It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #19

Last Week’s Reads:

 
The Peculiars
by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
The Forsaken
by Lisa M. Stasse
 

This Week’s Reads:

Before the Rain♦♦
by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa
Brave New Love
edited by Paula Guran
Innocent Darkness
by Suzanne Lazear
The Assassin’s Curse♦♦
by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child♦♦
by Bob Spitz
Hollowed♦♦
by Kelley York

I had another slow week last week. Silly headaches, keeping me from important things like reading and writing and blogging. However, The Forsaken was amazing! So. Good. When I had a power outage on Thursday, I had to find a clippy flashlight so I could keep reading.

I’m hoping this week will be better, especially since I’m doing #BoutofBooks. My TBR pile is getting high again, so it’s time to get it down before it gets too bad.

Review books received from:
The Assassin’s Curse: Strange Chemistry & NetGalley
Hollowed: the author
Dearie: Amazon Vine
Before the Rain: Amazon Vine

Thank you! ♥

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

– leeanna

Bout of Books Goals ( #BoutofBooks )

Hot on the heels of the #OlympicReadathon, I’m participating in Bout of Books. It runs from August 13 to August 19, so I’m hoping to get in a good amount of reading. Two of my blogging friends, Jenna from Little Bird Reads, and Sarah from Breaking the Binding are also doing #BoutofBooks, so go visit them.

bout of books goal

My goal:
Review each book I read. I’m really bad about this during readathons, and I’m in a review block right now, too.

Books to read:
Dearie♦♦ by Bob Spitz
Before the Rain♦♦ by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa — DONE!
Brave New Love edited by Paula Guran
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
Hollowed♦♦ by Kelley York (not pictured, ebook) — DONE!
The Assassin’s Curse♦♦ by Cassandra Rose Clarke (not pictured, ebook)

♦♦ indicates books received for review

This list is, of course, subject to change. I’m bad at picking out what I want to read ahead of time.

Updates:
Monday, August 13:
Books read: 1 – Before the Rain
Pages read: 228
Reviews written: 0. I need to write 2: The Forsaken and Before the Rain. Ack!

Tuesday, August 14:
Books read: 0
Pages read: ~50
Reviews written: 0. :(

Wednesday, August 15:
Books read: 0
Pages read: ~100
Reviews written: 1! My review of Before the Rain is up on Amazon. I still need to finish one for The Forsaken, and start on my review for Hollowed. I’m the stop on the blog tour for Hollowed, which is coming up on August 19.

Thursday, August 16:
I forget.

Friday, August 17:
Books read: 1
Pages read: ~237
Reviews written: 1. I wrote my review of Hollowed in preparation for the blog tour stop on the 19th.

Saturday, August 18:
Books read: .95. I’ve read almost all of Keep Sweet.
Reviews written: 0.

Sunday, August 19:
Books read: .05 I finished Keep Sweet.
Reviews written: 0.

Running totals:
Books read: 3
Reviews written: 2

Hah. Not a great readathon for me. I couldn’t make any of the Twitter chats, and I chose to put my time into reading rather than visiting a lot of other blogs. I’m going to take a break from readathons for a while, I think. Maybe until the next #BoutofBooks!

Also, notice how I didn’t really read any of the books in the pic? I knew that would happen!

– leeanna

Olympic Readathon August 12 Update – The End! ( #OlympicReadathon )

olympic readathon end

The #OlympicReadathon is over! Boooo. I’m sad to see it end. A long readathon is a lot of fun, even if I didn’t have a ton of time to be social with everyone else participating.

The books I read:
Huntress by Malinda Lo
The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Total books: 6
Total page count: 2,223
Goal: 2,012
Pages to goal: +211

– leeanna

Olympic Readathon August 10 Update ( #OlympicReadathon )

olympic readathon

I was going to post an update last night, but I had a power outage. So here’s what I did, because I couldn’t do anything else:

As of tonight, I finished The Forsaken. I’m still deciding on what my last book for the readathon will be.

I’ve finished:

Huntress by Malinda Lo
Page count: 384
The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
Page count: 432
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
Page count: 342
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Page count: 336
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Page count: 354
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Page count: 375

Running count: 2,223
Goal: 2012
Pages to goal: +211

– leeanna

Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 3, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Source: Own
Goodreads
5 Stars
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Book Review:
Stars, I loved this book. I couldn’t put CINDER down until I finished it, and now I’m anxiously awaiting the next three books in the series.

CINDER is a retelling of Cinderella, complete with androids, cyborgs, space travel, an evil queen, a good prince, and a deathly plague. There are no love triangles, vampires, werewolves, or any of that sort of thing.

Cinder is a refreshing protagonist. She works as a mechanic, and has a reputation as being one of the best. It’s the reason Kai, the prince of New Beijing, comes to her to have his android fixed. I liked that there was a reason for them to meet, and that it wasn’t a chance encounter that started off their relationship. I also liked that Cinder wasn’t in love with Kai right away.

A few parts of the story were predictable, but overall, I enjoyed how the author fit everything together. Another plus is that the book doesn’t end on a total cliffhanger. There are plenty of questions to be resolved in the series, but at least we get a few answers at the end of CINDER.

The worldbuilding is pretty cool, as well. The humans that live on the Moon, the Lunars, have evolved differently than the humans on Earth. The Lunars have a magical power, a glamour, that allows them to manipulate minds.

Cinder herself is a cyborg, with over 30% of her body made of metal parts. Being a cyborg makes her a second class citizen, the ward of her legal guardian. It’s a twist on the Cinderella story, because Cinder’s stepmother has a reason — albeit misguided — to dislike her.

