Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Audible

I drive a lot for work, so unfortunately, that’s a lot of time spent sitting. As much as I love music, there are days I just want to read. Luckily I discovered Audible for that. For those of you who are unsure about Audible, allow me to explain a bit. Being an audible member for over 6 months now, I feel I can provide a full and thorough review of this service.

Purchase Options

Audible is a subscription audiobook service that allows you to (1) purchase credits, or (2) buy individual books at audiobook retail prices. Personally, for me, retail prices are a bit high, so I went with the yearly subscription. They currently offer several different subscription plan options:

(A) Annual Plan costs $149.50 per year, and you receive 12 credits at once aka $12.40 per audiobook.
(B) Monthly Plan costs $14.95 a month, and you receive 1 credit each month, so that comes out to $14.95 per audiobook. If you used this service for a year it would cost you $179.40.
*Generally, 1 credit= 1 audiobook but there are very few that may be more than that*
As I said before, I went with the yearly subscription after getting my first audiobook for free. I’ll admit that it is definitely a change from reading, but not necessarily a bad one! There are so many great narrators out there that can truly bring amazing stories to another level. You can check out my past audiobook reviews here.

Customer Service

There is one situation I can think of where Audible’s customer service really shown bright for me. I had purchased a  book that I later found an ebook version of available for much cheaper than a credit would have cost. Audible had no problems refunding my money. They just asked that I delete the book from my library on my computer. No questions asked. No problems refunding my credit. I think that that says a lot about their customer service.

My Experience

Personally, I really enjoy the Audible service. Great selection, good prices. If there was anything I would change about it, it would be that you are required to use the Audible software to transfer books to your devices. I don’t like having restrictions placed on me like that. However, I do find the software simple to use! It has an easy to navigate interface, that could use a little updating in the graphics department…

I feel that in many cases, audiobooks bring an entirely new dimension to books. It is one thing to read and be overwhelmed with emotion, but it’s entirely different when you are listening to the emotion in a narrator's voice. Unfortunately, I have come across a couple audiobooks where I disliked the narrators. In those types of situations, I have no doubt that Audible would refund your credit/money should this happen to you. So far their customer service has been phenomenal!

As an affiliate

I happily review this service because it is one that I love. I will tell you openly and honestly that I am an Audible affiliate, so I do receive a small portion of purchases made through audible links I provide. As an affiliate I’m able to offer some deals to anyone who may be interested:

(1) Download an audiobook for $7.49 and save 50% for your first 3 months. Get 50% off your first 3 months of the AudibleListener® Gold membership plan and receive your free audiobook credit each month. Pay only $7.49/month for 3 months then only $14.95/month thereafter and continue to receive 1 audiobook credit each month.
(2)Try Audible Now and Get A FREE Audiobook! Get your first 14 days of the AudibleListener® Gold membership plan free, which includes one audiobook credit. After your 14 day trial, your membership will renew each month for just $14.95 per month so you can continue to receive one audiobook credit per month plus members-only discounts on all audio purchases. – I ended up doing this to get my free book and then buying the yearly subscription.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask!Get 1 free audiobook credit at!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday (6)

Girl relaxingQ: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Reformat: I would like to go back to my old reviews and reformat them to match my new ones.

Comment: I’d also like to find some more time to check out other people’s blogs! I don’t comment or participate as much as I should.

Write Better Reviews: I’m not a professional reviewer by a longshot, but I do take pride in expressing myself in my reviews. I’ve noticed I use many of the same terms and sayings. I’d really like to develop a more diversified vocabulary.

Network: I’d like to make more friends!! I’m planning on going to BEA this year, and I don’t wanna be all by my lonesome. It’s hard for me to come out of my shell and be personable, so I plan on making extra efforts this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! and Good luck with your resolutions!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Books of 2011

As this year comes to a close, I’ve realized just how many wonderful books I’ve had the opportunity to read this year! There were so many great stories, so many amazing characters, and some very memorable moments. I want to take a second to recognize these amazing books. Please note that some of these books may have been published in earlier years. All of these books below receive my HIGHEST recommendations:


Unwind by Neil Shusterman

Unwind earns its place on this list due to the “chill” factor. Shocking. Disturbing. Thought Provoking. A great dystopian read!


joust by Mercedes lackey

Been looking for a book like this for a long time… Reminiscent of The Pit Dragons series by Jane Yolen.


Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Amazing character development and great world building. If you are looking to get into zombie books, Maberry is your man!


Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Never EVER thought I would find a book with time travel that I would like. This one won me over so quickly. Cannot wait for Sapphire Blue.


Divergent by veronica roth

Ahh, so many great things about this book. Need I say more than Four?


Daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor

Definitely the most original story I’ve read this year. Love the mythology and unforgettable characters.


forbidden by tabitha suzuma

Heart-wrenching. Tough topic. Beautiful. Thought Provoking.


the iron queen by julie kagawa

Epic YA fantasy. I will never get enough of this series.


The Hunger games by suzanne collins

My first dystopian read! Classic.


The iron knight by julie kagawa

Ash <3 (Sorry for going all fan girl). I love what Julie did with this book! It was really interesting to get in Ash’s head and read from his point of view. This series will forever remain one of my favorites. The Iron Knight was definitely my most anticipated book of 2011!

Do you guys agree with any of my choices!?! Are there any books that you read this year that aren’t on my list?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Friendship

A Beautiful Friendship (Stephanie Harrington, #1) by David Weber
Publisher: Baen Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 361
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home --- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.

The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.

But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie’s find --- and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly --- land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly-placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.

Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington’s life. She owes them and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends.

Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx.

A Beautiful Friendship is a solid YA Science Fiction novel. The story is definitely tailored toward the younger YA audience, but the reading/apprehension level is quite high for the younger YA crowd… It appears as though Weber was unsure as to what age group he wanted to target with this book. Not only was it wordy at times, but A Beautiful Friendship was also overly descriptive of certain elements. For this reason, I found myself skimming a few times as much of the description didn’t seem to add to the story. I also found there to be some issues with pacing. I would have liked to see this split up into a couple books versus having one big climax at the beginning and one at the end.

What saved this book for me was the wonderful world building. Weber managed to create a completely original, complex, and dangerous setting for A Beautiful Friendship. The humans were fairly flat characters, but the treecats were well thought out and interesting. As a reader, you get a deeper look into their minds than you do the humans.

I would recommend this for more skilled YA readers. As both a Sci-Fi and YA reader, I found this book to be a bit confusing. It doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be. Overall, it was an interesting read, but I think I’ll check out Weber’s non-YA Sci-Fi books next time.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

Merry Christmas Everyone! It’s been awhile since my last IMM… I’ve been trying to catch up on my huge review pile, so hauls have been few and far between.

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where you will find the most recent books I have received for review, purchased, etc. Enjoy and start participating if you are not already!

Print Books

Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters, #1) by Michelle Zink
Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters, #2) by Michelle Zink


Kindle ebookS


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Tempest Rising by Tracey Deebs
Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn’t have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Friday, December 23, 2011

Trailer Talk: Switched (Trylle Series)

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series… it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1.3.12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.

The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2.28.12, and concludes on 4.24.12 with Ascend.

For your viewing pleasure:

Switched(Trylle Trilogy #1)
by Amanda Hocking

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

What do you guys think about it? I absolutely love this trailer. To me, it seems very reminiscent of the Iron Fey series. I've been considering getting this one for awhile off of Amazon, so I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Giveaway: Witch & Wizard

Hi Inklings!

In spirit of the season, this week you can enter to win a hardcover copy of Witch & Wizard by James Patterson!!

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

"The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?"

Please note that this contest is for US followers only and ends at midnight on December 30, 2011. If you are interested, please use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!
Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Announcement: NetworkedBlogs

Dear Inklings,

Because I have heard they are planning on phasing out Google Friend Connect, I've decided to provide some other means of following my posts! For those who are interested, you now have the option to follow me on NetworkedBlogs. The widget can be found in the right sidebar.

NetworkedBlogs is a really comprehensive blog directory with a really nice clean look to it. If any of you are on there, please let me know so that I may follow you!! It is what I will be using to follow blogs from now on. Fellow bloggers: Please check it out as alternate option to GFC!

