Nov 29, 2012

Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Title: Bitter Blood
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Publishing Date: November 6, 2012
Pages/Format: 404, Hardcover

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. 

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Uhhhhh

Okay, so I'm writing this review like a week or so after reading Bitter Blood, and that may not have actually been my initial reaction. However, "uhhhhh" sums it up pretty well, and it has myriad meanings. It could be an oh-how-sweet uh, an I-don't-know-what's-going-to-happen-in-Fall-Of-Night (book 14) uh, or maybe even a what's-happening-in-Morganville uh. If you know me, you know how much I love this series. (I mention it in almost every Top Ten Tuesday.) I LOVE this series, and I most definitely loved the latest installment.

First and foremost, I'm going to get my issues out of the way. (Every book, even my favorites, has imperfections. Who/what doesn't?) My first issue is one that doesn't bother me very much, but I see it in almost every book in the series: inconsistency. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!) For instance, Pennyfeather. If I remember correctly, Pennyfeather is a man who could also be a woman (can't tell) who's not the gang's favorite vampire. Pennywell, introduced first in the books, was the same. Did Pennywell change his name? And then there's the house. I thought that, when Myrnin brought Claire back to life, it took away all the "power" in the house, making it just a plain old house? Because that power is back in Bitter Blood, and so's Miranda--as a ghost, similar to Michael's situation. Which is weird. I like the Glass House to be just Michael, Shane, Claire, and Eve--no one else. Miranda kind of got on my nerves. 

My other problem--which kind of breaks my heart--is what happened with Shane and Claire. So we all know Shane has issues (why wouldn't he?). But when Claire has to think about things because Shane didn't believe her when she told him something (that something, by the way? HOLY MOLY FREAKING CRAP OH MY GOSH!), I had to put my foot on the breaks. SPOILER! Myrnin kissed Claire. On the lips. (And let's admit it--I want Claire with Shane. But we all know when her and Myrnin kissed that we liked it and that she liked it, too.) Did she tell Shane? NOPE. I wanted her to, partly because I knew his freakout and death-wish on Myrnin would be extremely entertaining. But this is kind of a big bother for me. Now for the goods! (Which so totally outweigh the negatives.)

Bitter Blood does not disappoint the series, for it has all the right ingredients: crazy vampires, romance, drama, humor, life--everything! The synopsis suggests that this book is all about ghosts, and I really don't think it was. Sure, there were ghosts (still unsure of their importance), but bigger things were happening, in my opinion. SPOILERS! I feel like the people we love (and love to hate) in Morganville are reaching major climaxes in their lives. Amelie is a mega-b who needs to be put in check, and her lover Oliver (you read that right) is becoming more of a good guy. The new Mr. and Mrs. Glass want a life of their own--alone. Shane and Claire seem to have hit a bump in the road, but they get to leave Morganville. I think they have to go back, but they get to leave. Claire's going to MIT in Boston, and she gets to take Shane with her. I'm sincerely hoping that one of the books lets us witness the two in Boston, because I want to read about Shane and Claire in Boston so bad. It would be different than what we see in Morganville, and I want to know what mayhem meets one of my favorite couples outside of their home.

I love this world. It's set in the present, and everything is just like the real world, minus the vampires, of course. Fangs aside, these books are kind of contemporary (not like the genre, but like the world, if that makes sense). I wish Morganville was real, because I would sooo visit. And the characters--oh, the characters. It's gotten to the point where someone says something and I can nod along because I know that's something they would say or do--I know them. I don't know every fictional character like I know my Morganvillers. And I hate that this is book 13, because if things go as planned, there are only TWO BOOKS LEFT. A lot of series I read end at a good spot or go on for too long. The Morganville Vampires? This series could on forever (seriously) and I would never, ever tire of it. And the day this series ends is going to be so, so bittersweet. I should start ordering the tissues now.

