October 31, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 2011
Source: Library
Thomas knows that WICKED can't be trusted. They stole his memories and locked him inside the Maze. They forced him to the brink of death by dropping him in the wilds of the Scorch. And they took the Gladers, his only friends, from him.
Noe WICKED says that the time for lies is over. That they've collected all the data they can from the Trials and will rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission: to complete the blueprint for the cure for the Flare. But Thomas must undergo one final test.
What WICKED doesn't know, however, is that Thomas has already remembered far more than they think. And it's enough to prove that he can't believe a word of what WICKED says. The time for lies is over. And the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever have imagined.
Will anyone survive the death cure?

The Death Cure was an absolutely fantastic end to the series. Now here's some reasons why:
1) Tons of heart-pounding action
2) Very little romance
3) Sob-inducing moments
4) An ending I could live with

1) If life hadn't gotten in the way, I think I would have finished this in one day. And that never happens for me. You might think all action all the time would get a little old, but it seriously doesn't. I was all tense and on the edge of my seat for basically the entire book. And the zombie-like Cranks were pretty darn freaky, but not too scary for those who aren't fans of horror.

2) Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good romance, I really do. But sometimes, I just want to read something that isn't all about the romance. The Death Cure is absolutely perfect for that. There's tiniest, slightest, minutest about romance, but it doesn't overpower the story at all. It's more like a tiny little footnote that still manages to fit into the story perfectly.

3) Fans of dystopia probably realize death is pretty common, but you know what, it gets me every time. And that is all I will say on the subject. You have to read it to find out more :P

4) I really, really enjoyed the ending. It answered enough of my questions and left me with a good overall feeling. And that's all I'll say about that as well so double :P

Pages: 384
Series: Maze Runner #3
Review: 4.5 stars

October 30, 2011

In My Mailbox {18}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

I actually didn't get much this week. I won a few books and I only got 1 from the library. It was almost a miracle library visit :P (Sorry about the weird white background with the text. I'm not sure what's up with that, but my regular layout will be back after Monday :D)

Water Balloon by Audrey Vernick
My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin
Bronxwood by Coe Booth

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins [I'm so excited for this one! I've heard soo many good things :]

And on another note:
I've been feeling like doing something else for the blog lately. Don't get me wrong, I love all the memes I participate in and I wouldn't be skimping on the reviews, but I'd love to do something else for you guys. So what say you? Is there any posts I do that you really like or don't particularly like? Any ideas on something else you guys would like to see? Book trailers/book related videos, bookish news, new releases, or something else entirely?
Any and all ideas are helpful. And please, always be honest :]

P.P.S. Today's the last day to enter my birthday giveaway. You can find it in the sidebar if you so please :]

October 28, 2011

TGIF {6}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:
Spooktacular Reads: Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

October 26, 2011

Cover Lover {18}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This week's Cover Lover goes to The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
Publish Date: Summer 2012

October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {4}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there's a category and everyone participating lists their "Top Ten" in that category.

This week's question: Top ten books to read during Halloween.

1. Z by Thomas Michael Ford
This book scared the living daylights out of me. I'll warn you though, it has a doozy of an ending.

2. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
The creepiness in this one is a little more subtle, but I love it. The zombies here are so much for the brain-eating, but I love them anyway. In fact, this is the series that hooked me onto zombies :]

3. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
This is another one that has the subtle creepiness going for it. It kind of permeated the whole story and honestly, I was even a little creeped out by the time I finished :P

4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I have some serious love for this series. I spent much of this (and the other two) with my stomach in knots and my breath held. The zombies are scary and the emotions are just so real.

5. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
This was another one that was just kind of whatever until the end and then I was all "so, it was a bad idea to read this right before bed..."

6. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
So, this one isn't really creepy, but it has a ghost, so that counts, right? It's more of a cute Halloween read, but I figure there's a market for that.

7. Gone by Michael Grant
You might think living in a world where parents don't exist would be awesome, but it proves everything but in this book. It's not your typical Halloween scareiness, but it's definitely freaky and I totally love it.

8. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The cover really says it all. Basically everything about this book is creepy :P

9. The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
Mysterious and disturbing. That's like the whole package.

10. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
You definitely aren't expecting the creepiness when you look at the cover, but let me assure you, the necromancy brings a serious creep factor to the series.