Other options: As always, you can follow me by Email, Facebook, and Twitter in the leftmost sidebar.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 418
Source: Purchased 
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I started reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone not knowing anything about the storyline. I had, however, heard many people say that it was one of the best books of the year. That it is a statement I can wholeheartedly agree with now having read it. I found it to be a completely original, compelling, and exciting read.

The premise of this book is a hard one to describe without actually giving away any spoilers. And trust me, you want to go into this plot-blind! Originally, I pictured Daughter of Smoke and Bone as being a very close range, personal book, but I could never have imagined the vastness and epic-ness (yes I just made that up) of it all. Contained within the 418 pages there is a beautiful, transcendent romance, some very unforgettable characters, and lush, thought-provoking mythology! I was very impressed by Taylor's ability to provide a full back story without having it feel long-winded, or it being too short, which can make readers feel cheated. Despite the books length, I was never bored! In fact, I was amazed because, what I thought was a good story in the beginning, grew to be even better - something I didn't think was possible! I devoured the last quarter of the book, and the ending (ahhh the ending!!!) was so perfect! I absolutely cannot wait to see where this series goes!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a story of fates intertwined, transcendent romance, and adventure. I believe that this is a book that should grace everyone's shelves! Not only does it have a gorgeous cover (one of my favorites of the year) but it is filled with an action-packed, epic story that promises to please readers across genres. As many have said before me: Daughter of Smoke and Bone is easily one of the best books of the year, so don't pass it up!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Winter Break

Hey Guys! I just want to apologize for taking an unannounced reading/blogging break. There’s been so much  going on in my life lately. I feel like I’m constantly playing catch-up. The good news is that I am back and ready to get into the swing of things! Keep your eyes out for a review of ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor soon.

Authors and Publishers: I have a MASSIVE review request pile to get through! If you are waiting on a review, know that I’m working on them!

For this reason, I am not accepting ANY books for review at the moment!
For those of you who have stuck around - Thanks for the support!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guest Post: Nansi Kunze


As part of the Dangerously Placed blog tour, Nansi Kunze has honored us with her digital presence here at Inklings Read! It is wonderful to have such a talented author stop by and give us some insight into her development as an author as well as some advice for aspiring authors.

Nansi’s Thoughts on becoming an author

I wasn’t one of those kids who dreams of becoming a writer one day. As a teenager, I didn’t really give my career plans much thought – to be honest, I mostly just thought about boys. But I was good at foreign languages, so I decided to become a language teacher. It was only after teaching for a couple of years that the idea of being a writer began to entice me. Once I’d started writing, though, I quickly became addicted to it. Creating my own worlds, making characters do – and be – anything I wanted: what a rush! I soon learned, however, that writing a novel and becoming a published author are two entirely different things. Of course, you can get the writing rush without anyone ever reading your work; writing purely for your own enjoyment is cool too. But if you really want to be a published author, here are some things you might want to bear in mind:

Only a complete idiot would become a novelist for the money! Most novelists only earn a few thousand dollars a year. So you’ll probably need a steady day-job to support your writing habit (I recommend plumbing – it seems to have worked well for Mario).

It usually takes years to become a published author. Just like any other profession, you have to train and practice for a long time to become any good at it. I started writing my first novel in 2000. My first published novel hit the shelves in 2008 – and many writers have to wait longer than that!

Writing a novel means spending months shut up alone with your computer. And then more months fixing up what you wrote the first time. And then more months fixing up what you wrote the second time. And then … well, you get the idea.

So, are you still interested? Then here’s my advice:

Aspiring authors are often told to ‘write what you know’. Possibly more important, though, is writing what you like. I started out trying to write for adults, and it just didn’t work, because that wasn’t really what I liked. I liked reading YA, playing video games and watching the TV shows my high school students watched … so when I began to write YA instead, it felt so much more me. Don’t limit yourself to one genre when you start writing – try a few out, and see which ones fit you.

