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Category Archives: PostADay

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Bookish/Blogging Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish featuring a new top ten list each week. Everyone can participate- head on over to their blog and sign up.

This week’s topic is Top 10 Bookish/Blogging Resolutions. These are my goals for reading and blogging this year in no particular order :

1. Post on my blog everyday. This is probably going to be the most challenging goal. I have signed up for the WordPress PostADay challenge to help keep me motivated. Since my blog is so new, posting daily will help me get into the habit.

2. Visit and comment on 5 blogs everyday. I try to set aside time everyday to comment on reviews, and I want to continue to do that.

3. Publish my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing consistently. I have not published my reviews on Amazon in the past, but want to start doing so especially to support debut authors.

4. Make a formal reading schedule for better time management. Planning out what books I want to read on a monthly basis can help me figure out how many pages I need to read per day to reach my goal. Also, create a spreadsheet to keep track of books and pages read, along with other pertinent book info.

5. Review books in a timely manner, preferably within a week of finishing a book. If I wait longer than a week, the momentum is gone.

6. Read the books on my resolve to read in 2011 list.

7. Complete the following reading challenges: Debut Author, Contemps, YA Historical Fiction, and Read 100 Books.

8. Continue to utilize the library to borrow books.

9. Memes – continue to participate in In My Mailbox, Top Ten Tuesday, and Waiting on Wednesday.

10. Attend some book/author events. I will be at San Diego Comic-Con this year and there should be some great book panels there.

What are your bookish/blogging resolutions? Good luck reaching your goals! Have a great reading year.

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Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Book Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Publisher: Penguin / Razorbill

Publication date: 1-11-11

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Hardcover 416 pages

Format/Source: ARC via LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Date read: January 10 2011

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

My thoughts:

Across the Universe is a well-written, creative and exciting science fiction novel by debut author Beth Revis. The author has created a unique world that takes place in the future on a spaceship known as Godspeed. This is a unique, tense mystery thriller that you won’t be able to put down.

Seventeen-year-old Amy has been frozen, along with her parents, and placed in cargo on Godspeed to be opened 300 years in the future when Godspeed arrives on a new planet.  However, Amy is mistakenly awakened on the spaceship fifty years too early. Now she must adjust to life on Godspeed, and follow the spaceship inhabitant’s customs and rules, without having her parents around as support. Amy finds out that her awakening may have not been an accident, and someone may be maliciously releasing the frozen cargo. Amy must solve this mystery to save her parents’ lives.

Eldest and his successor Elder lead Godspeed. Elder is one of the only inhabitants on Godspeed that is Amy’s age, and he is drawn to her immediately.  Elder has been taught to follow in Eldest’s footsteps without question, but Amy is opening his eyes to new ideas.

Both Amy and Elder narrate this book in alternating chapters. This works to present the point of view of Amy as the newcomer, and Elder who has only known life on Godspeed. We are able to see how they react to their appearance and behavior, and it helps to keep the pace moving. Amy and Elder are well-defined characters to root for. Amy behaves appropriately for someone who has had her life turned upside down. Elder is kind and thoughtful and trying to find his way as a leader. Harley, Elder’s friend, is another standout character to look out for in the novel because of his refreshing personality.

Life on the ship can be pretty dark and scary, and secrets lurk at every corner. I enjoyed trying to solve the ship’s mysteries, and wondering whom to trust.

Sci-fi fans will appreciate the painstaking level of detail used to describe the spaceship Godspeed and all it’s bells and whistles. Godspeed is a vast spaceship with all the hi-tech objects and machinery that you would expect to find in the future. However, this book should appeal to anyone who enjoys dystopian, fantasy, or contemporary fiction. The sci-fi elements are presented in a clear and understanding way that should capture anyone’s interest.

Across the Universe contains some food for thought with the themes and ideas presented. The ending is exciting and and filled with surprises. And, although the ending of the book is satisfying in itself, I look forward to reading the sequel. Beth Revis is one to watch.

Amazon / Goodreads / Author’s website

In My Mailbox (8) – week ending January 8

In My Mailbox is a weekly event/meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. It is a way to feature the books you purchased, borrowed or received for review each week.

Here are a few books I received over the week that I’m excited to read:

Bought:

XVI by Julia Karr – Kindle edition

Library- found some books from last year that I have been meaning to read:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan – Audiobook

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Audiobook

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien – Hardcover

eGalleys from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab:

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Haven by Kristi Cook

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Stay by Deb Caletti

10 Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

It was kind of a quiet week in books for me this week before I received the Galley Grab email. So many good books to read!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?
Happy reading!

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Book Title: The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication date: January 25 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Paperback 384 pages

Format read: NetGalley ARC

Date read: January 6 2011

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

My thoughts:

The latest installment of the Iron Fey series kicks off right where we left off. Meghan and Ash have been banished from Nevernever and are headed for the mortal world. But the False King is still after Meghan and the war between the Summer, Winter, and Iron courts continues. The False King could destroy the entire faery world unless he is stopped. Meghan faces her biggest challenge yet in The Iron Queen.

I read all three addictive books in the Iron Fey series back to back and I think this is my favorite book of the series. It is a thrilling fantasy, with adventure and drama, colorful characters, and an epic romance all set in a magical world. Ms. Kagawa’s descriptive writing flows effortlessly and paints a vivid picture of the story. The humor that is sprinkled throughout the story makes it even more enjoyable.

The characters in this series are strong and compelling. The protagonist Meghan goes through many emotional trials and tribulations and comes out much stronger for it. She has grown quite a bit since The Iron King and has become a force to be reckoned with. It is satisfying to see her growth and to see her accept herself and face her challenges head on. Ash, the Winter prince, really shines in this book. I have been a fan of his character all along, but I was won over by his honesty and devotion to Meghan. Puck, the Summer prince, also shows some new sides to his character. He impresses me with his loyalty to Meghan and his humor. Grimalkin, the resourceful cat, is another favorite character. Ms. Kagawa does a great job of integrating new characters, and I found a few new favorites in this book.

Romance takes a little more of a focus in this book. Ash and Meghan have a little time between battles to get to know each other better, including playing board games! Ash has some swoon-worthy moments, and I root for them as a couple.

This book is fast paced and has several nail biting moments. The final scenes are emotionally charged, heart wrenching, and intense. I was satisfied with the ending, but am also relieved there will be another book in this series.

I highly recommend this engaging series to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy books. You won’t be disappointed! The next book in the series will be Ash’s story: The Iron Knight.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read the digital galley.

For more information:

Amazon / Goodreads / Author’s blog

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Book Title: Intrinsical

Author: Lani Woodland

Publisher: Pendrell Publishing

Publication date: August 20 2010

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Hardcover 298 pages

Format/Source: HC via a book tour from Extreme Reader Book Reviews

Date read: January 5 2011

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

My thoughts:

Yara Silver is sixteen and attending boarding school with her friend Cherie. It was Cherie’s idea to attend this boarding school because she is obsessed with ghosts and this school has a legendary spooky history. Yara does not share the ghostly fascination because she is trying to hide her own skeletons in the closet. Yara’s grandmother is a Waker, someone who can communicate with ghosts. Yara has always been afraid that she would inherit this talent. She has seen people talk about her grandmother and is not interested in being the subject of this unwanted attention. However, the Pendrell boarding school seems to have brought out the Waker in her right away as she saves her crush Brent from a dark mist paranormal attack. Now the dark mist has sensed Yara’s presence and has found a new target. Can Yara break the legendary Pendrell curse?

Intrinsical is the first book in the Yara Silva trilogy. I was initially drawn to this book by the striking cover and the intriguing premise. Intrinsical is a suspenseful and fast paced read and kept me up late reading. It is a scarier story than I had expected, and I realized it was not the best idea to read this late at night. There is a steady level of tension in the book and some unexpected twists to keep your interest. The writing flowed nicely with plenty of detail and vivid descriptions.

As the protagonist, Yara is a strong heroine. She starts out lacking confidence, but the character shows growth throughout the book as she learns to live with her paranormal gift. Yara’s relationship with Brent is believable and builds slowly. She and Cherie have a strong friendship and make a good team researching the Pendrell curse.

