Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Obsidian

ObsidianObsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: Paperback
Source: Book Expo America 2012
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes.

Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.
My first mistake going into Obsidian was expecting it to be the best book I've read! For this reason, it turned out to be a book that just didn't live up to the hype for me. Was it a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable read? Yes, most definitely. Was it OMG THE BEST BOOK EVER!? No, definitely not. While I really liked Obsidian, it did have its share of flaws.

I found that I didn't care for Daemon as much as I thought I would. Yes, he was hot, but he also had a severe case of the all too familiar male-jerk-syndrome. Sorry, but I just didn't fall for it this time. Why, oh why, would Katy be attracted to that? On a more positive note, him being such a jerk did lead to some fantastic interactions between the two! If there was one thing the author did especially right, it was the romance. Despite my dislike for both Katy and Daemon, I couldn't help but get sucked into their romance, snarky comments and all.

While I had multiple issues with the characters in Obsidian, it did feature a well-written, action-driven plot and an original premise. For this reason, I will definitely be checking out the next book, Onyx. Hopefully Daemon's attitude will level out enough for me to fully enjoy it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. 
Format: ARC
Source: BEA 
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Unfortunately, having enjoyed Maggie's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I found The Raven Boys to be quite a disappointment. The difference may lie in listening to The Wolves of Mercy Falls series on audiobook verses reading The Raven Boys. Maggie has very gorgeous, beautiful writing, but at times it can be hard to follow. I found myself rereading sections several times just to understand what the heck was going on. Like the Scorpio Races, I almost stopped for this reason. When a book becomes work, I generally don't want to continue. I think I would have enjoyed this much better had I listened via audiobook.

The Raven Boys certainly gets points for originality. I can honestly say it has a story unlike any other. The mystery of it all drove me to push through what was ultimately a good story. I would recommend this book to most people, however, I would strongly recommend listening to it on audio! If you are up for the challenge, give reading it a shot, but it may leave you frustrated and disappointed like me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Audiobook Review: Pandemonium

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium (Delirium, #2) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Sarah Drew
Source: Purchased from Audible
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
If I’ve learned to expect one thing from Lauren Oliver, it’s unbearable cliffhangers!  When you read Pandemonium I can almost guarantee you, like me, will end up begging for the next book!

Pandemonium was a slow start for me. At the beginning I felt that it just didn’t compare to the first book. Boy did I change my mind during the second half!! Just as Delirium was emotion filled, Pandemonium certainly had its moments as well. There were a few particular scenes that I struggled with… If you’ve read this you probably have an idea of what I’m talking about. The story wasn’t completely focused on emotion, however. There was plenty of action to keep me satisfied as well, even more so than the first book. 

Many new characters were introduced into Lena’s story. The character I found most intriguing, like many others, was Julian. I loved the contrast between the two: how each of them came from different backgrounds but managed to work together. I loved watching the suspicion between them melt away as they learned to trust one another!

I enjoyed Pandemonium just as much, if not better, than Delirium. The characters, action, and turn filled plot left me begging for more. As I mentioned earlier, be prepared for yet another cliffhanger! Yes, I am still recovering from it! Be sure to check out the Delirium series: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem (coming March 2013)!

Monday, November 12, 2012

YA Kindle Deals Under $5: 11/12/12

Hi Inklings!

Here you'll find some of the best Kindle deals available. Some books are well known and some are hidden gems that I've found, but ALL books below have 4+ star ratings on Amazon.  What works better for lifting the spirit than finding some great books for cheap!? Beware: This is quite a sizable list and may take a bit to load!

Here are my featured deals for the week:

All of the titles below have 4+ star ratings or are from popular series on Amazon.com.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (20) & Weekly Recap 11/10/12

I decided to give this Weekly Recap thing a shot. I think it’s a genius idea, but if you guys think it’s lame, be sure to let me know in the comments! Here’s what you might have missed this past week:

Weekly Recap

November TBR List

 Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Covers
YA Kindle Deals Under $5: 11/6/12

Audiobook Review: Delirium

Inkling Inquiries: Why Do You Blog?

