Friday, January 31, 2014

Bookish Five Fridays (12) - Favorite Covers Right Now

These are some of my favorite covers at the moment. I'll probably list more posts like these during Bookish Fives in the future, but right now these are my favorite book covers. I love them all! Be sure to tell me what your favorite covers are so I can check them out! 

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) The Fault in Our Stars

Vessel The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)

Last Week's Bookish Five ----> Five Books I'd Want on a Desert Island

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Girl of Nightmares - Review

   Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)
by Kendare Blake

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy 
Hardcover - 332pgs.
Published - August 2012
Series: Anna #2 (Final Book) 

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears. Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

When I learned there was a sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, I was a little confused. I loved the first book but at the end of the first book it felt like a lot of this story was wrapped up and finished.  I might have forgotten some points though because I read it last summer. Even so, I was happy to jump back into this story and see what Cas and his friends were up to.

I was pleasantly surprised with where this book went. I was thrilled to see how much potential Blake built into this story. There was more information about the athame, Cas's family and the lore behind Cas's job. I felt like she really built up the world and expanded the supernatural elements of the book which was really awesome except this is the end of the series. In some ways I could see Cas and his friends hunting ghosts for several more books, but in the end I realized this is Cas and Anna's story which Blake does a wonderful job of wrapping up in this book. Even though I'm disappointed that this awesome story is over, I was completely happy with the ending of this duology. I thought it was appropriate and it works for the world and characters that Blake created. The ending felt complete and final which made it easier not to pine for more (even though I still am...)

I really enjoyed the characters in these two books as well. Cas and his friends have realistic struggles in this paranormal story. Obviously they are looking for Anna, but at times the three of them struggle with the weight of keeping part of their lives secret from the rest of the world. The dynamics between the three freinds is excellent. I loved how Cas is a fish out of water sometimes with his friends because he isn't used to having long lasting friendships. The conflicts and problems that this friend group had throughout the book felt right and like a natural thing that would happen which is always nice. There is some repetitiveness throughout the book and sometimes I wanted things to move forward faster because much of the first half of the book is Cas and everyone else thinking he is crazy. However, the pace really picks up after Cas decides he is going to find Anna even though it is dangerous for him and his friends.

I'll be honest and admit that part of the reason I love this book so much is because it reminds me of a teenage version of Supernatural. I love all the ghost hunting and suspenseful scenes that are built in. I really enjoyed the minimal romance in this book. Even though there are romantic elements to this story that are essential to Cas's motivation to find Anna, Cas is worried about and balances many other things than just romance in the book. He isn't just some love sick boy looking for his girlfriend and thank goodness for no love triangle!

Something about the writing I loved from the first book which carried over to this one was the balance between horror and humor. There are some very dark and gory parts to this story that the author describes vividly. Sometimes when Cas sees Anna suffering its not pretty and Blake doesn't shy away from descriptions, but we know that from the first book in this series, where several people are brutally murdered and nasty looking ghosts are a frequent occurrence. Blake keeps the dark in check with humorous lines and witty characters. This balancing act in her writing kept the pace moving and kept the tone of the story lighter throughout the book.

I really liked this ending to this  series and I absolutely can't wait to pick up something else by Kendare Balke. She is quickly becoming one of my favorites even though I've only read two books by her.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Jar of 2014

My book jar has failed me I have failed my book jar so many times because I just never remember to pick a title out of it or pick something I dislike. I just never go through with what I pick out of the jar. So I've stopped picking books from the jar over the past six months or so. I gave up on it. It sat on my shelf as a display item rather than something I actually used.

Recently I saw Marlin's video about putting numbers in the jar instead of titles. Therefore, I've decided to try this approach out to see if it works any better for me. I think this might help me because I will pick a number from the jar and look it up on Goodreads to see which book it is. This way I'll see reviews and ratings to encourage me to read the book and it reminds me how many unread books I own.... So far its been working well. I've already started reading the two books I picked out a few days ago and haven't given up on them yet (which I usually do).

