Friday, September 28, 2012

Giveaway!


I promised that if I reached 100 followers on Twitter, I'd give away a drawing of Diana Ilinca.

Caelum from Zirconya
And guess what? I reached it. So, I've decided to add a bit more to sweeten the deal. I'm giving away two drawings (one of Diana Ilinca's character and one of Kevin Breaux's character) plus a copy I have of The Name of the Star (England edition) by Maureen Johnson.
England Cover
Opal from Soul Born


Here I talk about the giveaway:
 


Please look at my giveaway policy in the tab above before entering. The giveaway starts October 1st and ends October 31st. (I thought the book goes with Halloween! :D) Note: The contest is only valid in the US.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Yours,

Review on Love In Bloom

So you guys know I go on Twitter. I happen to follow a lot of authors (as a lot of book lovers do), and Jules Bennett is one of them. I also like getting things for free, and Love in Bloom was free on Amazon a while back. I got it for my Kindle, and am super glad I did.
Love in Bloom by Jules Bennett
 
The blurb:
Claire Wilson had it all: a career, the love of her life and a promising future...until a near fatal accident robbed her of her sight and took the life of a young child.

Shutting the world out is much easier than dealing with the struggles of life, but when Jackson Akers comes on the scene, he won't allow Claire to live in seclusion. Being a single father to a five year old girl, Jackson knows all about life's trials...he also knows wallowing in them will get you nowhere.

Can Claire learn to enjoy life again? Jackson's creative mind kicks into high gear in an attempt to show her she can still live her dreams and have the family she deserves.

Age: 16 years and up
Review: 4 stars
This was a nice, 184-page novella to soak in when you have little free time. I absolutely loved the sweet romance that I read in these pages. It was a nice twist that the protagonist was blind, and I loved not being able to rely on if the guy was hot or not (which he so was!). I also loved the fact that it's sex-free. It's hard to find good romance books that do not have a sex scene, and this one is one of those. The love was sweet and pure, which I loved. Bennett is a fantastic author (I've read several of her books) and I look forward to more!
The only reason this book did not get a five-star review was because it seemed a bit too fast paced. Novellas are supposed to be shorter than novels (obviously!) so I understand why, but in the end, it was what made me not give this book a five-star review. I would still recommend this for anyone who has a little bit of free time and want a nice, sweet love story.

Note: It's an interesting, albeit good, change going from Kristen Ashley's books (which can border on crude), to this. I love it!

Yours,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bookish's Giveaway

Now, I normally wouldn't do this, but there's a giveaway over at Bookish's blog. This giveaway is a FOUR BOX giveaway. That's right. She's giving away four boxes of books. One box per winner (there's four total).
Her giveaway button is on the right of this page below the "Follow on Google+" sign. It'll stay on there until the end of the giveaway. You can go click on there or on the link in the first sentence of this post. It's an amazing giveaway and it has many YA books.
Keep in mind, it's Young Adult books. One box has adult books. So I recommend only people 18 years and up, but that's up to you.
Make sure to check it out and see what awesome books are in the boxes!

Yours,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review on Mystery Man

WARNING: This post and the links from it contain adult content. If you are under 18 years of age or if such content offends you, please EXIT now.
I was on Twitter, and I saw Kaylea Cross and Mandi Schreiner talking about this awesome series and I, naturally, asked them what series they were talking about. The told me they were talking about the last book of the series Dream Man, which was Motorcycle Man. I like reading series in the order they're written—from first to last—so I purchased Mystery Man and started reading it.
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
 
The blurb:
While drinking cosmopolitans in a fabulous little black dress, Gwendolyn Kidd meets the man of her dreams. Then she takes him home. Then she wakes up alone. But her fear that she lost her dream man turns into a relationship with a mystery man when, night after night in the dead of night, he comes back for more. Hoping it will blossom into something real, she lets him.
But she doesn't even know his name.
Gwen's struggling with the decision to end their crazy non-relationship when her sister-from-hell, Ginger's best friend pays a visit and warns Gwen that if she and her sister don't get smart, they'll both get d-e-a-d, dead. Gwen has no clue what's going on but she's used to Ginger's antics and decides to lay the problem on her sister's biker boyfriend's doorstep. Bad choice. She catches the eye of the biker hottie president of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, not long after she gets the attention of a Denver police detective who surely is on the cover of the DPD's Hot Guy calendar and lastly she hits the Denver Underground radar with a big, loud ping.
This means Gwen's Mystery Man, Cabe "Hawk" Delgado has to step in to keep her safe. But when Hawk gets a dose of Gwen in the daylight, he makes the decision that he finally wants real with Gwen. However when Gwen gets a dose of badass, bossy, straight-talker Hawk in the daylight, she decides she's done.
Thus begins the head-to-head of the Commando vs. Cosmo Girl as Hawk woos Gwen in his own unique way, Gwen survives firebombs, drive-bys, kidnappings, hot pursuits by biker hotties and gorgeous police detectives and discovers the heartbreaking reason why Hawk kept her at arm's length.
And as all this happens, Gwen finds that her sister's troubles are serious trouble and she must decide who to keep alive: her sister-from-hell or the man of her dreams.
This book is part of the four-book series, Dream Man, but can be read as a stand-alone book.
Age: 18 years and up due to a lot of swear words and sexual scenes.
Review: 4.5 stars
To sum up this book, I use one word: HOT. To make sure I would like this book, I went to Ashley's website and downloaded the first five chapters of Mystery Man, and boy did they have me hooked. That very night I got the book and set to reading it until three in the morning. I wasn't done, but I had to sleep. As soon as I woke up that morning I set to reading more of it—I was that hooked. I loved that fact that Hawk was an alpha man. Some of the things he did, such as have her on surveillance 24/7, freaked me out a bit, but since he's an alpha man I let it slide. Normally the amount of swear words would turn me off, but somehow Ashley made it work!
The reason this book didn't get five stars was because it irked me that Gwen was one of those girls all men fall over. Every man that wasn't related to Gwen loved her. Or was interested in her. Or both. And this was annoying. I'm sorry, but I've never seen a woman like that. But this was a small annoyance to this amazing book. I cried and laughed and got mad at the same time Gwen did, and I loved this. This book is for the people who love to read romance, adventure, (a little) mystery, and happily-ever-afters.
---
EDIT (9/22/12): I just finished reading the four books in the series (I started Wednesday) and I must say, I became a huge fan of the author! The third book I had my doubts about, but the last quarter of the book made up for it. I absolutely loved the series, and I hope you do too! 

Yours,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review on Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

This is the last daily book review. From now on, I'll be posting a review every Friday and every once in a while during the week!
This book has many dear memories for me. My mom bought this book for me in Spanish (yes, I read in Spanish) and it has been on quite a few trips with me. The title's really catchy too!

 
The blurb:

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hypnotism

Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But a sinister stranger is watching her every move and he'll do anything to steal her hypnotic secret...
Unlucky and unloved, Molly Moon, living in a dreary orphanage in a small English town, discovers a hidden talent for hypnotism and hypnotizes her way to stardom in New York City. 
This book is book 1 part of a 5-part series. It can be read as a stand-alone book.
Age: 8 years and up
Review: 5 stars
Like I said, this book holds many dear memories for me. This was one of the first fantasy books I ever read. I absolutely love the way Byng portrays Molly, and the world that she plunges her into. Molly seems to have a sort-of superpower: hypnotism. I was drawn into the book and I really felt like I was Molly. This book is mysterious, but in a naïve sort of way. It wasn't dark, but it still had me wondering what was going to happen next. This book is definitely for those who love reading about fantasy, adventure, and hypnotism!
I didn't know whether to classify this book as fantasy or merely fiction, because hypnotism is real. However, reading the rest of the series, I realized it is indeed a fantasy book.

