Shine Review

Title: Shine
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Source: Purchased by me (It was in the bookstore early! Squeeeee!!!)

Goodreads Summary:
In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart. 
My Take:
I am having a seriously hard time writing what I thought about this book. All I can keep coming up with is...
"Holy crap! That was so great! Awesome! Amazing! OMG! I need a hot Scot in a kilt!" And so on, and so forth.

The research that went into this series..and the planning...awesome job, Jeri! There were so many times that I felt like I could have been standing in Ireland, Scotland, and even Baltimore, and seeing what Aura and Zachary were seeing.

The science in Shine was very well described. I'm not a big science fan, but I didn't feel lost. Jeri was able to explain everything that was happening, very well, using the characters.

I loved that Aura was so very compassionate to Shades. The calling and letting them pass through her was amazing!

Boooooo on the bad guys! Greedy corporations are...well, GREEDY!

I'm no perv, but when Aura and Zachary were finally together in Ireland, even when they were just at the airport, I was cheering and doing a little fist pump in the air action. Yeah! When they got to the B&B, I think I may have swooned. Or something!

"Operation Scot Free" earned quite the giggle, and maybe even a snort, from me. I can neither confirm, nor deny, that snort.

My Rating:
Shine, and the entire series, just ends up being a 5 star set! I loved the concept, all of the scientific research, the Scottish and Irish research, and all of the Baltimore love from Jeri! (Nice way to introduce the Poe House to more people!!!)

Obsidian Review

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary:
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Take:
Oh, heavens! I have been trying to hold off for a while on reading this book until it was closer to time for the release of Onyx. I just couldn't wait any longer! The #DaemonInvasion and all of the excitement on Twitter finally just "MADE" me put it on top of my TBR pile.

I had no doubts that I would love this book. I am pretty certain that Jennifer could never write anything bad! I am so in love with her and her writing, that I hope she just continues writing and writing...and writing!

I love the characters in Obsidian! I loved Dee's (Daemon's twin sister) enthusiasm right off the bat when she met Katy. Even though she fully understood the danger it could mean in having a human friend, she never let that deter her.

I love Katy! The book blogging thing tickled me and I chuckled at some of the references. One of my favorite lines about book blogging that I laughed...out loud...loudly...about was the:

"Because this was absolutely insane--the craziest thing I'd ever done. Worse than giving a one-star review, scarier than asking for an interview with an author I'd give my firstborn to eat lunch with..."

LOL! And LOL some more!!!!

I was glad that Katy didn't freak out when she found out about the Luxen (good aliens) and Arum (bad aliens) and how many that there were. I'm not sure I could have had the same understanding and composure.

Daemon Black. Oh, Daemon Black! You are the best guy that I love to hate! You are mean to Katy, but it's so understandable.  The scene where Daemon helps the trace lighten on Katy...SO MEAN!!!!!!! Argh!

Daemon, from day 1, wanted to keep Katy out of his and his sister's lives. He knows that humans can be dangerous to them. We found out in this book (and there's a novella, Shadows) about Dee's and Daemon's brother and that they were triplets. I'm going to have to purchase that for Kindle just so I can read it on the computer and know his story better. You get just a glimpse of it in Obsidian, really. Enough to understand that humans are dangerous to the Luxen, though!

I am so curious now as to what's going to happen in Onyx (book 2) and Opal (book 3)! The relationship with Katy and Daemon? The potential danger from more Arum? The DOD? What might Andrew and Ash do? Whatever it is, I hope it means more hot Daemon time! This character is totally swoon-worthy!

If you've read Obsidian, don't forget that there's a Daemon POV on Jennifer's!!!

My Rating:
In the words of Mary Murphy from So You Think You Can Dance, Daemon and Katy are on the HOT TAMALE TRAIN!!! I loved, loved, loved Obsidian!

Just go ahead and add all Jennifer L. Armentrout's books to your TBR lists and book piles. They are SO worth reading!

