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Sunday, December 2, 2012

HUGE Announcement: I will be a co-blogger at Darkest Addictions Book Reviews!!!

Hi everyone!! I'm back!! How're you? I know I've been gone a LONG time, but I'm finally done with my exams. I finished them before Thanksgiving and had a fantastic holiday. Right now I'm still waiting for my score for the last section of the exam, but hopefully I passed. Then I won't have to study EVER AGAIN!!

However, even with my exams over, my job is literally taking over my life. It's super stressful and time consuming. With that, I have very little time to read and definitely don't have as much time for my blog as I did before, so I've decided to become a co-blogger with Neyra at her blog - Darkest Addictions Book Reviews!! 

I'm super excited!!! With both of us as bloggers, we'll do our best to have regular reviews and other great posts!!

Other updates:
With my exams stuff, I've missed my one year blogoversary. I started blogging around last Thanksgiving after finishing the FEVER series by KMM. I plan on doing some kind of giveaway celebrating both Christmas an my one year blogoversary sometime this month. Btw, I have ICED but just haven't had a chance to read it yet!! I'm going to start it this weekend!! Weeee!!

I was also at B&N today browsing the YA section and got The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, which I've heard great things about, as well as The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Lastly, I realized that I forgot about my giveaway in September. I never chose a winner, so here's the winner.

CONGRATULATIONS!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2 MONTH HIATUS!!

Hi everyone!! Not sure if you've noticed, but I haven't done any blogging this week at all! If you're wondering why, I just started my full time job this Monday after a 3 months summer, but that's not the problem. I don't have time for blogging because I have to study for the CPA exam on top of my job, so that leaves me with no time for anything else. I've only been to work for a week and I'm beat. It's so hard having to study after a long day at work!! Anyhow, I plan on finishing the exams by Thanksgiving time, so I should be back by then.

Until then, sadly I have to abandon my blog a little *sobs* I hope y'all understand!!

I will miss all of you!! Have a great few months!
(And if I appear on Twitter, don't be shocked. I can't study 24/7 after all lol).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ARC Review: SHADOWFELL by Juliet Marillier

Title: Shadowfell
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Shadowfell #1
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Links: Goodreads | B&N | Amazon
Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill—a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk—Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death—but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule.

Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.
Review:
I requested this because I’ve heard great things about Juliet Marillier’s books, but I haven’t actually read one of her books before, so I thought this would be a good experience. I read the blurb as well and thought that it would be something I enjoy. I rarely read fantasies, but I usually enjoy them whenever I get a chance to read them.

Anyway, I know sometimes it takes a bit to get into a good fantasy, because you have to become acclimated to the new world. At first, I thought that was the case with this book and kept waiting for the pace to pick up, but it never did. The book is super SLOW!!! The entire book is about Neryn’s journey to Shadowfell, but omg this girl is so depressing! Her thoughts are also very repetitive. I’m really sick and tired of how often she thinks about her grandmother and her past and Alban’s oppression. I get it. Your world sucks! Basically, she thinks about the same things over and over. I also lost count of how often she’s tired, or sick, or weary to the bone. She’s that way for the entire book! I got sick and tired from just reading about her thinking about how tired she is.

The book is super descriptive. Ms. Marillier’s writing is beautiful, but it becomes tedious after a while to read about the endless descriptions of the landscape. Usually, I really enjoy stuff like the Good Folk, but I really couldn’t keep track of what each one of them looked like. Also, the descriptive writing really suppressed a lot of emotions. I couldn’t feel any excitement from the characters. Sometimes a short sentence works a lot better in conveying emotions than a long one imo, so when everything is analyzed to its barest detail, like in this book, everything was flat. The author also told us what happened most of the time instead of showing us. Neryn narrated what everyone did for the most part instead of having the action actually happening in the story.

The story itself is also very predictable. Neryn is the Chosen One, you know, the one who will save all! As always, she struggles internally with the task placed before her, doubting herself. On her journey, she didn’t really do anything. She received a lot of help, but I feel that she’s always very passive. She always does what other people tell her. Basically, she never would’ve made it to Shadowfell if not for others helping her. In the end, I didn’t care if she made it to Shadowfell, I only cared that the book will be over by then.

So, finishing this book is more a testament to my patience, or stupidity, depending on how you look at it. The book isn’t any more exciting at the end than it was at the beginning. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t end up liking this after hearing so many praises for this author’s work.

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*A copy was provided by publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for my review.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Blog Tour] STITCH by Samantha Durante - Guestpost and Giveaway

Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on the STITCH blog tour. Today, Samantha did an interview with Alessa and her best friend Janie from Stitch. She's also giving away 3 ecopies of the book! So be sure to check out all the stop along the tour here

Synopsis:
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
Janie & Alessa: Move-In Day at Eastern State University

Samantha: Hey everyone!  This is Samantha Durante, author of Stitch, and I’m here today with Alessa and Janie from Stitch to do a quick interview and help you get to know them better.

Janie: Hi everybody!

Alessa: Hey guys. (smiles)

Samantha: Okay, let’s get started!  Why don’t you guys tell me a little bit about the first time you met at Eastern State University?

Alessa: (looks at Janie and laughs)

Janie: (laughing) It’s actually a good story. (to Alessa) You start.

Alessa: Okay.  So, I’m in my new room at Z-E-Pi, unpacking.  I had this new little minifridge – not the tiny one that sits on your desk, a half-sized one – and it’s in a box.  One of the guys helping with move-in had carried it up the steps for me and put it in the right spot, so I only needed to get it out of the box and plug it in and I should be all set.

Janie: Sounds pretty simple, right? (laughs)

Alessa: (gives Janie a knowing look and continues) So I use my keys to rip the tape and open the top of the box, but when I go to rip off the rest of the box, I can’t.

Janie: (snorting to herself) Haha, I’m sorry, it’s just I know what’s coming… and the image in my head… (tries to stifle her laughter and fails)

Alessa: (smiles and rolls her eyes) Anyway, I’m ripping at this box and it’s just not working.  For some reason it’s a really thick cardboard, and the sides are stapled together with these industrial-strength staples instead of tape like the top, and nothing I do seems to be working.  I hadn’t unpacked the box with my desk stuff yet and didn’t know where it was, so I didn’t have any scissors or anything, and honestly, that box was so thick, they probably wouldn’t have done anything anyway.  So I decide the only course of action is for me to pick it up the refrigerator out of the box.

Janie: (trying really hard not to smile) Meanwhile, I’m in my room making up my bed when I hear this faint cry from down the hall…

Alessa: (shakes her head and laughs)

Janie: (still trying not to smile) At first I’d thought I’d made it up, until I hear this GRUNTING.

Alessa: (buries her face in her hands)

Janie: So I’m like, “What’s going on over there?” and I decide to go check it out.  I could hear some kind of commotion coming from Alessa’s room, but the door is shut and I’m a little hesitant to just barge in…

Alessa: Good thing you did.

Janie: But then curiosity gets the better of me and I’m just like, “What the hell,” and open the door.  And what do I find –

Alessa: (moans and shakes head)

Janie: (grinning) – but this idiot pinned under her refrigerator on her bed!

Alessa: It attacked me.

Janie: (guffaws) All I could see was a fridge with four splayed limbs flailing in every direction.  It was… not what I was expecting. (laughing hysterically)

Alessa: I could not get it off me!

Janie: (giggling) And she was too embarrassed to call for help!  What, were you planning to sleep that way?

Alessa: I would have gotten it eventually!

Janie: (raises an eyebrow) Right.

Alessa: (sighing) The guy who carried up just made it look so easy… I wasn’t expecting it to weigh as much as it did.  And I lifted it out of the box okay… but then I lost my balance and stumbled backwards and fell on the bed, and the damn thing landed on me!

Janie: (still laughing) Seriously, a fridge with arms and legs.  It was classic.

Alessa: It was crushing my chest!

Janie: It wasn’t that heavy.

Alessa: We’ll lay the fridge on you next time and see if you still feel that way.

Janie: Hahaha.  Okay, fine, it was a bit of a struggle to free her.  We basically had to roll it off and ease it onto the ground.  And then your face was BEET red, do you remember?

Alessa: How could I forget…

Janie: And we were basically best friends from that point on.

Alessa: (wry smile) My knight in shining armor.

Janie: Don’t you forget it!

Alessa: (laughs) So that’s the story of how we met at ESU.

Samantha: Well that certainly sounds like quite the adventure!

Janie: But not nearly as exciting as what else was in store for us later that semester…

Alessa: That’s for sure.

Samantha: Well thank you guys so much for sharing that with us today – if you want to hear more from Alessa and Janie, check out their full story in Stitch!

Janie: And stick with us on the blog tour!  The full schedule is here.

Alessa: Yup, we’ve still got a LOT more stops to go between now and the end of October…

Samantha: So plenty more coming from the characters of Stitch!  Thanks for stopping by!


Giveaway
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ARC Review: TEMPTATION IN A KILT by Victoria

Title: Temptation in a Kilt
Author: Victoria Roberts
Series: Bad Boys of the Highlands #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 01, 2012
Source: NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | B&N | Amazon
Synopsis:
She's On Her Way to Safety

It's a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong's desperation that she's seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn't care about hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is completely beyond her control...

He Redefines Dangerous...

Ciaran MacGregor knows it's perilous to get embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he's stuck with her, even though she challenges his legendary prowess at every opportunity. When temptation reaches its peak, he'll be ready to show her how he really is...on and off the battlefield.
Review:
I love myself a great Highland warrior, so I was really excited to get started on this, but sadly, I just couldn’t get into it. After reading through about 40% of it, I finally gave up. This is actually my first DNF, because I’m kind of OCD about finishing a book, but with tons of review books and stressful real life, I just couldn’t make myself continue to read it. Maybe if I had had more time on my hands, I would’ve stuck with it.

This book isn’t bad. It has all the right elements – a strong heroine and a sexy Scottish Laird, but I really couldn’t make myself care about them. I liked Rosalia and really felt bad for her. She’s been through some tough things, but Ciaran is your run of the mill romance hero. The romance was also a bit too “clean” for me. Everything is kind of hinted at. I guess I’m just not used to that anymore.

The biggest drawback to this book is actually the writing. Grammatically, all the sentences are correct. I find no fault with that, but sometimes things just didn’t flow. The writing to me was a bit stilted. Also, I feel the author overdid it a bit with the thesaurus when it comes to different versions of “said”, such as “hedged, grumbled” etc, or using too many adjectives after “said”, like “she said excitingly”. It interrupted the flow of the story and sometimes just sounded weird.

Anyway, I think a lot of people will actually enjoy this. Like I said, it has all the right stuff, but it just didn’t work for me.


Rating: DNF

*A copy was provided by publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for my review.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #36: Shadowfell


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers
Here's my teaser for the week:


Someone shouted. A man's voice, and now a man's steps, booted feet closing in fast behind me. My heart leapt into my throat. I skidded and slithered and stumbled down the path, fixing my eyes on the dark line that was the bridge. One false step would send me tumbling into the icy waters of the Rush.

-Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier, 25% on Kindle

I'm not sure about this one. It's moving excruciatingly slowly and after reading several reviews, I'm not sure it's going to pick up. I'm going to give it another chance before I completely give up. 

ARC Review: A SEASON FOR SIN by Vickie Dreiling

Title: A Season for Sin
Author: Vickie Dreiling
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Source: NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | B&N | Amazon
Synopsis:
Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels...

The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment's peace. It's a system that works splendidly for him--until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels--Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore--who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton's new beautiful young widow. Bell isn't after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely...
Review:
So it’s partly my own fault I didn’t really like this one, because I thought it was going to be a full length book, but it’s only a novella. However, unlike usual novellas, where authors tell a story with a full beginning, middle, and end, this one is more like a prologue to a book and just cuts off in the middle of an event. I wasn’t too pleased with that and am not really sure of the point of a prologue like this. I’d rather get the introduction to the characters in the full length novel as the story is being told.

With that said, the book is kind of slow because it introduces the characters without anything too important happening. The two main characters don’t even officially meet until the end so I had to read about what Bellingham did every single day. Not that interesting. There is a hint of a dark past for Bellingham, but I’ll have to wait till the full book to find out. I’m also not a fan of Bellingham’s character, but maybe he’ll grow on me once I read the full book.

I haven’t read anything by Ms. Dreiling before, so her writing style is new to me. I’m not sure if it’s my mood or just the writing style itself, but I’m not really feeling it. The sentences were too matter-of-fact and I didn’t feel any deeper emotions from the characters other than the normal day-to-day stuff. It was more of “he did this she did that”. Maybe that’ll change in the full book as well. I usually read at least 2 or 3 books by an author before making the final decision on the writing style, so I’ll still try another work by Ms. Dreiling.

While A Season for Sin is a good short read, I didn’t really see the point. I hope I will be more enamored of the characters once I read the full book, but with no resolution to the story, it’s an unnecessary tease.


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Disclaimer: *A copy was provided by publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for my review.
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