Bitter Blood added to the spectacularness of this series, giving all the usual twists, turns, and trauma (and kisses) that are seen in the other Morganville novels. It ends on a note that simultaneously makes you happy and upset, wondering what's going to happen to the characters. One of the questions I asked myself was, What's going on in Morganville? I have no idea, and that scares and excites me. I can't wait to see what Rachel Caine brings in the final (hopefully that changes) two novels, Fall of Night and Daylighters. I know it seems like I talked a lot about things that make it seem like I didn't love this book, but that's false! This book was fantastic and full of several shockers, and, simply put: I loved it!

Did I like it? Of course!
Did I love it? DUH. Yes!
Would I reread it? Several times.
Would I purchase it? Already have it!
Would I recommend it? Yes yes yes!

Nov 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday
is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

The following book comes from one of my favorite authors; I've read all but one of her books (her most recent, I just haven't had time yet!) and I own every single one of them. Her books are amazing and stunning, filled with real-life situations and boys that me swoon. So I'm super excited to add another book to my collection of this author's books!

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publishing Date: June 4, 2013
Pages: 384

Emaline works at her family's vacation rental company the summer before she leaves for college. She must confront her values, goals and choices as her relationship with city-boy Theo evolves and she's forced to say goodbye to the beach town where she grew up.

I'm also waiting on a more in-depth, thorough synopsis.

What about you? What are you waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Nov 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (13)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013

There are quite a few books that I'm anticipating for 2013, but to help narrow down the list, I'm going to only mention books that have info available now (and then cheat and mention a few that don't). 2013 has some good ones!

The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray: This book doesn't come out until October, but I want it. Badly. Why? The characters have to act as famous tragic literary characters (like Romeo and Juliet) in order to survive an apocalyptic world. I WANT.
Release Date: October 8, 2013

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting: The Body Finder series is coming to an end! This series hasn't gone on too long, which is great, but I'm also not ready to let it go. And Jay. I'm definitely not done with him.
Release Date: April 16, 2013

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder: I've read all of Lisa's YA books and loved them all, and I can't wait to get my hands on her latest novel, which I think is her first one not written in verse. 
Release Date: January 1, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: So I'm horrible and still haven't read What Happened to Goodbye, but I love love love Dessen's books and can't wait to add another to my shelf!
Release Date: June 4, 2013

The Elite and The Prince by Kiera Cass: When I first read The Selection, I didn't like it quite as much as I do now. Nevertheless, I'm eager to see what happens in The Elite (Team Maxon!) and to learn more about Maxon in The Prince!
Release Date: March 5, 2013 (The Prince), April 23, 2013 (The Elite)

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi: Part of me didn't like the ending of Shatter Me, but I liked the thriller movie-feel of the book, and I'm interested to see what happens in the sequel. Plus, the romance is very, very nice.
Release Date: February 5, 2013

Light by Michael Grant: I'm okay with this series ending; I think it's time. As for the final book, I have no idea what will happen--Grant's good at that. I do know that there will probably be a lot of the what-the-you-know-what moments.
Release Date: April 2, 2013

Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz: I used to really love this series, but then it diverged into something different and just wasn't the same. While I'm sad that it'll be over, it's time for it to be, and I want to know what's going to happen.
Release Date: January 15, 2013

The Program by Suzanne Young: I just think this sounds suuuper interesting and I've wanted to read it since I first heard about it.
Release Date: April 30, 2013

New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer: Because I'm a twihard and I need this.
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Books That I Need NOW But Fail To Provide Me Info:

Fall of Night and Daylighters by Rachel Caine: The last two books (unless things change, and gosh I hope they do) in the Morganville Vampires series. I love these books HARDCORE, and there's a 99.9% chance that I'll cry my eyes and heart out when this series is over.
Release Date: May 7, 2013 (Fall of Night), November 2013 (Daylighters)

Of Triton by Anna Banks: Of Poseidon was just so fun, and if you read it you know that the ending screams that you need the sequel, like, yesterday.
Release Date: May 28, 2013

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: WHO DOESN'T WANT THIS BOOK?! And also, we should be getting more Etienne. And Cricket! I. Can't. Wait.
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Full Riders by Simone Elkeles: New Simone Elkeles! New Simone Elkeles! New Simone Elkeles!
Release Date: 2013

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: Why am I just now hearing about this? I love all things Beauty and the Beast, so I need this book! And it's a completely different retelling, which is so cool.
Release Date: July 23, 2013

What about you? What are you looking forward to in 2013? Remind me of what books I'm forgetting!

