Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

Author: Barry Lyga
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Format: ebook
Length: 320 pages

Five years ago Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand.

But they don’t—they can’t.

And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.

Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.

And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was . . .

FIRST IMPRESSION:: I didn't want to read this because of the subject matter. But I was drawn in very quickly. I think that Lyga did a fantastic job in capturing both the 12/13-year old Josh and the 18-year old Josh. I think both were handled with sensitivity and care which allowed this horrifying subject matter to still be an enjoyable read. A lot of this had to do with Josh as a character. He had so many dimensions to him. A driven athlete and student, a loner, a caring friend and a very confused young man.

My attention was especially captured by Josh's "flickers", or flashbacks to his relationship with Eve. It was a good way to foreshadow what was to come — the explanation of his relationship with Eve — as well as show the depth of how he had been traumatically affected.

Making Up for Monday: Skip Pages?

Each week, there will be a book-related theme or game, or something fun to do that week. And you can play along! All you have to do is find the question for that week and write a post that day based on that question.

This Week's Topic/Question:
Do you read ahead or skip pages?

My Answer:
Spoilers. I hate them. Hate, hate, hate them. So no, I never skip ahead. Actually, that's not true. If a book starts to get exciting, I might read faster than I can comprehend. But, I always go back and reread the pages. 

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cover Characteristic: Children's Books

Hosted by Sugar & Snark

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite cover’s with that characteristic. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 20th - 26th — Preferred Book Format

"Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly meme where our fellow blogger submit new topics and everyone joins in with their answers.

This Week's Topic/Question:
Do you prefer Nook, Kindle, other reader, or paper book?

My Answer:
I love books — I don't have a time to be what I call "paper purists." I will take books in any, and every, format I can get my paws on. I'm a book hoarder -- and proud!

I do, however, have a few strategies that I use that can affect the format I choose:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Fireborn (Souls of Fire #1) by Keri Arthur

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Fireborn
Book Series: Souls of Fire, Book #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
From New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur comes a brand new series featuring heroine Emberly Pearson—a phoenix capable of taking on human form, and cursed with the ability to foresee death…

Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.

Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death—a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.

But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames…

Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 13th - 19th — Blog Reflect Your Personality?

"Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly meme where our fellow blogger submit new topics and everyone joins in with their answers.

This Week's Topic/Question:
Do you think your blog reflects your personality? Does it show organization, a care-free style, or some other trait?

My Answer:
Yes, definitely. I think mine has to. No one has helped me with any part of it. I've made all of my own graphics and did my own research to select the content that I wanted to post. I've kept the writing style pretty close to my own speech, trying to make it the best reflection of me.

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Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken

"Book Beginnings" is a weekly event that shares the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. "The Friday 56" is also a weekly event, sharing a sentence from page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)

My Pick This Week: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken 

The first in my fourth grade class, at least. I’m sure that by then, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of kids had already up and gone the same way she had. People were slow to piece it all together—or, at least, they had figured out the right way to keep us in the dark long after kids started dying.
~ p. 1 
Sam called it “forced recess”—they let us out of our cabins, and the work wasn’t difficult or tiring like it was in the Garden, but no one wanted to be there.

Especially when bullies came to the playground.

I knew he was standing behind me long before I heard him start counting the finished, shiny shoes in front of me. He smelled like spiced meat and car oil, which already was an unsettling combination before a whiff of cigarette smoke was added to the mix. I tried to straighten my back under the weight of his gaze, but it felt like he had taken two fists and dug the knuckles deep between my shoulder blades. 
~ p. 56 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday: My Favorite Type of Series

Thoughtful Thursday was created to explore bookish thoughts! Each week, a new bookish thought is discussed -- so join in the fun! 

This Week's Topic/Question:
There are lots of different types of series. For example, there are series that are just one long story (e.g., The Lord of the Rings), there are series that follow a character on a set of different adventures (e.g., The Dresden Files and The Sookie Stackhouse novels), and there are series that are a collection of stand alone novels all within the same universe (e.g., Star Wars Universe). What is your favorite type of series?

My Answer:

Great question! This is a bit of an easy one for me to answer, seeing as Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is one of my favorite series ... period! But definitely, I much prefer series and/or trilogies that follow a central character. You get a real sense of who the character is, get to see them evolve and get to go on the journey right along side them. It's a good perspective.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title:  Six of Hearts
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Release Date: July 28, 2014

Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.

I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.

I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.

But most of all, I put on a good show.

The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.

Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her. I want it for all six of us.

She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this – if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.

So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.

You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.

I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.

So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

When famed illusionist Jay Fields walks into her father’s law practice, Matilda Brandon has a hard time keeping her heart from pounding. With a non-existent love life, she wonders if she could ever have a chance with a man this sexy and charismatic. She knows she’ll never meet someone like him on her online dating site, that’s for sure.