Successful writers have to walk a fine line between overconfidence and self-doubt. If you want to be an author you have to believe in your ability and the value of what you’re writing in order to keep working at it. But you also have to accept that what you write won’t be perfect. The first novel manuscript I wrote was awful – most first novels are, though I didn’t know that at the time. It took me over a year to write, and it really hurt to hear that it wasn’t all that great! But, looking back, my readers were right. Find yourself some readers who know good writing, and whose opinion and objectivity you can trust. Only let them read your work when you’re ready to hear what they really think. If it’s bad news, go wallow in self-pity (preferably with ice cream) for a few days, and maybe start a new writing project. By the time you’re ready to take a look at your work again, you may well find that your readers’ assessment is useful to you.

Setting goals can be helpful when writing – after all, if you never finish a manuscript, you’re never going to get it published! But goals need to be flexible, too. You’ll need to do several drafts, you may get stuck at some point, and you might need time away from the manuscript – possibly months – before you can see it clearly enough to improve it. (You could also consider sending it to a professional manuscript assessment agency for another viewpoint.)

And finally, remember that you’re writing for the love of it. If you’re finding a chapter less than fun to write, chances are it’s going to be boring to read too – think about changing or removing it. If you’re finding your whole project isn’t enjoyable, put it away and start something else. Don’t despair if that happens. Being an author is totally worth the huge amount of time and effort it takes, because you get to do what you love and share your worlds with thousands of other people. Hearing that your first novel sucks? Yeah, that’s painful. But hearing that a reader you’ve never met loves your latest book? That’s priceless.

Would you like to learn more about Nansi and her projects? Check out these links for more information:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Dangerously Placed

Dangerously Placed by Nansi Kunze
Publisher: Random House Australia
Format: Paperback
Pages: 274
Source: NetGalley
Amazon | Goodreads

A fantastic romantic sci-fi thriller for teens featuring virtual reality, simulated environments, and just the right mix of mystery and first love

He lay on the ground, his eyes open but unseeing, his pinstriped body blinking in and out of existence like the picture on a fault television.

Alex Thaler can't wait to start her dream work experience placement at Virk, where staff from all over the world mingle in an astonishing virtual office. But when an employee is found murdered, the dream becomes a nightmare—because Alex is the prime suspect. Fortunately, Alex's friends are willing to brave shark tanks, disgusting pathology specimens, and even a nude beach in order to clear her name. Can a hippie chick, a goth girl in a lab coat, and two guys with a taste for  blowing things up really help solve the mystery before Alex becomes the next victim?

Dangerously Placed was quite a thrill ride. I was blown away by how developed and realistic Nansi’s virtual reality technologies were! They were extremely well thought out. So much that I could definitely see us using similar technologies in the future. I also enjoyed how the book was physically broken up: Each chapter takes place over one day. This made it easy to keep track of how time progressed. Sometimes, for me, it is easy to lose track of how much time has passed in novels. Unfortunately, I did find Dangerously Placed lacking in character development initially… BUT by the end the flatness I felt at first was gone and I had a chance to see the intricacies of the secondary characters.

Though this was an interesting, developed story, it did not grab me like the many sci-fi books I have read before. Perhaps the timing was off, but I just wasn’t “feeling it.” I do however feel that this book definitely has a place in the YA sci-fi genre!

Dangerously Placed finished as a strong sci-fi adventure! At 274 pages, this qualifies as a quick read. I definitely recommend this to fans of the sci-fi and adventure genres. I’m very curious to see what Nansi has in store for us next!

I’m the last stop on the Dangerously Placed blog tour!! Cheers to an good book and some awesome bloggers. Thank you to NetGalley, Nansi Kunze, and Shara Zaval for allowing me to be part of this tour!
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway of Dangerously Placed HERE and watch out for a guest post by Nansi this Sunday!

Goodreads | Amazon | Author Site

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giveaway: Dangerously Placed

Hi Inklings!

As part of the Dangerously Placed blog tour I will be giving away one paperback copy of the book! Stay tuned for my review and a guest post from Nansi on November 13th! For more info see below:

Dangerously Placed by nansi kunze

Goodreads | Author | Amazon

A fantastic romantic sci-fi thriller for teens featuring virtual reality, simulated environments, and just the right mix of mystery and first love

He lay on the ground, his eyes open but unseeing, his pinstriped body blinking in and out of existence like the picture on a fault television.
Alex Thaler can't wait to start her dream work experience placement at Virk, where staff from all over the world mingle in an astonishing virtual office. But when an employee is found murdered, the dream becomes a nightmare—because Alex is the prime suspect.

