Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Look Back At January


KINDLY Taken FROM JAMIE AT THE PERPETUAL PAGE-TURNER

IMAGE FROM January

Taken at the LA Zoo


January In One Word
Business

5 THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN January:

1. Rang In The New Year at Disney's California Adventure
2. My Baby BIL Ryan Visited Us For The Weekend
3. We Visited The LA Zoo (Ryan's 1st Time Going to One)
4. Ran The Disney Neverland 5k
5. Attacha Backpacks Attended Their 1st Chamber of Commerce Meeting

5 SONGS THAT WERE MOST POPULAR ON MY IPOD THIS MONTH:

1. Southern Comfort Zone By Brad Paisley
2. Little Talks By Monsters and Men
3. I Knew You Were Trouble By Taylor Swift (YUP AGAIN!)
4. Cups By Anna Kendrick
5. How Country Feels By Randy Houser

TOP 2 BOOKS I READ THIS MONTH:

1. Catching Fire By Suzanne Collins
2. Double Crossed By Ally Carter

MOST POPULAR REVIEW THIS MONTH

(I do this based on Stats)
MOST POPULAR 4 BLOG POSTS OVERALL THIS MONTH

3 NEW OBSESSIONS IN January

1. FOOTBALL!
2. Reading More Than One Book At A Time
3. Marketing

2 THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN February

1. Vegas for the 1st Time!
2. Seeing Ally Carter at B&N

3 BOOKS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING RELEASED IN February



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Book Boyfriend (18)


Okay, Okay... I am going to be pretty predictable and I didn't see this coming, but after reading Catching Fire. Peeta Mellark has won my heart and No, I was never Team Gale (how is their even a Team Gale?!). Peeta won me over with his gallantry, strength and over all kindness. Plus, it didn't hurt imagining cuddling with Josh Hutcherson... I mean Peeta.

Since I didn't really read the series, until the movie was already cast, the only person who I can picture as Peeta is Josh Hutcherson (which is weird since he is younger than me, but he is CUTE!) 






 

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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

Summary:
"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?"
Plot: There isn't really a lot of action in The Golden Lily. Yes, there are suspenseful moments, but nothing crazy. Book 2 is definitely meant to build the storyline and all the little mysteries, twists and turns that are to come.

Characters: I feel Sydney definitely grew a lot in this book, from balancing her beliefs to going on dates. I enjoyed watching he struggle with these thoughts and feelings. As usual, Adrian was ever so endearing. He is just too darn stinking cute. I am not sure how I feel about Angeline being brought in. It was random and I really didn't like her in The Last Sacrifice. Towards the end she grew on me, but I could have done without her too. Eddie, is Eddie. Although he grew on me a little more and I look forward to reading more on his love triangle. Jill was basically Non-Existant in book 2, so that kind of sucked and I enjoyed the addition of Sonya and Dimitri. Although, I still would have liked a little more drama between him and Adrian.

Pros: Really makes you think about what the next book brings and some tummy tingling romance.

Cons: Mead's constant repetition of the past. Which she has done on all the books, I have read by her.

Final Thoughts: I am glad I started this series again. I read Bloodlines BEFORE I read the Vampire Academy Series and the whole time I was reading it I felt I was missing something, which made the book overall, "meh" for me. Now That I have read The Vampire Academy Series and I am fully obsessed with it. I could really enjoy Golden Lily more. I still do not think this series is AS good as The Vampire Academy series, but I am glad that the characters stories aren't really over yet and that we can experience it through a new character and different issues going on in their world.






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Sunday, January 27, 2013

In My Mailbox (49)



For Review

FlyGirl By Syd Blue
Yesterday afternoon this book unexpectedly found itself on my doorstep. It was a nice surprise, since the author is a friend on my Aunt.

Gift

Beautiful Creatures By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I went to the library last Monday to get this book and they didn't have it, than on Thursday my Mom and I were at Barnes and Noble and I saw Beautiful Creatures on display for $10, since my Mom knew I was looking for this book, she kindly bought it for me.






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Saturday, January 26, 2013

CHALLENGES: Huffington Post 2013 Reading Bingo

I stumbled on this one on Twitter and instantly liked it, because the objectives are pretty creative and fun.
This Challenge I will call the Huffington Post 2013 Reading Bingo Challenge. Although it was originally, on Random House Canada.

A Young Adult Novel: The Last Sacrifice By Richelle Mead
This one wasn't hard since 95% of the books that I read are Young Adult.

A Book With More Than 400 Pages: The Aviator's Wife By Melanie Benjamin
416 Pages. =D

A Book I Would've Picked Up As A Teenager: An Anatomy of A Single Girl By Daria Snadowsky
There is something about the bright pink, naked barbie that is cheesy and whimsical to me and I definitely picked this book because it reminded me of what I would have read in High School.


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Friday, January 25, 2013

The Lost Jewels (Amulet of Power Series #1)

Summary:
"A simple gift, that’s all it was meant to be. But the necklace given to Abira by her friend Evan turns out to be anything but simple.