{FAVORITES} Blog Posts:
Two Bloggers Find Love in a Sears Commercial – GalleyCat
- One Stop Publicity Resource – Making The Grade Reviews

In My Mailbox

Cold Fury

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inkling Inquiries: Why Do You Blog?

I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot lately! Not about content, or graphics, or increasing readership, but the most important question of all: why do I do it? It’s funny how you can get in a routine, and forget the very reasons you do things to begin with. I decided to take some time and assess what keeps me coming back for more. Here are just a few of the reasons I blog:

1. A PLACE TO BELONG, A HOME The book blogging community is a wonderful thing to be a part of. I learn something new everyday from the fantastic members and their blogs. From day 1 the community welcomed me. They opened themselves up to my questions, offered advice, and mentored me to become the blogger I am today. All in all, if I was to stop blogging, the number one thing I would miss would be the people. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you who has stopped by to comment, read a post, or even just offered a kind word. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

2. ME TIME Blogging offers me a creative outlet. It’s something that is inherently mine! Blogging has become “that thing” that makes me special and unique. My opinion matters to someone, somewhere.

3. A ROUTINE Blogging gives me something that I can consistently improve on. It is something that I can shape and mold, much like art. I don’t have much of a goal for my blog except to improve a bit every post. Blogging attempts to be is a routine. It is healthy for me, someone who rarely sticks with a hobby for longer than a few weeks, to have been blogging for almost 2 years. I think I have hobby ADD, but blogging just seemed to stick! It shows I do have the dedication and drive to commit to something I am passionate about! And that, my friends, builds confidence.

4. SPREAD THE LOVE I love books. Obviously. And, really, who doesn’t love sharing their opinion? Inklings Read has become a place where I can recommend books to an unlimited audience. There’s something quite grand in that thought!

TAG YOU’RE IT! I invite you all to write a post, or comment below, about why you blog and what drives you to continue! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please post a link in the comments so that I can stop by and check it out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Audiobook Review: Delirium

Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Sarah Drew
Source: Purchased from Audible
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now.

Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Delirium is one of those books that I had no interest in reading initially. The plot seemed a bit too familiar and sounded as if it could easily go wrong. Then came the gushing reviews from my fellow bloggers. So what did that make me do? Naturally, I put off reading it even longer (I've since learned to listen to them)! Eventually I gave in and now I can’t believe how I could put off reading such a fantastic book!

 Delirium contained all my favorite elements: A bit of action, a pinch of  mystery, a killer ending, and a romance seemingly doomed from the start. Yet, even in the face of that doom, the main character, Lena, maintained hope. There's just something about underdog characters like Lena that I love. They manage to both inspire and intrigue me. Up against all odds, will they make it or break it? You'll have to read this one to find out!

Delirium evoked all kinds of emotions: anger, sadness, love, and hope to name a few. Expect a rollercoaster! While, yes, this is a very emotional book, it has none of the fluff that one might expect from reading the blurb. There is legitimate thought and meaning in Delirium! Yes, it is about love, but there is so much more to it!

Don't be like me and put off reading Delirium! Life's too short to miss out on the good ones!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For a list of past and future topics, check it out here.

Hush Hush by Becca FitzpatrickKillboxEonaMistbornThe Elite

YA Kindle Deals Under $5: 11/6/2012

Hi Inklings!

Here you'll find some of the best Kindle deals available. Some books are well known and some are hidden gems that I've found, but ALL books below have 4+ star ratings on Amazon.  What works better for lifting the spirit than finding some great books for cheap!? Beware: This is quite a sizable list and may take a bit to load!

Here are my featured deals for the week:

All of the titles below have 4+ star ratings or are from popular series on Amazon.com.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

November TBR List

Can you believe it’s November already!? October was such a crazy busy month for me work wise. There was little time open for blogging. Lucky for me, things are beginning to wind down a bit with the approaching holidays, so hopefully I can make up for my absence!

