Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bookish Discussion: The End of NaNoWriMo

At the end of October I made a post discussing NaNoWriMo. This was my first year participating and I went in to it with starry eyed wonder and limitless possibilities by the time I finished my feelings were rather different.
How'd You Do?
Well...not very well is the short answer. I tried to write every day but between Thanksgiving and getting my bar review course books I was a bit distracted and missed a few days. Also, I've found that I usually averaged 800-1000 words a day (way under the required 1,667). I can't write many more words without getting sidetracked. I ended up with a little over 25,000 words written by the end of the month.
What'd You Learn?
I actually learned quite a bit about my own writing preferences. I can't sit at a computer screen for hours and I have to think about a scene a few times before I can successfully write it out. I also learned that I like to re-read and edit yesterdays work before moving on to today's writing. Because of this I wasn't really suited for NaNo. NaNo is set up so that writers get words on a page, it doesn't matter if the words are good or bad so long as they make it to the page. I'm not that kind of writer, I have to carefully think out sentences then craft and re-craft them.
Would You Do It Again?
I don't think so. I had fun interacting with other writers on message boards but NaNo isn't conducive to my style of writing. I think it's a fun program and it can give writer's that extra motivation to get started but motivation is one thing I don't lack. So my short answer is probably not, but next year I might just change my mind again and give it a go. Who knows!
Tell Me How You Did!
If you participated in NaNoWriMo let me know in the comments how you did and what your experience was like. If you wrote a post about NaNo leave a link so I can check it out.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Captive by Aimee Carter & Audiobook Sample

Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ Audible

Captive was a surprising sequel. When I began reading I thought I knew what was going to happen but then everything was turned on its head and I was genuinely surprised with the turn of events. This was my favorite thing about Captive; I never knew where the story was going to take me.

In my review of Pawn I said that Kitty was likable and fun to read about because her views of the world were constantly changing and I didn’t know what she would do next. In Captive she became somewhat less likeable. Kitty was constantly putting herself in the worst situations and endangering the lives of those round her. Her actions didn’t make sense so I had a hard time believing the events of the story.

Then there was Lennox Creed which is without a doubt the most badass character name I’ve read all year. I really liked him in the first book but in this installment Knox became even more secretive, manipulative, and I couldn’t understand his motivations. I think Kitty was right to question his actions. I just wish that the questions she had asked led to more answers.

Readers will be happy to know that there is no love triangle in this novel. Kitty is very serious about her boyfriend Benjy who gets a little more page time in Captive. But once again I didn’t care all that much about the love between Kitty and Benjy because I didn’t get to know Benjy. He was more of an idea than a real character.

Overall, Captive was a good, but not great, sequel. Despite surprising me a few times a lot of this story felt like something I’d read before. I think that’s the problem with dystopian stories in this market, everything, even if it is original, has a similar tone so it feels the same. Despite the familiarity though I will be reading the third book in this trilogy because I want to know what happens to Kitty, Knox, and the Blackcoats.

Audiobook Sample

Thursday, November 27, 2014

3 Year Blogiversary Celebration + Giveaway!

It just so happens that this year my Blogiversary falls on Thanksgiving and I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for!

When I first began this blog I didn't think it would last. I thought, like all my other hobbies, it would fall by the wayside and I would have long forgotten about it. But as it turns out this is the hobby I stuck with and I am so glad I did!

Through this blog I have interviewed some truly talented and amazing authors, met so many fun and fabulous bloggers and fangirled over so many books! I couldn't imagine not blogging. So here is to another three years! 
Because no Blogiversary is complete without a giveaway I am giving away your choice of any book that I have reviewed over the last three years! To give you an idea here is the list of novels! There are over 250 reviews! (This giveaway is International so if the book depository ships to your country you can enter).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top 10 Books on my Winter TBR List

These are all the books I hope to get to this winter better known as the TBR short list! It's a combination of review books and books I've been wanting to get to for a while. Hopefully I can stick to it and get all of these read!

1 Winterspell by Claire Legrand
2 The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
3 I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

4 Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
5 For Real by Alison Cherry 

6 Robin in the Hood by Diane Reed
7 Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
8 The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

9 The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
10 Sublime by Christina Lauren

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stacking The Shelves 125

Week In Review
Review: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
10 Sequels I Can't Wait to Read
Bookish Discussion: In Which I Reconsider Book Ratings 2.0
Exquisite Captive Blogger Caravan + Relay Giveaways
New on the Shelf
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark (Thanks Macmillian!)
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Marie Antionette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser (Thanks Nana!)
Robin In The Hood by Diane J. Reed (Thanks Diane!)
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith (Thanks Simon & Schuster!)
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper (Thanks Little Brown!)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Exquisite Captive Blogger Relay + Giveaway

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Blogger Caravan! Each day a different blogger is giving away a hardback copy of Exquisite Captive courtesy of Balzer + Bray. All of you will have 24 hours to enter today's giveaway. For a full list of bloggers and upcoming events check here the caravan will be running through December 4th so if this is your first stop there are still many chances to win!

