Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winner!


The giveaway's ended! And the winner is...drumroll please...


Congratulations! The winner has been notified by email.

The first ever giveaway of The Fantastical World of Wonders has been a success! Thanks for participating and I wish you luck on any future giveaways!

Yours,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review on Attachments

So here it is: the last week of October Club has ended. And we go out with a bang. Or rather, a fantastic book. Considering the past two books got three stars from me, I'm so very happy that I found a book that I loved. Without further ado, I present...

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Blurb:
Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can't seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.
When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he'd be sifting through other people's inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can't help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.
But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you." After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can't see exactly where it's leading him.
Age: 16 years and up*
Review: 4.5 stars
It starts off with Beth and Jennifer emailing each other. It shows their emails, and then the next chapter it's just Lincoln's story. What he's doing, how he's feeling, everything.
I absolutely loved the story. It was so sweet and not at all like the really intense stories I've been reading. Lately all I've read are stories with huge conflicts and so many problems and murders and whatnot. It was so nice to read a good, old-fashioned love story. The book was so cute and I loved all of the characters. The characters, in a way, matured throughout the book. They learned and they got out of some situations where they weren't progressing. To not give out any spoilers (which is hard by the way!), I can't say much else, but I absolutely loved this book. It was like a breath of fresh air. Rowell is a great author—I can't wait to read more of her books!

*Amazon markes this book as 18 and up, because it contains swearing and some sexual references. However, I don't think the references were that bad to mark it as 18+. This is because the references were so brief and vague that it didn't seem that bad. This is entirely up to you to decide, which is why I put this warning here.

Yours,

Monday, October 22, 2012

FFT: Brave Enough to Smile

This is a new thing I'll be doing randomly on the blog. I call it "Food for thought." I'll ramble about things that I think are important for others to know.

I was reading a post from Kristen Ashley's blog, and she tells this story where she saw this really hot guy was interested in her, and only her.
But because she was shy, she didn't look at him. She ignored him. And then, when he was gone, she wondered what would've happened if only she was (my words) brave enough to smile.

And that's me. I'm always the shy person who never looks at hot guys because I'm afraid I'll say or do the wrong thing. But how will I ever know if I never try?
I read books all the time [insert sarcastic "No, really?"] and I'm always wondering what would happen if I met those guys. You know, those guys.The ones that make you fan yourself thinking, "Holy crap, what would I ever do if I had myself a piece of him?" But in my situation, I'd probably ignore them and hide.
And what for? For a few moments' reflection on wondering what if? It's not worth it. It never is. It's better to close your eyes, say a quick prayer, and take a chance. Better to get hurt than spend the rest of your life wondering what could have happened.

Now, "brave enough to smile" doesn't necessarily mean just smiling. It could mean being brave enough to say hello or to approach the person.

Trust me: Almost anything is better than What Ifs.

So next time, I hope I'll be brave enough to smile. And who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky ;)

So my question to you: Which characters from your favorite books have inspired you to be brave enough to smile? or if you haven't been brave enough, Which characters from your favorite books would you model after if you thought you could do it?

Yours,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review on Why We Broke Up

