Monday, December 26, 2011

The reason I haven't been blogging lately...

Hi Everyone!!

OK, so as some of you might have noticed (or maybe not, with how busy you are!) I have not been posting nearly as often as I usually do.

This is because a couple of weeks ago I decided to get myself a puppy! Her name is Sophie and she is a Pekingese-Pomeranian mix. At 11 weeks old, she is extremely curious and full of puppy energy and she has definitely been keeping me busy. Because of this, I have not had much time to devote to reading and reviewing.



Now, before Sophie arrived home, my typical day went something like this:

10:00am: Wake up (nope, I'm not joking, I don't have to work until 4pm so I slept in a lot!)
10:30am: Take a shower and get dressed
11:00pm: Go to Starbucks, get coffee and read for a few hours
4:00pm: Go into work
9:30pm: Get home, read and blog for a couple hours

Things are a bit different with a puppy around! My typical day now is something like this (and also, I'm off work for a couple weeks, so this is without that added in!):

2:00am: Take Sophie out to potty
5:30am: Take Sophie out to potty again
8:00am: Take Sophie out... you guessed it! To potty again
8:10am: Get Sophie breakfast
8:25am: Take Sophie for a walk
9:00am: Put Sophie in kennel for a nap while I get ready for the day
10:00am: Play with Sophie
12:00pm: Get Sophie lunch
12:00-5:00pm: Couple more potty breaks and playing with naps in between
7:00pm: Get Sophie dinner, take outside, back in to chill out
10:00pm: Bedtime!


In between of course there is some down time to read, but it isn't like I can just hang out at Starbucks with a triple grande Caramel Brulee latte and read for hours on end like I used to. Plus, with the holidays, things have been even more hectic, so her schedule and mine has been messed up and she's been pretty fussy... I have had a dog before, but I am really trying to train and raise Sophie to be an awesome, happy dog, so when I do have time to read lately, it has been to read doggy training books, such as the following:




As you can see, I pretty much swear by Cesar Millan, AKA "The Dog Whisperer's" methods of doing things, and Sophie so far has been pretty good at following along! As we both get into more of a routine, I'm hoping to have more time to devote to reading and my blog, but I wanted to give all my lovely readers an update on what has been going on! And of course, I had to show you guys just how stinking CUTE she is! She is very well-behaved and even sat still long enough for me to take a few photos of her next to some ARCs :)

Haha, I think she was wondering, "Why is Mommy making me sit next to a stack of books?!" 

Hoping all of you are having a great holiday! And as always, Happy Reading :)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Silence

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Pages: 438
Read it in: 4 days
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Summary: The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

LC's Take:

So I definitely enjoyed Silence, the third book in Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series, much more than I did the second one. I think that what really made this book better was that the characters all had so much more depth and dimension to them, and I felt like they acted more realistically too.

The main plot twist in Silence is that Nora is suffering from amnesia-- she wakes up in a graveyard and has absolutely no recollection of the past five months, when she met Patch her fallen angel boyfriend and fell in love with him, or learned about the battle going on between the angels and Nephilim. Throughout the book, she struggles to remember what has happened, and then has to fight against the evil that is trying to destroy everything and everyone she loves.

I loved Nora Grey in this book. Honestly, I didn't feel connected to her at all in Crescendo, she came across as very immature and whiny, but I loved how in this book she becomes more responsible and take-charge. She refused to settle for being kept in the dark, and she was determined to get revenge on Hank at almost any cost. I guess you could say that her character went from being sort of wishy-washy to being pretty bad-ass! I think that this new, strong side of her builds up for when we find out what her destiny is at the end-- which I'm not going to reveal here, you'll just have to read it for yourself!

Patch, who we now know as Jev, could still be slightly irritating, just because he acts so mysterious and tries to keep things secret from Nora, but you can really see his desire to protect Nora and keep her out of harms way for as long as he can. My only complaint is that there wasn't enough of Patch in this book! I think this is why Hush, Hush is still my favorite book in the series, because it was all about Patch and Nora's relationship, whereas in the second and third books it becomes more of a sub-plot.

I guess the only thing that threw me off about this book was that I'm still not totally clear on where the main conflict lies between the three sides-- we have the Arch Angels, the Fallen Angels, and the Nephilim, who are the offspring of both humans and fallen angels. Now, as far as I can tell, the Nephilim are sort of like servants to the fallen angels, and they want to rebel against them. The fallen angels rebel against the arch angels. It's all a little complicated! I have to say what a lot of other readers have said, which is that aside from the relationship between Nora and Patch, it's difficult to become really invested in this story because it comes across as so convoluted. However, I still love these characters and the love story, so I am definitely looking forward to the last book in this series when it comes out!

