Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jace cast in The Mortal Instruments

It's official everyone! We have our Jace Wayland...
Jamie Campbell Bower!

Yup, that's the guy who has been in Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga. He's been cast to play Jace in The Mortal Instruments. At least we know one thing, it won't be badly acted. I'm not sure if he's perfect but I do believe in the casting decisions so far so this should be a good thing.

Don't forget that playing our Clary is the lovely Lily Collins:
Looks like this movie is finally coming together!

What do you think of the casting choice?

TEAser Tuesday (40): Mercy by Rebecca Lim

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

Mercy by Rebecca Lim

"The sensation is fleeting, and to Ryan probably indistinguishable from his own nightmares. But in that strange way I have of seeing too much all at once, I saw it and I know that he is right. She is still alive and he still has some kind of faint, open connect to her."

--Pg. 65 of "Mercy" by Rebecca Lim

I haven't start this book yet but I'm really excited to!

What's your teaser?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (39)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

From Books-A-Million:
Don't forget to cast your vote for your favorite YA guy!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Discussions (9): How do you tackle your TBR pile?

As a fellow book blogger, I'm will to bet a lot of you have my same problem. Way too many books and way too little time. So what I want to talk about this week is if there is a rhyme or reason to how you choose what book you'll review next.

Once upon a time, my TBR pile had 15 books in it thanks to Christmas 2 years ago. Since then, it has gotten progressively bigger over the years, especially since I decided to start my very own little book blog. Before, I'd keep my novels in the order I bought them and read from oldest to newest. This worked out for a while until I started branching out my tastes. All of a sudden I found contemporary, mystery and dystopian amongst the normal paranormal romance and fantasy I was used to reading. I wasn't always in the mood for that contemporary that was coming up next.

Then, enter the book blog and the author/publisher requests and the recommends from my fellow amazing book bloggers. All of a sudden my TBR pile had ballooned out of control. Don't believe me? Take a look at my post where I video the scary pile.

So now I keep them all near my desk and pick out what I want to read. I still like to try and read series all together and if by some chance, I couldn't, then I go on ahead and hurry up to read them. Sequels always have priority. Generally speaking it's book tour books, ARC/requests, sequels and then whatever I feel like. Since I'm such a slow reader (and especially since I started writing again) I generally get about two or three books that I want to read in a month. The rest are sort of required reading (which isn't to say I don't want to read them, they are just priority because I have accepted them to get a review out at a certain time).

So tell me, how do you tackle your TBR pile? Do you free pull with whatever you want or do you read the oldest books first? Looking forward to your answers!

Did you write a follow-up post on this topic? Link up so I can hear about it!:

Have suggestions for other topics?

Next week's topic: Do you judge a book by it's cover (for real this time)?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Tunes (16)

Book Tunes is a new meme that will be held on Fridays and the point is to share the book your reading and a song you think represents it. Be sure to include the novel you are reading, the summary, the song you think fits it and an explanation of why you chose that particular song. So snag yourself a button, write a post and link up at the bottom of the page!

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

From Goodreads:
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she's around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma's life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn't be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.
The Tune: So Cold by Breaking Benjamin

The Lyrics:

Crowded streets all cleared away
One by One
Hollow heroes separate
As they run

You're so cold
Keep your hand in mine
Wise men wonder while
Strong men die

Show me how it end it's alright
Show me how defenseless you really are
Satisfy an empty inside
That's alright, let's give this another try

If you find your family, don't you cry
In this land of make-believe, dead and dry

You're so cold, but you feel alive
Lay your hands on me one last time
[Chorus x2]
It's alright [x9] 

Why this tune?:
Gemma has just found out she can feel recently and there are these cold creatures chasing her around. This song completely reminds me of how Al;ex has to feel when he's near her. She always mentions how warm his skin in, feeling the height deep into her own so it seemed like the perfect song choice!

What do you think about my song this week? Does the book you're reading have a great song to definite it?