The winner of yesterdays giveaway from Great-Imaginations is Tiffany Webb! 

 Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?
Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ B&N ♥ My Review
US Only
Giveaway ends at Midnight EST 11/21
 Winner will be announced at The Quirky Reader on the 24th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In Which I Reconsider Book Ratings 2.0

Last year I did a post about reconsidering book ratings. I often have to get reviews up so quickly that I don't know if I will remember a book after a couple months. I may have rated a novel 4 stars when it was really a 5. Or a book I read during a blog tour and thought was a 3 was really more of a 2. So once a year I've decided to reconsider books ratings and today is that day!
Moving up to 5 Stars Status
I've recommended this book to so many people. It is witty, smartly written, and felt so real. I'm not even sure why I originally gave it 4 stars, it is definitely a 5! If it's not on your TBR list add it now!

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 was because of length. It was short and I wanted more. But isn't that what books are supposed to do, leave you wanting more? I could have just curled up in this world White created and stayed a while. I think that is reason enough to give it 5 stars!
Moving up from 3 to 4 Stars
I rated this 3 stars because I actually wish it had been told chronological order. Now, with some distance, I can safely say the writing alone demands 4 stars.
Moving Down from 4 to 3 Stars
At the beginning of my review I said there are a lot of reasons Avalon and I shouldn't have clicked (space stuff, undefined characters, too much action etc.) and now I'm remembering all those reasons. I think I was being a little heavy handed giving this 4 stars, it was more of a 3, especially since I don't have any desire to read the sequel.
Moving Down from 3 to 2 Stars
This book was entirely set up for the next book in this dulogoy and now that Strange Chemistry is defunct I'm not sure it will ever be finished *Sigh*. I do so love The Assassin's Curse series by the same author though!
In Summary
This has become one of my favorite posts of the year. I have truly been looking forward to it! This frees me up to change ratings, which I find really helpful on blogs and goodreads, but have trouble sticking to.

Let me know in the comments

  • Do you ever go back and change ratings?
  • Do you find ratings helpful on blogs/goodreads?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait To Read

Monday, November 17, 2014

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Edited By Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Edited By: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

I am not usually one for anthologies but My True Love Gave to Me might just have changed my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this short story collection!

My favorite thing about this collection was that they all had to do with the holiday season. It was fun to see how each author interpreted the holidays.

The short stories contained in this anthology are:
1 Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
2 The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
3 Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena
4 Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
5 It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
7 Krampuslauf by Holly Black
8 What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
9 Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
10 Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
11 Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
12 The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 

While I enjoyed each of these stories I thought Midnights by Rainbow Rowell, The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link, It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins, and Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White to be standouts. 

Midnights is about two best friends and how they celebrate New Years and what happens when they both go to college and reunite again on New Years. It was painfully cute and poignant in the way Rainbow Rowell always is. 

The Lady and the Fox was my first introduction to Kelly Link and it was definitely a good one. The story reminded me of The Nutcracker, it had that magical Christmas feeling.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown was also painfully cute while dealing with tough issues like hoarding and familial abandonment. I love Stephanie Perkins style of writing; she immediately draws me in and makes me love her characters and this story was no exception!

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White was the only story in the anthology to make me cry. It wasn’t big tears it was the happy kind of tears but I never cry so it really surprised me. The story was about wanting to move far away and realizing the place you’re trying so desperately to leave is home.

Overall, I enjoyed this collection of short stories. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday read look no further!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stacking The Shelves 124

Week In Review
Review: Almost Demon by AJ Salem
Blogger Book Fair: Kimberly Gould
Blogger Book Fair: Patricia Lynne
Blogger Book Fair: K. Ferrin
Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron Deleted Scenes Blog Tour + Giveaway
Blogger Book Fair: Emma Adams
Blogger Book Fair: Diantha Jones 
Captive by Aimee Carter Blog Tour + Giveaway
Zeroboxed by Fonda Lee
Dancing With Molly by Lena Horowtiz
Out Of Control by Sarah Alderson 
A Work Of Art by Melody Maysonet

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas
99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Finding Paris by Joy Preble
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley