Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday [#5]

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers --but you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Be sure to check out their posts for all the official rules of the Feature and Follow Friday, as well as the Linky to sign up.

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

My preferred reading format is physical (I don't care between hardcover or paperback, because my preferences change). But eBooks are often much more convenient and so I end up reading a lot of books that way. I have certain books (ones I really like, am looking forward to read, or are just really big) that I have to have in a physical format, no matter how convenient the eBook. I usually don't buy books, borrowing them from the library and friends, so it's not an issue of price with me.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic {by Suzanne Weyn}

Title: Distant Waves, a novel of the Titanic
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Rating: Did not finish
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Chased by their pasts and drawn to a more hopeful future, four sisters embark on the journey of their lives…aboard the Titanic. One is going to have her wedding during the voyage. Another has become involved in a feat of scientific intrigue that has the potential to alter the course of history. All of them feel out of place, and at least one of them will soon find herself out of time. 

This is the synopsis on the back of the book. I've owned this book for years, picked up for a couple dollars at a used book store, but haven't actually picked it up to read until now…

The book is absolutely nothing like the description. Nothing. And although the Goodreads description is a little more accurate, it's not by much. I mean, it even says it is "a novel of the Titanic". But it wasn't. Also, there are five sisters. The description says four. (Okay, unless one just didn't embark on the "journey of her life". I didn't finish, so I wouldn't know.)

The book is told from the point-of-view of the second daughter, Jane. It starts with some back story, when she a young child, and watching her mother contact a spirit for the first time. Recently widowed and pregnant, the mother moves her four daughters to a place called Spirit Vale, full of spirit mediums, where she can practice her "gift" without being judged. On the way there, they meet the famous Nikola Tesla, when they get caught in an earthquake he created with some machine he built. They continue on their way, but this creates in Jane what is an almost unhealthy obsession with Tesla. For the next ten years, she continues to collect every article, newspaper clipping, and story she can find about Tesla.

Her older sister, Mimi, is skeptical of their mother's "abilities". As the story goes on, more and more proof appears that their mother is faking more than is real. Mimi wants to get out of Spirit Vale. Eventually, something happens that triggers the last straw. Jane, wanting to enter a journalist contest, wants to interview Tesla, and they two girls head to New York.

This is about where I stopped reading. Now, let's get this straight: the story isn't bad. But it wasn't what I was expecting, and so I got bored. The characters aren't really developed. I have a pretty good sense of Jane and Mimi, but I don't really know the younger three sisters. Historical names-such as Nikola Tesla, W. T. Stead, and John Jacob Astor-are thrown in to make this historical fiction, but it was slightly unorganized. I wasn't ever really sure of the plot, or what was going on, although most of that came from expecting something completely different.

The biggest part about this though was the spirit world. Now, I have read my fair share of paranormal. But, somewhere along the way, it just became not my thing. I don't have an issue with it, but I prefer to choose it when I do read it. Ghosts and the like have never been my favorite. So, I was expecting something light and innocent, and it did not turn out that way at all. I felt slightly "tricked" into reading this, as I would not have read it had I known what it was about.

I didn't want to give this book an actual rating, because I did not finish. I have read other books by Suzanne Weyn, and enjoyed them. (In fact, I loved Reincarnation so much I read it like four or five times when I was in middle school/beginning of high school.) It wasn't because of the writing, but instead because of content. And it wasn't bad, by any means. It was just misleading, and because it wasn't about what I wanted to read about, I became bored. If the supernatural and spirit world is your thing, then you may love this book.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Suzanne Weyn:

Website | tumblr | Facebook | Goodreads

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Short Story Sunday: The Goddess Hunt

Title: The Goddess Hunt
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: The Goddess Test, 1.5
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

A vacation in Greece sounds like the perfect way for Kate Winters to spend her first sabbatical away from the Underworld...until she gets caught up in an immortal feud going back millennia. Castor and Pollux have been on the run from Zeus and Hades' wrath for centuries, hiding from the gods who hunt them. The last person they trust is Kate, the new Queen of the Underworld. Nevertheless, she is determined to help their cause. But when it comes to dealing with immortals, Kate still has a lot to learn...

*Contains slight spoilers for The Goddess Test. Read at your own discretion* 

Like I said about The Goddess Test, I like the way this series showed the gods and goddesses from a different perspective. In The Goddess Test, they were undercover (so to speak), pretending to be Henry's servants. Once you figure out who is pretending to be who, you can see the different parts of their god(dess)-like nature show through. But in this novella, we know who they are and they're not hiding it. So we also see the mythology-like personalities as well. 

Kate has passed the test, and now it is time for her six months away from Henry. James is coming with her, and they decide to go to Greece. But James has his own plan- to check up on the Castor and Pollux, who the other gods have been trying to find for centuries. Unknown to Kate, Ava has been keeping tabs on where they are, and alerts Walter/Zeus to where Castor and Pollux are. Kate doesn't know the whole story, and being the new Queen of the Underworld, is the last person Castor and Pollux would trust.

Maybe it's because I've read a lot of mythology and just understand that that is the way the gods and goddesses are, but Kate's whole judgmental attitude of Walter and Henry being such terrible people for doing this to them irked me the entire time. Now, I am in no way saying that Walter was correct in tricking the brothers like he did, or that it is right of them to hunt them down when all they want is to be together. And I understand the Kate's whole existence really is to bring a fresh perspective, since she understands what it's like to be human. But her mere 19 years compared to their thousands upon thousands? She has no right to be so judgmental and closed-minded about the situation. Technically, Castor died. Pollux shouldn't get to see him at all, just like any other person's family when they die, and now the three of them are acting like the gods are the bad guys.

And they are as well, I get that. I do. I'm not making excuses for them. It's just...Kate, man. Ugh. She really annoys me.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

 Aimee Carter:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook|Goodreads

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham

Title: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Series: Theodore Boone series
Rating: Five out of Five stars
Purchase:  Amazon  ;  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Goddess Test {by Aimée Carter}

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test, book 1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: AmazonBarnes and Noble

Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
If she fails...

I'm a sucker for gorgeous covers.

I'm also a huge sucker for Greco-Roman mythology. No seriously, for reals. I took all the way to Latin IV in high school because of it. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of my all-time favorite series. So when I saw this Persephone-inspired story, I immediately knew I had to read it. It was actually on my list for a while, back before I had a Goodreads, and my to-read lists were on pieces of paper scattered around my room (lol). I finally read it sometime last year, but I reread it last week in preparation to read the third one. I ended up reading the entire series in about a week, including in-between novellas. 

Kate Winters is an 18-year-old girl who is just trying to take care of her dying mother. Her mom's last wish is to move to her hometown, so they pack up and move to Eden, a small town in the middle of nowhere. There, Kate meets James, the loner dork, and Ava, the jealous Queen B. Ava invites her to a party, but it turns out to be a prank--a prank that goes terribly, terribly wrong. Ava takes her to the Eden Manor, and then tries to leave her there, swimming away. But instead of swimming away, she hits her head on a rock. Then, a mysterious guy shows up, claiming he can heal Ava, and asks what Kate will do in return. When Kate says she would do anything, he asks her if she has read the Persephone story, gives her until the solstice, and brings Ava back from the dead.

Kate thinks nothing of this weird encounter, thinking she has imagined the whole crazy thing, until solstice, when the mysterious guy, Henry, comes knocking on her door. She refuses to go with him, and the next day, Ava dies. She heads back to Eden Manor. There, Henry tells her the ultimate plot twist: he is actually Hades, god of the Underworld, and is looking for a bride. If she passes 7 tests, she will become his bride and queen of the underworld. If she doesn't succeed--or dies, like the 11 girls before her-- Henry will fade away and someone else will take his place as god of the Underworld.

Like I said, I enjoy mythology, so I enjoyed seeing the different gods and goddesses from a different point of view. The story was well-written and fun to read. It kept you engaged the whole time. You get caught up in the story, wanting to figure out the mystery of who is killing the girls as well. Finding out which servant is which god is surprising, as well as the plot twist at the end of who is actually killing the girls.

The only bad part was Kate's whining about how Henry doesn't show her love the way she wants. I mean, he has been single for a thousand years, and before that, he was with Persephone for a millenia. That's not something one forgets easily, and her mere 18 years can't wrap her mind around that. But other than that, it was a really good book.

Now, what did I say about gorgeous covers?

The NerdHerd is:
Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

This review can also be found on  Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

 Aimee Carter:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook|Goodreads

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Short Story Sunday: The Prince

Title: The Prince
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection series, novella #0.5
Rating: Three out of Five stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines, book one
Rating: Five out of Five stars
Purchase: Amazon ; Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spirit {by Brigid Kemmerer)

Title: Spirit
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental, book 3
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: AmazonBarnes and Noble

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Unlike some others, I never hated Hunter, but I never quite liked him either. He just wasn't my type of guy. He was sort of mysterious, as we never really undersold him or knew where he was coming from, until this book. And while he still isn't my favorite, I do like him a lot more. 

The budding bromance between him and Gabriel has obviously come to an end with the revelation at the end of Spark. With the problems at home with his grandpa and mom, Hunter is alone. Then Kate comes along, and he doesn't feel so alone. 

