Thursday, August 30, 2012

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Thursday, August 30, 2012 with No comments

Amazon | Goodreads

The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy.

I have a bit of a zombie addiction - I enjoy zombie movies, especially the ones by George A. Romero and the Resident Evil series, and I enjoy playing zombie survival games, such as the app Rebuild, which is completely awesome! The thing is, I have never actually read a zombie novel. Crazy, right? But I heard a lot of hype about Rhiannon Frater's As The World Dies trilogy from reviewers, so decided to give it a whirl. Let me tell you - I read the first half of this book in only a couple hours. It was that good! There is just so much action going on in this book that my attention never deviated.

Unlike many other books that I've read, this one did not start off slow. It actually opened with an action scene in which we are introduced to our first main character, Jenni, who has just managed to escape from her husband (whom she discovered had turned into a zombie overnight and was eating their kids). The other main character, Katie, soon enters the scene as well, saving Jenni as she happens to drive by. Katie is a prosecutor who's wife had been zombified.

I like both characters, despite the fact that they are also rather annoying at times. Mostly Jenni, who gets easily jealous of anytime Katie shows anyone else attention (FYI, Katie is a lesbian, Jenni is not, but sometimes it feels like she is). Still, they both have their bad-ass moments - especially Jenni, who learns fast how to 'kill' the zombies with one shot, and is always eager to shoot them (sometimes so eager that you have to wonder about her mental health).

What I really enjoyed reading about, however, was the fort. The author covered many of your key points necessary for zombie survival - building a safe haven, fortifying that location, having survivors learn new skills, searching for supplies and other survivors, etc. And the zombies were actually scary! They weren't your average slow zombies - these things could run! And towards the end of the novel there was worry that the zombies may even be beginning to think! Very scary, indeed.

The writing was excellent - nothing fancy, but very edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, which I think is important in a zombie novel. Plus, the characters were pretty fleshed out. The version of the book I read was the for the Kindle, and it had some typos, but they weren't too bad. I think I was too into the story to care that much. And I can't wait to read the second book!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow Friday | 07

Friday, August 24, 2012 with 13 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 more about other bloggers, and to keep in touch with each other while also discovering new blogs. This week's question:

Worst cover? 
What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?

Hmmm....this is a hard one. Often, if I read a book I love that is either on my Kindle or checked out from the library, then I have to buy a physical copy for myself. When that happens, I usually look online for the version with the best cover. This is harder for good books that have nothing but ugly covers. 

But one really ugly cover that immediately comes to mind is the cover for my copy of Intensity by Dean Koontz:

Doesn't that cover make you feel like having an epileptic seizure? I mean, sure, the cover fits the name, but why?! I love this book - it's probably the scariest, most thrilling story I've ever read, but I just hate seeing that cover on my shelf.

How about you?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Meme By Sweet Green Tangerine

Ever since e-readers came out, this debate has brought on much screaming and yelling from both sides of the table. Personally, I have always been a fan of the printed word, and thought that the idea of reading on an e-reader would just feel plain weird. Still, during the start of my senior year of college, I started reading up on the Kindle, and all of the benefits of owning one. The biggest one, to me, was the ease of portability. 

I went to school in San Antonio, lived in El Paso, and spent summers in Austin, so I traveled by plane a lot. Not to mention a semester spent abroad in London, with many weekend trips. I bought books everywhere I went, and it became burdensome to have to buy a book again because I had left my copy at home, or to leave a book behind because it took to much space, etc. So I splurged and treated myself to the Kindle 3 (I think they re-named it somewhere along the line to the Kindle Keyboard) and a simple case (a zipped one, as I like to read with a naked Kindle):

I chose a Kindle because I was already a huge Amazon fan, and also had their free year of Amazon Prime for students. Let me tell you, this was a purchase I did not regret. Reading on my Kindle is so easy to me now, and I always have tons of books with me wherever I go. Of course, I still buy printed books all the time - if I love a book I read on the Kindle, I have to get a physical copy. It's also very comforting to feel a real book in my hands. But the thing is, I really don't see a point in choosing sides. I will always love printed books, but I also love getting to carry around a mini-library with me. 

Plus, the Kindle 3 is perfect for me, because it's meant for reading and nothing more. I don't care for anything with a back-light, because those are bad for your eyes. I also don't need to watch movies or play games on it, because that's what my laptop is for. All I wanted was a device for reading, and that's what I got. And battery life is great - I can go through a couple weeks of reading on it without having to charge it. My only worry is that I fear I may somehow break it - it's so lightweight!

So, what do you guys think? Do you have an e-Reader yourself?

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Chapters 11 - 16 Questions

1) I do have a soft spot for Charley's Aunt Lilian. She is sweet and soft while somehow also being a little dirty and I find that hilarious in an aunt. Do you have any relatives dead or alive that remind you of Aunt Lillian? If not, tell me about your favorite deceased relative. 

Not really. I don't really know any of my relatives. I suppose my favorite deceased relative would be my dad? What a strange question...he's the only one I knew, anyway. He was nothing like Aunt Lillian though - I don't think I even know anyone like her...

2) In these chapters, we get a little closer to Reyes and his secrets. Neil, the warden at the prison where Reyes is currently incarcerated - and a high school mate of Charley's - tells a story about how Reyes ended up in the Coma and something he witnessed. What do you think of the story? What does this lead you to think about Reyes?

I believe the story. Reyes is definitely something supernatural, but not something Charley's seen before. Something different. I just don't know what yet....maybe a demon or something?

3) One of the things I love most about Ubie and Charley's relationship is that Ubie aka Uncle Bob has absolute faith in our Charley. Maybe it's because Charley's been solving murder cases for ages and Ubie knows that Charley knows things. If you could pick a super power, which one would you choose? Seeing the dead? Invisibility?

You know, now that I think of it, I would probably choose her powers. It would just be so interesting to see and speak with the dead. Plus, if I could also speak and understand every language that ever existed, that'd be great, too. It'd open up a whole new world to me.

4) Okay, in my opinion, there is nothing better than walking into your living room and seeing the god-like creature of your dreams standing there waiting for you. If you were in Charley's shoes, who would be standing in your living room??

Mmmm....I don't know. The Doctor. Preferably in his Tenth incarnation, but I'm not too picky. Could he have the TARDIS with him? I'll say yes.

5) We get a surprise visit from Rosie's husband and we find out some information about Reyes...that he and The Big Bad are the same guy. What are your thoughts? Were you surprised about Rosie's husband or did you feel that one coming? What about Bad Reyes, had you already made the connection?

I felt it coming. Charley's thoughts keep going back to Rosie in her free time, so I felt there was more coming with that. Maybe there still is. I also had made the connection with Reyes. It was too easy, really.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is my first cover reveal, you guys! I am so excited, because Karice Bolton's novels sound so interesting! Not only that, but both of these covers were designed by PhatPuppy Art, a great cover designer! So, without further ado, here are the covers:

Taken (A Watchers Novella)  
by Karice Bolton
Expected Pub: December 2012
Prequel (The Watchers Trilogy)

A Watchers Novella

Ana and Athen are enjoying the quiet life as a couple with only the minor dark demon infraction to rectify. Cyril and Arie are enjoying the newfound simplicity too. Things are perfect – too perfect.

They soon realize that something far more sinister is taking place in their world, and they must do their best to stop the evil from spreading. Determined to figure out who is tampering with the mortals’ fate they are unable to recognize that it’s a trap, and one of their own is the target.

This is where it all begins.

Altered Souls (Book 2 of The Witch Avenue Series)
by Karice Bolton
Expected Pub: October 2012 

The realm of Altered Souls brings nothing but unrest, deceit, and pain forcing Triss to come face to face with heartbreak from her past. 

Facing a betrayal like never before, Triss questions everything she thought she knew about her family, coven, and abilities. 

With the help of Logan, she embarks on a journey enabling her to confront the dark side of magic and the person who controls it. Realizing Triss’s ancestors have been seduced for centuries by the dark side, Triss and Logan must ensure no more in their world fall victim to the realm of Altered Souls, even if that means ending the ones they love.   


Author Bio:

Karice Bolton
Karice Bolton is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author living in the Pacific Northwest. All three books in The Watchers Trilogy are available now, Awakening, Legions, and Cataclysm. Lonely Souls, which is the first book in her new series Witch Avenue, was released in June 2012!

Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can't get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the cutest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Author Links:


A Meme By The Broke and the Bookish 

FYI, I did not just pick couples that are cute together, or that are my favorites. The theme is to pick ten couples I think would make it in the real world, so that is what I did. In fact, a few of my favorite couples aren't on this list, simply because I believe they probably wouldn't make it in the real world. But here are my picks for who would make it, with a little explanation on what I like about them:

01) Novalee & Forney (Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts)

  • These two became friends, and then grew to love each other. Forney even became like a father to Novalee's daughter.  

02) Thom & Goran (Hero by Perry Moore)

  • Their attraction for each other was cute, but what matters is that these two guys really developed feelings for each other. It was especially heartwarming to see Thom realize that he had fallen for Goran, and to see them fighting side-by-side.

03) Bridget Jones & Mark Darcy (Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding)

  • The whole book was realistic, and I could see these two making it in real life because you can tell how they honestly grew to care about each other as they learned more about one another.

04) Amy & Poe (Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

  • Sure, Poe was a dick at times and Amy had a set opinion about him, but as they spent more time with each other they actually learned more about one another, and began to like each other. Even though Amy's friends were completely shocked to discover she had feelings for Poe, and at first thought Amy was crazy for wanting to be with him, Amy didn't let what her friends thought of her keep her from forging a relationship with him, because she knew that he was a good person.

05) Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

  • Even after Elizabeth showed her disdain for Mr. Darcy, he still went out of his way to correct his mistakes and also to help her and her family.

