November 29, 2011

2012 YA Contemporary Challenge

The 2012 Contemporary YA Challenge is hosted by (my awesome big sis) Katie of Katie's Book Blog and Angela at Reading Angel. The books for the challenge must be published in 2012. The three levels are 5, 10, or 15+. (That was a pretty bad summary of the challenge, so you should definitely check out the main post :P)

At first I didn't really think I'd be able to do a contemporary challenge since I very rarely read them. I figured I'd look at my list of to-read 2012 debuts to figure out what level I'd be able to commit to. I checked my list thinking there'd be maybe five contemporaries, but to my surprise, there was 11 just on my debut to-reads alone. Needless to say, I felt like superman after that and signed up for the full 15+ :P

My tentative list of to-reads:
1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
2. Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
3. Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
5. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
6. Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
7. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
8. 52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody
9. Seven Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
10. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
11. The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams
12. Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
13. The Darlings in Love by Melissa Kantor
14. Life is But a Dream by Brian James
15. The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

November 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {6} + Tune in Tuesday {10}

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 topic is: Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter

1. Cute Holiday RomComs
Yeah, I know that's a cop-out pick, but I'm counting it. There's just so many that it would fill up my entire top ten :P Examples: Snowed In, Icing on the Lake, Snow in Love, and Secret Santa

2. Winter's Kiss bindup: The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols and The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Catherine Hapka
 This one kind of fits in with the category above, but I wanted to list it since it's coming out as cool new bindup in January :] Plus, I really need to read more Echols.

3. Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
I've been wanting to read this one for so long. I've finally decided that it's going to happen this winter. It simply must, especially since I haven't read any Maureen Johnson other than 13 Little Blue Envelopes and I haven't read any John Green whatsoever. I know, I'm a horrible book lover.

4. Bonechiller by Graham McNamee
And now I'm completely switching gears and throwing a scary book out there. Sometimes you just need a good scare on a cold day.

5. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
What could be more winter appropriate than a story based off the Snow Queen fairy tale?

6. Neversink by Barry Wolvertin
Okay, this one doesn't actually come out until March, but since that's still basically winter in Washington, it totally counts. Plus, it's set in the arctic and has both a walrus and a puffin. How cute is that?

7. The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi
Keeping with the middle grade theme (yes, a couple books in a row constitutes a theme) we have winter book basically because of the cover :P I don't have enough information to go off of to figure out the weather, but what the hey? I'm going to put it on this list and you're going to deal :P

 8. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Though this one takes place in a fictional place, it gets to count since it's around November (or at least partly). I love Maggie's writing and have really been looking forward to reading this one. Sadly, the mail has been stupid for about two weeks or so now and I still don't have it :[

9. Wintertown by Stephen Emond
First, I'm completely in love with this cover! It's so different and unique. This probably wouldn't usually be my type of read, but I've been hearing good things and I'm always intrigued by books with pictures. I don't have to explain the wintery-ness of this one though, do I? I mean, it's right there in the name...

10. Struck (Stupid Cupid bindup) by Rhonda Stapleton
And now I'm going to completely jump ahead to Valentine's Day. Come on, we all know this cover is cute. Who wouldn't want to read it? Plus it's about a matchmaking girl who's actually a cupid.

A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Publisher: Candlewick
Publish Date: August 2011
Source: Library
Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two-years when she is woken by a kiss.
Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight though the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose--hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire--is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat.
Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes--or be left without any future at all.

This book blew me away.

Okay, I know I need to say more than that, but I can't think of any words that could possibly do it justice. The writing and wording is absolutely beautiful. I mean, Sheehan describes those shivery tingles you get from a boy as spiders and I still thought it was spectacular.

Everything about this story was beautiful and heart-wrenching. I loved watching Rose grow-up and mature. She started out weak in both body and mind and became this amazing, strong-willed character. Xavier was just soo...yeah. Xavier didn't really tug on my heartstrings much, but what Rose felt for him sure did. The Xavier pieces of the story just absolutely broke my heart. And her parents. Ugh. Let's just say I hate them. Read the book and I'm sure you'll have similar feelings. Otto, my Otto. He may have yellow eyes and blue skin, but I think I love him :P It's amazing how much I could love a character who has no real voice. I was a little more iffy about Bren. I didn't like him much at the beginning, but he really grew on me. Sorry about all the character talk, but this was one of the rare times that I loved (or passionately hated) all the characters.

