Friday, August 31, 2012

Bookish Buys: Just Jewelry

Friday, August 31, 2012
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items. 

Make Book Earrings
Book Earrings
Imagine, mini Harry Potter books hanging from your ears!

Banned Books Bracelet
Banned Books Bracelet
Be a proud reader of banned books!

Book Lover Hand Stamped Literary Bibliophile Necklace in Black Typewriter Font
Book Lover Necklace
Simple and understated. I like it.

Image of Bookish Literary Themed Charm Bracelet
Books Charm Bracelet
So cute!
See anything you like?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: West Virginia University Press
Series: Standalone
Website: N/A
Source: Sent by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Ugly to Start With
Jason Stevens is growing up in the 1970s in small town Harper's Ferry, Virginia., all the while trying to find himself, deal with his family's problems, and cope with some other tough issues. It isn't easy, and Jason makes a lot of mistakes, but so goes the process of growing up. Ugly to Start With is told as a chronological series of short stories.

In all honesty, this probably wasn't the book for me, but I figured I'd give it a go. Unfortunately, my gut was right and I just could not get into these stories.

The writing is plain and a little coarse, although I did like the first short story of the collection. The problems the main character faces are certainly sympathetic, but I just wasn't invested enough in him to truly care about his troubles. And issues that I suppose are meant to be underlying and subtle are not. Everything is just laid out on the table.

I did like the protagonist enough to enjoy how he progressed from one part of his life to the next, I will say that, but mostly with this book, I was bored. Plenty of topics are tackled in Ugly to Start With some of which could have been dealt with a bit better, perhaps. Honestly, I can't see many teens enjoying this type of book, although people who grew up in this time period may appreciate it more.
*1.5 stars*
Do you often try books outside of your preferred genres? What happened when you did?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (47)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Top Ten Bookish Confessions...
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. I have a "Do Not Lend" List. Pretty much, if I lend you a book and it comes back in less-than-perfect condition (i.e. torn pages, coffee stains), you will not be borrowing my books again any time soon. I'm REALLY protective of my books, obviously, but so far there's only one person on the list. (Thank goodness!)

2. I make elaborate book rec lists for my friends. Whenever someone asks me for a few recommendations, I usually end up giving them a typed list of about 50-100 books. This is what I do for fun. (They're organized by genre and everything! Hmm... maybe I'll post a sample on the blog?)

3. I once determined whether I liked a guy by giving him a book to read. I'm not going to say which book in case he ever reads this (that would be awkward...), but basically it's one of my all-time favorite novels. He liked it well enough, but he missed (what I felt was) the point of the whole book. We're still very good friends, but I haven't been interested in him in "that way" since. (Is this pretentious of me? Maybe. Probably. But I *highly* doubt he was interested in my at all anyway. In hindsight, the whole thing was very, very silly.)

4. No one is allowed to touch my copy of TFIOS. It's signed by John Green AND Hanklerfished, which makes it one of my most (personally) valued possessions. No one in my family is even allowed to pick it up in case anything happens to it.

5.  When I go to the bookstore, there are always a few books that I pull off the shelves and thumb through, even though I've already read them. Libba Bray's, John Green's, and Robin Benway's books are a must.

6. I've gone to school with only three hours sleep because I stayed up reading. Because I typically only get four-six hours sleep thanks to my homework load, this has only happened once in recent years. The book? Going Bovine by Libba Bray. It was worth it.

7. I have read more J.K. Rowling biographies than would be considered healthy. Seriously, when I was in middle school I must have read so many that I've lost count. I also own Conversations with J.K. Rowling (it's the only authorized bio... or it was when it came out, at least). When the Lifetime movie came out, I spent much of it telling those around me all the facts the movie people had gotten wrong. Come to think of it, that's pretty much what I do during the Harry Potter films, too.

