Monday, July 30, 2012

Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
 Welcome to this week’s edition of TTT! *announcer voice* This week we’re talking about characters we’d like to switch places with for 24 hours…a tough one, I know. Mainly because while a lot of characters have some advantage (certain powers, a hot boyfriend, a wealthy uncle…you get the point) most of them also have disadvantages. Like being tracked down, shot at, or just having a generally crappy life. But then again, this is only 24 hours. J So here’s my list:
1) Maximum Ride (The Maximum Ride series) Because it’d be cool to have wings. Ok, and Fang is a big plus, too. Fax FTW!
2)Tris (Divergent) Because Four is hot. Come on, admit it. You think so too. *wink*
 3) Hadley Sullivan (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) Because I’d get 24 hours with Oliver; 7 of those hours squeezed in tight quarters on an airplane over the Atlantic.
4) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) Because I think I’d mildly enjoy making Gale jealous with Peeta. *smirk*
5)  Finley (There You’ll Find Me) Because who doesn’t want a hot movie star staying at the same bed and breakfast as you and vying for your attention in picturesque Ireland?
6) Claudia (Incarceron) Because I’ve always wanted a friend like Jared.
7) Emma (The Future of Us) Because I’d love to see my future Facebook statuses. I’d sit there refreshing the stinkin’ page all day long like some rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth maniac.
8) Lydia (Pride and Prejudice) Because I’ve always wondering if she gets some sort of high when she annoys people. It would be fantastic to get to be that irritating.
9) Hannah Ward (Bunheads) Because I’m kind of fascinated with the ballet world at the moment.

  

10) Gandalf (LotR) Because I like his pointy hat. I think I’d get tired of the scratchy beard, though…
What’s your TTT? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll pop over and check it out!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway: Jabin and the Space Pirates


Published: June 1st, 2012

Publisher: Taylor Street


Pages: 294


Rating: 3/5

In the space colony of New Wales, the pirate attacks are both relentless and merciless.


Having lost both his parents, Jabin has been adopted by his austere and spiteful uncle and aunt who live in the space colony of New Wales which is riven with religious and political rivalry, and prey to the vicious marauding of pirates whose cruelty and greed are beyond all imagination.


When Jabin volunteers to surrender himself to a pirate raiding party to save a friend, he does so believing that nothing can be worse than his current suffering.

However, he is soon to discover that things can always get worse when the stakes are high, the rewards are vast and slave labor is there for the taking.


When the King of New Wales is assassinated, the colony threatens to collapse into total anarchy, leaving the pirates free reign to mutilate, kill and profit as they will, but the forces of law and order sent out from Earth are getting ready to fight back, and Jabin could have a vital part to play in the ensuing war if he can only stay alive. [Desciption from Goodreads]


Review:


This was one of those books that I read, finished, then sat back and tried to decipher how I felt about it. I’m still not quite sure. This was the first YA sci-fi novel that I’ve read… ever (yeah, I know, I need to widen my horizons a bit), so this genre is new to me. I’m not quite sure what to think of this book, but I’ll do my best to get my thoughts out.

Jabin and the Space Pirates is a futuristic sci-fi, and to be honest, it reminded me a lot of Star Wars in that there is life off-planet as well as on, and there is a lot of military content. There’s a fight for power between government and pirates. Something that was unique, though, was the slave trade aspect. I didn’t especially like this aspect, mainly because of the disturbing content (raping, beating, etc) but on the bright side, this aspect revealed how truly nasty the villain was.


The book starts out with Jabin living in a pious community with his cold aunt and uncle. We’re told that Jabin has been passed from relative to relative ever since his mother disappeared. He’s been unhappy in each place, and especially here with his strict aunt and uncle. One mistake for him results in missed meals, and the extreme (and sometimes superficial) spirituality of the community and the church annoy and confuse Jabin. When a ruthless pirate overtakes the community and swipes several young people (including Jabin) for slavery, Jabin is both anxious and relieved. His belief is that his situation can’t get any worse, and neither will it get better. But his cruel pirate master is nothing but mild with his slaves. Jabin, as well as many others, are beaten into complete submission. Girls are raped by several men and traded off when they become boring.