Where I've Been... Or My Ode To The Vampire Diaries T.V. Show

Some of you might have noticed I've been a little absent from the blogging world as of late. This is true. And I have a very good reason for it. Ladies and gentleman (I know there is at least ONE guy out there), please meet the reason why:

Yup, that's right. I'm currently addicted to The CW's The Vampire Diaries. I just went on a binge-r that could totally rival Stefan pre-Elena. Seriously! I had my wonderful husband download both Season 1 and 2 and have been staying up to the ridiculously early hours of the morning to watch them all. I am all caught up and ready for season 3!

So let me take this time to tell you this: The Vampire Diaries is REALLY good. I'd seen the first three episodes and was mildly interested but by episode 4, it becomes a little like crack. All of the characters are so well fleshed out, every episode has a plot twist (or five) that will leave you with your mouth hanging open, the scenery is gorgeous and the acting is surprisingly really good. 

Here are some things you need to know:

  • Thinking about watching the show? Well, you should! Give it six episodes to catch your attention and then sit back and relax as every episode expands the world and it's characters just a little bit more.
  • I am Team Damon. For those of you who don't know me, this is HUGE news. I am that typical viewer who always like the first boyfriend. Therefore, I should like Stefan for Elena but I don't... I think the chemistry between Damon and Elena on screen is undeniable and while I like Elena and Stefan, I'm not rooting for them as a couple.
  • I want to live at Mystic Falls. This show does an incredible job of creating a town that feels real and full of history. It's like it's own living breathing character. Then through diaries and people who lived at the time, it tells it's own story. The Tomb, the house where the witches were burned, the Grill, the Salvatore house all feel like real places. Places that make me smile and feel like home. Amazing!
  • The acting is really good. I know, I'm shocked too! The first two episodes sort of felt like an equal version of the Twilight movies- you know, not terrible but just enough to make you wish you were watching it alone instead of in a big theater-- but after that, the actors really start to understand their characters. I've been a fan of Nina Dobrev (Elena/Katherine) since her Degrassi days and I must say, as the lead she really doesn't disappoint. She's strong, her chemistry with both actors of the male leads is undeniable and she makes you want to be Elena's friend. Great! This show had me shedding some tears several times.
  • The minor characters are developed too. The ex-boyfriend who is still in love with the lead character? He's got a storyline. The school bully? Yup, him too. The annoying friend? Hers is there. The lovable little brother? Even he gets his chances to shine! Everyone is fleshed out and it becomes those minor characters that make the show fantastic. This is one of those rare shows that when they flash back from a commercial break, I don't mind that a subplot is expanded instead of what I just saw. I care about all of them!
  • The Salvatore brothers are my second favorite brothers on t.v. right now! My first will always be the Winchesters. Sam and Dean? Amazing! But Damon and Stefan Salvatore are very close seconds. I love their loyalty, the way their story lines intersect, the trials they are put through with each other and sometimes, by each other. Both are still revealing parts of their very long and complicated pasts and they are both evolving on the show. It's a pleasure watching them.
  • Last, let's not lie. Everyone on this show is gorgeous. From the guys to the girls, they all look perfect and they know their roles. I'm sorry but what's not to love?

So now like the rest of the fans, I am desperately craving a hit from one of my new favorite series on t.v. I'll tell you all one thing, summer has never seemed so long and so hot before! Enjoy the break guys, because I want all my actors/actresses ready to tape in the fall. I, for one, will have my channel flipped on come Thursday nights at 8 pm this fall!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Time Will Come (1): Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme started by Books for Company which spotlights books that have been sitting unread on our shelves for too long.

From Goodreads:
A new life is just a phone call away!  
Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago! 
Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self? 
Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything? 
Fans of Sarah Mlynowski's Magic in Manhattan series will love this hilarious new novel with a high-concept premise.

Why the time hasn't come:

 got this book last year for my birthday but it's gotten buried in my ridiculously large TBR pile. I picked this novel out because I really liked the premise. It sounded fun and interesting. I mean, what would you do if you met your 14-year-old self? What kind of advice would you give yourself? This is definitely a book I want to get to soon!

Wanna join in?:
-Pick a book from your TBR stack and showcase it!
-Link up at Books For Company

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: Shadow Dancer by Courtney Rene

Shadow Dancer by Courtney Rene

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936403080
ISBN-13: 978-1936403080
Source: Digital copy provided from Teen Book Scene
Cover: It's not the best cover I've seen but it isn't the worst. My feelings are lukewarm. It works well for what the novel is about. The silhouette of the couple in the shadow is a nice touch as that is what the novel is about. I just wish the title was bigger than the author's name.
First Sentence: "My Lady? I don't know what to do."

Mini-ReviewShadow Dancer is an interesting concept with fun characters but not without a few hiccups.

Book Summary:
Sunny has a gift that she has no idea how to use, until she meets Leif, a boy from the kingdom of Acadia, on the other side of the shadows.  
Leif teaches Sunny about Shadow Walkers and how to use her new found gifts. As they grow closer and their gifts grow stronger, a threat arrives. The Shadow Guard has been sent to bring Sunny back to Acadia, to determine if she is a threat to the king as the rightful ruler of Acadia.
As Leif and Sunny prepare to defend themselves, Sunny finds that Leif has also been sent to bring Sunny back to the kingdom but for very different reasons. As a battle for possession of Sunny wages, she is struggling to come to turns with her feelings of inadequacy regarding controlling her gifts as well as the hurt regarding the lies and deceit of everyone around her.
Book Review:

Shadow Dancer combines a fun concept with interesting characters for an easy read. The paranormal aspect was well developped and the two main characters attraction was undeniable. There were a few problems with the writing, at times the dialog was a bit cheesy and it did feel rushed at parts but over all, Shadow Dancer was a wonderful read.

Sunny was a great character to follow around. She was a natural at Shadow Walking and she had a great spark. It's nice to find a character who had power and was able to wield it. Sunny is definitely special and instead of handicapping her, Ms. Rene worked to make her understand and use her power. I also enjoyed that Sunny was pretty gutsy. There were plenty of points in the novel where other characters would have wimped out and Sunny ran marching in. Her counterpart, Leif, was the typical handsome and dangerous stranger but he tested her in ways others haven't. Their attraction to each other was undeniable but I would have liked a little bit more anticipation before they finally got together. It felt a bit too easy at times.

Shadow Walking, which is essentially pulling over shadows so that one is invisible, is something I've never read about before and I found it all really interesting. This paranormal aspect felt very well thoughout and added a lot to the story. I would have liked to know more about and the place the Shadow Walkers and Shadow Guards came from Arcadia. The battle scenes were fast, exciting and clear cut and the plot had several twists. 

 I did have a few problems with the writing which would have been cleared up with a finer tooth comb. The author tended to use a lot of words when there only needed to be a few. For instance, there would be several "sad and sorrows", "angry and mads" and "gorgeous and beautifuls". Also, there were a lot of phrases that were a bit confusing and didn't feel realistic (like "for Pete's sake" which I've heard of but never heard anyone use). Sunny's voice was pretty solid for the most part but I would have liked a lot more of everything. I think this novel would have benefitted with slowing down and building more tension.

While Shadow Dancer did have it's problems, it was easy to pick up and read and had a really great concept. Coupling an interesting paranormal aspect with a solid cast of characters, I think Shadow Dancer is definitely for some people. If you're looking for something to add to your Kindle that's entertaining and unique, I'd say go for it!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TEAser Tuesday (39): The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

"I unwound the piece of string that sealed the envelope shut. The very first thing I came across was the papers stating that Marco and Sophia had custody of me.

Well, so much for my kidnapping theory."

--Pg. 124 of "The Fallen Star" by Jessica Sorensen

I've just started this book but so far, I am really enjoying it. What's your teaser?

Character Interview: Aunt Sue from What Comes After

Today, I'm tangling, er, talking with Aunt Sue from What Comes After. If you haven't heard, Aunt Sue gets a bit of a bad reputation in What Comes After and she's here today to clear that up... well, sort of. I ask her to anyway. She's also talking about "what comes after" (see what I did there?) for her and more.

1) Sue, there are two sides to every story. Will you tell us in your own words what happened that day at the lake?

I will not allow a child to break bad in my house, and some need to learn their lesson the hard way. That’s how I was raised. That’s how the girl’s mom was raised. I did not touch a hair on that girl myself. It might of gone too far, OK, but sometimes things happen. That don’t make it criminal. It’s just what is.

2) You mention that Iris is just like her mother. What did you mean by that?

Spiteful. Doesn’t appreciate what she’s given. Thinks she’s better than anybody else. Thinks she’s pretty.

3) Your son's name is Book which I've never come across before. Is there a story behind his name?

Yes there is, but that’s between his daddy and me, and his daddy is out of the picture, and removed himself from the picture before Book was born and he can go to Hell for all I care and that’s all you need to know.

4) We hear Iris's side of the story and how hard it was for her to leave her home. But will you tell us how you felt when you got a call about having your niece come and live with you?

Didn’t feel much about it one way or another. The girl’s mom--my sister—run off and left me alone back here with Momma and Daddy, so I figured I was owed something. Did I feel sorry for the girl because her daddy died? Sure, who wouldn’t? But you get over it and no need crying about it.

5) What are you plans for the future?

Back to the farm. If WalMart won’t hire me back I’ll get on at Target or K-Mart. About time Book was done with school anyway and working to pay his way, unless he can still get a scholarship and start bringing in money from that and then the professionals. There’s some colleges out there that pay for football. I’m thinking about expanding egg production in the barn—taking on more chickens, turning the whole business over to eggs. I’m done with them damn goats.

6) I know you like reality television. If you could be on one show what would it be and why?

"Survivor" of course. What the hell did you think? "The Bachelor"?

7) Is there anything you'd like people to know about your story?

I said enough already. But I know what you're looking for. You're looking for me to say how sorry I am for what was done to that girl. You're looking for me to be sorry for making Book do what he done. You're looking for me to be sorry for everything. Well maybe I'm sorry for some things and maybe I'm not sorry for some other things, and that's all I'm gonna say about it. There is one thing. Connie who I went to high school with and who works at the jail? I been thinking about giving her a call and maybe buying her a beer when I get out. I might kind of owe her.

Feel free to leave a comment for Aunt Sue, if you dare!

Thanks so much to Teen Book Scene for making this interview happen:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 13, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 038573848X
ISBN-13: 978-0385738484
Source: Purchased from Amazon.com
Cover: I'm indifferent about this cover. I wouldn't pick the novel up based on it alone but I wouldn't put it down either. I like that there is something that represents both characters on the cover.
First Sentence: "Griffin Colburn knew something was wrong the moment he slid into the driver's seat."

Mini- ReviewSleepless was a fun, light read with a rarely seen paranormal creature.

Book Summary:

Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.

 But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her. . . .
 Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?
 Cyn Balog's follow-up to Fairy Tale has more wit, more supernatural delights, and more star-crossed romance! Teen girls will love this story of a Sandman who falls in love with his human charge.
Book Review

Sleepless is a little bitty book with a whole lot of punch. Focusing primarily on the characters, the chapters are flipped between Eron, a sandman turning human, and Julia, Eron's human he puts to sleep. The storyline was predictable but interesting and the characters were off beat enough to feel real.

Julia and Eron both took turns narrating their journey. One of the best aspects of this novel were their voices. Though there were headers on the title to tell you whose chapter it was, the voices were so distinctive that it didn't need it. Julia was aloof and lonely, trying to cope with how she should act by the death of her first and only boyfriend Griffin. She's unique and her relationship with everyone is complex. I liked getting to know her and I really enjoyed her open, solid relationship with her mother. Eron was born in another time and as such, his narrator was far more formal. I liked how sure he was that he would fit in even though he didn't understand all the phrases of the 21st century and why girl's hemlines have shrunk. It was great watching him try to adapt.

The relationship between Eron and Julia was interesting, I just wish we'd known earlier about Julia's secret so we could understand why Eron felt so drawn and protective towards her. I wanted to know what it was about her that had him hooked and we found that out but not until much later in the novel. As a reader, I don't like not being included in things the characters know. There were also a lot of chapters that ended right when we were getting to something I wanted to know about and then the next chapter with that character picked up somewhere else and DIDN'T tell us. That got frustrating. Over all though, the writing and the plot were solid and I felt like I really understood the character's motivations.

Hands down, the reason I needed this book was because it was about a sandman. I wanted to know all about it and while the book didn't go into it as much as I was hoping, the world Ms. Balog built was solid and interesting. I loved the new paranormal angle and that this was ultimately a love story.

