Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Adult)

Author: Anthony Burgess
Genres: Classics, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Narrator: Tom Hollander (Audible)
Length: 7 hours & 45 minutes

n this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society. If we had the power of absolute criminal reform, what, the novel asks, would this mean for our ideals of freedom and society?

This edition reinstates the final chapter missing from Kubrick's film and , in which Alex is on the verge of starting a family as he reflects on--and completely rejects--his adolescent nastiness. It also includes Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."

FIRST IMPRESSION:: I wish I would've read it in high school. But I guess with all the violence and other unlawful activities, I can understand why I didn't. That said, I still wish it was so. I found it this book to be thought-provoking, enjoyable read.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire #2) by Bella Forrest

Author: A Shade of Vampire, Book #2
Author: Bella Forrest (Twitter)
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Length: 8 hours & 42 minutes
Release Date: April 8, 2013
In A Shade Of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story. Prepare to be lost in its pages…

When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.

Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.

High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.

But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?

I'm really enjoying how this story is evolving. It's pretty more intricate that what I first gave it credit for. The storytelling is done very well. Each chapter is told from a different perspective and each voice is singular. I am loving hearing each character's own voice and I love seeing how the characters see each other as well as themselves.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

(Spoilers!) Book Review: Zodiac (Zodiac #1) by Romina Russell

Book Series: Zodiac, Book #1
Author: Romina Russell (Twitter)
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mythology, Astrology
Format: Hardcover (Amazon)
Length: 336 pages
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2015 Goodreads Challenge
At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain…

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

FIRST IMPRESSION:: I immediately latched on to the idea of this book. I have always loved stargazing and have been into astrology, as my personality does go along with the identity of my star sign, Aquarius. So after the gorgeous cover caught my attention and I read the synopsis, I was very eager to read this.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1) by Joseph Delaney

"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: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
THE highest point in the County is marked by mystery. It is said that a man died there in a great storm. while binding an evil that threatened the whole world. Then the ice came again, and when it retreated. even the shapes of the hills and the names of the towns in the valleys were changed now. At that highest point on the fells. no trace remains of what was done so long ago. But its name has endured. “They call it – The Wardstone.
~ p. 1 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1) by Joseph Delaney

Genres: YA, Middle Grade, Paranormal, Supernatural, Magic
Format: Hardcover (Amazon)
Length: 343 pages
Release Date: September 6, 2005

Book Club (April Book of the Month): Nerds and Novels (SoCal Chapter)
Reading Challenges: 2015 Goodreads Challenge
Capturing witches. Binding boggarts. Driving away ghosts. For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried-some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope; the last apprentice.

Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook's warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county... 

I enjoyed this book every much, especially all the illustrations. It served mostly as an introduction to the series, and I was okay with that. Delaney's writing style kept me interested, the plot being laid out with a nice rise and fall, slow pacing at just the right times then dialing up the action, which made my reading experience all the more enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Influence of Reviews

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post that discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by answering the question of the week on your blog.

This Week's Topic/Question:
How critical are reviews in your decision to read a book?

My Answer:
No offense to any of you wonderful bloggers and bibliophiles, but not reviews mean zilch in influencing me to read a book because I HATE SPOILERS. HATE HATE HATE SPOILERS WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS!!!  I don't read reviews until after I've read a book. 

However, a highly-rated review will pique my interest and I'll read the synopsis on a post. But that's as far as I go; I will do my own spoiler-free investigating elsewhere. At most, I might take a peek at the last paragraph of a review. But even that's risky.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

It’s Monday What Are You Reading?: 04/13/15

This meme shares what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list.

This week wasn't too bad. I didn't blog much to get some reading done. I'm halfway through the majority of these books, so that''s good. Soon, I'll switch to one audiobook, one physical. At least, that's the plan.

Making Up for Monday: Why Do You Read?

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:
When people ask you why you read so much, what is your answer?