06) Edie & Ti (Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander)

  • Edie was actually grossed out by Ti for a bit, because he was a zombie, but her feelings for him overcame that, and she began to accept him for who he was, flaws and all.

07) Ron & Hermione (The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling)

    Fanart by *Nami86
  • It was hard to decide if these two would ever have been friends if not for Hogwarts, but I'd like to think that it would be possible. They just had this love/hate chemistry at the beginning of their relationship as friends that I think they'd have found a way to become friends (and then more) in real life. They already accepted and loved each other for who they were, flaws and all.

08) Tansy & Hudson (My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison)

  • These two worked well together, and even took great care of their future baby, going through all the hardships new parents go through, and then some. I'm sure they would make it in the real world as well.

09) Aso Kira & Kashino Rei (Mars by Soryo Fuyumi)

  • Had to pick characters from a manga! Kira and Rei had a complicated relationship - they were both complete opposites, but both shared a similar pain, and were able to heal each other, in a way. They learned a lot about themselves from each other, and were able to draw out the strengths in each other.

10) Augustus & Hazel (The Fault In Our Stars by John Green)

  • I like how these two meshed, and how they went from complete strangers to being the most important part of each other's lives. Both of them were sick, and understood more about the hardships in life than other people, and thus, were able to understand each other in a way no one else could.

Monday, August 13, 2012

1) In the beginning of this section Noah decides to ignore Echo because he's angry and hurt. What did you think of this? Have you ever experienced a friendship that went awry and they started ignoring you?

I think it sucks. Echo ignored him at school, too, but two wrongs don't make a right. They both had their jerk moments. I definitely know what it's like to be ignored by people who were once friends. In elementary school, my group of "friends" would pick a different person each time they felt like it to ignore, and run away from on the playground. I was 'chosen' a few times, so I'd just go play on the tether-ball courts with other kids if that happened. Kids are friggin' mean.

2) Noah has a bit of a false reputation. Everyone thinkgs he's a big druggie and a guy that just randomly hooks up with girls. While some of it is true to a certain extent, we see it's not really him. Have you ever had a false reputation where people draw their own conclusions? Do you think Noah should do something to make people not think that about him?

I was always "the quiet one." Got on my nerves, really, but the only reason I was so introverted and shy in high school was because I had such shitty "friends" in elementary, and in middle school we finally broke apart and I became kind of a loner and spent lunch in the school library (where I discovered Harry Potter). Normally around real friends I'm really loud and funny, but only if I'm with people I'm comfortable with. Otherwise, I'm quiet and unnoticeable. Honestly, it doesn't matter what everyone thinks of Noah. Who the hell cares? He's a good person. If people choose not to see that, it doesn't matter - it's not like he'll see them again. All that matters is that he allows the people he cares about know the real him.

3) Ashley finds out she's having a boy and informs Echo she will have a brother 'again'. Echo took this very personally and was extremely upset. Do you think Echo overreacted? Do you think Ashley meant that the new brother would replace her brother?

I think Ashley annoyed the hell out of me, because she chose to ignore any real issues. I would have been pissed, too, if I were Echo. What they should have done was talk to each other. Then things would have been easier. They were both in the wrong, but Ashley could have tried harder, since Echo was the one going through some tough and emotional times.

4) Echo doesn't remember what happened with her mother and for this reason she has troubles seeing her the way everyone else does. She can't seem to not miss her and still wants to talk to her. Do you think she should pursue finding her mom? Do you think it will help her or do you think she would be in danger?

Of course she should try finding her mom. She's her mom. If you want to solve a problem, you have to start at the root. And Echo needs to do what she thinks is necessary to help herself, because she is the only one who truly knows what she needs. Plus, if she manages to meet her mom, she could always do it in a public place if she feels unsafe.

5) Noah doesn't trust the people who have his brothers because of his own past situations. He decides to seek out a lawyer himself and try to get custody. Do you think this is his best move? Do you think there are some other options he should consider? 

I think he believed it was the best thing to do at the time, but I really wish he would just think things through rationally. He's acting purely with his heart, and not much of his head. He was in no position to provide for those kids. What really should have happened was that he should have gotten together with the foster parents and had a long discussion. But he didn't think things through, and once again, he wasn't the only one to blame: the foster parents were acting like jerks, and that one social worker was a pain, too, with a false image of Noah.

6) Echo finds out that Noah and his parents built houses for Habitat for Humanity. Have you ever volunteered for something like that? What is a cause that you feel strongly about?

I would like to volunteer for them, but I haven't yet. In high school I used to volunteer at the Region 19 head-start every other Friday for a semester. I also volunteered regularly for a few years at a non-profit store that gave all proceeds to the Child Crisis Center. And in college I volunteered for a semester to help teach kids in an under-privilaged neighborhood how to read. I really enjoyed that. Illiteracy is a major problem, and I'd like to do more to help with that cause.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Chapters 6 - 10 Questions
*This one is a tad late*

1) Shiny objects and old family stories are told in this chapter, including an old nickname for our dear Charley. What was the nickname her uncle Bob gave her when she was little? Do you have an old nickname from when you were a kid? You can share it, and if it's really embarrassing we won't mind. *wink*

Charley's old nickname was Calamity Jane, which is why her father named his bar Calamity's. I never really had a nickname, but while I was in the first grade some of my classmates called me the pink ranger (since my name's Kimberly), and anytime power ranger valentine's cards were given in elementary school, I always got the pink ranger.