Nov 26, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publishing Date: June 5, 2012
Pages/Format: 358, Hardcover

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Good.

I don't think I've really read much fantasy--it's not my favorite genre--but this book, though classified as it, seemed to have it low key, which was completely fine by me. This book is set in a Russian-esque world, complete with like terms, and I wasn't sure how'd that play out for me because I'm not very in to Russian culture. (Nothing racist or anything.) That said, Shadow and Bone was actually pretty good, and I have very few complaints; it just didn't wow me.

I'll start with the issues. One was the terminology/names. I appreciate that Bardugo brought readers to a world that I don't see much of in modern literature; however, I had some difficulties keeping track of all the names and terms, especially since some of them sounded so similar. I believe the only other thing that bothered me was the romance. Something about it was just...I don't know. Maybe it's because I saw things online prior to reading the book that made me think there would be more. I mean, I liked it, but at the same time it wasn't spectacular or anything.

Overall, I really liked the book. I'm not the biggest fan of war books or movies, but when I read this I kind of felt like I could be watching a war-esque movie, but less hardcore. Alina was a good main character on a road to discovery. I liked Mal and his relationship with Alina, as messy as it was. The Darkling (love his name!) was very interesting and alluring, but not as dark as I thought he'd be. The end of the book totally took me surprise; I definitely did not see that coming. When said ending began, I told my self so-and-so was lying, not the person that they said was. Of course, I was wrong. (Unfortunately.) The book didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it was pretty satisfactory and left me wondering what on earth is going to happen in Siege in Storm.

In the end, I really liked this book and thought it was pretty darn good. My only real problem was that it didn't wow me, but I'm sure it wows several other readers. It was a book that read and flowed quickly (side note: I love all the headings to the beginnings of the chapters; gorgeous!) and was really an enjoyable, kind of light read. It's not my favorite book, but it's definitely worth reading, and I'm so anticipating the sequel.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

Nov 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

There's always something bittersweet when a series must come to an end. Some drag on for too long, while others are just right. I think one of those just-right series is the following one. With the sixth and final book coming out in a few months, I can't help wondering what on earth is going to happen, and I have no idea. These books are twisted and messed up and just all kinds of crazy; however, they're still really good. I'm interested to see what happens as I wait on this week's pick, the finale to the Gone series.

Title: Light
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Pages: 576

It’s been more than a year since every person over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California. In that time, countless battles have been fought: Battles against hunger and lies and plagues and worse, battles of good against evil, and kid against kid. Allegiances have been won, lost, betrayed, and won again; ideologies have been shattered and created anew, and the kids of the FAYZ have begun to believe that their new society is the only life they’ll ever know. But now that the Darkness has found a way to be reborn, the tenuous existence they‘ve established is likely to be shattered for good. Will the kids of Perdido Beach even survive?

Light, the sixth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Gone series (which has spanned more than 3,000 pages!) asks as many profound and provocative questions as it answers, while bestselling mastermind and author Michael Grant creates an unforgettable, arresting conclusion that readers won’t be able to stop talking about.

(Note: I'm not sure how official this information is (though it was on Goodreads), but it's something!

What are you waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Nov 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (12)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Books and Authors I'm Thankful For

Stephenie Meyer: Her books started it all for me. She inspired me to be a writer, a reader, and a fangirl, and she proved that dreams really can come true (literally).
Books: The Twilight Saga, The Host.

Rachel Caine: I love her books so, so much; she's created a world that seems so real, and characters that seem real, too. I don't know what I'd do if Morganville didn't exist.
Books: The Morganville Vampires series, The Outcast series.

