Monthly Archives: June 2013

Stacking the Shelves (8)

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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Ten Tiny Breaths — K.A. Tucker
Taste Test — Kelly Fiore

Just two ARCs this week. I didn’t come across any good Kindle deals and I’m trying to save some book money to hit up Kinokuniya when I go to Tokyo later next month (I am CRAVING a bookstore with um, ENGLISH books, lol. Sadly the closest one is a 3 hour train ride away ;__;)

Have you read either of these? I’m almost done with Ten Tiny Breaths and… I’m not impressed.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read so far in 2013

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

So at the start of 2013 I had decided that this was THE YEAR OF READING or something like that. And now I’m up to 56 books and the year is only half over. I’ve read A LOT of really amazing books, and I’m proud to say that I’m even branching out a bit! Picking my top 10 was super easy because there have honestly been a lot of great books, but only a few have made the ‘mind blowing’ cut. So here are my top 10 books that I’ve read this past year. I HIGHLY recommend them ALL!

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Anna and the French Kiss — Stephanie Perkins
This book has ALL. THE. FEELS. omg and it was the inspiration for my current novel!

Mind Games — Kiersten White
I know that this book has gotten a lot of negative reviews, but I thought it was amazing. I loved the prose and the flashbacks. I loved the sisters and how fucked up everything was. I can’t wait for the next one!!!

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Clockwork Princess — Cassandra Clare
Best read of the year HANDS DOWN. Best end of to a series EVER. I basically sobbed hysterically through the last like. 100 pages. So many emotions. If I think about it too much I STILL tear up.

Golden — Jessi Kirby
My first Jessi Kirby book and I was blown away. The story, the writing. Everything was perfect and beautiful.

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Monument 14 — Emmy Laybourne
Amazing end-of-the-world survival book. Great characters and gripping story! So much love for this book, and Max!!! Never have I read such an amusing young child in a book before, oh god.

Dangerous Girls — Abigail Haas
I read this week ago and I STILL can’t wrap my head around the ending. Mind-fucking-blowing.

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Fangirl — Rainbow Rowell
Emergency Kanye Dance Party. Need I say more?

Also Known As — Robin Benway
A sassy, witty, HILARIOUS teenage spy?!?! Maggie is my new FAVORITE YA heroine.

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Through the Ever Night — Veronica Rossi
Such an amazing follow up to UNDER THE NEVER SKY. I am DYING for the next one now!!!

Smart Girls Get What They Want — Sarah Strohmeyer
This book was SO much fun. I loved the friendships, the humor, the families… just everything.

Have you read any of these? Were they top favs too???

Stacking the Shelves (7)

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown — Holly Black
The Boy on the Bridge — Natalie Standiford

PHYSICAL ARCS!!!

My friend Melissa sent me ARC’s from BEA! So freaking excited to have them 😀 Thank you so much Mel!!!

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The Edge of Falling — Rebecca Serle
Open Minds — Susan Kaye Quinn
The Weight of Water — Sarah Crossan

eARCS 😀 I’m really excited about THE EDGE OF FALLING. I’m not sure why OPEN MINDS was up for ARC because it’s already out… but figured I’d give it a try. And I’m a bit iffy on THE WEIGHT OF WATER since I didn’t like Crossan’s ‘BREATH’ series… but it sounds interesting.

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Dragonfly — Leigh Talbert Moore
Walk the Right Road BOXSET — Lorhainne Eckhart
Sanctum — Sarah Fine
Some Girls Are — Courtney Summers

And I did one final comb-through on the Amazon summer sale and grabbed a few more eBooks along with the WALK THE RIGHT ROAD box set FOR FREE.

So yay! More books for me to get around to reading ~someday~ hahaha. I AM reading THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN right now and o.m.g I love it!!!

Through the years~

I was recently checking out my Goodreads Stats page and was floored by the amount of books I have (and haven’t) read. I was also really amused to look back at the books that I’d added and rated. I know that I’ve read WAY more books than this thing says, but back in 2008-2010 I wasn’t really THAT into using Goodreads (not like now where I check it every day, update as I read, and keep track of ALLLLLLL the books) so I’m not sure how terribly accurate it is… but I thought the numbers were fun to look at.

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High School

I have no idea how many books I read in high school… I used to read so much that the library actually ran out of books for me to read. I read allllll of the horse books (when I was into horses) Baby Sitters Club, Sweet Valley… then I moved onto the adult section where I read all of the Sci-fi books they had to offer. I read ALL the Star Wars books. And then I got into the Kushiel’s series and Chuck Palahniuk. So let’s just say… I started with this. I kept reading all of that through university. I was a creative writing major so reading pretentious literature was a MUST.

