Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 4: Ethics & Non-Fiction

Day four here at the Armchair BEA focuses on two things: Ethics in Blogging, and Non-Fiction, one of which I may have something to contribute, the other I'm thinking almost none at all. Take a guess on which is which!


What guidelines must we follow as bloggers--attribution, disclosure, honesty?
I feel like the answer to this is very basic. There is no gray area. Attribution? Yes. Disclosure? Yes. Honesty? Yes. Plagiarism? NO. I don't know how much more I can say other than I know sometimes it is hard to do the right thing, when it seems like the wrong thing would benefit you, but regardless of the benefit, wrong is wrong.

Have you had an experience with plagiarism (victim or perpetrator?), and how did you deal with it?
I've never had any experience with plagiarism. As someone who writes for pleasure, I never felt the need to take anyone else's work and use it as my own - where's the pleasure in that? And I don't think any of my writing has ever been used without my permission, thank God. I don't know what I would do. I've seen many posts in regard to plagiarism "scandals" around the blogosphere with tips on how to handle it, but I'd probably just be pissed and go internet-apeshit. Who knows? You never know until its you.

Do you have recommendations to new bloggers about how to ensure that credit is given to whom/where it's due?
I don't like to a lot of things unless I'm discussing a post or a particular picture, which I generally just put a link to where I got the idea or picture from. Books I'm reviewing, I generally just throw in the book stats because most readers/bloggers know how to find a book. Memes, I usually mention or link back to the hosting blog. Its tedious and it can be annoying, but imagine if it was you who wasn't given credit for something they wrote or a picture they took?

I just don't see this issue as much more than a "do the right thing" type of thing. There's no ifs, ands or buts - just do it.


Now I'm sure you've guessed that this is the topic of the day that I actually have nothing to contribute. I never read non-fiction. I know it doesn't sound believable, and I set goals at the beginning of this year that I would read a couple of non-fiction books, but I just haven't yet. I saw on Armchair BEA's link-up post a mention of The Diary of Anne Frank. Yeah - I read that. In the 6th grade!!!

I just don't think that counts for me. Now like I said, I do have a bookish goal this year to read a couple of non-fiction books. So for you non-fiction lovers out there - what would you recommend for someone like me who just plain old doesn't read non-fiction? Go easy on me now.


Feature and Follow Friday: Blogger-fangirling!

Hey now! Happy Friday! Its been a crazy week here at i solemnly swear with Armchair BEA going on and all. But its Feature and Follow Friday, so we've definitely got to take a few minutes to participate!

This weeks question:
Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.
Well..... this is an interesting question. I like the anonymity of internet friends, so this is a toughie for me. I dont think I've developed any kind of relationship with my blogging-friends more than simply stopping by each others blogs a few times a week to leave a comment and if it wasn't just a chance meeting at a conference, I think I'd have to have a great "relationship" with a blogger to actually try to meet them. I'm not being a snob, I swear, haha! Actually, I think the blogger I would most like to meet in real life is someone I've never even spoken to. I actually just follow her blog and pop over when ever my google reader shows me a new post.
Her name is Katie and she runs Words for Worms. Why would I want to meet her in real life?
She is friggin hysterical! Sometimes I read her posts that I wouldn't even normally bother looking at, just to get a laugh. She's funny, witty and original. Somehow I feel like she would be a laugh a minute in person! Other than that, meeting Parajunkee and Alison from Alison Can Read would probably be pretty freaking cool.
How about you? What bloggers would you like to meet in person? Feel free to say me, I mean I am pretty freakin awesome! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 3: Giveaways and Literature


I dont think I will have a lot to contribute to the giveaways today. I have never done a giveaway nor have I ever truly  participated in a giveaway aside from occasionally entering my email in one. So on this one I am just going to ask: How do you organize your giveaways? Do you pay for the items you giveaway out of pocket, or from your blog proceeds, or giveaway the freebies that you get or already own?
Do you think giveaways have helped your blog substantially, and how? How much work would you say you put into your giveaways and is it worth it? Leave the link to your giveaway in a comment and I'll stop by!
Again, I've never done one and am pretty much in the dark on this topic so I would love your input!
What is "literature"? Before I became a serious reader, I thought that literature simply meant books. It may or may not sometimes just mean books in casual conversation; however, it is obvious this topic is a little more specific. The definition is as follows:
Written works, esp. those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit
Futher inspection has revealed that it means that the plot, characters, every tiny detail has a meaning. The example that was given is that in Twilight, Bella is almost hit by a car to show Edward's strength. Thus, Twilight is not literature. There is no hidden meaning, no symbolism. This makes sense to me. I think I mentioned yesterday that modern writing is much less complex and I suppose many of the young adult novels I read dont fall into the category of literature, haha.
I then sat down to think about what major books that are considered "literature" have I read? Well let me tell you: NOT MANY!
I don't think I know very much about modern literature. Anyone care to enlighten me?
I read a post on another blog recently (forgive me, I cant remember who it was but if I figure it out I promise I will link her!) about being the reader/blogger you are and aspiring to be reader/blogger you want to be. I find myself struggling through so many books that are "before my time" that I just dont get unless I do some research on them because I want to be a more wordly, literature-minded, "well-read" reader/blogger. What am I really? Just a 20-something girl who likes to read fiction, sometimes things that leave me mind-blown because of their depth, but most times things that leave me mind-blown because of the excitement.
From looking at other blogger's posts today, I can easily see now that my favorite series on earth is what would be considered literature in today's day and age. HARRY POTTER! Another love of mine is The Hunger Games. I think we can all agree that these books will be ones that transcend time!
I guess I still have a lot of misconceptions about literary fiction that aren't classics. Apparently I've read more literature than I thought, haha!
How about you guys? How do you think of "literature"? Do you read a lot of books that fall into this category, and do you have any of the same issues that I do when you do? Any recommendations on literature that you loved once you gave it a chance?
Looking forward to hearing from all of you and getting to know you! :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 2!

