Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire
(The Hunger Games #2)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publication Date: September 1st, 2009

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: Dystopia



Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create. Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

My Thoughts: Suzanne Collins is an amazing writer! Once again, she has created a story that keeps the reader captivated. Never knowing what would happen next, I had a hard time putting this book down, even though I had to at times due to mommy duties. This is another action packed novel that makes you want to laugh and cry all the time. Collins does not disappoint fans with this installation of the trilogy!

I developed a strong connection with Katniss in The Hunger Games and it only increased in Catching Fire. I have so much admiration for Katniss and her ability to continue on, even with all of the stress the Capitol puts on her. When she returned from the Hunger Games with Peeta, the Capitol realizes that things are headed towards a rebellion and they blame Katniss. She was the one who defied them with her stunt in the Games and made people realize that the Capitol isn't as powerful as they thought. Katniss just wants to get back to her life, to try and forget the Games ever happened. However, the Capitol is determined to make her life as miserable as possible. They need a way to kill her off, but the people love her so much that to do so would just cause the uprising they are trying to prevent. I will say though, I was definitely surprised with what happened in this book. Collins does not keep things predictable!

As for the "love" triangle. I still don't know whether Peeta or Gale would be the better choice. Katniss does realize  that she loves Gale, but she really cares for Peeta too. Then Gale shuts her out because of how she and Peeta have to act to try and diffuse the possible uprisings. Peeta loves her, of course. his feelings do nothing but get stronger, but can she love him? I don't know. I would probably love to see her with Peeta, they have been through so much together, Gale will never understand that part of her. I guess there is one more book to see how things turn out, so I won't have long to wait to see who she picks, if anyone!

There are some really shocking things that happen in this book, but I can't really go into any of it without giving away major events. But I will say that if you loved the Hunger Games, you will love Catching Fire as well. I'm so anxious to read Mockingjay and see how the story ends. Thankfully, it's already out! so I don't have to wait!

Blog Shout Out!

Hey Everbody!
A close friend of mine just decided to join the blogging community, and I'd really like to help get her some followers!

Her blog is called Shades of Yellow, and on it she'll be making posts about book reviews, craft projects she's working on, as well as what's going on in her life. It's an adorable little blog, and you should definitely check it out! Don't forget to follow if you like what you see, or if you are into book reviews and/or crafts :D

Thanks in advance for showing some love to an awesome new blogger =)

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

by Amanda Hocking
Expected publishing date: April 24th, 2012

Summary(from Goodreads): Ascend...The final chapter in the Trylle Trilogy.

With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy's fate seemed sealed. But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can't save the ones she loves. Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it's all coming to an end.

I just recently read and reviewed the first book in the Trylle Trilogy, Switched, you can find that review HERE. The second in the series, Torn, was just released yesterday, tomorrow is my husband's first day off and me and my friend are both going out to get ourselves a copy! =) I'm already anxious to read the third and final book. Great story!

What book are you waiting on?

R.A.K. Wrap Up: February 2012

This was my second month participating in R.A.K., a big thanks to Book Soulmates for putting the time and effort into organizing such a great program!

I decided to gift some books this month to MaryAnn @ Chapter By Chapter. I hope you enjoy them MaryAnn!

Here's what I sent to her:

I can't wait to spread some more book love around in the months to come!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Candace @ Lovey Dovey Books has awarded us the One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks Candace!
This award is given to bloggers to show how much their blog is appreciated. Another benefit of this award is to spread the love and allow others to discover awesome new blogs!

Here are the rules for this award:
  1.  Link back to the person that sent the award to you.
  2.  Follow the person that sent the award to you.
  3.  Pass along to 15 Lovely blogs.

Here's our 15:
  1. A Purrfect Read
  2. Forever Lost in Books
  3. Book Whales
  4. Hobbitsies
  5. Ink Scratchers
  6. Librarian Mouse
  7. Makeshift Bookmark
  8. Mind reading?
  9. Mostly Reviews
  10. Reading Lark
  11. Sizzling Reads
  12. A Life Pixelated
I'm only doing 13 because I like the number :)

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

To participate you:
-Grab your current read
-Open to random page
- Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
(make sure what you share doesn't give to much away, you don't want to ruin the book for others)
-Share the title and Author to, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR if they like your teasers!