I won’t lie; the content really disturbed me. I was surprised this book was listed as young adult with all the troubling content that it contains. I even considered stopping, but I felt I couldn’t review it with the amount that I had read so far. So I finished it. I can’t say I truly enjoyed it- it was interesting at some parts, but other parts were confusing (the author didn’t explain certain aspects of her story; weapons and other things were mentioned and no explanation was given as to what she was talking about). All the military ranks and content got a little muddled, but that was just me. It cleared up once I got all the characters’ names and ranks straight. There were some slight grammatical errors, but that’s understandable as this is a debut novel.


All in all, I felt that this book had its high moments, but then it would get a bit tiresome and dull again. Jabin eventually helps out the government in the war, but what he did didn’t feel like a big accomplishment. He comforted the young king when they were locked in a closet. Not that big of a deal. I felt that it lacked a climax, and when I finished, I was confused as to what meaning the whole book had. It’s obvious the author tried to dive into her characters and let us get to know them, but I felt it only scratched the surface. It failed to entertain me and keep me interested, and the disturbing content proved to repulse me enough to want to stop reading. It just wasn’t for me. I feel like this novel was a good first try, but not good enough.


Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*


Language: Moderate- Heavy (Characters curse throughout, using a variety of words)


Violence: Moderate- Heavy (Mention of a man’s head being shot. Other instances of shooting. Slaves are beaten. Jabin has a gold disk put in his ear to “mark” him as a slave.)


Sexual: Moderate (Slave girls are raped- no description.)


Interview with the author, Bev Allen


Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I’m married and I have two grown up children. I live in a small market town deep in the English shires, and when I’m not writing, I’m either quilting or working as an administrator for a small charity involved in military history research.


Awesome! Sounds like you have a very cozy home. I’d give anything to live in the English countryside. When did you start writing? What/who was your influence for writing Jabin and the Space Pirates?


I think I may have been about five when I first committed thoughts to paper; fortunately this epic has not survived.


I’ve never been a huge fan of what people call “chick lit” (btw, I hate that expression), even as a little girl I preferred what was then called “boy’s stories” as opposed to those written with girls in mind.


“Jabin” came from a number of sources, the sci-fi pulp adventure stories I have always loved and the military history which has been a big part of my life.


I wanted to write the sort of story I would have loved as a teenager, and if I’m honest, still love, but I wanted a hero who could reflect some of the problems many teenagers face in today’s society.


I think all stories come from things the authors love or something they’ve learned from. It’s what makes the stories theirs. Mentioning your hero, how would you describe your main character, Jabin?


Courageous and self-loathing. Courageous, because he may be frightened and unhappy, but he never entirely gives up, he always reaches deep down inside himself to find a tiny nugget of valor.


Self-loathing, because he has had any self-worth knocked out of him, he thinks all the bad things which happen to him are his fault and he must therefore be a bad person. He’s wrong of course, but I think it’s a feeling many have experienced.


I agree, I see those two qualities in him clearly. It was fascinating seeing Jabin grow and work through his problems as the story progressed. What was most difficult about writing a futuristic sci-fi novel?


The laws of physics. Life would be so much easier if it wasn’t for the fixed speed of light. I am afraid I overcome this by simply ignoring it as do most pulp sci fic writers. We happily throw in words like “ion drive” in the hope you won’t notice we have no idea how anyone could get to another star system in the space of a couple of weeks.


Haha! I can’t imagine writing in that genre. It would be so difficult. What message do you want readers to take from your book?


This may sound trite, but I mean it- never give up on love. Both receiving it and giving it. “And now these three remain, faith hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.”


That’s a great theme, especially for young adult books. Can you tell us about any future projects you’re doing? Any new books? Maybe a sequel?


I’ve just finished another sci-fi adventure, this time set on a forest world. There’s a strong environmental theme running through, but there are also tattooed tribesmen, kidnapped brides, corrupt officials and a young hero as unlike Jabin as he can possibly be. Action/adventure all the way.