I need to make a note that I WAS (and still am) a huge Harry Potter fan. I read and loved all of those. But that was about as ‘young adult’ as I got until my last year of University, 2007, when I went crazy for Twilight. And I mean NUTS. I blame the whole ‘moving to Japan’ thing.

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2008: 23 Books

I had just returned to the USA from my first year in Japan and was having horrible reverse culture shock… so I buried myself in books. After returning to the States I went back to my bookstore job where it lasted until early 2009. The store closed (signaling the fall of Borders) and I’d already decided to go back to Japan to work. During my second time working there though I went CRAZY for Young Adult fiction and was basically the expert of that section. I can’t even tell you how many copies of Twilight or City of Bones I sold. This was also when Hunger Games was getting started. I had a hand in pushing that as well. I read basically anything I  could get my hands on in that section, but mainly stuck with paranormal. I did get into Sarah Dessen thanks to my sister… but that’s as far into the contemporary genre I’d go.

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2009: 5 books

Sadly I believe this one. I’d just moved back to Japan, was busy getting settled into my new job. I’d met a guy who would later become my husband and I was focused on things other than books. I tried to keep up with some of the things that I’d been reading before I left… but it was hard. Especially with the lack of English bookstores. There is a big one in Tokyo, and I used to go there a lot, but the books were expensive. I also announced on twitter that I’d quit reading before getting an eReader. Well… I basically did quit reading that year.

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2010: 10 books

Somehow I picked up the pace! I think I probably went to the USA for a trip and stopped at a bookstore on the way. Sadly, I wasn’t reading much. I was still reading young adult, but according to my goodreads shelf, I was still not 100% YA only at this point. I was also starting to REALLY feel the lack of books in my life…

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2011: 24 books

And then I got a Kindle. And effectively dove into Young Adult paranormal and dystopian! Looking at my goodreads shelf the only contemporary that I’d read was Sarah Dessen.

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2012: 30 books

And by 2012 I was back to my bookworm, booknerd self. I was reading on the train to and from work, reading at home on my days off and just enjoying books again. I didn’t have that much money (between getting married, moving to Tokyo and changing jobs I was pretty broke) so I wasn’t able to keep up with the new releases as much as I’d wanted to… but I did pretty well.

So now… it’s 2013 and the year is literally more than half over and I’ve read up to 55 books! How did I do it? Well… I moved from Tokyo, where I had friends and lots of things to do, to this tiny little village near the ocean where I don’t know anyone other than my husband and my coworkers and my days off are Tuesday/ Thursday. Even if I wanted to make friends who am I going to make friends with? EVERYONE IS WORKING. So I hang out by myself and read my books. And I don’t even care. I’ve found book blogging and ARCs and I enjoy the thrill of reading a book in a day and I’VE DISCOVERED MORE THAN JUST YA PARANORMAL AND DYSTOPIAN. I’m nowhere near where I was back in high school (and don’t even have any interest in reading high fantasy or pretentious literature) but I’m reading lots more contemporary and just… trying new things.

How have your reading habits changed over the years?

Dangerous Girls

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Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis: It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined…

Review: Oh. My. Fucking. God. I don’t even know where to start with this book. I read it in A DAY. I started reading it during dinner while my husband was doing his own thing and then after dinner he started watching TV and I kept reading… and reading… and I had like 5% left and it was getting LATE and I was brushing my teeth and got to the end and just… I had to stop what I was doing… toothpaste dripping down my chin because WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ENDING DID I JUST READ THAT RIGHT OH MY GOD WHERE IS SOMEONE I NEED TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT THIS but noone has read this so now I need to make my friends read this because HOLY. SHIT.

I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, and honestly, I don’t even remember why I requested this book… guess I was in the mood for some contemporary fiction. Well well well. This book took me on a roller-coaster  A group of teens on spring break in Aruba… one of them is murdered, they’re all questioned, two are prime suspects. One gets off because his family basically buys him a free pass and the other, the narrator of the novel, has to stay in jail and go to trial.