This weeks teaser comes from

"There's somebody called the Admission Coordinator tapping on a - I know, it's a computer, just like in TV. They all look like the persons on the medical planet, I just have to keep remembering they're real."

This book so far is such an interesting read, the whole thing is narrated by the mind of a 5 year old boy. Which definitely makes you have to think about what he is trying to say sometimes, and also makes you see things in a totally different light. I'm not to far in yet, but I really like what I have read so far.

Review: Glitches by Marissa Meyer


Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: December 5th, 2011

Publisher: Tor

Genre: YA/Short-Story/Steampunk/Dystopia



Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In “Glitches,” a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch...

My Thoughts:  I just recently read and reviewed Cinder, you can find the review here. I really enjoyed that book, so when I found this short little prequel I knew I had to read it.

This little short story is a great little addition to the Cinder story. In it we get peek at when Cinder is first introduced to her new family, we get to see her experience what it's like to be a cyborg, to try to deal with things that were easy before, and also to deal with the discrimination that comes along with being Cyborg.  We get to see the friendship between Cinder and Peony blossom, as well as the entrance of Cinder's android friend Iko.

If you haven't you are safe to read this story without it giving to much away on the main story, it will give you a little tiny sampling of what is to come. If you have read Cinder, this is a fun read as you get to see the origin of many happenings from the main story.

This was a fun, interesting, short and easy read. If you are a fan of Cinder, or are even interested in reading Cinder, then I recommend this to you.

Review: Resurrection by A.M Hargrove


Author: A.M Hargrove

Publication Date: January 18th, 2012

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal



Rayn Yarrister, the first-born son and Leader of The Guardians, has been imprisoned on Vesturon for breaking their most sacred of covenants. He is suddenly jolted by Maddie's telepathic pleas for help, as her life hangs in the balance. Can he alert The Guardians in time to save his soulmate? Or will he face his trial alone and broken without his one true love? In Resurrection (Book 2), The Guardians of Vesturon are facing their biggest challenges as Earth is threatened by an invading species from a distant planet intent on destroying it for its resources. The Guardians, as protectors of the universe, have been assembled to defend not only Earth, but other vulnerable worlds as well. The Yarrister family is threatened by an unknown entity intent on discrediting them. Will they uncover this plot in time to save themselves from ruin? Will The Guardians succeed in stopping the Xanthians, or will Earth be invaded and ravaged by this marauding species?

My Thoughts:To begin with, I absolutely loved  this book! The above summary does not do it any justice. The story packs so much more, but I guess it's better left as a surprise.

This story is the second in the Guardians of Vesturon series, the first being 'Survival', you can find me review for that one here. The story picks up exactly where we left off at the end of Survival, which is great because I would hate to miss out on any possible story line.

As is usual for Maddie, in this book she finds herself in terribly awkward situations, and even more near  death experiences. You really have to pity her sometimes, she is like a magnet for bad luck and trouble. The way she is portrayed, I almost see her as a little child, always getting into big messes, causing big problems, and Rayn's family is following her around and taking care of her, cleaning up her messes. At times, I wonder how they didn't explode or just ship her off, her episodes would probably be to much for me to handle, even if my brother was intensely in love with her. But, in this story, we get to see Maddie become a whole new person, making the title of this book pretty much perfect. It really is like a resurrection of Maddie. Gone is the Maddie we have known through book one and part of book two, by the end we have a brand new character that has grown in so many ways. You will come to admire her, love her, and be so happy for and proud of her. Going through Maddie's experiences with her and watching her grow was wonderful. I found myself biting my nails in anticipation, felt my stomach tying up in knots when things got intense, and ultimately I even cried.