October 24, 2011

Flirt Club by Cathleen Daly

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publish Date: January 2011
Source: Library
When two self-professed middle school drama geeks -- Isabelle and Annie (a.k.a Cisco and The Bean) -- fail at their attempts in romance, they start Flirt Club, an after school support group for similarly afflicted friends who decide to take decisive with hilarious and touching results.

There were some things I liked and something I didn't like so much making this just an overall okay read. I really enjoyed the whole form of the book -- the notes, diary entries, Flirt Club documenting. All the notes totally reminded me of things I wrote when I was in middle school. I didn't really enjoy how some of the stuff just didn't really jive for me with their ages.

I loved the characters. They were so weird and crazy -- just like me in middle school. I loved that while they kind of thought it would be cool to be popular they still loved themselves and didn't want to change. I also loved the whole drama geek aspect of it all. I'm not one personally, but I enjoy reading about it quite a bit. It was also really fun to see how all the dynamics changed -- friends, relationships -- throughout the whole school year. 

Now for the not-so positive. Like I said, some things just didn't really seem right for the age group. Most of the kids were probably 13 or 14 but it seemed more like they were 16. It talked about the girls going grocery shopping, to the mall, and tons of other places, but it never mentioned parents and that just felt really odd. And there was second base going! I just kept thinking "yeah, I know that happens, but it just feels completely weird in this book."

Final Thoughts: It kind of dragged a bit in the middle, but overall it's a cute book. I'm sure most of you are capable of ignoring the odd, seemingly absent parents unlike me. This will totally take you back to middle school, especially if you were one of the geeky kids :]

Pages: 288
Series: No
Rating: 3.5 stars

October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox {17}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

I actually didn't do too bad at the library this week. Crazy, I know. Most of my stuff came in the mail this week which was pretty darn exciting. Mostly because I love getting mail :P All the new books are just staring me while I try to dwindle my super huge library pile. They all have due dates, you know.

The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor
Twisted by Sara Shepard [I decided to give the extra PLLs a try. I read the original series and loved it, so here's to hoping the next part is good as well.]

Contest Winnings:
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu won from Pam at Bookilicious and Walden Pond Press
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor [YAYAY!! I've heard fantastic things about this one and I'm so excited to read it :]

The Maze Runner by James Dashner [I absolutely love this book so when I found it on Amazon bargain priced I just had to buy it (which led to even more book buying :P)]
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordaan [I loooove the Percy Jackson and I enjoyed The Lost Hero. I'm so excited :]
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin [This is another one I want to read right now since I've heard SO many amazing things about it.]

October 22, 2011

The Comment Question

I'm not sure if you guys know this, but your comments mean the world to me. Every last one of them. I've been wondering, though, do you guys know that I love them? Do you think I read them or just pass them by with barely a glance? Do you feel like you're talking to a wall because I never talk back? Well, sometimes I do feel like a wall. A very rude wall. The thing is, I'm not quite sure how to respond. It's very much a pain in my bum to go to the actual post and comment. And then it's a blanket comment because Blogger is rude and won't let me reply to you specifically. But the big thing I wonder is if you would ever see it if I commented back.

Now, don't take that last statement as an offense. I don't often go back to the same blog post I commented on to see if someone replied because, by golly, that would be a lot to remember! Plus, it's rather difficult to have conversations over blog comments. I really want to interact with you guys, but I'm not sure how :[

So, my final question: Do you feel like you're being ignored if the blogger never comments back? Do you think the blogger is snooty or something when they don't respond? And, if you are feeling slighted, do you have any suggestions for me?

October 21, 2011

TGIF {5}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:
Book Blogs That Make You Smile: Pick 5 book blogs you visit often & think others should, too.

October 20, 2011

Want To Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: August 2011
Source: Library
Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.
When Abby meets Luke online, she can't believe her luck. He's nice. He's funny. He listens to her and he thinks she's pretty. He even gets jealous of other guys, which is adorable. Without Luke, Abby's not sure how she'd make it through her first year of high school. Everyone, including her mom and her best friend, Faith, tells Abby that if she just made more of an effort, she'd be having more fun instead of dreading each and every day as if it's a prison sentence. But there's nothing fun about being the lowest link in the social food chain.
Abby knows she's not supposed to chat with random guys online. But Luke isn't random, and he isn't a stranger. Best of all, he loves her. So what if she never goes out with her friends anymore and her grades are slipping? All she needs is Luke. Luke is her secret, and she's his -- it's perfect that way. So when Luke suggests they meet each other in person, Abby agrees. And then she's gone. Missing. Without a trace. And everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

This book has some serious HOLY WOW going for it. Chances are after reading the synopsis you're thinking to yourself about cheesy this book is likely to be. I mean, we all know about internet safety, right? Well, I'm here to tell you just how completely wrong you are.

