Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Title: Altered (Altered #1)
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover; 323pg
ISBN: 0316197084
Source: Library
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

Synopsis:
When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.



The story centers around Anna. Anna is the daughter of a scientist for the Branch. The Branch is a sort of secret government agency that is, of course, pure evil. Anyways, the project Anna and her father have been working on involves daily "studies" of the four boys locked in the basement behind glass walls. Anna found them when she was young and has been there ever since. The boys are Cas, Trev, Nick and Sam. Sam is the love interest of Anna. Now, although Sam sounds super hot and protective and bad ass, I am interested to see how his relationship with Anna will play out.

I thought this story was original and very interesting. It kept my rapt attention throughout which is extremely difficult to do. The characters were well written. They all had distinct personalities and voices to be heard. I loved the whole mystery of the past of the boys. And I loved how the clues were presented. There are twists and turns at all the right places in this book. It really makes it hard to put down! I will most definitely be trying to keep up with this series.

4 stars to Altered by Jennifer Rush.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Think Out Loud #59: I Forgot My Phone.


Hey everybody!
Welcome to Think Out Loud!
This is a meme I host on Thursdays
where you can post 
Whatever YOU Want!!!
It is really fun.
I know everyone in the blogging world is also super busy in real life.
But, I would still love to see more people participate and link up their
own Think Out Loud posts. It's kinda a dream of mine...

Anyways!
This week I stumbled upon a short film called
It is extremely thought provoking and I 
recommend it highly. 
I originally found it at Gawker.
But, it is by CharStarlene on Youtube.







Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

Title: Icons (Icons #1)
Author: Margaret Stohl
Published: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0316205184
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover; 428pg
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

Synopsis:

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.


REVIEW

I have yet to read the Beautiful Creatures series (even though it's on my Kindle lol), but I knew that as an author Margaret Stohl was extremely hyped up. I wanted to see if she was worth the hype. I probably should have started with Beautiful Creatures though and will definitely try to read it someday. However, I wasn't really impressed with Icons.

On "The Day", an alien race came and conquered Earth, killing millions of people in an instant. Now, the "Lords" keep a tight hold on the humans, basically forcing them into slavery. Which is about all I got out of this book. Stohl didn't go into much detail about anything at all. Such as the "Icon Children" which I know are special and have unique gifts but what they are is somewhat of a mystery to me. Maybe it will be revealed in Book two?

The general writing was done well enough. This was perhaps my favorite statement in the whole book...
"I am powerful because of who and what I am. Not because of who I am not. I'm not going to apologize for what I feel."

The relationships felt extremely forced and the "love triangle" made no sense to me. The story was sluggish and drawn out. I kept reading because I really thought it had a lot of potential from the synopsis, however, Icons did not live up to the hype for me. It was definitely lacking something.

2 stars to Icons.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teaser Tuesday #20: You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays,
hosted by
Just share a few sentences from your current read!
Then post your link in the comments at
Should Be Reading.

 This weeks Teaser:

Mother sighs. "Maybe not, but you still have to go through it, society expects it. You'll have a new owner soon."
    She's right. A warlock could ask to buy me at any time. There's nothing I can do about it. I follow mother from the room, bowing my head with the hope that it will keep further attention from me. But it's too late to hope. I will always be owned.


This was from the First Chapter of 
You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor!
I have been dying to dive into this book.
I hope it continues its awesomeness...

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0: Wrap-Up!!



Hello everyone!!
Welcome to my Wrap-Up post for
Bout of Books 8.0!

This was the best I have done so far in a Read-A-Thon!
I finished 1.25 books!
My goal was 1 book so I am happy with that.

I read 100+ pages of
Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

and completed

I participated in a few challenges and tried
to post on blogs daily. 
If you want to see my progress as it went along,
here are my separate posts.

Day 2 - Update
Day 3 -  Update
Day 4 - Update
Day 5 - Update

So, how did you do?
I would love to know!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 5: Bout of Books 8.0 Update

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Day 5 of Bout of Books 8.0!
Here is an update on how I am doing so far...

Currently Reading: The Earth Dwellers (Dwellers #4) by David Estes











Percentage/Pages Read: Started at 20% for today; ended at 40%!!

