Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (36)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:


"Crawling into my tent, I pulled the blanket over my head and tried to sleep, to forget Ezekiel Crosse. His touch. His warmth. And how badly I wanted to sink my fangs into his throat and truly make him mine."


p. 279 (ARC) from THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa


Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (35)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that was started by Kristi at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. It features books or book-related things that have been bought, borrowed, won, or received in the mail. Be sure to check out The Story Siren for a list of all the other blogs participating!





For Review:
Underworld by Meg Cabot
Received courtesy of Scholastic

Bought:
The Wolf Gift and The Vampire Chronicles by Ann Rice (Both signed!)



Weekly Recap:


March Book Portrait: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Includes International Giveaway!)

Review: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer

Monday Reads
Teaser Tuesday: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Waiting on Wednesday: Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday



What books did you get this week? Please leave a comment or link to your own IMM post!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Follow Friday (35)



Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. Visit either of their blogs for complete rules of the following fun!

This week's question:

"What is the longest book you’ve read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?"

One of the longest books I've read is Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind - it's 979 pages. Of the eleven books in his Sword of Truth series, the shortest is 623 pages, so these are my favorite 600+ page reads in addition to the 600+ page Harry Potter books.



What are your answers? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer


ARCADIA AWAKENS
By: Kai Meyer
Published By: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Series: Arkadien (#1)
Pages: 451
Genre: Paranormal
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: ALA Midwinter
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.

Ancient myths brought to life in the Sicilian countryside, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a long history of familial bloodlust prove to Rosa that she can’t trust anyone—not even her own family. Torn between loyalty to her aunt and love for her family’s mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love . . . or run as far and as fast as she can.




I wanted to read Arcadia Awakens as soon as I read the synopsis. With mystery, intrigue, myths with a paranormal twist, and a foreign setting, it had all of the makings of a great book. As I read I found myself completely drawn into the story, transported into a world filled with Mafia capos and shapeshifters...

In an effort to escape the recent events of her life, Rosa packs up her few belongings and boards a plane that will take her to Sicily to live with her sister and her aunt. Rosa knows that her family is part of the Mafia, but she never realized just how deeply involved they are until she is immersed in that world. To make matters worse, Rosa soon learns that Alessandro Carnevare, the boy she met on the plane and has developed feelings for, is the son of her family's biggest enemy. Yet that doesn't stop her from falling for him. But there are more to these star-crossed lovers than meets the eye. These Mafia families are part of a larger legacy, once that Rosa is only beginning to understand. As she becomes invested in the world, Rosa finds that she will have to make tough decisions about what she values most...family, love, or her own life...

Talk about a book that crosses genres, that has a story that is so easy to lose yourself in. This is a complex, rich story, and although it is slow to start, by the end it is gripping. Both the story and the characters themselves are full of surprises, and I was always eager to see what would happen next. Even though we learn so much in this book, I have a feeling that there are still more secrets to be revealed, and I am looking forward to that. In some ways, Rosa was difficult to connect with, but as the story progressed and we learned more about her I found that she was a sympathetic character. Life was certainly not easy, but she handled everything that life threw at her and proved to be a great heroine.

The one thing that I would have liked to have seen would have been more development of the relationship between Alessandro and Rosa. Although there were some very sweet moments - and steamier ones - between them, I did not feel a connection between them as a couple. I am hoping that their relationship will become richer in the next book.

From the setting to the characters to the story itself, Arcadia Awakens is a book that will stay with you for a long time. I cannot wait to read the next book in the trilogy!




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


DON'T YOU WISH
By: Roxanne St. Clair
Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.




Why it's wanted:

This books sounds like a fun and interesting story. I'm curious to see how it all plays out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (35)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:


"'Now, little human,' the vampire said, placing a hand on my forehead. 'Now, you will die. And hopefully, I will see you again on the other side.'

Then, my eyes flickered shut, darkness pulled me under and, lying in the rain, in the cold embrace of a nameless vampire, I exited the world of the living."


p. 79 (ARC) from THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa


Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?



It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books. Each week we will share the books we have just finished reading, are currently reading, and are planning to read.



Just Finished Reading:
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Currently Reading:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Book Club)

Planning To Read:
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf




What are you reading this week?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (34)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that was started by Kristi at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. It features books or book-related things that have been bought, borrowed, won, or received in the mail. Be sure to check out The Story Siren for a list of all the other blogs participating!



Bought:




Inside by Maria V. Snyder (Contains Inside Out and Outside In)
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen




Weekly Recap:


March Book Portrait: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Includes International Giveaway!)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop
Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop Signups

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Monday Reads
Teaser Tuesday: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Waiting on Wednesday: Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz
Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday



What books did you get this week? Please leave a comment or link to your own IMM post!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop



Welcome to this stop of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop, hosted by
I am a reader, not a writer, Books Complete Me, and Author Cindy Thomas.

St. Patrick's Day has never been a big holiday on my list - I'm not even sure I own anything green that I can wear tomorrow - but any holiday is a great excuse to celebrate books! As you enter all the great giveaways going on, may the luck of the Irish be with you :)



~GIVEAWAY~

In order to include international followers, this giveaway will be for a book of the winner's choice (up to $15) from Book Depository.

The contest is open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country. Must be 13 to enter. Please see my Contest Policy for more information.

Must be a GFC follower to enter.

This contest will close on Friday, March 23 at midnight CST.