When Abby started getting caught up with Luke my brain was having some issues. It was like I was split down the middle and one half was saying "don't do it, Abby! Can't you see who he is?!" and the other completely understood every one of Abby's thoughts and actions. Most of us have gone through that completely sucky insecure stage of our lives -- your parents hate and don't understand you, you're losing a friend or don't think you have any, and none of the opposite sex notices you at all -- and that's precisely where Abby is. Along comes this caring, sweet guy who always listens. What would you have done?

I feel like this book should be bought and handed out at Internet Safety talks instead pamphlets. Yeah, there are some pretty stark things in here that adults will likely balk at and for this reason will likely try to keep it out of kids hands. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one on a banned book list next year. But guys. These are the facts. The serious, gritty, scary facts. And you know what? Abby is fourteen and that's an age that is highly susceptible to these types of, for lack of a better word, attacks. I just want to buy a million copies of this book and hand it out to teens all over the place. Want to Go Private is a book that really should be required reading in schools.

(minor spoiler)
I loved that you got to see the "After." That's something you never see in crime dramas, but it was an integral part of the story. Tv often gives the impression that the girl is saved and there's a happily ever after for everyone, but Want to Go Private proves that this isn't the case at all. Abby was left with so many feelings and emotions after the whole mess. And it wasn't only Abby, but we saw how this affected everyone around her.
(end spoiler)

Final Thoughts: This book was a roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes it was really hard to read, but I'm so glad I did. I honestly wish this book was required reading in schools. It would give kids a look at something very real and very scary. Please don't pass this book up because you think you already know everything about the subject or think it sounds a bit cheesy.
Thank you, Sarah, for writing such an amazing book.

Pages: 336
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

October 19, 2011

Cover Lover {17}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This week's Cover Lover goes to The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Publish Date: October 4, 2011

October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {3}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there's a category and everyone participating lists their "Top Ten" in that category.

This week's question: Top ten books whose titles or covers made me buy it.

I decided to go with all covers because there aren't that many titles that truly catch my eye. I haven't actually bought most of these either, but they are covers that made me remember the book long after I saw it on the shelf.

1. Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater 
These books are beautiful! The covers themselves are fantastic, but the actual hardware underneath has pretty little imprints. I love them and I just want to display them like art.

2. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Vampire books aren't usually my thing, but the cover for this one is just so quirky and unique. Also, the model looks a bit like Miranda Cosgrove.

3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
So I actually did buy this one for the cover. I'd heard good things about this one, but I'd also heard the jacket was reversible. C'mon, who's not going to jump all over that?

4. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
This is another one that I actually did buy for myself. I'd heard a few good things about it, but I secretly just liked the cover. There's something about water on a book cover that just ends up looking good.

5. Possession by Elana Johnson
I read this one and it wasn't my favorite, but the cover still attracts me. If you could see the real thing, the white part is all sparkly and shiny and then the bright blue of the butterfly is just so eye catching.

6. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
I'm not quite sure what it is about this one, but it's really eye catching. And I didn't notice this until someone else pointed it out, but the girl is actually walking on the wall and that's not a door.

7. Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
I'm not quite sure that I'll read this one, but that cover is gorgeous! The girl is pretty, and then there's the boat and all the flower petals...sigh. I'll just take a poster of this, frame it, and be set.

8. Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
I remember seeing this one on the shelves Barnes & Noble when it first came out and I never really forgot about it. I love the font of the title, the girl running away, and the colorful trees. There's something both mysterious and beautiful about it.

9. Everlasting by Angie Frazier
I don't actually remember what this book is about in the slightest even though I've read the synopsis quite a few times. Every time I see the spine on the library shelf I pull it down and think "oooh pretty". I love the map that's faintly in the background.

10. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
First, one of my favorite colors is purple. There's that, then there's the fact that the hardcover is just so pretty and shiny. The script and the pretty dress don't hurt either.

October 17, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
Publish Date: May 2011
Source: Library
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue -- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select one faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is -- she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are -- and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves...or it might destroy her.

You guys, this book was amazing and fantastic and awesome and every other adjective for "great" that you could possibly think. As I tweeted during my reading, books like Divergent are the reason I fell head over heels in love with dystopian.