2) In this chapter we met someone. A really special guy named Rocket. Now, my memory is not what it used to be, and I just can't remember what makes him so special. Can you tell me what makes this particular ghost unique among all the others? And how about you? What can you do that makes you special? Anything? Jump on one foot for a really long time counts. *giggle*

Rocket knew the moment someone died, and never forgot a name. Before he died, he was able to see the departed, just like Charley. I don't really have any special skills or talents, but I am good at solving puzzles and logic problems, if that counts.

3) Charley is really *cough* not your ordinary girl. She does something that, well, there's no way around it. She named parts of her body and the names are... oh crap, I forgot. Just my luck. *sigh* But I'm sure you guys can say what part of her body she named and what the names were. And, since we are on the matter, have you ever named a part of your body? If so, what was it and what was the name? Come on, don't be shy. *wink+crooked smile*

She named her boobs! Her right breast is 'Danger,' and her left one is 'Will Robinson.' Reading that really cracked me up! Who names their boobs after a 1960's catchphrase? Charley Davidson. It actually fits her, though. I can easily say that I have never named a part of my body. 

4) We all have our little secrets. Things we don't tell anyone, not even our bff. Char (we became close :P ) is no different, but in this chapter she shared her little (big) secret (S) with her bff. What did you think about her reaction? What would be yours?

I love Cookie! She actually wants to know, and she's trying, which is a lot. I'd like to think I'd be the same. My friends are important to me, and nothing they would say could make me stop being their friend. I'd probably be more cool about it, though. I mean, once I already believe, then nothing else I'd learn would really come of that much surprise.

5) In this chapter, Char continues her heart-to-heart with her BFF and comes up with some theories about our fave badboy/possibly ghost. What do you think of it? Can it be? What do you think about him? Hot? Double chocolate hot? Super duper caramel chocolate cake with a cherry on top hot?

I think Reyes and The Big Bad are one and the same. I don't know what the heck he is, but he's supernatural all right. I don't know what I think of him though. It's disturbing that he has sex with Char in her sleep, when she doesn't know who he is, or that it's more than just a dream. It's creepy, actually. Plus, when she met him that one time in her teens, he was a complete ass. He may be major eye-candy, but I'd be wary. Liking him seems like it would be destructive, and possibly stupid, given the circumstances and the creep-factor. I'd have to wait and read more in order to formulate a better opinion.

The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his dad, Hal's, pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he's been asked to join the League--the very organization of superheroes that spurned his father. The most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he's gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world for Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide, but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagine. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his father's past and discover the kind of her he really wants to be.

Hero is a coming-of-age novel about a boy named Thom who is hiding two dark secrets from his father: 1) he has superpowers, and 2) he's gay. Now, I've never read a novel with a premise quite like this one, so to me, this was an extremely unique read. Thom goes through all your regular teenage issues: parental problems, falling in love, sports drama, after-school jobs, and trying to 'find himself' and do what's right. The big difference is, the world he lives in is full of superheroes.

One famous group of heroes is called the League, which I compare to DC's Justice League. I find it hilarious, as there are heroes in the book that can easily compare to those from the Justice League: Justice = Superman, Warrior Woman = Wonder Woman, King of the Sea = Aquaman, etc. Thom gets a chance to "audition" for the League, but he has to do so without his father's knowledge. You see, his father used to be a superhero, but there was a terrible incident years back which resulted in the death of thousands, and Thom's father, who went by the name Major Might, was blamed. Now he works in a factory and keeps to himself. Thom keeps his powers a secret from his father because he knows of his father's dislike for anything superhero related, though that's nothing compared to how he would feel if he found out his son were gay.

The biggest reason I loved this book was because of Thom. He was just so darned lovable! He was a good kid, and just wanted to use his powers to help others, while at the same time he hoped to find someone who would love him for who he was. Isn't that what we all want? I really enjoyed reading about his growth as a person, and the author's writing was so spectacular that everything was explained clearly. Even when the story kept jumping to flashbacks, it wasn't bothersome, as the transitions were woven perfectly.

I found myself cheering Thom on, and hoping that he would be able to talk to his father about his feelings. I was also rooting for him to finally get together with a certain hunky basketball goodness, the romance in this book! I love it! I also loved Ruth, the snarky old psychic on his superhero team. I don't want to spoil anything, but I do have to let you know that the action scenes in this novel are so much fun to read! There's a great plot-line here that's just perfect for a superhero story - it was like reading an actual comic book!