I have an Owned to Read shelf on Goodreads and I've put number 1- 65 into the jar. I have over 150 unread books, but I've only used 65 number so that I will read some of the books that I've owned the longest but haven't picked up yet.


So at the end of this month I picked out numbers 4 and numbers 37. Number 4 on my list was Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty. Since this is a large non-fiction book, I also picked out a second number so I could balance fiction and non-fiction. Number 37 was Peter and the Secrets of Rundoon. These are both rather large books but I am excited to read both of them. 

So my goal this year is to reduce this shelf to less than 100 books so hopefully I'll be picking numbers out of this jar often and reading more of the books I already own. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bookish Five Friday(11) - Books I'd want on a Desert Island

I always wish for more time to read books. I also love to read on the beach so if I was stuck on a desert island I would be happy as long as I had some of the following books (and maybe some sunscreen). While I'm freezing here at my house, I'm wishing for warm sand and sun.

I'm making a rule that I already have a book about building a boat and I've decided to ignore it for a while until I read all my other books first! =)

1) A Storm Of Swords - George R.R. Martin - This book is huge and is supposed to be very good. I would have plenty of time to read and reread this book.  If I never escaped the island I would always wonder about the end of the series, but it seems like a lot of people are going to be wondering about the rest of the series as well. 

2) Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Imagine a Series Bind Up!)- by Rick Riordan - This might be a cheat because it doesn't exist. However I'd want to read a bind up of this series. I loved these books because they were funny and really well written. Plus I think Percy's witty narration would keep me from getting bored in the hot sun. 

3) The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I've been slowly making my way through these, but I wish I knew when I was going to get the chance to reread them. I really enjoy them, but it would be nice to have the time to read them all again which would be really easy if I was trapped on an island.

4) Days of Blood and Starlight - Lani Taylor - I've been wanting to read this for so long, but  I keep putting it off. Maybe if I had lots of time I'd finally pick it up. I'm very excited to finish this series as well later this year when the final book comes out. This book is long too so I wouldn't get bored!

5) Bloodhound - Tamora Pierce - I need to finish this series as well and I cannot make myself start this book for some reason. Hopefully sand and sunshine would put me in the mood to read it. Also this book is longer and pass the time for me.

Let me know what you would read on a desert island if you had a lot of time and nothing to do but relax.

Last Week's FFF -----> Most Anticipated Reads of 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Book Haul - January 2014

I did not receive any books as gifts over the holidays which is really disappointing. However I did receive some money which I decided to spend on books of course!

Books Mentioned

New -
Legend Box Set - Marie Lu
The Raven Boys - Maggie Steifvater
The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater
Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi
Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi
Angel Fall - Susan Ee
World After - Susan Ee
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers
The Diviners  - Libba Bray
The Yard - Alex Grecian

Used - From Better World Books
Captain Wentworth's Persuasion - Regina Jeffers
Sanditon - Jane Austen and Another Lady
Darcy and Fitzwilliam - Susan Wasylowski
This Dark Endeavor - Kenneth Oppel
Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke
Mistwood - Leah Cypress
Nightspell  - Leah Cypress
The Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier
The Son of Shadows- Juliet Marillier
The Child of the Prophecy - Juliet Marillier

Let me know if you've read any of these and what you think I should read first!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bookish Five Fridays (10) - Most Anticipated Releases 2014

I'm a little behind, but these are my most anticipated releases of 2014! These are not in any particular order. I am just excited for all of them. Happy Friday!

1) Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Lani Taylor 
Book Three in Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series 
I've only read the first book in this series, but I bought the second immediately after I read this book because the writing style and the story were so amazing.  I am dying to get my hands on this one!

Expected Publication: April 18th 2014


2) Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
I have a confession. I'm afraid of monkeys and its all because of The Wizard of Oz. The monkeys freaked me out. Even so I am so excited for this book because it sounds so awesome. I've been in love with the musical Wicked for years and this sounds like it will be down a similar vein. This plot sounds really cool and I've heard people saying some really good things about it. I can't wait to check it out. It is already preordered!

Expected Publication: April 1, 2014

3) Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo 
Book Three in the Grisha Trilogy 
I loved the first book and need to pick up book two. I'm hoping to read this book as soon as it comes out. I've heard nothing but good things about the second book, Siege and Storm, so I'm sure this will be amazing as well.

Expected Publication: June 3, 2014

4) The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan 
Book Five in the Hero's of Olympus Series 

I'm about a quarter of the way through The House of Hades and I'm trying to stretch it out because I love this series (especially Percy Jackson) so much that I know waiting for the next book is going to kill me! I'm so excited to see what happens in the wrap up to this amazing series.

Expected Publication: October 14, 2014

5) The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey 
Book Two in the 5th Wave Series

Of course after reading The 5th Wave last year, I am so excited to see where Rick Yancey is going to take this series. I was blown away by the first book and I cannot wait for more! I didn't even know this was a series when I read book one so knowing now that there is more to this story and world is so exciting!

Expected Release: September 16th, 2014

Honorable Mention: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Book Six in the Mortal Instruments 
This is an honorable mention only because even though I love these books, I feel like I've been waiting for this book for forever! My excitement is actually down because I've been waiting so long. Even so, I am definitely going to preorder this book and I'll be reading it as soon as it comes out.

Expected Release: May 27, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Locke and Key - Series Review

Written by Joe Hill and Illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez 

Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft  Locke and Key, Vol. 2: Head Games  Locke & Key, Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key, #3)
Locke and Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom      Locke and Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks (Locke & Key, #5)

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!
Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) creates an all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez.

*Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal * Format: Graphic Novel (740pgs) * 
*First Vol. Published - Sep. 2008*

I first heard about these books from The Readables on Youtube. She raved about the books in one of her videos. I found the first five novels that are out at my local library.

First of all, these books is much more violent than I thought it was going to be going in. It isn't a positive or a negative for the books, but I think it is something that others should know before they pick these up. From the very first pages of the book, the plot is very dark.

Even though they are dark, this world and the concept of these books is so interesting. The keys open some extraordinary doors within the house that do so many amazing things for the Locke kids. I don't want to tell you what they are because discovering the powers of the keys is a fun part of the story. In some ways I wish this series was written in novel form because I wanted even more details about the keys. However the beautiful and detailed artwork makes up for my longing for more story.

There is so much going on in this story. Not only is there a story about murder and mayhem in present. There is also an amazing back story for the characters and origin story for the keys themselves. Over the course of the series we learn about how different generations have used the keys. Each book builds more on the mystery of the house, the keys and the villain of this story, Dodge. Dodge is smart and very resourceful which makes him very frightening as a bad guy and difficult to keep down for long. All the characters are interesting and even the best ones make choices that keep you turning the pages and kept my heart pounding as I was reading.

Overall I really liked these books and I'm excited to read the next book which I believe is the final book in the series. I'll also be on the look out for more of Joe Hill's work in the future it they are along these lines.

Rating 4/5 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vampire Academy - Review

by Richelle Mead

  Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance 
Paperback - 332 pgs
Published - 2007
Series: Vampire Academy (1) 

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

I've heard so many people say they like the Vampire Academy Series and even thought I've had the first three books for ages, I've never read them. I was preparing for the Bout of Books readathon and picked this book up on the first day on a whim.

There is a lot of ground work being laid in this book. The world of the Vampire Academy is interesting and somewhat confusing at the beginning. Even though a lot of people deem this the worst book in the series, I give Richelle Mead a lot of credit for building a solid foundation for her series to start from. There were lots of details about beliefs, customs and traditions in this world that let me know Mead knew her story and her world.