The story is told from Anna’s point of view, but it alternates between before vacation when they were back in school, during vacation before the murder, and after the murder when she’s in jail or court. There are also sections that are transcripts from TV shows, 911 calls, questionings and testimonies. This was SO much fun to read and I kept picturing the entire book like an episode of Law & Order (or any variety of that show that you please)

The story of Anna and her best friend, the girl who got killed, is intense. And deep. And a bit twisted. And you can’t help but feel awful for poor Anna through the entire thing. Her friends turn on her, she’s lost her best friend, her boyfriend abandoned her… it’s just a hot mess. And the detective taking care of the case just has it out for her. Then one of her friends just flat out betrays her and lies under oath.

But things are not as they seem and suddenly the end twists around and kicks you in the face and punches you in the kidneys and laughs at you and you’re left standing there in the middle of the night with a toothbrush in one hand, a kindle in the other, and toothpaste dripping down your chin as your brain struggles to deal with what it just absorbed  The ending is just THAT out of left field. It’s so out of left field that it probably came in through the right side and walked around for a bit before going left and coming out at you. INSANE.

I went to bed trying to churn everything together and I want to read it again SO badly now that I know how it ends. I want to see it all from a different perspective. I DREAMED about the damn thing and then kept thinking about it the next day. I’m STILL floored by what I read. I NEED SOMEONE TO READ THIS AND TALK TO ME NOW OKAY. Ah so good. I love books like this. So go read!!!!

I received an ARC of Dangerous Girls from Edelweiss and wrote this honest review to say thank you!!!

The Sight Seer

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Title: The Sight Seer
Author: Melissa Giorgio
Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis: Gabi Harkins likes to think she’s a pretty normal sixteen-year-old. She goes to school, suffers though an awful part-time job, and deals with a bratty younger sister. But when a potential shoplifter morphs into a monster right in front of her, Gabi realizes her life is far from normal—especially when that monster follows her home and ends up battling a boy wielding a sword in her backyard.

The boy, Rafe Fitzgerald, is a member of Silver Moon, an organization devoted to eradicating demons before they kill humans. If this little bit of news isn’t earth-shattering enough, Rafe reveals that he needs Gabi’s help. As strong as Rafe is, he does not possess the Sight—a rare ability that allows a hunter to See through a demon’s glamour, enabling them to strike before the demon does. But guess who does?

While Gabi is reluctant to face another demon, she knows she owes Rafe big time for saving her. Together, they’re thrown headfirst into heart-stopping situations as they battle newer and more frightening demons. When she starts to fall for Rafe, Gabi knows her normal life is gone forever.

Review: Where do I even begin with this? I am trying SO HARD not to write a biased review guys… so just believe me. I actually HATE reading books that my friends wrote because I’m always worried ‘what if I hate it’. Then I worry ‘what if I love it and nobody believes me because I’m friends with the author?!’ Well… let me tell you, THERE IS NO BIAS HERE. I loved this book and I will not lie. Sure there were moments of predictability, but that comes with the territory of MOST fiction. While I love books that have gut-wrenching twists… it is nice to have fun books that leave you just plain happy.

And this book does just that. Average girl, cute boy, monsters, kissing and SO MUCH SASS YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE SASS. I fucking LOVE Gabi. She has SO much sass, I was cracking up and quoting her and just I CANNOT get over her. I loved her voice. LOVED IT. And I loved her choices. I loved her flaws, and her way of thinking. I would totally be friends with her. She had me at ‘I work at a Texas themed convenience store called the Convenience Corral’. And then when she went and knocked over a display of chips. HILARIOUS.

When Gabi faces down demons, secret organizations, and a dwindling wardrobe (because the cute guy who is slaying the demons and working for the secret organization keeps getting demon blood on her clothes and RUINING THEM) she does it with spunk. She doesn’t run away and hide or cry. She doesn’t become a target and she doesn’t fall into any of the damsel in distress tropes. She is a fighter, and just looks at the situation and says ‘ew, but okay, lets do this shit’.

Months ago I publicly announced that I thought Rafe was a dumb name for a character. I didn’t know that Melissa had USED the name and effectively stuck my foot in my mouth and down my throat. I still hold true to that though, not a fan of the name. But maybe that’s because all of the other Rafe’s I’ve read about SUCK. This Rafe HE MADE ME CRY. Yes, I was sitting at work and Rafe is being all sincere because EVERYTHING he says just makes you want to hug him and be like WHO ARE YOU?! HOW ARE YOU SO ADORABLE?! but yeah. Real tears happened.

And Chloe, Gabi’s sister… omfg she IS MY SISTER. I am just secretly wondering if she was modeled off my own sister. WHAT A LITTLE BRAT. She was such a real character to me, and I just loved the family dynamic so much.

I also loved Gabi’s friends. It’s so refreshing when the side characters also don’t fall into the standard cliche’s that most friends fall into in the YA genre. Penny and Harrison and Evan were all so well rounded and I just felt like I knew them. I’ve been friends with people like them before. I’ve had dumb fights with girls and had to deal with hot guys who are full of themselves.

Characters aside… there were some things that I did NOT see coming and like I said, there are moments of predictability, but then there are things just just blew me out of the water. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERS. And the demons! THEY ARE SO FREAKY. I loved the descriptions of them and the creepy ass names that Gabi gave them. I also like the set up of Silver Moon. We get enough information that we can understand, but there is still SO MUCH MORE to be learned.

And THE ENDING OMFG HOW CAN IT JUST END LIKE THAT. WHO WAS ON THE PHONE?! HOW COULD HE DO THAT. AHHHH! I need the sequel NOW!!!!!

I would also like to note that I basically read this in less than 24 hour. COULD. NOT. PUT. IT. DOWN.

Stacking the Shelves (6)

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Bought

The Sight Seer — Melissa Giorgio
Also Known As — Robin Benway
Obsession — Jennifer L. Armentrout
In the Shadow of Blackbirds — Cat Winters
Going Vintage — Lindsay Leavit
False Memory — Dan Krokos

SO MANY AMAZON SALES!!! Everything was $2.99 or less (most only .99)

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ARC

Ghost Time — Courtney Eldridge

Only one ARC this week… the luck is not with me. But that’s okay, I have SO many other things to read.

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

New Release: THE SIGHT SEER

a3It’s here!!!! OMFG IT IS HERE!!!!!!!! The debut novel from my VERY GOOD FRIEND Melissa Giorgio IS FINALLY HERE!!! 

Y’all can go buy it NOW in ebook format on Amazon for 2.99. If you want the paperback you’ll have to wait a few more weeks… but when that’s available I will let you all know, I promise!!!

Also PLEASE add it to your GOODREADS shelves! And recommend it to your friends! You can also become Melissa’s friend/fan on goodreads here. She ALSO has really amazing taste in books (we share A LOT of recs with each other) so she’ll be fun to follow (once they approve her page).

And if you want to wait until next week and take a gamble at my giveaway then go here and enter! It’s open for FOUR MORE DAYS.

Finally I would just like to just say HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY MELISSA! I’ve known you for A MILLION YEARS and we somehow managed to survive a week in Tokyo together (nobody got lost, injured or sick! hahahaha). You’ve shared AMAZING book recommendations with me over the years, inspired my own (yet unpublished) writing, and someday we DO need to either finish our book or write a new one.

So everyone please go pick up your copy, read it, enjoy (LOOK FOR MY NAME IN THE VERY END IN THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OMG I CRIED WHEN I READ THAT PART)!!!!!!!

Parasite

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Title: Parasite

Author: Mira Grant

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

Review: I received this ARC from Netgalley and I’m writing this honest review to say THANK YOU!

I first heard about this book from a friend and decided to give this a try. This was my first Mira Grant book and I’m SO glad that I gave her a chance. I’ve heard all about her Newsflesh series, but being terrified (legitimately AFRAID) of zombies I’ve always been wary of trying them. Now I might have to re-think that.

So I picked up this book and holy WOW what a breath of fresh air. I LOVE YA, dystopian, end-of-the-world shit AND I love happy ALL THE FEELS contemporary romance. But it was so nice to get away from the teenage/high school drama for a bit. It was also nice to NOT have a story about falling in love. I LOVED that Sal and Nathan were already a couple, committed, and had been together for so long.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED all of the dog action! Omfg puppies EVERYWHERE! Doggies and doggies galore! I’m a HUGE dog lover and living abroad makes it hard for me to keep a pet and I miss my own dog so much IT HURTS. So having dogs in this book was such a nice touch. And they were SAFE dogs that didn’t serve as a way to break my heart (no puppy deaths here!)

The writing in this was SO GOOD too. This was one of those rare times when I REALLY wished I had a physical ARC over an eARC because I kept wanting to flip back and forth between the interviews, book entries, and suicide note that were between the chapters. Those were so well done and so interesting and I really want to just go through and re-read them all without the chapters between to experience the full article. Because man, those were GOOD.