I really loved all the characters, even if it didn't happen until near the end for some. Tris has the perfect rate of growth throughout the story. I could totally understand her thought process, but I don't think I could ever be half the awesome kick-a** character she is. If I were to make a team of super-tough and awesome main characters, so would definitely make the cut.
It took me a little while to warm up to Four, but I finally did. I may have even fell in love with him a bit ;P At first I just thought he was okay, you know, not horribly mean but not exactly the kind of guy I'd go for either. But then, somewhere along the lines he became one of those dreamy YA boys you just want all to yourself.
The side characters were great too. Christina and Will were fun and kept things interesting.

The story itself was fantastic, but once again I was left wondering about the dystopian world history. I suppose that never really happens in the first book of a series though. It still worked fantastically. I doubt I'd miss the history if it wasn't one of my favorite aspects of dystopian.
The whole story was great, but that ending! I was up until 3 having myself a little sob fest (I don't consider this a spoiler since I didn't actually tell you anything) finishing it up.

Final Thoughts: Divergent was an amazing start to what is sure to be one of my favorite series. This book has the whole package: awesome characters, fantastic setting/world building, lots of action (but not too much), and just a hint of romance. In short, you should go out and buy this book (because you will love it) and then proceed to tell everyone you know how awesome it is.

Pages: 489
Series: Divergent #1 (planned trilogy)
Rating: 5 stars

October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox {16}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

This week I did end up checking out a few more  books, but I was good and only limited myself to a few. These few were probably even going too far as my TBR is literally toppling, but I find it impossible to resist my library's YA new release shelf.

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade I really enjoyed The Ghost and the Goth, so I'm looking forward to this one :]
The Death Cure by James Dashner I am SO excited for this. I absolutely love this series to death.

October 15, 2011

Recipe: Lentil meatballs and spaghetti

Before becoming vegetarian and before I started really cooking for myself, I could give or take spaghetti. Now whenever I don't know what to make for dinner I automatically go for spaghetti. I know spaghetti sounds really boring if you're never able to have meatballs, but I have a solution: lentils. Maybe you don't know what lentils are or you think they're some boring legume rarely used in American cuisine, but these are one of the best answers to meat in the veg world, in my opinion. So without further ado, here's my spaghetti:

Spaghetti and Lentil Meatballs

1 cup cooked lentils (1/2 cup uncooked)
About ½ cup swiss cheese, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup bread crumbs

(You can use any seasoning combination you want, it's kind of like making meatloaf)
My seasonings: Smoked paprika, salt and pepper, Johnny’s, garlic powder, granulated onion, crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well squishing the lentils so some of them get mushy.
Form into balls and put on a baking sheet
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Spaghetti Sauce
It's so easy to make homemade spaghetti sauce, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it all along. Just take a can (what size depends on how much sauce you want) of regular tomatoes (whole, diced, sauce, whatever you want) and then put it on the stove and season it however you want. Don't be afraid of the seasonings, either. Go crazy with them. Oh, and if you get diced or whole tomatoes, you'll probably want to puree them somehow. Either with a food processor, a blender, or an immersion blender. After seasoning and whatnot, just leave it on med-low to simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Enjoy :]

October 14, 2011

TGIF {4}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:
Show & Tell: Where do you grab a book and get lost in it? Show us your favorite spot you like to read at.

October 13, 2011

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publish Date: October 2009
Source: Library
What's your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you're lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You must prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it's a decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie.
Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it's not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their drink orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane's Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She's the one who set them up ! She should be happy for them, right?

The Espressologist was a super cute, caffeine-fueled read. I loved the idea behind the story and it turned out to be everything I'd hoped for.

The romance was actually a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, not as the story went on, but at the beginning, I thought Jane was going to end up with every guy who walked through the door. It was nice to be proved wrong for once in my romance predictions. Usually I can peg the guy as soon as he enters the story.

I rather liked Jane, but I didn't quite understand why she had to be a school-skipper. It was an okay personality point, but it just didn't really jive with me. I also enjoyed getting to meet her regulars and other customers. In my opinion, that would be one of the best parts of working coffee job like that. You could get to know regulars and build relationships and I really felt like the story let that shine.

My one gripe isn't with the story, but the writing. Contractions weren't used that often. All the characters and even the narration would switch back and forth between contractions and not. It's not really a major thing, but it really started to drive me nuts. I mean, most people don't go around talking without contractions.

Final Thoughts: This is an absolutely adorable read. It's quick and fun, and really, who can turn down a book all about coffee? The Espressologist is a must read for any lover of coffee and/or romance.