Sarah Dessen: She writes some of the best contemporaries, and it's so easy to fall in love with her stories. And boys. (DIBS on them all.)
Books: Along for the Ride, This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, Just Listen.

Stephanie Perkins: Another great contemporary author (who's going to have a YA slasher novel in the future!) who wrote two books (and boys) that I just love.
Books: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Jodi Lynn Anderson: I've been talking about her most recent book a lot lately, and there's a reason for it: it's simply stunning.
Book: Tiger Lily.

Suzanne Collins: Her books are amazing. Really, do I need to say anything else?
Books: The Hunger Games trilogy.

Simone Elkeles: She knows how to write books that are YA and steamy, and I love them. 
Books: The Perfect Chemistry series, Return to Paradise, Leaving Paradise.

Maggie Stiefvater: I've only read one of her series (so far), but it was gorgeous and wonderful and just plain great.
Books: The Wolves of Mercy Falls: Shiver, Linger, Forever.

Stephen Cole: He gave me a short and simple werewolf series that focused just on the wolves. They're kind of unknown, but they should be known. I could reread them on repeat.
Books: The Wereling trilogy: Wounded, Prey, Resurrection.

Local Authors: I am so thankful for my local authors. There are so many that I couldn't simply name them all, but they've all brought something different to the table and I love them all!
Kimberly Derting: The Body Finder series; Holly Cupala: Tell Me A Secret, Don't Breathe A Word; Justina Chen Headley: North of Beautiful; Kendare Blake: Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares; Lisa Schroeder: Chasing Brooklyn, The Day Before; and so many more!

What books are you thankful for? Tell me in the comments! Oh, and 

Nov 19, 2012

Review: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Finale
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: October 23, 2012
Pages/Format: 454, Hardcover

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Disappointed.

***This review contains spoilers, so beware.*

First and foremost, let me say this: if you're reading a book in a series and it's been a long time since you read the previous book(s) and you don't remember a lot, I suggest at least scanning the prior book(s). That said, I did not do that, and it affected my view of the book just a teeny bit because 1) I forgot, like, everything, and 2) I was reminded, by Finale, of how I may have felt when reading Crescendo and Silence. I had to ask myself, did I love the other books in the series? I can't remember. And that's why I should've reread/scanned the other books. Really, I don't quite know how I feel about this book or how I felt right after reading it.

As for Finale itself...I don't even know where to begin. I wouldn't say I didn't like the book. It was composed of several elements, but I guess nothing really wowed me. Maybe I was too hyped for the book and expected it to be amazing, but that didn't happen. I thought I'd cry and be left with all the FEELS, and I wasn't. And that sucked.

When I saw the trailer for Finale, I thought Nora was extremely annoying; I couldn't stand her. With that, I was expecting her to turn into some party girl. I'm disappointed that didn't happen. Several things happened in the book--the drinks with devilcraft, Nora getting stabbed, Nora getting kidnapped, the happenings at the party--that needed more to the scene. I like things to happen, and I don't like them to be quick. When Nora was stabbed, I wanted to feel Patch's panic, but I didn't. Instead, the chapter ends with her blacking out and the next one starts with her being fine. That's it?! I just feel like a thousand things happened and that each thing took up one page when they could've taken up, like, five.

I also wasn't loving the writing style. I don't remember how it was with the other books, but I was constantly rewording things in my mind. One of the biggest things that drove me crazy was when a conversation would be started with "I said." I don't know why, but I just couldn't stand that.

My biggest problem with Finale was probably Patch and Nora, or the lack thereof. Part of what makes me love these books is the steamy hot romance between these two, and there was pretty much NONE in Finale. They were together on several occasions and I'd get nothing more than a peck and barely any butterflies. This is the last book in the series; I want a lot of this! And then there's the end. Oh, the end. Now, I don't need sex scenes or erotica or anything--I'm nineteen, I'm too young for that! But after waiting four books for Patch and Nora to do the deed, I needed and wanted something. Instead, I was just told that they were going to do it. That's it. Nothing more. There's been a buildup to that moment through all the books, and to not get anything was just disappointing. (Also, Patch's letter. I thought it was going to be a love letter, not a letter saying he's in Hell, blah blah blah. BUT. There was one fantastic line in that letter, which you can see toward the end of this review.)