Fortunately, Alex's friends are willing to brave shark tanks, disgusting pathology specimens, and even a nude beach in order to clear her name. Can a hippie chick, a goth girl in a lab coat, and two guys with a taste for  blowing things up really help solve the mystery before Alex becomes the next victim?

tour schedule

Nov 7 (Monday) Jex at Everything and Nothing
Nov 8 (Tuesday) Lyndsey at Strangemore
Nov 9 (Wednesday) Kellie at Reawrite
Nov 10 (Thursday) Bonnie at A Backwards Story
Nov 11 (Friday) Pica at Pica Reads
Nov 12 (Saturday) Lacey at Owl Love You Books
Nov 13 (Sunday) Sarah at Inklings Read


Please click "read more" to enter using the rafflecopter form!

Review: Geek Girl

Geek Girl CoverGeek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing
Release Date: December 8th, 2011 
Format: Kindle Ebook 
Source: NetGalley  
Amazon | Goodreads
★★★☆☆ (3.5 stars)
"Think I can turn that boy bad?" 17-year-old Jen turns her life upside down when, out of boredom, she makes a bet that she can turn school geek Trevor into someone like her. Instead, the goth girl finds herself sucked into his world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even-ugh!-bowling. To truly belong with him-and with her new foster family-she must first come to terms with her violent past.
First off, Geek Girl is one to own simply for it’s stunning cover!! The original cover was ok…. but this immediately made me want to grab it from NetGalley. If you weren't sold on the cover, let me tell you there is quite a good story found within it. I was so happy to finally see a NICE guy as the love interest. I’m getting so tired of the YA genre with all of the love interests who are just plain assholes.  

Geek Girl was a refreshing change for me. Not only is there a nice love interest, but there is also a completely refreshing main character! Jen is nothing like the usual insecure, boring, dependent,  YA females. Not that I mind those types… I not only found her story intriguing, but her character was extremely complex. I’m a sucker for complex characters… I love that Cindy was able to make me hate Jen for playing with Trevor’s emotions in the beginning, but then have my mind completely changed by the very end. I really enjoyed watching Jen discover that Trevor wasn't exactly what she thought he would be like. Definitely a book with a "Don't judge a book by it's cover" theme.

For me, there were definitely some issues with pacing, but overall this was a very enjoyable read! Geek Girl would be great for readers looking for a light, quick read that they can finish in one sitting (at least I did). It will leave you smiling and laughing throughout! Though this book may have its flaws, there is a wonderful story to be found here and it is most definitely worth checking out!

This review is featured as part of the Geek Girl Blog Tour


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In My Mailbox (14) Tuesday Edition?

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where you will find the most recent books I have received for review, purchased, etc. Enjoy and start participating if you are not already!

Sorry I’m a bit late this week guys. I had a SUPER busy weekend…

Print Books

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward 
The Vampire Diaries, Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith
The Return: Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries) by L.J. Smith

Here’s the Kindle cover I mentioned in the video: CE Compass Cover for Kindle 3 (Black)

Kindle ebookS

Tempus by Tyra Lynn – THANK YOU YA SISTERHOOD!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giveaway: Destined

Hi Inklings! Thanks to the awesome folks over at Zeitghost Media, I have yet another great giveaway for you this week: A copy of Destined (House of Night, #9) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast


Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

"...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"

Here's the awesome trailer for this book:

Please note that this contest is for US/Canada followers only and ends on November 5th, 2011. If you are interested, please use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where you will find the most recent books I have received for review, purchased, etc. Enjoy and start participating if you are not already!

Print Books

My Life Undecided
by Jessica Brody *
The City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare
The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Kindle ebookS

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel *
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
* These books were provided in exchange for an unbiased review.

Monday Deals 10/24/11

Let's admit it: Mondays can be a little... draining on the soul. So what works better for lifting the spirit than finding some great books for cheap!?

Here are my featured deals for the week:

kindle (Amazon)

All of the titles below have 4+ star ratings on



Sorry, but I don't have any deals on print books this week!!

*Book prices are only guaranteed on date of post. Please double check pricing before purchase*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: City of Ashes

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback
Pages: 464
Source: Purchased 
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
A murderer is loose in New York City ...

