Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me Pick Up or Buy A Book!

For the future Top Ten schedule & how to participate go HERE!

This week we are talking about the words in a summary or topics alluded to that automatically make us pick up a book! We've decided to do a collab post this time!

Jana's Picks:


I have an obsession with Italy, books set in Italy, Italian characters, etc. I went on a huge vacation there last year, and just fell in love. If a book can give me a small piece of that back, I'm all over it.


Books set on a cruise ship are also MY FAVE. I love cruising, and go on a cruise every year. I'm kind of weird when it comes to themed reads, and always want to read a cruise book while on board. If you have cruise book recs, please let me know!

Kimberly's Picks


Love a character that has a snarky sense of humor.


Can anyone resist a character that is curious?


I'm quirky, I like my books being quirky, a fun quirky character is irresistible. Luna Lovegood anyone?

Jen's Picks

 "road-trip", "travel" and "wanderlust"

These 3 words automatically catch my attention. I love all things travel related, especially if it is an overseas adventure!

And if a book is referred to as "coming of age" or "contemporary" I'll pick it and at least read the back cover to see if I'd be interested in it.

Kelly's Picks

The words "time travel" or "reincarnation" will always catch my attention! Both ideas are fascinating to me and I love discovering different ways authors can play with and flesh out all of the possibilities. 

I love music and am immediately drawn to books focusing on the subject. It can either be a book where songs are sort of a backdrop, such as Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, or a biography of a favorite musician/band.

Bridget's Picks:

 If I see the words "thriller" or "fast-paced" anywhere in the summary/on the cover, I'll at least strongly consider picking up the book.

Tahleen's Picks

Most books that are set in Hawaii will get my attention. Or books set in the Southwest United States. I like a good road trip novel too. (Apparently I'm not a fan of reading books set in my part of the country.)

Kelly reviews "Blood Between Queens" + giveaway

Blood Between Queens by Barbara Kyle
Publication Date:  April 30, 2013 | Kensington Publishing,448p
Twitter Hashtag: #BloodBetweenQueensTour

Barbara Kyle's Thornleigh series about a ficticious family in 16th century England has a new addiction with "Blood Between Queens." I initially giggled at the overly dramatic cover (and perhaps the slight historical manipulation as well, if the two are supposed to be Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots) but after diving into the book, that was all the giggling to be done. This book is so dark! I've never read any others in the series so I can't be sure if all are like this, but Blood Between Queens was abound with attempted rapes, murders, explosions, and sleazy people.

The focus is on Justine Thornleigh, a teenager who through her family ties (I think there is an extensive backstory in previous books in the series) is able to serve Queen Elizabeth I as a spy. Mary Queen of Scots has fled Scotland and is looking for refuge in England. Elizabeth sends Justine as a lady in waiting for Mary with the hopes that Justine will lure a confession of treason out of the Scottish queen. Justine ends up finding herself sympathizing with Mary, as they share much in common. Justine feels the tugging of betrayal between Mary and Elizabeth and it's hard to tell which way she will turn.

As I said before, a good number of the characters were total sleazeballs. There's an edge of creepiness in everyone that feels quite uncomfortable. As weird as that is, I feel like it's accurate - how else could anybody make their way up in harsh world they lived in without being a little cunning and advantagous? Blood Between Queens can be read as a standalone novel, but you really have to read the rest of the series to understand the backstory. I was lost with the entire subplot of Justine's uncle/aunt and father. One other issue I had was with Justine and her fiance....I didn't feel the connection at all. I didn't recognize any spark and he just seemed like a pretty boy. It made me sad because I wanted someone better for Justine! She's a fabulous and complex character. I enjoyed the story overall but just wish I had understood the family history better to get a more complete understanding of the story. Nevertheless, this is still a great read for historical fiction lovers!