I’ve also started a fantasy all about mercenaries, flintlock muskets and a rebellious young prince (back to my beloved military). It is fantasy because the late medieval world I have set it on exists only in my head, but the laws of physics will this time be respected, so no magic, just plenty of action.


Sounds awesome! I can’t wait to hear more about it. And just for fun, where’s your favorite place to write? Do you have a favorite book? I hear that you love anything that has to do with history and military- what’s your favorite time period in history?


I LOVE my computer. It lives in our back room and I am happy to sit and write there all day long.


As for a favorite book, that one is really, really hard, because I don’t think I can pick one from the herd. But I do have favorite authors, Georgette Heyer, Patrick O’Brian, George MacDonald Fraser, Robert Heinlein, S M Stirling and my latest find, Ben Aaronovitch. I love books by dozens of other people as well, but we could be here all day if I get started.


I do enjoy military history very much and especially anything to do with the British Army and the Indian Army. I guess the Victorian era would be top of my list there, but I’ll go back to earlier as well.


And it’s not just military history; I am fascinated by paleoanthropology (a branch of anthropology that has to do with fossils of human beings) and European social history from about 700 to 1500.


It was fantastic getting to chat with you, Bev! Can’t wait to see what books you have for us next!


Giveaway


Want to read Jabin and the Space Pirates? Well, my readers, it’s your lucky day! Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Bev Allen’s YA sci-fi novel.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some rules:


1) US residents only.


2) Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.


3) No cheating- I check!


Find Jabin and the Space Pirate in both paperback and Kindle format on Amazon here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!

Welcome, dear readers, to the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop! This hop is graciously hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Colorimety.
It’s that time of summer when the pool is getting old, and it’s too hot to be outside, and you’ve seen every instant Netflix movie there is, and you’ve rented every Redbox film available and you’re just plain bored. Well, I propose a solution, gang. What better way to bring some excitement back to your summer than winning an awesome book? I know, I know. I’m such a genius. Oh stop. You’re making me blush.
Now, which book could you win, you ask?

OR
One (1) soon-to-be less bored winner will get the choice of either Halo by Alexandra Adornetto or Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay. I know, right? I’m getting more excited too!
You can read my review of Halo here, and my review of Love and Leftovers here.
Just some quick rules:
~US residents only (sorry, all you amazing international readers!)
~Must be a GFC follower
~Winner will get the choice of ONE BOOK.
~I’ll contact the winner via email and they must respond within 42 hours or I pick another winner.
Be sure and enter the other giveaways on the hop, too! Happy reading!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
My first thought when I saw today’s Top Ten:
Oh yeah. So easy.
We’ll see about that, now won’t we?
Without further ado…
*Just as a side note, I’m not the best at remembering names, so if I get the name of a world wrong, feel free to correct me*
1) The Outside (?) in Under the Never Sky (This was the first one that came to mind. I love love love the world that Veronica creates. Aethers are so much cooler than thunder storms. You’re thinking, “Yeah, and way more dangerous,” but hey- sometimes beautiful things are deadly.)
2) Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings (I know, I know. I just broke the hearts of all the LotR fans out there when I put Middle Earth in *gasp* second place. But honestly, it’s amazing. Tolkien is a genius. LotR is epic. That’s all I have to say. Period.)
3) Panem in The Hunger Games (I bet my bookshelf that this one is going to be on everyone’s list, but allow me to be clichĂ© just this once. I instantly loved the future/post-apocalyptic world that Suzanne created. It’s not flashy or brilliant, but it is like a warning as to what our world might look like one day due to mankind’s character (love of violence, money, entertainment, etc). It’s thought-provoking, and I love the depth and meaning it carries.
4) Neverland in Peter Pan (Come on, you had to see this one coming. Neverland is the king of all fantasy worlds. Mermaids, pirates, fairies, and rambunctious little boys; it has it all. And it’s the home of none other than Peter Pan! “Second star to the right, and straight on till morning…”)
5) The Society in Matched and Crossed (I’m honestly not sure what I like about The Society; it’s simple and plain. It’s kind of like an Amish community in a way- all rules and no play. I like how it’s unique from other dystopian worlds in that people are given the pills for certain situations. Matched was the first dystopian I ever read, so The Society is kind of the building block that I relate all other dystopian worlds to.)
6) The World of the Thinkers (?) in Possession (I can’t remember the exact name of the world in Possession, but it was very cool. Very futuristic and techy, but at the same time almost post-apocalyptic. It reminded me a lot of The Society; see above.)
7) Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia (Narnia is…amazing. There are no words for it. It was the fairy-tale dream land we all grew up in because our parents would read us the books at night. It’s attached to our childhoods in that way, so it’s automatically special. It’s a lot like Middle Earth in a way. Tolkien and Lewis were friends, so I wonder if they stole/shared some of each other’s ideas. *grin* Narnia’s a place of snow and ice, of rolling hills and mountains, of fawns with umbrellas and lions to guard us. Narnia’s the fantasy world that holds my childhood heart. It’ll never be forgotten.
8) Incarceron and “the outer world” in Incarceron (This world…this book…just blew my mind. To pieces. It’s absolutely amazing and…well, mind blowing describes it perfectly. It’s all kind of confusing until the end in the second book, when it’s all revealed and you figure it out. Then you just sit back and stare in wonder. Mind. Blowing.)
9) The Republic from Legend (Just because I like post-apocalyptic worlds.)
10) Future Chicago from Divergent (When I went ziplining last week I kept pretending I was flying off the Hancock building…)
Runners- up:
The Kingdom (?) from The Pledge
The Mountains from my NaNoWriMo novel which I have yet to title (of course I think the world I created is pretty awesome, but I thought it might be a bit conceited to put my own on the list…*grin*)
Leave a comment with your Top Ten!