Yours,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review on The Wedding Planner's Daughter

I acquired this book in the traditional way—as in I went to the store and bought it. The title attracted me. I mean, you always hear about the wedding planner, but never her daughter. So I picked it up, bought it, and finished it rather quickly if I do say so myself. Presenting...
The Wedding Planner's Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
 
The back:
Twelve-year-old Willa Havisham is a classics reader, a cherry-cordial eater, and quite possible the world's worst wisher. But when she and her glamorous single mother, Stella, move to Bramble, Cape Cod, Willa's wishes are beginning to come true: She makes her first-ever best friend, Tina. She bonds with her hip, candy-making Nana. And best of all, steely Stella is falling for Willa's English teacher, Sam — he's perfect dad material! But before Willa can marry off her mother, or dance with her adorable crush, Joseph, disaster strikes....
Can Willa undo the damage before Stella misses her chance to say "I do"? Find out as Coleen Murtagh Paratore unveils humor, hope, and lots of love in one hopelessly romantic modern fairy tale!
This book is book #1 of a 6-part series, but can be read as a stand-alone book, as well as most of the other books. I've read book one, two, and four.
Age: 8 years and up (the age minimum goes up from 8-10 years old as the series continues)
Review: 4 stars
I read this book when I was 13, and some of the books of the rest of the series when I was 14 and 16, when I discovered it was part of a series. What I like about this book is that it can be read as a stand-alone book, as it doesn't end as a cliffhanger. I've read books where in order to entice the reader to read the rest of the series, the author will leave the book with a serious cliffhanger. I must say, sometimes this works, but if the book isn't four to five-star worthy, I won't buy the others. This book, on the other hand, does not end as a cliffhanger, but you end up wanting to follow Willa's life as she grows up. In this book, we get to read as Willa makes friends, crushes, mistakes, and happily-ever-afters. If you like teen romance, this book is the way to go—as well as the rest of Paratore's series.

Yours,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review on Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

I came about this book in a very interesting way. My grandma used to work at a school where they had a library, and every once in a while she would ask us to come with her so we could pick out some books that the school didn't need anymore. So I would go through the boxes that they had stalked up in a room, and I normally brought back one or two boxes of my own. This book was in one of those boxes, and so now I will share it with you.
 
The back:

Walk the runway for all to see? Nope. No way. Never.

At least, that's what I thoughtuntil Aunt Doreen secretly entered me in the Miss HuskyPeach pageant for plus-sized girls. I couldn't do it, but I felt too guilty to quit.

There was only one way out...

This is the story of twelve-year-old Celeste Harris, who used to be perfectly comfortable with her weight. She also used to think nothing would make seventh grade worse than super-popular, super-mean Lively Carson's persistent insults and attempts to steal her best friend. But along came the chance of being crowned a chubby teen queen, and suddenly it was clear: Things could be much worse. So Celeste crafts a plan—she'll sacrifice her chocolate cookie obsession, lose weight, and shrink right out of her competition.
What follows is a series of escapades both hilarious and horrifying, as our heroine tries to hold her head high both on the catwalk and off—and learns to show the world who she is from the inside out.

Age: 9 years and up
Review: 4.5 stars
This book has many fantastic things in it. It teaches children, teens, and even adults the value of self-image and self-worth. As we follow along on Celeste's journey to seeing herself as a confident, loving-her-body type of person, we ourselves learn some valuable lessons that we may have forgotten. Celeste's journey includes horrifying stories, and much laughter. This book had me laughing along to some of the hilariously humiliating things that happen to Celeste, and it also had me realizing that we, as people, need to be happy with ourselves in order to be happy in this world. I absolutely loved this fantastic children's book, and Celeste is quite a peach! (Haha, get it? Peach? Like HuskyPeach? Hee hee)

Yours,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review on The Night Circus

Before I start on the review, I'm going to let you all know my plans for this blog. I'm going to post a review every day for this week (until September 16) and then I'll start posting every Friday.
Now, back to the book. I got this book about a year ago on iBooks. Originally it was an Extended Sample that I got from Starbucks and I accidentally clicked it twice and I bought the book without me knowing. Until, of course, I noticed that I had two copies on iBooks and my dad started asking me why there was a charge on his credit card (oops!). But boy, am I glad I got this book.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
 
The blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Age: There is a really mild sex scene, so I say it's for teens 14 and up (but I classify it as YA)
Review: 5 stars
This book. Oh my God, this book. I LOVED this book. This is the type of book that you either love or hate. The reason being that it gets confusing because of the time jumps in the book. You never really know what's happening until you reach the end. This book is definitely a type of book I recommend a person reads twice to understand it fully. But oh my goodness, it is AMAZING. The electricity between Celia and Marco is incredible, and I absolutely love the idea of a magical circus only appearing at night. The idea is so original, and Morgenstern really knew how to squeeze all the potential into this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves magic, fantasy, adventure (peril!), and romance (but don't expect romance right away).
P.S. You don't know how hard it is to gush over this book without giving anything away!

Yours,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review on Old Magic

When I first read this book, I was 14 years old. Four years later, I'm still in love with this book. I got this book at Borders (remember that?) and I read it in one day.
Old Magic by Marianne Curley
The blurb on the back:

No one can fight fate alone.
When Kate and Jarrod first lock eyes across the classroom, their connection is instantaneous. While everyone else shuns Jarrod as a freak, Kate's passionate belief in witchcraft helps her see him for what he truly is—someone with a powerful gift. She is fascinated by what he is capable of ... and undeniably attracted to him.
When Jarrod's abilities appear to be linked to a centuries-old curse, Kate is the only one who can help him. Together, they embark on a journey that transcends time and place, and discover a magic that will bind them together forever.

Age: This book can be classified as a young adult, but it's for children (and adults!) 12 years and up.
Review: 5 stars
I found myself immediately immersed in this book. When it ended, I didn't want to let it go. The book switches between Kate and Jarrod's point of view, so you get to see what each of them is thinking—which I've always liked. I also very much enjoyed Kate's wacky grandmother! I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, romance, and adventure, because this book has a little bit of everything.

Yours,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review on Love, Lust & Faking It

WARNING: This post and the links from it contain adult content. If you are under 18 years of age or if such content offends you, please EXIT now.
I wasn't going to post another review until tomorrow, but this one was catching my eye. But first I need to explain how I came about this book.

I was wandering the Walmart aisles, killing time and searching for Monte Carlo, when I came across this book:
 Love, Lust & Faking It by Jenny McCarthy
Look at the cover. Look at it. Who could ignore that cover? Not me, especially since I love romance novels. So I picked it up and found that, contrary to what I thought it was, it was a sort of "self-help" book. Now, I generally don't like reading this type of books, especially by actresses and such because I'm a bit prejudiced against them. I mean, actresses writing books obviously are only doing it because it's the "in" thing, right? Wrong. Well, some are, but some aren't. So I did what I always do: I read the inside the flap. That's wayyyy too long to post here, so I'll post the Book Description from Amazon:

New York Times bestselling author Jenny McCarthy gave you the unfiltered ups and downs of pregnancy, motherhood, and marriage in Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, and Life Laughs. Now the inveterate truth teller gets to the down-and-(sometimes) dirty essence of every man/woman relationship: love and sex.
Meet Tony, Jenny’s first love, the boy of her teenage dreams, and Tubby, her dirty, sexy stuffed teddy bear. Follow Jenny on a whirlwind tour of the world of aphrodisiacs and fetishes, as she explains the importance of playing doctor and other nice and naughty fantasies. Jenny is at her hilarious, no-holds-barred best in Love, Lust & Faking It, sharing stories of her outrageous true exploits—from Playboy centerfold to nightmarish bargain boob job to meeting Brad Pitt—all the while reminding us to always aim higher, be kind to ourselves, believe in true love...and to have lots of fun and sex, without faking it. 