Hunter has trust issues. Instilled into him by his dad, it's a hard thing to forget. Which may not have been a terribly bad thing, seeing as how Kate wasn't all she seemed to be. However, it gets in the way of his relationship with the Merricks, as he is unable to realize that they truly do want to help him, no strings attached. These trust issues cause him to make decisions that ended disastrously, and could have been avoided. 

And as if I needed another reason to confirm Michael was my favorite, the way he took Hunter under his wing and gave him a place to stay and gave him work was awesome, showing a different side to the jerk he usually is. 

And let's not forget Kemmerer's ability to tell an amazing story. Not only was it told extremely well, but it held some unusual and unexpected plot twists. It was an amazing book that will keep you hooked the entire time. 

I will admit, I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. So I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely recommend reading this series if you haven't already. It is seriously amazing.

The books:

The novellas:

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Brigid Kemmerer:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Short Story Sunday: Breathless

Title: Breathless
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental, 2.5
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.
But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.
His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.
He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

Nick Merrick. The quiet one, especially compared to his hot-headed twin, Gabriel. Although we're getting to learn about him in bits and pieces, I feel that we still don't really know Nick. So this novella was a nice little way to tide us over as we wait for his full-length book.

This was a quick, light read. We get some insight into Nick and his feelings: he just wants to go to college, he doesn't like to fight, and he isn't quite sure what to make of his girlfriend, Quinn. Not going to lie, Quinn just kind of annoyed me. But being the kind and caring person Nick is, he puts up with her, being pretty much the perfect boyfriend ever.

And we all know about perfect boyfriends…

Now I know I'm not the only one who didn't pick up any hints in the previous books. And I'm pretty sure everyone already knows what I'm talking about from the description and other people talking about it. But just in case it is a spoiler for anyone, I won't say anything. Let's just say Nick is having some thoughts that he doesn't know how to deal with… 

I also would like to give props to Brigid Kemmerer for choosing what is a difficult and controversial subject. She isn't afraid to talk about it and bring it out into the open. I can't wait to see what Nick's full length book will bring on this subject. 

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Brigid Kemmerer:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Falling Kingdoms" by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms, book one
Rating: Five out of Five stars
Purchase: Amazon ; Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss {by Stephanie Perkins}

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, Book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: AmazonBarnes and Noble

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. Sappy love stories? Not my thing. At all. So imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying this. 

Anna has been sent to a boarding school in Paris her senior year by her father, who thinks she needs to be "cultured". She isn't very happy, as she has to leave her friends and almost-boyfriend, as well as start over at a completely new school her senior year. At the same time, she's slightly excited. After all, it's PARIS. Anna was a likable and realistic teenage girl. The thoughts and decisions she had were believable, and it was refreshing to read about such a normal person.

The book had substance, as well as being a light and fun read. I loved the relationships between the friends just as much as Etienne's and Anna's. The descriptions of Paris were detailed and made me insanely jealous, making it seem like a livable place instead of just a tourist attraction.

The only thing I would say I didn't like was Etienne drawing out the whole "I have a girlfriend" bit. Also, once Anna realizes she "loves" him, it goes downhill from there. She turns into one of Those Girls (We all know which ones I'm talking about). I realize that I'm pretty the only one who has these feelings, as everyone else I guess is too busy swooning over Etienne.

Still, I liked the book. It was a fun read, and I would definitely recommend it.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Stephanie Perkins:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Short Story Sunday: Elemental

Title: Elemental
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental, .5
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.
Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.
But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.
They want him dead.

The reason I didn't rate this higher is because it's a novella, and because of that I don't feel there is sufficient amount of time to completely write out a story. (Hence why it is a novella and not a novel) 

However, don't let that deter you because it was actually a really good read. It was a great introduction to the start of this series. It explains the background of the story (what are Elementals, the problem in the town that is prominent in Storm) and gives just enough of a sneak peek to make you interested in reading the first book.

Although the Elemental series can be read without reading this first, I would recommend it. It gives insight to the oldest Merrick brother, Michael. It also kind of explains why he's such a jerk. I think I like Michael best out of all the brothers, and it's because of reading this. Had I not, I don't think I would have liked the Michael he is in Storm. (WHYYY does his book have to be the last one? :/ ) It also gives us a look at their parents, and at the other three when they were younger (aww Chris is such a young'un in this one!) In Storm, Gabe and Mike have a few issues and this novella gives us insight into Michael's point of view of it (or so I think).

Short and sweet, Elemental is a fun little read that will make you itching for more of the Merrick brothers :)

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Brigid Kemmerer:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads