Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday | 03

Friday, June 29, 2012 with 11 comments
Follow Friday, or Feature & Follow, is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The premise is for bloggers to get to know other bloggers, and keep in touch with each other. This weeks question:

Birthday Wishes -- Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake...who is it and what book are they from?

Wow, there are so many choices for this one...I must say, if I had to choose only one, I suppose it would have to be Sherlock Holmes. I have just finished re-watching the second season of the BBC's 'Sherlock,' and have been pondering on weather I should buy the new released BBC version of the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, despite already having the book series in an older version.

If you don't know so already, I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fangirl. I think the Sherlock novels are absolutely fun to read - probably my favorite mystery series ever! Plus, I do enjoy the BBC series ever so much! And, Sherlock does look pretty good in all his portrayals:

Benedict Cumberbatch
Robert Downey Jr.
Basil Rathbone
I think I am just in love with this man's brain. Oh, Sherlock, to have you pop out of my cake...I can just imagine...Though I must admit, I do have a preference to Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock - yum! Plus, the hilarities that would ensue...that would be the Best.Birthday.EVER!!!

P.S. Birthday Wishmaster - you may feel free to send John along as well...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Domain Change

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 with No comments
I am in the process of a domain change - from to Don't know how long it'll take for this to get updated, as I literally just purchased the domain about an hour ago, but I just thought I'd let you know, in case anything starts to go wonky (like GFC, which I hope will at some point reappear...and the comments pages, which seem to have migrated too soon...). Blogger will redirect you automatically once the domain updates, so you don't have to worry!

I don't know why I didn't get a custom domain from the beginning - I guess because I didn't know that it would only cost $10 per year, period (I had assumed their would be monthly fees, but I learned that blogger  will still host the site, so there aren't any.) Well, thanks you guys - bear with me!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Sunday, June 24, 2012 with 5 comments

Wow! So awesome to have received my first blog award - the Liebster Blog Award! I am very thankful to the lovely blogger, Sarah, who nominated me over at Lace and Lavender Hints - please go give her a visit! And for those of you wondering, the Liebster Blog Award is an award given to upcoming bloggers who have 200 followers or less (like moi!). The word 'liebster' is German, and means "dearest" or "beloved," and I feel so honored to be thought of that way by a reader - I would like you all to know that I feel that way about you all as well!

So, here's the rules:

1) Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves
2) Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you, and give 11 questions for the people you have tagged
3) Choose 11 people and link them in your post
4) Tell them you've tagged them
5) Remember, no tag backs

My 11 Random Facts

1) I am a nerdfighter, and a part of one of the coolest communities ever, started by John and Hank Green
2) I am a vegan :)
3) I am a superhero fangirl, and love both Marvel and DC
4) I absolutely love listening to music - it matters not what language or genre, if I love it then I love it! I also love discovering new artists to love, and am constantly on the search for some amazing new songs.
5) I am trying to learn Mandarin Chinese, and have also been studying Japanese; because of that, I am also a bit of an Asian drama addict
6) I love looking at the stars! Sometimes on a good night I will even climb our ladder onto the roof, and just lie on my back to look at them.
7) I love, love, LOVE Indian food!!!
8) I have always been in love with the Harry Potter series, and still daydream about going to Hogwarts all the time.
9) I probably watch too much TV for my own good.
10) I actually love to write lists, of anything - I even have an actual, physical bucket list in a composition notebook
11) I am a huge dork, and not afraid to admit it.

Questions from Lace and Lavender Hints

1) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to be able to understand and speak any language. Yes, I would totally consider that a superpower. I have always loved traveling and learning about other cultures, and to be able to talk to others during my travels without language barriers would be the most amazing thing ever!

2) What paranormal being would you choose to be and why?
I have to agree with Sarah on this one - I would love to be a Hogwarts witch! Must I even explain why?

3) What is your favorite color?
Midnight blue

4) Who are your three favorite authors?
John Green, Charles Dickens, and Ray Bradbury

5) What are your three favorite books (with links)?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

6) What are your top three favorite series (with links)?
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

7) What is your favorite film adaptation of a book?
Definitely Peter Jackson's take on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am very much looking forward to seeing how The Hobbit comes out.

8) 5 most "swoon-worthy" characters?
Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)
Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings)
Edward Cullen (Twilight)
Harry Potter (Harry Potter)
Michael Glass (Morganville Vampires)

9) Why did you decide to start blogging?
Because I love to read, but I also love to write, meet new people, and surf the net. Reading all of these book blogs, I figured, why not start a blog myself, and share what I love?

10) What blog post are you most proud of (please leave a link)?
A toss-up between my Father's Day post on Atticus Finch and my review of Singing The Dogstar Blues.