... and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary's father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what's his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary's brother, Jace.

Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy.
There is something about this series that keeps me coming back. It could be the mystery, the tension, the great world building or any of the other wonderful elements present in this story. The more I read this series, the more intrigued I become. City of Bones was a bit slow for me, but City of Ashes was an unexpectedly fast, gripping read: an extremely hard book to put down.

I really loved the mystery aspect of this book. There were so many unknowns, so many truths to uncover, and so many plot twists; Many of which still remained unsolved at the conclusion of this book. The pacing was great! Never once was I bored with a scene or felt the need to skip pages. There was more than enough action to keep me interested!

City of Ashes allowed me to feel a much needed connection with the characters. It provided what City of Bones, was missing for me. In this book, I could see that Clare's characters are flawed. Flaws are what make characters real for me. They allow me to feel a connection and relate to the characters. I was happy that they all weren't perfect. I also liked the fact that Clary was not some helpless girl. There are so many young adult books with helpless damsels in distress. What happened to the badass chicks? While Clary was definitely unsure of herself at times, it was refreshing to see a girl who isn't afraid to try to do things herself.

I'm beginning to see why so much hype surrounds this series... I'll admit that I was disappointed in the first book, but City of Ashes was a definite page turner.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Deals 10/17/11

Let's admit it: Mondays can be a little... draining on the soul. So what works better for lifting the spirit than finding some great books for cheap!?

Here are my featured deals for the week:

kindle (Amazon)

All of the titles below have 4+ star ratings on

Adult Content


Sorry, but I don't have any deals on print books this week!!

*Book prices are only guaranteed on date of post. Please double check pricing before purchase*

Giveaway: The Dead-Tossed Waves

Hey Inklings!

Some of you may already know the story behind this but… I was at Borders during their sale and bought a paperback copy of  ‘The Dead-Tossed Waves’ and was super excited for it. Because I’m a book buying addict I went back a week later and found a SIGNED HARDBACK COPY of the same book. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t let that opportunity pass so I bought that one as well. Now I have an extra paperback copy and nothing to do with it. So what better time than this to give away my spare copy to YOU. We can’t just let a good book like that sit on a shelf its whole life now can we!?dtw
I do however want to note that ‘The Dead-Tossed Waves’ is the second book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. This contest is open to US/Canada entries only and will end at midnight on October 30th. Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where you will find the most recent books I have received for review, purchased, etc. Enjoy and start participating if you are not already!

Kindle ebookS

Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver
The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Very small haul this week! Gives me a chance to play catch-up :) What did you guys get in your mailboxes this week?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: The Initiation

TheInitiation The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith
Publisher: HarperPrism
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased 
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
The author of the bestselling The Vampire Diaries presents a suspenseful new trilogy. Seduced by the Secret Circle, Cassie is initiated into the mysterious "in-crowd, " a coven of young witches whose power has controlled New Salem for 300 years--and risks falling prey to the dark powers in order to have the coven leader's boyfriend.

After seeing the TV show, The Secret Circle, I had to give this series a try. I really enjoyed the characters and tension from the show. Sadly, The Initiation was quite different from the TV series. It was a super quick read for me but I found it lacking substance and plot. I really loved the concept of this book, but it really failed for me in the delivery department. When I look back... not much happened throughout the course of the book. I feel like there were things that could have been expanded on that weren’t.

I would have liked to see much more in the way of character development as well. Watch out if you aren’t a fan of insta-love because it is really terrible in this book. As in: this is the third time I’ve met you but “I love you..” I just don’t understand why Smith would have the characters commited in that way so early. Why not give the tension some time to develop? Why not give some mystery to the reader or doubt in the character's minds? Not only is there insta-love with the guy, there is also friendly insta-love between Cassie and her newfound best friend Diana.They meet and are like sisters immediately.

What kept me moving through the bad relationship development and cheesy lines was the great writing style. L.J. Smith’s words flow seamlessly. I believe most readers can definitely appreciate that. This was my first encounter with her writing, and I will definitely be continuing this series for this reason. I truly think that there is potential for this series to turn into something good! If you are looking for a quick, mildly entertaining read then I would suggest checking this out. If you are like me and looking for something to complement the TV series, don't get your hopes up.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Deals (7)

Let's admit it: Mondays can be a little... draining on the soul. So what works better for lifting the spirit than finding some great books for cheap!?