When Carrie (see: The October Club) introduced this book, I read the blurb and immediately thought it seemed interesting. I wanted to read it because it was a novel idea. I mean, writing a book in letter format? To your ex explaining why you broke up? It seemed fascinating. So this is it.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
The blurb:
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
Age: 15 years and up (Note to parents: This novel includes frequent obscenities, underage drinking, references to drug use, lack of respect for parents and authority figures, and teen sex.)
Review: 3 stars
I'm staring at the rating I gave this book. I keep staring at it because I'm not sure I want to give it three stars. Let me start with how I felt when I started reading this book.
I opened the book on iBooks and started. By page 65, I wanted to give up on the book. The sentence structure was confusing, and how it read was boring. The story was messed up because since it was a letter, Min was writing it in the present to Ed, who knew the whole story. As I read it, I did not know the whole story and I got confused a lot of the time. Not only that, but the sentence structure (it bears repeating) was confusing. So very confusing. Commas where there weren't supposed to be commas. No commas or periods when there should have been commas or periods. When I was reading it I kept re-reading to make sure I understood. By that point, I was sure I was going to give this book two stars. Maybe 2.5 stars, but no more.*
I forced myself to keep reading. I had to. I've never not finished a book and I wasn't going to start now. I'm glad I didn't—because something interesting happened: I got into it. I wasn't completely sucked in or anything, but I actually started to enjoy the story. (Maybe it's an acquired taste? You have to get used to the writing style to like it?)
Before (and sometimes after) each chapter there's a picture (illustrated by Maira Kalman) that is one of the objects in the box that Min is giving back to Ed. That chapter then describes what was happening when she acquired that object, and therefore shares the story of their relationship and why they broke up. I really liked this because I could go back to see that object she was talking about when she was talking about it and because I'm somewhat of a visual person.
Min and Ed aren't your usual high school couple. They come from different...worlds, I guess you can say. Ed is your standard jock, and Min loves films and is kind of...nerdy (I really can't think of another word to describe her). I liked Ed in some chapters, hated him in others. I really hated him in the end.
So, you're wondering, why did I give this book three stars instead of the two I said I was going to give it? Because after around the middle of the book, I really enjoyed it. The sentence structure was still messed up (maybe that's the point?) but I got used to it and liked it. Unfortunately, I didn't like it enough to re-read it, because I really was confused during most of the beginning. I must confess: I skimmed over a lot of it in the beginning.
It was a nice story to read once you get into it, and it's an ok read for those of you who have time to kill. But hey, don't take my word for it. Give it a try—see if you like it.

*I read on Amazon a part of a review that I thought was perfect: "What I didn't like about this book was Min's voice." (Note: I read this review after writing mine, but had to put this quote in here.)

Yours,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Forbidden Life (promotion)

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.
So I was on Facebook and Kimberly Kinrade was asking people to promote her awesome trilogy, The Forbidden Trilogy. So here we go!

Forbidden Secrets Revealed 

 

The Forbidden Trilogy, an award-winning YA paranormal romantic thriller by Kimberly Kinrade, is now complete with the launch of the third and final book, Forbidden Life.

Described as "thrilling, dark and deeply romantic" (Refracted Light YA Reviews) with a "plot that is very ALIAS and DARK ANGEL-like with X-MEN as its backdrop" (Sour Skittles Book Blog), the Forbidden Trilogy tells the story of a group of paranormal teens raised in a secret school and rented out as spies to the rich.

When Sam, a girl who reads minds, meets Drake, a boy who controls minds, they discover a deep secret that could destroy everything and everyone they love. Together, they must escape and save their friends, before it's too late.

In Forbidden Life, all the secrets of this corrupt organization are revealed, with more page-turning twists and nail-biting mystery than ever before.

This series "has romance, mystery, action and suspense that will keep you hooked from beginning till end." ~Nickle Love 

Get your copy today on Amazon or Smashwords!

About Forbidden Life


The road to redemption begins in darkness. 

A sinister force waits for them in darkness, ready to devour their powers and take their lives.

Sam's baby is the key to a lock that must never be opened. To keep her child safe, she will do anything.

Drake might have found a way to get his powers back and save his family, but at what cost?

Luke and Lucy uncover secrets in an organization they thought they could trust, and the lives of all Rent-A-Kid children are at stake.

In this last Forbidden Trilogy installment, the secrets to Rent-A-Kid will finally be revealed.
Get caught up in the trilogy with Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire.