The ghost story was the most compelling for me due to the surprises and the intricate plot. There are high stakes involved and a scary villain to defeat that kept me turning the pages. This story should appeal to fans of ghost stories and romance, and one that came to mind while I was reading this was Shadowed Summer. In the sequel I would be interested to learn more about the origin of Yara’s Waker gift, and find out more about her grandmother.

Per Goodreads, the next book of the series is titled Indelible and should be published in September of this year.

For more information:

Amazon / Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish featuring a new top ten list each week. Everyone can participate- head on over to their blog and sign up.

This week’s topic is Top 10 Books I Resolve to Read in 2011!

Listed in no particular order, here is my list of top 10 books I resolve to read this year. These are all books I own and that I have not had a chance to read over the last year:

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This one has been highly recommended and sounds very unique.

2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – Want to read this before the movie comes out. I hear it’s great.

3. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves – This is one of my first kindle book purchases, and I meant to read it for the debut author challenge. The reviews mention how crazy and strange it is and I must read it for myself!

4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I want to read this one for the steampunk elements, and to catch up on the Clockwork series before the next book comes out.

5. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh – I saw this one a few times on year-end top ten lists and it sounds intense and has a great premise.

6. Mistwood by Leah Cypess – This looks like a great fantasy book that hopefully is similar to Kristin Cashore’s books. There is a sequel coming out in the spring.

7. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder – This is a dystopian book from one of my favorite authors, and I have the sequel from NetGalley. I’m very eager to read this.

8. The Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink – I really enjoyed the first book in this series Prophecy of the Sisters, and am looking forward to reading the follow-up.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – I have never read a book by Neil Gaiman, and have owned this one for quite some time. This book comes highly recommended.

10. Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Sounds like one of the better YA werewolf books, and I’m eager to read it.

I think I will try to read The Book Thief first – no more procrastinating! Have you read any of these books – which one do you think I should read first? What books do you resolve to read this year?

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Book Title: Unearthly

Author: Cynthia Hand

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication date: January 4 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Hardcover 448 pages

Format read: NetGalley ARC

Date read: October 25 2010

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

My thoughts:

Amid the flurry of Angel books, Unearthly stands out from the crowd. There have been several YA books centered on angels recently, but Unearthly ranks as my favorite among them by far. Unearthly impressed me with the character development, vivid descriptions, and compelling story telling. Unearthly is Cynthia Hand’s debut novel.

Clara Gardner is a sixteen-year old angel-blood living in California with her mother and brother when she starts having the vision. The vision represents Clara’s “Purpose” that she is destined to fulfill as an angel-blood on earth. As the vision takes shape, Clara and her family follow the clues and move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming so that Clara can complete her purpose. Now Clara and her brother have to start at a new school, and Clara must find the boy from her vision and save him from a fiery death.

The book is evenly paced, and always kept my interest. The details about Clara’s purpose are slowly revealed, keeping the suspense level high. The characters are compelling and fully realized, and the writing flows easily and is not overdone. Although the book clocks in at over 400 pages, the pages flew by. There were also a lot of surprises in the plot that kept the story fresh.

The protagonist Clara is easy to relate to. She starts out the story knowing that she is part angel-blood, but finds out more about the bigger picture as the story progresses. The family relationships and friendships in the book felt authentic and realistic and help to move the story along.

Although some may be drawn to the angel-blood aspect of the book, the book also offers a compelling romance. Clara is drawn to Christian, the boy she is destined to save. However, Clara is also pulled to Tucker, her friend’s brother. These relationships are set up very well and are slow building. It is a love triangle of sorts, but it’s more that Clara is torn between following her destiny or her heart.

There is an air of mystery about the characters and questions about the mythology that has me eager for the sequel. The ending is satisfying and strong, but also brings up a whole slew of new questions. Unearthly is an awesome debut that should appeal to fans of paranormal romance, and those looking for a fresh, unpredictable YA fantasy. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperTeen for the opportunity to read the digital galley.

For more information:

Amazon/ Goodreads/ Author’s blog

 

 

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