WINNER! Showers of Books Giveaway

Yay! I have a winner for the Showers of Books Giveaway!

The winner of the 3 signed books is Nori M.!!!

I also have an extra signed copy of Daimon, so I picked another winner to receive that. Surprise! That winner is Monica L.!

I am sending emails right now. Hope to hear from you ladies within the next 48 hours! :) *CHEERS*

Plagiarism and Decisions

I'm not sure how many of you actually read my posts, but if you're here reading this one, yay!

I teach 2nd-5th grade computer classes at an elementary school. One of the topics that we discuss each year is plagiarism. I even have it as one of my permanent Essential Questions posted on a bulletin board that stays up year-round.

I just started doing IMM 3 weeks ago, but I will no longer be participating. I may try to do a monthly wrap-up or something to post my treasures for my own pleasure.

I will also be dropping from the Debut Author Challenge. I will still be reading a lot of those and reviewing them, but they will not be linked to the challenge any longer.

I know Kristi is probably having a hard time at the moment, but ya know? She screwed up. Big time. She, and others, have hopefully learned a huge lesson from this. It is not OK to steal content. Ever. Even my 2nd graders could tell you that.

I do wish the bad comments and trash talking that have been slamming her would ease up. Jealousy is truly evil. I just wish people would just stop acting like fools. However, I do hope that there are consequences for her action. In life, there are always repercussions for stealing and/or cheating.

I would actually like to know what authors and publishers think of this. I'll probably never know, though.

Before I Fall Review

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Source: Borrowed from my Library

Goodreads Summary:
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
My Take:

Could you imagine dying and then reliving that same day 7 times? I definitely couldn't! I would be blabbering and not making sense to anyone and end up locked away.

Lauren Oliver has definitely written a beautiful book. Before I Fall had me laughing, thinking, crying, mourning, and appreciating everything and everyone in my life.

On that February 12th, Cupid Day, Samantha was killed in an accident. For the next 7 days, she relives that same day. Each day, she tries to change events that happened -- events that she tried to stop from happening at all.

Along the way of trying to stop things, she ended up realizing she had feelings for another guy besides her boyfriend. She realized that being popular, dating a popular guy, and doing all of the popular things weren't all that they were cracked up to be. I really appreciated that Sam's feelings for her friends didn't change in all of her discoveries and growth. Towards the end of the book, she even has a top 3 list for each of her BFFs about what she loves most about them. Such an endearing touch.

I thought that it was brilliant that each chapter in the book was the start of a new (repeated) day. When I saw a new chapter, I would get excited and wonder what this day would bring.

My Rating:
I truly feel touched after reading this book. I do believe that Lauren Oliver has a fan for life with me.

Before I Fall satisfies a portion of the Completely Contemporary Challenge (2010)!

WINNER! No Strings Attached

Yay! I have a winner for the No Strings Attached giveaway!

The winner was Teresa L. from Australia! Teresa has chosen a copy of Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium! I couldn't have picked better! ENJOY!

Congratulations Teresa!

Teaser Tuesday 4.24.12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the TITLE and AUTHOR too, so others can add to their TBR piles or Goodreads list if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from The Daughters by Joanna Philbin.**
I'm almost finished with my current read, so I thought I'd tease myself, and you, with the next book on my pile -- The Daughters!

School started tomorrow, which meant that today they would grab something from Pinkberry, stroll through the West Village, and catch up on their summers - their last-day-of-summer ritual. Since nursery school, Hudson and Carina had been her best friends. Lizzie thought of them as the Brita filters for her life.  Pg. 3

Let me know if you've read this book and your thoughts!

This definitely sounds like a great friendship read. And I kind of need that in my life right now. :) And hey, if Pinkberry is involved, count me in! :)

**The book's link takes you to the Goodreads page for the book. 
The author's link takes you to the author on Twitter. 

Pandemonium Review

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Source: Purchased by me

Goodreads Summary:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
My Take:
Oh. My. STARS! What a sequel!