I love all the scifi elements in the story. The idea of having so much technology that stasis and interplanetary travel are possible boggles my mind, but I love to read about it. It was quite a lot to take in at the beginning, what with all the crazy technology and new slang, but I eventually caught on and after a while it wasn't so hard to follow.

Final Thoughts: Though it had a bit of a slow start, I absolutely adored A Long Long Sleep. If you're a little iffy about scifi, this book is a great introduction. There's a bit of romance (didn't seem too overpowering to me) and a bit of action, but it certainly isn't short on heart. This book broke my heart in a million pieces then put it back together again multiple times.

Pages: 352
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox {22}

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.)

Sorry for the super bad picture. My phone doesn't really take great pictures :P Some more contest winnings came in this week. I don't even have time to go to the library lately with all the stuff going on! Instead, all my books just keep becoming due without being read. It's rather lame.

Won from Erica at The Book Cellar:
Born Wicked (ARC) by Jessica Spotswood

Won from C.K. Kelly Martin:
My Beating Teenage Heart tshirt

November 25, 2011

2012 Books I'm Excited For (Series Edition)

There are SO many books I'm excited for in the coming year. I decided to do a little mini-series until the end of the year about all the books I'm looking forward to in 2012. This week's theme is Series.
Oh my goodness, there are a ton of sequels/books-in-a-series I'm excited for, and the list would be even longer had I read more of the 2011 debuts on my TBR. I'll see if I can keep this post from being a mile long :P

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Publish Date: January 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
I super loved Unearthly and since I read sometime during the summer, I've been looking forward to book two. The first was such a change from other angel books and hoping Hallowed keeps that uniqueness up :]

Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Publish Date: February 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Wither didn't leave us on too much of a cliffhanger, but that doesn't mean I wasn't left wanting more. The writing was just so beautiful and I'm really hoping to learn more about the dystopian world.

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Publish Date: March 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Oh. My. Gosh. That cliffhanger, seriously?!? I was bawling my eyes, barely able to read the pages, and then suddenly BAM, it was over. Needless to say, I need some more Lena, Alex, and deliria in my life, like, right now.

Fear (Gone #5) by Michael Grant
Publish Date: April 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
This series! I love this series so. Freaking. Much. I'm pretty sure I could never express my love for this series properly. Every book always leaves off on a cliffhanger, so I'm dying for the next one, of course. Like seriously, how can it get better than a dystopian with zero adults, superpowers, and evil forces? Please, I beg you, read this series.

Thumped (Bumped #2) by Megan McCafferty
Publish Date: April 2012
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Bumped was a refreshing dystopian. It wasn't at all dark despite the serious nature of the world. I look forward to jumping back in that world!

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publish Date: May 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Another dystopian series that I'm in love with. Are we surprised? Divergent absolutely broke my heart and I'm hoping Insurgent will mend it. I really want to learn more about the other factions since the ones which Tris doesn't belong to don't really get talked about.

Body and Soul (The Ghost and the Goth #3) by Stacey Kade
Publish Date: May 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
I don't hear people talk about this series often, but I really enjoy it. I'm so in love with Will (the goth) and I can't wait to see what kind of shenanigans Alona (the ghost) and him get into (and out of) in this one. I'm not usually all about the romance, but I love reading about Will and Alona's relationship :]

Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3) by Kiersten White
Publish Date: July 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
I adore this series! Evie and Lend...*sigh* For reals, though, I love how different this series is than other paranormals. Evie's not afraid to love pink and still kick-butt. She's not all "oh, help me, save me, woe is me" which is awesome. Plus, they're funny! When have you found a paranormal that was actually funny for more than 2 seconds?

Cover not final
The Kill Order (Maze Runner #0.5) by James Dashner
Publish Date: August 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
I'm sooooo excited for this one! I was quite content with how the Maze Runner series ended, but I'm hoping that this prequel will answer even more of the questions I was left with.

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan
Publish Date: September 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Eeeeeep!! Percy Jackson is the absolute bomb, I am not even kidding. This is the third book in the series and I'm really hoping we get Annabeth's point of view in this one.

Envy (Fury #2) by Elizabeth Miles
Publish Date: October 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
I was super happy when I found out Fury was a part of a series. I really enjoyed that subtle creepy factor and the ending really left me wanting more.

TGIF {8}

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:

When You're Not Reading: What occupies your time when your nose isn't stuck in a book?

Let me just warn you by saying I don't lead a very exciting life :P

Spinach "meat"balls
Something I've loved doing since I was young is cooking. I don't mind baking and I'll do it sometimes, but I definitely prefer cooking. I love to go in the kitchen and create something tasty out of these seemingly random things. I especially love to figure out how to vegetarianize things things to meet my fiance and I's eating habits. I actually planned to take up a career in cooking up until the beginning of this year. I was going culinary school when I suddenly realized that's not what I wanted to day every day for the rest of my life. I still love to do it at home, but I would much rather work with books as a full-time job :]
One of my recent favorites :]

The other thing you'd likely find me doing while not reading is playing video games. I love all things Nintendo :P I've never had a different game system brand/type. I love everything from Super Nintendo to Wii and everything in between. I'm a big fan of Marios, Donkey Kongs, and Zeldas. I also play a mean Tetris :P
The fiance and I

Other than that, I just enjoy spending time with my fiance and my adorable dog. We can be found watching movies and eating out (yes, this is a hobby) most nights :]

November 24, 2011

(Not) Turkey Day

Today I'm celebrating Thanksgiving with my fiance's family, vegetarian food, and the Macy's parade. I know you think it's appalling that I won't be eating turkey, but that's okay, I'll just eat enough Tofurkey for everyone instead :P Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope your day is spectacular :D
Anybody have any Thanksgiving traditions?

November 23, 2011

Cover Lover {22}

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 Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
Publish Date: April 24, 2012

I love how different this one is. It's definitely not your typical stock image. This is definitely one of those covers that catches my interest enough to want to know what it's about. My favorite part though? Most tweens probably haven't even seen a cassette before!

November 22, 2011

Tune In Tuesday {9}

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

I've decided it's perfectly fine to start in with the Christmas. Well, to be honest, I've been listening to it since mid-October, but I've decided it's okay to bring here now. I know Thanksgiving is still two days away, gosh darnit, I only get a couple months of the year for all things Christmas and I'm taking full advantage of it :P

Sleigh Ride - Relient K

Cold December Night - Michael Buble

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs? How about whole albums? Any you listen to every year without fail? 

November 21, 2011

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Publish Date: May 2011
Source: Library
The Ghost:
Okay, I admit it. I'm not perfect, no matter what you've heard. First off, I'm dead. Second, I got sent back from the Great Beyond. I mean, seriously, who is running things up there? Now I have to spend the summer after my senior year working--and on behalf of a bunch of whiny spirits, no less. But a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.
It's a good thing Will Killian is still around. Even though he drives me crazy, and he could seriously do with a tan--Hello! It's summer!--I'm glad he's here to help me. Correction: was here to help me. Now he's all distracted by this frizzy-haired girl who can--big deal--communicate with the dead, too. Whatever. I don't need Will. But there are some things--like saving my parents from a couple of horrible mistakes--that would be easier with his assistance. Still, I will get what I want...with or without him.
The Goth:
I'm still totally amazed that Alona Dare is my spirit guide and that it works. Yes, I've had a crush on her since sixth grade, but I also kind of hated her. And sure, she had to die before she'd talk to me--but I don't know, I kind of like having her around.
Things get confusing when I meet Mina, who's the first ghost-talker I've ever encountered (other than my dad). I always thought Alona and I were doing the right thing helping those other ghosts, but Mina has me thinking otherwise. Plus, she might know stuff about my dad that even my mom doesn't. But if there's one thing I should have learned by now, it's not to ignore Alona. That's never a good idea. 

Books in a series are always being compared to one another and it usually affects the rating. I do that too, don't get me wrong, but I almost don't think you can do that here. There's still ghosts and there's still Will, but Queen of the Dead is somehow different than the the previous book.

I'd say Queen of the Dead is not quite as light as The Ghost and the Goth was. It's uber dark or anything, but it's not completely humorous either. That being sad, I really don't want to base this books rating off of it's predecessor because they're different, but I really enjoyed both.

The characters are definitely my favorite part of the story. Alona can be mean, but she's also funny (though sometimes I don't think it's intended) and she really does have a heart. Will. Will, Will, Will. He's just so sweet and amazing. The way he cares about Alona just makes me want to shove her out of the way and make him care about me that way. There aren't so many random ghosts here as in the last book, but the few that did show up were fun.

Final Thoughts: Overall, Queen of the Dead was a fun, quick read. The romance is cute and way more realistic than most paranormal romances. I laughed, I smiled, I (almost) cried. Definitely pick this one up if you read the first (I'm SO excited for the next one!!!) and if you haven't read the first, pick that one up too. They're much lighter than your typical paranormal romance and I really enjoyed that.

Pages: 266
Series: The Ghost and the Goth #2
Rating: 4.5 stars

November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox {21}

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 is another no library week since the upcoming move is getting closer all the time. I don't want to accidentally pack away library books with my own, that would be very bad :P Instead, I got some more contest winnings and I'm oh so very excited about them. (Sorry about the bad quality of the picture. I had to take it with my phone.)

Won from Nancy at Tales of a Ravenous Reader:
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (signed!!)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (signed!!)

November 18, 2011

Sophomore Challenge 2012

Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit is hosting a new challenge this year: The Sophomore Challenge. Think of it as kind of an extension of the Debut Author Challenge. Remember all those debuts you loved from last year? All those first-in-a-series books and authors you fell in love with have another chance to shine this year through this challenge.

I kind of have two to-read lists for this challenge one is a list of books I for sure want to read and the other is a list of sequels which belong to 2011 debuts I desperately want to read but haven't gotten to yet. So kind of a to-read and a hope-to-(want)-to-read. There are currently 60 books on the goodreads list which you can find here: Sophomore Book List. The minimum goal is 10 books, but with that many (and more being added) I'm sure you can find plenty for a decent list! I definitely found a good amount of sophomores:

To Read:
1. Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
2. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
3. Fever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2) by Lauren DeSetefano
4. Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr
5. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
6. Envy (Fury Trilogy #2) by Elizabeth Miles
7. Revived by Cat Patrick
8. Black is the Color by Alexandra Bracken
9. Seven Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
10. The Right and Real by Joelle Anthony

(more) Tentative To Read:
1. A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
2. Mara Dyer #2 by Michelle Hodkin
3. Perception (Clarity #2) by Kim Harrington
4. A Fractured Light (A Beautiful Dark #2) by Jocelyn Davies
5. Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake
6. Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McCentire
7. Dearly, Beloved (Gone with the Respiration #2) by Lia Habel
8. The Lies That Bind (The Liar Society #2) by Lisa Roecker
9. Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin
10. Bad Hair Day (Kate Grable #2) by Carrie Harris

P.S. Notice all those sequels in there? Does anyone know about any series challenges? Because I have about a million other books in a series planned to read, but they aren't sophomores and I was hoping they'd count towards something.

November 17, 2011

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Publisher: Scholastic Point
Publish Date: March 2011
Source: Library
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother, who has supernatural gifts of his own, becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

I'm feeling rather conflicted about Clarity. It was an enjoyable read overall and I loved that it kept me guessing until the end, but there were a few things that really annoyed me.

First of all, Clarity. I understand the whole tough exterior/soft interior thing, but the "I-hate-you-I-love-you" thing with both guys was really annoying. I can see her side of it all, but I couldn't connect with it so it just made Clare seem all wishy-washy and annoying. She was also very conveniently dumb sometimes. I mean, there was a part towards the end where she was all "something's not right, but I can't figure it out" and it had to do with her powers! I mean, come on, her power is her thing, you know, she shouldn't be thrown off by something that is such a part of her.

I thought I had a problem with some little things here and there that just didn't seem to fit in with the story, but it is a mystery, after all, and everything did get cleared up nicely. That being said, there was a good amount of setup for the sequel and I'm quite looking forward to it. For all you cliffhanger haters out there, let me assure you that this one doesn't fall in that category. Like I said, everything wraps up nicely so it could be a standalone, but there's a good tease to leave you wanting to enter Clarity's small town of Eastport once again.

I quite loved the characters. Though I would absolutely hate having a mom who could read my thoughts, it made some very entertaining moments. Justin was really interesting too. I thought I was supposed to hate him, but then he was all gooey and sweet. I'm totally team Jason all the way :] Nate was a great sidekick/friend too and I'm really hoping for more of him in the sequel.

Final Thoughts: Though there were some things that annoyed me along the way, Clarity is definitely worth the read (especially since it's been optioned for a tv show!). It has a little paranormal with a mix of mystery and just a little dash of romance.

Pages: 242
Series: Clarity #1
Rating: 4 stars

November 16, 2011

Cover Lover {21}

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 Fracture by Megan Miranda
Publish Date: January 17, 2012

November 14, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {5}

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 is: Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read?

I don't actually have a lot of older books laying around on my shelves, but I do have a ton of unreads :P

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madelein L'Engle
I've never read anything particularly old. Before you ask, no, I haven't even read any of the classics. GASP. I know, get it out of your system, because thems the facts. A friend gave me this and told me to read it "when I got around to it." Yes, I silently laughed (who has time for old books with all the new ones??) but I truly do hope to get around to it sometime.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Obviously this one hasn't been on my shelf for that long, but it seriously feels like it. Everyone's been talking about since earlier this summer and for some reason it feels like the book's been sitting on my shelf for that long too.

3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Of course I want to read this. Scifi/fantasy IN SPACE?! Yes, I desperately want to read this, but my library addiction is keeping from reading the books I actually own. It's a terribly sad thing.

4. A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
I've heard such amazing things about this one and I'm dying to read it, especially with the sequel's recent cover reveal. That whole library addiction is rather pesky though...

5. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
I bought this one on impulse since I'd heard great things and Sweetly was due to come out soon. I have no idea when I'll get around to it as werewolves aren't usually my thing, but I do have actual plans to read it at some point.

6. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Earlier this summer Jennifer sent me Love Story along with this one for review. I read and loved Love Story, but I've yet to get around to this one even though quite a few people have told me it's their favorite Echol's book. I know, I can really fail at my book priorities.

7. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
I've heard some mixed reviews about this one so that combined with my already large stack of to-reads is keeping it glued to my shelf for now.

8. Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
I've been wanting to read this one since it came out back in 2008 and so when it was on sale at Borders I bought. And yet...there is sits, untouched on my shelf. It's a tragedy, I know.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Publish Date: October 2011
Source: Bought/Own
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his nam,e. His brain fuzz is lingerinf, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obediant daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem--when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery--although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely--enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Let me just get this out of the way right now: there's no way this will be a very articulate review as it's incredibly hard to convey the awesomeness that is Percy Jackson.

Can I just say that I'm officially in love with Percy Jackson? The Son of Neptune is the same deal as The Lost Hero with three different characters having their own chapters. I liked Frank and Hazel well enough, but I kept finding myself going "where's Percy? I want more Percy!" I just didn't connect with them as well as I have with past Percy characters.

If you love all the little bits of humor, learning about mythology, ans super crazy action the Percy Jackson books are known for, you won't be disappointed. And if you think you're not interested, I encourage you to read something by Rick Riordan to change your mind.

I was happy to see Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary, but I was kind of sad that a few of my other favorite characters didn't get to make an appearance (no, I'm not telling you who because that would spoil things). I also super loved that they were traveling through my home state. Yay for Washington and Amazon! Yeah, you'll have to read it to find out what that means too :P

The characters were great, the setting was awesome, there were some fantastic laugh-out-loud moments, but I did have a teeny tiny problem. Maybe I missed it somewhere along the lines, but they kept spending money and I don't remember where it came from. Like I said, small thing, but every time they bought something I thought about it.

Final Thoughts: I'm sorry I couldn't write a better review but all you really need to know is this: The Son of Neptune is seriously awesome!! If you haven't read The Lost Hero do that first, of course, but make sure you have this one on hand so you can get to it immediately!

Pages: 513
Series: Heroes of Olympus #2
Rating: 5 stars

November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox {20}

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 was just more contest winnings in the mail as I've recently discovered that with the wedding and moving date coming up, I can't really check anything else out from my library. It's not all bad though since this may help me get caught up on my reading pile :P Sorry about the crappy picture. It was late and I'm not too good at pictures anyway.

Won from Mandy at twimon101:
Enthralled anthology with some signed bookmarks

Won from Kate at Katie's Book Blog:
Envy by Gregg Olsen
Fear anthology
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block
Tighter by Adele Griffin
Plus about a bajillion bookmarks and that super cute one on top which she made :]

Won from Maggie at Bibliophilia - Maggie's Bookshelf:
A super awesome This Is Teen flashdrive which I believe has some author videos on it, but I haven't gotten the chance to plug it in yet. Also, a Scorpio Races postcard.

November 11, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge

I started my blog back in June and that's when I started noticing all these challenges around the blogging community. I didn't know what they were all about at first, but when I finally figured it out, I was super sad I wouldn't be able to join any until the new year. But the time has finally come!

The challenge I've been most looking forward to is the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren. The concept is pretty simple. You challenge yourself to read x amount of books by debut authors throughout the year. Throughout the main challenge there will be mini monthly challenges and somewhere along the lines there will be prizes (I would be more specific, but I don't actually know when yet).

There are 144 books on the Goodreads list so far, so there's plenty to choose from. So far, this is what my list of books I (hope) to read for the challenge:

1) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
2) Everneath by Veronica Rossi
3) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
4) Above by Leah Bobet
5) Fracture by Megan Miranda
6) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
7) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
8) Tempest by Julie Cross
9) The Glimpse by Claire Merl
10) Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
11) Slide by Jill Hathaway
12) Starters by Lissa Price
13) Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
14) Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
15) The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
16) The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
17) Level Two by Lenore Appelhans
18) Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
19) The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
20) Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
21) Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
22) Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
23) Crewel by Gennifer Albin
24) Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
25) Storybound by Marissa Burt
26) The Selection by Kiera Cass
27) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
28) Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
29) The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
30) Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
31) What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen
32) Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
33) Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
34) Mystique by Shari Arnold
35) Auracle by Ginni Rosati
36) Above World by Jenn Reese
37) Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
38) Cybernetic by Laura Riken
39) Defiance by C.J. Redwine
40) The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
41) Splintered by A.G. Howard
42) Chained by Lynne Kelly
43) Skylark by Meagan Spooner
44) Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Corell
45) This One Time With Julia by David Lampson
46) Touched by Corrine Jackson
47) The International Kissing Club
48) The Wheel by Lisa Stasse
49) Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
50) The Stalker Chronicles by Carley Moore
51) League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
52) Croak by Gina Damico
53) Undeadly by Michele Vail
54) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
55) The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
56) Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist
57) Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlan
58) Beauty by Lisa Daily
59) Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

So, yeah, there's quite a few books on this list :P It's unlikely that I'll get to them all next year, but we'll just have to wait and see, I suppose :]

TGIF {7}

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:
Love-Hate Relationship: Which characters from a book do you love to hate?

November 9, 2011

Cover Lover {20}

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 Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Publish Date: October 11, 2011

November 8, 2011

Mark It {1}

Mark It is a new weekly feature here at A Room with Books inspired by Makeshift Bookmark. It will feature all things bookmarks with topics ranging from some that I think are funny/interesting/cool to DIY bookmarks to things I find in library/used books.

This week I'm featuring some of my favorite bookmarks that live in my little bookmark can :]

First up, my bookmark holder:
Yeah, those stickers go all the way around my mini-can (which was once Folger's). I had an obsession with collecting those stickers from quarter machines when I was in middle school and at some point I stuck them all to this can and now they're just there :P

Now for some of my favorite bookmarks all the way from my elementary years to now:

Left to right
1) This is a wooden "bookworm". He has a cute little face and everything, though I've always been a little afraid to use it because it's so awesome and I don't want to break it :P
2) I got this cute guy at Half Price earlier this summer. I used it for a whole month without losing it, which, if you know me, is an incredibly feat! Another awesome thing about it? I supported WWF by buying it. Booyah!
3) This little guy, if you can't tell, used to be a frog. Do I really need to explain the awesomeness of a frog bookmark? Although he does have another awesome little thing about him. He used to say "Book It" but it got all rubbed off from use. Did anyone else have Book It or was that just me?
4) Not only does this have a super cute cat, but it also has my favorite quote ever (also the inspiration for my blog name): "A room without books is like a body without a soul."
5) This used to be my absolute favorite bookmark as a kid. You can't really tell, but it's a bunch of colorful beads on some clear, stretchy string stuff. You're supposed to wrap it around the book so that the clear bead-less part sits in between the two pages your on. Sorry if I'm a little confusing.
6) This one has the same quote as #4, but I also really love the design. The only thing that's odd, is it credits some other person for the quote besides Cicero. But it's just so pretty I don't want to get rid of it :P

And that's all I have this week. If you have any suggestion or find bookmarks or bookmark related things, send them my way at jasmineroster(at)gmail(dot)com

November 7, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: August 2011
Source: Library
It's winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year's even better -- the guy she's been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there's no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em's best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that's nothing compared to what's really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it's only a matter of time before he's exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls -- three beautiful, mysterious girls -- are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.