Abira suddenly finds herself as the target of King Moctruze—the evil ruler of Palachia. He is on a relentless search for the lost jewels of the ancient Amulet of Power. The completed Amulet provides magical powers to whoever wears it. He possesses the golden base of the Amulet and has been blind to the whereabouts of the missing jewels—until now. Abira soon learns that the crystals in her necklace are the missing jewels from the ancient Amulet and she embarks on a perilous journey to steal the king’s portion and destroy the completed Amulet before he finds her and wields the magic of the Amulet of Power for himself. Her adventure takes her all across Palachia where she forges new friendships; encounters fierce and mysterious enemies; struggles with being away from home; and finds hidden strength and determination.

The Lost Jewels is the first of three books in the “Amulet of Power” series."
Plot: I enjoyed the build up of the story line, to the random meetings and adventures, to the final battle, that just lead up to what is more to come in the series.

Characters: Abira and Evan are cute, but I didn't feel connected to them it was more the adult characters Peter, Thorauk and Monito. I want to know more about them and why they are really along on this journey.

Pros: I love a fantasy, mythical world and this story reminded me a lot of The 10th Kingdom, which is one of my favorite "movies"

Cons: Some of the dialog and transitions could be improved upon.

Final Thoughts: While reading The Lost Jewels, I couldn't help but think to myself, yes this is a fine book. But it would be SO much better if it was transformed into a screenplay and adapted into a TV show/mini series or something along those lines. There is just something about this book that really just makes me want to see it visually. Which is always why I think I didn't like the dialog at times, cause I think it would translate better on screen.  For the fans of Fantasy books, I would definitely say The Lost Jewels is definitely a gem to read.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Running For Rhinos Fundraiser

Ok, I have tried this before and time and time again, had proven it doesn't go over that well.
However, it doesn't hurt to try.
Last year, I ran my 1st 5k with my mom as her Birthday gift. From then I have participated in a few more and have definitely enjoyed it! This month I participated in my first 5k of 2013. Disneyland's Never Land 5k and in February I plan on doing the Color Run.
BUT! 
I have had my eyes set on a specific run this year. The San Diego Safari Park Half Marathon. 
What drew me to this run was that they raise money for endangered species and animals in their park. 


This year the money we raise is for Rhinos. 
Which some of you may know are often poached for their horns!
If You Could I would REALLY appreciate any donations that could be made.
HERE   Thank You!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Book Boyfriend (17)


Wow, it has been awhile since I have done this! I have not been very inspired by the boys of the literary world as of lately. Yes, there have been some flings, some small crushes, but no one who made me swoon. This boyfriend started out slow, as someone who I was interested in and than it hit me, I really like him!

And That Boyfriend would Be... Adrian Ivashkov (from The Vampire Academy Series and The Bloodlines Series)

Why You Ask?
  • Dark Hair and Green Eyes
  • He is a spirit user, who can visit you in your dreams
  • He likes to extravagantly spoil you.
  • He has this bad boy, devil may care attitude but deep down he is sensitive
  • Won't pressure you.
  • Yes, He smokes (yuck!) and he drinks excessively, but he will cut down, if you ask. 
Unfortunately, I have not found a photo of anyone who looks like Adrian does in my head. But He is rugged, dark and mysterious.
 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CHALLENGES: Anne & Kristilyn 2013 Reading Bingo

So, I gave up on Challenges awhile ago. However. Recently I have seen some challenges that look fun and decided to participate in them. One of them is Anne and Kristilyn's 2013 Book Bingo Reading Challenge.




Monday, January 21, 2013

Parlor Games

Summary:
"A sweeping historical novel about a beautiful con artist whose turn-of-the-century escapades take her around the world as she's doggedly pursued by a Pinkerton Agency detective

The novel opens in 1917 with our cunning protagonist, May Dugas, standing trial for extortion. As the trial unfolds, May tells her version of events.
 
In 1887, at the tender age of eighteen, May ventures to Chicago in hopes of earning enough money to support her family. Circumstances force her to take up residence at the city’s most infamous bordello, but May soon learns to employ her considerable feminine wiles to extract not only sidelong looks but also large sums of money from the men she encounters.  Insinuating herself into Chicago’s high society, May lands a well-to-do fiancĂ©—until, that is, a Pinkerton Agency detective named Reed Doherty intervenes and summarily foils the engagement.

Unflappable May quickly rebounds, elevating seduction and social climbing to an art form as she travels the world, eventually marrying a wealthy Dutch Baron. Unfortunately, Reed Doherty is never far behind and continues to track May in a delicious cat-and-mouse game as the newly-minted Baroness’s misadventures take her from San Francisco to Shanghai to London and points in between.

The Pinkerton Agency really did dub May the “Most Dangerous Woman,” branding her a crafty blackmailer and ruthless seductress.  To many, though, she was the most glamorous woman to grace high society. Was the real May Dugas a cold-hearted swindler or simply a resourceful provider for her poor family?