11) What last made you smile?
Getting this award! And thinking about all the literary guys in my answer for question 8...

11 People I'm Nominating for the Liebster Blog Award

In no particular order:

*** I'll add the other four as soon as I'm able.

11 Questions for the above tagged bloggers to answer

I also chose to recycle some questions:

1) Who are your three favorite authors?
2) What are your three favorite books (links please)?
3) What are your three favorite book series (links please)?
4) Who are your five most "swoon-worthy" characters?
5) If you could make a soundtrack to your favorite novel or series, what songs would you put on it?
6) Say you could visit any fictional world for one week. Which would you choose and why?
7) Which character do you think you could be best friends with, and why?
8) What were five books you loved most during your childhood (links please)?
9) Why do you read?
10) Why did you decide to start blogging?
11) What blog post are you most proud of (link please)?
A Meme By The Story Siren
I only got two books this week during a trip to Barnes & Noble. A trip which, very sadly, resulted in a loss of something very near and dear to me - my iPod touch. While I have already cried the tears, I still think I'm in a bit of a shock. It took me forever to set aside the money to buy it, and I only had it for less than a year.  But what I am most sad to see is that not all people are made of awesome, but instead some very sticky fingers. I suppose that not everyone who reads books actually learns something from them...

But life goes on, and so does this post. Here are the books that I got:

Fahrenheit 451 is my favorite book of all time, but for some reason I've never owned an actual copy of it. I've only read library copies, or my kindle version. But I figured what better time to finally grab a copy than when my favorite author, John Green, decided that this book would be the next book that everyone in a certain community called Nerdfighteria would be reading (if they chose to participate.) How fun to re-read it while getting to participate in a huge on-line discussion about it with awesome people! And for those of you who don't know what I am talking about, if you are interested, you can feel free to check out this YouTube channel, particularly this playlist here.

Jane Eyre, on the other hand, I have not yet read. I've been wanting to get around to it - especially after I saw the new film that came out last year. I really loved that movie, and so I know that I will love this book even more. Plus, I just couldn't resist that lovely cover! The actual book is even prettier in real life, but as I don't have a camera on me (*sobs* - poor iPod!), all you get is the picture I nabbed from my Google search.

Thank you much for taking the time to stop by - I would love to see what books you guys got, so feel free to leave a comment and I'll check your posts out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday | 06

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 with 17 comments
'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, which features upcoming releases that I am anticipating the most! There are so many good books coming out this year, but here's what I can't wait to read at the moment:

August 7, 2012

    After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
  Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
    Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
    Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

September 25, 2012

   Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
   Her father was right. The monsters are real….
  To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

January 1, 2013

   Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

   When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Seventeen-year-old Joss is a rebel, and a student of time travel at the prestigious Centre for Neo-Historical Studies. This year, for the first time, the Centre has an alien student: Mavkel, from the planet Choria. And Mavkel has chosen Joss, of all people, as his roommate and study partner. Then Mavkel gets sick. Joss quickly realizes that his will to live is draining away. The only way she can help Mavkel is by breaking the Centre's strictest rules - and that means going back in time to change history.

This book was amazing - it was truly like nothing else I have ever read. I'm so used to reading the typical YA novel (which involves a pretty heroine falling for a hot vampire/werewolf/ghost/etc, and together they go off on an adventurous journey to save the world/uncover a conspiracy/overthrow a corrupt leader/etc) that this was such a nice refreshment.

I think what I loved most was that this book was not about romance or damsels in distress, it was about true friendship. The heroine, Joss, was so kick-ass. She played the harmonica with a blues band, she was a bit of a troublemaker, and she had plain ol' common sense. She also had no problem or prejudice with partnering with the alien Mavkel, whom she nicknamed Mav.

Mav, on the other hand, was something else. I thought he was a sweetheart - he really grew to care a lot about Joss, and it was cute seeing him try to understand humans. Still, I have to admit that he did get a bit annoying at times, but that was only because he kept trying to force his habits on Joss, who was unaccustomed to them. His race, the Chorians, are used to communicating telepathically, and each Chorian is paired with a partner whom they're linked with telepathically 24/7. The sad thing about Mav is that his pair died, so he didn't have a mental link with anyone else - something unheard of on his planet. When Mav was partnered with Joss, he kept trying to form a mental link with her without even telling her, so she kept getting headaches without knowing why. He meant well, but he could have tried actually talking to Joss. Nonetheless, you can see their friendship strengthen over the course of the book - especially when Joss decides to jump back in time in an effort to save Mav when his life is threatened.

Another awesome thing about this book was the lingo. The book took place further in the future, and so the slang was a bit different, which made it fun to try and figure out what everything meant (the most used word was 'screte,' which I figured was the equivalent to saying 'shit'). If you are a fan of the book Feed by MT Anderson, you'll probably love this book - different message, but the same atmosphere. Likewise, if you enjoy this, you'll love Feed. I'm really hoping that Ms. Goodman decides to write a sequel - she had written a short story that takes place after this book, but that just left more questions about the background turmoil between comps (people created from many donors with genes manipulated for superiority) and natural born humans. All I can say is: more please!

Recommended for fans of Feed by MT Anderson

Friday, June 15, 2012

Follow Friday | 02

Friday, June 15, 2012 with 9 comments
Follow Friday, or Feature & Follow, is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The premise is for bloggers to get to know other bloggers, and keep in touch with each other. This weeks questions:

Happy Father's Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?

My favorite dad character would definitely have to be Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. He was such an amazing father! He did what he could to raise his children as a single father, and they really looked up to him - you can tell by Scout's narration that he influenced them tremendously.  

I also liked that he let his children make decisions for themselves. He trusted them enough to believe they were capable of forming their own opinions. Plus, he showed them the importance of reading, and actually had meaningful conversations with them as equals, rather than treating them as nothing more than children. I read many books featuring children or teens where the parents seem almost non-existent, so it's nice to read something where the parent is actually an integral part of their children's lives.

Other reasons to love him:

- He sees people as they are, and, despite the era he lives in, does not discriminate against others based on religion or race

- He loves to read, and thus is full of wisdom

- He's a total bad-ass! That scene where he shoots the rabid dog with the rifle, and you learned of his old nickname, "One-Shot Finch" was so cool!

Atticus Finch and his bad-ass self, as portrayed by the sexy Gregory Peck
Atticus Finch, looking very much like Clark Kent with a bit of a Flynn Rider smoulder

You know, funnily enough I haven't even seen the film yet. I really ought to get around to it - it may be one of the only Gregory Peck movies I haven't seen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cover Design | Pride & Prejudice

Thursday, June 14, 2012 with 2 comments
So I've been noticing a lot of different cover designs for Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, and I thought it would be cool to make a post on some of my favorites. Each of the covers pictured below stood out to me:

A twist on this cover for To Kill A Mockingbird

                       by Sara Singh                           Headline Book Publishing

                Pocket Penguin Classics                       Max Literary Classics

Penguin Group

I think my favorite is the one by Sara Singh, though that last one by Penguin Group is a close second. All of these versions are available online for purchase, except for the first design by Jenni Milton, which was fanmade. So, do you have a favorite Pride & Prejudice cover? Is there a good one that I am missing here? Let me know in the comments.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday | 05

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 with 12 comments
'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, which features upcoming releases that I am anticipating the most! There are so many good books coming out this year, but here's what I can't wait to read at the moment:

Origin by Jessica Khoury
September 4, 2012

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
October 2, 2012

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
September 18, 2012

   It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
   But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
   Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off the from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander

Monday, June 11, 2012 with No comments

   Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond...
   Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words—Save Anna—and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. Grey’s Anatomy was never like this...

My Thoughts:
Oh wow. Where do I begin? So much went on in this book at so quick a pace, I just breezed through it. It only took me a couple days because I had needed sleep. This book has vampires, shapeshifters, were-creatures, zombies, and  yes, that is a dragon on the cover. I guess the best thing about this novel was how well it was all thrown together. The author really has a vivid imagination, and the story that she told, featuring all sorts of characters, was written in a way that kept me on my toes, wanting more. Ms. Alexander was very good at keeping up the suspense!

The heroine, Edie Spence, was also very likeable. She was down-to-earth, had an awesome job as a nurse for paranormal beings, and really cared about other people, even if they weren't human. I will admit that having the main character fall for a zombie kind of weirded me out, but he was kind of endearing. I guess I'm just used to zombies from horror movies, rather than the Haitian ones they are based on. Still, the thought that sometimes his body parts came from other sources was a bit much.