Books Completed: 1 - Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

The Day #in6words: We are the champions, my friends.

Challenges Completed: 0

Blogs commented on: 10

So, how are you doing!

Book Blogger Hop #9: Blog Management


Welcome to the 
Book Blogger Hop!
It is hosted by
Just post an answer to the weekly
question, then link back up!

QUESTION:
Book blogging is more than just reading...
Who helped you set up or run your blog?
Or did you do it all yourself?

ANSWER:
I am very proud to say that everything on 
this blog is done by me!
I have been teaching myself HTML and
am always trying to figure out ways to 
improve my blog. So, of course,
there have been quite a few changes over a year!
But, hopefully, everyone enjoys my site
as much as me!






Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 4: Bout of Books 8.0 Update











Hello!
Welcome to the 4th day of Bout of Books 8.0!
Here is the update on how I did for Day 3...

Currently reading:


The Earth Dwellers (Dwellers #4) by David Estes








Percentage/Pages Read: I went from 7% on The Earth Dwellers to 20%!!!

Books Completed: Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

The day #in6words: Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

Challenge completed: TBR by Musings of a Bookshop Girl

Blogs commented on: 0


So, how did you do?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Think Out Loud #58: Bigger On The Inside


Hello everyone!
Welcome to Think Out Loud!
My weekly meme I post on Thursdays.
You can post anything you want!

This week I have a new song from 
Amanda Palmer.
It is called
"Bigger On The Inside"
and it is heart-breaking.
So, hate to be depressing this week,
but I think this is something that needs to be shared.
I am going to try to include the lyrics under the video.
Warning: I cry every time I listen to this...

Amanda Palmer - Bigger On The Inside


Lyrics;
You'd think I'd shot their children
From the way that they are talking
And there's no point in responding
'Cause it will not make them stop.

And I am tired of explaining
And of seeing so much hating
In the very same safe havens
Where I used to just see helping

I've been drunk and skipping dinner
Eating skin from off my fingers
And I tried to call my brother
But he no longer exists

I keep forgetting to remember
That he would have been much prouder
If he saw me shake these insults off
Instead of getting bitter

I am bigger on the inside
But you have to come inside to see me
Otherwise you're only hating
Other people's low-res copies

You'd think I'd learn my lesson
From the way they keep on testing
My capacity for pain
And my resolve to not get violent

But though my skin is thickened
Certain spots can still be got in
It is typically human of me
Thinking I am different

To friends hooked up to hospital machines
To fix their cancer
And there is no better place than from this
Waiting room to answer

The French kid who wrote an e-mail
To the website late last night
His father raped him and he's scared
He asked me "How do you keep fighting?"

And the truth is I don't know
I think it's funny that he asked me
'Cause I don't feel like a fighter lately
I am too unhappy

You are bigger on the inside
But your father cannot see
You need to tell someone, be strong
And somewhere some dumb rockstar truly loves you.

You'd think I'd get perspective
From my few years by the bedside
It is difficult to see the ones I love
So close to death

All their infections and prescriptions
And the will to live are all in question
Can I not accept that my own problems
Are so small?

You took my hand when you woke up
I had been crying in the darkness
We all die alone but I am so, so glad
That you are here

You whispered "We are so much bigger on the inside,
You, me, everybody
Some day when you're lying where I am
You'll finally get it truly"

We are so much bigger
Than another one can ever see
But trying is the point of life
So don't stop trying

Promise me.






Review: Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: March 19, 2013; 570pg
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN13: 9781416975908
Source: Purchased
Purchase:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Book Depository

Synopsis:

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

REVIEW

Sometimes, it seems harder for me to review a book I loved than one I didn't. I have been pondering for days what to write in my review for Clockwork Princess and am still no closer to coherent thought. Everything that pops into my head would be a spoiler in my review. And I really detest spoilers in reviews! But, I am going to try to give it another shot. So, here goes nothing!

Basically, Tessa Gray, a shape-shifter of unknown origins, is desired by the evil Mortmain to complete his plans. Mortmain has raised a clockwork army in the hopes of destroying Shadowhunters. Well, Shadowhunters don't take kindly to people hell bent on destroying them. And two Shadowhunters in particular, Will and Jem, are both in love with Tessa and will do anything to protect her.