Sleepless is a quick read with characters you'll want to root for and an interesting paranormal angle. If you are looking for a light paranormal romance with good characterization, this novel is most certainly for you. I'd recommend picking this one up. While it won't leave you breathless, it'll definitely cut into your bed time!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (38)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

From Simon & Schuster:

From Quirk Publishing:

From Books-A-Million:

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ya's Most Eligible: Vote on Top 20

Alright everyone! You have commented, voted and spoken. We've got a list of 56 amazing guys to choose from and now it's time to narrow down to the Top 20 Nominees! These are going to be the ones we'll be voting with. There will be several categories of voting in the end of July and then an overall favorite!

I'm going to need one blogger for each guy to write up a post telling us why we should love the guy you represent. One of the voting categories will be the most creative and convincing guest post and the winner will get a book of their choice (more on that later).

So for now, please vote on your top 20 favorites that need to make it in to the final month! Good luck! This will be open for 2 weeks (6/4). Spread the word and the love for your favorite guys!

Wanna look at the results so far?: Go Here!

Saturday Discussions (8): Do you write negative reviews?

Before I ever started my blog, I knew that I wanted to be honest on here. I set out to review movies and books with honesty and to turn a sharp critical eye to the things that I love. That also means finding a fair amount of things that I don't love in the process. See, the wonderful and sometimes terrible thing about writing is that it's purely subjective. For a million people that like something, there are going to be at least a few who don't.

But the question was, do I state this here on my blog for EVERYONE to read?

The only answer I could come up with was an honest one and that is absolutely

I never want a friend to hate something and tell me they liked it just to be nice. So why would I do the same thing to my followers? Because that's what we all are, right? We're friends who have a common passion. So I feel I owe it to you all to tell you if I'm not crazy about something.

The problem with negative reviews?

They can really hurt the author and other people who might be wild about these books. The internet makes everything that much smaller. My opinion can be read by so many people. Which is why I try to analysis why I don't like something and EMPHASIZE that it could sincerely just be my tastes. I'm never going to say that the "characters sucked" because it's rude, unprofessional, and as a writer, I know it's also hurtful. I might say something like "While Amber was funny, it was hard for me to have pity for her because she was selfish. Her selfishness caused me not to connect with her and thus it was hard for me to truly care what happened to her". That is telling you why I disliked something without being rude.

I think that the problem with negative reviews is when people don't handle them professionally. Nothing bothers me more than people ranting about how this novel was crap and the writer was terrible for having written it and that anyone who likes it must be stupid. Yeah, that is SO not the way to write a negative review.

I feel like negative reviews can be useful and need to be out there but there is a major difference between doing it to be helpful and doing it to be hurtful.

My last thing is that I've read a lot of posts where people say that most bloggers won't write negative reviews on ARCs they receive. Is this true? Maybe. Is this true for me? No, not at all. I'm never going to lie to you. I give five bunnies only if something blows my mind. I only give 1 bunny if I can't finish or barely finish it. I can understand why people would feel bad about giving a newly released book a bad review that the publisher let them have early but that's part of the risk they take. It has no factor in my enjoyment of a novel.

So as a final thought, I'd like to explain my rating system:

5 bunnies- This is reserved for mind-blowingly good books only. Things that will change the way you look at reading. Things that keep me up at night.

4 bunnies- I loved this book a lot. I read it fast and furiously but I can think of a few things that would have bettered my enjoyment.

3 bunnies- This is my most common rating. It for books that were fun reads but did have some flaws. Generally they are gambles. You might love it or you might not.

2 bunnies- Though I finished the book, there were loads of flaws and you should read at your own risk. I either had a serious problem with the writing, the plot or the characters (most of the time, all three).

1 bunny- I just couldn't finish it or it was a struggle to get through. Plenty of problems.

Got something to say on this subject but want to write your own posts? Well, I think that's awesome! Please let me know if you do a follow up post on this topic by adding your name to the list below and also, just mention this post in yours with a link back to me:
Have a question or topic you'd like to see my tackle? Feel free to suggest some:

Next week's question: Do you judge a book by it's cover?
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