Now, the book wasn't all bad. Nora got a lot more kickass in this book, and Patch a bit more understanding and gentle. Sort of. I really liked Scott, and there were several shockers in this book. I'm very happy that Patch finally has feelings and can actually feel. The ending solved all the problems (I think), so now there shouldn't be anymore worrying about who's going to kill who. I liked that Nora did something badish for once and deviated from her usual self. I know there's more good from this book, but I'm totally blanking.

In the end, Finale just didn't do it for me, at least not the first time around. It had its ups and downs, yet ended up not giving me some of the things that I really wanted to see in the last book of this series. I was up until four in the morning reading it on a school night, and that says something. I did, however, love this line from Patch's letter:

"I may have fallen from heaven, but I fell for you."

This series still has and always will have a place in my heart and on my shelves. And I will always be in love with Patch Cipriano.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? I hate to say this, but I really don't think I did.
Would I reread it? If I'm rereading the whole series, yes. (Which I need to do, back to back.)
Would I purchase it? Already have it.
Would I recommend it? Yes, because the series must be finished--it's Hush, Hush!

Nov 17, 2012

Blog Tour: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Michele Vail's Undeadly, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books! Today I have for you all you need to know about the book, an excerpt, and a giveaway! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
The Author
Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers. She likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking and their family. You can find her at her website or by following her on Twitter.

The Book
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

Undeadly is available November 20, 2012 from Harlequin Teen. You can order it from Amazon and add it on Goodreads!

Mortimer stared at the ground, looking like the most pathetic zombie ever. I sighed as I headed toward the door at the other end of the room. I wasn't much for my sister's whole save-the-zombies effort, but I have to admit I wouldn't mind seeing Mortimer put to rest. I'd bet his wife ran him just as ragged when he was alive. At least now, he didn't know it.

I tucked poor Mortimer's leathery limb under the crook of my arm, pulled my keys out of my pocket and unlocked the door that led to sahnetjar.

I heard a noise behind me. Startled, I turned and found Mortimer three inches away, his jaw cracking as his mouth opened impossibly wide. I dropped the keys (duh), backed against the door, and held out his severed arm like an old, bent sword.

Then Mortimer tried to eat me.

Ohh, what's going to happen?! Check out Undeadly to find out--it's released very, very soon! Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

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The Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to my stop on the Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt! Here I will talk about one of the many things I am thankful for, as well as give you my piece of the scavenger hunt:  you'll find it hidden somewhere in my post, and it will be written backwards, siht ekil. May the odds be ever in your favor (mwa-ha-ha), and enjoy!
Once upon a time, I was a freshman in high school (gosh, does time fly!). Now I'm a sophomore in college, and that feels like forever ago. When I was a freshman, I wasn't much of a reader or a writer, and definitely not like I am now. But then my friend got me to read this not-so-little book, and my life was changed forever.
I know what you're thinking. Twilight? Seriously? Ohmygosh, this girl is cray cray. I don't care if that's what you think, because I will always and forever be a twihard, no matter how crazy the fans get and how not-very-well-made the movies are (but I still love them anyway). If it wasn't for Twilight, I don't know that I'd be where I am today.

Reading those books put me in a frenzy. Once I finished Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, I had to wait for Breaking Dawn to be released. I hate waiting, and I needed something to bide my time. So I read other books and Rachel the Bookworm was born. It got to the point where reading became more important than homework (it is), and my grades dropped. But I don't care. Much. Since Twilight, I've read hundreds of books, and I don't know what my life would be like if I hadn't. I used to have a bookshelf that wasn't full of just books: it had bits of everything. Now I have three bookshelves, and those are almost completely full of nothing but books! (And I love love love it!) And it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't read Twilight.

Before I read Twilight, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I got older, but I did have lots of interest in being a zookeeper. Now I still do, but my focus is geared toward writing. I wanted a job where I could be living in the wonderful world of books, and what better way is there to do that then by writing? I love The Twilight Saga, and I wanted to write something that I could love just as much. I wanted to be influential, and I wanted a job that I would love. So I decided that I wanted to be an author, and it's all because of Twilight

And then there's the Twilight zone itself, which just came to a bittersweet end. (In case you live under a rock and didn't know that.) In other words, my life is over. For five years, The Twilight Saga has been a huge part of my life. I've bought all the soundtracks and movies the day they came out, seen all the movies at midnight, bought all kinds of memorabilia, like pillowcases, blankets, jewelry, ornaments, and Barbies. I've been invested in this series, following it from the moment I fell in love with the books. I remember thinking, however long ago, that the end of this series may never come, that it'd be so far away. But suddenly it's here, and I don't know what to do. A lion fell in love with a lamb, and I fell in love with it all. The Twilight Saga is a drug, a disease, my own personal brand of heroine, and I don't ever want to be cured. These books, this fandom, this life did so much for me. It made me a reader. It made me a writer. It made me a fangirl, twihard, and vampire. Secalp eht dna it took me are both fictional and nonfictional, yet oh so real. 

What will I do without Twilight? What will I do without the wolves and the Cullens, Jacob and Edward and Bella? I've laughed and I've cried, I've fallen in love and I've lost sleep. I found love in a hopeless place fictional world that I don't ever want to leave. Saying goodbye is going to be difficult, but why say goodbye when I could say hello? So:

Thank you, Twilight, for everything.

Thank you, Stephenie Meyer, for creating it and inspiring me, and proving that dreams really can come true.

Thank you, for forever.

Thank you for reading my post and putting up with my fangirlishness. (You know you secretly agree with me.) Don't forget to grab the phrase that's written backwards--you'll need it for the giveaway! Below are all the stops on the Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt, as well as the giveaway form! Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving! (P.S. If you missed the other clue for today, it's AND THE THINGS.)

Nov 15 – Book Addicts Guide
Nov 19 – Book Babes AND Gypsy Book Reviews
Nov 21 – I Love Books Club
Nov 22 – WRAP UP!
Nov 25 – Contest Ends, Twitter Party

For the giveaway I'll be offering up an ARC. I'm not sure if these are all up for grabs, but here's my shelf for a tease! (;

Nov 15, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: November 15, 2011
Pages/Format: 338, Hardcover

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Wonderful.

Nov 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

The following book is one that I have to wait awhile for, but not too long since I took forever to read the first book in the series. The first book wasn't what I had expected; however, I still really liked it--it was like a thriller that I could easily see as a movie, and that was great. I read the ending and just wanted more. So of course I'm waiting on:

Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Pages: 465

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

What are you waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Nov 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (11)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

Why does the Broke and the Bookish always make me choose? It's so difficult! I never get everything I want in the Top Ten, but I do try--so, without further adieu, here are some of the books (or series) I'd bring with me on a deserted island, a lot of which are because I could reread them a thousand times. (Would someone like to tell me what I'm doing on a deserted island in the first place?)

I've already read the books multiple times, and I'll keep doing that for the rest of my life. Why wouldn't I bring them on a deserted land?

This is one of my most favorite series, and with over ten books so far, they'll keep me very entertained and occupied on the island.

I love this book, and I could read it again and again and again.

Great books, and I'm going to need some steamy romance. (Does "deserted" include a hot Tarzan-type man that inhibits the island?)

I recently read this book and loved it, and reading it may make me feel like the island I'm on is Neverland.

Great books, and they include survival skills. I can't NOT take them!

7. The Wereling Series by Stephen Cole
Some fun, short books that I could reread multiple times.

A cutesy book that I just love, and it'd make my days on the island more bearable.

Etienne St. Clair. That is all.

A fun book that will just make me happy.

That's it! What about you? What books would you take with you on a deserted island? (And how did you end up there?!) Tell me in the comments!

