Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini Review

Title: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy
Page Count: 496 pages, 833 KB
Book Type: e-galley
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062011992

Picture from Amazon

From Goodreads: How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review: I love this cover. I cannot wait to go and get a physical copy of this book--it’s that beautiful. The colors and her flowing dress are gorgeous. The black and white version on the Kindle does not do it justice. The blurb doesn’t even really bother me since it is so small and isn’t a main focus (and you know how much I hate blurbs on the front of books). The only problem I have with this cover is that it seems like her face is cut off at a weird part. It’s not too big of a deal though.
I’ll have to admit, I’m loving this Greek mythology trend in books. I first read The Goddess Test and now Starcrossed. I’ve enjoyed both of them! Granted, I really know nothing about Greek mythology, so I don’t really know if sticklers would enjoy this book or not. If you’re not sure if you want to read this, based on accuracy in Greek mythology, please remember that this is a work of fiction. If you can’t invent something in a fictional world, when can you? (/endrant)
I am insanely jealous of Helen getting to spend time with the super-large Delos family. They seem like such a fun group of people. The supporting characters in this novel were just as fabulous as the main characters. Helen’s best friend, Claire, had me laughing out loud a few times. I can’t say too much without spoiling it, but look for the part where Helen goes to Claire’s house to talk with her (and the following scene). Claire is so funny throughout. 
I read this book very quickly because every time I would put it down, it was all I could think about. This, I think, is a testament to how much I enjoyed it. 
There was a little bit of insta-love (or, more accurately, insta-hate turned insta-love), but at least it was explained. I cannot wait to see where Josephine Angelini takes this series. Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2011 so far. I can’t wait to re-read this one. Cliff-hanger warning! Go. Buy. This. Book. Now.

Thanks to NetGalley, HarperTeen, and Josephine Angelini for this review copy!

Have you read this? Did you love it as much as I did? I would love to hear your thoughts! (Side note: sorry for the huge gust-fest!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Most Wanted List: 2011

Inspired by some of the Armchair BEA posts (i.e. Fiktshun’s Best of 2011), I have decided to make a list of my most anticipated/wanted books for the remainder of 2011! Since there was no way I could limit this to just a few, I will be posting June, July and August today and then September-December in a bit. I’m sure I will be adding about a billion more books to this list before the end of the year. 2011 looks like such a good year for books!
June 1: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
June 7: Hereafter by Tara Hudson
June 7: Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth #2) by Stacey Kade
June 14: Hourglass by Myra McEntire
June 14: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
June 21: Legacy by Cayla Kluver
June 28: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
June 28: Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
July 5: Overbite (Insatiable #2) by Meg Cabot
July 5: Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9) by Sara Shepard
July 8: Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
July 12: Bad Taste in Boys by Carris Harris
July 26: Wildefire by Karsten Knight
August 2: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
August 2: Never Have I Ever (The Lying Game #2) by Sara Shepard
August 23: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
August 29: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris
August 30: Dust & Decay (Benny Imura # 2) by Jonathan Maberry
August 30: The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles # 2) by Mary E. Pearson
August 30: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Did your favorites make my list? What are your most anticipated/lusted after books for June-August in 2011?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

IMM (7)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is awesome for sure.
The first video is my for real mailbox. I did leave some books out because I just bought a ton, but maybe I'll add them into a slower week. The second video features 3 extra books that I went on rants about. I have a laughing fit and here are a few things you can expect in the outtakes video:
1) Cheeseburger of pain
2) Butterfly book covers
3) Gymnastics in one of the Jurassic Park movies
Intrigued yet?

For Review:
The Grind Show by Philip Tucker (6/5/11) TransientMe
Prelude to a Hero by Jamie Buckley (5/27/11) On the Fly Publications

From Netgalley:
Calli by Jessica Lee Anderson (9/6/11) Milkweed Editions
Legacy by Cayla Kluver (6/28/11) Harlequin Teen

Timeless by Alexandra Monir (1/11/11) Delacourt Press--from Rachel @ Fiktshun
Forgot to mention in the video, but it's SIGNED!
SWAG from Rachel @ Fiktshun

Thanks so much everyone! What did you get in your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Read-a-thon: 6/4/11

A week from today (June 4), I am going to be participating in a read-a-thon at Awesome Bookworm! There is still time to sign up if you want to join in on the fun.

The books I am hoping to read this week (including the read-a-thon day) are:
Finishing up the last 100 or so pages of Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Prelude to a Hero by Jamie D. Buckley
The Grind Show by Philip Tucker
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
A Season of Transformation by Jayne Fordham
Freefall by Mindi Scott
Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Those that Wake by Jesse Karp

Just because I like this picture :)

This list is probably totally unrealistic, but meh. We'll see how it goes! Will you be participating in the read-a-thon? What does your reading list look like for the week? Let me know!

Armchair BEA: The End

Well, we have reached the conclusion of Armchair BEA. I want to give a HUGE, HUGE thank you to the organizers. The event was a huge success and the Twitter parties were insane (in the best way possible, of course). My TBR shelf has probably tripled in size. My local library will thank me. 

If you're here because of Armchair BEA, I really hope that you like what you see and decide to stick around. I love chatting with all of you through comments/Twitter/Facebook/etc. I have met so many fabulous people through this event and I couldn't be more thankful. I even met a local book blogger that I had never heard of! Super exciting, as I thought I was alone here. Book clubs and those kinds of things are already being talked about. I probably would have never known about any book bloggers near me if it wasn't for Armchair BEA.

I also got some much appreciated and needed blogging advice. I have so many posts starred on my Google Reader to peruse and reference in the future. I now know how to make blocked out quotes! Woo!