My Answer:

The smart ass in me always wants to haughtily retort, "why are you so willing to admit you don't read and look at me like I'm the one with the problem." But I practice restraint and give them my best "go ahead and be blissfully ignorant" smile. 

All joking aside, I say that reading my first love. Reading is inherent for me. My mother is a bookworm and I'm her only child, so that love is passed along to me. I also started reading at a young age and I've always tested advanced in reading comprehension. I remember being the happiest in school on the says when the book orders I placed through the paper Scholastic newsletters would arrive. And I write poetry and stories to express myself. 

Words are my life. 

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Nearly Found (Nearly Gone #2) by Elle Cosimano

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

Book Series: Nearly Gone, Book #2
Author: Elle Cosimano (Twitter)
Genres: YA, Urban Mystery
Release Date: June 2, 2015

The sequel to the highly praised and intricately plotted Nearly Gone--a YA urban mystery that's perfect for fans of Bones, Numbers, and The Body Finder

After Nearly Boswell starts working as an intern at a crime lab, a girl from her trailer park turns up dead. Then the corpse of a missing person is discovered, buried on a golf course, with a message for Nearly etched into the bones. When Nearly finds out the corpse is the father of Eric, a classmate of hers, she starts to worry that the body is connected to her father's disappearance five years ago. Nearly, Reece, and Nearly's classmates--Vince, Jeremy, and Eric--start a dangerous investigation into their fathers' pasts that threatens Nearly's fragile romance with Reece, and puts all them in the killer's path.

Why I Picked It: I really enjoyed the first book in the series. It was an interesting, well-written thriller that kept me guessing. No reason to not keep going.

 Nearly Found (Nearly Gone #2)

Nearly Found (Nearly Gone #2)

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Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s Monday What Are You Reading?: 04/06/15

This meme shares what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list.

Making Up for Monday: Read Anything...

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 have an author you will read anything they put out? 

My Answer:
I do. In fact, I have five! My favorite authors are Jim Butcher, Nalini Singh, Lorelei James, Molly and Richelle Mead. I've read (most of) at least one series for each. I've been incredibly lucky to have met all but Lorelei and they're all lovely people. I'll be happy to continue supporting their careers!

The Dresden Files series (Urban Fantasy)
I got introduced to Jim's books through The Dresden Files audiobooks, as they're narrated by Jim Marsters. As a former Buffy fan, how could I not listen to a series narrated by Spike?!?! It's become my favorite series and I'm all caught up (18 books so far).

Codex Alera series (High Fantasy)
I own all of the Codex Alera series, though haven't started it yet. I plan to start it this year.

The Cinder Spires series (Steampunk)
I'm so excited for The Cinder Spires (released this fall), as it will be my first Steampunk novel. Who better to introduce me to the genre!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Top 5 Best Book Covers: April 2015

Top 5 Best Book Covers is monthly meme created by The Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The rules are simple: on the first Saturday of every month, post your 5 favorite books covers that are being released in the current month!

Book Series: Age of LegendsBook #2
Author:  Kelley Armstrong (Twitter
Genre(s):  YA, High Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal
Release Date:  April 7, 2015

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.

But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children--accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men--the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.

Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked Empire of Night (Age of Legends, #2)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quickie Review: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1) by Bella Forrest

Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Length: 3 hours & 52 minutes
Release Date: November 11, 2014

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...Or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

I will admit, I had no idea what this book was about when I pushed play. All I saw was narrated by Emma Galvin and Zachary Webber  two of my favorite narrators  and I was immediately in.

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

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

Title: Conviction
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Release Date: May 19, 2015

Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn't fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden's father, a well-known Christian radio host has sparked national media attention. His lies in his son's hands; Braden is the key witness in his father's upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four mile per hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden's saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

Why I Picked It:  The synopsis sounds amazing. I am really intrigued by this book.  Between the power behind Braden's two trials -- baseball and the court case -- this sounds really compelling.


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