of Supernatural signing line, I was hooked.

When the book starts out, Amelia is lonely and caught in a cycle of disappearing back to her place/moment of death.  Then, one time it's different--someone else is drowning and she has to stop it.  When she saves Josh, she creates an impossible bond with him--he becomes the only person who can see her and touch her (at least as far as she knows).  Now, I know some people will rail against the "insta-love" that occurs in this book, but I personally thought that it made a little sense that Amelia would make such a connection--she hasn't been able to TOUCH or interact with anyone since her death (and not for lack of trying).  I thought that Tara Hudson did a fabulous job describing the electric nature of their first physical encounters.  They had that hesitant nature of young love where things are new and different and you're just curious and in awe.

Overall, this one was a "win" for me.  I really felt myself pulled into their story and Hudson pulled some elements in that I didn't expect at all.  It's had the right amount of darkness for me paired with the romantic elements.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book (although I will admit that I would have been just as happy with this book as a standalone, which is always a nice feeling). However, I do look forward to more character development in the next book so maybe we'll get to know more about Amelia and Josh.
My fabulous signed copy!

Some other reviews you might check out:

26 June 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren where we can show some love to all the books that we got in the mail or otherwise!

I'm really mostly a "bi-weekly IMM" kinda gal because I honestly don't get books all that often, lol.  Now, if I didn't have financial worries, that would totally be a different story!! So, since it's been two weeks since my Dark Days of Supernatural IMM post, I figured I would go ahead and share with you the exciting arrivals of the last two weeks! 

Bought:


Hourglass by Myra McEntire
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

From my library (the staff lounge "free stuff" table, lol):


Dead Beautiful (ARC) by Yvonne Woon
I Am J by Chris Beam

For Review:

From NetGalley & EgmontUSA:
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Ashes by Ilsa Blick


From NetGalley & Disney-Hyperion:
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Vanished by Sheela Chari
Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon

25 June 2011

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

Glitter Graphics | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/


 Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed Summary:
How do you defy destiny? 
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history. 
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
I read this book awhile ago on my NookColor and I would just REALLY like to have a hardcover copy.  I've seen it it person and I really like the cover. I was thinking about ordering a signed copy from a bookstore where she's done a signing, but we'll see.


Glitter Graphics | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/


 Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien


Birthmarked Summary:
IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

I borrow this one to read from my advisor (the hardcover version).  The paperback (cover shown) comes out in October and I *think* I like it just a tad better than the hardcover version for its simplicity. I wasn't sure for awhile because I do think the hardcover version is really cool, but the paperback will be more affordable!

Glitter Graphics | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/


Prized by Caragh O'Brien



Prized Summary:
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

This is one of my most anticipated upcoming sequels! I love this character and this world. Caragh is a fantastic writer--I can't wait to read what she has in store for this book. I wish I didn't have to wait so long on this one! It is set to be released in November (after the October release of the above hardcover).


What's on YOUR wishlist?

24 June 2011

YA Book Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz



Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
© 28 June 2011 by HarperTeen

Goodreads description:


Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else


My Thoughts...

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