~Cover Talk~

Love it! First of all, both models for Patch and Nora are gorgeous, and the scene is very romantic and dramatic at the same time. Personally, I like that these covers were done in black and white because it makes them unique and stand out from all the other YA book covers out there. Altogether, I think it's really breath-taking!

LC's Rating:
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We're really able to see some new sides to the characters in this installment of the Hush, Hush series, and the motives behind their actions are revealed. I think that the depth given to the characters along with an exciting and suspenseful plot are what made Silence such a great book!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!
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This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 24, 2012
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Summary: There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

~Why I'm Waiting~

OMGosh look at this book cover! I am so in love with it. I can't stop staring at it. Argh! Amazing. And then obviously the story sounds sooooo good, it reminds me of Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel-- a zombie steampunk adventure!! I'm all about it!

What is everyone else waiting on this week??


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: A Beautiful Dark

Author: Jocelyn Davies
Series: A Beautiful Dark #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 390
Read it in: 3 days
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Summary: On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites;like fire and ice;Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

LC's Take:

To be perfectly honest, this book was just OK for me; I just really wasn't a huge fan. I'm not sure if it's the genre, but sometimes I feel like if you've read one fallen angel book you've pretty much read them all. Now yes, there are some that are better than others, for example I loved Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick but then I wanted to hurl Fallen by Lauren Kate against a wall. A Beautiful Dark falls somewhere in between those two extremes for me.

The biggest let-down in this book for me was the characters. The plot was good, the pacing worked well, the suspense built up, and some of the writing was really good. But unfortunately, I thought that the character development was extremely lacking.

So, let's talk about the characters first since this is where I had the biggest issue. The main character is Skye Parker, who just turned seventeen. Skye's favorite food to get in the school cafeteria is a turkey sandwich and an apple. Why do I mention this, you ask? Well, because I think it sums her up in a nutshell-- she's sort of unremarkable and bland-- nice and appealing, but not terribly awesome or interesting. Like a turkey sandwich.

I know, I'm a freaking genius with the analogies.

So anyways, Skye is also good at skiing, she wants to go to Columbia or some Ivy League school, and she predictably becomes obsessed with the two new boys that move to her Colorado town, Asher and Devin. The one trait that I was not a fan of with Skye was that she was also extremely self-centered to the point of me wanting someone in the story to give her a nice swift kick in the pants.

(Oh yes, and sometimes her eyes turn into molten silver-- now that part? Not gonna lie, that was pretty freaking sweet.)

Then we have the two hunky boy interests, Asher and Devin, who are both very mysterious and apparently yum-a-licious. Asher is supposed to be the dark, brooding bad boy and Devin is the quiet, nice one. Once again, it's not that I didn't like these two characters but they just weren't very memorable. And what's more, even though we are told over and over again how completely different the two of them are, how they are polar opposites, there really wasn't anything that distinguished the one from the other in my opinion. Physically they looked different, but they were pretty much the same otherwise. Asher was more of a jerk I guess, but that's about it. And really, I wasn't buying Skye's relationship with either of them.

Cassie is Skye's best friend and holy crap, was she annoying. OK so this is the part where I take a moment to rant about an irritating YA cliche known as "The Annoying Best Friend/Sidekick." I really get tired of air-headed BFFs in YA books who get all their wisdom from Cosmo and can't walk 5 five steps without drooling over some guy. And Cassie was no exception-- she was incredibly ditzy, boy-crazy and did I mention annoying? It's almost as though we're supposed to compare the main character to this chick and think, "Wow! Skye is like so much smarter! Skye wants to go to an Ivy League school and Cassie is a brain-dead idiot!" Yep, not buying it. Skye wasn't much of a smartypants either, so unfortunately, making the main character's best friend dumb as dirt really doesn't make the main character look like an Einstein in comparison.

Finally, Dan and Ian were sort of just thrown into the mix as Skye and Cassie's guy friends to bring in some more romance and drama.They were more of a side-note than anything else it seemed.