Make sure to visit the hosts I am a reader, not a writer, Books Complete Me, and Author Cindy Thomas for all the other stops on this hop!


Follow Friday (34)



Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. Visit either of their blogs for complete rules of the following fun!

This week's question:

"What is the best book you’ve read in the last month? What is the worst book you’ve read in the last month?"

I'd have to say that the best book is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. This book had such beautiful descriptions and writing, and I fell in love with the characters and the story. I currently have a feature and giveaway for this book here.

The book that I enjoyed the least was probably Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. I loved the writing and the imagery, but the story itself didn't hold my attention.



What are your answers? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Book Portrait: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard



I'm very excited to bring you the second month of this feature! Book Portrait of the Month will showcase one book that has a cover/synopsis/etc. that I find particularly striking. In each post I hope to include teasers and author interviews or guest posts (when possible), as well as a giveaway. Hopefully this feature will bring more attention to some very deserving books!

So without further ado I present March's feature:



WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard
Reason for Feature: Title/Synopsis

About the Book:
Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Release Date: March 13
Reading Level: Young Adult | Genre: Contemporary Fiction


It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

"No matter what he says, that's Wanderlove," she tells me. "That's how he lives it. Isn't that right, Rowan? The only way to escape the past is to keep moving forward."


You can read my review of Wanderlove here.



~GIVEAWAY~

I am very excited to offer one copy of Wanderlove for a giveaway!

This contest is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Must be 13 to enter. Please see my Contest Policy for more information.

This contest will close on Sunday, April 1 at 12:00 AM CST.




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard


WANDERLOVE
By: Kirsten Hubbard
Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Series: None
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.




It's no secret by now that I love books in foreign or exotic settings, so when I saw that this book took place across Central America, I knew that I had to read it. Although Wanderlove didn't turn out to be exactly what I was expecting, in this case, that was a good thing.

Bria has never been one for traveling, but the summer after she graduates from high school, she is determined to change that. When her two friends back out on their planned trip through Europe, Bria finds another option - a tour of Central America with the Global Vagabonds. Bria is expecting teens ready for fun and adventure there, but instead she finds middle-aged tourists with every minute carefully planned. So when she has the chance to leave the group and follow true backpackers Rowan and Starling, she takes it. Only Bria isn't prepared for true backpacking, in more ways than one. But more than that, she isn't prepared for the emotional journey that this trip will become. As she comes to know Rowan, Bria learns not only about him but also about herself, about the person she can be and what it means to put the past behind you.

I've tried to take some time to process this book before writing this review, but I'm still not sure where to start. Wanderlove is beautiful, breathtaking...just a fantastic novel. Everything in this book became real to me, from the character to their emotions to the settings in Central America. It was incredibly easy to sympathize with Bria, to feel her pain. I love that her story is revealed gradually over the course of the book rather than presented all at once. The same holds true for Rowan. The physical and emotional journey that these two characters take is nothing short of amazing. They both have a lot to move past, and I loved reading what philosophies they used while making their attempts to move on. There is also Starling - I would have liked to have seen her more, but I enjoyed getting to know her when I could. These were characters I was not ready to say goodbye to at the end of the book.

This book made me think about a lot of things; it gave me new perspectives and ideas to consider. There seemed to be a lot of profound truths buried in seemingly everyday conversation. Wanderlove was the first book in a long time that I've wanted to read again right after I finished so that I could soak up anything I might have missed on my first read. I want to relive the experience and the journey of this book over again.

Wanderlove was everything I could have wanted in a travel novel and more. From the beautiful and vivid depictions of the scenery to the emotional journeys of Bria and Rowan, I fell in love with everything about this book. I can't wait to read more by Kirsten Hubbard!




"Waiting on" Wendesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


THE SERPENT'S KISS
By: Melissa de la Cruz
Published By: Hyperion
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent’s Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.

Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down—from Joanna’s organized kitchen to Ingrid’s previously nonexistent love life to Freya’s once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.

When Freya’s twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiancĂ© Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya’s help to prove it. Now Freya doesn’t know who to believe or trust.

And for the first time in—well, forever, really—Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn’t believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt’s police investigation.

To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna—but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she’s recently begun dating.

As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie’s imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most?

Melissa de la Cruz weaves all this and more in a blockbuster sequel that is not to be missed by her fans, and one that is sure to enchant new readers of the series.




Why it's wanted:

I read the first book, Witches of East End, and really enjoyed it. The characters are great and I love books about witches, so I'm curious to see what's next for the Beauchamp family!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (34)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:



"I turn to her but she's looking at something far away.

So she knows."


p. 44 (ARC) from THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour


Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Love In Bloom Giveaway Hop Signups



Love in Bloom
Giveaway Hop


Featuring Lighthearted/Contemporary Young Adult Romance
& Sweet, Clean Adult Romance

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Portrait of a Book

May 18th to 23rd



Hop Rules

~You must host a giveaway on your site. You are responsible for obtaining a prize for giveaway and taking care of the shipping charges.

~You must giveaway a contemporary/lighthearted young adult romance or a sweet, clean adult romance.

~You may provide a list of books for the winner to choose from.

~No gift cards.

~Your giveaway post must include the hop image & linky (or links to the host's sites if you can't get the linky to work).

~Please only 1 mandatory entry & up to 4 optional entries - Keep It Simple!

~Your post must be live by 12:01 EST on May 18th.

~The giveaway must be specifically for this hop.

~Your site & giveaway must be family friendly.



Sign up below!

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