Bookshelf Monday #4

Bookshelf Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Jasmine over at the Bookish Mama.
This is actually a public library:

Pretty epic, huh?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristin at The Story Siren.
Hello hello, dear readers! Hope your week was great (and very bookish). Mine was slightly busy and rather wet (but still very bookish). Take a quick peek at what I received recently:


I got an e-copy of this one from NetGalley. Yes, I caved in and am now reading more books on my laptop. Not so great for my eyes, but it does widen my book selection when I’m low on funds. *grin*

I also got this one from NetGalley. I’ve been wanting it for awhile now, but was reluntant to buy it since I’ve never read any of Lisa’s books before. NetGalley = problem solved.
I heard about this one more recently and can’t wait to read it. It looks like something I’d enjoy, and it’s a Christian teen fiction, so I don’t have to worry about bad content. *ohyeah*
That all for this week! I’m currently quite swamped, between reading ARCs for review requests and keeping up with my own reading, and now I’ve added NetGalley e-books to my never-diminishing pile. Not to mention there’s a few more books I’m expecting in the mail soon. Phew! Hopefully I’ll have a lot of reviews up soon and have some giveaways too! I can’t wait to share my thoughts and books with you all. In the meantime, happy reading!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

TV review: Jane By Design (Season 1)


*This review is an evaluation of episodes 1 through 10. I’m not reviewing on behalf of any episode after 10, though more episodes have aired that are categorized as “season 1.”*
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Teen
Channel: ABC Family
Aired: January 3rd, 2012
Season finale: March 6th, 2012
Schedule: Tuesdays at 9/8 central (Also available on Netflix)
~Rating: 5 stars~
 Summary: Jane by Design is an American comedy-drama television series on ABC Family. The series follows the life of Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher), a teenager who had to be mistaken for an adult to finally get her fashion dream job and work with a world-famous designer, Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell). She is now juggling between two secret lives: one in high school, and one in high fashion.
Additional Cast: Nick Roux as Billy Nutter; Matthew Atkinson as Nick Fadden; Meagan Tandy as Lulu Pope; David Clayton Rogers as Ben; Smith Cho as Rita Shaw; Rowly Dennis as Jeremy Jones; India de Beaufort as India Jordain.
Review:
Watch Jane dream of being a fashion designer. Watch Jane get offered a job at a design studio. Watch Jane realize they think she’s an adult, not a high school outcast. Watch Jane ignore the fact that she has a calculus test tomorrow and seize said fashion job.
Watch Jane struggle to maintain her high school life and her high-end fashion dream job.
Jane Quimby is a normal everyday teen girl. Well, besides the fact that she dresses like she’s up for the runway in three minutes. She lives with her unemployed, ex-jock brother Ben, who was the football stud-muffin at her high school way back when. But that doesn’t mean Jane is on the same side of the social ladder as her brother was- oh no. She’s on the opposite end, to be exact. That said, high school isn’t the continuous ego-boosting, self-confidence enhancing parade it was for Ben. Jane and her long-time best friend, Billy stick together and try to survive.
But when the bills start coming in and the companies start calling demanding pay, Jane knows that it’s time she did something about her brother’s lack of a job. Following an ad in the paper, Jane pursues a job as an assistant at a design studio. To her surprise, she’s immediately hired. Suddenly, her life is a whirlwind of activity, juggling school, work, and her almost-nonexistent social life. With Billy’s help, she keeps her high-paying job a secret from Ben and manages to fool her boss and co-workers into thinking she’s older than she really is. Will she be able to keep everyone in the dark about her job, and will she be able to still life a normal teen life?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. I’m not big into the whole fashion-design thing, but I’ll occasionally pick up a book or watch a TV show about it. It wasn’t necessary the design theme that drew me in, but the characters. All are very different, but add a certain balance to the show. See a brief sketch of each of my favorites below:
Jane is such an entertaining character. She’s funny and awkward, but also polished and sophisticated at the same time. She’s just…normal, and that really draws you in. She has a funky sense of fashion, and while most of the time you’ll be laughing at whatever silly conjumbalation she’s wearing, you’ll have to admit in the end that she really does have an eye for that sort of thing. She’s also really sweet and loyal to her friends.
Billy is an amazing character. He seems kind of dark on the outside, but his soft side really seeps through when he thinks Jane’s upset. He’s like every girl’s dream best-friend. He’s helpful and caring and always there when Jane needs him. Not to mention he’s hot. *grin* You can’t help but swoon inwardly every time he smiles. And the way his eyes crinkle up at the sides…*coughcough* Erm, sorry. You’d see what I mean, though, if you saw the show. I think one thing that really kept my attention after the first episode was the relationship that Billy and Jane have. It’s so unique, and I love seeing them interact.
Ben is a great character, as well. He brings that goofy humor and comic relief to the show. At first, you’ll think he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you’ll come to see that that’s just his personality. He’s smarter than he looks, in other words. He’s an awesome big brother to Jane, and their relationship is amazing to watch.
Nick is a jock. Well, THE jock. You know who I’m talking about. The most popular guy in high school- the one who has the cheerleader/model girlfriend, the sports car, the fan club, etc. More often than not, these types of guys are usually not very nice. Hot, yes, wealthy, yes, and a douche bag, yes. But Nick isn’t like that. He’s actually…well, nice. He’s been her crush since middle school, so when she’s around him, she loses the inability to speak cohesive words and carry on any form of a conversation, but despite this, he gets to know Jane throughout the season and the two grow closer. He respects her and doesn’t have any ulterior motives for pursuing her, and I think that’s the sweetest (though most unrealistic) thing ever. I never thought I’d say this about people but they make the cutest couple.   
I love seeing each of these relationships progress and grow and that’s really what I loved about the show. I loved the romance between the characters, though Lulu (Jane’s arch-nemesis and queen bee at her high school) and Billy’s on-off relationship got a little annoying. One show they’re on, the next they’re off. And we never really get a peek at how this whole weird relationship-that-spans-the-social-castes starts. I’d liked to have gotten an explanation about that, but it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t mar my opinion of the show in the least. I wasn’t thrilled with some of the other sexual content (India and Jeremy’s friends-with-benefits relationship, for example) and I also noticed that each episode featured a kiss without fail. While I don’t think the romance was necessarily overdone, I do think that it can have the same effect but without all the PDA. Again, this wasn’t a big issue for me, though, and to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as other shows are today.
In conclusion, I can’t wait for season 2 of Jane by Design. It’s a completely addicting show that will make you giddy with excitement and dying for more. It’s very girly, but I promise you’ll like it even if you’re not into fashion design. While it’s morals are not completely blameless, it’s definitely better than the standard of today’s teen series. I recommend it to anyone who’s in need of a girly night full of teen romance, drama, and pretty clothes.
Quick Content Review: (average of each episode)
Language: Mild (One or two words throughout the whole season)
Violence: None-Mild (Billy and Nick get into a bar fight with two other guys- nothing shown)
Sexual: Mild-Moderate (Two characters, India and Jeremy, have a “friends with benefits” kind of relationship. The two kiss afterhours in the design studio, and are shown waking up in bed once. Nothing is described or shown. Billy and Lulu have a secret relationship and are shown kissing a couple times. As Jeremy and Jane’s relationship progresses, the two are shown kissing once or twice. In one of the last episodes, Ben is shown teaching a sex-ed class. A couple girls wear low-cut shirts, but nothing too bad. The show is a typical ABC Family show in that dating and relationships get a lot of attention, but Jane By Design is far from being as sensual as others are. Kisses and such are kept relatively innocent, and sex is not flippantly thrown around like it is in many other teen-oriented shows. *coughGleecough*)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Published: August 12th, 1986 (first published in 1954)


Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Pages: 458

Rating: 5/5


The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears—the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm. [Description from Goodreads]


Review:
The backcover reads: THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME.

Oh yeah. You better believe it.


I loved The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, if you told me that while I was reading it, I would have laughed in your face. Because honestly, there were points when I wanted to stop. Some passages were so. Slow. This was my second attempt at reading it, so I was determined to persevere until I finished. I got a little tired of hearing about the landscape, though. Just to prepare you if you haven’t read it: there was a lot of talk about the landscape. And it all kind of got muddled in my head, so I really didn’t follow along very well when Tolkien described the hills and the rivers and the valleys over and over and over again. But what is classic literature without a little (or a lot) of relatively unnecessary description?


Rabbit trail aside, you’re probably wondering what I did like about the book. The writing. The story. The magic. I realized how much I like about The Fellowship once I finished it. You know when you’re reading a book that you don’t necessary love, but you’re determined to read it anyways, and when you’re finished, you have this sad sinking feeling? That’s how it was for me. That feeling, dear readers, is the realization of how lost you were in the book; it’s like coming up for air, then realizing you want to drown all over again in its pages.

Fantasy is not normally my style, but then again, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is not ordinary fantasy. It’s Tolkien fantasy. It takes on a whole new personality and meaning when it’s Tolkien fantasy. In my opinion, fantasy didn’t exist as a genre until Tolkien sat down to write about hobbits and dwarves and elves and orcs in the early 1950s. All other fantasy books cower in the shadow of The LotR trilogy.

Tolkien creates a world matched by no other. Every detail, down to the last tree and shrub in the Shire, is accounted for. He never fails to convince you how real it all is- which is exactly what authors must do to make their fiction worlds come alive in our imaginations. I’m still completely enchanted with Middle Earth, and despite my attempts to shove them out, I still have hobbits and elves dancing in my head.

In conclusion, I, like many others, was charmed by Tolkien’s thrilling tale of a group of little heroes trying to preserve a very powerful ring. Though this tale reads slowly at points, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did if you take the time to let Tolkien work his magic on you.


Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*

Language: None.

Violence: Minor (some sword-fighting and short battle sequences)

Sexual: None.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

IMM #2


Welcome to this week’s edition of In My Mailbox! This meme is hosted by Kristen at The Story Siren.

Surprisingly, my mailbox has been getting a lot of activity recently, so take a peek at what I received this week:



The Probability of Miracles (won). Thanks Penguin Teen and Goodreads!