I'm beginning to feel like Santa Claus here with all of the free books I'm able to giveaway to you! Enter for a chance to win Blood Between Queens by leaving a comment below with a way to contact you. You have until May 6th, USA entries only please. Good luck!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kelly reviews Roses Have Thorns + giveaway

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd
Publication Date: April 9, 2013 | Paperback; 336p
Twitter Hashtag: #RosesHaveThornsVirtualTour

It's hard to stick out in the slew of books that take place in 16th century England isn't it?  Thankfully authors have recently been straying away from the usual suspects (Henry VIII, his wives, Elizabeth I, etc) and focusing on less talked about but equally as key characters. Sandra Byrd excels at this, as seen in her past novels, and has done it again in Roses Have Thorns. This novel focuses on Elin von Snakenborg, one of the closest friends of Elizabeth I. Elin leaves her homeland of Sweden unloved by her fiance and scorned by her sister for England, where through marriage she becomes the highest ranking woman besides the queen. When her first husband dies, Elin (anglicized as Helena) is torn between a personal life and being loyal to Elizabeth. The queen forbids her marriage to a man of low rank, so they marry in secret. Helena and her new husband had at least eight children who they kept away in the country and naturally, as a mother, Helena wants to be with them but is often called away by Elizabeth. When her husband's family is later involved in Catholic plots (remember, Catholicism is a BIG no-no during this time), she once again doesn't know what side to take - her family's or the queen's. 

I thought Helena was a fascinating character. Since this book doesn't cover her entire life, I looked her up on wikipedia and found out she lived until 86, dying in 1635. The page also claims that on her death, she had 92 living decedents  When you read the book and see how quickly her family in England grows you can definitely believe that! She seemed like a fascinating woman who started her life as the relatively unimportant youngest daughter of a Swedish family and ended as a Marchioness and the closest friend of the queen of England. 

Sandra Byrd is a great story teller and makes every character come to life. The relationships are real and there's a wonderful blend of politics, history, and personal stories. This is historical fiction at its best!

I have a copy to Roses Have Thorns to give away to one of you! To enter, simply leave a comment below with a way to contact you. This giveaway is open only to the US unfortunately, and you have until May 5th to enter!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 4/14 - 4/27

Daisy's Book Haul

-LOOK AT THE PRETTY SHINY NEW EREADER! :) I decided to trade Sony's first model for their latest and I'm kinda in love with it, though I do feel bad for my poor little ereader... It looks so lonely now, getting no love anymore... But this new one is so much faster and has all those options and can hold A LOT more books!
-Rise by Anna Carey: I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and even though I heard some negative stuff about this one, I'm still reading it!
-Furious by Jill Wolfson: I absolutely love Greek Mythology and hope this will be infinitely better than my last try with the Furies!
-Black Heart by Holly Black: AAAH! I need to read this SOON! I need to know how this awesome series ends!
-Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder: love this series, needed my own copy :)
-Adorkable by Sarra Manning: this just looks like a really fun read!
-A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies: really liked this, wanted my own copy and the cover is gorgeous!

Egalleys for review:
-Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden: I love Caroline Linden's writing and this sounds like another sweet historical romance!
-The Devil of Clan Sinclair by Karen Ranney: there's something about men in kilts!
-How To Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan: YES! LOVE HER HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
-Gold by Talia Vance: I really enjoyed Silver, can't wait to see what happens next!
-Faking It by Cora Carmack: Losing It was pretty cute if slightly silly at times, of course I want to know what happens with Cade (who is awesome)!
-Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne: SO CREEPY!
-Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian: I've heard really good things about Burn For Burn (it's sitting on my shelf), really excited to read both!
-The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase: I usually enjoy Ms. Chase's books, this novella sounds cute!

Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves& Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bookish Deals (18)

Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

So first off, Amazon is having a deal where if you are a new subscriber to their daily Kindle emails, you can get a free book. Apparently, I have heard of some people getting charged full price accidentally though, so make sure that if you do this you don't get charged. If you do, you just have to contact their customer service and they should reimburse you. 

The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak - $1.99  
Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.

With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia.

Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tales.

This one was on my Goodreads TBR pile, so I added it to my nook collection :)

Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake - $.99  

For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker--an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - $1.99  

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
Personally, I couldn't stand this book and it was a DNF. But Jamie really liked it. So your mileage may vary.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins - $1.99  
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Julia Reviews Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Title/Author: Everboundby Brodi Ashton
Publisher/Year Published: January 2013 by Balzer and Bray
How I got this book:The library
Why I read this book: The first book was good, and I wanted to see what would happen next.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Everbound, the second in the Everneath series, is a book with its pros and its cons. The series delves into a modern day twist on Greek, and really all, mythology. This series is heavily inspired by the Greeks though.

First a summary (spoilers for Everneath if you haven't read that...):
Nikki was supposed to get sucked into the tunnels at the end of the last book, as her time on Earth had run out (long story), but Jack, her long time friend recently turned boyfriend, jumps into the Shades instead of her, taking her place in what is tantamount to being buried alive in Hell.

Pleasant thought that.

Anyway we start this book out with Nikki trying furtively to figure out a way into the Everneath so she can rescue Jack. Her plan? Trick Cole into giving up a part of himself so she can enter the Everneath through the Shop-and-Go. One problem. She doesn't know where Cole is.

The first part of the book is pretty slow and centers around her grief for losing Jack as well as the whole town's grief over losing their caricature of the small town hero. (more on that later). When Cole finally does show up, more passably boring things happen yadda yadda ... then they are in the Everneath, which really is the most interesting part.

I mean really. I could care less about what is going on at the Surface when there is an awesome world to discover in the Everneath, one that has a time limit because Jack can only last so long in the tunnels. It's a great setup!

This is where we run into one of my major nitpicks: the world building aka lack of a use of descriptive language. I noticed that I had a hard time picturing the Everneath. It wasn't until Nikki was describing one of the maze rings that I realized the problem. Here is the sentence that stuck me:
The sight was so unearthly, it took my breath away. 
And then no description of what she was seeing follows. The plot just moves forward. How am I supposed to get a sense of setting when you describe a scene as "unearthly"? I have only known Earth from experience, so explaining what she is seeing would be greatly appreciated.

A minor nitpick I have is character development. I think our main leads (Nikki and Cole) are pretty fleshed out and not cardboard. Jack, especially in this book, slips more into a cliche then a character to me. The secondary characters are more like devices to move the plot then anything else. Pawns for Cole and Nikki to use... but that said, I really like the plot.

The plot was what saved this for me. It is such a interesting twist on classical mythos. And just like the myths, bad things happen to our main characters and through the journey, shit happens you can't escape from.

Which brings me to Cole. Oh, Cole. In my first review, I fondly referred to him as "a big fat tool." He is probably my favorite character just because he is so well developed. In this book, he reminded me so much of how I picture Hades. We spend a lot of time with Cole through this book. I don't want to give too much away, so I am not going to talk about the ending. However, I really wanted to and thus there is the spoilers and the spoiler tag with my thoughts on my Goodreads review.

Do I recommend this book? If you liked the first one, sure. It's more of the same along those lines. Though frustratingly written at time, the plot is engaging and I read the book in a day, so it's an easier read.

A serious question for you Cole lovers. I am really interested in hearing why you think that he is better for Nikki then Jack? Is it just because he is more interesting? Because I can understand that. But I just don't see him as relationship material... in any way. At all.

I am interested to see where this series takes us next.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paula's Top Ten Books She Liked More/Less Than She Thought She Would

For the future Top Ten schedule & how to participate go HERE!

Alright I figured I would split this down the middle and give you guys 5 books I thought I would like and didn't and 5 books I wasn't sure about and ended up really liking. Here it goes:

Books I thought I would like more than I did:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and this is often picked as his best novel. But I think this is actually my least favorite books of his. When I finished it I had one of those "what am I missing that everyone else loves" moments.