So onto the wonderful Love Quadrangle-- oh yes, you heard me right! There is not ONE, not TWO, but THREE guys all hopelessly vying for the lovely Skye's attention in this novel. We've got Asher and Devin, two otherworldly celestial beings, and then there was poor Ian who pretty much doesn't stand a chance with Skye because-- well, because he's ordinary. And honestly, this kind of bugged me. (Oh crap here comes another rant, watch out.) Skye was completely obsessed with both Asher and Devin, going back and forth ad nauseum about who she liked more, even though she just met them and knows almost nothing about either of them. And then with Ian-- who by the way has been her best friend since forever and really cares about her-- she completely ignores him and is just like, "Oh good for him for finally finding a nice girl who actually gives him the time of day!" Aaaand... that's the last we hear about him. I really felt bad for Ian.

Fortunately, the plot and the ending are what made this book work for me. Joceleyn Davies is one serious story-teller, that is for darned sure! I don't want to give anything away, but I really did love the overall story about who Skye really is and what her powers are, and who is good and bad-- I could have done without all the high school drama, but honestly, the last 4-5 chapters totally had me on the edge of my seat, and the ending was a major cliff hanger that just had me dying to get my hands on the sequel!

The book did a fabulous job of building up the mystery and suspense to the plot-- pretty much nothing major is revealed about who Asher and Devin are until around page 175, and since I had not read any reviews about this book before picking it up, I had no clue what was going to happen. I won't give too much away here, but I personally liked the slower build up before revealing the main plot twist. While some aspects of this book were a bit predictable, I really enjoyed not knowing right away what was going to happen.

In the end-- even though the characters really did nothing for me and I thought that some parts were slightly cliche-- I did enjoy reading A Beautiful Dark. If there had been some greater character development, I would say that this was actually a really good book. Unfortunately, some things did fall flat. I would recommend this one to any angel book lovers out there, and to anyone who loves those tricky love triangles, because this one has tons!

~Cover Talk~

This cover is absolutely stunning, I am just in love with it! The model's pose is very graceful and I love how the white of the dress stands out against the dark, stormy sky behind her. This scene is actually depicted in the book too, which I thought was pretty cool. I also love the title font-- the hardcover edition is in a beautiful, raised print that is silvery iridescent-- another major part that comes into play in the book! Finally, I really liked the chapter numbers, which laid one font on top of another and had angel wings on either side. This was a beautiful and interesting detail that just adds to the overall gorgeous design of the book!

LC's Rating:
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I enjoyed the mystery and suspense of A Beautiful Dark. Unfortunately, where I thought this book fell a little flat was in the characters-- even though we are told repeatedly things about them, we're never shown those things in their dialogue or actions. More showing and less telling would have made this book stand out more for me! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

LC's 1,000 Follower Giveaway: And the winners are...

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Hey there everyone! So my 1,000 Follower Giveaway is finished now, and it was so much fun to have all of you guys enter to win. Altogether, I had 416 people enter, which included almost 3,500 total entries!! Two lucky winners were picked at random from Random.org, and here they are:

~First Place Winner~
Receives the book prize pack of their choice!

#2488 = Tiffany M. @Tiff_Mahaffy
who chose:
Mermaid Prize Pack: Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon, Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs and Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

~Second Place Winner~
Receives one book in the prize pack of their choice!

#1581 = Savanna @ Sucked Into Books
who chose:
Mythology Prize Pack: Starcrossed by Josephine Angeline, Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs or The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Also, here are the results from the choices of prize packs-- Dystopian and Mythology definitely were the most popular!!
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Congratulations to the winners, I will be sending you an email notification. And thank you so much to all of you who entered, I definitely appreciate all of your support. Please be sure to check out my latest giveaway, which is part of the 2011 Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop! You can click the button in my sidebar, or I will post it here below as well-- GOOD LUCK!! :)
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 2011 Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop!

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And there are a whole bunch of book bloggers getting ready for the holidays with some awesome giveaways! This year I am participating in the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop, hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Kid Lit Frenzy. Also, if you want to go back to the linky list for this Hop at any time, just click on the Hop Image above!

~What You Can Win!~

I am giving everyone the choice between FIVE different books. Here they are! There are links below to their Goodreads summaries if you are interested...
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Eve by Anna Carey
Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

~The Rules~

1.) You MUST be a follower of LC's Adventures in Libraryland to be eligible!
2.) There will by ONE winner
3.) Winner will get their choice of ONE of the books above
4.) Giveaway ends on December 6 at 11:59PM EST
5.) Winner will be chosen at random from Random.org
6.) Winner will be notified by email on December 7th. They will have 48 hours to respond
7.) Yes, this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! It is open to anywhere that The Book Depository ships
8.) You may get up to 4 entries if you choose-- see the form for details

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed...
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