Monday, June 30, 2014

Best books read so far in 2014

I haven't read many books this year, 39 total, and not all of them have been enjoyable. I have decided to list the Top 5 books I have read so far (and these are in no particular order):

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Lainey surprised me, it really did. I expected it to be about a shallow HS girl who only wants to get her ex back. Instead it was a story of a girl who finds herself while trying to win back the boy she thinks she should be with. It was a book about how people shouldn't judge others and I felt that was awesome. I finished it in one day and recommend it to everyone.

Cinder/Scarlet/Cress by Marissa Meyers

What an amazing series!! I love Cinder so much, I want to be friends with her. I thought it was going to be a cheesy story where the author tied fairy tales with dystopian thoughts. Marissa nailed it! It was such a great read, I don't know what else to say other than I am excited for Fairest and Winter!

 The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire by Clarissa Clare

I started this series last year and very sorry to see it end. It was a SUPER long book (over 700 pages!) but worth it. I devoured his book and when I was done, I wished I had slowed down. Clarissa ended the story beautifully but I am still sad the story of Jace and Clary is over.

 The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

I love a good dystopian and this book delivered! It is exactly what I think of when I think of a dystopian novel. This was the debut novel for Lindsay Cummings and now I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. 


Angelfall/World After by Susan Ee

Amazon recommended this book series to me. I am a sucker for angel books so I couldn't pass on it. I fell in love with them instantly! When I finished World After I found out the next book in the series hasn't been announced yet. Nobody knows when it might come out so I am left feeling unfulfilled. I don't like this feeling but all I can do it wait, like every other fan. Regardless, these two books are still a fantastic read! Read them and suffer with me. 😉 

What about you? What are your favorite books so far this year? 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Follow me on BlogLovin!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I want to make sure everyone can follow me on BlogLovin! 

Book mail this week (3)

I was fortunate to receive book mail this week!

Alyssa (@WithTheBanned) was sweet and sent me this ARC. Thank you!  Excited to read! 

I won this gem from a Twitter giveaway (thank you @CAhnbooks and the #EnsconcedinLit Twitter party!) but I didn't know it would be personalized! How awesome! 

What did you get this week/weekend??

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My first book signing event - 6.28.14

I was scrolling through Twitter Wendesday evening and saw a flyer for a book signing event at Murder by the Books for Saturday afternoon where the speakers were Joy Preble, Jennifer Mathieu, and Kristin Rae. I had never been to a book signing event so I was excited when I realized I had no plans and could go! 

I was nervous to get to the event on time since it was Pride weekend in downtown Houston and the weather want exactly playing nice. I left super early not knowing what traffic might be like. Little did I know I would arrive a full hour before the event. Oops! But know that having to wait in a book store isn't really that terrible. 😉 

Here is the table where the authors would be signing. Since I was first to arrive, I was able to pick the best seat! 

Here are the lovely ladies talking about what they like about the other speaker's books, how important setting is in their book, what nobody warned them about when it comes to being an author, and what they are working on for upcoming stories. I felt it was a great experience to have a close one on one interaction with all of them. 

I was the fangirl who asked if I could get a picture with all of them, but I didn't want to interrupt Joy and Jen as they were signing books. Kristin told me to just walk behind the table and say I was taking a picture. She said since she was on the panel that it was ok. I adore her so much. 💖

I also asked for my books to be personalized, I'm a book nerd that way. Here is what they all wrote! 

Jen is SUCH a sweetie!! I want to just hang out with her and drink coffee sometime. 

Joy was so funny and had so much energy, I couldn't get enough of her.

Kristin was adorable!! She kept saying she had 'baby brain' so she would ask for the questions to be repeated. Poor thing. She did bring cookies so nobody really minded. ☺️

I really had a great time with these ladies!! They were so welcoming that I didn't want to leave the store. I hope everyone has a chance to meet them someday - they are so much fun.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Liebster Award Blog 2014

Hello all!! I was recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Ginger Reader 22.

About the award:
 "The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs." (We Loved Here)
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!
11 Things About Me:
 1. I was born a blonde but my hair darkened to red as I got older.

2. I was raised in a small town in Oklahoma that was only 6 blocks long.

3. I was just notified that I'll be running my first half-marathon in January 2015!

4. I have a small OCD twitch that causes me to do things in 3's

5. I have known by BFF for 25 years.

6.I am a middle child (older sister and younger brother)

7. I am the shortest in my family (5' 3 3/4" tall)

8. I won't eat fish but love eating sushi.

9. I work on, modify, and race muscle cars.

10. I currently own a GTO!

11. I have 9 tattoos and 7 piercings. :)

 My 11 questions from Ginger Reader:
1.  A book that you wish had a sequel? 
World After by Susan Ee ! The next book in the series needs to be released soon.

2. A fictional place you would like to visit? 
NIL but I'd like to be able to escape anytime I need/want to.

3. Book with the biggest cliffhanger?
Again, World After by Susan Ee. WHAT HAPPENS ALREADY?!

4. Favorite soundtrack?
I am not a big sound track person. I would say anything but "Frozen"!

5. Favorite quote? 
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - Helen Keller

6. Favorite series?
The Mortal Instruments has to be my fave.

7. Fictional character you love to hate? 
President Snow from The Hunger Games. Need I say more?

8. If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
To make food out of sand! I'd never go hungry that way.

9. Favorite song?
More Than Words by Extreme (totally dated myself there)

10. Favorite 80's movie? 
 Anything with John Cusack!
11. Author you wish you were best friends with?
Paula Stokes and Lynne Matson. I adore them so much on Twitter!


 I tag:

1. Sheena @ BookWasted 
2. Anyone who wants to answer the questions! I only had one blogger respond but I don't want to leave anyone out.
My questions for the tagged bloggers:

1. Do you have any hidden talents?

2. What book did you read that really surprised you in a good way?

3. Cats or dogs?

4. First book that you remember reading?

5. What book can you read over and over again?

6. Favorite female character in a book series?

7. What book do you recommend to everyone?

8. What book character would you want to be BFFs with?

9. What is your favorite type of book to read?

10. What male character from a book would you like to date in real life?

11. Have you ever read a book that made you cry?

Thank you again, Ginger, for the nomination!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

ARC Book Review - Hungry by H.A. Swain

Hungry by H.A. Swain
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Andye @ReadingTeen!
The basis of the book:

In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.

My thoughts on the book:

I was super excited when Andye let me read and review this book! I have been looking at this one for a little while as I am a sucker for dystopian books. As I started reading, I had to wonder what I was getting in to because the story started out talking about a privileged daughter who had no worries at all who started having hunger pains in a world where hunger has been eliminated due to medicines given every 3 months. Thalia ends up fleeing the "Inner Loop" with the help of a boy named Basil. Thalia and Basil continue on a long adventure to try to start a revolution that will bring the corporation giant, One World, down because they control the nutritional and medicine  supply for the entire population. These long adventures really went on a lot longer than they should have.

I was slightly bored at times while reading. I lost interest a couple of times because the story jumped all over the place - meaning I felt I forgot the reason these characters were doing what they were doing. I felt the story was trying to cover too many story lines at once. Each Part easily could have been stretched into different books instead of crammed into one. It was really too much for me and felt rushed. Plus when the story ended, it didn't feel finished. There was no conclusion, no questions answered, nothing. It left you hanging and that makes me wonder if there is going to be a second book.

Here are the main things that bothered me about this story:

- There are no chapters. NO. CHAPTERS. There are four (4) Parts. I haven't ever read a book that didn't have chapters so it felt like the story just kept going and not in a good way.

- It felt as if there was nothing Thalia couldn't do. Thalia lived a life of privilege yet knew everything about food and farming based on past stories her Grandmother told her growing up. It would have been more believable if she had to learn something in a humble way.

- There seemed to be too much medical detail given. Thalia's mom is a doctor, the one who discovered how to suppress the hunger desire in humans, and talks in heavy medical lingo. I got lost along the way and skipped most of what she said.

- A lot of the characters have food names. That seemed a little unnecessary - Apple, Basil, Spinach, Strawberry. You get the idea.

With all of that said, I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. I am grateful to Andye of @ReadingTeen for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review - Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

The basis of the book:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience

My thoughts on the book:

I really liked the story. Really, really liked it. I like how he has taken actual photographs and made an usual story from them. It is nice to have an usual and different type of story to read in a growing sea of sameness.

I truly wanted to know what would happen once I started reading. I did have moments when things didn't click for me or make sense but it didn't stop me from finishing. I could have just been tired from reading, who knows. I thought there was some good character development from the first book, which made me happy. I didn't want these characters to stay flat the entire way through however long the series might be. The way he has weaved this tale makes me anxious for the next book and it cannot get here soon enough. I cannot wait to see where he takes this story.

Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is one of the better books I have read and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.