Timeless by Gail Carriger

I actually just finished this one the other day. It's the last of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series and I had high hopes- but I felt as though it was not as good as the other books and did not provide a strong ending to the series overall

John Dies at The End by David Wong

Another book I finished recently... it's a speculative fiction book written by the editor of cracked- I had very high hopes for this one. And while it still was good and I did laugh quite a lot- I was expecting a new favorite that I would recommend to all of my friends. Instead just felt meh about it and moved on.

Until I Find You by John Irving

It's painful to have your favorite author on part of a list talking about disappointing books. But I guess Irving can't win over my heart with each book he writes. This book was 800 pages of bad. And it was really painful to read.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

I didn't really have any expectations either way when I started this book- but it was one that always appeared on recommendation lists for me. And well even though I had no expectations for it to begin with... It didn't even meet those.

Books I liked more than I thought I would (yay the fun part!):

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I kept seeing this book everywhere and assumed it was an over hyped not actually that great novel. Then I picked up a copy of it for a dollar at a book sale and then it sat on my shelf for another year before I rolled my eyes and picked it up. And then I finished it in 2 days (it's 800 pages) kicked myself forever for letting it go unread that long

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

^ Read and repeat the story from above ^ seriously- this book hooked me from the first sentence. And then it ripped my heart out in the best kind of way. I thought it would be a good book but I was wrong. It was a great book.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I accidentally read Fforde's second series before I read his first. And so I didn't quite appreciate how brilliant the Nursery Crimes series was without the context of the Thursday Next books. So this series kept getting recommended to me and I half heartedly picked it up because maybe it would be a light read. OH MY GOSH THURSDAY NEXT AND JASPER FFORDE HAVE TOP SPOTS IN MY HEART. Sorry for the outburst. If you are a lover of books, book related humor, and subtle literary jokes... and you haven't read The Eyre Affair (or any of the Thursday Next Series) I highly HIGHLY suggest you go find those books now.  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Speaking of Miss Eyre... I might as well mention the actual book. I had to read this book for a college class and I'm not sure what I was expecting. Probably to be bored. But then as I read and analyzed and wrote a paper about it I fell in love with it. Jane is such a spectacular character- in context of the time it was written.. she was fantastically ahead of her time for women. I was expecting boring class assignment book and instead I have now collected 5 copies of it on my bookshelf.

Feed by M.T. Anderson

I know I've mentioned this one before- but I think it works for this TTT as well. When I finished Feed I was not hugely overwhelmed by it. But it's one of those books that works its way into your head. And it has stayed there for years. Whenever I see new and potentially scary advances in technology this book pops into my mind. That's when you know an author has done a great job with a book. And I have developed quite a fondness for it because of that. 

What about you guys??

Monday, April 22, 2013

Daisy Reviews Taken by Erin Bowman

Title/Author: Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, April 16th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys — but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate – until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot – a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken – or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

So Taken actually made it onto two of my Top Ten Tuesday lists and I was so wanting to love this book! I didn't end up loving it, but it was pretty interesting.

I love dystopians and I love reading from a male point of view every once in a while, it's nice to switch things up a bit. So Taken started off pretty good for me. I liked seeing Claysoot through Gray's eyes and I really liked how curious he was and that he was smart enough to figure it all out. But if he'd been a sheep we probably wouldn't have had a book centered around him ;)
I never fully connected to Gray and I never felt like I really knew him. Maybe it's because of this that I wasn't fully invested in his story.

I actually liked Bree a whole lot better, though I didn't get a clear reading on her either. I'd love to know more of her background and what life was like for her before she met Gray. There are all these hidden depths in this story that stay hidden, unfortunately. I loved the bond between Gray and Blaine, even though it's just the two of them since their mother died, they are a family and I like that.

It's hard to talk about the plot without giving too much away, but well, let's say I wasn't all that surprised when I found out what was behind the Heist. It's a really interesting concept, but I feel like it's been done before. There were some other twists and turns that took me by surprise a bit, in a good way, so that sorta made up for it. There's some creepy stuff going on that I'm sure we'll learn more about in the sequel!

