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!