I'm just so saddened to have discovered that the author of this amazing novel, Perry Moore, has passed away. I had been hoping to find out if he had written anymore superhero novels, but alas, that is not the case. I will forever be grateful that he shared this story, and it is now one of my all-time favorites. Rest in peace.


Hosted by Jude @ In Between and Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal
Sadly, I didn't get much reading done, despite the length of this read-a-thon. I had a lot of other things to do, and it put me in a bit of a reading funk. But anyway, here is what I did read:

Finished Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (4/5 Stars)
Finished Hero by Perry Moore (5/5 Stars - NEW FAVORITE!!!)
52% finished with First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

So, I finished two books, and I'm halfway done with another. Slow reading, right? Still, the good thing about this read-a-thon was that it was pretty laid back, and any amount of reading is progress, really. I'll just have to kick it up soon so that I'm not behind with my 2012 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. 

Beach Volleyball Challenge

Rebekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews says: "You and your friends are really getting into your game of volleyball, when you go in for a spike and accidentally hit the ball way out of bounds. Here's where this gets fun: your stray ball bops a fictional character on the head! Who did you hit? How did they react?"

My volleyball is headed straight for Gandalf the Grey, who immediately raises his staff, shouts "YOU CANNOT PASS" and gives the ball a good whack towards the other team using his staff as bat.

The Final Challenge

Jude @ In Between asks: "Where did you read this summer? Show us some pictures of the places where you read this summer, whether it was your cozy home, by the beach, the park, anywhere!" 

I didn't go anywhere this summer, so I did most of my reading at home. 
In my cozy bed:

I did not bother to make it. I also only photographed the
corner - my bed is a queen size. Much bigger than it looks here.

Also on the bus:

We don't have a car, so I usually travel by bus, which is
a perfect place to read.

It's been way too hot to read outside. I live in Texas, where it's desert, and it is scorching! All my reading has been done where there's air conditioning. Even though that hardly helps, where I am. Darn you swamp coolers! You don't cool anything!

Friday, August 10, 2012

5 Things I'm Currently Obsessed With

Friday, August 10, 2012 with 3 comments
Okay, so I got this idea for a regular blog feature from Early Nerd Special, because when I saw this on her blog, I fell in love with the idea. I thought it would be a great feature to try posting on a regular basis. So, here are my top obsessions at the moment:

Despite the fact that I am rather poor and in-between jobs right now, I've recently started what may be an unhealthy obsession with subscription boxes. There are videos of unboxings all over YouTube, and I just really felt left out of such an awesome idea - with Birchbox, for $10 a month you get about 4 to 6 high-end beauty samples delivered to your door each month with no extra shipping charges. I think it's a great way to discover new products! It may be hit or miss, but you usually get your money's worth, and often receive something full-size. The rewards program is also amazing - you get 10 points for each time you give feedback on a product, and for every 100 points you get $10 off in their product store! 

2) Fruits Basket

Okay, so I saw the anime and read the manga way back in high school, but I've just started getting back into it after showing it to my niece on Netflix. I just adore the Sohma family - especially Kyo, Shigure, and Momiji! And of course, Kyo and Tohru have some of the cutest moments ever!

3) Hero by Perry Moore

   I am IN LOVE with this book! I haven't posted a review yet, but I will soon, I promise! Perry Moore wrote an excellent coming-of-age novel about a boy named Thom who has two big secrets: 1) he has super powers, and 2) he's gay. Not only was the subject rather unique for a YA novel, but the writing was amazing! This book has for sure been added to my favorites shelf on Goodreads. 
   I think I especially enjoyed reading about all of the different superheroes, many of which are based on real comic characters (i.e, Justice = Superman, Warrior Woman = Wonder Woman, King of the Sea = Aquaman, etc.)

4) Aura Dione - Friends (ft. Rock Mafia) 

I have just been listening to this song over and over again this past week. The lyrics are just so catchy! Strange video, though - this is my first time watching it. Aura Dione is an artist I discovered while surfing around on The Hype Machine (another obsession of mine). She's from Denmark, and the album this song is on, Before the Dinosaurs, was actually released last year, but I had never heard of her before this week.

5) Sorority Life

I have just been extra-obsessed with this Facebook game lately, and I don't really know why. There's just something about trying to earn glam for my avatar that is really addicting. It just sucks that pretty much every aspect of this game involves needing to have as many friends as possible also playing it. I don't know anyone in real life who still plays this game, so I'm left with having to friend a bunch of strangers. Darn you, Facebook, and your social networking game requirements!!!
Do you guys have any current obsessions?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday | 10

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 with 7 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, but here is what I am obsessing over at the moment:

Amazon | Goodreads
March 21, 2013

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

April 2, 2013

Government attempts to save endangered bees by genetic modification causes their sting to induce deadly, flu-like symptoms in humans. A vaccine created in response changes children into ferocious, killer beasts. The uninfected have built a wall to keep the beasts out, & a girl has awakened on the wrong side.