8. Once at the library with a friend, we took a TON of books off the shelves and then decided not to check some of them out. So we put them back on the cart. I still cringe with guilt when I think about this. I mean, seriously, how rude were we? Someone else then had to clean up our mess. Since I volunteer at the library now (and have alphabetized hundreds of carts and put away countless DVDs), I think my karma has balanced out, but I'm still ashamed of my thoughtlessness.

9. I still have the first reply I got from an author pinned to my wall. When I was a lot younger, I sent my first-ever fan email to a favorite author and she sent back a really thoughtful, kind response. It always cheers me up to read it!

10. When I was younger and was told to clean my room, I would always organize my bookshelves first. Basically, it's something I love to do anyways, and it looked like I was actually making progress in my room. (And I would take my time, delaying actual cleaning for as long as possible. This meant dusting off the book covers, putting them in alphabetical order, labeling the genre sections on my shelves, etc., etc.)

Do you share any of my bookish idiosyncrasies? Leave a link to your confessions (: 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, August 27, 2012
Genre: Mystery (Retelling)
Publisher: Balzar and Bray
Series: Standalone
When Meg and Minnie get invited by the most popular girl in school to spend a weekend on Henry Island, they know there's no way they can't go. But from the start, things begin to go wrong. First it's the terrible, raging storm, then it's the fact that T.J. (the boy both Meg and Minnie are in love with) is on the island with them, and then it's the ominous DVD. Soon enough, the ten teenagers realize that they are all in very serious danger and that they'll be lucky if any of them make it off of the island alive. 
As A Retelling
And Then There Were None is one of my favorite books I've ever read in school. (In fact, I read it before it was required reading.) It is utterly chilling and suspenseful, and Ten really captures that. I was tearing through the pages and completely terrified in the best possible way. As far as retellings go, Ten is definitely a solid one, reworking bits and pieces of ATTWN to make the story fresh. Unfortunately, if you have read Christie's novel, you'll probably guess "who dun it." I had my suspicions about 150 pages before the end of the book and was dead (pardon the pun) certain of it 50 pages before the culprit is revealed. I really can't say anymore because of spoilers, but that was the one bit that disappointed me. I was really hoping for some twist that would prove my guess wrong.

I really connected with Meg, the protagonist. She's a writer, first of all, and a bit of a goody two-shoes. She's also fiercely protective of her best friend, Minnie. Basically, the only problem I had with Meg was her relationship, or lack there-of, with T.J. When there are murders happening left and right, you'd think she'd be more focused on figuring out the killer than whether she has said the right thing to her crush. In all honesty, I'm not sure whether I was a fan of the romantic arc. It added depth to some parts of the story, certainly, but at times, I just wasn't into it.

The names were another problem. In the beginning, having two characters with names that start with "M" took me out of the story whenever I had to figure out who the author was talking about, which was a little frustrating. Thankfully, they have very distinct personalities so after a while, I didn't have to think about who was Meg and who was Minnie.

How the characters cope while dealing with the threat of their potential deaths, along with their own personal baggage, makes for a brilliant, suspenseful dynamic. Each of the ten teens are vastly different and very well fleshed-out. Again, I can't really say anything more because of spoilers, but the majority of the characters are really well-written!

The Setting
The island is eerie- the perfect setting for a mystery novel. There's an awesome twist involving the setting that is really very creepy. Plus, there isn't any Internet access or phones, so the characters are completely cut off from the rest of the world. If the idea of no Internet doesn't terrify the typical modern teenager, I don't know what will. 

Ten is thrilling, chilling, and a great retelling, if just the slightest bit predictable. It's like getting the chance to read And Then There Were None again for the first time, and come on, who wouldn't want that??

Other books by Gretchen McNeil: Possess
What are some of your favorite mystery novels?