There’s a lot to like in CINDER, and a lot to keep your attention. I can’t wait until it comes out in paperback. I also can’t wait for the next book, SCARLET!

Socialize with the author:
Marissa Meyer:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (@SanguMandanna)

the lost girlThe Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive. (summary from goodreads)

Wow, this sounds interesting! I wish I had a doppelgänger, but only to do all the boring stuff in my life. I don’t think I’d want them actually replacing me.

Socialize with the author:
Website
Facebook
Twitter @SanguMandanna

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Olympic Readathon August 7 Update ( #OlympicReadathon )

olympic readathon 3

Wow! The Olympic Readathon is almost over :( I’ve really liked having a longer readathon, so I’ll be sad to see it end. I wish I had more time to hang out on Twitter and socialize with the others doing the readathon, but I only have so many hours in the day. I’ve been trying to watch coverage of the Olympics, too, but a lot of the events I’m interested in aren’t being shown on TV. Boo!

I’ve got 4 days left, and I intend to make the most of them. I should definitely reach my goal of 2012 pages.

I’m currently reading The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry.

I’ve finished:

Huntress by Malinda Lo
Page count: 384
The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
Page count: 432
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
Page count: 342
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Page count: 336

Running count: 1,494
Goal: 2012
Pages to goal: 518

– leeanna

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Posts I Think Give You The Best Glimpse of Me

This week’s Top Ten is Top Ten Posts I Think Give You The Best Glimpse of Me. A lot of these are going to be past Top Ten topics, because I don’t have a ton of personal posts up here yet. Which just reminds me I want to write more — some of my favorite posts on blogs are about the person behind the blog. Especially for book blogs, because I get a better sense of if our tastes gel.

01. Instagram for July and Instagram for May/June. This is probably cheating, but photos are definitely one of the best ways to get to know someone. For some reason, I like using Instagram, even though I don’t really like taking pictures. I tend to take photos of books I’m reading and random things. I’ve also been using my Instagram shots for my blog posts.

02. Top Ten Sites You Read That Aren’t About Books. TL;DR? I’m a geek.

03. TGIF: A Book Blogger is Born. My past, present, and future with book blogging. Did you know this is actually my second time book blogging?

04. Armchair BEA: The End, and an Introduction. A bit more about me than my About Me page gives.

05. Totally Random: Rizzoli and Isles Premiere. Dumb genius, that’s me. Rizzoli and Isles is also my favorite TV show.

06. Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011. Self explanatory.

07. An “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” post, showing pictures of my TBR pile. That’s an accurate showing of what I usually have out of hte library. I can’t help but pick up a new book every day!

08. Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters in Books. My choices reveal more of my geeky side.

09. Zen and the Art of Fandom. I make no secret of the fact that I like fanfiction and am active in fandoms. Fanfiction is very important to me, as it was how I first started writing, and how I got back into writing.

10. Camp NaNoWriMo, August Session. I talk about writing a lot on my blog. A lot. I picked one post at random.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

– leeanna

Review: Poison Tree by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

poison treeInfo:
Title: Poison Tree
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Source: Library
Series? Part of author’s overall work
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Page Count: 219

Summary:

The rich stew of the author’s creations—SingleEarth, vampires, shapeshifters, Tristes, the Bruja Guilds—are at full boil here in the story of two 20-ish young women trying to out run their very different pasts, and figure out where they fit in and who they might become. Each has landed in a more “normal” place, and each wonders if, like a tattoo that can’t be covered up, they can ever really fit into “normal.” (summary from goodreads)

My Review:
I’ve read several of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s books over the years, and I have the same complaint every time.

Her books are too short. Poison Tree is only 219 pages, but there’s enough story for at least 300 or 350. With such a short length, the book is very rushed. I always feel like I’m thrust into a story where I’m missing half the information. I kept flipping back and forth, trying to figure out if I had missed something, when characters referred to their past.

The author has a vivid imagination, and I know she could easily fill a longer book, and flesh out more of her world and characters. The two main characters in this book, Alysia and Sarik, intrigued me, but I wasn’t able to connect with them as much as I would have liked. There are also two interesting supporting characters, but again, their stories are way too condensed.

I know I’m harping on the length, but I would have gotten so much more out of Poison Tree if it had been longer. I liked the story. I liked the characters. I just wanted more.

Rating: 2 owls

Socialize with the author:
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes:
Website

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #18

Last Week’s Reads:

Darkness Before Dawn
by J. A. London
The Wild Princess♦♦
by Mary Hart Perry
Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses
by Ron Koertge
 
Darth Vader and Son
by Jeffrey Brown
The Pledge
by Kimberly Derting
 

This Week’s Reads:

The Assassin’s Curse♦♦
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Between You & Me♦♦
by Marisa Calin
vN♦♦
by Madeline Ashby

I had another good week! I might be on a roll. *crosses fingers* I really liked Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses and Darth Vader and Son. I’ll have to write short reviews for the blog.

This week, I’m rereading Between You & Me, because I need to write a review of it. I enjoyed it the first time around, and I’m sure I will the second time, too. I’m hoping to have my review up by the middle of the week, as the book releases this week.

This week should also be just as busy as last week on the blog, so keep checking back, or subscribe to me. I’ll have some reviews, #OlympicReadathon updates, and more blabbering on my attempt at Camp NaNo’s August session.

Review books received from:
The Wild Princess: William Morrow & Company and Edelweiss
The Assassin’s Curse: Strange Chemistry & NetGalley
Between You & Me: Bloomsbury USA & NetGalley
vN: Angry Robot & NetGalley

Thank you! ♥

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

– leeanna