Now that I have caught-up, registered, and introduced myself, I'm moving on to today's topics: Blogger Development and Genre Fiction!

As far a development goes, sometimes I wonder if I am falling short in the development area. I've been pretty stagnant as far as what I post (3-4 reviews per month, Top Ten Tuesday and Feature and Follow Friday memes). I try to network and be social, but sometimes I don't think I know what the boundaries are for the blogosphere. Should I be e-mailing/messaging fellow bloggers to get to know them? Should I be visiting and commenting a lot more than I already do?

What can I add to my blog to make it more reader friendly? What can I do to "extend the reach of my blog"? I've never tried to generate any income from my blogging. I just don't see that I'm at a point where that would be feasible. If my following was much more substantial, maybe I could try it, but at this point, that's not why I am blogging. I am blogging simply for  the enjoyment.

One thing I haven't quite figured out (or wasn't sure I wanted to even participate in) was giveaways and blog tours/interviews. Oh and guest posting. I guess it would be pretty cool to guest post on someone else's blog, or have them guest post on mine. But that means giving up control in both aspects, so can anyone give some advice on how to ease into that, and how blog tours and giveaways work in general? I don't think either one are things I would be doing right now anyway, but its always good to know for when I do want to expand my horizons some more.

For me, this Blogger Development link-up is more along the lines of me having questions and asking for advice. As such a new blogger, I'm not sure I know enough to give advice or input to bloggers who have been at this so much longer. So with that, gimme what ya got! What can I do to better my blogging-self?

And now for FICTION! I basically read fiction only. Okay, sometimes I read the occasional non-fiction book, but its 99% fiction! For those of you who follow this blog or have taken a look around, a lot of what I read is young adult dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi. Not to say I haven't enjoyed my fair share of Nora Roberts romance, Stephen King mystery/horror, Lois Lowry sci-fi, Jodi Picoult contemporary, etc. But lately I am a young adult girl through and through, with some other sub-genres thrown in here and there.

It probably wont come as a surprise for most of you but, my absolute favorite author on the planet is J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books for "children." Call me a kid then, I guess, cause I'm truly obsessed. :) I think a lot of more modern fiction doesn't get the recognition it deserves like the classics do. Probably because modern works are less complex, easier to read and decipher and don't always have such deep literary messages. Or so they think. I have found that many modern works have resonated with me much more than some classics because of the messages they have that hit home with a modern girl such as myself. Not to say that I haven't been affected by the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird and any wonderful reads such as that.

Anyway, I've recently realized what a huge sci-fi fan I am, so I guess that answers that question. YES TO FICTION! I would like to expand my horizons on this front too, though. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what a modern-loving girl like myself might like that will still provide for some variation in my reading selections?

Well, I'm having a great time on this second (my first) day of Armchair BEA here! Hope to get to know many of you and get some great feedback!


Armchair BEA Catch-Up on Day 1

Hi all! I am very, very new to the blogging world, so BEA and Armchair BEA were virtually unknown to me up until say.... 5 minutes ago! But I've been wanting to meet some new blogger and get into some great discussions, so I'm going to back track, introduce myself, then my next post will be to participate in today's link-ups!
Introduce Yourself:
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
My name is Amanda. I'm a 23 year old recent college grad. I recently attained my Associate's degree as a paralegal, and am working my first job in my field (where I blog all day long haha). I've been blogging here since the beginning of the year. I used to blog a few years ago, but didn't have the time or the ambition so I sort of fell off the wagon, so to say. But here I am, back again! I originally started blogging as a way to remember what books I read and make my way through a giant TBR list, but I never knew how amazing the book blogging community was. I got back into it because I missed it so much, the creative outlet, the meeting new people, the discussions. I mean, come on. How could YOU stay away?
2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 
I hail from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I don't really have any pictures of Scranton, though I'm sure I could find some, but that seems dumb to give you someone else's pictures. However, for fans of the show the Office, Scranton is where that show is set. They even had an Office farewell parade here a few weeks ago with most of the cast including Steve Carrell.
3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 
I have never participated in Armchair BEA before. I've been looking for a way to meet new bloggers and learn more about the blogosphere and I thought this would be a great opportunity to do so!
4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
I am currently reading Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, a yong adult sci-fi novel that is the third in the Trilogy. I just so happens that the first book in this trilogy, Across the Universe is by far the best book I've read this year.
5. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. 
This one is probably really boring, and I think I might have mentioned it before but, I have three jobs. Well technically four, but one is during the fall and one is during the summer. Why, you ask? Because I'm a glutton for punishment. No, I'm kidding. Basically it started out as an extra cash thing, then slowly became a "I don't want to leave all of these people I adore." Anyhow, they all drive me crazy now, and I certainly now wish that my fiancé will get a fantastic job and I can be a stay-at-home-blogging mom. But what I'm getting at with this is that, if I can find the time to blog several times a week, sometimes every day, I'd call it dedication, no?
I'm so excited to participate in Armchair BEA, though I'm still not quite confident that I know how this all works! If anyone has any advice, please let me know! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'm Totally Avoiding