Nov 12, 2012

Interview: Stephanie Thomas

Welcome to my stop on the Luminosity Blog Tour! Today I have an awesome interview with the book's author Stephanie Thomas, as well as her dream cast for the book's characters! And there's a giveaway, so stick around for that! But for now, enjoy!
Using the letters of your name, please describe yourself.
S: Silly
T: Teacher
E: Energetic
P: Peanut butter lover
H: Happy when writing
A: Analytical
N: Nutella fanatic
I: Ice cream connoisseur
E: Entertaining

If someone who strongly dislikes reading asks you why they should read Luminosity, what do you tell them?
I would tell them that when they are done reading, a unicorn made of solid gold and cookie dough will jump out and become their BFF.

Where did you get the idea for Luminosity and The Raven Chronicles? 
I was teaching Oedipus Rex for the fourth time, and my students and I were having a discussion about the prophets of Apollo. I thought it made a great idea for a book, where the gift of prophecy was rediscovered and used to help save an entire people. It kind of evolved from there.

Reading the synopsis, two boys are mentioned--Beatrice's best friend Gabe, and the enemy. It says she may be falling in the love with the enemy, but I sense a love triangle here. What can you share about Beatrice, these two boys, and the romance in the book?
Well, I can tell you this: Gabe has been Beatrice’s best friend from a very young age. Their growing admiration for each other, though, is frowned upon by the Institution (where they live), and the head of the Institution, the Keeper. It’s a constant battle for them to explore where their relationship is going, and while trying to figure it out, Beatrice is sidetracked by a handsome young Dreamcatcher. He is just as forbidden as Gabe, and just as enticing as well…

You're a Tribute in the Reader Games! Three fictional characters are your allies, and three are your enemies. Who are they?
My allies: Holden Caulfield (because he’s the original badass teen), Katniss (for obvious reasons. I’m a cheater.), and Batman. I don’t think I need to explain Batman.
Enemies: Voldemort (he's pretty scary), random zombies from any zombie book, and the Joker for Batman, but he has to be the Heath Ledger version.
Now that Luminosity is a real thing, what do you see in your future? What can be expected in The Raven Chronicles?
I am hoping that at some point I can start writing full time. It’s always been a dream of mine, and a personal goal. There are two more books in the Raven Chronicles. I just finished the second one, called Evanescence, over the summer, and it is so awesome. I’d share more, but I’d be giving away some major plot points from Luminosity if I did that.

If you could collaborate with any writer to ever exist, who would it be?
I’m going to go old school here and say Ernest Hemingway. His words always move me. I found an article today that featured some letters that Hemingway wrote, and one of the quotes that was pulled from the letters read as follows: “I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye – that was the trouble – I wanted to kiss you good night – and there’s a lot of difference.” How beautiful is that?

What's your writing process? 
I try to set a daily goal of two thousand words a day. If there’s one thing I took away from my time studying writing at Johns Hopkins was that it is more important to get all your ideas on paper FIRST, and then go back to edit. Many writers waste lots of time editing as they write, and it kills the creative process. Write first, edit later, ladies and gentlemen! I am also not one of those people who can put a manuscript aside for months before going back to it and editing it. I’m way too impatient, and I usually don’t wait that long before I’m back at it again.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Advice to young writers: It is never too early to start writing seriously. If you truly wish to write and be called a writer, this is the only profession where there isn’t an age limit. You can be ten or one hundred and ten and still be called a writer. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to achieve your dream. Be ambitious. Always be ambitious.

Thanks for the interview Stephanie! And now it's time for the totally awesome dreamcast!

Elizabeth Gillies as Beatrice
Logan Lerman as Gabe
Zac Efron (with really blonde hair) as Echo
Angelina Jolie as The Keeper

Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more.

Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle). You can find her on Twitter or by visiting her website.

Stephanie's novel Luminosity comes out TOMORROW, November 13, from Entangled Teen Publishing! Be sure to snatch this one off the shelves!

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since. 

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me. 

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

And last but not least, the giveaway! Thanks again for stopping by, and don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!