Why I Can't Wait To Read These
The Art of Wishing just sounds so cute! I haven't read a book about a genie yet, though I know I have a couple on my TBR list. I'd like to give it a shot!

Stung just sounds like the coolest thing ever! That synopsis is short, but as soon as I read it I was drooling over the thought of getting to read it. A girl trapped in the wilds with a crap-load of mutant killer children?  I want this in my hands, STAT!!! The only depressing thing is knowing that it won't come out until next year....

What releases are you guys looking forward to?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

1) Noah and Echo create a plan to read their files. What do you think of this plan? Would you read your friend's file first knowing you might not have time to read your own? Would you want to read your own file?

I can say right now that I'm too much of a chicken to even think of doing something like that, so I'm not crazy about that plan. I would for sure read my friend's file first, if the situation ever arised, because as I said, I wouldn't be too keen on the idea in the first place, so if it's more important to my friend, then sure, I'd put them first.

2) Mrs. Collin's starts to earn Noah's trust by taking him to see his brother win a writing contest. What do you think of how she's handling Noah? How would you feel if you were in Noah's position, hearing that your brother sees you as his hero?

I think she's "handling" him great - she's doing what she can to ensure he see's his brothers more, and that particular visit really helped him to see that his brother's love him just as much as he loves them. If I were in Noah's position, I'd feel very touched, and also proud.

3) Echo is starting to draw and paint again. She's starting to express her feelings as she remembers what happened that day. Art therapy seems to be a popular way for people to deal with their feelings. Why do you think Echo's dad didn't want her to continue with art since it was such a big part of her, and is part of so many people's therapy in dealing with similar issues?

Echo's dad seems torn about whether or not he wants Echo to really remember what had happened that day. He mistakenly seems to think he's doing what's best for her by controlling her class schedule and extracurricular activities.

4) We see how crazy Beth's home life is and we start to understand why she is not as keen to be trusting with people in her life. At the same time, we get to see how fiercely loyal Noah is. What do you think of the way Noah reacted to Beth being beaten by her mother's boyfriend? Do you it's showing bad behavior that could get Noah in more trouble or the act of a true friend?

Noah's a great friend in that he truly cares about his friends, but he was acting off his emotions at the time, rather than with his head. It was a stupid move, in that getting caught would probably have kept him from seeing his brothers again, but you can't really blame him. Still, I wish he would have just called the cops on that douche-bag instead.

5) Echo has an unusual name. What do you think of the story behind it? Is there a Greek myth or other story that would inspire you to name a child after a character?

I think she has an awesome name - and I liked hearing about the story behind it! Granted, it was a rather depressing story, what with Echo losing her voice and being forced to only repeat others, but it was unique. I haven't come across any particular names in Greek mythology that I'd care to name a kid after. In books, I do love the name Hermione, but I don't think I'd be able to use that name for a kid, as it'll probably just cause a lot of rolled eyes.

6) Echo's big thing is trying to find "normal" again. She doesn't want to be the scared girl or the girl who can't remember what happened to her, she just wants to be normal. This goal impacts her relationship with her family, friends, Noah and her ex, Luke. But at the end of this section, Echo is starting to figure out that there's no going back to old normal and she's going to have to find a new normal. How big of a step is it for Echo when she realizes she's not "in" love with Luke and figures out that she does need to find a new normal?

I was so happy when she finally figured this out! She was really starting to get on my nerves a bit. It was an extremely important realization, and pretty much changed her whole course in life. No more acting shallow!

Monday, August 06, 2012

{Day 3} Summer Wrap-up Read-a-Thon

Monday, August 06, 2012 with 2 comments

Hosted by Jude @ In Between and Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal
Okay, haven't really done an update post yet, as I've been too busy lately. I hate to say that I haven't read that much, either. So far, here is my progress:

Finished Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry (4/5 stars)
Page 146 of 428 on Hero by Perry Moore

Cover Love Challenge

Emily @ Falling for YA says: "Show me the covers of one or more books released during the summer that you love." So, here are some of my favorite covers:

Summer Vacations Challenge

Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story says: "Just tell me your ideal vacation inside a certain book!"

My ideal book vacation would be going on my own tour of Hogwarts, followed by a visit to Hogsmeade and later, Diagon Alley. I can't express how badly I would want for this to happen!


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Sunday, August 05, 2012 with No comments

Amazon | Goodreads

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. 

I knew I had to read this one when I kept seeing rave reviews about it around the blogosphere. At first glance, I had originally thought it would just be another cheesy YA romance novel, but this book ended up surprising me at its depth. I loved how it was told in alternating viewpoints, switching between Echo and Noah each chapter. The last book I read that did this was Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - another book the alternating points-of-view worked well for.

In fact, I think that giving us a glimpse at both Echo's and Noah's thoughts is what made me love this novel so much. Both were complex characters, and if their stories had been told from only one or the other's thoughts, so much would have been left out, and this book would have had less of an impact on me, and probably on its readers. So, on to the lead characters:

I thought Echo was actually pretty cool. Her back-story is what really kept things interesting. She hides her arms, which are covered completely in scars, and she goes to counseling so that she could try and remember how she got them. The trauma of the event that caused them had been too much for her mind to handle, and her mind blocked it from her memory. Even though it soon became pretty obvious what had happened to her, I still enjoyed reading about her discoveries. I felt that at the end of the novel, she had grown a whole lot, and gained a lot of courage and independence.

Noah's issue was that his parents died in a house fire, and he had been passed around from foster home to foster home, unable to see his two younger brothers unsupervised due to an incident in which he had punched his first foster father in the face. All Noah wanted was to get custody of his little brothers. I really liked him, but one thing that was very apparent was that Noah was written by a female author. There were some moments when I'd feel like swooning, sure, but there were also many where I was thinking to myself, "What guy thinks like this?!" I mean, he thought of Echo as his siren and his nymph, and many of the thoughts in his mind were extremely cheesy and sounded like they were written solely to appeal to the female readers. If the author could have toned down a bit in that area, I would have enjoyed reading it a whole lot more, instead, I found myself cringing in embarrassment. Not all the romance was mushy, but a good chunk of it was.

Overall Thoughts
Despite Noah's cheesy romance-novel thoughts, I liked his character, and Echo's as well - they were pretty fleshed-out. Even the side characters were interesting. I felt that the story was paced well, and found myself breezing through the chapters effortlessly. The transformation of both Echo and Noah was something I enjoyed reading about, and I found myself growing a little attached. With this debut novel, McGarry has caught my attention, and I look forward to reading more of her work (which, I am excited to find, includes an upcoming novel about one of the side-characters, Beth!). If you enjoy reading novels about people overcoming their pasts, then I recommend this one. It lives up to all the good reviews about it, despite being a bit sappy with the romance.

(Okay, I'm sure I'll be reading this again, I'm a sucker for romance,
but I just can't shell out the 5th star... )

Okay, so both In My Mailbox and Stacking The Shelves are memes where you feature the books you got in the past week, so I figure, why not link to both? I didn't do this meme last week, so these books are actually all the books I got in the past two weeks:

Books I Bought From Amazon

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Books I Won

The Zenith by Duong Thu Huong (ARC)
Won on Goodreads. Thanks goes to Viking Books.

Outpost by Ann Aguirre (ARC)
Won from publisher. Thanks goes to Feiwal & Friends at Macmillan.

Invisible City, Ice Shock, and Zero Moment by M.G. Harris
Won on Facebook. Thanks goes to Bloomsbury Teens.

For Review

Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb
Received hardcover via BookSneeze

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Received ebook via NetGalley

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Summer Wrap-up Read-a-Thon

Saturday, August 04, 2012 with 1 comment

Hosted by Jude @ In Between and Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal

Another read-a-thon! Okay, so it seems like I signed up for this one last minute, and that's because I did, haha! But at any rate, I thought I would write an intro post so that you guys would know what's up. For those of you interested, this read-a-thon lasts from August 4th-12th, which is actually a pretty lengthy time. This is good, because you don't have to focus on reading non-stop, you can take your time if you'd like. In case you feel like signing up, you can do so here. So, here are the books I would like to read during this time:



The top three books I already started, and would like to finish. The last two on the bottom row are books I received for review from Netgalley. The Kite Runner is a library book, but I'm thinking that one may take a while, as it seems like a rather "heavy" book (not length-wise, but subject-wise). Of course, the books I end up reading are subject to change, so stay tuned for my updates post!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Follow Friday | 06

Friday, August 03, 2012 with 5 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 more about other bloggers, and to keep in touch with each other while also discovering new blogs. A little tweak to the rules: if you aren't a follower, please don't feel obligated to follow my blog just because I've followed yours - I'd rather you follow because you actually enjoy my posts. In return, I'd like to be offered the same courtesy. This week's question:

Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?

I have to be in the mood to read a certain book. Even if it's a book I've been wanting to read for a long time, if I don't feel like reading it at a given moment, I'll wait until I am. But as for particular moods, rather than certain genres, I do have certain go-to books that I read when I'm feeling sick or depressed, and they'll either cheer me up, or keep my mind occupied on them for a good while. Those books are my old familiar favorites, such as:

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
The Secret Society Girl Series by Diana Peterfreund
The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

I am a re-reader, and I've read those series enough that they're now comforting to me. I also enjoy reading quirky romances when I'm in a really happy mood, and scary stories when it's storming, because I like freaking myself out. I don't read when I'm angry, I listen to music while pacing back and forth. How can I read if I'm feeling pissed off about something? Nope, only music works there. How about you guys?

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Chapters 1 - 5 Questions

  1. We meet some of Charley's ghostly "buddies," do you believe you have ever had a ghostly encounter?

    I don't think so. My family used to joke that we have a ghost in our house, because sometimes weird things would happen, but I don't think I've ever actually had any encounters with ghosts.