Happy Tuesday everyone! Did you all enjoy your nice extended weekend? This was my first holiday off since I started working full time at an office in my field (as opposed to working at the mall which only closes for three holidays a year)! It was glorious - aside from the fact that I had to cart my 9-year-old brother around to the town fair because I apparently "promised" that I'd take him. (Yeah right, but who am I to argue with the cutest 9-year-old to ever grace the earth?) What did you guys do this Memorial Day?
Anyhow - this Top Ten Tuesday is a FREEBIE!!! Which many of you are thrilled about, but me and my type A personality love structure and I am not the spontaneous type. Guess I should've looked at the topic beforehand like I normally do, so I could have started thinking. So in my panic, I decided to list the Top Ten Books that I Bought, but I Refuse to Read whenever it is time to read s new book.
This is similar to one that Broke and Bookish did called "Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf". The difference here is that I'm listing the books that are still sitting on my shelves because I don't WANT to read them anymore, not that I just haven't gotten around to.
Top Ten Books I Bought but Now Refuse to Read:
1. The Casual Vacancy - This made my list on the similar TTT topic, but since then I've come to dread reading this book. I've heard such horrible things about it that I literally cannot bring myself to pick it up and commit several weeks (because I know it will take weeks) to reading it. Whenever I'm reading a crappy book, I am really just miserable, and I don't know if I can do it to myself with this one.
2. The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - I read the first three books in this series with fervor unmatched by many I've read before, then I got to book four and I didn't like it much at all. I keep telling myself I will finally read this fifth installment so I can put it away and wrap up the series for good, but its been so long, I barely remember what happened in the first four books. Looks like I am going to have to read them again before I get to this one. :(
3. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - I heard about the movie which my mother raved about, but my mom is not a reader so she doesnt know how the book was. I picked it up because I cant ever see a movie without having read the book first and now every time I look at it, my throat closes up. Its a large book and the plot just doesnt interest me that much when I read the blurb. :/
4. The Condition by Jennifer Haigh - I don't even know what this book is about or who the author is. I think I bought it at Borders when they were closing and everything was a million percent off. I have absolutely no desire to read this book. I am disappointed in myself for even buying it, regardless of the ridiculously cheap price. Shame on me.
5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - I was on this kick of reading classics and since I was super into romance at one point, I looked up classic romance and this is what came up. I thought - perfect! I'll read this. And now I'm so intimidated by it, I cant even bring myself to pick it up.
6. Eldest by Christopher Paolini - I read Eragon and it was okay, though incredibly long for seemingly no reason. Don't get me wrong, I admire the kid for being able  to come up with something like this, but I CANNOT commit myself to this book for as long as I know it will take me, knowing already that it isn't my cup of tea.
7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - I know I know. Don't start throwing stones, but after the first book which I actually did like (though I didn't love it by any means), I completely lost interest. I even read about a quarter of this book and I was so bored I had to put it away. Crazy, right!? I know I'll want to read it along with the final book, but I just didn't love it as much as everyone else did. I'm sorry :(
8. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - Been wanting to read this one for a while, but then the negative reviews get to me and now I think I'll end up hating it, and again, I don't want to invest my time into something I think I will hate.
9. Losing Isaiah by Seth J. Margolis - I also got on an Oprah's Book Club kick and ordered this book for dirt cheap. Now I'm convinced I'll hate it because I'm so into YA and dystopian novels lately. I even picked this book up to read about a week or two ago, chickened out and picked up a YA novel instead.
10. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - I read another classic story by Burnett, Secret Garden,  and frankly I didn't enjoy it at all. A Little Princess, the movie (not the Shirley Temple one, the more recent one from the 90's) is MY FAVORITE MOVIE EVER and I am absolutely terrified that reading this book will ruin the movie for me. Isnt that backwards? Usually it is the other way around haha.
So what did you choose for your TTT Freebie today? Do you have any books that are sitting on your shelf that you now refuse to read?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mini Review: As They Slip Away by Beth Revis

Format: E-Book (
Release date: January, 2013
Series: Across the Universe #0.5
Page Count: 48 pages

Selene is a singer on a spaceship that only values people who can provide important skills that enhance survival. As her friends--fellow "loons" in the Hospital--start to join apprenticeships to turn their skills into valuable labor, Selene is sent with a handful of other students to learn about the importance of art from the Recorder, Orion. The assignment pairs her with a young sculptor, Luthor, and their dangerous romance proves just how terrifying living trapped on a spaceship under the rule of a heartless dictator could be.