Jabin and the Space Pirates (ARC). Thanks to debut author Bev Allen!


Last Kiss in Venice (ARC). Thanks to author Martin Chu Shui!

Reflection by Jessica Roberts (e-book for tour). Come by on September 5th to see my review for Reflection. Don’t miss any of the other awesome stops it will be making on its tour hosted by YA Bound!
Keep an eye out for reviews of these books! What’s in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Want a free book? You've come to the right place!

Alright, show of hands of people who don’t like free books. I thought so. I can’t pass up an offer like that either. It’s part of being a bookworm. It’s in our blood.

So, that said, I want to share this with you:

Asia’s Children Tell Their Stories in No Longer a Slumdog

“He would lock me in a small room with the animals. Days turned into weeks, and my stomach would growl. He never gave me enough to eat,” said Nadish. “Weeks turned into months, and my body would ache. The work was hard, and there was never enough time to rest. Months turned into years, and I began to think that this would never end.”

But through a miraculous event, Nadish found his way back into the loving embrace of his mother. Dr. K.P. Yohannan’s newest book, No Longer a Slumdog, unveils the true-life accounts of many of South Asia’s children, like Nadish. The message hits hard. He speaks of “winds of change” and a powerful move of God.

The children’s stories tell of going from a life of heartache and poverty to finding joy, laughter and a bright future. Despite the affliction these children face, Yohannan shows us there’s opportunity for change as many find new life in God‘s redeeming love.

No Longer a Slumdog inspires faith that a better tomorrow is truly possible. [Description from Goodreads]

 
Sounds good, no? You can get your free copy here. Go ahead. I know you want to. *grin*
And be on the lookout for my review of this inspiring book in the near future!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Summer Lovin’ Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Tifferz Book Review.
Now, I know you’re itching to see what goodies you could win, but first I’d like to say that THIS IS MY VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY AND I AM SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED! Like, more excited than you are. Which is saying a lot, since you’re the one entering to win the prize. *wink*

So, let’s see what you can win:
When seventeen-year-old heiress Averie Winston travels with her guardian to faraway Chiarrin, she looks forward to a reunion with her father, who is a commanding general, seeing her handsome fiancé Morgan once more, and exploring the strange new country. What she finds is entirely different. Although the Chiarizzi appear to tolerate the invading army, rebels have already tried to destroy them; Morgan is not the man she thought he was; and she finds herself falling in love with Lieutenant Ket Dukai, who himself comes from a conquered society. Can the irrepressible Averie remake herself in this new world? Sharon Shinns newest romance has an epic sweep, piquant humor, social commentary, and love to spare just the thing when you want to lose yourself in another world.


There you are! I picked this one off my shelf since I never read it and don’t see a free moment in the near future to read it. It’s a YA fantasy romance. Since I won’t be enjoying it, I hope the winner does!

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Happy reading! Be sure to check out the other stops on the hop to win more amazing books!