Read an excerpt of Forbidden Life


     Drake slugged another mouthful of cheap vodka and waited for the burn to dull his pain. The abandoned apartment building he'd holed-up in stank like shit and piss and vomit, but he didn't care. He sat on an old mattress with his back against the wall and watched the void where a door had once hung.
     Every second of existence tore at him until even alcohol couldn't bury the feelings. The place in his chest where his powers had once lived now felt empty, like the core of a rotten apple. Even when Dr. Pana had tied him to a hospital bed and drained him of his powers, he hadn't felt this helpless. There, he'd known it would end. His powers hadn't been destroyed, just blocked. He hadn't felt empty, just useless.
     He'd been so naive to think it couldn't have gotten any worse.
     Sam was out there somewhere, fighting to keep their baby safe while her father still hunted her. And what am I doing, loser that I am? Running away. What good am I without my powers? I couldn't keep them safe, so they were better off without me.
     The lies he told himself did nothing to silence the guilt.
     When he'd drained the last drop of vodka from his bottle, he smashed it against the wall, and left his hiding spot to search for more. He counted the money he had left: five dollars and some change. What the hell could he buy with five bucks? Nothing strong enough to get the job done, that was for sure.
     The moon hung heavy in the sky as Drake walked the empty streets. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the sun. It seemed a lifetime ago. Memories of warm rays and the splash of cold salt water haunted him. Vampires lived like this for centuries, outcasts relegated to the shadows of life. Drake finally understood why these beings fascinated so many people. Their plight gave form to the empty death that lived inside him.
     A homeless man's cough brought him back to the present. The man sat against a garbage dumpster, tucked under a newspaper blanket. Drake didn't care about the smell or the trash; he only noticed the paper bag-wrapped bottle in the man's hands.
     He mustered as much authority as he could now that he'd lost his powers of mind control. "I'll give you five bucks for that bottle."
     The man looked up at Drake and back down at the bottle. His face looked like an ancient map that had been written on so many times the lines all blurred together. He smacked his lips, took another swig and then held the bottle out with a cackle.
     Before Drake could take it, the man yanked it back and rubbed his fingers together in the universal sign for money.
     Drake sighed and pulled out the last of his cash.
     They traded at the same time, and the man cackled again as he stuck the money into some hidden compartment in his clothes.
     The bottle felt light. Too light. Drake tilted it to his lips, but only a drop of amber liquid fell into his mouth. Rage fed him as he threw the bottle to the right of the man's head.
     The man cried out as jagged bits of glass flew into his face. Drake lifted his fist to punch him, but the man held up his arms and squealed. Fear filled his eyes, and his lips smacked together. When his mouth opened, Drake saw why the man didn't speak.
     He had no tongue.
     Drake's anger drained out of him in a flash, and he slumped against the trash bin. Could he really beat a helpless man because he'd stolen five dollars?
     The man pulled out the money and gestured for Drake to take it back, but Drake ignored him and ran down the street and around a corner.
     He pushed his body to run as fast and as hard as he could. Lack of food and too much alcohol had made him slow—weak—but he didn't stop. His lungs burned, his muscles weakened to the point of collapse, but still he ran.
     He turned down an alley and stopped. Three men beat a scrawny blond-haired boy to the ground.
     The biggest man, inked up like a gangsta and wearing pants too big for him, punched the kid in the face and screamed, "You better give me those vials, you piss-ant little shit, or I'll beat you until you can't walk. That drug is worth more than your life, so hand it over."
     His two lackeys circled the boy, kicking him and egging on their leader.
     The boy cried and curled into a ball. He couldn’t have been older than twelve. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have anything."
     Another punch. "Yo, my homey here saw you. So don't be lying to us. We got to account for all those vials, and you don't even know what you got messed up in. Those drugs, they seriously mess people up—like, superpowers and shit. I'm not letting some piece of shit like you stop me from doing my job. Hand 'em over."
     The boy couldn't take it much longer, but Drake wasn't a superhero anymore. Still, this drug had him curious. Could there be a drug that brought out para-powers?
     He charged in, pushing back the three gangsters and pulling the kid out of the way. "Run!"
     The fight was a blur. Drake had neither super strength nor mind control. His basic skill and strength bought him a few minutes, but in the end the street thugs overwhelmed him.
     After too many blows to count, they left him lying in the alley, bleeding and aching with broken ribs. Drake coughed, and blood spewed out of his mouth. Maybe worse than just broken ribs.
     He pulled himself to the wall and tried to sit up, but the pain stopped him. Every move seemed to cause a new break or tear in his now-fragile body. Before he could make it to the wall, a new kind of darkness wrapped around him, and he faded into nothing.


That's all folks! What'd you think? Exciting right? Go on and check it out! :)

Sincerely,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review on An Abundance of Katherines

Let me start off by saying that this is my first John Green book. I started with this one because I felt this was one I wouldn't start bawling in the middle of, such as with The Fault in Our Stars (which I'm told is amazing but ends semi-sadly and has death and such involved.) Yes, I'm a wimp, because I like happy endings, so I decided to stick with one that didn't sound like it was going to make me cry. Here it is:
The blurb:
 When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles away from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his tail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, average Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to go to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.
Age: 12 years and up
Review: 3.5 stars
Before all you John Green-loving readers out there stone me, I quickly want to say that I think John Green himself is an amazing person full of great ideas and a great personality. That being said, this book didn't draw me in. I wasn't fully immersed in the book. Yeah, it's a good story, but it didn't have "umph." I wasn't frantically reading the pages and wondering what was going to happen next.
Now, I also wasn't didn't this book or get annoyed with it. It was a good book. I liked it. I just didn't love it. It was ok. If you see to the right, there is a rating scale, where three stars equal "good."
I don't have a lot of reasons as to why this book didn't draw me in. Maybe it just isn't my type of book. Or maybe this story was made for a younger audience. I really don't know—it just didn't suck me in.
However, I liked the characters. Colin was funny and I liked that he had an internal conflict and I liked his personality. I liked Hassan and how he had an "eureka" moment at the end. And I liked Lindsey.
This book wasn't at all bad. I would never say it was horrible or anything below "ok." But in my honest opinion, it wasn't great.
What I did really like were all the hilarious footnotes (plus the fun facts!) and the "math-laden appendix," as John Green calls it.
I won't really go for more John Green books (as of now; who knows in the future), not because I don't like him, but because I don't think his books are for me. I'm fantasy and romance kind of gal, and John Green doesn't really write within that genre. But now I can say that I have read a John Green bookand that I liked it.

P.S. My video review on this book will be up Monday, October 15th.

Yours,

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review on Uglies

I had originally read Uglies 5 years ago. In fact, I read the whole seriesso I knew what was going to happen. Because of The October Club, I thought I'd read it again. After all, I was younger, maybe I'd think about it differently, right? Except I didn't. I still feel about it the same way I did so many years ago. My book edition is from 2005, so the blurb and cover might be different than others.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
What my book cover looks like.
The back:
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license—for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
This book is part of a trilogy. Though there's a fourth book, it's not in Tally's point of view, so it's not officially considered as part of the series.
Age: 12 years and up
Review: 5 stars
Tally starts out being very narrow-minded. Being pretty is the only option for her. So when Shay starts to talk to her about considering being ugly for the rest of her life, Tally can't wrap her mind around it. At the beginning of the book I really disliked Tally because she was focused solely on looks. But then I realized that that was the way society made her. Everyone was forced to call themselves ugly—heck, the lived in Uglyville—until they turned sixteen. If I were her, I'd probably be the same. As the story went on, I really loved the way Tally grew. Not physically, but emotionally and mentally. She really matured throughout the whole book.
I also loved the idea of this world. Westerfeld, in a way, predicted what he thinks the world will get to if people keep destroying the world with fights and vanity and such. But he also added a scare factor: If you mess with biology, something is bound to go wrong. I adored the adventure, and the romance! Though the romance was in the background of the story, it was a nice thing to an otherwise scary concept. When I reached the end of the book, I was left wanting more—and I already read the series! 

Note: I will most definitely continue reading the series once I'm done with The October Club, though I might not put any more reviews. But who knows? I might.

My video review on this book will be up Monday, Oct. 8th.

Yours,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The October Club

A few days ago, Carrie Hope Fletcher uploaded a video called "The October Club." It's a book club in which she will read four books in four weeks. I thought this was brilliant and it seemed like fun. However, instead of making a review video each week, I shall post a review on here. And I'm tweaking her schedule a bit.
This is the video:

Instead of finishing each book by Monday, I will finish it each Friday in order to post a review on here each Friday like always. However, I will make a video each Monday on my YouTube channel so as to keep up with her book club.

My book choices are:
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (finish by October 5th)
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (finish by October 12th)
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (finish by October 19th)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (finish by October 26th)

If you would like to join the October Club as well, feel free. Like Carrie said, you can choose your own four books or choose the ones she is doing (or I am doing).

My books are in my library and I am getting ready to read them. Also, don't forget about the ongoing giveaway I have until the end of October!

Yours,

Monday, October 1, 2012

The giveaway hath begun

Yes. It's October. This means that my giveaway has started. It also means I made a really short video on my Youtube channel.

I have also completed the drawing of Caelum from Zirconya by Diana Ilinca. It looks like so:


Now that I've completed one, it's time for me to start the second drawing. Weeee!
The giveaway can be accessed here.

I've also added a reviews tab where I show all of the reviews I've done. I figure this is helpful for those who want to browse for book ideas.

I hope all of you enter the giveaway to win The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and a couple of drawings.

Good luck!

Yours,