This is a short addition to  the Across the Universe series that takes place several years prior to Amy's awakening on Godspeed. The story is told from the point of view of Selene who, for those of you who read the first in this trilogy, is the girl injecting rabbits with "innocluations" that Amy stops to talk to. It tells the story of Selene and Luthor who develop a romance that spiral dangerously out of control. This is a beautifully written tragic tale of love and loss.

When I came across this e-book, I hoped it would be a story that would tell me why Luthor is the way he is or what happened to him to make him do the things he did in book 1 and 2, because I really didnt want another sick retelling of Luthor's deranged attacks. But that is what I ended up reading, and although it made me hate Luthor more, it tied some other things up nicely and gave some insight into the occurrences in book 1 and 2. I am glad, however, that this telling of Luthor's awful actions were not nearly as detailed as they were in AtU because it was a little much for me the first time. I cant even fathom to think about Doc's reaction and Eldest's decisions to not punish Luthor or anyone else like him who do horrible things on the ship just because they serve a purpose. Ugh!

Also - I loved how even though Orion's appearance was brief, this story showed us a little bit of him before Amy arrived and while he was simply just hiding out and biding his time. Super interesting!

All in all, for me, it did advance the story a little in tying things up and making certain things easier to understand. It was nice having a "visit" with Harley and Victria again, and seeing Bartie as a normal friend, and meeting Kayleigh for the first time. Getting to "watch" Harley and Kayleigh's love budding from afar was also a wonderful thing.

RATING: ★★★★

My reviews for the first two books in this trilogy:
Across the Universe
A Million Suns

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

ISBN: 9781595145376
Publisher: Penguin Group [USA] Inc.
Release date: January, 2012
Series: Across the Universe #2
Page Count: 416 pages



It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision--no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder learns shocking news, he and Amy must race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed, all the while dealing with the love that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: THEY HAVE TO GET OFF THIS SHIP.

*If you havent read the first book in this trilogy, do not read this review. It contains spoilers for Across the Universe. For a spoiler-free review of AtU, click here*
  • Writing, characters, world building, plot, general everything - still amazing.
  • Slightly more romance in this second installment, though the book still definitely didnt need it to be awesome.
  • In my opinion, Elder developed a lot and slowly changed from a rebellious teenager into a true leader.
  • Revis still kept throwing curveballs at me and though this one was slightly more predictable than the last, I was still blown away by certain things.
  •  It wasnt until this second installment that they finally addressed Amy almost being raped by Luthor and the impact it had on her. It was a severely traumatizing event that was largely ignored after the initial reactions. I will say that I think when it was finally addressed, the reactions and thoughts were probably accurate, though.
  • A little bit slower than the last book, but maybe this was because the shocks were fewer and less mind-blowing (thank God).


I started this book the day after I finished Across the Universe and I was dying to read it, then I finished it in three days, which is unusual for me lately. I was not disappointed! I loved this sequel, though it did move slightly slower than the first book and was somewhat more predictable, it was interesting, filled with mystery, further building of the world known as Godspeed and general craziness. I dont think I have a lot to say about this book other than I loved it!

     RATING: 1/2

4 1/2 stars for this one! I loved it and it added so much to the trilogy! I've already started reading Shades of Earth and I cant wait to find out what happens on Centauri-Earth!

Have any of you read this one or Across the Universe? What did you think? Agree or disagree?


Friday, May 24, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Its F&F Friday again. Visit Parajunkee to find out how to participate!

This week's question:

Q: The #FF is 150 weeks old! And we want to hear from you! What would you change about the hop? What do you like about it? Or just suggest a question to be used for next week!

First and foremost, I love FF! I think its a great way to discover bloggers you might not have come across otherwise, and who knows where that could lead? New book discoveries, new friends, etc.

Also, I generally like the discussion topics. I wont lie, lately I have felt like the questions don't apply to me or I don't have a real answer, but that's what happens when the topics are diverse. Not every one would apply to me, right?

How about you guys? Obviously if you're participating in FF, you probably enjoy it just as much as I do! What do you think?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mini Review: The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

ISBN: 9781426834158
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Series: The Goddess Test #1.5 (E-book)
Page Count: 92 pages


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...

I never realized I had this e-book download on my nook app on my phone from long before I even read book #1 in this series. I only got it at the time because it was free. Now that I've read and liked the first book a lot, boy am I glad I had it.
I picked up my phone today and decided to flip through and noticed I had it, so in my downtime (which is often at my job) I read this e-novella in about an hour and a half.