Pages: 184
Series: No
Rating: 4 stars

October 12, 2011

Cover Lover {16}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This week's Cover Lover goes to Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
Publish Date: April 2012

October 11, 2011

Tune In Tuesday {7}

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the awesome Ginger at Greads. (The month of October is the Soundtrack Edition of Tune in Tuesday, so enjoy :])

Meet Me on the Equinox - Death Cab For Cutie

I freaking love Death Cab for Cutie. I love them like crazy. I've probably only liked them for about three years, but they're still the most played on my iPod. I've only liked them for that long because I had crappy music taste before :P I think this was one of the first songs that made me fall in love with them. Yeah, I could just gush, but it's really not going to go anywhere so I'll just stop it here.
What are some of your favorite soundtrack tunes?

October 10, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Tara at Fiction Folio for ARC Tour
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war -- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I'm not sure if I was just in a mood, but I really couldn't get into the first half. It simply just blah for me, but slowly and surely it really started to draw me in. By the end, I was completely engrossed and begging for the sequel. I'm really hoping for more of the dystopian world history and the science behind Juliette's ability in book two, though. These are the things that I really love about dystopian, after all.

Thereh Mafi does a fantastic job with the writing in Shatter Me. It was unique and beautiful with just a touch of quirky. I can honestly say I've never encountered writing like this before...and it's a great thing! The strikethroughs were interesting. I didn't always completely understand them, but I thought they were still a good peek into Juliette's thoughts.

I absolutely loved every single character. Not all were nice (I'm looking at you, Warren) but I still loved them all just the same. Usually side characters tend to be just that: pushed to the side and forgotten about. That wasn't the case in Shatter Me though. I loved everyone from James to Warren to Kenji to Juliette to...yeah, I could really keep going all day on this one. I have to say, though, I wasn't really an Adam fan until the shower scene. After that, you could say I was a pretty big fan. And speaking of that shower scene, let me just advise you to read this just for the sexytimes. Can we say amazing kissing scenes?

Final Thoughts: Though the first half was a bit shaky for me, Shatter Me is an absolutely fantastic read. The characters are all amazing, the writing is wonderful and unique, and, well, there's a good bit of kissing to add the extra little cherry on top ;]

Pages: 342
Series: Shatter Me #1 (planned trilogy)
Rating: 4 stars

October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox {15}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

I only got a couple books this week because I'm kind of on a library ban. As seen in my TGIF post a couple days ago, I have way too many books. Chances are I won't be able to read them all before they're due back, but in order to try I really need to stop adding to the pile. Sure, I can carry twelve books home, but I have no chance of finishing those plus the 20 others in my pile at home before they're due in three weeks :P Anyway, the one library books I did get this week has been on hold for some time and I'm really excited to finally have it in my hands. The other one (Shatter Me) is an ARC provided by the lovely Tara of Fiction Folio for a tour.

ARC Tour:


What did you get in your mailbox this week?

October 8, 2011

Recipe: Tacos with tofu "meat" & homemade salsa

I decided to start posting some vegetarian recipes because one of my passions besides books is cooking and adapting recipes to my veg lifestyle. I'm still trying to figure out if recipes will stick around as a regular feature so let me know what you guys think :]

I don't know about you, but I was getting a little tired of the only "meat" in my tacos being beans. Don't get me wrong, but tacos are just one of those things that need something meaty and this tofu really does the trick. It was a little messy, but who doesn't love a good messy taco every once in a while? It's really quick and easy too which is always nice since I find it can hard to do vegetarian in a timely manner sometimes.

Taco MeatRecipe from Apron Strings
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
16 ounces frozen and then thawed extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix first seven ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Drain the water from the tofu. (Wrapping it in a kitchen towel and placing heavy but stable things on it is an easy, mostly hands-free method for this.) Unwrap tofu and crumble into small bits into mixing bowl. Toss with sauce in mixing bowl.
Spread oil on a 12 by 18 inch baking sheet. Sprinkle crumbled tofu on top of oil in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir tofu. Return to oven and cook for about 20 mor minutes, until tofu is crispy.
(I also added a bit of water and salt at the end to get the texture I wanted personally. And don't be afraid of the peanut butter, it all really works together.)
Then I put them together on corn tortillas and with olives, tomatoes, lettuce, tofu meat and the salsa. 

