Monthly Archives: October 2013

Just One Year Read Along Week 1 & 2

Just One Year Read Along Banner

I loved Just One Day so much and now I am enjoying the read along for Just One Year with Brittany over at The Book Addict’s Guide!  This book is so good so far and I like seeing Willem’s POV on everything that happened.  I didn’t get to do week 1 questions on week 1, so here are both week 1 and 2 questions!

Week 1

1. We know from JUST ONE DAY how Allyson and Willem initially got permanently separated, but in JUST ONE YEAR, we get to see Willem’s story of this situation. Did this change how you initially felt in JUST ONE DAY? Did your opinions of Willem from JUST ONE DAY start changing by seeing his side of the story?

I knew that something was going to be up, that he didn’t just abandon her.  Initially, when he first disappeared, I was really mad at him, then we find out, it wasn’t his fault.  So going into Just One Year, I had already forgiven him and just wanted to know his feelings and how he dealt with the coming year.  I definitely liked seeing how panicked he was and wanted to get back to Allyson so much when he was stuck at the hospital, it showed he really cared.

2. A common theme in both JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR is double happiness. Besides the Chinese symbols, what sort of significance do you think it holds for our two main characters? Do you think there’s a deeper meaning?

There’s so much to double happiness!  In a bunch of different ways.  Two people finding happiness, finding happiness in romance and in life, happiness in another and themselves, just so many ways that double happiness comes into play and so many meanings!

3. Along with Willem’s POV, we also get to get to see a bit more into Celine’s character. Did you feel any different about her reactions towards Willem? Towards Allyson?

No, I felt no different.  I don’t like her a whole lot because she really isn’t a nice person.  She is jealous and spiteful and I still feel that way.  Just because she doesn’t get Willem, that doesn’t give her an excuse to be rude to Allyson and send her over to crazy Ana Lucia’s to basically be nearly mauled.  I can understand her wanting to be mean or rude to Willem because of how he is with girls, but not Allyson.  I was really glad when he left Celine’s.

4. Willem’s life has been surrounded by and filled with “accidents”, even going back to the story of how his parents met. Do you think this affected his view on life? How he feels about meeting Allyson?

Oh of course!  He seems to be such a go where the wind blow you kind of person, and when accidents happen, they must mean something.  And when he ran into Allyson by accident, more than once, it was something that really stuck out to him.

5. All of the chances and accidents we see in this series brings up the idea of chance versus action & intention. Do you think Fate exists?

I do, to an extent.  I think everything happens for a reason, but also, we make also choices in our lives that lead up to those things that happen.  Life isn’t a sit in the backseat and let fate drive kind of thing,  you are the one driving and when fate brings you to a crazy fork, you are the one that decides which way to go!

Week 2

1. First off, how much did Willem’s time in Mexico KILL YOU? Have you ever had close run-in situations or actual run-in situations with someone you knew far away from home? 

I wanted to hit him upside his head soooo many times!  I was nearly screaming at the book “SHE’S RIGHT THERE!!”  He came so close so many times and it tore my nerves up.  I can’t say with certainty that I have had any close run-in situations that I can think of.  I did see somebody I work with when I went to Charleston, but that is in the same state, though on the other side of it, but never farther from home than that.

2. Kate told Willem, “Nothing happens without intention” and she also said, “This theory of yours — life is ruled by accident — isn’t that just one huge excuse for passivity?” Do you think she’s on to something there? 

Yeah, I do.  Instead of taking control and making choices, he lets the accidents take blame for things.  He doesn’t like break ups, either, so it is a good excuse when it comes to that kind of thing.  She opens his eyes to that, so hopefully now he will start to control his life and go for what he wants.

3. Marjolein said that Willem is like his mother after packing up his bags. He says that he’s not. Which do you think is more accurate knowing what we now know about his mom?

I’d say he is like his mom, they way he likes to leave, especially when things get hard.  I don’t think he really wants to see it and is denying it.  I know he is very angry at his mother and doesn’t want to feel like he is like her.

4. What do you think of Willem’s relationship with his mother? He feels like they’re not speaking the same language. Do you think that either one of them specifically are at fault?

I think it’s a little of both.  Both of them could make a better effort to be there for each other.  They are handling a very rough time, in similar ways I might add, and I feel bad that he is so angry with his mom and they don’t really talk right now.  I come from a very close family and couldn’t imagine being so mad at my mom.

5. We learned a lot about Willem’s history in this section of chapters and we see how rapidly Willem’s life has changed in just the past few years. Even though he’s pretty much an adult at this point, why do you think the absence of his parents hit him so hard?

His parents were always there for him, and they had a great impact on his life, especially because of the happy accidents.  But, then, now his dad is gone forever and his mother is in India, definitely no happy accident.  The death of a parent can devastate anybody, no matter how old you are.  And not only does he have to handle that, but then his mother sold their home and left for India, so I’m sure he feels abandoned on top of it all.

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Top Ten Tuesday (47)

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.  Each week a new top ten list is posted, and to participate all you have to do is fill in YOUR top ten for the list.

This week the topic is:

Books For Halloween!

 Read:

1. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – I loved this books so much more than I expected to, and since it is zombies, yeah I’d say it is Halloween for sure.  I can’t wait to read the second book.

2. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard – Also zombies and I was shocked in some places with how this book went.  Very different from your average zombie story as well.

3. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab and Chime by Franny Billingsley- LOVED both of these witchy stories and the writing is super fantastic for both.  I want to read everything by Victoria Schwab now and Chime was an incredible audiobook.

4. Anna Dressed in Blood & Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – Who can say no to an awesome ghost hunter story?  Though they were both good, I loved the first so much!  Some great scenes and this book came the closest to ever giving me actual chills.

5. Ten by Gretchen McNeil – For those who have to have the psycho killer type of book.  I really enjoyed it and was surprised when I found out who the killer was, which almost never happens!

6.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – This was quite an adventurous read and definitely a fun one for Halloween, I mean the boy is raised by ghosts!  How could that not be a good one?

To Read:

7. Doll Bones by Holly Black – Dolls can be creepy.  Nuff said.

8. Through the Zombieglass by Gena Showalter – The second book of the White Rabbit Chronicles. CAN NOT WAIT for this one!  I want more of this awesomeness!

9. A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard – The second book to Something Strange and Deadly, which I am looking forward to as well, seeing as I really enjoyed the first book.

10. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – Who could pass up a Jack the Ripper story for Halloween?!

So what books do you guys like for Halloween reading?  Or even those creepy covers!

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*Review* Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall Cover Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver

470 pages

ISBN: 9780061726811

Read 10-16-13

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

Add it on Goodreads!

 What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Well, I had heard so much about this book and seen some of the great quotes on Goodreads and people’s blog, so I was excited to read this one.   Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  I think I am one of the rare few that didn’t really care for this book.  The writing was really good, but I wasn’t crazy about the characters or the things that happened.  I think the story had a lot of potential to be really great, but it just fell kind of flat for me.

Sam and her group of friends were really quite shallow and mean.  I don’t like those kind of people and I don’t like those kind of characters.  I didn’t realize they were going to be like that.  Several times I wanted to stop, but as stated before, I am not a DNF kind of person, so I trudged through.  Though Sam did change a lot through the book, I was still very annoyed with everybody else.  I also wasn’t big on the way the narrator of the audiobook did the voices, everybody sounded high or slow or tired.  Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in regular book format instead of audio.

The plot was an interesting idea, but it just could have been better, in my opinion.  I wanted to hit Sam so many times because of how shallow and self centered she was being.  The story made good points in some places, but I just think it could have been so much more.  Sam was definitely a slow learner and it took her quite some time before she was really starting to GET it.  I am not trying to dissuade anybody from reading it, but this just wasn’t for me.

Great writing, unlikeable characters, had potential, not for me.

2.5 bookmark

 

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Cover Crush (47)

Cover Crush Logo Cover Crush is my meme here at On The Shelf where beautiful and eye-catching covers are spotlighted!  Any cover can be showcased whether it be old or new, read or still sitting in your TBR stack.  Please join in, link up and enjoy some beautiful covers!

My Cover:

Fragile Spirits Cover

Paul has always known he was a Protector, fated to serve a Speaker who could hear the voices of spirits lingering after death and help those souls find peace.

Vivienne ignores the voices of the dead.

Paul has always followed the Protector’s rule book, preparing diligently for the day when he’d be matched with his Speaker and fulfill his destiny.

Vivienne never does what she’s told.

So when Paul is matched with Vivienne, they both find the pairing less than satisfactory. But a kidnapping, a malevolent spirit and power stronger than both of them may just prove that they are two halves of the same whole.

In a stunning story about the beauty of fate and the power of secrets, Mary Lindsey returns to the world of Shattered Souls with a breathtaking thrill-ride of a novel.

**Note from author: This book begins one month after Shattered Souls leaves off. Lenzi and Alden are featured in this book, but reading Shattered Souls is not a prerequisite.

Why I’m Crushing:

I love the floating black and white feathers!  It gives it a nice dimension and the cover also has almost an Alice in Wonderland feel to it with her falling like when she falls down the rabbit hole.  Most of the colors are pretty subdues aside from the shock of pink that really makes it stand out.  I also really like how the title is broken like the title of the first book, but in a different breaking style.  Though I don’t like this one as much as the first cover, I think it is still quite nice 🙂  What do you guys think of this cover?  Have a cover to share?

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Truth or Dare (3)

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Truth or Dare is a fun new meme hosted by Jenna over at Jenna Does Books that is a bookish challenge based on the game of the same name.  Chose truth for a discussion type question or prompt, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, chose dare!  You can even choose both tasks if you like.  So…Truth or Dare?

For this week’s ToD I picked:

102513-truth

Yes, yes, truth again.  I promise I will be doing dares, but this week, I just had NO time to prepare for a dare since I had a long class with work this week that really wore me out!  So, biggest bookish pet peeve?  I can’t say I have one specific biggest because I am really particular about my books.  Dog-earring and writing in books is a HUGE no-no for me.  I can’t stand it if someone is destructive towards books, it just really makes me hurt.  Another giant one, STICKERS ON COVERS!!!  I HATE them.  I LOATHE them.  I have stack at home that I am in the process of removing because they are not the easy pull away kind.  They are the paper super grip kind that leave behind a gooey mess and paper skins.  So annoying!  I like for my books to be in as perfect shape a possible and those stickers cause such a nuisance.  Also, I REALLY have to trust you to let you borrow one of my books.  I don’t even open my own books all the way and there are too many people out there that crack and crease spines and I just can’t let someone read one of my books that I know is going to damage them or lose them.  So, yeah those are probably my top bookish pet peeves.

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*Review* Teardrop – Lauren Kate

Teardrop Cover Teardrop

Lauren Kate

441 pages

ISBN: 9780375990694

Read 10-20-13

Source: Literary Lushes ARC Tours

Format: Paperback ARC

Add it on Goodreads!

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

So, even though the Fallen series fell kind of flat for me for the most part, there was just no way I could pass up reading a book with such a gorgeous cover!  Sometimes, it is good to judge a book by the cover because I am certainly glad that I gave this book a shot.  I loved it so much and it was so much better, in my opinion, than Fallen was.  I really can’t express how much more I liked it over Fallen.  The story was better, the characters were better, the relationships were better.

First, we have Eureka, who is a bit moody yes, but who wouldn’t be after their mother died?  She does typical things of those in mourning and depressed, but she doesn’t cry.  It takes a very strong will to not cry over some of the things this poor girl is put through.  She is quite strong and very determined.  There weren’t any parts that stuck out to me where I wanted to smack her like some of the characters I’ve come across, though I did hate her stepmother, Rhoda, but of course we were supposed to hate her.  Ander is interesting, I’m not in love with him yet, but I do like him.  I had a stronger connection with Brooks, really.  I wasn’t very crazy about Cat, she is a bit of a slut and bounces from guy to guy like it’s nothing, but she is a really good friend to Eureka.

