Friday, January 31, 2014

January Monthly Wrap Up Preview

Hello again, everyone! I'm revamping how I do my monthly wrap ups, and expanding on them quite a bit. So, as I'm changing this month's, it will end up being posted in early Feb. Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek of what's to come.

What I Read - 7 Books
Reviews Posted - 10 Reviews
Some Highlights - 2 Readathons and my first author interview with Jodi Meadows!

So, I will have the full, detailed wrap up coming to the blog probably this weekend. There's going to be more expanding on the February TBR feature coming soon, too! I'm excited for these changes I'm making, so I hope you all enjoy them too. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and happy reading.

From the paper world,

Friday Reads - January 31, 2014

Friday Reads! Alright, just a quick update- I'm still in Asunder during the Incarnate Readathon (sadly very far behind), but I'm still loving it! Since I didn't have my copy last night, I picked up Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. I'm 50 pages in, and it's really good as well. I've been enjoying picking up multiple books lately, so I'll probably continue both over the weekend. How about you? What are you reading this weekend?

From the paper world,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Five Star Spotlight - Unhinged by A.G. Howard

It's always a good post when it's a Five Star Spotlight. After all, these are books that are favorites and wonderful, spectacular reads. This series showcases all of those books, and today we are talking about a series you've probably seen mentioned on this blog once...or twice...or every other post. Well, now I'm going to be adding another book from this series. That is Unhinged by A.G. Howard. Unhinged is the sequel to my favorite book from 2013, Splintered. Splintered is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and how generations later, Alice's descendant Alyssa finds herself drawn into Wonderland as she tries to help Wonderland after the destruction left by Alice. Alyssa is joined by her Wonderland guide Morpheus, who is probably smugly seated in the Top 10 or 5 of my favorite characters (let me know if you want a post on my favorite characters, by the way) and Jeb, Alyssa's best friend. If you haven't yet read Splintered, this review does contain spoilers for the first book. So, I'll link you to Splintered on Goodreads and you can start there and read that book. I would definitely recommend this series- it's one of my favorites in YA, and arguably my favorite YA series aside from The Mortal Instruments. So, definitely check out Splintered (it has an amazing cover!).

I'll include Splintered's info here before the rest so that if you haven't read the series, you can view it and add it on Goodreads. And see the pretty cover!

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

And now, if you've read Splintered, let's talk about Unhinged.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Writer's Words - Interview with Jodi Meadows

I am really excited to welcome Jodi Meadows to the blog. Jodi kindly agreed to do an interview with me, and she's a wonderful author. I'll leave her official bio below, but Jodi has written the Newsoul trilogy. This series is incredible- I have a review of Incarnate posted here, but it is fantastic. I have never read such a uniquely designed world, and Ana is an incredibly protagonist. She has an amazing intrinsic strength despite opposition. This series is full of characters that are interesting to read about. With the release of the last book in the trilogy, Infinite, upon us, I've truly enjoyed participating in the readathon! There's currently a readathon of this series going on, which is how I've discovered and fallen in love with these books, so I would definitely suggest you pick them up! Also, the covers for this series are some of my favorites, so enjoy! The trilogy consists of three full length books and a novella, Phoenix Overture. 
Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)Asunder (Newsoul, #2)Phoenix Overture (Newsoul, #2.5)Infinite (Newsoul, #3)

Here's a little bit about Jodi from her website!
The official stuff:
Jodi pictureJodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.
*A Kippy is a cat.
The unofficial stuff:
Like many writers, I’ve always wanted to do this professionally. You know, after I decided against being an astronaut.
Unlike many writers, I didn’t skip straight from picture books to adult novels. I have fond memories of going to Bookstop every month for the latest Baby-Sitters Club (which I kept reading, even after I realized they were never going to let the paranormal elements be real), and even fonder memories of hanging out in my middle school library. The librarians probably knew exactly what they were doing when they suggested book after book and discussed them with me at length. I, of course, had no clue they were turning me into a book addict, but it worked out for the best. Once I found the books where magic and other fantastic elements were real, I was hooked.
When I was twenty, I met a boy, moved 1,500 miles, and married him all within six months. I now realize that was crazy and dangerous, but it seemed natural at the time and, again, worked out for the best. Not only did we stay madly in love, he worked full time at a hard job so I could stay home to write books and, hopefully, one day get published.
The other crazy thing we did was fall in love with ferrets. They have their own bedroom.
My hobbies, aside from spending all my money on books and Kippy/ferret treats, revolve around yarn. I love crocheting, knitting, and spinning. In addition to several handspindles, I share my living room with a spinning wheel named Bob.

Visit Jodi Meadows's Website

And now, to the interview!

Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to join us! Congratulations on Infinite's release! This is an incredible series, and reading along and the live shows have been such a great way to discover this world. 
Which character was the easiest, and which the most difficult to write?

Ana was probably both of those. Her voice came naturally to me, but emotionally she was often very difficult to write; she's been through so much abuse. Digging into her motivations, reactions, emotions, and fears was really sad. Fortunately, she's a very strong person and she began overcoming her past!

Did any of your characters develop differently than what you'd expected as the story progressed?

Absolutely. I didn't expect Cris to play such a large role in the story, but in the beginning of ASUNDER when he walked on, I knew that something was going to happen with him. 

How did writing the Incarnate series help you grow as an author?

It taught me a lot about writing what I love, and not worrying what other people might think about my story. It's my story first, and if I don't enjoy writing it, no one is going to enjoy reading it. Later, when I've revised it and had time to begin separating myself from the story -- then it can belong to other people, too. But first it has to be mine.

What does your writing process look like?

It's different with every book! There's a saying that goes something like, You don't learn to write books; you just learn to write this book.

That's really true for me, too. But with a lot of books lately, I do better if I plan ahead what's going to happen, what kind of things need to be revealed, and what the ending will be like. I don't need to know everything, and there is certainly room for surprises, but I need to have a solid roadmap before I start.

What inspired the idea of sylph?

The sylph just sort of appeared in the first chapter as I was daydreaming the beginning. I knew there had to be something in the woods that would frighten Ana and get her into trouble. It took a while before I figured out what they were, or even what to call them. (There are actual mythological creatures called sylph -- spirits of the air -- but there's so little lore on them, I felt comfortable making them my own.)

What is one aspect of your books you wish existed in our world?


I suppose that's going to be an unpopular answer.

I know you mentioned your love of dragons in the last live show, are there any dragon characters you've read that are your particular favorites?

Oh gosh, yes, I love lots of fictional dragons. Smaug, of course (he's been on my mind), and the dragons from SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman, and . . . I don't know. There are so many excellent dragons, and I'm blanking on names right now. *gulps coffee*

Congratulations on your new duology! The Orphan Queen releases in 2015, and while the synopsis sounds awesome, is there anything more you can tell us about the protagonist?

Yay, thanks! I'm super excited about this story. Umm, the protagonist. Well, she's really good with daggers. And with pens. She has an obsession with forgery and writing in other people's handwriting, so because of her, I ended up buying a lot of dip pens and ink to learn more about what she was doing. 

How has it felt to start a new series after Infinite?

Good! A little scary. There's always the worry that people won't like it as much as the INCARNATE trilogy, but . . . it's a good second series, I think. And I really hope people will like it. 

What are some of your favorite YA books you'd recommend?

I have a huge list of recommendations! But some I'm doing events with soon: 

EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton
DEFIANCE by CJ Redwine
HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire
THESE BROKEN STARS by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman

I've seen quite a lot of ferret love from you on Twitter and you said you would dress as a ferret for the Incarnate masquerade. When did you get your ferrets?

I've had ferrets for a little over ten years now! I don't know. They just seemed like my kind of pets. 

Thank you to Jodi Meadows for stopping by. I real love reading this series, so I was so excited to be able to have an interview with you! 
Now, for everyone, I'm going to leave you with the summary and link to the first book. Hope you enjoyed this interview, and if you've read the Newsoul trilogy, I'd love to discuss it!

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Incarnate on Goodreads   

From the paper world,

The 5 Star Spotlight - Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

A little while ago, I participated in the Christmas BooktubeAThon, and Sisters Red was the second book I read for this ReadAThon. This was a comparatively slow read for me, since I was aiming to read about a book a day for the readathon but this book took two days. Which isn't long for a book, but in a readathon and with a 324 page book, it surprised me. Regardless, I wanted to take my time and enjoy this book, and by the title- it is a 5 star book obviously- I wanted to share my thoughts about a book that I really enjoyed.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Goals and Challenges - A Summary

If you've been here on the blog a few times, you've probably seen a random post or two about some reading challenges that Paper Worlds and Swirls of Ink are going to be participating in. Also, there are quite a few buttons appearing in the side bar, for readathons, read alongs, challenges, and other events that I'm going to be participating in through the blog. And I'm really excited for them, and I want to spread the word so you can see if it's something you would be interested in participating in. Now, before we start, yes these are a lot of challenges. However, I looked at them all carefully, set myself very realistic goals, and I'm not going to worry about everything excessively. Book blogging is something I do because it's what I love to do, and these challenges are a great way to inspire myself to have more reviews for you guys, and to also be able to see others' reviews, blogs, and thoughts. The challenges are also ones that, with almost any book I read, a review for it will count towards one or more of these challenges. So, I think I'll be able to successfully meet my goals, which are all very reasonable. Without further ado, let's talk about some of the yearly challenges I'm undertaking, and how they coincide with some of my blogging goals.

BookishFirst, I'd like to talk about the first book blogging challenges I heard about and signed up for. The 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted at Bookish is one that I'm really excited about. This was the first one I'd heard of, and I was so excited because it was a chance to review some books and then be able to see other's book reviews and share some of my own. Plus, the idea of this challenge is to read some books that are already published and that you've wanted to read for awhile. For this year's challenge, the books must be published in 2013 or any year before that. I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 21-30 books for this challenge, and even with all the other challenges I'm undertaking, I think this is a reasonable goal. I've wanted to have more book reviews on the blog, and this challenge was great motivation for that. A few other bloggers I know, namely Sunny and Kerrie, are doing it as well, and I'm really excited to meet some other bloggers, read some reviews, and write and share some of my own. I'll link the sign up page here, and that gives the challenge details as well.

button_17Another challenge I'm really excited for is the 2014 Debut Author's Challenge. This is hosted at The Story Siren, and the goal of this is to read 12 debut author books for this year. I signed up for this after I saw how many YA 2014 Debuts I was adding to my to-read as I looked on Goodreads under various Listopia. There are plenty of authors that are debuting this year with books that really do sound fantastic. In my sign up post, I linked the books I was considering reading, and so I'll link that here. Since the goal is 12 debuts, and we have the same monthly link-ups as all of these challenges have for reviews, I knew this would be an opprotunity to discover some new authors and series, which perfectly lines up with my 'Start at least 5 new series' book goal, and this would be a lot of new content for reviews for you all. I'm thinking of starting a feature about favorite Debuts of mine, so let me know if you guys are in favor of that idea. I'll leave the sign up for this challenge as well so you can see if it's something you're interested in.

preqseqbuttonNext is the 2014 Prequels & Sequels Challenge. This is hosted by both Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads. The goal of this challenge is to read and review prequels, sequels, and complete series. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to expand on my Series in Summation feature, and to have more reviews in general. I picked the lowest target for this, which was 10-25 points and so I'll have this challenge completed early into the year.

Sign Up for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads's 2014 Prequels & Sequels Challenge!

 I'd like to take this time to announce my participation in yet another 2014 reading challenge. Fiktshun is a blog I've been following for awhile, and so when I saw her post about the 'Don't Let It End Challenge' I was really excited. One of my 2014 goals is to 'Finish 5 series' and the goal of this 6 month challenge (From February 14 to July 14) is to finish series that you have dreaded finishing. I can think of a few that are already out (Sentinel, Champion, Allegiant, Emerald Green, etc.) as well as some coming out I'm dreading seeing the end of the series (City of Heavenly Fire!!). This challenge is great motivation to finish these series. It will also overlap with the Prequels & Sequels Challenge. I know it seems like a lot to add on another challenge, but there is no book number requirement for this. I don't need to set a goal or level to reach. I just read what I can, and link up the reviews. So, I'm very excited, and I'll link the sign ups for you all here.
2014 Reading ChallengeMy Goodreads Reading Challenge is 75 books. Last year I didn't update my reading for six months, so I'm going to keep a closer track of what I read through Goodreads. 

Those are all of the reading challenges I'll be participating in this year. Yes, it's a lot, but I think I can handle my goals. I'll keep you posted in my Monthly Wrap Ups, and update how I'm doing in each challenge. Also, my Goodreads reading challenge is in the sidebar with the other 2014 Reading Challenges, and you'll be able to see how many books I've read there.
What are some reading challenges you'll be participating in? Are you doing any of the same challenges? 

From the paper world,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Five Star Spotlight - The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Today's Spotlight is on a book that is new, different, and thrilling for the YA genre. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a crime solving mystery that is completely different for YA. I hadn't read anything like this before, and while it can seem reminiscent of adult murder mysteries, this is a good, mature YA version that I prefer- it's fresh, the narrator is interesting, and I liked most of the characters and I loved the overall dynamics between them all. This book is 5 stars because it's new, exciting, and there are a lot of great qualities to it!


Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

See The Naturals on Goodreads          Visit the Author's Website

Now, I knew pretty early on this was probably going to be a 5 star book. At the beginning, I'd read 14 pages, and then the next time, I picked the book up and didn't put it down again until I finished all 308 pages. So, it's not a long book, but it was so engaging that I wanted to keep reading. Initially, I thought The Naturals was a paranormal about kids gifted with supernatural abilities. However, that's not really the premise of the book. Sure, Cassie and cohorts are exceptionally observant and this leads to them being able to see things and make connections and solve crimes. However, there is no supernatural cause that is expressly discussed in the book. Instead they are known as Naturals- naturally gifted in observation and mentally in different areas that are beneficial to this new, select program in the FBI to fight crime. Cassie is a profiler- she can take details and little quirks about people to reveal entire back stories and personalities. 

As soon as the agent mentions serial killers, and then the term UNSUB came into the book, I was thinking about Criminal Minds. If you're not familiar, Criminal Minds is a television show that predominantly focuses on serial crime and a team of FBI profilers that draw conclusions about the criminal based on the crimes and then solve the crime. It's a rather dark series because it also shows the criminals and their stories as well. The Naturals also does this, and there are sections with 'You' point of views that are disturbing and are from the criminal's point of view. At first, I was confused as to what reason there was for putting these in 2nd person instead of in another 3rd, but this is explained within the context of the book.

The characters in this book are really great together, and I liked most of them individually as well. Cassie, the protagonist, is a good narrator. She's interesting, especially with her observational abilities, and yet she also has a lot of character development. Cassie is different from the typical YA girl, and I appreciated that because she is such a big component of the story. The other kids in the program were good, as well. Sloane wasn't as big of a character, but I liked her contribution to the group's dynamic and how she was quiet yet spunky at points and added to whatever scene she was in. Dean and Michael were also good characters. Neither was the typical brooding 'bad boy'- they both have stories that aren't fully explained, but enough to understand more about them. Also, yes there is a love triangle, but I can't say for certain if I preferred one to the other, as each developed so well in the book and there was never a moment of clinging on to Cassie and declaring their insta-love. Instead this book took the time to develop them all as individuals, and I really thought that added to the world and also will benefit in the long term series development. (it isn't listed on Goodreads as a series, but the author mentions this on her website, and I'm really excited for more of these books!) I liked Dean and Cassie's relationship and how it developed, but there's a lot to Michael as well that happens in the book. What was really special about this was that no obvious choice was forced upon the characters in the beginning of the book- there's other books in the series to develop any sort of relationships, and that was a refreshing change to a romantic development in YA. In a first book, no clear choice should be made if they're all still meeting each other, and The Naturals was fantastic in avoiding classic YA love triangle tragedy. 

The only character I disliked in this book was Lia. Honestly, she reminds me of Isabelle Lightwood, and I never liked her character overmuch in The Mortal Instruments, and Lia takes Isabelle's more irksome traits and highlights them. However, I would say that her character is necessary to the kid's group dynamic overall, and that's noticeable in several scenes. So, the characters were all well made to fit their roles, and I think they had the perfect amount of development for a first book, and I can't wait to see more of them.

Now, let's talk about the plot of this. The story moved along very quickly, and as I said it was difficult to put down. So much happens, and things are very intense and suspenseful as Cassie is drawn into this world. There's the classic mystery plot twist, and it went two different ways. The first twist had me gasping out loud and being totally shocked. Then, the rest of the plot unfolded and while it wasn't as shocking, I think it contributed to the story line and characters more, and it was a good development. I don't want to talk too much about the plot because, as it's a crime solving mystery type, it's something the reader has to discover as they read along, but this was definitely well done. It's never too slow, which can be a complete loss for a mystery and crime book. It's well paced for a first book, and it was developed to really be a great first book without losing anything in character development or plot.

I think that this is a great read. It's new and different for YA- a psychological, crime solving mystery. There's an awesome cast of characters, and a well thought out plot. It's a stand out book and there's a lot of it that's new and exciting. I can't wait to see more of this series. The only disclaimer I would say is that it might be a little more dark of a YA read- it's psychological like the Mara Dyer trilogy and the scenes with the serial killer point of view are disturbing. I would just say that to warn ahead-this is not a light novel. It's dark in the sense of a lot of criminal psychology- very reminiscent of Criminal Minds. 

Overall, this is a great start to a new series. It's really different from anything I've read in YA. The Naturals is a really intense, psychological thriller. The characters are all different and well developed, with nothing too instantly characterized for a first book. I would recommend this, and I think that there's going to be a lot of awesome developments in this series.

From a paper world,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reading Review - Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Hello, everyone! You might know I've been participating in the Incarnate Readathon that's hosted by Bonnie and Alexa

This was something I was really excited about because I've been hoping to read this series for some time, and so I was glad to have the opportunity. Today I'm going to be reviewing the first book in the trilogy, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows.

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

This is a really interesting book. Let's start with the thing I loved the most about it- the world building. This world defies any genre and is completely different from anything I've read before. I went into the story expecting some sort of paranormal, modern world. Then, I thought it was high fantasy. But, honestly, it's not a world that perfectly fits into any YA classification. This world definitely has some high fantasy elements- there are fantastical creatures, like dragons and sylphs, and it's a magical world. But, there's a technology advancement to this society that's really unique to the story. There are data tablets and screens that the characters use. The world building was excellent- everything was new to the character, too. As I read, I found the world almost jarring as I read along, assumed it was a high fantasy type world, and then suddenly there's data screens and coffee makers in the houses. I really appreciated the unique world we were given. It was well described and interesting to read about, and it's one I want to read more of because it's so different from anything I've read, including basic generalizations of a type of book.

The characters in this book are also well written. Even after reading the first book, I don't fully understand Ana. Even as I was reading, I couldn't predict what she was going to do next. Although she didn't make the best decisions and could be annoying at times, Ana was generally a good character. She had this admirable, intrinsic strength to her that really shined throughout the novel. Ana's upbringing was dark and miserable, the book doesn't gloss over that and how it affects her character. But her character development was remarkable, and she is a very unique character. I look forward to seeing more of this complex, brave, and reckless protagonist in Asunder.

Now, let's just talk about Sam. Sam is one of my top fictional crushes. He booted several others off the list in a matter of 50 pages. Already Sam and Ana are one of my favorite couples of the year. I love how these two characters are together, and how their personalities complement the other's well, yet each is a unique character. I love how they find such joy in beautiful things in life, and the moments between the two.

However, I did have some problems with this book, and those were mainly concerning the plot. This is a first book in a series, and so there is a lot of world building and characterization that needs to go on. Incarnate did those wonderfully, and that is essential for the rest of the series to have as its foundation. But, there was a lack of a plot in the sense that there was no centralized conflict or problem specific to the book. Ana's identity crisis was important, but that pertains more to her character and how she'll grow throughout the series. This book was a lot of exposition and introduction, which is good for the series as a whole. It did have intrigue and plot twists, and by the end the beginnings of what could definitely be the sequel's conflict were revealed. But, to me, there wasn't that conflict as much in this book. As it is a first book with such a unique world and complex characters, I still really enjoyed the book, and I can't wait to continue. 

Overall, I gave this book four stars. It's a great start to the series, and it introduced an amazing world and some great characters. I can't wait to see more of both, and so I'm very happy to be participating in the readathon to marathon the series. If you'd like to sign up, the link is in the sidebar. 

From the paper world,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Series in Summation - The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck

This is a series that has the most beautiful covers. Seriously, take a look, they're eye catching. I remember always seeing the Tiger's Quest cover and being intrigued by the beautiful black tiger on the front and the intricate detailing and color on the cover. However, I could only find Tiger's Quest, which was the second book in the series. Eventually I caved and bought Tiger's Quest and started on the second book in the series (bad book habit I know but this was ages ago) and I delved into the world. Overall, I really enjoyed this series. I loved the intricate weaving of the modern day with Hindi mythology and ancient lore, which was a subject entirely new to me but very interesting. Now, let's briefly break down the series and talk about each book. As with any breakdown of series, the sequels' reviews may contain minor spoilers for those who haven't yet begun the series as a whole or reached the following books.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Reads - January 17, 2014

Hey, everyone! It's been awhile since I've made a Friday Reads post on the blog, but I'm participating in two readathons this weekend that I wanted to share with you all. The first, and the book I haven't been able to stop reading lately, has been the Incarnate Readathon, and I'm going to finish up Incarnate this weekend. So far, I am really enjoying it. There's definitely a review coming for this, and if you check out the banner in the sidebar you can see the schedule for reading them. However, if you want to join in, definitely pick up the series. It's a lot of fun so far. If you're on Twitter, #IncarnateReadAThon is the hashtag. In addition to this readathon, I'm doing yet another, and I haven't had time to put the widget into the readathons section of the sidebar yet, but I'll get that posted as soon as I can. That is for the Scarlet Read Along, and Scarlet is a book I've picked up before and only got about 50 pages in. It's really good though, and although I've been focusing on Incarnate more this week, I'll be getting through some more of this book this weekend as well. 

Both of these readathons/readalongs are in celebration of a new book coming out in the series. Infinite by Jodi Meadows comes out January 28, and Cress by Marissa Meyer comes out February 4. I've wanted to read the Incarnate series for awhile, so I was really excited for the opprotunity. Also, I'd actually picked up Scarlet during the Bout of Books, and then later found out there were readathons for that as well. Definitely go check out those two readathons if you're interested!

What are you planning to read this weekend?

From the paper world,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reading Review - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I just finished the book, set it down, and started to type this review. The entire time I was reading this book, I had so much to say. For some reason, I'm very opinionated about this book. There are definitely parts I love- the majority of it, actually. But there are parts I didn't like and I'm going to talk about those as well. This is the first science fiction alien book that I've read in quite awhile, and I have to say that it was really well done. Not perfect, by any means, but I think that it's a great start to a series. Now, let's talk more about The 5th Wave.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reading Review - 7 Souls by Barnabus Miller and Jordan Orlando

Today we're going to be talking about some books that I read back in December for the 24 Hour Readathon. This review is for one in particular, 7 Souls by Barnabus Miller and Jordan Orlando. I originally picked this book up because of the cover and synopsis. I was curious as to what Egyptian influence was in it because of the hieroglyphs all over the cover. I'm sad to say I was disappointed in this book. Originally, I wasn't going to review it, but I thought it was important to share my review of it anyways. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - The Missing Updates and Wrap Up

Hello, everyone! I hope you're having some fun with Bout of Books! I am as well, although I have been sick the past few days. Basically, that's consisted of sleeping for hours on end and reading whenever I can. Although I'm feeling sick, I'm still loving the Bout of Books, and so I wanted to bring you updates for these days. Unfortunately the sick days made me miss more updates than I'd originally thought, but here are all those missing days accounted for - 

Day no. 4
Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun, Angelfall by Susan Ee
Currently Reading - Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Total Books Completed - 2
Pages Read Today - 152 pages
Total Page Count - 595 pages
Challenges - I did both today, so the Double Date Book Challenge and the Poem Book Challenge

Day no. 5
Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun, Angelfall by Susan Ee, Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Currently Reading - The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Total Books Completed - 3
Pages Read Today - 100 pages
Total Page Count - 695 pages
Challenges - None today, still feeling quite a bit under the weather :(

Day no. 6
Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun, Angelfall by Susan Ee, Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Currently Reading - Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Total Books Completed - 3
Pages Read Today - 114 pages of Scarlet 
Total Page Count - 809 pages
Challenges - Being sick, but that's not an official Bout of Books, that's just an explanation for my lack of Bout of Books posts/intense reading. Regardless, I'm still pleased with how I've been doing.

Day no. 7
Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun, Angelfall by Susan Ee, Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Currently Reading - Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Total Books Completed - 3
Pages Read Today - 19 pages
Total Page Count - 828 pages

Wrap Up and Thoughts

Total Books Read - 3 books
Total Pages Read - 828 pages
Challenges - 3
Bout of Books Chats - 1

My thoughts
This was so much fun! I loved talking with everyone, chatting with a few new people, and seeing how everyone did. Congratulations to everyone who participated and read along, this was a great event to have! I think that this was a wonderful experience, and I'm definitely looking forward to doing more Bout of Books in the future. Now, my Bout of Books probably wasn't ideal since I was sick for four of the seven days. Regardless, I still had a lot of fun whenever I was able to read and have some fun, and I'm proud of what I accomplished. The last day of the Readathon is actually the first day of another for me, and I'm now in the midst of the Incarnate Series Readathon and so I've put down The Near Witch for now and picked up Incarnate, which I read a little of today. As far as reviews, I've written both Shadows and Angelfalls' reviews, and I'm almost done with Unhinged's, but I'm taking my time with that one and it's already pretty long. My ratings of the books I finished are as follows - 3 stars for Shadows, 4.5 for Angelfall, 5 for Unhinged. Since I was sick for so long, and I am still not feeling completely better but I am on the way happily, I'm happy that I was still able to read at times and enjoy myself. 

If you participated, what was your favorite read? Was this your first Bout of Books?

From the paper world,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Reading Review - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book is completely different from others that I've read. Miss Peregrine's is so unique because it uses vintage photography with its story to illustrate characters, places, and events. This was the first book of its kind that I'd read, and I must say that so far it's been the best done that I've read. This book is really well done, and I can't wait to share my thoughts.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Haul - December 2013

This might be a little overdue. I apologize in advance. But, today we have my December Book Haul! I'm not sure if I'm going to make this a regular thing, but I asked if I should do it, and I got some positive feedback, so here we go! Let's talk about books I got the past month! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Read-A-Thons - Incarnate Series Read-A-Thon

The Incarnate series has been on my TBR Pile for awhile now, and I hadn't really looked into the series too much, so I didn't know that the third and final book was releasing soon. Then, when I was checking out a few Top Ten Tuesday posts, I noticed that there was a sign up for the Official Incarnate Series Read-A-Thon at A Backwards Story.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - Update for Day no. 3

I am writing this just after a Bout of Books chat which was so fun and a great way to meet people! Speaking of, welcome back to another Bout of Books update! Let's get straight to the quick facts, shall we?

Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun
Currently Reading - Angelfall by Susan Ee, Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Total Books Completed - 1
Pages Read Today - 170 pages
Total Page Count - 443 pages
Challenges - Reading Tactics by Sarah Says Read (this was yesterday's)

Thoughts - 
I did a bit more reading, but honestly, I'm not worried about page count. It's a very relaxed and positive readathon. I partially participated in a Twitter chat today, which was a lot of fun. Also, Kerrie and I are reading through Angelfall, and we're almost done (5 little chapters left!) and every time we stop it's a major cliffhanger. I'm looking forward to finishing this book tomorrow. Unhinged I'm not reading as quickly as I thought I would because we've been sprinting thorugh Angelfall, so I'll be able to give it some more attention soon. How are you liking your books?

From the paper world,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - Daily Update no. 2

Welcome back to another Bout of Books Update! Today was a pretty good reading day- busy, but I still found some time to devote to my wonderful reads. I also finished my first book today. Shadows by Amanda Sun, which is the prequel to Ink, was a novella I was about 55% through, and finished today. I also read more into my other two current reads. So, without further ado, let's get to the basic statistics.

Books Read - Shadows by Amanda Sun
Currently Reading - Angelfall by Susan Ee, Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Total Books Completed - 1
Pages Read Today - 109 pages
Total Page Count - 273 pages
Challenges - Reading Tactics by Sarah Says Read

I'm hoping to read some more tomorrow, and I think I'll have some more free time. If you're participating in Bout of Books, let me know how you're doing. I hope you guys are having a lot of fun too, and let me know what you're reading and what you think of it! I'm really loving Unhinged and Angelfall still- it's been so much fun to talk to Kerrie (@KerrieSalsac on Twitter) about Angelfall! Hope you all are having a good time in the readathon!

From the paper world,