Jay wants to sue a newspaper, however, he leaves with a new landlord and a rather smitten housemate instead. As the two form a bond, Matilda finds herself becoming a part of Jay’s crazy world of illusion and mentalism, where underground magic shows, casino gambling and secret vendettas abound.

Jay has a dark history, and Matilda isn’t sure if she should open herself up to such an enigma of a man. Is he really who he claims to be? And why does he keep so many secrets?

She doesn’t know it yet, but they share a common past. Jay has set a plan in motion and whether she likes it or not, claiming her heart has always been his ultimate goal.

This sounds intriguing as hell. I mystery within a mystery within a msytery. I think illusionists are really interesting, and Jay's dark past and dangeruouf, underground world have my fingers twitchingto get ahold of this book

And that back, sexy!

Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway 

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cover Characteristic: New Adult

Hosted by Sugar & Snark

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite cover’s with that characteristic. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Review: A Wanted Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey (ADULT)

Title: A Wanted Woman
Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
Genres: Thriller, African American, Action, Crime
Format: Audiobook
Narrators: Zoë Bell & Dominic Hoffman
Length: 14 hours & 26 minutes
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Book Club Selection: May Book of the Month -- Mocha Girls Read

She is a woman of a thousand faces, an assassin who could be anyone, anywhere.

The Trinidad contract was supposed to be simple: to make a living man become a dead man. When the job goes bad under the watchful eye of a bank security camera, there is nowhere for agent MX-401, known as Reaper, to hide from the fearsome local warlords, the Laventille Killers.

Her employers, the Barbarians, send her to Barbados, the next island over, barely two hundred miles away, with the LK’s in hot pursuit of the woman who took many of their own. With the scant protection of a dank safe house, no passport, and no access to funds, an island paradise becomes her prison.

While she trawls for low-profile assignments to keep her skills sharp and a few dollars in her pocket, Reaper discovers that family ties run deep, on both sides of the fight. Will the woman everyone wants, who has lived countless lives in the service of others, finally discover who she really is?

In A Wanted Woman, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers an adrenaline-pumping rush of a read.

FIRST IMPRESSION:: Had this book not been required reading for my book club, I never would have picked this up. I approached with extreme prejudice, thinking this was going to be a romance novel with a dash of mystery and a pinch of action and suspense. I was wrong dead wrong -- on an epic proportion. This was probably the bloodiest, goriest and the most crude books I have ever encountered. Definitely the most racist and misogynistic. So much so, that it was hard to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Zodiac by Romina Russell

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Zodiac
Author: Romina Russell (Twitter)
Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: December 9, 2014

At the dawn of time, there were thirteen Houses in the Zodiac galaxy. Now, only twelve remain. . . 

In the Zodiac galaxy, your astrological sign determines everything about you. The stars tell the story of your life, and nothing—and nobody—is real unless you can actually touch them.

It’s a galaxy divided, where personalities clash and suspicions run high. Everyone is a potential enemy, so it’s best to stick to your kind. Hard-working realists in House Virgo scoff at sweet-talking Librans, who use stellar social skills to climb to the top. And while the brooding twins of House Gemini take forever to make a decision, optimistic Sagittarians hop from adventure to adventure without a thought.

House Cancer prizes loyalty and honesty above all else. When an unforeseen catastrophe strikes their ocean planet, the stars select sixteen-year-old Rho as their new Guardian. Rho suspects an ancient, power-hungry evil of legend has returned to exact revenge across the entire Zodiac. But Rho is an unknown novice and one of the youngest Guardians ever. Who should believe her?

And with the stars anywhere but in her favor, how can Rho defeat an enemy she can’t touch?

This first book of an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series takes place in a galaxy inspired by the twelve astrological signs—rendered with stunning complexity that both transports readers to a fascinating new world and holds up a mirror to reflect how we can better know each other in our own.

I have always been interested in astrological signs. I'm an Aquarius and a lot of the traits that go along with this sign actually do apply to me. So this concept grabbed me immediately. I didn't even finish the summary before I added it to my TBR. Now that I've read this summary, I am extremely intrigued.

Zodiac      |   Zodiac

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Making Up for Monday: Watch TV?

Each week, there will be a book-related theme or game, or something fun to do that week. And you can play along! All you have to do is find the question for that week and write a post that day based on that question.

This Week's Topic/Question:
We are all readers but, who owns a TV? Why, or why not?

My Answer:
I own a television. Do I use it often? No. I haven't turned it on in the past year. That doesn't mean I don't watch television shows, though. These days, I pretty much live and breathe off of my computer, and that's where I watch TV.

There are somethings that I will always be on the look out for (listed below). There are somethings that ended too soon (Fox's Firefly & Wonderfalls, BBC One's Luther, E4's Skins, and Channel One's Sugar Rush).

My current can't miss shows are:
  • HBO's Game of Thrones
  • FOX's So You Think You Can Dance

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cover Characteristic: Historical Romance

Hosted by Sugar & Snark

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite cover’s with that characteristic.