Current Giveaways:

None :(

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Rogue by Gina Damico (+ Giveaway)

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Gina Damico, the author of the Croak trilogy. The last book in the series, Rogue, is going to be released September 10, 2013. That's a little less than a week away! In honor of that release, Gina has organized this awesome tour with fun clues as to what goes down in Rogue, a scavenger hunt or sorts. and, of course, giveaways!

I'll let her explain how this works:

Hey hey Croak fans! Welcome to my blog tour / photo hunt / Roguestravaganza!
From now until ROGUE's release on September 10th, each stop on the tour will reveal an image that represents a chapter in the book - could refer to setting, plot, an important object, mood, or whatever other diabolical visualizations with which I feel like tormenting my dear readers. Each image also contains a hidden letter...though really, they're not that well hidden. (If you have eyes, you should be able to spot them.) Collect the letters every day, and at the end of the tour I'll hold a contest, the winner of which will receive signed and annotated copies of the complete trilogy. (For a complete description of the contest, tour schedule, and links to the stops you might have missed, check out the blog tour page on my website.)

This photo is for Chapter 17. I will let the image do the talking.
Thanks for having me! Good luck everyone!
Series: Croak #3
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 336

Teenage Grim Reaper Lex’s power to Damn souls is getting out of control. She's a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they're joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed...but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice. (Summary from

El Giveaway
On each tour stop, Gina is being the coolest thing in the cool-iverse. She is giving away a Croak prize pack, which includes 3 signed bookplates, 3 magnets, and a scythe pendant. And to add to the awesome, this giveaway is international! All you have to do to enter the giveaway on my stop is comment on this post. Tell me what you think the picture means. If you have not read this series, tell me why you would like to. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ooops, I did it again.

Went missing, that is. I'm really sorry guys. I had tons of things scheduled for the past 2 weeks and didn't post any of them. School started on Monday and I had to do a lot of preparing for that (read: last minute summer assignments). Needless to say, it's been a long 2 or 3 weeks.

I should be back in about a week, hopefully. And I'll try to post things as often as possible.

On a related note, school is going pretty well so far. My first 3 classes are my challenging ones (College Algebra, AP Literature, and AP Chemistry). The following 4 are a breeze (and some are completely snooze-tastic). Also, I'm pretty far along in my all-region music and have confidence in my ability to qualify for all-state this year.

Update of my life: over. Thanks for hanging in there, lovely readers.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Wake by Lisa McMann
Series: Wake #1

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: March 4th, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 225
Source: Library
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.
When I write a review, I usually take a lot of notes. The only time I don't take notes is when I'm to deeply involved in the story or there is nothing to note. For this book, it's the latter.

What I wanted: A kickass girl who can see and manipulate people's dreams while trying to figure out the origin of her ability.

What I got: A mopey teenager who has the ability to see into people's dreams paired with an agent who's investigating a drug bust. Barely a plot.

This book has so many good reviews and I was anticipating something epic, kick-butt and something that would stick in my brain. What I got instead was this (admittedly) interesting writing style but a flat plot that leaves me trying to remember important details in the actual book. I have a great memory, I think, which is why it's bad that I don't remember much from the book.

The most important (and interesting -good and bad) thing about this book is really the way it's written. It kind of reminds me of a bunch of home movies. You know, with the date on the corner of each clip? This book was told in jumpy bits and time held significance to the story. I didn't actually pay as much attention as I should have and that was why it was such an unappealing book for me. It was also written like a screenplay with "Janie does this and Janie says that." When you've got a third-person and present tense writing style, I think it'll tend to sound very dry.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate originality, but there's a difference between originality and bad writing. It was quite honestly one of the worst writing styles I've yet encountered. Mind numbing and bland with no similes, barely-there descriptions and characters never having a voice or thoughts makes this to be one of the hardest books I had to get through.

The plot also makes no sense. We've got this girl who enters other people's dreams when they're sleeping in the same room as her. Most dreams are either the falling, sex-crazed or naked people in a public area where no one notices. Before I explain the plot further, I just want to point out that not everybody has such dirty dreams. Half of this book was Janie going into a dream of the sleeping subject having sex with someone else. I don't need to read about that and it did nothing to help the story, plus it got very old and repetitive, very fast.

So. Moving on. We're introduced to a guy named Cabel who is obviously the love interest. I'm not even sure what happened (and I literally finished the book about 2 hours before writing this.) All I know is that the novel ends with Janie becoming a worker for a secret agency. If this info is wrong, my fault.

The plot is so blurry in my mind. It didn't stick and I think I might've skipped halfway or something. I'm that person who doesn't like to DNF so reading this and finishing it was somewhat agonizing. I like books that stick in my head after finishing and this didn't do that. I think it escaped me, to be quite frank because of how simple the plot was.