Thanks again everyone for making Armchair BEA amazing! You rock!
^That's how excited I am about meeting super cool people like you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Look at: True Blood Season 4

It's no secret that I love Charlaine Harris, the Sookie Stackhouse novels and the HBO television show, True Blood. On Thursday, they posted some new promo pictures that I just had to share with you! I would have posted them yesterday, but I had already posted twice and I have been posting quite a bit this week. Don't want to overwhelm you all, now do I?

All pictures are from the True Blood page on Facebook
Jason, Pam and Jessica! Three of my favorite characters on the show. If you haven't read the books, just wait for all of the developments with Jason this season! Also, I love the addition of Jessica to the show. She is not in the books and I think she's a welcome addition to the cast. Her relationship with Hoyt is precious. I can't leave this without saying something about Pam. She is one of the funniest people with the driest senses of humor!

Ah, Sookie and all of her suitors. Clearly Eric is the best suitor. Just saying. Look at Bill's stance. Haha. He is the only one not looking at Sookie.. I wonder if this is saying something... On further inspection, perhaps Eric is looking at Alcide. Either way, Eric is still the best. ;-)

Awe, then we have Lafayette, Tara and Sam. I'm glad Lafayette is still on the show and he should have an interesting season with the development of Jesus as a witch. Tara. Oh, dear Tara. Sometimes she really annoys me, but girl has been through a lot. Her new hair looks fab as well. Then there is Sam. He went a little cuckoo at the end of last season. Did he shoot Tommy for real? We'll have to wait and see.

On another note, I really like how each poster has a color theme. 

I hope you enjoy this season! Will you be watching? Do you have a favorite season so far? Let me know your predictions in the comments!

Armchair BEA: Blogging about Blogging

I am by no means a blogging expert (clearly). So for today's Armchair BEA writing prompt, I'm just going to discuss some of the things I have learned while blogging. Please, please add some of your own tips and tricks in the comments--I would love to learn more!

1) When commenting on other blogs, please don't just leave a link to your blog. If you're going to link to your blog (which I love looking at), leave a meaningful comment as well! There is nothing better than looking in your comments section to find a very thought out comment. It doesn't need to be a book, but it's nice to know that you actually read the post. 
2) I don't really like just link-for-link promotion. Sure, I love getting more followers, but I would rather my followers actually be interested in what I am saying.
3) Only blog what you feel like blogging. Don't review books just because they were pitched to you. Don't participate in memes just because everyone else is. You're unique, so your blog should be unique to you!
4) If you're not a schedule person, you don't have to have your posts scheduled a month in advance. Do whatever feels comfortable to you.
5) Really utilize the social media aspect of blogging. Make genuine contacts with other book bloggers. Don't force it, but put in some effort. You can find some very fascinating people doing this. Plus, you never know when that contact could be beneficial in the future. That book blogger you know from Nevada? They could know someone who is looking for [insert job of choice here] and tell you about it. 

In addition to this somewhat useful post, I would like to thank all of the organizers of Armchair BEA! It has been such a blast. I've loved looking at all of the featured posts of the day and the Twitter parties were insane. I met so many fabulous people and I hope to keep in contact with them. Also, if you've joined me in Bookland because of Armchair BEA, thank you! I hope you stick around and like what you see.

Please, please, pleaseeee share your tips with me! What do you look for when you're looking for blogs to follow? What is the best advice you have ever been given? Let me know!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eat Well and Be Fabulous by Shelly Marie Review

This is going to be a quickie review as it's not a fiction book!
Title: Eat Well and Be Fabulous: A Guide for the Modern-Day Woman
Author: Shelly A. Marie
You can purchase the book here.
Description: Not your traditional, bland diet book, this is a trend-setting, real-world guide for all women who want to feel and look sensational.
Following four lifestyles:
  1. A modern-day co-ed,
  2. A sorority leader,
  3. An intern,
  4. A professional;
This book is a celebration for all sophisticated, modern women to toast to eating well and feeling phenomenal!  Snubbing the ‘Fun-Vacuums,’ dreadful rules of counting calories, avoiding foods, weighing weekly, and scare tactics, Eat Well and Be Fabulous divulges the simple, savvy fashion of eating for zest.  Behind all the sizzle and sass, this book offers concrete direction on healthy eating and creating your individual plan to ‘shine from the inside out!’  Written by a dietitian, this book is a must read for all women, from co-eds to professionals, who want to ‘Radiate Fabulousness!’
Learn the secrets of being fabulous!
My Review: Eat Well and Be Fabulous: A Guide for the Modern-Day Woman is tremendous and provides you with amazing recipes (even for the cooking challenged!). Whether you are in a hurry or hanging around the house, these recipes will work for you. You get to know four women and follow them on a journey to better lifestyles. You feel like these ladies are people just like you and your best friends.  This is NOT a diet book—it is a book to encourage you to lead a healthier lifestyle. Shelly is not at all a fan of diets and we all know that they don’t work! Shelly has a way of really connecting with the readers.
I know once I hit the grocery store, I usually get overwhelmed and I’m not really sure what is best to buy.  With the help of this book, shopping lists are much easier to make.  Whether it is the “Decadent Dairies” or the “Vivacious Vegetables” I go for, I know that I’ll have a list of what is best for me.  Some of the recipes I am dying to try are the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap (hummus, chicken, red peppers and spinach all in a wrap-YUM!), the Peanut Butter Shake (milk, peanut butter, and banana-how could you go wrong?), and the Spinach Quesadilla (mozzarella cheese, spinach and salsa!).
What are some of your favorite "healthy" recipes? I'm always looking for something new and yummy to try. Dark chocolate and peanut butter are totally healthy, right?