  2. Charley named her jeep Misery. Have you ever named your vehicles? What did you name them?

    I've never had a car. I'm actually looking to get my first one soon, but I know for sure I will be naming it. I mean, I had named my Kindle "Lex" when I first got it, because it was sleek and awesome and I had been watching a lot of Smallville at the time.

  3. Charley says her name "...brooks no opposition. It takes shit from no one." What do you think your name says about you to strangers? Is there a different name that you think would suit you better?

    My name is Kimberly, but it's hard to guess what it says about me. In first grade, it meant I was called 'the pink ranger' by my classmates, which I didn't mind because she was awesome, and got to be with Tommy. Now it seems that my name is associated with hot and popular girls, which I'm definitely not. Still, I like my name. It's not too common, and it's mine.

  4. Charley says her best friend Cookie is "like Kramer from Seinfeld, only not so nervous, like Kramer might have been on Prozac." Give us your best description of your best friend. How would they describe you?

    I would describe my best friend as being a lot like a female version of Neville Longbottom - she's low on the self confidence, but surprises herself at how awesome she really is, which is pretty BAMF. I have no idea how she would describe me, though. Probably like a funny, slightly crazier version of Hermione.

  5. Garrett is reluctant to believe in Charley's abilities, how would you react if a friend divulged to you that they can see and speak with the dead?

    I don't know if I'd believe them right away - they would have to find a way to prove it to me so I wouldn't think they were pulling my leg. But it depends on the friend, because I'm sure I have a couple whom I'd believe off the bat. I'm always hoping to be shown that the world is more exciting than it appears to be. I'd probably be pretty jealous at first, though, but then maybe I could be the Robin to their Batman.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

{Week One} Pushing The Limits Read-A-Long

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 with No comments

1) The story starts out with Echo's thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist's questions (snarky and caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milque-toasty and banal). Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?

I think that Echo hides the truth more for herself. She doesn't seem to want to face the truth, which is why she chooses to go along with what she believes her father and stepmother want from her. It doesn't help that her father seems to be ignoring the truth as well.

2) We see Mrs. Collins, the school therapist, interact with both Echo and Noah in the first few chapters. From those interactions, what do you think of her? Is she a prototypical caricature of state care? Or do you think she's there to make an honest difference in the lives of those she's there to help?

I like her! She's already come across as someone who really looks deep into her patients' lives, and comes to her own conclusions about people rather than just adopting the conclusions of previous therapists or social workers. This, combined with setting up Echo to tutor Noah, shows that she really does want to help, and comes up with ideas that'll allow for real progress.

3) Noah has two friends, Beth and Isaiah, who have his back no matter what -- through thick and thin -- and he has theirs. Consequently, his life is a little easier because he has two people who know about his situation. Echo's closest friend prior to the accident, Grace, will barely speak to her in school. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?

I'm not sure. Her friend Lila tries to talk to her, and that doesn't seem to have worked. Her issue is really very internal, and she has to be willing to accept help from others before she can benefit from it. Of course, her friends seem rather superficial, and it may be that she feels like she can't talk to them because they don't really listen to her. It does seem a bit like Lila would rather she skip the coping and just start moving on.

4) Echo fixates on a colorful ribbon that sits on the school counselor's desk during their one-on-one sessions. Do you think this is a case of "Oh. Look at the pretty ribbon. Let me zone out while staring at it," or could it have a deeper significance?

I don't know the significance, but obviously it holds meaning to her. Since she doesn't seem to know why she got a nagging feeling when looking at the ribbon, my guess is it has to do with the accident. Her brother did die during deployment, so my guess is it may have to do with a ribbon or honor they received for that (purple heart?), which may have to do with her mom flipping out on her. Let's find out...

5) Noah and the jacket....Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her jacket (p. 34). Then at Echo's birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers (p. 54). There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!
  • Why is Noah so fixated on Echo and her Jacket, and what does it say of his character?
Noah's reaction to Echo and her jacket seems like a reflex. That does show he's a good person, because if he truly were the troubled stoner everyone assumes he is, why would he care or even notice about such details?
  • Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
My black, zipped hoodie I got from the university bookstore! It's already falling apart with a hole on the wrist, but it's so comfy!

Crappy close-up - you can at least see
the logo. It's otherwise a plain black hoodie,
but that's what I love!

6) Echo wears gloves all the time to hide her scars - not only for her sake, but obviously also for the others. When Noah sees Echo's scars for the first time he's shocked.
  • Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?
Probably. He just assumed prior to seeing those scars that she was little miss perfect, and didn't understand what real problems were. Now that illusion had been shattered, and he began to notice Echo as an actual person with actual problems.
  • Show us your favorite pair of gloves!
I don't really wear gloves. It would annoy the crap outta me to have something covering my fingers, so if I did wear them they would probably be in this style:

But I haven't really worn those either, so who knows. I have a bit of OCD when it comes to certain things, and the reason for me not wearing gloves is the same reason I can't stand wearing those socks that have separate compartments for your toes (like those rainbow socks). I just hate the feeling I get from them - drives me nuts.