With Rose as our narrator though, nothing stays boring for long. She is sharp and witty, but very much her age. I loved Rose. I think too often YA writers make their heroine too strong. In many boks she is the fastest/smartest/best at whatever she is doing without flaws that really fit into her character. I liked that Rose was flawed and made questionable, even terrible, decisions. She had to work to catch up because of her two year absence at the academy, and we saw her face the consequences of that decision and start to move past it and grow. Rose's inner monologue actually reminds me a lot of Sophie from Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. She has that same kind of of witty humor and snark. I won't dish over the love interest in this story even though I could for ages and ages. I dig this romance to put it simply.

The story keeps moving, but it felt very disconnected. Instead of the story building throughout the book, I felt like one thing would happen until it was resolved then another plot point would start. The book was very engaging this way and it kept the pacing of the novel very even (and always exciting). However sometimes I wanted a little more complexity to the plot. There was some interconnection and since I've read the second book already I can tell you this improves in the second novel significantly.

I enjoyed reading this book so much. As I've mentioned several times on this blog, this year is my year to experiment with marathon reading. This was a good series to start that experiment with because I could not wait to read book two. I picked up the sequel the morning after I finished this book. So far it seems like what people say about this series is true. It is getting even better as it goes!

It is really hard for me to rate this book because there were obvious holes and gaps where I wanted more information. Also the character development could have been a little smoother for me. I like where the story is going, but there were some parts that were very predictable. Even though it had some problems, I really enjoyed reading this book. I had a lot of fun learning about the world and characters which really makes up for a lot to me.

Rating: 3.5 (rounded up to 4 on GR)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - Final Progress and Wrap Up

Days 6 and 7 Progress Report: 

I've been a bit behind the last few days. Things have been busy and I've been distracted by things other than reading. Sadly I've petered out here at the end of the Bout of Books.

On the 6th Day of reading I read: 

The Complete Sherlock Holmes: 11pgs
Girl of Nightmares: 20pgs

Total: 31pgs
Total Pages overall: 834

On the 7th Day of reading I read: 

Scorched: 18pgs

Total: 18pgs

Total Pages read during Bout of Books: 852

Wrap Up:

I'm a little disapointed in myself becuase even though I was busy this weekend I could have read more. I was sucked into a new television show and let that be a total time suck. Overall I had a lot of fun doing the challenges and I finished two books this week which makes me very happy.

I finished reading Vampire Academy and Frostbite by Richelle Mead. I experimented with marathon reading for the first time and it worked very nicely for me so I'm very pleased. I also made progress in my Complete Sherlock Holmes which was another one of my goals. I read about 100 pgs during this week of that book. I did not reach my goal of finishing five books and I didn't read any of the books I said I would. This only further proves my theory that I can't tell the internet what I'm going to read. As soon as I do, the book is suddenly unappealing.

Anyway, I'm planning on participating in the next Bout of Books next time in May. If you are interested in checking out the next readathon you should check out their wrap up post for details. Thank you to everyone who organized the event because I had a lot of fun!

Bout of Books

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bout of Books - Day 5 Update

Day 5 Progress Report! 

Today has been an awesome reading day for me! Yesterday I finished Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead early in the evening. I planned to pick up The House of Hades when I started reading today, but something got in my way this morning when I woke up. Frostbite by Richelle Mead got in my way! I had to see where this story was going and I ended up reading the entire book today. 

I am so excited that I made such great progress today with my reading. I think I am going to take the rest of the evening off from reading. I don't want burn myself out tonight. I'm not sure what I'm going to read tomorrow. I could either pick up the third Vampire Academy novel or continue reading something I've already started. We shall see! 

I also participated in one of the challenges and crated a story with some of the words from a page from my book! It was fun and actually really difficult. 

What I Read Today:
1) 23 pgs of House of Hades 
2) 327 pgs of Frostbite

Total Pgs I read today: 350 
Total pgs I read overall: 801 

See you tomorrow with another update! 