I'm not at all sure how I feel about Fury. The story was done well, but there were some...unpleasant (my attempt to not be a spoiler) things I wasn't a fan of simply because they weren't pleasant. Yeah, I like a good pleasant story sometimes. That being said, I think the unpleasantries were good for the story. Okay, I'm done being all weird and cryptic now.

The characters were a great fit for the story, but that's not the same as likable. In fact, I really wasn't a fan of a lot of the characters. I hated Zack and I really wasn't a fan of Emily. They both got under my skin and just completely irked me off. The other characters weren't so bad but I didn't really like them either, well, except for JD. I really liked JD and wished there's been more of him.

The writing was great. It had a touch of creepiness, but it wasn't really scary. The snowy, Maine setting really brought an unexpectedly eerie feeling I never would have thought of. It took a little bit to get into Fury part of the story, but the set-up isn't at all boring.

Final Thoughts: While I was hoping for a little different outcome, this was a fantastic start to the trilogy. The creepy factor is subtle but spectacular. You may not believe me, but the crappy characters make for a really good story (crappy as in generally unlikable and not badly written).

Pages: 352
Series: The Fury Trilogy #1
Rating: 4 stars

November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox {19}

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 was really good this week and managed to come home from the library without anything. It was rather difficult to stay away from all the books, but I got quite enough in the mail to make up for it. This was the week of contest winnings so it was a rather enjoyable mail week :]

Courtesy of Pitch Dark Books and Anna from Anna Reads:
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey [I'm super excited for this one. Zombies with a can I say no?]
Eve by Anna Carey [Dystopian!!! Yeah, I really love that genre, guys. It's an addiction.]
Fateful by Claudia Grey

Courtesy of Cindy of Princess Bookie:
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas

Thanks also to HarperTeen, Harlequin Teen, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) :]

November 5, 2011

The Book I'm Most Thankful For (and the "why" you weren't expecting)

The book I'm most thankful for is Harry Potter. Now, it's probably not for the reasons you're thinking. It didn't introduce me to YA because I've always been reading YA (well, ever since I graduated from MG, but I'm not sure when that was :P). It wasn't my best friend growing up as all the books were banned from my house. No, the reasons I'm thankful for this book is another reasons entirely. Obviously these books were always around, but they really came into my life when I started dating my fiance. It was a time when I was struggling to find myself without even knowing it. I was always pretty happy with who I was, but I didn't realize that a lot of my beliefs and ways of thinking were simply inherited from my mom. When I started reading The Sorcerer's Stone and I was once again told I "wasn't allowed to read those books" (this was at 17, mind you) I realized that I was my own person and I needed to start stepping up for what I believed in. These books helped me learn to stand on my own two feet and I'm eternally grateful for that.

Now the reason for this oh so random post:
Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, is hosting an absolutely HUGE contest. Seriously, guys, this contest is amazing. You can find the details here: Awesome Contest
And now I shall leave you with this super cool graphic.

November 4, 2011

Book Art

Book art has been popping up all over the place recently. I've seen everything from sculptures to dresses and I find it all fascinating. I know sometimes it can be kind of hard to see books used in such a way when you're a book lover, but how can you not think these are awesome?

I love that this one is 1)cut from that very book and 2) is a sculpture about a book from a book. It's kind of mind-boggling.

This one is awesome for obvious reasons. I mean, it's a giant octopus (a kracken?).

I love the way you're looking in on this one and how whole pieces are kept in place.

This is a DRESS! Seriously, it has to me one of the coolest dresses on the planet and I totally wish I had it. Although it wouldn't be very good on a rainy day :P

I've actually seen quite a few of these word ones, but they're really neat. I actually saw some that said "Twilight" and "Eclipse" and it was extra cool since they were made from those books.

I'm not entirely sure what's going on with the screen, but this one is absolutely awesome. Not only is it fantastic on its own, but it has some good symbolism going for it too.

And as if that wasn't enough, there are some really amazing things here: More Cool Paper Stuff