Here are my featured deals for the week:

kindle (Amazon)

All of the titles below have 4+ star ratings on



Sorry, but I don't have any deals on print books this week!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where you will find the most recent books I have received for review, purchased, etc. Enjoy and start participating if you are not already!

Print Books

The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith
The Captive (The Secret Circle, #2) by L.J. Smith
The Power (The Secret Circle, #3) by L.J. Smith
The Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld
Hades (Halo, #2) by Alexandra Adornetto*  
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin*
A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber *
Far From The War by Jeffrey David Payne*

Kindle ebookS

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Entwined by Heather Dixon
The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1) by Cinda Williams Chima*
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder*
* These books were given to me in exchange for an unbiased review.

Review: Rot & Ruin

Rot&Ruin Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) by Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Format: Hardcover 
Pages: 458
Source: Purchased 
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
After reading Maberry’s Patient Zero earlier this year, I knew I would love Rot & Ruin. Once again, he did not disappoint. He has such a great writing style and true talent for keeping readers’ eyes on the page. It was incredibly hard not to finish this in one sitting..

At the start, I found the main character, Benny, to be naïve, ignorant, and a bit obnoxious. He frustrated me so much initially… But I later found that the beauty of this book was seeing Benny grow from that ignorant child into someone to be respected and proud of. I really enjoyed watching the change in the relationship between Benny and his brother Tom as well. Benny had originally thought Tom was a coward, but slowly learned that he was actually quite the opposite! Tom was easily my favorite character in Rot & Ruin. His wisdom and compassion were awe-inspiring. I personally think that the character and relationship development in this book is what truly makes it shine. There is so much emotional substance to this story.

Rot & Ruin is not your everyday zombie book! It is an action packed read that will make you reflect on what it is to be human. I cannot wait to get started on Dust & Decay to see where this adventure leads next!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Linger

LingerLinger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Format: Audiobook
Narrator(s): Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens, Emma Galvin, Jenna Lamia
Length: 10 hrs 43 min 
Source: Audible
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
Linger, the second installment of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, was simply amazing! All of the voice actors were cast so well that I can’t imagine actually reading it. I wouldn’t want to read this… Listening to their narration brought so much dimension to an already great story. Believe me… this audiobook is worth every penny. The thing I really loved about Linger was that not only do you get Sam and Grace’s point-of-views but also Isabelle and Cole’s. They each have their own little side stories that really add to the mix.

Speaking of Cole, at first I didn’t like his character. I found him to be selfish and annoying. But I must say that he really grew on me. If you are looking for some amazing, to-die-for male lead characters then you MUST read this. Sam was great as usual, but what I really enjoyed was the opportunity to learn more about Cole and explore his dark past.

Things really blow up in this book and get very intense in Linger. I was on edge for much of the time… Not only was there the desperation and love between Sam and Grace, but there was also murder, secrets revealed, parental issues, and more. There was so much tension that lets just say I didn’t want to get out of my car to go to work…

I cannot express how great the voice-acting is in this audiobook…. All of the narrators were cast to perfection. I honestly cannot imagine a better team. Even if you are not interested in this series, this audiobook exemplifies excellent voice-acting. I cannot wait to see what else comes from this narration team in the future! Linger is an unstoppable force with its top of the line narration and beautiful love story.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Thin Air

Thin Air (Thin Air, #1) by Lynn Seresin
Publisher: Self Published 
Format: Kindle Ebook 
Pages: 452
Source: Author 
Amazon | Goodreads
★★★☆☆ (3.5 stars) 
Alice Ayre is no ordinary teenager. She took her first name from a statue in Central Park, pulled her last name out of the air (literally), and she’s actually almost a thousand years old. In fact, the only “ordinary” thing about Alice is that she’s in love.

