Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Best Books:

1. Easy by Tammara Webber

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

3. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
4. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

5. Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

6. Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard

7. Bang by Lisa McMann

8. With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

9. Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

10. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Best Novellas:

11. Darla's Story by Mike Mullin

12. Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

13. Undone by Elizabeth Norris

14. The Transfer by Veronica Roth

What were your favorite books you read this year?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge

This challenge is to help motivate you to read the last books in the series that you haven't finished. It is hosted by Somewhere Only We Know and
 Words Fueled by Love.

It will run from January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. Any genre, length, or format is acceptable as long as it is the las book in a series.

Check out the sign up post for more info and to join the challenge.

I'm going to go for Level 2: 5-10 series enders
  1. Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
  2. Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant
  3. Sunrise by (Ashfall #3) Mike Mullin
  4. Oblivion (Nevermore #3) by Kelly Creagh
  5. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
  6. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
  7. Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre
  8. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
  9. The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
  10. Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
I might add a couple more later, but these are the main ones I'd like to get to.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2014 Ebook Reading Challenge

The 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge is hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. This challenge will run from January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it's in ebook form.

I'm signing up for the DVD level - 25 ebooks.

Go here to find out more about this challenge and to sign up.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

The 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is hosted by Bookish. The challenge will last from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2014. Any genre, length, or format of book counts. Books must be released in 2013 or earlier. I'm hoping that I will do a lot better with this challenge next year than I did this year.

I have a lot of books on my shelves that I need to read, so I'm going to go for Sweet Summer Fling - 31-40 books. I'll add the list of books later.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mark of Athena by Rick RIordan

Book: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
# of Pages: 574 (Hardcover)
Challenge: September is for Sequesls Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....

My Thoughts:

I just love reading Rick Riodan's books. This one is narrated by four characters: Percy, Annabeth, Leo, and Piper.

I was so happy that we finally get to see things from Annabeth's perspective. Her mother sets her the task of following the Mark of Athena which is not only dangerous but Annabeth must complete it alone. Percy is used to being the leader on quests learns to rely on and work with his friends as a team. I've liked Leo from the beginning. His ability to create gadgets on the spot is awesome. And Piper is cleverer than she gives herself credit for. 

Even though the Greeks and Romans are enemies, I was impressed by how well the demigods got along. We meet new gods, goddesses, and creatures. And the demigods experience some pretty memorable mini adventures along their journey to the Ancient Lands.

Overall, The Mark of Athena was a fun, action-packed read with a cliffhanger ending that will leave you with your mouth hanging open. I'm so glad the sequel comes out next week!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Book: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Pages: 568 (Hardcover)
Challenge: September is for Sequels Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:

Clockwork Princess was absolutely amazing! The story just kept getting better and better with every page, and I loved every moment of it.

I admit that I did not care much for Will at the beginning of this trilogy, but after reading Clockwork Princess, I have come to love him just as much as Jem. Tessa's identity is revealed as well as her importance to Mortmain. I did have my doubts before reading this that I would be left with questions, but I am happy to say that that was not the case. I was very satisfied with how things came together.

This book had everything: action, suspense, unexpected twists. Seriously the best book in the trilogy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Hunger (Gone #2) by Michael Grant

Spark (Elemental #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

Cross My Heart, Hope to Die and Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard

All the Harry Potter sequels by J.K. Rowling

Rage Within (Dark Inside #2) by Jeyn Roberts

Monday, September 16, 2013

Top Ten Books on My Fall 2013 TBR Pile

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins
A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark #1) by Jocelyn Davies
Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan
Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

What books are on your Fall TBR Pile?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September is for Sequels Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature. The goal is to read and review at least 4 sequels between September 1-30. It can be any # book in a series except for the first.

My goal is to read 5 books.

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
2. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
3. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
4. Impostor by Jill Hathaway
5. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

August Wrap Up & September TBR Pile

Books Read in August:
The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Going Dark by Robison Wells
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

September TBR Pile:
finish Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

What will you be reading this month?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard

Book: Seven Minutes in Heaven (The Lying Game #6)
Author: Sara Shepard
# of Pages: 371 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
My sister wants the truth.

But sometimes the truth hurts.

For months, my long-lost twin, Emma, has been living my life and trying to solve my murder. She's unearthed dark secrets about my friends, my family, and my tangled past. But when it comes to finding my killer, she keeps running into dead ends.

Until my body shows up in Sabino Canyon. Suddenly everyone knows there are two girls who look like Sutton Mercer—and that one of them is dead. At first the police assume the body is Emma's. But as questions and accusations start flying, it's harder than ever for Emma to keep playing me. The truth is bound to come out eventually. And when it does, Emma will be suspect number one in my murder investigation. If she can't find my killer before time runs out, she'll end up behind bars . . . or worse.

Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, finally reveals the shocking truth about Sutton's murder in this riveting novel about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

My Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed this series. Even more so that Shepard's PLL series. And the final book was no different.

I have known for a while who the murderer is, but finding out why this particular person did it made me cringe and scream at my book for Emma to run. This person was twisted and clever and made a pretty impressive villain.

Emma is very desperate to find Sutton's killer. Yet at the same time she is terrified about what said killer is capable of. Emma demonstrates great strength in this book despite all the obstacles that are thrown at her. 

This book was creepy and full of suspense. It kept me reading well into the night. At one point, I even cried. I just wish there had been some kind of epilogue Six Months Later/ One Year Later just to show how Emma was coping after all the craziness that she had to endure. 

I really liked getting to know these characters, and I am sad that this series has ended. But, I will definitely be visiting it again.

Overall, Seven Minutes in Heaven was a great ending to a fantastic series. 

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Book: Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #4)
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
# of Pages: 290 (ebook)
Challenge: 2013 Ebook Challenge, 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Rating: 1.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

My Thoughts:

The final installment of the Caster Chronicles series was underwhelming to say the least.

After the ending of Beautiful Chaos, I was expecting a interesting and suspenseful story. But alas, I'm surprised I even finished the book.

This book is different from the other thee in the series. Instead of Ethan narrating the whole thing, it's split up into three parts. Ethan narrates the first and third while Lena narrates the second.

Ethan, who at the beginning of the series was smart and strong, really disappointed me. Most of the time he just complained about not being able to be with Lena. Yes, I get that he is in a very frustrating situation, but it was impossible to sympathize with someone who wouldn't stop whining.

As for Lena, well, I stopped liking her after the first book in the series, and in this book, she did not do anything to redeem herself, not for me anyway. She was selfish and careless and really got on my nerves. It really should have been Link or John Breed narrating that part of the book.

The one character that really stood out for me in this book was Link. I've always liked him and was glad to see that he got to play a vital role in this book.

Once again we come close to discovering John Breed's parentage and identity, and once again we hit a dead end. I though John Breed was a fascinating character, and not getting a good background story about him really bothered me. It felt like the authors did not think he was important enough to get proper back stories like some of the other characters.

There were a few fighting scenes, but they were all so blah. A big deal was made about how "evil" the villains were, but to be honest I found them dull. Also, I wish more information about the Greats had been revealed. They play a key part in the series as a whole, but we only ever learn specifics about one of them. What about the others?

Overall, this book just did not do anything for me. It's the last book in the series, but there were just so many things that were not fully explained. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Book: Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3)
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
# of Pages: 379 (ebook)
Challenge: 2013 Ebook Challenge, 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

My Thoughts:

Although Beautiful Chaos did have its ups and downs, I liked it more than Beautiful Darkness.

In this book, everything is falling apart because of what happened during Lena's Seventeenth Moon. Ethan and the others try to figure out what needs to be done to make things go back to normal. And although I liked the apocalypse aspect of the story, I could not help but feel that a couple things were pretty predictable.

We do learn about Sarafine's history. And though it is pretty interesting, I feel like it should have been revealed earlier in the series. We also get to know John Breed better. There are hints about what his is and his parentage, but they are never specified. At the beginning of the book, Macon and Liv have a theory about John and Lena, which I thought was pretty intriguing, but it is never brought up again. This frustrated me. Why was it brought up if it wasn't going to be incorporated into the story?

Also, the actual Caster Chronicles is finally introduced. But, it is given such a simple description and focused on for only a couple sentences, that had the series not been named after it, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. This too should have been brought up earlier in the series.

The pacing of the story was pretty stop and go. There was just too much description in some places, and it felt like it took me forever to get through it.

Overall, Beautiful Chaos was a good book, but there was nothing about it that really made it stand out and it left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

Friday, August 2, 2013

August TBR Pile

  1. I am finally out of the reading slump I've been in for the past couple months, and am hoping to get a lot read this month.
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Plus, I have 3 books that I've already started that I really need to finish.

What books are you planning to read this month?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Book: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
# of Pages: 215 (Hardcover)
Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .

My Thoughts:

If you have not read Monument 14, there may be spoilers.

Sky on Fire picks up right where Monument 14 ended. Dean and a couple of the other kids stay behind at Greenway, while his brother, Alex, and the rest set out into the outside world with its compound infused air that affects each blood type differently.

I really liked how the chapters were set up. The story was told by both Dean and Alex giving insight into what is happing within the Greenway store as well as the world beyond its walls. This book is definitely darker than the first with some unexpected twists. We do get to know some of the characters better. I did like Sahalia more in this book. But, I'm still not entirely sure about Astrid. She has her moments when she can be nice, while at others she is bitchy.

There were a couple things that did bother me though. This was a short book, but the pacing was quite slow, and it took me over a week to finish it. Also, there were things that the younger kids said that I just could not picture five, six, seven-year-old kids ever saying.

Overall, Sky on Fire was a good book, but I just kept hoping for something revolutionary would happen, but it never did. There is not a cliffhanger ending, but there is going to be a third book in the series. It will be interesting to see where Emmy Laybourne takes her story next.