The story was really great and had a lot of strong points and a lot of secrets.  I kept wanting to read and find out more and what does this do and what is going to happen here and what is that about??  I just wanted to know more, more, more, so reading it in two days was definitely not a problem.  I never found myself rolling my eyes at anything like I did several times through out the Fallen series.  I think she greatly improved with Teardrop and I hope the rest of the series is awesome, too.  Also, the descriptions were great and I loved so many of them!

Can we go back to that cover again?  I mean really, JUST LOOK AT IT.  I could get lost in it.  So. Freaking. Beautiful.  It was also my Cover Crush a couple weeks ago and one of my favorites for the year.  There’s a good bit of meaning in the cover as well.  I really hope people who dislike Fallen like I did (at least the first two books, the second two were okay) still give her new series a chance.  And for those who loved Fallen, definitely check this one out!  Thanks again to wonderful ladies over at Literary Lushes for letting me part of this ARC Tour!

Great strong main character, lovely descriptions, kept me reading and wanting to know more, secondary characters okay.

4.5 bookmark

 

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Top Ten Tuesday (46)

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.  Each week a new top ten list is posted, and to participate all you have to do is fill in YOUR top ten for the list.

This week the topic is:

Top Ten Unusual Character Names I Love

1. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series)- I really love the way this name flows and I love it so much, that the next cat I get will be names Katniss.

2. Lily Sanderson (The Fins Series)- This is such a mermaid name and I love it!  (It’s actually Waterlily, so I love it even more!)

3. Tempest Maguire (The Tempest Series)- Another mermaid character, and her name is so fitting for her.  This one is darker than the fun and quirky Fins series.

4. Echo Emerson (Pushing the Limits) – Echo is such an interesting and unique name and I like the alliteration with the last name.

5. Linh Peony (The Lunar Chronicles) – Peony is kind of an adorable sounding name, and Peony was certainly an adorable younger sister character.  I think her name was fitting for her, too.

6. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bones series) – One of the most unique names I have ever come across in a book and I love the meaning behind it.

7. Cassel Sharpe (The Curseworkers Series) – This is a very strong sounding name for a guy and I love the flow of it, too.  It fits Cassel’s personality!

8. Eureka Bordreaux (Teardrop) – Very different and very fun to say.  I almost want to yell Eureka each time I see it on the pages.

9.  Lochan Whitely (Forbidden) – I had never heard this name before and I really liked it.  I don’t read many books with fun guys names, but this name is one of my favorites.

10.  Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games) – This name is very bouncy and fun to say, plus I love Peeta, so I had to make sure it was one here 🙂

So what names made your list for this week?

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Cover Crush (46)

Cover Crush Logo Cover Crush is my meme here at On The Shelf where beautiful and eye-catching covers are spotlighted!  Any cover can be showcased whether it be old or new, read or still sitting in your TBR stack.  Please join in, link up and enjoy some beautiful covers!

My Cover:

Lost Lake Cover

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a novel about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia called Lost Lake.

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found.

Why I’m Crushing:

I love so many of Sarah Addison Allen’s book cover!  They are so beautiful and magical and this one is gorgeous, too.  My favorite thing about this cover is the Japanese lanterns, they look as if they could really make the book glow!  The lanterns also pop out and really catch your attention.   The scene looks as if it would be a secret passageway to a magical other world.  I wish I could find a place like this in real life!  It would certainly become a favorite reading and writing place.   So what are you Crushing on this week?

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Truth or Dare (2)

Truth or Dare Banner

 

Truth or Dare is a fun new meme hosted by Jenna over at Jenna Does Books that is a bookish challenge based on the game of the same name.  Chose truth for a discussion type question or prompt, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, chose dare!  You can even choose both tasks if you like.  So…Truth or Dare?

For this week’s ToD I picked:

101813-truth

I went with truth again this week, mainly because I don’t have the graphics skills to change things on covers like I would have wanted to do for the dare.  I loved Jenna’s covers she made for the dare (she obviously does have those graphics skills) and they were quite funny.

A book I hate:

The Almost Moon Cover I genuinely hated this book.  It’s probably the only book I can say that I really, really hated.  Some books are eh, some books are not that great, some books are even kind of sucky, but this book, I HATED.  It sounded like it could be such a good book, I mean, she killed her mom!  What’s she gonna do now??  But no, it sucked.  There was so much pointless stuff in it and things that made me shudder and this book just had NO POINT.  I am one of those people who just can’t DNF a book, so I kept reading, hoping it would get better. It. Never. Did.  I never enjoyed any part of this book, I had no respect for the main character and I saw nothing worth my time in it.  Sorry if this offends anybody that read it and enjoyed it, but I HATED it.

A book I love:

Cinder Cover Oh, this book!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this book.  This is one of my absolute favorite series in a while, it’s up there with Harry Potter!  It is so creative and there are so many elements in it and it is the best retelling out there in my opinion.  The characters are marvelous and the world building is awesome.  There is so much unique terminology and it’s a complex, wonderful story.  The writing is fantastic and I never wanted to put the book down.  I even did something I rarely do…I reread it!  That’s how good it was!  The last book I reread was one I read in high school 11 years after the first read, so for me to reread this book after only a year is a big deal. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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Just One Day Read Along Week 4

Just One Day Read Along Banner

Well, this is the final week of questions for the read along!  I’ve had fun reading this with everybody and Jenna over at Jenna Does Books.  Next, Brittany is doing the read along for Just One Year over at The Book Addict’s Guide, and I am so excited to be reading the second part to this story!  If you didn’t get to see how much I loved this book, my review is here.  There was so much that was great for this book!  Now, on to the final questions.

1. Why do you think Allyson was able travel to Paris alone, even without the “protection” of the faux identity, “Lulu”, or Willem? What is the significance of this accomplishment?

I think that she learned a great deal about herself during the year in between Paris trips, and she also learned how to stand up for herself and do what it was she wanted to do and what she felt right to do.  She became more comfortable with herself and decided that she wasn’t going to keep herself hidden.  She started really coming out of her shell and I loved her transformation.

2. Did you ever fear throughout the trip that Allyson would revert to her earlier ways?

No, I can’t say that I did because I really believed in her change and I felt like  could also feel the transformation in her myself.  The author did a fantastic job with the changing journey for Allyson and she seemed more determined to find what she wanted and needed to find.  She really did so many things that the old Allyson never would have.

3. In what ways does Allyson’s second trip to Paris/Europe differ from her first?

So many ways!  She was there on her own, free to move about anyway she wanted to instead of being on a strict group tour, which she obviously didn’t enjoy the first time around.  Plus, she was different, which made the trip different.  She was more social with people and she learned French, so she could speak to others instead of being helpless due to a language barrier.  She actually enjoyed going from place to place and seeing the beauty of the countries, which was different from the first time since she said she didn’t like to travel.  The only time she enjoyed being out there, was when she was pretending to be Lulu and with Willem, but this time, it’s all solo and all really her.

4. Speculation: Who do you think the girl was with Willem? (Don’t spoil this if you have read Just One Year.)

I really haven’t a clue.  I don’t want it to be a girlfriend, but family would be kind of weird considering how familiar they were being.  I’m hoping maybe just a really good friend, but the way she reacted when he came out after the play…seemed a bit familiar for just a friend.

5. Final thoughts: What was going through your head when the door opened at the end of the book?

I got a cold chill and was probably gripping the book a bit tightly, and then…that was it.  I think I squealed a bit, then said “but, but, but,” sighed dramatically, then pouted since I was at the end.  I’m just so glad I didn’t have to wait an entire year before reading the next one.  I was also thinking, please don’t let that girl be there, because I would have been completely heartbroken for Allyson if she had been.  I really wanted him to just wrap her in a huge hug and kiss her.

I really, really loved this book and can now crack open Just One Year and keep my fingers crossed that it goes the way it has played out in my head as I waited!  Loved the book and loved the read along 🙂

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