You can join the Army of Ten to win awesome prizes, including signed swag and an acknowledgement in Gretchen McNeil's next book!! 
Just click this link: The Army of Ten

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Quick Bookish Survey

Sunday, August 26, 2012
Kelly over at The Broke and Bookish just did this survey and invited others to join in, so here are my answers! (If you want to participate, you can link up at TBAB)

1. The book I'm currently reading: Erasing Time by C.J. Hill. I haven't gotten that far into it, but the premise is a very unique twist on the typical dystopian novel and the first line is killer.
Erasing TimeObsidian (Lux, #1)
2. The last book I finished: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. A review of this one will be up soon-ish, but for now I'll just say that I enjoyed it. I didn't necessarily love it, but I'll definitely be reading Onyx.
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5)
3. The next book I want to read: I'm torn between a few books. City of Glass and Seraphina are both possibilities, but if my copy of The Kill Order by James Dashner arrives soon, I'm dropping everything to read that.

The Family Sea (Piratica, #3)The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

4. The last book I bought: Piratica III: The Family Sea by Tanith Lee. I've been waiting three years for this and finally ordered it from The Book Depository!

5. The last book I was given: I assume this question refers to loaned books from friends as opposed to books won in giveaways? If so, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and Possession by Elana Johnson. 

Have you read any of these books? If you did this survey leave a link so I can check it out! (:

In My Mailbox (47)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!

From the Library:
City of Glass (TMI #3) by Cassandra Clare

In the Mail:
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Won from Stuck in Books- Thanks, Valerie!)
Erasing Time by C.J. Hill (Won from a HarperTeen GoodReads FirstReads giveaway- Thank you!)

What did you get this week? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bookish Buys: Go Away I'm Reading

Friday, August 24, 2012
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items. 

Night Shirt
I love the picture on this one! It makes me want to curl up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate.
Buy it here.

Sassy Book Jackets
How useful would this be? Definitely printing these ASAP. Best part? They're designed by upcoming HarperTeen author Erin Bowman.
Get it for FREE here.

Go Away I'm Reading Bag
Canvas Tote
So you can carry all those books you just bought and keep people away while you read!
Buy it here.

Literary pin, book lover, Go away I'm reading, black white, school
And you can put this pin on your bag!
Buy it here.

It may not be polite, but let's face it, we've all thought it at some point. (: Do you know of any other "Go Away I'm Reading" stuff? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (46)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Top Ten Favorite Books Since I Started Blogging
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
These are most definitely not in any particular order.
1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty (and Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing) by Libba Bray

4. Graceling (and Fire and Bitterblue) by Kristin Cashore

5. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

6. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

7. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Honorable Mentions:
  • Beauty Queens and Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
  • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Have you read any of these? What books did you put on your TTT?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Monday, August 20, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Revenants #2 (Spoilers ahead if you haven't read Die for Me)
Source: Won from HarperTeen
Until I Die (Revenants, #2)
Kate and Vincent are determined to be together, but it won't be easy. They both go off on a search for an answer to their problem, but without intending to, they may be proceeding down a path to danger. On top of everything, the Numa are suspiciously quiet, and until they know what their enemies are planning, no one is safe.

When I began reading, I was worried that my expectations would be too high, and I'd end up disliking this book. And even though Die for Me blew me away, I admit that I still had my worries that Kate would develop Bella-syndrome. (Sorry, Twihards.) I was gloriously wrong! Kate isn't boy-obsessed in the slightest, and she's training so she can defend herself, and she goes off in search for answers, and her relationship with Vincent is healthy!* I was glad, also, that the topic of sex is dealt with in a way that's mature and reasonable. Kudos to them!

Until I Die has a lot more going on than Die for Me. The streets of Paris are a dangerous place to be, indeed. There's conflict between the Revenants and the Numa, impossible difficulties with Kate and Vincent's relationship, a legendary prophecy, and even issues with Kate's family. Which brings me to my next point:

Kate's family. They're great. I love that they are involved in her life and that the reader gets to see how much they care for her. Georgia is as crazy and fun as always, but she's protective of her little sister, just as Kate is protective of her. They have each other's backs and it adds a layer of depth to the story.

