The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

A Bookish Tour June 13, 2016

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 12:01 am
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Not sure if I have ever done a bookshelf tour post before, but I thought I would do one today. My bookcases are currently stuffed to the gills and will probably be redone or added to in the coming year, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into my organisation. Keep in mind this is strictly my YA books. My children’s, middle grade, and adult bookcases are super hot messes. We recently attempted to reorganise my children’s bookcase, but there are so many that it is still super stuffed and messy haha. The kiddos also need a new bookcase, but hubby isn’t wanting to budge on more bookcases until we remodel downstairs. *sigh* Anyway! Welcome to my shelves!

The first two bookcases are actually small bookcases in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. They were empty for a while until I reorganised my books back in early spring. I decided to move favourite series and oversized books to these bookcases to free up some space on my main YA bookcase. It helped, for like a week until I reorganised that bookcase! haha. Left picture: Top shelf: JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s books and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Bottom shelf: Sarah J Maas, Melissa de la Cruz, and two of the Eragon books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Right picture: Top shelf: the rest of  my Harry Potter collection. Companion guides and more foreign editions (German, Spanish, and French). Also Jodi Meadows collection. Still on the hunt for an Incarnate ARC if you can help a girl out! (This shelf is also precarious now. I went to put Mirror King on the bookshelf and it collapsed. I couldn’t find all of the pins to put the shelf back up! Not that the bookcase is in the best of shape anyway haha) Middle shelf (which is laying on the books on the bottom shelf!) is full of oversized books. I just kinda have them shoved on here for this picture because The 5th Wave trilogy is in my June TBR. Bottom shelf: A combo of oversized books and my Maggie Stiefvater collection. Ballad is also in th stack, but I just realised from this angle you can’t see it. Oops!

Now my main YA bookcase in our office/den. We have three big bookcases in our office/den. The first is my Adult/School books. The second is overflow adult with my middle grade collection. The third, above, is my YA. The fourth is the kiddos’ bookcase stuffed full with picture books. If you notice, there are books with flags on them. Those are all unread books. I finally gave up on keeping my TBR books from my read books separate, but wanted a system to ID unread books. This system is not completely foolproof. The kiddos like stealing my flags on books they can reach, like the Ruta Sepetys books in the last picture. Everything easily fit on my bookcase for maybe a month. I’ve been promised floor to ceiling bookcases in my office when we remodel, but I need more space now! I’m thinking I might pick up another bookcase soon. Not sure where I’ll put it yet though! haha. Most of these, excluding the majority of my Melissa de la Cruz, JK Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer books have been accrued in the last four or so years. The bulk coming in since right around when I started blogging. Pretty sure Hubs thinks I have a book hoarding problem. I do not think so!

Anyway, that’s my organisational system. All books on the YA case are alphabetical except a few that have been displaced, but I didn’t feel like completely overhauling my bookcase for one or two books. How do you organise your books? I love the idea of by colour, but I HAVE to have all of my books together by author haha. It bothers me if they’re not!

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End of the Year Survey 2014 January 3, 2015

Filed under: Books,End of Year Survey — Maura @ 12:00 am
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2014 End Of Year Book Survey

Last year was my first full year (partially) of blogging. I hit my one year of blogging in July. I didn’t post as much in the summer because I was enjoying as much time with my kiddos as possible. When I was ready to jump back in, the KH incident happened and honestly, it scared me a bit. So, I continued my step back from blogging. The safety of my family comes first and it always will. I’m ready to start blogging again though. I’ve missed it more than I thought I would. It was great to look back on my 2013 End of the Year Survey and then reflect on 2014. Once again, all the graphics are from Jamie.

***Affiliate links used below***

reading-stats-2014

Number Of Books You Read: 210 total, 122 personal reads
Number of Re-Reads: 20 (I really thought it was more!)
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (duh)

 best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Contemporary:
Find Me


This book. Oh. Wow.