This is the salsa recipe I used can be found here (I swear by this stuff):
I urge you to be careful in adding more jalapeno if you think you want it spicier. It gets a little hotter after its chill out in the fridge

October 7, 2011

TGIF {3}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:
To-Be-Read's: How big is your pile? Which book keeps getting pushed down the stack, but you keep meaning to read it?

October 6, 2011

Possession by Elana Johson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: June 2011
Source: Library
Vi knows the rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn, Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous -- everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

First of all, that description almost tells a different story than what the pages actually hold.

This book just didn't do it for me. It's really sad because it totally should have done it for me. I love dystopian and learning about new technology and societies which was a lot of what Possession was about. Something about it was just off though. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's like when you can't remember the name of a person or a book or whatever and it bugs you ALL day. That's what this book did to me.

My high school English teachers used to preach the awesome powers of transitions. Sometimes it was a little obsessive, and I was all "for the love of all that is good, shut up already!" but after this book I'm a little more like "Preach it, sister!" What I mean by that is this: It felt like there were no transitions here at all. I was constantly wondering what amount of time had passed or how in the world we got to where we were. The beginning especially gave me this feeling. I was like "uhhmmm...did I miss something?" I was lost pretty often and that's definitely not how I want to feel in my reading.

Sadly, I wasn't really a fan of any of the characters either. Vi was whiny, Jag was often rude and sometimes controlling, and Zenn seemed like a controlling wimp. Don't ask me how that last one is possible, just trust me that it is. I did like Ty pretty well, but she wasn't really there much, sadly.

Also, the ending. What was up with that?

Final Thoughts: I had pretty high hopes for this one. Not hopes from hearing buzz or anything, but I kind of automatically put dystopians on a pedestal. Sadly, this one didn't meet my standards. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone who's new to dystopian, but a veteran like it.

Pages: 416
Series: Possession #1
Rating: 2 stars

October 5, 2011

Cover Lover {15}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This week's Cover Lover goes to Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
Publish Date: June 2012

October 4, 2011

Tune In Tuesday {6}

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the awesome Ginger at Greads.

Words Meet Heartbeats - Parachute

I've really been on a Parachute kick lately. I was having trouble deciding between "Ghost" and this one. I love them both, but I didn't want to bombard you guys :P 
Happy listening all :]

October 3, 2011

It's My Birthday! (Giveaway)

It's my birthday so I decided to give you guys a present. Don't worry, it's not my words of wisdom or anything of the sort, it's an actual book. I'm super excited since this will be my first contest. Want to know what it is?

I'll be giving away a copy of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This was one of the best contemporary books I read this year and it seemed fitting since Perkins's second book just came out a couple days ago. I never would have if it weren't for the world of YA book blogging. Now it's my turn to share the wealth with you guys.

Contest details:
1. Must be 13 or older to enter.
2. Open to wherever The Book Depository ships :]
3. Fill out Rafflecopter form
4. Ends October 31

Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: June 2011
Source: Library

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house - parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1 "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3). "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

This. Book. Is. Awesome! I absolutely loved Ten Things We Did. It was fun and it hooked me from the very first page. April manages to get herself in some hilarious situations, but it doesn't really feel like Mlynowski is throwing comedy at you. It's more of a subtle hilarity. There's no obnoxious laugh track telling you when to laugh, but you'll find yourself smiling and laughing to yourself the whole way through (so maybe you should make sure you're alone first.)

Normally the format of a book isn't something to get all excited about, but I loved all the little headers in each chapter. Some of them create nice transitions and some of them are just downright hilarious. They also broke up the chapters a little bit which was nice since they could be rather long. Not to say I would have been bored otherwise. There's definitely no room for boredom here. Another little extra I liked was inclusion of all the emails. It was just a nice little extra touch.

The characters are all the bomb. I don't even know where to start with anyone, just know that they are awesome.

I really love how Ten Things deals with serious issues in such a way that makes them funny, but doesn't make light of the situation.

Final Thoughts: So, not the most eloquent review, but the book is quite fantastic. This is a fantastic contemporary with all the makings of something awesome: a cat named Donut, a pink hot tub, Valentine's day shenanigans, and awesome parties.

Pages: 368
Series: No
Rating 5 stars

October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox {14}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

I’m starting to think I have some library disorder. I have a giant stack of books in already at home most of which are library books, but I decided to put some on hold anyway and apparently they weren’t very in demand at my library because five of them already came :P I suppose I’ll really need to get to reading.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (I am SO excited for this one. I haven’t read a good YA horror in quite some time.)

What did you get in you mailbox this week?