Monday, August 29, 2011

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

For the past week, I've been participating in the Bout of Books read-a-thon hosted by On a Book Bender. And I actually read quite a lot! So thanks to Amanda for hosting this awesome read-a-thon!

Here's all that I read:

- The last 40 pages of Le Concile de Pierre by Jean-Christophe Grange
- The last 85 pages of The Briar King by Greg Keyes
- The last 100 pages of Alvin Journeyman by Orson Scott Card
- The last 100 pages of Called Home: Two Hearts Answer by Gloria Schumann
- The last 130 pages of Second Wave by Anne McCaffrey
- Listened to 8 out of 17 hours of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Started and finished Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot

In total, that's 6 books finished, 721 pages read, and 8 hours of listening to an audiobook. Not bad for a week!

How did everyone else do?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giveaways Spotlight (3)

1. Bookhounds
1 ARC copy of You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark
Ends September 1 and is open internationally

Choose 1 book among 6
Ends September 10 and is open to US and Canada only

3. In Between Writing and Reading
4 books to someone from the US or Mexico and 1 book to someone international
Must be a follower or a member of The Young Adult Book Club on Goodreads to enter
Ends August 30

4. Pure Imagination
1 hardback copy of Dark Parties by Sara Grant and Possession by Elana Johnson
Open to US only
Ends September 16

5. Missy's Reads & Reviews
1 prize pack out of 6
You must be a follower to enter. Open internationally.
Ends September 4

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Future of Us

This is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that
spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Pre-order from the Book Depository
Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: 21 November 2011
Hardcover: 309 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. 
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. 
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. 
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.


First of all, I loved Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. I thought it was very well-constructed and well-written. Secondly, I'm a sucker for time travel. Any sort of time travel. Also, being someone who grew up during the time when the Internet became popular, I'm thinking that I will really connect with these characters. I already love the reference to the AOL CD in the summary. I remember getting those all the time! Seriously can't wait for this!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Follow Friday! (3)

It's that time of week again! I can't wait to discover new blogs and hop by some I already follow. :)

This week's Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

This is a tricky one! If I have to be in a book, I'd like it to be one where I can get out of my comfort zone and live a dream. So, I'd pick Harry Potter. I know a bunch of people will probably pick this, but I love those books! I can't tell you how many times I've wished for magic and Hogwarts to be real. Considering my personality, I'd probably play the role of a double agent. I know there's Snape, but I'm sure the good side could always use a second one. It'd be scary, but I think it'd fit my personality and talents.

Looking forward to reading everyone's answers! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Reviews Spotlight (1)

If you're like me, then you follow hundreds upon hundreds of blogs. Sometimes it can be overwhelming going through all the posts. For this feature, I would like to spotlight some thoughtful, well-written book reviews that I stumbled upon this week.

1. Within the Pages

2. Page Turners
Review of Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

3. ReaWrite
Review of Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

4. All About Me
Review of Ashes by Ilsa Bick

5. Sensual Ride (**Note from Reader's Refuge: ADULT CONTENT**)
Review of What A Demon Wants by Kathy Love

Happy Reading! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Mastiff

This is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that
spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Pre-order from The Book Depository
Title: Mastiff
Author: Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 25 October 2011 (Getting close!!!)

Summary (from Goodreads):
The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.  
Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Why Mastiff? Tamora Pierce is by far one of my favorite authors, and I love the Beka Cooper series. It's about the ancestor of George Cooper (my favorite Tamora Pierce character) and is ironic because Beka basically works in the medieval-version of law enforcement while George is a master thief. I loved the first book, Terrier. The second book, Bloodhound, I didn't like as much, but that's a common reaction for me with books in the middle of a series. I can't wait to see what challenges Beka has to go through next!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Leave a comment to let me know! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Do Nothing But Read Day Wrap-Up

Unfortunately, I had to do a lot of things besides reading yesterday. My little cousin came to visit and I took her to see the Smurfs. I fell asleep during the movie, but she loved it, so that's all that matters. However, I did make quite a bit of progress in my reading, so here it is:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - FINISHED!
I listened to this in audiobook format (about 47 hours long), so finishing this is an accomplishment. I had four hours left to go and and powered through. All in all, I enjoyed the book, though I'm not so sure I'll listen to such a long audiobook again.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - 150 pages read
Not so sure I like this novel and it's taking me awhile to finish. The fact that I know all this stuff isn't real is affecting my opinion of it. I'm definitely not liking it as much.

The Choir Boats by Daniel A. Rabuzzi - 50 pages
My current Netgalley read. I'm enjoying it overall, but there are aspects that could be better. I'll go into this more in my review once I'm done. :)

Did anyone else participate or just randomly decided to read all day yesterday? How did you do?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Series Review: Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

Author: Tamora Pierce
Books Included: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant
Publisher: Random House
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
The Song of the Lioness quartet is the adventurous story of one girl's journey to overcome the obstacles facing her, become a valiant knight, and save Tortall from conquest. Alanna douses her female identity to begin her training in Alanna: The First Adventure, and when she gains squire status in In the Hand of the Goddess, her growing abilities make her a few friends -- and many enemies. Books 3 and 4 complete Alanna's adventure and secure her legend, with the new knight errant taking on desert tribesmen in The Woman Who Rides like a Man and seeking out the powerful Dominion Jewel in Lioness Rampant.

A must-read for Pierce's loyal followers and a perfect starting point for readers not yet familiar with her work, this boxed set is fantasy writing at its best. Pierce's gifted writing -- and her knack for creating heroines unafraid to challenge the status quo -- shines brightly in this Lioness set, taking it to the highest ranks, just like Alanna herself. Shana Taylor
My Review:
These books are by far among my favorite. Pierce is so good at creating lovable characters and putting them in challenging situations. Unfortunately, I don't think we see enough of these sorts of novels today. Alanna is a strong, forceful character who actively finds solutions to her problems. If she doesn't like something or if she wants to do something, she finds a way to fix it and get her way. A lot of more recent young adult books that I've read have the main character moping and whining about how things are difficult, but these ones have the characters going out and doing something about it, which I love.

Really, what these books are about is following your dreams and helping your friends; two messages that can never be rated highly enough. All the characters are well-developed and lovable (even if you love to hate them). And these novels are written in such a way that you learn about them along with Alanna, so her friends become your friends and her enemies become your enemies. I have to say that George is my all-time favorite character. (Yes, I have a thing for master thieves. Don't judge ;P) I can never get enough of him in Pierce's novels.

Included in this series is a lot of humor, which is something else that I look for in a good young adult fantasy series. I cannot count how many times I've laughed out loud while reading this series and gotten weird looks from people around me.

What else can I say? If you haven't read this yet, go read it!

Overall Rating: 5/5