Friday, November 30, 2012

Bookish Buys: Bumper Stickers, Bookmarks, and Bubble Bath

Friday, November 30, 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.  

Black Balance Bookshelf (Limited Edition)
Balanced Bookshelf
A visual demonstration of your TBR and Read books.

2in x 6in Wood Bookmark - Never judge a book by its movie.
Wood Bookmark
"NEVER judge a book by its movie." Good advice.

road less traveled bumper sticker
Road Less Traveled Bumper Sticker
Not sure if this is what Robert Frost intended...

'Paperback' Bubble Bath
Book Bubble Bath
Are you a book sniffer like me? Good thing, then, there's a paperback scented shampoo.

Would you use book bubble bath? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (60)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013 
(in which I cheat and add 5 books...)

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

1. Also Known As by Robin Benway
2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
3. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Also Known AsThe Archived (The Archived, #1)
4. Fearless by Cornelia Funke
5. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
6. Antigoddess by Kendare Blare
Fearless (Reckless, #2)Paper Valentine
7. If I Should Die by Amy Plum
8. A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard
9. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
If I Should Die (Revenants, #3)A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)
10. Poison by Bridget Zinn
11. The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer
12. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
PoisonThe Corner of Bitter and SweetBetween the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
13. Hysteria by Megan Miranda
14. Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
15. Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Hysteria Maid of SecretsLife After Theft

Not only do these books sound AMAZING, but their covers?? Absolutely GORGEOUS. Is it just me, or are YA covers better than ever lately?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Monday, November 26, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Iron Fey #2
Website: http://www.theironfey.com/TheIronDaughter.html
Source: Borrowed
*This may contain spoilers if you have not read The Iron King*
The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)
Meaghan is trapped in the Unseelie court with no magic, no hope of escape, and worst of all, no Ash. On the few occasions she does see him, he's frigid and distant, as if everything that happened in the Iron Kingdom was a lie. But then the Scepter of the Seasons is stolen by the Iron Fey and Meaghan has to get it back to save both the Nevernever and her own world. She'll need the help of her friends, and some surprising allies, but Meaghan has never been one to give up.

In my review of The Iron King, I raved about the world-building, and that still stands true in The Iron Daughter. The world of the Nevernever is so darkly magical and inventive, with fascinating characters and creatures. Everything from the frigid Unseelie court to the Between is breathtakingly imaginative. Kagawa has created a setting that is dangerously enchanting that I'd love to return to... but I may not.

Why? Well, the one complaint I had in The Iron King was Ash. He's tall, dark, and handsome, yes, but he's a walking cliche. It was instalove, he had no true depth as a character, and it both irked and bored me. So no, I wasn't thrilled that the focus of this book is on him. I don't understand the point of the love triangle either. (There's Puck, who she's known forever, who is funny and loyal and trustworthy, and then there's Ash, who's still mourning his dead girlfriend.... and well, that's really the extent of his character.) And honestly, I don't like love triangles, except for the *very* rare exception. They're useless conflicts that don't add to the story.

As for the rest of the plot, which I felt was overshadowed by the accursed love triangle, it was decent. A bit predictable, perhaps, but with plenty of action. Meaghan is still pretty fierce and her loyalty to her family is admirable. I just didn't connect with her the same way I did in the first book, especially when she indulges in some petty drama.

Despite this, I did love the development with Iron Horse. He quickly became one of my favorite characters. (Yes, he was kind of, well, murderous in The Iron King, but in this book he is more like a teddy bear of steel.) Grim is still wonderfully snarky, too. I can't get enough of that cat!

Overall, it's not as if I hated The Iron Daughter, by any means. I just wish that there had been a greater focus on the main plot than on Meaghan's unnecessarily twisted love life.
*2.5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Wow, icy reception here. And to think I came back from the dead for this." 
Should I continue on with this series? Or am I just going to be disappointed when there's more of Ash?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (60)

Sunday, November 25, 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!
As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality.

From the Library:
It is the only book of hers I haven't read. Based on Passengers and Vera Dietz, I'm going to love this.

In the Mail:
Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse
I love books that center around music and this one looks absolutely fantastic. Thank you ARCYcling and Jenuine Cupcakes!

Weekly Recap
Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday
Bookish Buys: Litographs, Laptop Skins, Literary Journals

Have you read A.S. King's books? What did you get in your mailboxes this week?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bookish Buys: Litographs, Laptop Skins, Literary Journal

Friday, November 23, 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 Journal – Books to Check Out
Book Journal
The retro version of the to-read shelf on Good Reads.

Litograph Poster
A poster made out of the words of a book... The entire book on a poster. I chose Peter Pan as an example on here, but there are plenty of other options.

all you need is... Laptop & iPad Skin
Laptop/iPad Skin
You know that you read that as the song. 

FREE MELTING CLOCK with purchase,Handmade 4ft Curved Bookshelf Oak Stained/Blk
Curvy Bookcase
Feels like something from Alice in Wonderland, right?

Something exciting:
Do you guys remember the TFIOS necklace I featured in a previous Bookish Buys? Well, Kyrsten, who owns Authored Adornments (the shop that sells that necklace, and many other beautiful charms) was kind enough to offer all of my readers a 10% off coupon code on anything in her Etsy shop! The code is BOOKSHOP. I highly recommend you use it, because her necklaces are absolutely amazing. (And would be perfect for holiday presents.)
Thank you, Kyrsten!

What's your favorite bookish buy featured this week?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Book Club Discussions: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Thursday, November 22, 2012
If you remember from last month, I just joined a book club! I'm very excited about this and thought that you guys might be interested in our discussions. Hopefully you'll join in in the comments! This month's book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (Another one that I had read before my book club started, but I love it, so it's okay. (:)
The Book Thief
*Please be aware that there WILL be spoilers for The Book Thief if you have yet to read it.*

What did you think of this book?
There were three people (including myself) at this book club meeting because a bunch of my friends couldn't make it. (I'm making sure they come next month, though!!) We'll call the people who were there J and S. J said that he didn't like the first 150 pages, but after that he really liked the book. He just felt the beginning was a bit dry. S and I both loved it, especially the doodles (S) and Death's random commentaries (me).

We all thought that the thing that makes this book so unique is that it's a Holocaust book told from a German perspective. I've read a ton of Holocaust books and this was a fresh twist. 

Who was your favorite character?
Everybody agreed that they loved Hans and his accordion. S especially appreciated the accordion symbolism. We all loved Rudy and decided that Isla was the most interesting character in the book. I also love Max.

    On Isla...
    She and Leisel have a very special, quiet bond. There's a mutual respect and wariness. Since Isla had lost her son, we thought that perhaps she saw some of him in Leisel. It must have taken so much courage for her to connect with Leisel since she had cut herself off from the world for so long.
     
     On Rudy...
     Who wasn't devastated that he didn't get his kiss? We said that we either blocked that foreshadowing out when we were reading it or just remained in denial. Well, except for J, who didn't remember that part, haha.

A few questions on the Word Shaker.
S was a little confused by the significance of the Word Shaker, which I was, too, the first time I read it. What we interpreted it to mean that words are powerful. They can shape the world in both positive and negative ways. Leisel represents the proper way to use words, to make something beautiful, while Hitler is her antithesis, using his words to create the greatest evil.

Which character benefits Leisel the most?
All of the relationships shape her over the course of the novel. However, her relationship with Hans is one of the most significant.

What is the significance of the first book she steals? (The Gravedigger's Handbook)
It's to have something relating to her brother to hold on to, now that all of her family is gone. Perhaps stealing books is also something she can control when the rest of her life is out of her hands.

On Death narrating.
All of us thought it was God narrating at first until we figured out it was Death. We all really liked that Death is a sympathetic character. As S said, you don't think of Death having a heart, but in The Book Thief, he does.

A few random notes...
S: All of the characters felt so real! After I finished the book, I actually missed them.
Me: I loved Rosa. Her character was hysterical.
J: Yeah, she was definitely the comic relief.
Me: She's all tough on the outside, but inside, she's a big teddy bear.

What did you think of The Book Thief? Who was your favorite character?
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (59)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Top Ten Books (in 2012) for which I'm Thankful
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
In order to keep this list to 10, I had to make this only 2012 books.

1. Every Day by David Levithan
Every Day
This book is officially one of my Favorite Books Ever. I love it as much as Looking for Alaska, and that's really saying something.

2. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
Kristin Cashore is amazing, how she weaves this amazing world and plot and suspense among commentary on our society and feminism.

3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars
Do I really need to explain this one? 

4. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
Ask The Passengers
Made me laugh and think and tear up. Beautiful.

5. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
THESE BOOKS. GAH. Fantastic.

6. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
This series has the potential to be one of my favorites. I loved it.

7. One Moment by Kristina McBride
One Moment
A heartbreaking, immersing contemporary.

8. The Enchantress by Michael Scott
The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6)
This is a series I read throughout my childhood, so seeing it come to such an epic conclusion was, well, epic.

9. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Wanderlove
Is anyone else planning to backpack across Central America thanks to this book?

10. The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Libba Bray. Historical fiction fantasy. 'nuff said.

What books/authors are you thankful for? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Monday, November 19, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: EntangledTeen
Series: Lux #2
Website: http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/books/onyx/
Source: Bought
*This review may contain spoilers if you have not read Obsidian*
Onyx (Lux, #2)
Daemon used his powers to heal Katy during the Arum attack, but it didn't just heal her... it also gave them a strange connection. Not to mention some other peculiar side-effects. On top of that, the DOD is hot on Katy's trail, and it doesn't seem that she can trust anyone. She can't even trust her own emotions, not those that she feels for Daemon. The same feelings he seems to share. 

When I started the Lux series, I could already tell I would have some problems with it. For one, the "romance" wasn't romance, at all. I don't care how attractive a guy is- if he is rude (and Daemon is plenty rude) that completely negates his looks. Two, while I liked the alien idea, there's nothing to differentiate this paranormal romance from any other paranormal romance.

Even the aspects that I had liked in Obsidian didn't do it for me in Onyx. The fact that Katy is a book blogger was more annoying than anything. I mean, it's cool in theory, but what purpose does it serve? There are so many other ways to develop her character than to have her randomly talking about In My Mailbox videos when the government could kidnap her at any second.

And Daemon is finally sweet, which is what I wanted, instead of the jerk he was in Obsidian. Still, he's fairly sexist and (I'm sorry, there's no better way to put this) something of a pig. The fact that he continues to pursue Kate even though she has said no to his approaches already is not okay. Then, to add to the paranormal romance cliches, there's a not-really-love-triangle, which bugged me. Kate needs to get her priorities in order, pronto. She has bigger concerns than boys at the moment.

Now here's where it gets confusing. Despite all that I've just said, for some unknown reason, I'm still tempted to read the next book.

Why? I'm obviously not a huge fan of this series, no matter how much I wanted to be. (I think I've said this before, but JLA seems like a really cool person. I wanted to like her books!) Her writing style, if a little hokey dialogue-wise (I've never heard a teenager say, in all seriousness, that they "heart" something), is still addictively easy to read. The conspiracy theories concerning the government are pretty cool, too, although the Arum are pretty weak, as far as antagonists go. (Nothing is 100% evil. That's unrealistic and makes for an uninteresting group of bad guys.)

So I guess you could say I'm torn. Perhaps I'll just wait until the reviews of Opal come out and then see whether I'll be continuing on with the Lux series.
*2.5 stars*
Paranormal Romance novels I love: Die for Me by Amy Plum, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
What do you guys think? Is it worth continuing on?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (59)

Sunday, November 18, 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!
As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality.

Bought:
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
FINALLY! I've been dying to get  this one and was going to order it on B&N because my local store didn't have it... but  they got it in this week!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
At last, I'm reading this. Everyone says it's amazing, so here's hoping it lives up to the hype. 

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
The sequel to Dearly, Departed. Anyone who has read my review knows how much I loved DD and I can't wait to see more of Bram!

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Another phenomenon that I'm late to read. Still, never late than never, right? This seems like an awesome fantasy, so it should be perfect for me!

From the Library:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I've heard this is amazing and it's a fantasy to boot! Can't wait to start this!

Weekly Recap

Monday

Tuesday

Friday

Saturday
Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Some Quiet Place

What have you been up to this week? Read any good books?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Quiet Place Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Today The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Mod Podge Blog Tours are hosting Kelsey Sutton's Some Quiet Place cover reveal!


Summary:

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel.  Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. 

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth.  Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself.  And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.


Kelsey is very enthusiastic about her debut novel's cover; here is what she has to say about the design:


"It is gorgeous, eerie, and maybe a little strange. I love how much relevance it has to the story, as well. The farmland in the background, the town, the stormy sky, the leaves, the way the girl is vanishing. The point is, I am in love. Hope you adore it as much as I do."

 What relevance is she talking about? 

Enter to win a Pre-Order of Some Quiet Place below to find out!!!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!


This cover. Just look at that dress, not to mention the gorgeous lighting. Between the AMAZING cover and the oh-so-intriguing plot summary, how can you not want to enter to win this book?

Thanks to Mod Podge Blog Tours for giving me the chance to participate in this cover reveal!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bookish Buys: Everything is All Write

Friday, November 16, 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.  

Rory's Story Cubes
Story Cubes
These things are SO FUN, especially if you're lacking inspiration. 

Unreliable Narrator Unisex T-Shirt
Unreliable Narrator Tee 
A shirt to get you in the writing mood.

Floppy Disk Notebook - Geek Book - Recycled Computer Diskette - Pink
Floppy Disk  Notebook
Oh, nostalgia. Do you remember using these? (I'll take my owl-shaped flashdrive any day, thank you.)

Aqua Notes
Jot down epiphanies in the shower... now if they'd just invent waterproof books.

What's your favorite writer swag?