As the narrative bounces back and forth between the trial taking place in 1917 and May’s devious but undeniably entertaining path to the courtroom—hoodwinking and waltzing her way through the gilded age and into the twentieth century—we're left to ponder her guilt as we move closer to finding out what fate ultimately has in store for our irresistible adventuress."

Plot: If you are expecting some witty, fast paced con story passed in the "turn-of-the-century". Than this is not for you. The story is slow and repetitive and I wouldn't call Ms. Dugas a con artist, more of a Survivalist Gold Digger.

Characters: I didn't like May and I had a feeling I wouldn't when she started with a sentence along the lines of "trust me friends, it wasn't my fault and this account will prove it". I didn't hate her, I just couldn't find her likeable.

Final Thoughts: I was really disappointed. The book was not what I was hoping it would be. It was a lot of repetitive-ness and I kept reading it, in hopes that the book would turn around and give me some big shocker, like it led me to believe it would have. I will say, for a long book, it did go by pretty quickly. Since it is based on account of the real May Dugas, you may enjoy this book, but as far as fun historical fiction books go. I wouldn't recommend it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

In My Mailbox (48)




Library
The Golden Lily By Richelle Mead
Charmed Thirds By Megan McCafferty
Speechless By Hannah Harrington
Bord Wicked By Jessica Spotswood
Catching Fire By Suzanne Collins
The Agency: The Traitor in the Tunnel By Y.S. Lee

For Review (Netgalley)
The Nightmare Affair By Mindee Arnett

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Aviator's Wife

Summary:
"For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure."


Before reading this book, I only knew two things about Charles Lindbergh, He was a famous Aviator and that his child was famously kidnapped. Besides that I didn't really know much more about him (although through this book, certain things rang a bell) and I definitely didn't know anything about his wife.

Melanie Benjamin does a fantastic job at telling the story of Anne and Charlie, telling the stories decade to decade and intertwining it with Lindbergh's last days on earth.  Benjamin did a good job and getting all the information she could and appropriately asserting the emotions these characters would have felt at this time. I truly think she did a great job at writing this story and making me feel that this is really how everything went done. Not only did I learn that Lindbergh was an odd man but that his wife was a great woman in her own right.

If you were a fan of books like The Paris Wife and Madame Tussaud, or a fan of aviation and history. I do suggest you read The Aviator's Wife. I was in tears towards the end.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Last Sacrifice (Book #7, Vampire Academy Series)

Summary:
" Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?"

For the last book of the Vampire Academy Series, I was pretty happy with how it ended and overall how it was written. Mead did a good job with finishing the storylines of Vampire Academy while adding room for storylines in the Bloodlines series. I would have enjoyed a tad more action, but other than that I was think fans of the series will be happy with its ending.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: 2013 Debuts


I don't really pay THAT much attention to this kind of stuff and it took me a second to realize that this was Debuts and not books we are looking forward to (since I thought we may have already done that) Which then led me to wonder does debut mean authors whose first books come out on 2013 or just books that are not series (or 1st of their series) that debut in 2013?

I thought about this and decided I would just do my best and add both = )

1. Isla and The Happily Ever After By Stephanie Perkins
Yea, I am already cheating a little. But it really ISN'T a series.

2. Gameboard of Gods By Richelle Mead
This is going to be a series, and I still haven't read the summary of this book. However, I just finished the Vampire Academy Series and have decided Richelle is one of those authors whose books I just blindly buy and hope for they are just as good as her other books.

3. Just One Day By Gayle Forman
The reviews have raved about this book and I loved If I Stay and Where She Went. So. I am down for this.

4. My Name Is Rapunzel By KC Hilton
I am on the fence about this one. But I am sucker for fairytales and retellings.

5. The Madman's Daughter By Megan Shepard
Frankly, I am being a cover and title snob. 

6. Paper Valentine By Breanna Yovanoff
I had the chance to read this early, but somehow forgot or didn't realize I was approved and missed my chance to read it! 

7. The Nightmare Affair By Mindee Arnett
The Summary reminds me a little of Hex Hall and Holly Black's Curse workers. But there is something about being a Nightmare. That intrigues me.

8. Frozen By Melissa De La Cruz
I am obsessed with her writing and from what I remember she wrote this book with her husband.

9. School Spirits By Rachel Hawkins
Is this one cheating too? Cause technically, we are just following another characters from a previous series..

10. Pantomime By Laura Lam 
Gah! Everything about this book makes me excited so far!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Anatomy of a Single Girl

Summary:
"With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.
After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one. 
The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.
But I couldn’t avoid my future forever. 
In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through."
First off I didn't realize this book was a follow up, but that really didn't make a difference in my reading experience. I would also like to warn you, that this book is basically all about teenage sex and 90% of the book is just Dominique and her hook up having sex. This book was a decent read, although there is no real plot to it.  However, I think this book would definitely fit in the "New Adult" genre. Since I think it is easily relate-able to girls in their late teens, early 20's.