The characters were also so annoying. Janie, this girl who's been in people's dreams before is just so irritating in the way she acts. She jumps on her emotions and doesn't actually stop to see if what she's doing is right. And besides having her ability, she's completely flat, boring, useless, personality lacking, what other words can I use?

When I hear "ability to go into other people's dreams" I think fantasy, paranormal, supernatural and the theme/mood of the book has a out-of-reality kind of idea. This book was so cut and pasted that if Janie didn't have an ability, there would be no storyline. Period.

I was also left confused in so many parts. What Cabel's job was escapes me. It's told that he works for this top secret "something" and he's investigating a drug bust. He also has to have a cover, fake date a girl and have a rep for being a dealer. It's this false pretense to try to uncover some problem that readers have close to NO insight on.

I really didn't like this book and it did nothing for me. I can't think of anything good about this book besides how easy visualizing was, but that just won't cut it. If I wanted visualizing ops, I'd go read some screenplays.

But please remember: I am the black sheep so you should give it a try! You might think the writing style is interesting and amazing. After all, I'm just another opinion!

No Stars...

That Time I...Discovered Jane Austen

So the summer is winding down. I have less than a week (!) until my senior year of high school begins. A few weeks ago, I pushed past my denial of the approaching yeah and figured it was probably time to start my summer assignments for my AP Literature class. My assignment is to read 2 books, then do some crap revolving around the novels. One of the books I was assigned to read was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 

I received it in the mail last Wednesday. With a mental groan, I forced myself to pick it up, supposing it would be another Scarlet Letter incident. For those of you that don't know, I hated The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was long-winded, hardly comprehensible, and excruciatingly boring. The reading experience was good for an English lesson--riddled with symbolism and other rhetorical devices--but had absolutely no entertainment value. 

But Pride and Prejudice was not like that, nosirree. 

I am shocked to discover that I love Jane Austen, and I love Pride and Prejudice. I was taken by the characters, both round and flat (in regards to their character development, of course). I was thoroughly entertained by their various antics, the dialogue, and, above all, the writing. I had to read slowly, but it was still pretty easy to understand. While reading, I almost forgot that the book was a school assignment. 

I will definitely be reading more Jane Austen. 

Have you read anything by Jane Austen? What did you think? Did it meet your expectations (or soar past them, like it did for me)? 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Series: The Testing #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: June 14, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Source: Purchased
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust. (Summary from
Before I do anything I will just say...

The Hunger Games > The Testing

Ok, so let's start with the outside of this book. I purchased the UK edition of The Testing and I have a couple lil nags about it really.

1. I'm fed up of people putting 'For fans of The Hunger Games' on the front of books because either the book is nothing like The Hunger Games or is basically a replica - if I wanted to read another THG then I would just re-read the damn original and not a knock off copy cat dystopian story.

2. It is pretty (very) similar to the US edition cover of Divergent - even down to the massive symbol on the cover.

BUT it is a pretty cover, I guess. :)

Now onto the actual story. 

I'mma list my nags first (of which there are many) but note that I did actually quite enjoy this book!

I thought the story as a whole was actually really well done and I love the author's writing style - Charbonneau is very talented indeed. Many elements of the plot were original, dark and kept me intrigued. BUT then there was the overlap to several other existing dystopian novels...

Firstly there were the colonies (Districts - The Hunger Games / Factions -Divergent).

Each group in The Testing had it's own symbol (Copying Divergent?)

Also, the graduation ceremony reminded a lot of The Reaping from The Hunger Games.

A certain character reminded me very much so of Cinna.

There is another Peeta.

There is a substitute for the silver parachutes in the arena from The Hunger Games.

Our protagonist, Cia, is singled out and recognised just like Katniss was, only Cia had no reason to get attention.

A certain injury sustained and the use of a crossbow were used - I found both lacked originality. 

Also, have any of you watched the Japanese movie Battle Royale? If you have then Joelle kinda copied a certain element of those necklaces the kids are forced to wear.

These are just a few of my nags.

Now I know I've made this book sound awful and completely unoriginal but I refuse to lie (unlike many reviews out there). This book DOES have many copied elements but it also has MANY original parts to it too!

Some of Charbonneau's ideas blew me away and many of the twists I didn't see coming. 

I did really enjoy this novel and will definitely be picking up the sequel but I had to point out my nags.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Pub Date: Oct. 18,2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 304
 Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

 On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


Suicide. This book focuses on a girl named Hannah’s suicide. Suicide is not a joke, nor is it something to be played off nonchalantly. Suicidal thoughts can be found in the preppy heiress or the girl with nothing left to lose. It doesn’t matter. You know that girl who’s always smiling and never gets mad? Five bucks says that she’s gone through something terrible. Something that if you haven’t gone through yourself, you wouldn’t understand. I will warn readers that this review may have some personal and also may be sort of long.

    But suicide doesn’t just affect the person who’s committing. When you put that gun in your mouth, pop that handful of pills, or submerge yourself in that bathtub, you’re making a choice that everyone else has to live with. It’s like making a big mistake and then leaving so everyone else can pick up the pieces. People don’t know this, though. They usually think “another suicide, I feel so bad for this person,” that is, if it’s a good person’s thoughts. But this is someone who doesn’t know the victim directly. This is a story of a person and how he had to deal with the suicide of someone whom he could’ve helped.

    We start with our main character, Clay. He receives a set of tapes from the late Hannah Baker. These are tapes that are meant for people, 13 different people or more specifically, the 13 reasons why she committed suicide.

    Clay is a person who is as affected from Hannah’s suicide as everyone else and possibly more. He actually liked her, but never fought hard enough. So from that, how guilty do you think this guy is? And how do you think he’d feel, knowing that the reason he has the tapes is because he was one of the reasons Hannah committed. His thoughts were chaotic at some moments. I felt it real and genuine, the way he was acting. You’re supposed to be distraught over the things people did.

    Hannah has a voice of a person who just wants to be loved. There is no happy ending for her and she’s come in terms with that. Even in the way she records the tapes. Jay Asher should be applauded for being able to capture such a beautifully devastating point of view that is Hannah.

I think the reason this book stuck out so far for me was because of the way it was told. It wasn’t about a girl who wanted to suicide and was trying to keep it together. It was about a girl who just couldn’t keep it together and had to kill herself. But also about how it wasn’t just her actions that led her to the point where there was no other option.

    But this book doesn’t necessarily spotlight the stages in which Hannah decides she needs to end her life. It shows how each individual person (out of 13) had a part in her decision. How even the most insignificant of things could push her to the edge. How one little action could kill a spirit. And then, it was about how each person had to know the role they played in Hannah Baker’s death.

    “And the snowball keeps a-rollin’” It started with one person who made a mistake. Word got out. Next thing you know, someone else pulls something. And the snowball effect continues, which was another main idea in this book. A very important main idea, might I add.

    If you haven’t ever dealt with suicide, you may not feel the full impact that I did. I felt the wind knocked out of me when reading certain parts and it made me sick. Not because the book was bad, but because I was reliving memories of when I was bullied and near suicidal. It wasn’t easy for Hannah and it isn’t easy for anyone else. I can’t count on my fingers the amount of times I needed to a) cry, b) take a breather or c) just stop reading in fear that I would explode.
There was a lot of this from me while reading.
 I feel like writing more. Like trying to show everyone I talk to on the blog, twitter and everywhere else my story. I want to show my scars and this book helped me, personally more than ever. How many times did I nearly get a paranoia attack from someone who didn’t respond to me on twitter when I posted something about me wanting to cry?

    I connected with Hannah; Hannah gave me hope. She sucked up every single bad thought and recorded it all in a tape recording to haunt everyone who deserved it. If I could do that...

    The 13 reasons and 13 people were so creative and so believable. It isn’t about calling someone “ugly” or even tripping someone in the school hallway. An act that isn’t even completely meant to be malicious can be taken that way and it can. Ruin. Someone’s. Life. The reasons and people were also so diverse. Some people were cheerleaders, jocks; the usual. But there were also loners, the “nice girl” and even the prankster. It wasn’t about that group of popular people that made hell for the “loser”.

    I’ve always admired authors who can make their readers feel. It doesn’t matter if it’s laughing, crying or even anger. The purpose of a book, in my opinion, is so that readers can experience a world that isn’t their own. They can be picked out of their problems and live out as someone else. I haven’t “felt” about a book in so long and this one showed me what it’s like to actually cry again. Jay Asher is a phenomenal writer and I’m happy to have read this breathtaking novel.

It sort of saved my life. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

About that review I was supposed to write...

Hey guys! So it's Sunday and I don't have a review for you (I know *slaps hand*) BUT I do have a good excuse! I started a review book (a sequel) and wasn't really digging it, which I was so disappointed about because I adored the first book in the trilogy, *sigh* so I decided to put it aside for now and picked up *drum rolllllllllllllllll* The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau which was published in the UK only a few days ago!

 *has a spazzy dystopian happy dance* 

I'm about half way through and am really enjoying it so far despite its similarities to The Hunger Games. (We will see how I feel at the end of this book!) I promisey promise that I will have a review of The Testing up and ready for next Sunday as scheduled!

GUYS! (Stay with me, I'm almost done! This is the important part... kinda.)

I'm considering picking up CITY OF BONES for my next read because the movie's out this month and I really want to read the book first to see what all the hype is about. I'm not a fan of books written in 3rd person BUT I have enjoyed many so I'm definitely prepared to give this a go! 

Have you read it? Would you recommend it? I just kind of need persuading to read it really. :)

Anyways, thanks for reading my rambling!