Dystopian:
Defiance (Defiance Trilogy)

I didn’t spend the time on this that it deserved, but it is a beautiful dystopian/fantasy that I can’t wait to re-read and finish the trilogy!

Historical Fiction:
The Ring and the Crown

I’m a glutton for historical fiction AND Melissa de la Cruz books. This book was superb. I absolutely adored the alternate historical timeline that Melissa created. I am DYING for book two. *crosses fingers and toes for an ARC*

Paranormal:
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Once again, I owe another great new book discovery to Mary. She’s been on my case to read these forever. I still have to finish book three, but these are such a great read!

Science Fiction:
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)

Not my favourite of the series, but it was still great! I’m looking forward to Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story
and Winter this year.

Fantasy:
Illusions of Fate

I have a love-hate relationship with this one. Holy wow that Kiersten created this to be a standalone. Fantasy is not an easy thing to do that way. And GRRRR for this being a standalone! I would love to explore this world more! And look at that cover. BAM!

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

After the End


*RAGES FOR DAYS*

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

17 First Kisses


If you know me at all, you know contemporary is NOT my thing. That’s why I was completely shocked by how much I adored this standalone debut!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Oceanborn (The Aquarathi) (English Edition)


I LOVE Amalie and her books. I will push Waterfell (The Aquarathi) and Oceanborn forever! PLEASE HarlequinTeen, I NEED MORE!!!! I definitely pushed it the most, not sure how many people read what I suggest!

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

These Broken Stars (Starbound)


Though this is technically a standalone, it’s also part of a trilogy and it’s INCREDIBLE. Oh wow. This audiobook. *swoons*

Frozen (Taken)


This definitely does NOT suffer a sophomore slump. So man feels. So much love. Book three noooooooow.

Evertrue: An Everneath Novel


*iz dead* So incredible. So happy I got to meet Brodi and gush over this beautiful series.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Dirty Little Secret


Again, still not a contemporary fan, but (thanks to Mary, duh) I am a HUGE Jennifer Echols fan now!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Open Road Summer

I seem to owe, Mary a lot for book recommendations! She asked me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this for Bloomsbury. I said yes! She’s usually good on recommending books I’ll love, so I try to give them a shot. Emery’s debut is spectacular!

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The One (The Selection)

I don’t know what it was about this trilogy. I could NOT put it down! It was like crack!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Jewel

 This debut was fantabulous and I can’t wait for book two!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

Her Dark Curiosity (Madman’s Daughter)

 

I can’t wait til A Cold Legacy is out and I can have the pretties on my shelf! These covers are gorgeous!

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Rose Under Fire

 Code Name Verity was rough, but oh, man, Rose Under Fire ripped my heart out and stomped all over it. Rose is just a powerful character!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Kiss of Broken Glass

Being written in verse was a huge switch up for the year and I loved how this flowed. It spoke to me on a deep level and I finished it super quickly.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Army wife. PTSD. Who I am and what I fear most. Laurie Halse Anderson took a topic supremely close to my heart and showcased it beautifully. I bawled, I laughed, I loved it wholeheartedly. Read it.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Throne of Glass

I know, I know! Honestly, if I hadn’t had the chance to meet Sarah J Maas at YALLFest, I probably would still be waiting to read it! The wait between Harry Potter books was excruciating. Committing to another long series was just a tough decision. I definitely will love rereading them though!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“You get your energy from being by yourself,” I guessed. This was Harper’s description of the strange phenomenon I did not understand. “Having to talk to a bunch of people at once, especially people you don’t know, makes you feel drained.” Biggest Flirts
Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives)

1. Um. Hello description of me! I swear, Jenn followed me in HS to create her characters in The Superlatives! I see so much of HS me in all of them! ❤

“We don’t choose who we love, her mother had once said. Love sweeps you off your feet like a riptide, and leaves you blind by the time you find your footing on the shore.” Stolen
Stolen: A Novella (Taken)

2. This is so me falling in love with the hubby! I wasn’t expecting it, and I was swept up quickly. So beautiful.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Little Knife: A Tor.Com Original (THE GRISHA)

Shortest! Oh, this trilogy and its novellas.

What to Expect the First Year

Actual longest, but I didn’t read all of it (again) in 2014.

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments)

Actual longest completed. Bittersweet feeling.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Frozen: Heart of Dread, Book One

I so did NOT think it was possible for MDLC to write something I disliked so much. Guess there always has to be something, right? I was just SO let down with this. UGH!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Night of Cake & Puppets (Kindle Single) (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy)

Zuzana and Mik FOREVS! ❤

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Blue Bloods 3-Book Boxed Set

So, they’re from a re-read like last year’s favourite pair, but OH MAN do I love Oliver & Schuyler’s relationship!

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Orphan Queen

Hands down my favourite from a previously read author. HOLY WOW. I’m dying for the Black Knife novellas!

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy)

Mary, stop glaring at me through the computer for taking so long to read this! I am so in love with this series! I plan to read it over and over through the years!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy)

Oh, Ronan. I loved you so much in The Winner’s Curse. Then reasons.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Rites of Passage

This. Book. Read it. Now. Do it. Love it. Tell Joy how much you love it. Kthnxbai

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Snow Like Ashes

Holy wow. This world building. I was THERE. Sara is INCREDIBLE. I can haz book two?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Selection

Stupid grinned through this. The Selection = Twilight for me. I don’t know WHY I love them so much, but I just DO. #TeamMaxon

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

The Book Thief

Bawled like a freaking baby through physical copy/audiobook and then bawled even harder watching the movie.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Falconer: Book 1

So much love for this gem! I’m impatiently waiting to see if the UK will be out in print before ARCs are out here for book 2 to see how I get my hands on it! I need to know THINGS.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

If I Stay

My feels. Dead. Dead, dead, dead. Sobbed so hard.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Dark Metropolis

Definitely some unexpected twists in this gem that made it so much better! Definitely an underdog that needs more love!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Allegiant (Divergent Series)


REASONS. *RAGES FOR YEARS* This is a duology, man. Allegiant does not exist. >.< DEAD TO ME.

.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

I made friends with a lot of new bloggers on Twitter, but I dropped the ball on checking out their blogs. /: I plan to remedy that in 2015!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

EESH! I can’t pick just one!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My Tot Time Thursday feature I started seemed to be getting a lot of hits! I’m excited to see if it will still do well when I start it up again! (:

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

See below! But also, the Brodi/Jodi signing at the beginning of 2014! I love their books so much and it was great to get to meet Brodi Ashton, CJ Redwine, and Myra McEntire in person. And of course, it’s always awesome to get to see Jodi!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

YALLFEST. Hands down, going to YALLFest. Because THESE happened

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Me with Leigh Bardugo *fangirls for days*

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Brendan Reichs!

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SO FLIPPING AWESTRUCK. KATHY FREAKING REICHS.

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Scott Westerfeld!

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LOVED meeting this fantabulous husband-wife duo! ❤

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SUCH a trooper! Her line was ridiculous AND she was sick.

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So happy I got to meet half of the lovely TeaTime ladies! ❤ Aubry!

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*iz dead* So my book didn’t get personalised for timing reasons, BUT I still got to meet her and talk to her! She is SUCH a sweetheart! ❤

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Blogoversary post!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

A lot of them, but I am so thankful for the views of people who have been checking in every day to see if I’ve come back to blogging yet. You guys are AWESOME and I AM BACK because of YOU! ❤

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Bookoutlet and Book Depository!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I did, I did! I wanted to read 100 for me books and I surpassed it! I also set a Goodreads goal of 200 and I passed it as well. I was involved with a few challenges, but I stopped keeping track of them about halfway through the year. I think I completed most of them though!