 .Bout of Books

Bout of Books 9.0 - Create a Story Challenge

Today's challenge for the Bout of Books Readathon is to create a story! This challenge is being hosted over at Never Too Fond of Books. I think this challenge seems like a lot of fun!

The rules are simple:
  1. Open your current book to the last page you read.
  2. Using the last word of every line, create a poem or story. You must use every word (but they do not have to be in order), and you may add punctuation as necessary. If a word is split between the end of the line and the beginning of the next one, you may choose whether or not to use it.
  3. Create a post (or tweet or video) that showcases your masterpiece. If you don’t have anywhere else to post it, you can add it as a comment here and use the comment link as your entry.
  4. Add it to the linky on this post.
Currently I'm reading The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. I'm on page 86 right now. 

My Words:  which, his, over, trail, they, follow, fell, towers, anything, watchtowers, a, car, they, and, disappeared, windows, those

My Story:

those towers
they follow anything
a car over a trail
his watchtowers
they which fell and disappeared

Bookish Five Fridays (9) - Ways to Find Out About New Books

I love to find out about new books even if I don't end up buying them to read or even looking into them farther. Sometimes just hearing a good synopsis will remind me of a book I have and inspire me to pick it up. Of course most of the time finding about about new titles often just leads me to buying more books. These are my top five favorite ways to find out about new books.

1) Booktube - Youtube is full of amazing people who will talk about books all day. They do book reviews, book hauls, wrap up videos, tags and discussion videos. I love to listen to these guys and girls talk about the new books they've discovered. Here are some links to my favorite channels: Ariel Bissett,  Katytastic ,BookRatMistyElizziebooksBookables, and Marlinelina

2) Blogs - Of course, I love to read blogs as well. People around the world share what books they are reading on blogs as simple as tumblr or as complex as their own site. Reading reviews or discussions can be a great way to find out about new books.

3) Goodreads/Booklikes - These are two sites I know about that contain some of the most complete information about a book that you can find. Need to know which book comes next in a series or if a book is part of a series? Check out these sites and they will tell you where a book fits in and show you some reviews about it as well as give you recommendations based on what you've read.

4) Shopping - Either in store or online, you can find new books by simply browsing. I can spend hours searching a new website for books or kill thirty minutes in a bookstore. I like to look around used book shops as well. They often have really good prices and a lot of times you can find something you've never heard of.

5) Friends - I have several friends who will talk books with me. I love to get recommendations from my friends because they know what I like and they are a lot better at pitching a book to me than a synopsis online.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bout of Books - Update Days 3 & 4

My Progress Report for Days 3 & 4 

Sadly there was not much to report about Day 3. I did not read a single page on the third day of this readathon. So today I've been trying to make up for that. I finished the Vampire Academy! This is the first books I finished during the readathon. I'm very excited about that and I'm making progress on the other books as well.

Today has been a successful day for my reading and I feel like I'm back on track with my reading.

What I Read Today
1) 10 pgs of The Complete Sherlock Holmes 
2) 133 pgs of The Vampire Academy (Book Complete)
3) 62 pgs of  The House of Hades 

Total Pages Today: 205
Total Pages Overall: 451

I'll probably read more before I go to sleep but that is where I stand at this point!

 .Bout of Books

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections - Review

 by Abigail Reynolds

   Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections

Kindle Edition -242 pgs. 
Published: June 2013
Series: Pemberley Variations  

There’s only one fact that notorious rake Lord Charles Carlisle and his cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, can agree upon: a house party given by the Marquess of Bentham is bound to be intolerably dull. That’s why Lord Charles is delighted to accept a bet that he can seduce his sister’s pretty friend during their stay at Bentham Park. After all, it’s easy money for an experienced seducer, and it will relieve his boredom. Why should he care if his staid cousin Darcy disapproves? But when Darcy discovers that Lord Charles’ new target is none other than Elizabeth Bennet, the woman who just refused Darcy’s offer of marriage, he cannot stand by and watch as the woman he still loves is callously ruined. What he doesn’t know is that Lord Charles has a dark secret, and that his attentions to Elizabeth may not be what they seem.