This was a nice short addition to the series that takes place immediately after Kate leaves Eden Manor to spend her 6 months on her own - which she chooses to spend with... JAMES?! I mean really Kate. You love Henry, but you choose to do this, because James is your "best friend" (that lied to you!). Okay, I'm sorry, I may like the book so far, but James is not my favorite. He's got to go!

The Goddess Hunt didn't do too much to add to what we already knew except to cement what Henry told Kate at the end of book that her relationships with the Gods and Goddesses would change. And change they did. This made me feel a little better because she still got along with Ava and James, they were still friends, but her relationship with Walter and Ella were noticably different. I wondered how this would play out because at the end of the first novel this was one of my biggest worries - that I wouldnt like the rest of the series because of how different it was.

I loved that Kate stood up to the council and didnt let them walk all over her because she was freshly immortal. All in all, this was just a nice quick read giving us a short adventure with our friends from Eden Manor one more time. I cant wait to read Goddess Interrupted for a full fledged adventure and some character development, maybe even some more world building of Eden Manor or the Underworld!

RATING: ★★★ 1/2
I gave this one 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed it a lot but there wasn't much progression to the actual trilogy, such as these little additions usually are, so I guess I cant hate.

Have any of you read this or the first book in the series? What did you think?


P.S. Is it fair to count this "100 page" book  toward my reading goal? I mean, Goodreads counts it. So yes? I dont feel so guilty now! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

ISBN: 9781595143976
Publisher: Penguin Group [USA] Inc.
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Series: Across the Universe #1
Page Count: 417 pages

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
 Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

  • I was drawn in by the story within the first few pages and I was hooked the whole way through.
  • The writing, plot, characters - everything - just flowed so perfectly together.
  • The futuristic words, e.g. "frex", "shite", "uni", "brilly", "vits", etc. At first I wasnt sure how I felt about them because they seemed a little silly, but I think they made the story unique and added to the world building.
  • Many people complained that the cover of the book and even (somehow) the blurb made this seem like an epic romance. I went into this expecting the opposite because of reviews and the cover, and I didnt miss the lack of epic romance one bit. The story was perfect without it.
  • Full of social and political issues. Some may think this is a flaw because not everyone wants politics in their for-fun reads, but in this day and age and the way the world is changing, its refreshing to see a young adult book that addresses some issues like race, religion, government, war, etc.
  • Revis was extremely detailed, even in the sickest, most disturbing scenes. She is a master writer and though some of it made me sick to my stomach, I am still in awe.
  • The world building by Revis is something to be rivaled. I am so fascinated and intrigued by life on Godspeed that instead of reading a new book from a different series, I've decided I'm powering right through this trilogy and starting book 2 tomorrow.
  • This book delivered surprise after surprise after sur-freaking-prise. I can honestly say that this one was throwing me curveballs until the very end.
  • Character development? What!? Loved Amy and Elder, even Eldest was a great antagonist. I love that Revis gave us some insight into minor characters as well. Oh... Harley. :/
  • Last but not least, and I just wanted to throw this little one in - Revis' writing is so amazing. She even somehow made me feel sympathy for one of the antagonists! How?! How Beth Revis, do you do this to me!?
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: (at this point, is there even anything? I feel like I am grasping at straws)
  • This is labeled as a young adult book, but the only reason I think it is is because it has teenagers as MCs. Some of the themes in this book are pretty adult, which is okay for some teenagers, but there were some scenes, vividly described, that even I had to put the book down for a few minutes. So parents, be careful before letting your teenager read this one.
  • When Amy wakes up from being frozen (not a spoiler, she obviously cant be frozen the whole book), she describes the inhabitants of Godspeed as having a strange accent. In my head it is a mix between gibberish and an Irish lilt to their voice. Can anyone help me? The book does NOT describe this very well, so if anyone has any idea of what it actually sounds like - please enlighten me.
  • There were a few times - and only a slight few - that Elder seemed weird to me. Maybe it was his dialogue that was a little off. Or his reactions to certain things. Maybe it was just me. It was only a few times, but the rest of the book was so well put together that it was enough make me wonder, but not enough to make me drop the rating by any means.


Normally this section is called "Summary" because I usually just take a few sentences or a paragraph to sum up my thoughts. I only changed the title for this review because I am afraid I may begin to ramble or go on for much too long. For this, my friends, I apologize. :)

When I picked up this book off my TBR shelf, I only grabbed it because I really couldnt pick anything else to read. By page 5 I was so pleasantly surprised and 4 days later, I was shocked to my core. I havent felt this way about a book in quite a while - I had been steadily losing steam and only reading out of duty. I wasnt truly enjoying reading so, thank you Beth Revis for nudging me back into my love of reading all over again.

I guess I never really realized how much I liked sci-fi. And I mean really extra sci-fi novels. Like The Giver, which is one of my favorite books. I love that book and I dont know how I didnt know this was a love of mine. So many people were upset about the lack of romance. It was somewhere around the last chapter of the book when I finally found myself wishing for some romance. The entire book wouldve been perfectly fine with me if Elder and Amy had no prospect of romance. That is how awesome I think this book was that I dont think it needed the cliche love story.