Now onto the creepy stuff… WORMS. EW. SO MUCH EW. I hate worms and snakes and anything that slithers and slimes. I’ve always been scared of getting some type of parasitic worm and just. Ew ew ew. That said… for some reason I kept reading this WHILE EATING. I don’t get it either. This was very Fringe-y for me (I LOVED that show) and made me think of the episode where they had a crazy worm that lived in people’s stomach. Oh man, just so much grossness. And I loved it.

Rating this book was hard because I wanted to give it a 5, but there were moments when I just didn’t agree with what was going on. I felt that some of the foreshadowing was WAY too heavy and despite knowing what was really going to happen I wanted it SO BADLY NOT TO. I also couldn’t help but compare the ‘sleepwalkers’ with zombies. I know that the worms were taking over the bodies and ‘hijacking’ the humans inside, but it still was a bit too zombiei-ish for me.

There were also times when I just didn’t like the interaction between Sal and her family. I get that Sal lost her memories and has the living experience of a 6 year old, but sometimes when she was interacting with her family I just didn’t understand how they could act/talk to her the way they did. There’s one part where her father does something HORRIBLE to her and I was just so upset with it! And I just didn’t understand why they were being that way towards her.

Overall I loved it though and I can’t WAIT for the next book. It sucks that I’m going to have to wait a really, really really long time though. SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!!! Ah. Anyway, check this out!

Why I DON’T WANT TO read Game of Thrones

I cannot count how many times I’ve tried to talk about Game of Thrones with someone to have them tell me ‘the book is better’. Or that I should ‘read the book’.

Guess what everyone. I DON’T WANT TO.

I could have read these books YEARS ago and I chose not to. CHOSE not to. I worked in a bookstore for 2 years. I used to be HUGE into epic fantasy, high fantasy, dragons, magic, wizards you name it. I didn’t want to read Harry Potter BECAUSE I thought it was too lame compared to the AMAZING things I was reading. I had a work-friend who tried for TWO YEARS to get me to read A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (and this was a true read-them-before-there-was-even-the-IDEA-for-a-TV-show book fan) and I was just like nope, don’t want to. 

So when the TV show came out I didn’t watch the first season until the second season came out. Everyone was NUTS for it and I was over here all ‘pffff, please, couldn’t care less’. But then idek why, I was bored or something, and I decided to watch it. I LOVED IT. The TV show was SO FUN to watch. So bloody and sexy and witty and I just fell for it. Blew through the first two seasons and then was sad it was over.

After that what did I do? I bought A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE and read about 50 pages before I was all ‘fuck this I HATE multiple POV this is annoying I have better things to read’. 

So I quit and read a million other books because I LOVE YA FICTION OKAY. And if you think that this makes me a bad person or puts me below you in some way… then just really. REALLY. How are we friends?

I tried to read it again later this year and got to about page 300 when I just… really couldn’t handle the multiple POV again. Guys, I cannot stand it. Either write form first person or third. I will tolerate alternating, but omfg there are TOO MANY POVS. So I shelved it and probably wont go back to it.

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Along came season 3 and for some reason ALL of the people who READ THE BOOKS BETWEEN SEASONS were the biggest fan OF THE BOOKS and supreme EXPERTS. Everyone was all ‘oh I knew that was going to happen’ or ‘omg that was NOT like it was in the book D: I demand a refund!’ and I couldn’t even cry over the deaths of my own favorites because anytime I’d open my mouth about it the ~book fans~ would get up on their high horses and look down at me and shake their head and make me feel like I am not qualified to enjoy a fucking TV show because I didn’t want to slog my way through thousands of pages of books that I CHOSE not to read.

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THEN the TV fans got all pissed off when there were ~spoilers~ all about. This makes NO sense to me because THESE BOOKS HAVE BEEN OUT SINCE THE 90’s. There are NO surprises. It’s like people watching Harry Potter now and being upset that someone tells them Dumbledore dies. IT’S PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. So while I would appreciate it if the book fans would get off their high horses, especially those who only read the books BECAUSE they got into the TV show, and simmer down, I would also like the TV fans to shut up about things like ~spoilers~. 

And I would REALLY like it if I could actually publicly enjoy this with people who also enjoy it without feeling like I’m not qualified to enjoy it AS MUCH as because I didn’t WANT to read the books.

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Stop judging me!

And just so I’m clear, I’m not saying that if you went out and read the books between seasons that you’re a bad person. READING IS AWESOME. And anything that makes people read more IS AWESOME. Elitism is NOT. And that’s what is annoying the hell out of me.

END RANT.