Rayn also has some ups and downs in this book. We see sides of him that are surprising. Of course we know he is very protective of Maddie, but we get quite a good look at just how deep that emotion runs, and how it effects him during Maddie's trials and tribulations. Their love story is one I adore. I just wanted everything to be perfect for them, there are some major bumps in road for their relationship during this book, at times I feared the worst or caught myself thinking 'No! That's can't happen!'

Aside from Maddie's incredible character growth, and some amazing details we discover about her past that will shock you! There is also a big war waging between the Guardians and beings from another planet called Xanthians, who are attacking Earth with the plan to destroy it and steal all it's resources as theirs are near depletion. Rayn being the first born and a lead Guardian obviously plays a huge roll in this war, which obviously in turn plays into his and Maddie's relationship. For better or for worse, maybe a little of both, you will have to read it to see for yourself.

I know I said this in the beginning, but I full out loved this book. For a while at the beginning everything was going so well, and I was so happy, and then of course, you know something has to go wrong, at that point, It was impossible for me to stop reading. after I reached 60% I didn't stop reading till I was done, I couldn't! I was up way into the night, without feeling even slightly tired, because the story was just to enthralling. I seriously can not wait to read book three. I can't wait to sink my literary teeth into more of the world that Hargrove has created for us with these books. I absolutely recommend that you get out there and find yourselves some copies of these books, You will fall in love when you read 'Survival', and then Resurrection will rock your world! I'm willing to bet that the third installment will be even better! I want to send out a great big thanks to A.M Hargrove for sharing this book with me, I told her how much I loved Survival and she in turn gave me Resurrection, I am sincerely grateful! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story with me, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking


Author: Amanda Hocking

Publication Date: July 12th, 2010

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal



When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, and I really look forward to reading the second in the series 'Torn', which is due to be released on just a couple of days, February 28th, 2012.

The summary doesn't tell us to much about the story, so I'll fill you in a little bit. The story starts off telling us a little about Wendy's childhood, and namely, her 6th birthday party, at which her Mother tries to kill her whilst shouting that she is not her child and what did she do with her son? Then the story fast-forwards to eleven years later when she is 17 and in high school. She lives with her brother and her aunt and her mother lives in a home for the mentally ill. Wendy  has felt like an outcast her entire life, and has never fit in anywhere or made any real friends. Her only real friend is her brother, Matt, and they have a super close bond! Then she notices this new kid at school who seems to be constantly staring at her, and gives her the creeps, Finn Holmes, however when she confronts him about it, he acts all nonchalant, like staring at her is normal. That may be even creepier..

By this point in her life, Wendy has realized that she has an ability of sorts, she can convince people to do pretty much whatever she wants them to. But she rarely uses this on people, cause she hasn't even quite convinced herself that what she's doing is real, and that maybe she is just really persuasive. That is until Finn catches her doing it, no one has ever picked up on it before. He confronts her, and fills her in on the most life shattering information she could ever receive, her mother was right, she is not her child, her family is not her real family, Matt, the only person she has ever been close to, is not her real brother! She is a changeling, as well as something else! I don't want to say what she is, the summary doesn't give it away, and I want it to be as much as a surprise for you as it was for me. Against her wishes, and due to certain circumstances, Wendy is forced to leave the life she knows and to dive completely into this, entirely new and very strange to her, world.

There's a wonderful little forbidden love story, Wendy falls in love with the boy she once thought was so creepy, but in the new world she is to be part of, they are not allowed to be together, besides she's not even sure he feels the same way about her. I thought the love story in this book was adorable, at first he was this creep, and then she slowly starts realizing all the things about him that she comes to like and then eventually love. Love at first sight is a pretty recurrent theme in YA books, that's not really the case here, and I liked watching her love for him develop into something incredibly strong. Plus, I really loved the character Finn, he is a strong, wise beyond his years, gentle but stern when need be, loyal and honest. He is just a really great guy, and if I were Wendy, I'm sure I would fall in love with him to. Wendy might as well be his polar opposite, she's very emotional, non-committal, very dependent, just floating through life with the littlest effort kind of person. She definitely has some character flaws, but if your own mom tried to kill you when you were six, you might have some issues as well!