Also, this is a very political read, bringing up the likes of population control, birth control, promiscuity, "monoethicity" or a master race, etc etc and!!! Oh, am I gushing now? I must be, at this point. I am not one to gush, I dont think so anyway, but upon finishing this book I was laying in bed beside my fiance and I kept putting the book over my face and saying "wow" or "oh my God, is this happening?" It is not often that a book makes me even speak out loud or marvel at the occurrences in a novel.

This book was so much more than what I was expecting. Thank you Beth Revis - thank you, thank you!

     RATING: ★★★★★

I absolutely loved this book. Dont get me wrong, there were some (though few) things I disliked about this book, but they were inconsequential to the fact that I literally read this book during every free second I had, and I havent finished a book this fast or enjoyed one this much in months. Loved it! I cannot wait to start reading the next installment, A Million Suns tomorrow and then finally Shades of Earth within the next few days. I recommend this to sci-fi and dystopian lovers who dont need a romance to complete a story for them.

Have any of you read this book? I know many readers loved this, but also some did not mainly because of the political aspects and the lack of epic romance as portrayed on the original cover. Did you like it or dislike, agree with me or disagree? I would love to hear from you on this one!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Cover Art

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Visit them to find out how to participate!

My list is a Top Four this week. My favorite covers of books that I've read (or am reading, haha) are:

1. Across the Universe - there are a ton of different covers out there, including the one with the kissing faces... yeah, not a fan of that one. I like the one I have, with its intricate, bad ass design.
2. The new Harry Potter covers. The first one is the only one that has been released, but I cant wait to buy them all anew and add them to my collection!
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants new covers. I like that its not just random pictures of pants anymore. The pictures of the girls give me a happy feeling and make me want to jump around, carefree and what not.
4. Cinder I love this cover art. Its so unique and sleek. I really do love this one.
I'm not a big cover art nerd, is the problem here. Generally I'm just happy to have something new in my hand regardless of the cover. Usually it is the content that stays with me, but its always nice when I find a cover I really like.
What are your favorite book covers?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

ISBN: 9780385736008
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Release Date: May, 2007
Series: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1
Page Count: 375 pages


The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.
The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.


  • I love myths and legends, and this book is full of them!
  • Though much of the book revolves around myth, all of the characters except the teenage MCs existed at some point.
  • Very detailed. I never felt like I couldn't picture a scene or something that was happening.
  • A few Greek mythology characters were mentioned in the books. Some of you may know - I am a sucker for Greek mythology.
  • The POVs were not only from the teenage main characters. Scott switched from the twins to Flamel, to Perenelle, to Dr. John Dee (the bad guy) to Scathach. I liked having the protagonists' and antagonist's view.
  •  The writing was a little awkward. The dialogue was unbelievable at times; however, the writing did begin to flow slightly better about a quarter of the way through the book.
  • There was so much information. Lucky for me, I read a ton of mythology books, including educational ones, so I knew some of this information already. I think this is a con, though, because some... or most readers... wouldn't know a lot of that information and would have a hard time keeping track.
  • Really slow until about half way through the book, and even after that point, it wasnt that exciting. I found my self struggling to stay interested.
  • Most of the myths are sort of just thrown in together with the explanation that all the Gods were the same all over the world just by different names. Again, I love mythology, but this began to get confusing. 


I did enjoy this read, however I didnt love it as much as I really, really hoped I would. I adored Percy Jackson, and I thought this would be slightly reminiscent of the same. I was a little disappointed. I love informational reads that make you think, but I also like to be kept interested with action or something happening. Things did happen, but it never felt exciting. I will eventually read the next installment because I am curious on how this continues, but I'm not exactly rushing out to get it.

     RATING: ★★★

I liked it, but I didnt love it. It was an interesting read but not exciting.

EDIT (9/10/13): After many months and many books in between, I decided not to go forward with this series. I have very little interest in it and decided to spend my time reading something I'll enjoy more.

Have any of you read this one? Do you agree or disagree with the points I've made? Love hearing from you guys!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: Summer, summer, summer time!

Boy, this makes me want to break out my Will Smith CDs! "Summer, summer, summer time - lets just sit back and unwind..."

Anyhow, I digress. Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Visit to find out how to participate.

This week's question is:

Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book??

Oh gosh... this is a toughie. Its gonna start getting old if every answer I have to everything is Harry Potter, though I do clearly remember the last time I read HP before I finished the series last year was one of my middle school summer vacations. I hadn't done that well in school, so apparently my mother thought making me read was a punishment. I got halfway through HP and the Order of the Phoenix before my mom retracted my punishment and let me play outside. Good times though!