As for the ending, be prepared to have your heart shattered into a million pieces. It's a cliffhanger like none other and you will want the next book *right* away. Please, please, please, by some miracle, let it come out sooner than May 2013!

*It's sad that that's something I'm happy about- it should just be a given that a female protagonist doesn't depend on men to fill a void in her life, unless of course that is what a story is about. But that's a post for another day.
*5 stars*
Other Books in this Series: Die for Me (#1), If I Should Die (#3- To Be Released)
What are your feelings on cliffhangers? Yay or nay?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (46)

Sunday, August 19, 2012
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!
In the Mail:
All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Poison Tree by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Both won from Random Buzzers- Thank you!)
Ten by Gretchen McNeil (Won from Good Read's FirstReads program- Thanks! Loved this one.)

From the Library:
Sisters Grimm: Tales from the Hood by Michael Buckley
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (I have to say that I like The Infernal Devices better, but TMI is still really good.)

What did you get this week?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bookish Buys: The Harry Potter Edition

Friday, August 17, 2012
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items. 

This week's theme is in honor of LeakyCon. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there (but oh how I wish I was!), but I can at least look up cool HP swag. And yes, this post completely made me nerd-out. There's so much amazing Potter stuff out there!

Harry Potter Sorting Hat
The Sorting Hat
Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, or Gryffindor- which house will you be in?

Harry Potter "Ministry of Magic This Way" Toilet Decal / Loo Sticker
Ministry of Magic Sticker
Definitely guaranteed to make your Potter-fan friends laugh. Just make sure they know it's a joke first to avoid clean up.

Cloak of Invisibility
The Cloak of Invisibility
It seems like this one would be easy to misplace... (;

Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone Authentic Replica
The Sorcerer's Stone
Disclaimer: Does not actually provide immortality. 

Harry Potter The Mirror of Erised by Noble Collection
The Mirror of Erised
It's an exact replica of the one from the movie. (I'm not as in love with the movies as I am with the books, but this is pretty darn cool.)

Do you have any cool Harry Potter collectibles? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (45)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Top Ten Book Romances that would make it outside of the Book
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

1. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)
"There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. "
2. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
3. Audrey Cutler and James Rasmussen (Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway)
"From the car to the restaurant, James held my hand the whole way. Some guys just have a knack for hand-holding, have you noticed?"
4. Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters (The Fault in our Stars by John Green)
"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” 
6. Po and Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore)
"Your eyes are beautiful," he said, and she felt warm suddenly, warm in the sun that dappled through the treetops and rested on them in patches.” 
7. Jem and Tessa (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)
"When two souls are as one, they stay together on the Wheel. I was born into this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that."
8. James and Lily Potter (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)
"I wouldn't go out with you if it were a choice between you and the giant squid!" (Lily to James, their fifth year at Hogwarts)

That's all I can think of at the moment! Hopefully I'll add more later in the day.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Monday, August 13, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Viking
Series: Standalone
Source: Borrowed
Keep Holding On
Noelle is bullied, by her classmates and by her mother, but what can she do? At least she has Matt, her kinda-boyfriend, except he won't tell anyone they're together. And she has her best friend, Sherae, but she doesn't know the full extent of Noelle's problems, plus she has her own issues. Then there's Julian Porter, the boy she truly wants to be with, even though she knows she can't be. Noelle wants to make things better, but she's not sure how she can, not when all the odds seemed to be stacked against her.

I think every teen can relate to this book. Even if your home life is fine, or you're not hurting financially, if you are a teen you will connect with Noelle. This book isn't so much about romance, like most of Susane Colasanti's books, but about a girl coping with bullying. Noelle's story is so compelling that the little romance that is featured is really just a nice bonus.