So I haven't told you about the romance part yet. And maybe that is because it didn't really work for me so much. Gray is pretty much an ass when it comes to girls and I was kinda wondering what either girl saw in him. The love triangle really annoyed me, mostly at the end though when Gray was being a major douche and I just wanted to hit him. Ugh, boys!

Anyway, I sound kinda negative, though I did enjoy this book, it's actionpacked and I read it in no time at all. There were just some things that bugged me and I thought the plot could have been developed a bit more. From the hints of it, I guess there's some serious worldbuilding behind Taken and I really hope Erin Bowman shows us all she's thought up in the next book, cause I'd like a little more background and exploring of this world.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paula Reviews Touching The Surface by Kimberly Sabatini

Book: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Published: 2012, Simon Pulse
How I got it: received a copy for review from the publisher
My rating: 2/3 stars

Okay so I want to qualify this review with a warning that I hardly ever read Young Adult fiction so I am probably not the best person to review this book. Everything I say should be taken with a giant grain of salt. Also I am going to keep the review short and sweet.

I asked to review the book because the concept behind it sounded really intriguing. The idea behind the novel was that when you die you arrive at Obmil (limbo) and have to stay there until you figure out who you were in your past life and can grow and move on to whatever is next (be it heaven, hell, round 2 of life). I really like stories that present ideas of the afterlife so I was excited to see what this book had to offer. 

Pros of the book: 
-I liked the world that was created and the idea that the souls and people you know will always be connected to you. 

Cons of the book: 
- I found the characters really flat. This book deals with a lot of heavy ideas and I felt no connection to any character or reason to care about any of them. At the end of the book I didn't feel like I knew any of the characters and any aspect of their personality felt like an afterthought. 
-The love triangle was really frustrating. It felt like Elliot (main character) would change her mind on who she liked every other page and depending on what mood she was in. So when she finally "realized" who she loved at the end it was not believable.
-The writing was pretty choppy and hard to follow. And what almost made me put the book down was that "OMG" was actually used in a sentence.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bridget's Top Ten WOW Endings

 For the future Top Ten schedule & how to participate go HERE!

Looking back through the past Top Ten Tuesday topics, I found it pretty hard to choose just one. But I when I came across "Top Ten Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open" I had to choose it, because I was just recently discussing this very topic with a friend! So without further ado, here are my Top Ten WOW Endings:

1. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn. This one really left me scraping my jaw off the floor. Really the whole second half of the book. For those of you who have read it, you know why, and for those of you who haven't...you should read it. (My review)

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling. Okay, so yeah, I was like 11 when I first read this, but who wasn't all OMG when Lupin hugs Sirius in the Shrieking Shack? Blew my eleven-year-old mind.

3. Needful Things - Stephen King. Still need to review this one (I just recently re-read it), but this is less of a sudden jaw-dropping moment and more of a "I can't believe this is happening, what the hell is going on" kinda thing for the last 150 pages or so. The ending does resolve rather well, but everything that happens right up until the end is very much WTF IS GOING ON.

4. Cell - Stephen King. Another one I still have to review, and probably re-read before I do so, but I've been avoiding it precisely because the ending made my jaw drop. Not in a good way, though; in a "Seriously, that's the END?!?" way.

5. Insurgent - Veronica Roth. Still not entirely sure what the ending of Insurgent will turn out to mean, but the cliffhanger gave me another "nooooo how could it end THERE?" moment. (My review)

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde. I just love the last scene in this book. Absolute jaw-dropping genius. (My review)

7. The Road - Cormac McCarthy. This is another bad "wow" moment, mostly because I just really didn't like the book in general and when it just ended I was like, "Wow, okay...guess I'm done..."(My review)

8. House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski. This whole book is just mind-blowing, but the ending is pretty amazing too. (My review)

9. The Dead Zone - Stephen King. This ending was actually really sad, but there's a really good "Ohhhhh" moment at the end. Stephen King always manages to wow me with his genius. (My review)

10. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card. This ending left me speechless for DAYS. (Okay, not entirely speechless, but I couldn't talk about the book for a few days until I had processed it completely.) I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't read it, but it's AMAZING. (My review)

What endings have totally blown you away?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/31 - 4/13

Daisy's Book Haul

Egalleys for review:
-Ink by Amanda Sun: this sounds fascinating and I kinda love that it's set in Japan as I hardly read any books set there!
-The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley: I LOVED The Rose Garden! I'm really excited to get to this one!
-Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith: I'm an anglophile and I'm not afraid to show it, this sounds right up my alley!
-Tempest Revealed by Tracy Deebs: I really liked Tempest Rising and Tempest Unleashed, though I had some issues with the last one, but I'm really excited to see what'll happen next!
-The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau: it sounds like a high stakes dystopian and I LOVE book like that!
-Intuition by C.J. Omololu: I thought Transcendence was pretty good and I'm eager to see what'll happen and if there'll be a love triangle like I predicted in my review!

-Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith: I love Sherwood Smith's writing and couldn't resist ordering this when the paperback came out!
-A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont: I loved A Breath of Eyre so of course I needed the sequel!
-With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent: I'm SO behind on this series, but I'll read them soon! LOVE TOD!
-Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: her Princess for Hire series is AMAZING! I'm so excited to start this one!
-Torn by Amanda Hocking: second book in the series I've heard both really good and really bad things about, it was on sale so obviously I needed to buy it.
-Fractured by Teri Terry: same goes for this one ;) I should start Book Hoarders Anonymous...
-Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: I've heard so much about this series and the people at Appliances Online were nice enough to send me this pretty boxset! Also: it's huge!

Julia's Book Haul

It's been a while since I've done one of these, so I decided to compile the NookBooks I have purchased this year into a little collage. There are more books I have bought or been gifted, but this list is good for now.

Time Travel Romance:
No Proper Lady - Isabel Cooper
Midnight In Your Arms - Morgan Kelly

Historical Romance:
Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal - Grace Burrowes
She Tempts the Duke - Lorraine Heath
Married in Haste - Cathy Maxwell
Potent Pleasures - Eloisa James

Steampunk Romance:
Kiss of Steel - Bec McMaster

Paranormal Romance: 
The Taken - Vicki Pettersson
A Hint of Frost - Hailey Edwards

Contemporary Romance:
Just of the Guys - Kristan Higgins

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore

The Legend of Eli Monpress (books 1-3) -  Rachel Aaron

Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves& Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bookish Deals (17)

Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget! I've decided to make this week romance novel themed. Starting with the deals that I personally have taken advantage of.

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper - $.99
When a half-naked woman suddenly appears on his country estate, Simon Grenville doesn't have time to be shocked. Demonic beasts are hot on his heels until the beautiful stranger unsheathes several knives strapped to her skin-tight trousers and kills them. As he stares at her fierce, heart-stopping face, Simon knows he's in a hell of a lot of trouble...

Joan is from a time where demons run rampant and humanity is fighting for its existence. To prevent this terrible future, she is sent back to Victorian England to kill the magician responsible for unleashing the dark forces. But Joan is a soldier more used to sparring than dancing. To get close to her target, she'll need Simon to teach her how to fit into polite society. Joan doesn't mind practicing proper flirtation on Simon, but she can't allow herself to be distracted by his gentle hands or devilish smile--the very future depends on it.

Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James - $.99
Nothing is more seductive than temptation.

Reckless desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked stranger. He's powerful, unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who lures her--not against her will--into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball. Then he vanishes.

Several years later, after Charlotte has made her dazzling debut in London society, they meet again. But the rogue is no footman. He's rich, titled, and he doesn't remember Charlotte. Worse, he's the subject of some scandalous gossip: rumor has it, the earl's virility is in question.

Charlotte, who knows all too intimately the power of his passion, is stunned by the gossip that has set society ablaze. At last, there can be a storybook ending...unless, of course, Charlotte's one mad indiscretion had not been with him at all....

Beach Colors by Shelley Nobel - $1.99
While renowned designer Margaux Sullivan was presenting her highly praised collection during New York City's Fashion Week, her husband was cleaning out their bank account. A week after he disappeared, the bank foreclosed on Margaux's apartment and business.

Suddenly broke, betrayed, and humiliated, Margaux has nowhere else to turn to but home: the small coastal town of Crescent Cove, Connecticut, where she once knew love, joy, and family before she put them behind her on the climb to fame. When she's stopped for speeding by local interim police chief Nick Prescott, Margaux barely remembers the "townie" boy who worshipped her from afar every summer. But Nick is all grown up now, a college professor who gave up his career to care for his orphaned nephew, Connor. Though still vulnerable, Margaux is soon rediscovering the beauty of the shore through young Connor's eyes . . . and, thanks to Nick, finding a forgotten place in her heart that wants to love again.

But as she continues to work on a bold new line that will get her back into the game, Margaux realizes that soon she will have to make the most important, most difficult decision of her life.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Julia Reviews Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Title/Author: Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Publisher/Year Published: January 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
How I got this book:The library
Why I read this book: The first book was good, and I wanted to see what would happen next.
Rating: 4 stars

Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

I can't decide if I like this book more or less then the first, Incarnate (review). I think I like them the same amount, but for different reasons.

Incarnate had a sense of the new and interesting. What is this world? Why is Ana around? That sort of thing. A sense of discovery. 

Asunder is really a continuation of that except now it's moved away from discovery and more into trying to find her place. 

Ana and the world are recovering from the events of Templedark during the beginning of this novel. Sam and Ana set off to find some answers, but really come back with more questions. We meet some new characters and discover more about some we've already known. 

The story itself progresses and Ana learns more about Janan and the sylph as well as new souls. The ending was pretty jarring in all that we learn and all that it means for the habitats of the city.

Anyway, my biggest praise for this book is the realistic portrayal of Sam and Ana's relationship. I couldn't help but make comparisons to Twilight in my mind, because they both have a really old soul in a teenage body dating a teenager. Where Twilight just kind of glossed over the fact that Edward was really old, Meadows tackles the issue head on. It's actually quite a problem for the growth of their relationship, as I think it would be. I have to give praise for that. The other aspects of their relationship ring just as real. 

The story itself is pretty engaging. The world and it's rules are so different and yet the same. I am curious to see where this series leads!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Books Jana Read Before She Was a Blogger

For future topics/more info click here

Hello!! So nice to see you today! It's hard to believe I ever wasn't a blogger, because I have eat, breathed, and slept books since I jumped on the blogging bandwagon with Jamie, and all my other Broke and Bookish gals back in June of 2010. I've read a million amazing books since then, but some long-time favorites kindled my love of reading way before. Don't tease me about some of these! :P 

I'm just going to get this out of the way upfront. Twilight is the book that made me discover there was a young adult section in the bookstore. I had NO idea! I'm not even kidding. I grew up reading romance novels, and never knew there was a genre devoted to me. But oh, I loved Edward. :) Oh, and random fact... this is actually the first book I added to Goodreads when I joined. Crazy!

My first mystery! I became an instant MH-C fan, and will read anything she writes. :) 

Did anyone else read the Avon True Romance series? There were, like, 13-14 books aimed towards young adults in this series, all written by well-known authors like Meg Cabot, Beverly Jenkins, etc. This one was my favorite on, though. And thus began my love of pirate romances. I swear, I have this crazy guilty pleasure. 

I cried, duh. But I really loved this story. And I think it might just be the least sad book by Mr. Sparks. 