I never had assigned reading during the summer. Is that weird? I know many, many kids grew up every summer having choices from a list of books and having to read so many of them, but I never did. I grew up in Long Island, New York, and then when we moved to Pennsylvania, I was 17 and out of high school. My sister went to high school a few years later and they had summer reading lists every year. Ha-Ha! I got off easy. I'm not sure what it was about Long Island or maybe just the school I went to, but it never happened. Go Central Islip!! :)

Summer also makes me think of romance novels. I used to be huge on romance, and summer is just so light and fun and romances are such easy reads for me, even when they are full of gratuitous sex and tragedy. It just seems like it all goes together, haha.

So I guess other than Harry Potter, I don't have a favorite summer reading book, per say, just general things I like to read. How about you? What's your favorite summer reading book? 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is hosted by a blog of the same name. Visit to find out how to participate!

This week's topic:
What book(s) do you find yourself going back to? Beloved children’s classics? Favorites from college? Something that touched you and just makes you long to visit? (Because, doesn’t everybody have at least one book they would like to curl up with, even if they don’t make a habit of rereading books? Even if they maybe don’t even have the time to visit and just think back longingly?)
Oh this is a good one! I am NOT re-reader. Honestly almost never. There are two books that I re-read. TWO.
And there are two occasions that I will consider re-reading. I have SO many books on my shelf waiting to be read, I generally cannot bring myself to neglect a book I havent given attention to, to re-read a book I've already given some love.
Anyhow, the two books that I re-read just as a general rule are Harry Potter (who didn't see that one coming?) and The Giver by Lois Lowry. I absolutely adore these books and constantly find myself nostalgic for a re-read. Otherwise, I will only consider re-reading on one of these occasions:
  1. The book is being made into a movie and I want to refresh my memory before I go into the book-to-movie fangirl phenomena; 
  2. or if the book has somehow induced feeling so like the feelings caused by HP and The Giver that I then become nostalgic for the said book.
I can tell you that number 1 happens often enough. Number 2, not so much. I can count on one hand the number of books that have given me those feelings. NONE! There have been some that I've wanted to re-read but I haven't. So, that says something about the books, at least they make me WANT to read them again, such as The Time Traveler's Wife, Tuck Everlasting or Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult. Love these books. Maybe one day I will read them again - but probably not, as long as authors keeping getting published.
How about you, do you re-read often? If so, what do you re-read?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Difficult Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Check them out to find out how to participate.

This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects:

This is a great topic this week. I don't know if you remember, but a few weeks ago I think I mentioned that I enjoy books that rip me to shreds. :)

10. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling (no I didn't just throw this one in because it's HP)
Tough Subject: losing parents; adolescence; being an outcast; difference between good & evil; self sacrifice
9. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tough Subject: divorce; finding yourself; ; unhealthy relationships; finding religion; finding love
8. Virgin River series by Robyn Carr
Tough Subject: domestic abuse; rape; losing a spouse; ptsd; addiction/alcoholism; living as an amputee; life as an injured veteran; teenage pregnancy; losing a child
7. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Tough Subject: addiction; prostitution;  finding God
6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Tough Subject: racism; civil rights
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Tough Subject: racism
4.  Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
Tough Subject: domestic abuse
3. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
Tough Subject: child molestation; clergy molestation scandal; retribution
2. A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
Tough Subject: child abuse
1. I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali
Tough Subject: arranged marriages; child brides; rape; domestic abuse; (all in foreign countries where it is widely accepted or simply not acknowledged)
I can honestly tell you that #1 on my list was the hardest for me to read. It is a true story about an 8-year-old girl in Yemen who is married off to a man at least 30-years-old who rapes her (AN 8 YEAR OLD!) beats her, demeans her, etc., and when she has finally had enough, she escapes and a famous Yemeni lawyer agrees to help her get a divorce from her monster of a "husband". It is an awful story and I still want to vomit thinking about it. But it was incredibly insightful into the lives of girls all around the world who truly suffer this way but do not find their way out. In other words - girls, your man doesn't take out the trash? Live with it - you've got it made.
Anyhow, have any of you read these books? What did you think?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

ISBN: 9780385730587
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: September, 2001
Series: The Sisterhood, #1
Page Count: 294 pages

 "Once there was a pair of pants. Just an ordinary pair of jeans. But these pants, the Traveling Pants, went on to do great things. This is the story of the four friends - Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen - who made it possible."


What I liked:
  • Very easy read. Short, well written and interesting. Easy to get into and get through.
  • A very honest portrayal of the characters as human beings, as teenage girls. Often, main characters are GOOD, with a few minor blips along the way. This book showed imprefect girls (like in real life) and their mistakes and what they learned from them.
  • Connected to each story, found myself crying through out some of the scenes or laughing out loud while reading in public.
  • Each character was distinct, I always knew which point of view I was reading from.
  • Just a great feel good, girly book. That's not always my favorite kind of book but its good to  have one every once in a while!
 What I didn't like:
  • Being told from four points of view, I wish each part throughout the book was longer than a page. Sometimes it was hard to just jump from PoV to PoV from page to page.
  • Carmen was just an awful character. I felt sorry for her but she was just a pain in the ass, borderline BAD kid. She was manipulative and rude and dishonest. I know this isnt a flaw of the book - this is obviously what the author intended - I just DIDNT like this character.
  • The ending was sort of unexpected and anticlimactic. I expected more I guess. I was getting closer and closer to the end and started thinking - ok, when is it going to start to wrap up?