Top Ten Popular Books I’ve Never Read That Everyone Else is Crazy About

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, dear readers! This meme is hosted by our awesome blogger friends over at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is “Pick Your Own Topic” (yay!) so I’m going to choose…
Top Ten Popular Books I’ve Never Read That Everyone Else is Crazy About! (Think I should shorten the title a bit? Nah…)
So. Here goes.
1) Twilight. I don’t care if I’m the last person on earth that hasn’t read this series. It ain’t gonna happen. (Though, since I’ve never read it, I can’t really say it’s as some people say it is, but I think I’ll just be safe rather than sorry and take their word for it.)
2) Mortal Instruments series. Now this one I want to read. I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I probably should sometime in the near future, since I hear they’re making a movie… *grin*
3) The Iron Fey series. Same with this one. What? No, no, I didn’t mean that they’re making of movie of this one too. I meant that I want to read this one also, but I just haven’t yet. *makes mental note to pick up Iron Fey series at next library visit*
4) Vampire Academy series. Now this one, on the other hand, I have no intention of reading. Just because I’m not that into vampires. Or paranormal. I prefer my hot fictional guys NOT biting people like teething toddlers. But that’s just me.
5) The Lorien Legacies. AKA I Am Number Four, The Power of Six, etc. I want to read them. Just haven’t yet. I really really really want to see the movie (mainly cause the guy who’s in it seems kind of cute) but I think I should read the books first. So maybe I’ll be motivated to read them if I “reward” myself by watching the movie after. Yeah. I’ll do that. *flips on TV, goes ahead and watches movie despite ambitious self-challenges*
6) The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Well, I kinda want to read this one, but I just don’t think I’d like all the questionable content in it. Pooh. The movie looks fantastic, though. Yeah, the movie which I probably won’t be allowed to go see because of all the questionable content. Gah.
7) Harry Potter. Yeah, I’m one of those people who have some qualms about this series. No, I haven’t read it. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe. Yes, I constantly feel like the last person on the planet who hasn’t read Harry Potter. But when did it get put on the classics-everyone-must-read list next to Charlotte’s Web, anyway?    
8) The Lord of the Ring Trilogy. This one I’ve started, so it doesn’t actually count…but I can’t say I’ve read the trilogy till I put down the last book, so I’m still pushing through. J
9) A Wrinkle in Time (series). This is more of a children’s series. I never read it, though, and I’m not sure why. I tried. I just couldn’t get into it. *shrug*
10) The Inheritance (series). I think that I never got around to reading this series because I was (and still aren’t) very attracted to fantasy. So it takes more of an effort for me to pick up books like these. I hear they’re good, so I need to try and read them soon!
That’s it! Have you read any of these titles? Which ones are amazing and which ones...not so much?
What’s your Top Ten today? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Summer My Life Began By Shannon Greenland

Published: May 10th, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 250
Rating: 3/5
A great summer beach read filled with sunshine, cooking, and—of course—romance!

Elizabeth Margaret--better known as Em--has always known what her life would contain: an internship at her father's firm, a degree from Harvard, and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is, it's not what she wants. So when she gets the opportunity to get away and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em learns that her family has some pretty significant secrets. And then there's Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can't resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels that for the first time ever, she is really living life on her own terms.
[Description from Goodreads]
Review:
Em has conformed to her parents’ perfect life and standards all her seventeen long years, so when she gets an exciting invitation to join her eccentric aunt on an island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the summer, she’s beyond thrilled. But why has no one told her she even had an aunt until now? Why is her family so nervous about her staying with this not-so-close relative of hers? The Summer My Life Began follows the story of how Em’s life was changed in one summer.
I’ll be blunt: I wasn’t wowed by this book, but it wasn’t all that bad, either. It was predictable, yes, and ridiculous at some parts, and it seemed like all the characters in it were just super-duper nice and dandy and everything, but it wasn’t awful. I wasn’t expecting too much out of it- just a delightful summer read, and that’s what it turned out to be.
In The Summer My Life Began, Em finally gets her chance at freedom- freedom from her parents’ strict rules, freedom from her boring life, freedom from a summer of being an intern at a law firm. But what she discovers in the Outer Banks is not what she expected- an eccentric aunt, a long-lost cousin, and a hot island boy named Cade. This isn’t all though- Em finds out life-changing secrets that will rock her world.
Em wasn’t the best main character ever, mostly because she was hard to connect with, but I still enjoyed seeing her develop as she watches her life change right before her eyes. Cade was a great love interest- though I got tired of hearing about his “sexy half grin.” Couldn’t we have mentioned some other physical attribute, or at least come up with a different way of describing it besides “sexy half grin?” Honestly. It felt like I was being reminded about it every time he was mentioned. All the other characters were ok. Not fabulous. Just ok. That’s kind of how the whole book felt- mediocre. Predictable. Just ok. And while that might not be what you’re looking to read, The Summer My Life Began was definitely a fun beach read full of sun, sand, and romance.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None (maybe one word…I can’t recall anything too bad, though)
Violence: None
Sexual: Mild (A couple kissing scenes, all very innocent. Mention of going to a topless beach.)