Now to the topic at hand: My To-Be-Read list for this month! There so many great books I’ve been wanting to read lately. Decisions, decisions… At the moment, I’m about halfway through The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and really enjoying it! Check out the other books in my TBR pile for this month, in no specific order:

by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast

Destined (House of Night, #9)

by Lev Grossman

The Magicians

by Elizabeth Richards

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

by Neal Shusterman

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

by Laini Taylor
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor 

What’s at the top of YOUR list for the month!?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: Remembrance

Remembrance by Michelle MadowRemembrance (Transcend Time, #1) by Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased at Author Signing 
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy

Remembrance is a beautiful tale of a love that transcends time. Not only is this story addicting, but it features an extremely relatable main character: Lizzie.

We’ve all been there: Caught between our own happiness and that of another. How do you choose? Lizzie has to face this dilemma several times in Remembrance. Does she hurt her best and most loyal friend? Does she break her boyfriends heart? This dilemma made Lizzie one of the most relatable characters I’ve encountered in awhile. Even though Lizzie was an extremely well-written and well developed character, I found other characters to be flat and one dimensional: Jeremy, for example.

What frustrated me about Jeremy is that we only saw one side of him: the jerk side. It would have been much easier to understand why everyone loved him had we seen a glimpse of his old self. I just couldn’t understand why everyone defended his actions when he was clearly no good for Lizzie! Seriously guys, he treated her like crap! I like my antagonists to have more than one facet to their personalities, so I found Jeremy lacking.

On a more positive note, there is one thing that could easily have gone wrong, but didn’t: The flashbacks. Too often I read books featuring flashbacks that are confusing, misplaced, and serve little to no purpose to the plot. Michelle did a fantastic job inserting a few well placed flashbacks that were actually functional. 

Remembrance was a quick, satisfying read that left me wanting to know more about Drew and Lizzie’s history together. Luckily, there is a short story, Vengeance, to hold me over until I can get my hands on Timeless. Don’t miss out on this romantic, feel-good, story!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (11)

Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can’t deal with bad editing?

This is a hard one for me since so many things can put me off from a book.  Here are some of the my top picks:

- Underdeveloped/one-dimensional characters: This is especially bad if it is the main character…
- Bad editing: Not that I claim to have perfect grammar or punctuation (I definitely don’t)… Unfortunately this is why I’ve begun to avoid many self-published books.

Usually there are redeeming qualities that help me get through a book with one of the above, so these aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but more frustrations.

How about you guys!? What are your book deal breakers?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince by Julie KagawaThe Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1) by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley  
Buy It From AmazonGoodreads

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

Julie is an author that, no matter the topic, I will always love her books. Yes, you may even call me a fangirl. I can always count on her rich, beautiful settings and unforgettable characters. The Lost Prince is no exception.

The Lost Prince is a book that, despite being a spinoff of The Iron Fey series, can be read without reading through the original books. I do, however, strongly recommend reading The Iron Fey series first. Not only are they fantastic books, but they will definitely help fill in some plot gaps for unfamiliar readers.

For those who have read The Iron Fey series, do you remember Meghan’s tiny, little brother, Ethan from the first book? Yeah, he’s all grown up now and shirtless on the cover! Seeing him at a young age and seeing him grown are two opposite sides of the spectrum! I loved the contrast between the two. The fey have tortured him his entire life, so I can completely understand his broodiness and complex personality. You can tell Julie really took the time and effort to develop his character!

The Lost Prince features some fantastic action scenes and quirky characters! I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Ethan and Kerrian. It was vaguely reminiscent of Ash and Puck. So if you’ve liked the banter between those two in the past, you will definitely find some entertainment here. I’ll be honest and say I really wanted a glimpse at the present day life of Ash and Meghan. Luckily The Lost Prince delivered. While the story doesn’t revolve around them, there are still some beautiful scenes between the two. I didn’t know it was possible to miss two fictional characters so much… Special thanks to Julie for not leaving them in the dust.

The Lost Prince is nothing short of a showstopper! It has proven itself to be just as engaging and exciting as the The Iron Fey series. I have no doubts that it will continue to meet or even surpass my expectations of the original books. *Impatiently waits for next book*