I also admit that it was a bit daunting in the beginning, because the first few pages are filled with a lot of technical words and medical terminology I'd never heard of, so I was worried that the whole book was going to be like that, but luckily that was not the case. I was glad, because I thought that would have kept me from getting into it. Instead, this book really sucked me in, and it was rather hard to put down. I am very much looking forward to the sequel, Moonshifted, which will be coming out in November. Especially since the end of Nightshifted featured a teaser for the next book, and what I read of it ended on a suspenseful note. I really want to read more! I give it 4/5 stars, though really I'd say it's more of a 4.5 out of 5.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Top 10 Childhood Favorites

Tuesday, June 05, 2012 with 1 comment

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different topic for a top 10 list that bloggers can make, and this week's list is a rewind, which means you can choose from any previous list topic. I chose to do a list on my top 10 childhood favorites. I was an avid reader as a kid, way more than I am now, so I started reading chapter books around the second grade. I especially loved reading ghost stories and scary story collections, but the following books are the series that stood out to me the most (except Holes, which was a stand-alone novel) and were re-read many times:

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
by Beverly Cleary
by R.L. Stine
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
by Betty MacDonald
My Teacher Is An Alien
by Bruce Coville
The Fudge Series
by Judy Blume
The Babysitters Club
by Ann M. Martin
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Retold by Alvin Schwartz
by Louis Sachar
The Ramona Quimby Series
by Beverly Cleary
Wayside School
by Louis Sachar

Monday, June 04, 2012

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Monday, June 04, 2012 with No comments
  All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and even years after his death, her connection to him still feels strongest when she's in the air. But in 1940s Louisiana, being black and being a woman are two strikes against her, no matter how light-skinned she may be.
  When the U.S. enters the World War, the army forms a group called the WASP--Women Airforce Service Pilots--and Ida finally sees her chance to take action: do what she loves and help her brother who is stationed overseas. As if being a woman in a man's army is not hard enough, Ida must use her light skin to pass as a white girl to be accepted as a WASP.
  But Ida soon realizes that a new name and a new outfit can't hide who you really are inside. She can't escape the burden that comes from denying one's family and self. As she chases her dreams, Ida finds out that it's not what you do but who you are that really makes the difference after all.

What I Liked Best:
If there's one thing I can say about this novel right off the bat, it's that it was well-written. Ms. Smith has a way of expressing the emotions of her character Ida Mae in a way that makes you feel as though you were right there with her - whether it's in the descriptions of how Ida Mae feels during flight, or the internal struggle that she goes through when trying to figure out what kind of person she is.

This book dealt with a difficult topic - one that I have no way of truly understanding myself because I am not African-American: the main character had to struggle between choosing her family and choosing what she loved to do, which was flying for WASP. The only way to do that was to throw away who she was and who her family was, and pretend to be white so that she would have the chance to fly, despite already facing hardships just for being a female pilot during WWII. 

Ms. Smith painted such a vivid description of her character's inner struggles that I was able to form a connection with her - I may not understand what it's like to be in her particular situation, but I did understand the struggle she had with figuring out who she was as a person, which I think is something that almost everyone could identify with.

What I Liked Least:
I thought the beginning of the novel started off a bit slow. It made it difficult for me to get into it at first, because it took a while to grab my interest. I don't think it really picked-up for me until Ida Mae started her WASP training. Once I finally managed to reach that point of the story, it actually became hard to put down.

I also felt that the end of the novel left me wanting a bit more. Some loose ends were never tied up, but I feel that the author intended it that way, so that we as readers could be left to contemplate more about how we think things may have ended up. Either way, I do recommend this one - it really does give you a lot to think about. It also left me wanting to research more about the WASP program.


Sunday, June 03, 2012

In My Mailbox | 06

Sunday, June 03, 2012 with 3 comments
A Meme By The Story Siren
Hi, I'm back! Man, these past few weeks were the longest I have been through. I'm not used to working 14, 15, or sometimes 17 hour shifts, and getting only an average of 3 hours of sleep. I feel like I've accomplished something though, and I really am glad to be back. So, as I only got one day off, I didn't really have any time to read, but I did get a few books over the hiatus that I thought I would share with you:

Books Purchased on

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller *Signed Copy*
The Odyssey of Homer Translated by Richmond Lattimore

These were actually purchased in a bundle, and I have very much been looking forward to reading 'The Song of Achilles' after hearing about it on the 'Books on the Nightstand' podcast. This was also my first purchase from Bookperk, and I must say, I think I'm in love with the site. Such good deals! I like how cheap it is to get signed books, and the site is by Harper-Collins so it's legit! I live in a city that rarely has authors come to visit, so I'm glad to find I'm not completely left out of getting autographed books...

Books Purchased at Hastings Entertainment:

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman

Why don't we have a Hastings here?!?! I think this store was the best one I visited while in Alamogordo. I only got one day off work as a 'safety' day, so I went to Hastings, which I discovered is like Barnes & Noble, FYE, Hot Topic and Spencer's combined. And some of the books are a lot cheaper - only paid $3 for Flygirl, brand new!

Book won in a contest on

So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White *Signed Copy*

I've honestly never heard of this series, but I like a good mystery, and it was free. Plus, it's such a lovely cover...