But Darcy has a secret agenda of his own at the house party, one that could change everything change everything at Bentham Park. Add in a midnight rescue, clandestine meetings, a long-lost son, conspiracies, blackmail, and an attempted elopement, and suddenly this house party is anything but dull.

Like all of the Pemberley Variations that I've read by Reynolds, this variation on Pride and Prejudice was a fun, quick read that satisfies my need for a Jane Austen fix. Back in early December all of Abigail Reynolds' books were on sale for $1.99 on Kindle. Since I know I love her stories, I decided to stock up.

Reynolds always manages to capture the misunderstandings that Darcy and Elizabeth have of each other. The will they, won't they moments are always fun to read and keep me flipping the pages whenever I read these. The characters in this particular book are diverse to say the least. I was disappointed that none of the other Bennetts were not in this book at all! So often in other variations of Austen's works I find that when authors adapt her characters they often feel a bit flat. I think Reynolds really captures the characters while still making them her own. There is a lot going on in this book and there are lots of twists and turns.

Personally this is not my favorite of the Variations. Like I mentioned, I missed the rest of the Bennett family especially Jane. Also the characters in this book take away from the romance of Darcy and Elizabeth. A lot of time the story is about other romances or other characters' family relations. Because this book was only 242 pgs. that took a lot of time away from Darcy and Elizabeth. They don't get a lot of time alone together which disappointed me because that is normally the part of her books that I like.

Even so, this is a fun read and well worth the time I spent reading it and the money I spent to get the book. I will definitely be checking out even more of Reynolds' writing!

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0- Update Day 2

DAY 2 Progress Report! 

I felt like today did not go quite as well as yesterday. I've been feeling a bit under the weather which I think is why I actually overslept a bit this morning! So my day was off to a bad start and I couldn't quite catch up. Anyway I filmed a video update to let you know a little more about yesterday and today's progress.

I have read more while I was waiting for the video to save and then upload. So today actually turned out to be a good reading day. I only participated in one challenge but it is still fun to look at everyone's responses. 

What I read today: 
1) 118 pgs. of Vampire Academy 
2) 9 pgs of The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Total Pages Today - 127
Total Pages Overall - 247 

.Bout of Books

Monday, January 6, 2014

BoutofBooks 9.0 - Day #1 Update

At this point I am 22.5 hours into this event and I am exhausted but pleased. I feel like I read a lot today and I took every opportunity to read and I'm very glad I did. I managed to read  two Sherlock Holmes stories which doesn't make a huge dent in the 1000 page book, but I find it easier to read when I read it in chunks.

Today I read: 
- Two Sherlock Holmes Stories (30pgs) 
- Continued Reading Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - which I now realize wasn't in my photo of the books I was going to read, but I had only read 10 pages before today. (90pgs) 

Total Pages Today: 120 
Total Pages Overall: 120

My Goals: 
1) Finish 5 books
2) Make progress in the Complete Sherlock Holmes (read 10 stories)
3) Don't start any more books until I am finished with at least two of these because all 5 of these are started and I need to finish something!

I also participated in a challenge from BoutofBooks. The challenge includes a giveaway and can be found here. I thought this was fun and the contents of my cart was as follows:


Tomorrow I'll try to make the update a little prettier. Tonight I am too exhausted.

.Bout of Books

Bout of Books 9.0 - Reading Goals

 I've only participated on the fringes of read-a-thon's before. I think i am being a little over ambitious, but I really want to tear through some books this week!

These are the books I'm planning on choosing from to start with, but since I have a bad habit of never reading what I tell the internet I will, I am going to keep it open ended.

My Goals: 
1) Finish 5 books
2) Make progress in the Complete Sherlock Holmes (read 10 stories)
3) Don't start any more books until I am finished with at least two of these because all 5 of these are started and I need to finish something!

That's it for me! It's rather low key.

Enjoy Reading!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0!

I'm planning on participating in the Bout of Books reading challenge! I've heard about this so many times so now I'm going to join in. I'll be reading as much as I can, but I have to work this week so most of my reading will be done in the evenings.

If you don't know what the Bout of Books is here is the official blurb about it. 

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

Check out their blog here:  

.Bout of Books

My Goals will be posted here

Frigid - Review

   Frigid (Frigid, #1)
by: J. Lynn 

Genre: New Adult 
Kindle Edition- 252 pgs.
Published - July 2013

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love. 

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have. 

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

This is one of the first New Adult books I've ever read and it is the first one by J. Lynn (aka. Jennifer L. Armentrout) I love the Lux Series (Daemon! swoon) and Jennifer's writing is so much fun to read. I only finished this about an hour ago so forgive me if I ramble a little.

First of all Sydney is me and I am Sydney except I don't have a smoking hot stud as a childhood best friend. She is awkward, funny and oh so easy to relate to that I couldn't help but love her. One thing I love about Armentrout's writing is that her characters often talk to themselves when we read from their perspective. When I read from Sydney's (or Katy's) perspective I feel like they are confiding in me. It might seem weird, but it submerses me in the story so well. Whenever I read one of her books I get sucked in, and when I emerge later, its like I'm waking up from a long afternoon nap. I'm groggy and confused because I've gotten lost in the writing.

Now that I've fangirled over the writing....back to Sydney. I loved her so much, but she was slightly annoying. She isn't a very complex character, but she wasn't supposed to be. This is a short, romantic, steamy read. I understood that she was suspicious of Kyler a lot because of his past behavior. However, some of the doubting was a little annoying at times. It didn't deter me from liking the book though. I liked the duel perspectives. It made it much easier to like Kyler because you know what he is thinking which made Sydney's doubting all the more irritating. I should hate Kyler because he is such a player at the beginning of this book, but I just couldn't. Even when he's being a player, he's watching out for Sydney. He is sweet and I could drool over this boy for ages.

I read this book in one sitting in about 4 hours. I loved it. There is romance of course, but there is also some mystery and suspense. It was a fun read and apparently there is a sequel coming according to Goodreads. You know I'll be picking that up when it comes out. It does have a lot sexy times in it though and it definitely a New Adult book.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Reading Goals for 2014

I don't really do resolution, but I think goals are different than resolutions. I set goals every year about reading and other hobbies. Last year I think I did really well. I set a goal to read 75 books and I ended up at 105! This year my goals are a little more ambitious and more specific.

1) Read 100 Books - Last year I read 105 so this might seem easy. However, 27 books were graphic novels/manga books. I want that number to decrease and I want to read 100 novels this year. 

2) Reduce my TBR pile - I think I have something like 150 unread books in my possession. I want to reduce that number. So I need to buy fewer books and read more of the ones I have before buying any more. My goal is to get that under 100 but I'm unsure how long my book buying will stay reduced (not very long considering I'm already waiting on a package) 

3) Finish 10 Series - I want to finish or catch up on 10 series that I have already started. I struggle to keep reading series. I just continue to start them so this year I want to finish something! 

4) Experiment with Marathoning - I have always tried to split up my series and read books in between so I could stretch them out. This year I want to marathon some series and see how it works for me! 

5) Read 5 Non-Fiction Books-  I graduated college with a BA in History. I love reading about history and I want to continue to learn even now that I'm out of school. 

6) Listen to 5 audiobooks - I found this year that I really enjoy audiobooks and I want to make an effort to listen to more of them this year. 

7) Read More Diversely - I read a lot of YA Fantasy but this year I want to read different genres within YA and I also want to branch out from YA. 

Bookish Five Friday (8) - Books I need to Read in 2014

New Year's is the time of year a lot of people resolve to improve themselves in the upcoming year. I am no exception to this practice when it involves books. Every year I really try to become a better reader and this year I also want to be more dedicated to this blog. In 2014 one of my resolutions is to read 100 books and I also want to reduce the number of books I own but haven't read. Right now I'm starting at 144 books that are unread on my shelves. These are the top 5 books I need to read before 2014 is over.

1) Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin - I haven't owned this book very long, but I've been reading these about one per year and I would like to try to read two this year. Plus I'm so far behind the rest of the world with my progress through these books.

2) The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - I begged for this book for Christmas last year (2012) and my parents were so generous to get it for me. However, I have only read about 200 pages of it! I really want to read the rest of this book before 2014 is over.

3) Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor - After I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I immediately ordered this book, but I haven't touched it. The next book in this series comes out this year so I really need to finish both of these soon!

4) Back to the Divide by Elizabeth Kay - I bought this whole series because I loved it when I was a kid, but I only read the first book since I bought them over a year ago. I really need to finish these before I buy anything else!

5) All the Tamora Pierce books I haven't read yet - Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors of all time and I am ashamed to say that I haven't read all of her books. This year I am going to remedy that!

One a side note these are all the books I read in 2013.

The Last Five Favorite Friday - Top 5 Male/Female Characters

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Raven Boys - Review

 by Maggie Stievater


   The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

This book is my favorite book of 2013. The first time I "read" it I actually listened to the audiobook and I fell in love with it. Then I read the ebook soon after and I am dying to buy a physical copy of this book. Basically I loved this book so much I read it twice in one month. This book is amazing and has a really interesting concept that I wasn't expecting.

At first I was unsure about this book because at the beginning there is a lot of information to take in and the narrator of the auidiobook has a really interesting voice that distracted me from the actual book. This book is filled with mythology and interesting characters. The seers in this book always made me laugh and the supernatural element in this book was so unique. After a few chapters, I was totally captivated by this book and I could not put it down.

I loved all the characters in this book because it is one of the most interesting set of characters I have ever read in a book. Maggie Stievater obviously knows her characters and their stories made them even more endearing. They are interesting and so complex. The four boys alone each have their own amazing story that could captivate a reader. As a set they just drew me in and fascinated me. I think Adam is my favorite Raven Boy, but that might be unfair to decide because this is only the first book. Blue, our narrator for a lot of the book, is such an awesome character. She is so unafraid to be herself which is one of the things I love about her. Also all the quirky characters in Blue's family bring humor and an interesting element to the story. I am so excited to see how all these characters will grow and change in this series because I've already seen the seeds of growth and change in them.

The pace of this book was a little slow at the beginning, but it really picked up as the book progresses. After the story is set up and the background information is provided, the story really picks up and moves at a great pace. Maggie Stievater has a way of writing that balances my want for detail and my need for the story to keep moving. For example I loved the description of Blue's house right down to the address, but her description doesn't slow the story down. There were so many unexpected twists as well in this book that kept me flipping the pages as well.

I can talk about the characters and plot and the amazing twists and turns that this book takes. Even so, I won't be able to describe how this book blew me away and how excited I am for the next book. This is my favorite book of the past year and I hope the sequel , The Dream Thieves, is just as good. I can not recommend this book enough.

Rating: 5/5 

My 2013 Reading Wrap Up and Top Books

I read so many amazing books this year that narrowing it down to just 13 favorites is really hard. These are the covers of some of my favorite books of this year! A lot of these are series and I cannot wait to continue those in the new year!

 For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)   The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)   The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)   Vessel
  Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) A Monster Calls The Night Circus Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Event though I loved a lot of the books that I read in 2013, these three easily take the cake as my top 3 of this year!  

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1) My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1) The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

Also if you'd like to see more of what kind of reading year I had you can check out my 2013 Reading Wrap up video! 

You can see all of the books that I read in 2013 here