My first time travel book! I LOVE Lynn's romances. They are soooooo sweet, and so amazing. I just love Scotland, too, and most of her books take place there. 

This book is full of awesome. The writing is lovely, and the story is so unique! Just read it, I tell you. 

This book starts when a woman gets kissed by a mysterious man in a Zorro mask on New Year's Eve. Who is he!?!?! Oh, I loved this book.

I was SOOOO scared of this book. It took me forever to be ok with it, and my mom thought I was insane for wanting it. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Seriously, this solidified my love of YA novels. 

"Werewolves? Seriously? I love Edward, not Jacob, so I am going to hate this." People, Shiver trumped Twilight. No questions asked. This was a big deal for me!!

Yes, I reviewed this here (my first review ever, actually!), but I actually had to re-read the book in order to remember it enough to write a review. So it counts. My first chick-lit! I loved it!!!!!

Wow. My reading choices and habits have changed so much since I became a blogger! It's insane! Look at all my adult romances on this list! I hardly ever get to read them anymore! Anyway, what amazing books did you read before you blogged, and maybe don't have a review posted? Let me know, and I'll come check it out!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bookish Deals Special Edition: Nook Sale!

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of Bookish Deals. Since I just started my weekend perusal of the internet, I came across something I had to share with you savvy shoppers. Barnes and Noble is doing a 50% Off the Top 1000 Nookbooks. Amazon is price matching. I've been scrolling through the list and so far I've seen some pretty good deals (and some that I've gotten better deals for y'all here), but there were some that I had to point out to you guys!

First, the Lunar Chronicles books 1 and 2 are on sale for $4.99 each! Cinder and Scarlet are both amazing! If you have been thinking about trying them, this would be a good time.

It's a Nicholas Sparks extravaganza all for $3.49! Safe HavenThe Lucky OneThe ChoiceThe RescueThe Notebook, A Bend in the RoadThe WeddingThe GuardianA Walk to Remember ... okay seriously there are 34 pages and this is only through ten. Here is just a link to his author page. Have at it!

Bossypants is hilarious, complete with creepy cover that you won't have to see because it's an ebook! It's $3.99

Looking to read Ender's Game before the movie comes out this year? It's $3.49. Or how about more books the movie is based on? Like Silver Linings Playbook ($4.99) or The Princess Bride ($4.49)

I think the sale only lasts the weekend, so hurry to the ones that interest you!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lori's Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

For future topics/more info click here

One of my favorite things about the book community is discovering that my odd book-related behavior actually isn't that odd....like having the most hopeless crushes on book characters.  :)

In no particular order...

1.  Oliver Wood from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  This might have more to do with him being played by a really foxy actor in the movie, but I rather like him.  I wish his character had been more fleshed out.

2.  Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind.  I have a total girl crush on her.  I think that she's just captivating.

3.  Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.  His stoicism and honor are totally sexy.

4.  Buddy Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.  Again, this might be because the actor who played him is totally foxy (Chris O'Donnell) and again, his character was not very fleshed out.

5.  Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind.  I don't even need to explain this.

6.  Chennault from The Rum Diary.  Another girl crush.  She's so free and cool.

7.  Jack Whitman from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  Not only was the actor who played him in the film attractive, he sounds totally hot from the book's description too.  He's tender and he plays music and he dances....

8.  Stu Redman from The Stand.  I read the book way before I saw the movie.  I thought he sounded fantastic from the novel because he's definitely a man's man and is really brave.  Then I saw the movie with Gary Sinise and OMG!

9.  Robert Jordan from For Whom the Bell Tolls.  I think his bravery and determination to do the right thing is hot.  But I think it might be safer to say I have a thing for Hemingway...

10.  Jesse Tuck from Tuck Everlasting.  I think he has some really romantic lines.  And he seems to care for and accept Winnie as she is.

Hmmm...a lot of these I have a crush on because a film adaptation pushed me over the edge.  The film helped give me a visual for a character I already liked.  I'm OK with that.

What about you?

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