I found the story very well written, it flowed very nicely. It was a great, easy, interesting read. We get to see a unique take on a paranormal creature that's been perceived in a very different way in most other stories. We got some paranormal, romance, suspense, action, all the good ingredients for good book. I look forward to reading more of Hocking's work! I definitely recommend this book :).

Also, there is a small story in the back, that shows us parts of the story from a different point of view, I thought that was a great addition and added a new and interesting view on certain events also, it was a great little teaser for the next book.

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is an internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books that bloggers have bought, won, received for review, been gifted, or borrowed.

In Jenn's Mailbox:
 This week I got some pretty awesome books! I did my taxes this week, and got back more money than I thought I would, so I treated myself :)

For Review:
Moonstone - Marilee Brothers
Moon Rise - Marilee Brothers
Moon Spun - Marilee Brothers
Shadow Moon - Marilee Brothers

A big Thank You! to Bell Bridge Books for letting me review this series!

^ Note the hand, book thief!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay


Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
I won this in the YA Giveaway Hop from A.L. Davroe 
Thank you!!

For Nothing by Nicholas Denmon
I won this in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop from  Book World
Thank you!!

Meghan's Mailbox:

Glitches (Lunar Chronicales 0.5) by Marissa Meyer (e-book)

Hardware by Jayda McTyson (e-book)
I won this e-book from the Author during the Black History Month Giveaway Hop, Thank You!
For Nothing by Nicholas Denmon
I won this in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop from  Book World, Thank You!

I also received 5 signed bookmarks and a nice little note from Shelley Workinger, Thank You!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
(The Hunger Games #1)

Author: Susanne Collins

Publication Date: October 31st 2008

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: Dystopia



Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Thoughts: I feel like I have wasted so much time by not reading this. I have been putting it off and I'm not sure why. That being said, I now know why this book is all the rages right now. I finally understand why everyone is talking about it and why they're making a movie about it! This book was amazing, action packed, happy, sad. It was a major page turner (although, I did have to put it down at one point. Ants *shudder*) and did not help me get the sleep I desperately needed.

What I didn't like about this book: The ants.

What I did like: Everything else!

I'm sure most people know the general story line, since I'm one of the last people to read this, but for those of you that are terrible like me; the story revolves around Katniss Everdeen, told from her point of view, as she competes in the Hunger Games as a tribute from her district. There is a boy and a girl picked from each of the 12 districts, so a total of 24, all between the ages of 12 and 18. Their goal in the Games? To be the last one standing.

So basically, you get an action packed story full of teens trying, and succeeding, to kill each other. Why would you want to read this? I already told you, it's amazing. The millions of people who have already read it can't be wrong!

This is another dystopian, I seem to be on a roll with these, and most of the general population are being forced to do crappy manual labour, and aren't given nearly enough to eat. Many of the people resort to illegal actions to survive, including Katniss. Then there is the Capitol, where most people's biggest concern is what the newest fashion is, and betting on who will win the Games. They seem to genuinely enjoy watching the teens murder each other, which they would, since there are no tributes from the Capitol.

As per  usual with YA novels, there is a romance aspect. I don't think it's really that huge in this novel, which means my husband might actually enjoy the movie (he HATES Twilight). As for whose "team" I'm on, between Gale and Peeta, I can't say. Why? Because there's not really much to go on. They both seem to care for Katniss in their own way, but Gale has never really told her about it, and though Peeta does, Katniss thinks it's just an act for the cameras. Katniss genuinely cares for each boy, but she doesn't seem to really be deeply in love with either. So I'll just have to watch how the relationships unfold in the rest of the trilogy.

So, if you still  haven't read this book, and still have no urge to, you're missing out. If it's on your TBR list, I highly recommend breaking it out before the movie comes out next month. Reading the book is always better if you haven't already seen the movie! You are missing out on an amazing book!! Although, I am glad that the whole trilogy is out because I have to read the rest now and waiting just wouldn't be a good option. I definitely recommend this book to everyone!! Go read it now!