What Colasanti does so masterfully is that she makes an important point: not only will it get better, but you can make it better now. The bullies in your life don't have to determine your happiness because, at the end of the day, it's your life and you can make of it what you will. And there are good people in the world who can help you.

Keep Holding On choked me up more than a few times. It's touching and true and, most importantly, inspirational. I really felt that Ms. Colasanti poured her heart into this book and I wish I could give a copy to every kid who has been bullied or is being bullied. The characters contained in its pages are reflections of the teens walking through the halls of high school today, so true to life that, in all likelihood, you'll recognize someone you know.

I sincerely hope you take the time to read this book.
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Happiness is not limited. There's enough for everyone."
How do you think we can stop bullying in our schools?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In My Mailbox (45)

Sunday, August 12, 2012
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!

From the Library:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Finally reading TMI- Love the Infernal Devices, so of course I'm liking this!)
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

In the Mail:
Lost Girls by Ann Kelley
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney
Both were won from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers so thank you very much!

What did you get this week? Leave a link and I'll comment back. (:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bookish Buys: Clocks, Cases, Cups

Friday, August 10, 2012
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items. 
Book Clock
Always running late because you get lost in a good book? Try this.

Fish Bowl Bookend
No room for a fish tank because your books are taking up too much space? I think this is the solution.

Literary Art iPhone Cases
I know I want The Great Gatsby one! (Not that I have an iPhone, but you know, just in case...)

Teacher Gift Reading is my Super power mug
Reading is my Super Power Mug
Possible super hero names: The Page Person,  The Book Bandit (for a bad guy, maybe?), NovElla (if your name is Ella... I'm not good at this.)

What's your favorite item? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Don't Hate on YA!

Thursday, August 9, 2012
I have a few pet peeves. I can't have someone's elbow brushing up against mine at the dinner table and I cringe at the sight of a dog-eared page. But what irritates me most of all is when people look down on Young Adult books just because they're geared for teens.

In Joel Stein's NY Times Article "Adults Should Read Adult Books", this is exactly what he does. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course, but I feel he doesn't have enough background information on YA books to write about them. He even admits that he hasn't read any of the books he refers to in his article. Speaking of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, he says, "I’m sure all those books are well written. So is “Horton Hatches the Egg.” But Horton doesn't have the depth of language and character as literature written for people who have stopped physically growing." 

And that's the thing. Stein doesn't understand that YA books are often much deeper than vampires that sparkle in the sunlight. And saying that adult books are more profound simply because they're adult books is ridiculous.

All books of all genres have a range. 50 Shades of Grey is, for example, a book geared for adults, but that doesn't mean that it has more depth than The Fault in our Stars by John Green, a Young Adult novel. While some Adult books are, of course, thought-provoking and meaningful, some are just fun and fluffy. The same goes for Young Adult books.

Let's continue to use The Fault in our Stars as an example. For those who don't know, it's about two teens with cancer that fall in love (and while it's a book about cancer, it is not a "cancer book"), and it goes into everything from the meaning of life and death to questions about pain and heroism. There is endless symbolism and yes, depth, and  it is widely read by teens AND adults. For no reason should they feel embarrassed to read this.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is another fantastic example. Through satire, Bray tackles a broad range of issues in our society, including feminism, racism, politics, and religion. And even Harry Potter has themes of love, life, good vs. evil, and forgiveness within its pages. These books and many other YA novels are perfectly capable of making their readers' think.

The last bit I have to say about Stein's article is that, even though he may not have intended this, he's being quite condescending to teens. Just because we are younger does not mean we aren't capable of serious thought.  Just like anyone else, we enjoy light books sometimes, but the ones that grab us are the novels with layers, and interesting, realistic characters. We like books that bring up cause for discussion and challenge us to think beyond our horizons. 

There are great Adult books and great Young Adult books, and the quality of a book has nothing to do with its targeted demographic. Plenty of adults read teen novels, just as some teen read adult novels, and it's perfectly fine either way. 

Do you think Young Adult novels can have as much depth as Adult novels? I'd love to hear your opinions, whether you agree or disagree! (:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Post!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Hey guys! I did a guest review of The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa over on Stuck in YA Books.

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

If you'd like to, maybe check it out and give it some comment love? 

Top Ten Tuesday (44)

Top Ten Posts On My Blog That Give the Best Picture of Me
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This is a tricky one! Ah!
I think my absolute LOVE for reading really comes through in this, and I really wrote this straight from the heart.

Is this cheating to put this  on the list? I think it should count, though, since I talk about my brother and he's one of my biggest role models. (Just don't tell him that. (;)

Where I pretty much rant about the last twelve chapters of Huck Finn. It's a lot more interesting than it sounds... at least, I hope it is.

Again, is this cheating since I had to list random facts about myself? Ah well, I'm putting it on the list anyway.

I talk about about a subject that really irks me: censorship.

I don't think it's my best written review, but for some reason, I think it has a lot of me in it, if that makes sense. (Of course, I try to do that with all my reviews, but I have more success with some than others.)

I talk about why Holden Caulfield still connects with readers 61 years since Catcher's publication.

Libba Bray is my ROLE MODEL because of this book.

Part of a feature that I started as an experiment and no longer do because of reasons, but that doesn't mean I still didn't love this movie.

10. Don't Hate on YA!
This actually isn't going to be posted until Thursday, but I immediately thought it when I was working on this post. 

Leave me a link to your TTTs! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Monday, August 6, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: Graceling Realms #1
Source: Library
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
Katsa is the niece of King Randa, one of the seven kings that rule the land. She's also Graced, meaning that like a few special people, she has an incredible talent. In some, it is amazing swimming skills or cooking expertise. Hers is killing. Randa uses his lady killer to do his dirty work, and much as she hates it, Katsa feels trapped. Until she meets Po, and everything changes.

This book is a perfect fantasy novel.

Everything is fantastic- the world building, the Graces, the romance, the action... just everything. It had me completely immersed by the end of the first paragraph, and I just wanted to keep reading for hours. The characters are all so fleshed-out, and the politics within the kingdom so believable, and the idea of the Council utterly intriguing.

Of course, I loved Katsa. She's powerful, independent, and gruff, and the growth she displays is natural and flawlessly done. As for Katsa and Po's relationship, I was enchanted by their friendship and their romance. It's uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The things Graceling did to my emotions at times- I'd be smiling at one of Po's quips in one chapter and getting choked up the next.

I just want more- not because there isn't enough to this story, far from it, but because it is so good that I need the next book pronto! (I'm exercising impressive self-control by not running out to the library or Barnes and Noble this instant).

A Quote from the Book: “How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people - girls, women - went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.” 
If you had a Grace, what would it be?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In My Mailbox (44)

Sunday, August 5, 2012
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!

The Enchantress by Michael Scott (A gift from my awesome aunt!)

What did you get this week? Leave a link!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bookish Buys: Tees, Toys, and Totes

Friday, August 3, 2012
I've always wanted to have a post on Friday (the gap from Tuesday to Sunday just seemed too long), and this is what I've come up with: Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. I'll just say now that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items. 

So let's get started, shall we? 

I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie Tote Bag
You other readers can't deny...

William Shakespeare Soft Toy
William Shakespeare Soft Toy
To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

In The Library bottle
In the Library Perfume
What book lover doesn't love the smell of books? Now you can smell like one, too.

I Love My Library T-shirt
I Love My Library Tee
Because libraries are places of awesome.

See anything you like? I know that I'm wishing I could buy everything here! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Trailer: The Forsaken

Thursday, August 2, 2012
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

I haven't read this dystopian yet, but based on that trailer, I really want to! It has intrigue and enough info about the story to get you intrigued. Awesome!

Has anyone read The Forsaken yet? What did you think?