I thought it looked interesting and then proceeded to sit down and read it. When I realized that one hour had passed (and the milanesas my mom asked me for were still in my cart!), I decided to just buy it. After all, it had some good advice in there.
But, I have to warn you: This book is only for people 18 years old and older! It has quite a bit of swearing and graphic scenes in the book.

To know what to expect, here are some quotes directly from the book (and on the back cover on the hardcover edition):

On Being Dumped:
"Almost everyone has or will experience getting dumped in their lifetime. Unless, of course, you're a nun. Jesus can't dump nuns."
On Making It In Hollywood:
"This was my first major photo shoot outside of Playboy, and I called my mom from the car. 'Mom, Mom, I'm already working out here! I'm on my way to a photo shoot to do postcards for Hawaii.' Mom replied, 'Oh, Jenny, I'm so proud of you. I'm glad that you get to take pictures with your clothes on!'"
On The Differences Between Men and Women
"I still think it's cruel that we weren't born with the same sex drive as men, but statistics say men usually die before women, so I guess we get one bonus in the health department."

Age: 18 years and up
Review: 3.5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book because it had a lot of good life lessons in there. What put me off was the swearing. Yes, it starred the letters in the swearing (ie., F*ck) but it could have done without them. But it was actually quite interesting. I found that the situations in there are good to learn in any case. It taught about self-worth, self-love (which is not to be confused with narcissism) and being happy with who you are. I'm glad I bought it because if I ever feel that I am not worth something or not happy with something, I can always go back and read this book. It makes me understand that the saying "You can't love someone else if you don't love yourself." is actually true. And McCarthy has some pretty good points in it. Also, it has a love horoscope, which I enjoy perusing ;)
So while I wouldn't have bought this book if you held it against a fantasy or romance book, it taught me a lot of amazing lessons that I'm sure will help me through life. And that's always good.

Yours,

Review on The Grimm Legacy

I came about this book because someone gave it to my grandma, who immediately thought of me. She always gets me books, so she knows what I like. And when she brought this book home, I was immediately attracted by the cover. I mean, it looks amazing. So after reading the back, I set to reading it.
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The back:

What if fairy-tale magic really existed?
Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a lending library of objects—contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And a secret too—for in the repository's basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brothers fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages—handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron—are suddenly caught up in an exciting but dangerous adventure!

Age: 10 years and up
Review: 4 stars
Elizabeth is just a normal girl who gets asked to work at the NY Circulating Material Repository. With Dr. Rust, or Doc, the strange man who hired her and her fellow pages keeping secrets from her, she starts to get suspicious. But she did not expect the secret to be what it is!
Shulman did a great job portraying the girl in a realistic way, with her reactions being exactly how I would react if I had been put in that situation. I found myself wondering what was waiting on the next page and what kind of danger Elizabeth would encounter. In this fantastic teen fantasy story, you don't know what could happen next. This book may be for children 10 and up, but you don't have to be a child to read it!

Yours,

The reinventing.

Today is a big day in the United States. It's 9/11, when we remember about the Twin Towers and how devastating it was when they fell. It's also a day about reinventing ourselves, so I decided to reinvent my blog. And what is it about, you ask?
Books. It always comes down to books. Well, with me anyway. I love 'em. I could spend hours readingand in fact, I have. So when my friend Kevin James Breaux mentioned I should start a blog about reviewing books, it was like a light bulb went off above my head.
"Yes! That's perfect!" I thought. Why? Because books are my life.
So I deleted all of my old posts on here and decided to change this whole blog. Instead of coming here to spill my guts, I'm coming here to review books. Perfect, no?
The books reviewed here are most likely going to be any kind of fantasy, YA, teen romance, chick-lit, and occasionally some adult. I am open-minded with my book choice and if one or some of you request a book, I'd be more than willing to give it a try.
Like with my friend Kevin's books. I normally don't read dark fantasy, but his books are good. Plus, it has fantasy. I'm all for fantasy.
So here I am. And I hope you all enjoy this. But if you don't, at least I gave it a shot, right?