Will and Jem. Jem and Will. Oh, poor Tessa having to choose between these two men. She is engaged to a dying Jem and loves him dearly. But she is also in love with Will and the poor girl is just beside herself with guilt and worry. I won't tell you what happens, but all is well in the end!

This book was exquisite. I loved the characters, who are all very endearing. Even the Lightwood brothers kind of got on my good side by the end. The plot was brilliant. I had no idea what was going to happen next and was so sad when I finished this book, because well, that was the end. But, I did LOVE the way the book ended!

This book is now one of my favorites. Personally, I think it is the best writing that Clare has done yet. Good thing there is another Mortal Instruments book coming soon or I might have really been upset! Oh, I need to read the Magnus Bane stories too. I bet they rock because everyone loves Magnus!

Ok, that's probably enough from me!

5 stars to Clockwork Princess!



Day 3: Bout of Books 8.0 Update











Hello!
Welcome to the 3rd day of Bout of Books!
Here is how I did on Day 2...


Currently reading:

Percentage/Pages read: I finished Icons by Margaret Stohl. Read from page 317 to 428! 100+ pages!
I am also just about 7% into The Earth Dwellers!

Books completed: Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

The day #in6words: I'm trying to keep on truckin!

Challenges completed: Re-Title it @ Music Plus Books

Blogs commented on:
1. Reading The Paranormal
2. Queen Ella Bee Reads
3. Book Beats
4. Gaga Over Books
5. I Read, Ergo I Write
6. You Book Me All Night Long
7. Heydor Reads
8. A Librarian's Library
9. Bemused Bookworm
10. A Daydreamer's Thoughts

Whew!
I'm doing better than I usually do so that's awesome!
How are you doing??

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 - Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of Bout of Books 8.0!!
This post will review how I am doing on my goals.

Monday August 19, 2013
Currently reading:

Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl
Format: Hardcover








Percentage/pages read: I read in spurts of time yesterday. I am positive I met my hour a day goal if you add them all up. LoL. I think I read about 100+ pages yesterday. I ended on page 317 last night. 

Books completed: Zilch at this time.

The Day in 6 words: Try not, only do. Wise Yoda.

Challenges Completed: I completed 1 challenge. 

Blogs commented on: Only commented on 1 blog yesterday. Awful! I'm gonna try to double up today if that is humanly possible! 

So, how did you do?
I would love to know so please comment!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Giveaway! Clear Your Shelf 2013!


Hello all!
Welcome to the Clear Your Shelf
Giveaway Hop!
It is hosted by Bookhounds and
This hop is for print books only 
and is a way to pass on your previously read books.

So, you are probably wondering what my giveaway is for...

Well, I have a ton of books that need new homes.
That's why I have decided that the winner can
pick 2 of the books below!
This is a US only Giveaway!


[Click image to go to Goodreads page]

1. The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly
2. The Unseen - It Begins and Rest in Peace by Richie Tankersley Cusick
3. Nasty by Simon Doonan
4. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

[Click image to go to Goodreads page]

5. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson by Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour
6. Hell by Robert Olen Butler
7. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
8. Swipe (Swipe #1) by Evan Angler

[Click image to go to Goodreads page]

9. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
10. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
11. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
12. The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts



13. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
14. By Cunning and Craft by Peter Selgin





Sunday, August 18, 2013

Showcase Sunday #10: The Forsaken

Hello all!
Welcome to Showcase Sunday,
a meme hosted by
It's a great way to see what everyone has
been up to this week!



And now on to the books I recently purchased!
All of these were either Kindle Daily or Monthly Deals!

Title: The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1)
Author: Lisa M. Stasse

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.




Title: REAMDE
Author: Neal Stephenson

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.

For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center.

In this edgy, 21st century tale, Neal Stephenson, one of the most ambitious and prophetic writers of our time, returns to the terrain of his cyberpunk masterpieces Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, leading readers through the looking glass and into the dark heart of imagination.


Title: The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2)
Author: Rae Carson

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.
Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.

For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center.

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.


I hope everyone had a great week!
Don't forget to comment!

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