Alice was a sylphid—a winged air spirit—when she spotted Daniel Field camping in the Adirondacks and lost her heart to the handsome NYU student. Intangible to the human senses, her only hope of winning his heart resides in becoming mortal, even though transmutation is forbidden by Paralda, ruler of the air. Risking punishment, however, seems a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness.
This is one of those indie books that makes me wonder why it hasn’t already been picked up by a publisher. I feel that with further editing and a few other changes, This Air could be a young adult hit!

The elemental world was fleshed out  so well in Thin Air! I was hooked on the beautiful descriptions from the start. Seresin has a poetic writing style that I absolutely fell in love with. This style really showed through when she was writing about emotion and love. For example, I think she did a wonderful job expressing Aeris’ desperate longing for Daniel. Seresin managed to make Aeris’ love for Daniel believable, even if initially seemed out of place.

As far as the plot goes, I found it to be quite predictable. Being predictable however, did not take away from my enjoyment of the story and of the writing. I found that the story’s strongest points were the beginning and the end. In the beginning, I just loved reading about the naiveté and innocence that Aeris possessed once she became human. Seresin did a great job making Aeris’ transformation to a human realistic.  It was reminiscent of the 1984 mermaid film, Splash, starring Tom Hanks. Unfortunately, Thin Air did hit some dry spells in the middle for me. During that time, some circumstances and events seemed forced to push the story along. Overall I found the story to be enjoyable, but predictable.

I found the romance between Alice (Aeris’ human name) and Daniel to be cute and sultry (if that makes sense). They had some great chemistry from the start. Despite my love for Daniel, I secretly hoped for a love triangle between Alice, Daniel, and Terra. I would like to see Terra make an appearance in the second book! *crosses fingers*

It’s not often that you see books about elementals. This would be my first, but I don’t think it will be my last. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second installment in the Thin Air Saga! Thin Air had a strong ending and left me wanting to find out what happens next!

This review is featured as part of the Thin Air Book Tour


As a grand prize, Lynn's giving away a signed paperback copy of Thin Air, and a gorgeous pair of earrings to one lucky, randomly chosen entrant! Here's how you can enter for this amazing prize: Visit the blogs listed on the main tour site and collect all of the letters. The letters are only featured on some of the blogs, not all of them. Once you have collected the letters, they should form two words that you can enter in THIS FORM to win!

Next Tour Stop (10/5): Everything To Do With Books (Giveaway)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Wanderlove

wanderloveWanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Kindle Ebook 
Pages: 335
Source: NetGalley 
Release Date: March 13, 2012 
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story
Wanderlove is easily one of the most funny and adventurous stories I have had the privilege of reading this year. Three things in particular stood out about this book to me: (1) Kristen Hubbard’s writing style=hilarious, (2) The characters are so relatable and realistic, (3) There is a ton of wisdom packed into this quick read.

As far as writing styles go, Kirsten Hubbard has one of the most funny ones that I have ever seen! I was constantly giggling and smiling. If you read Wanderlove, expect to be thoroughly entertained from page one!

“At last, a woman excuses herself from the group and approaches me. She’s got knobby knuckles and pearly, lacquered nails. She reminds me of a velociraptor.” – Wanderlove

Bria, the main character of this story, is extremely easy to relate to. Describing herself as an “introverted hanger-back,” all I was thinking was “THAT’S SO ME!” I felt like I was on this journey with her, growing and learning. The newness and wonder of it all was beautiful to me.

As far as scenery goes, I’ve never been to the places in the book, but they sure seemed authentic to me. I’ll admit I even looked up Laughingbird Caye, and guess what!? It’s real! It is clear that Hubbard did some research (maybe even first hand?) for this one. Authenticity in travel fiction is a must!

The ending was left open, but very satisfying. Quite honestly, it was exactly how I wanted it to end. Wanderlove is a simple, yet beautiful adventure of self-discovery, love, and healing. Think Eat, Pray, Love for teenagers! I fell in love with this book from page one.

Giveaway: My Life Undecided

Hi Inklings! Thanks to the awesome folks over at Zeitghost Media, I have yet another great giveaway for you this week: A copy of My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody.


My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Goodreads | Jessica Brody


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else decide which book I read for English. And whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it. Read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Here's the awesome trailer for this book:
Please note that this contest is for US/Canada followers only and ends on October 16, 2011. If you are interested, please use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!