At the end of Delirium (LOOK AWAY IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT!!!!), Lena crossed over into the Wilds. The trials and tribulations that she went through in Pandemonium would be enough for me to just give up.

She was fortunate enough to find a group of people to help her. She willed herself to become stronger and help out.

The relationship that she formed with Julian, I'm just not sure about. I know stress and fear can drive people together, but she always had Alex on the brain. Not once did she think about going back for him. Not once did she ever think to try to find out if he was alive. That was a little disappointing for me.

Lauren Oliver is such and evil, evil, EVIL woman. That cliff hanger...oh my GOSH! That's just torture. I'm not sure which had the more evil cliff hanger -- Delirium or Pandemonium. Maybe Delirium due to the amount of tears I cried. This one was more of a, "holy s@*t!"

I am VERY ready for Requiem. Must.know.what.happens!

The writing and story-telling were just as amazing in this book as Delirium.

My Rating:
That 5th Mickey is all due to Lena's mom.

Showers of Books Giveaway Hop

They say April Showers Bring May Flowers!

This April will find you showered in books during the "Showers of Books" Giveaway Hop!

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and One A Day YA.

For my "Showers of Books" giveaway, I will be giving away the three (3) available paperback books of the Covenant Series SIGNED by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Daimon, Half-Blood, and Pure. I am SO in love with this series and I think everyone should read them!


One (1) US/Canadian winner, age 13+, will be "showered" with all three (3) books! Did I mention they're SIGNED?!?!? Jennifer was also even MORE awesome and added a signed bookmark for each book. HOORAY!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter below. Nothing is mandatory, but any follows that are listed are appreciated!

This giveaway is for US/Canada ONLY. So very sorry! Watch in May for an International giveaway or check out the No Strings Attached Giveaway I have posted!


Teaser Tuesday 4.17.12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the TITLE and AUTHOR too, so others can add to their TBR piles or Goodreads list if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.**

That is the girl I was then: stumbling, sinking, lost in brightness and space. My past has been wiped clean, bleached a stark and spotless white. Pg. 46

Let me know if you've read this book and your thoughts!

**The book's link takes you to the Goodreads page for the book. 
The author's link takes you to the author on Twitter.

Under the Never Sky Review

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Source: Purchased by me

Goodreads Summary:

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

My Take:
Whoa! I finished this book last night and all I could think about today was "what's going to happen?!?!"

Under the Never Sky created an interesting world and interesting view points of two types of people. Rossi created very likable characters. I thought the team of Perry and Aria was fantastic! I loved when Roar joined in with the two of them. He really helped Aria cope and deal with what she had witnessed. Thank goodness for Roar! He and Perry helped Aria so much and she grew so strong by the end of this book. I LOVE THAT!

Aria was never really whiny and the obnoxious female main character that we often get. Yes, she panicked when she was dumped out into the Outside. I would have too if I was taught that I would die if I went out there.

Ohhhh, the secret that her mom had sent. Oooooo!!!!

If you've read the book, or even the inside jacket, I nearly died when I read the below part in the book. OMG!

"Since she'd been on the Outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered.

This was worse."

Yep, about DIED! :)

I need the next book, Through the Ever Night, like 10 minutes ago! I am so very excited about this story! Rossi had an amazing debut, in my opinion!

My Rating:
If you like Dystopians, READ Under the Never Sky! If you like Dystopians that are different than the generic Dystopians out there, you HAVE to READ Under the Never Sky!

No Strings Attached Giveaway

Welcome to the No Strings Attached Giveaway!

No hoops to jump through. No following required. No tweeting. Nothing! Nada! Zilch!

The only thing I need for you to do is to fill in the Rafflecopter with your name and email address so I can announce and contact the winner! Woooo!

The prize for this giveaway will be the choice of any book, $15 or less. I prefer shipping from Books-a-Million, but I will ship from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million or The Book Depository (if an International winner)!

This is an International giveaway! If a US winner, he/she may choose from the 4 places listed above. If an International winner, he/she will receive a book from The Book Depository.

Teaser Tuesday 4.10.12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the TITLE and AUTHOR too, so others can add to their TBR piles or Goodreads list if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax by Trinity Faegen.**

 "Time's up, Jax," ponytail brother said. "Put her to sleep and erase her memory. Now."

Sasha tried to duck and run when he moved, but she'd barely begun to turn before his arms closed around her and everything went dark. Pg. 26

Let me know if you've read this book and your thoughts!

**The book's link takes you to the Goodreads page for the book. 
The author's link takes you to the author on Twitter.

When the Sea is Rising Red Review

Title: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Source: Borrowed from my Library

Goodreads Summary:
After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.  

 My Take:
Well, here goes my first actual review on the blog that is not 4 or 5 Mickeys. Unfortunately, it's not even 3 Mickeys.

When the Red Sea is Rising really just fell flat for me. I'm not sure if I'll be able to explain why, but it did and I'll try.

It took me over half of the book to finally understand the world and caste system that were created. Still at the end, places were still being tossed into the story.

There was no real character development for me. No character that I fell in love with, such as I do, in every book I read. I didn't even get a connection with the main character, Felicita.

By the end of the book, I was honestly thinking, "All of this because of a suicide?"

I would like to give Cat Hellisen another attempt with her next novel, but her debut just didn't knock it out of the ballpark for me.

My Rating:
When the Sea is Rising Red just fell flat for me, unfortunately.

 When the Sea is Rising Red satisfies a portion of the StandAlone Reading Challenge.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Review

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Source: Borrowed from my Library

Goodreads Summary:

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. 

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. 

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. 

Most of the chosen do.

My Take:
Going into this book, I really didn't know much about it besides what the synopsis told me. I remember seeing it very active in the blogosphere months ago, but I don't remember the thoughts or comments that people had written.

We start off in this book meeting Elisa, essentially a chubby, not good at anything (except war strategies!), low self-esteem Princess. The mystifying part about Elisa is that she has a Godstone, a blue gem, in her belly button. The stone means that she is a "chosen" one. What God has chosen her to do, she hasn't a clue.

In the first few pages of the book, she turns 16 and gets married to a King in an arranged marriage. She goes back to his kingdom, only to be introduced as a guest. The marriage is a secret! (I'm all, "what the what?!?!" about this)

Alejandro travels for a month to get his son...with another woman *gasp* while Elisa stays behind. At this point, I'm just as confused as Elisa. She finds him attractive, wants him to feel something for her, all the while left behind as a "guest", still uncertain of her future and what the Godstone means for her.

Shortly after his return, Elisa is kidnapped. She is taken to people who believe that she is meant to save them from the ongoing war. While Elisa is with these people, she becomes strong-minded. She has some great war ideas and the people are willing to help and do whatever is needed of them.

While all of this is going on, there's a loooooove blossoming! Elisa and one of her kidnappers, Humberto, kind of develop feelings for each other. There is a part...I had tears. Tears! Read. You will, too! I hope there's something secret in the next book. I'm not sure I could stand no...I'll stop there! Read it!

The most amazing part of this book is the character development. Wowzas! Elisa's growth and transformation were amazing! The world building was pretty great, too.

I'm not a big religious person and sometimes, too much of it in a book can take away some of my reading enjoyment and sometimes even make me just put it down. This book was filled with so much about God, but not scripture and such. It was more of Elisa finding the path that God had planned for her by giving her the Godstone. That girl did a whole lot of praying! Thankfully, it was not a turn off for me! It WAS the story.

I will definitely be ready and look forward to reading the second book in the series: The Crown of Embers!

Kudos to Rae Carson for using "hollers" a few times! Woo! Woo! :)

My Rating:
I really did enjoy this book! I wish I could rave and rave about it and give it 5 Mickeys/stars, but I didn't love it that much. I can't quite pinpoint the reason why.
I would definitely recommend this book and will continue with the series!!!