It occurs to me that I was 12 years old when this book was released. And here I am, 23 1/2 years old FINALLY getting around to it. I was already fond of this story going into it, having seen the movies and having read the 4th book (I know, randomly out of place), so it was clear that I was going to like this one. I really enjoyed it, minus some minor hitches throughout, such as the sucky character Carmen that I wanted to slap and tell to grow up! At least she knew she was being a brat. Anyway, I liked this one and I'm surprised because I generally... okay, NEVER read contemporary YA, or chick lit or whatever you want to classify this. I guess I've realized that the disdain I had for contemporary was unfounded and I can definitely start giving more of it a try.

   RATING: ★★★★

I liked this one a lot and would recommend it to anyone who likes YA, contemporary, chick lit, or just saw these movies and enjoyed them. They are cute and fun and enlightening and address difficult subjects in an easy way.

Have any of you read this or at least seen the movies? Do you agree or disagree with the point I've made? Love hearing from you guys!


Feature and Follow Friday - Let's hear it for the moms!

Feature and Follow Friday again, hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Visit to participate!
This week's Question:
Q: Happy Mother’s Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?
Mrs. Weasley FOR SURE!! Not only does she love Harry and Hermione and treat them like her own children, she's a great mom, wife and she's BAD ASS! Go Mrs. Weasley!!
Who is your favorite fictional mom?!

P.S. Though my mom doesnt read my blog (or any blog for that matter), LOVE YOU MOMMY! Happy mother's day to the best mom in the world! :) And happy mother's day to all you moms out there!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday - Sneak Peek

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Visit to find out how to participate.

this week's questions is:
Q: Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.
Well my answer may prove to be pretty boring on this one. I am not reading a new release or a popular YA novel or anything like that. I actually took a trip back in time and decided to read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.
Many of you may have read this considering how old it is, and the rest of you probably never plan on reading it, but I wont give any spoilers, just in case. I am really enjoying it, and the biggest thing I am realizing from reading this book is that I chronically ignore any YA contemporary releases because I am generally not into contemporary. I only decided to read this one because I am fond of the story to begin with and I bought book #5 on a whim when Borders was closing so I figured I had to read the other 4 before I read that one. However, I am realizing that contemporary isn't evil like my brain likes to pretend it is.
My favorite scenes in this novel so far are the ones where one of the main characters Lena is visiting her grandparents in Greece for the summer. I think this is particularly so because I am trying to convince my fiancé that we should go to Greece on our honeymoon (what normal person would have to be convinced, right?) and I am fascinated by the descriptions and the lifestyle.
Anyhow, I'm liking it so far. Have any of you read this series (many years ago I imagine)? What did you think, and what am I in for?
What are you all reading now? Cant wait to hear from you!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Booking Through Thursday...but Not With Books

Booking through Thursday is hosted by BTT - visit to find out how to participate!

What's your favorite hobby OTHER than reading?
Haha, well one obvious answer is blogging. I blog for hours each day, and by "blog" I mean write posts, visit other blogs, update my own blog, take notes on the books I'm reading, network, participate in contests, giveaways, memes, etc., and look for new books to read.
I LOVE to play the Sims 3. I could do that for hours, also. I am very methodical about how I play, though. I don't make people just to make them have silly hairdos or be promiscuous!! They have PURPOSE! I know... like I said - I LOVE the Sims 3.
I enjoy spending time with my niece, Sophia. She is 7 months old and it is quite fascinating watching her grow and develop, because at this point, she is literally doing new things every time I see her, which is about once or twice a week.
And I actually like taking walks very much. Today, my fiancé and I are going to go for a 3 1/2 mile walk around the nearby lake. It usually takes us about an hour or so. We don't do it JUST for pleasure, so its not a nice leisurely stroll. Its for exercise (gotta get in shape before the wedding!) and spending time outdoors, and spending alone time with each other which we don't get very often.
Surprisingly, very little of my time is spent reading, considering I work different jobs, plus find time to do all of the above. Needless to say, I'm a busy woman and it is obvious that reading, along with the other things I mentioned above, are all super important to me that I squeeze them into my busy schedule whenever I can.
What are your hobbies OTHER than reading?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

This is the first time I've participated in Uncorked Thoughts' Harry Potter Moment of the Week, which is surprising considering how much I babble on and on about Harry Potter throughout each week.

Well this week's topic is:

Favorite Newspaper in the Series:

I think this one is a give-in. I also think everyone who has participated in this week's HP topic picked the same one. Who wouldn't love the Quibbler?

Whats your favorite newspaper in the HP series?

Oh this makes me nostalgic for Harry Potter books and I keep putting off reading them again so I can finish the 69 other books I have on my shelf. :(