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion)

I am so excited to see where the action goes next!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

The Cage

I have adored Megan’s Madman’s Daughter trilogy and I can’t wait to see where her new series goes!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Red Queen

This cover. I am so excited! I’ve been seeing some mixed things on it, so I hope I come out loving it!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter)

I’m so not ready to say goodbye yet!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

I hope to make sure I read to my children every single day. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a passage from what I’m reading and Punk asks or a children’s book. Just make time for them and read to them.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Burning Kingdoms (The Internment Chronicles)

Pre-order this and read it and Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)
. Do it. Do it for the kitties. (;

 

Top Ten Tuesday #34: Most Unique Books I’ve Read April 8, 2014

 

b301e-toptentuesday

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. This is one of the most unique books I’ve read as far as historical fiction goes. It was an alternate reality changing during the 100 Years War between England and France. It also has magic as a common place occurrence. It was really interesting!

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. I’ve never read a book from someone inside of Hitler’s circle during his rise to power in Germany. It was really interesting to see the beginning of his rise. I enjoyed watching Gretchen (the main character) question everything that Hitler said was true to figure out things herself about what was starting to happen in Germany.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I thought it was extremely interesting to read a book narrated by Death. It’s a perspective I’ve never read before and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t always nice when he spoiled something that was upcoming, but I learned to take it in stride. Plus Roger Allam as Death in the audiobook was SUPERB! It was also the first book (that I recall) reading from the German perspective of World War II.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I’ve always been interested in King Richard III, but have never researched him as much as I would like. I was really intrigued by Philippa Gregory focusing on Anne Neville, who became Richard’s queen. I knew virtually nothing about her before I read it and then did a bit of research on her after I finished. I loved Aneurin Barnard and Faye Marsay’s portrayals of Richard and Anne in The White Queen.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. (You should’ve KNOWN Jodi would make the list!) Reincarnation. Wow. As far as immortality goes, I’ve always been drawn to vampire stories. I’ve never really thought about reincarnation as an option for immortality in a story, but Jodi does an incredible job with it! Plus her characters are top notch. *swoons for Cris*

Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Time rips and time travel? Yes, please! Myra also has a killer cast of incredible characters. I absolutely loved what she did with the idea of time bleeding together.

The Shadow Children series by Margaret Petersen Haddox. A dystopian without the post-apocalyptic events. Definitely a Big Brother type of government. Population control. In a world where it’s HIGHLY illegal to have more than two children, there’s a whole underground world of Shadow Children (illegal “extra” children). I never finished the series, but thinking about it for this list makes me want to go back and see what happened!

Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. I love a good vampire book. Darren Shan takes a different approach to vampires and how vampires are turned. (No sparkly vampires here!) Another series I’ve only read part way through. That’s the thing that sucks about “outgrowing” a reading level before a series is finished!

Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown. Oh, conspiracies. Things you thought couldn’t possible exist really do. They are so ridiculous formulaic, but I can’t help but love every story. Angels & Demons is my favourite!

Those are my top unique books! So some of them are series, but it works! (: Tell me, what unique books have you read? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

Hello February, Goodbye January! February 2, 2014

I hope you’ve had a great start to 2014! I basically took the month off in January and it was nice. After the craziness of the holidays and trying to cram blogging and family obligations all together, it was nice to focus mainly on my family. I love reading and blogging, but my family comes first. Taking a step back really helped me and I think it’ll help me focus and balance things better from now on. I started getting good at working in advance and scheduling, but I’ve got to get even better. I’ve got to get better at taking a step away from the computer, phone, kindle, books, etc when the kiddos want/need me. Books will always be there to be read. My babies won’t always be babies.

Books I read in January (in order of completion)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Brooke by Veronica Rossi (novella)

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (eARC)

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare (novella)

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (ARC)

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (ARC)

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (ARC & audiobook)

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Defiance by CJ Redwine

 

Books with the kiddos:

We read a good amount of books, but not as much as I would’ve liked. We’ll work on that in February! The weather in January has been awful, either frigid or snowing so we haven’t gotten to the library nearly as often as we should’ve. Hopefully February will be a bit more forgiving in the weather department!

Events attended:

  • Jodi Meadows web chat for the #Incarnate read-a-thon
  •  Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, & Myra McEntire signing in Nashville, TN

Coming up in February

  • 4 year wedding anniversary ❤
  • Family time
  • Dark Days tour
  • These Broken Stars tour

Goals for February

  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.
  • Work on commenting and visiting other blogs
  • Stay ahead of schedule
  • Read more with the kiddos

February releases I’m excited for:

  • Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  •  Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer (the lovely Mary is getting this signed for hubby as an anniversary present to me! Aren’t they the best?!)
  •  Alienated by Melissa Landers
  • Tremor by Patrick Carman

February TBR:

  • The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
  • Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  •  Cress by Marissa Meyer

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with three challenges officially; I still need to sign up for a fourth.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 2/25 (Into the Still Blue and Her Dark Curiosity)

TBR Pile challenge: 6/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (TTEN, Brooke, Vampires Scones & Edmund Herondale, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, and Deception)

Series challenge: 3/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (TTEN, Brooke, ITSB, Her Dark Curiosity, Evertrue)

“Real” Book challenge: 5/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (TTEN, Fire & Flood, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, Deception)

How was your January? What’s up for February? I’m excited about things that are coming up this year. 2014 is definitely looking up to be a great year!

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 26 January – 2 February 2014

So last week didn’t go exactly as planned on getting back on track. I did get posts up so that’s great! (: I am now ready to take on February. I meant to get a bit more done this weekend, but I had a great overnight getaway to Nashville with the hubby for our four year wedding anniversary that’s tomorrow. (: He took me to the Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, and Myra McEntire signing. These ladies are SO much fun! If you ever have the chance to go see any of them, GO! Keep an eye out for some giveaways coming soon. I got some signed goodies for you! I’ll have an event recap up soon. (: How has your week been? Read anything good recently?

Completed:

Defiance by CJ Redwine. 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (with the kiddos)

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Read to the Kiddos:

We read bits and pieces of different things. I was bad again and didn’t keep track!

New to my shelf:

The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (ARC from the lovely Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes)

From the library:

The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)

 Purchased: 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (for giveaway)

Asunder by Jodi Meadows (for Alex!)

Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (personal & giveaway copies)

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (for giveaway)

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Parallel by Lauren Miller

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (signed)

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 3 – 9 November 2013 November 9, 2013

A decent amount of writing was done this week. Not as much reading as I liked. I didn’t get a lot of either done today. I did get a lot of cuddling done with my kiddos! The sinus plague has run rampant in our house and Ladybug has finally cut her second tooth.

Completed:

Sever by Lauren DeStefano 5 stars

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows (ebook) 5 stars

Currently Reading:

Infinite by Jodi Meadows (ARC)

Read to the Kiddos:

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows. No, seriously. Punk asked me to read it to him before his nap!

Infinite by Jodi Meadows. Yup. Punk loves it. He brings it to me and asks me to “Read Sam!”

A bunch of other books that I’ve been horrible about keeping up with.

 

New to my shelf:

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins (giveaway, ebook)

The Prophecy by Erin Alberts (ebook, review copy of final galley)

Steel Lily by Megan Curd (giveaway, ebook)

Timepiece by Myra McEntire (ARCycling, ARC)

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston (ARCycling, ARC)

My Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco (library)

Through the Zombieglass by Gena Showalter (library, ebook)

 

Hello November, Goodbye October! October 31, 2013

October turned out to be a hectic month. One of hubby’s cousins was found dead at the beginning of the month and we had to travel for his funeral last weekend. Investigation is still pending on how he died. It’s hit the family pretty hard. We did get to spend time with his side of the family which was good though. I also got to meet and have lunch with the lovely Jodi Meadows on the drive up. I think I held it together pretty well and didn’t go complete fangirl on her! (:

This year is flying by! My baby girl will be a year old all too quickly! Thanksgiving and Christmas are rapidly approaching and I’m struggling to grasp it haha. November hopefully will be a great month all around!

Books I read in October (in order of completion)

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire 4 stars.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 5 stars.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris 5 stars.

I, Saul by Jerry B Jenkins. 3 stars

Waterfell by Amalie Howard. 5 stars. (GO BUY IT NOW!)

Wither by Lauren DeStefano 5 stars.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano 5 stars.

Another great month of reading! Some of these reviews have already gone up, and some of them are coming up in November! Keep an eye out for them.

We read a ton of books with the kids this month. On Goodreads, it probably doesn’t look that way, but we reread a bunch of favourites. When I say reread a bunch, I mean reread and reread.

Coming up in November

  • Catching freaking Fire! HECK YEAH!
  • Thanksgiving!
  • Champion by Marie Lu ❤
  • reading an Infinite ARC!!! (: *pets the pretty*

Goals for November

  • Work on NaNoWriMo. Using it to overhaul my WIP.
  • Work on commenting on other blogs. I’m hit and miss with this.
  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.

How was your October? What’s up for November?

 

*eARC Review* Infinityglass by Myra McEntire October 27, 2013

Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 6 August 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-ARC via Netgalley
Status: Book three of the Hourglass series

Summary:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn’t an object. It’s a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

My thoughts:

After the spectacular blow up of action in Hourglass and Timepiece, I was a bit disappointed how this started slowly. I didn’t stay disappointed for long. Since this was an eARC, the formatting was a bit off, which as a bit irritating with the dual POV. That has nothing to do with the actual story, and more a personal preference.

Dune was a very likable character from the first two books. I  was glad i finally got to see more of him. He did feel a bit randomly thrown in at times in Hourglass and Timepiece, but I as pleased to see him get his own chance to tell his story. His loyalty to the Hourglass and his desire to protect Hallie are very well done.

Hallie is a difficult person to get a read on in the beginning. She’s so closed and standoffish that it almost makes it hard to like her. Until Dune breaks down her defenses. the way she was raised – almost like a prisoner doesn’t help her way of feeling like she doesn’t need anyone or any help.

The realisation that she is the Infinityglass that people start fighting over really throws her off her game. She quickly adjusts and accepts Dune’s help. Against both their better judgements, they find themselves falling for each other.

Dune is such a gentleman even though he is very much a teenage boy. It’s a refreshing change from reality. I wish more teen boys had the respect and mannerisms that Dune has!

The fight against Hallie’s mom (the head of Chronos) is heart wrenching and I wish Hallie didn’t blame herself for the events that come to pass. Despite the darkness from the threat and fighting with her momand Hallie’s penchant for relying only on herself,  it’s great that she lets herself accept help from the other members of Hourglass.

This series was a great one to find via recommendation and I gladly pass on the recommendation! I definitely plan to revisit this wonderful series again in the future!

 

*Review* Timepiece by Myra McEntire October 20, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 12 June 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-book, via library
Status: Book two of the Hourglass series

Summary:

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking…

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples – cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan landers, the man who tried to murder is father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers’ return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered – with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

My thoughts:

I blew through Hourglass and quickly jumped into Timepiece. Even though I was enjoying being away at the beach, reading about TN warmed my heart.

I fell in love with Kaleb when he first met Em. Adorable and lost Kaleb. For a heartbeat, I really loved the thought of him and Em together. Then I realised Em and Michael were too perfect together. Also because Kaleb really meets his match in Timepiece. Kaleb is also in touch with what could be considered his feminine side. He knows his way around a kitchen. What girl doesn’t love a guy who knows his way around a kitchen? C’mon, ladies, fess up!

“I’m a badass. A badass who bakes when he’s depressed.”

Love it!

Kaleb’s match is Lily. She’s the fierce and protective best friend of Emerson. She reminds me of my childhood best friend, Brydget. She’s fiercely loyal, has a mind of her own, and knows what she wants. Very admirable. She also makes Kaleb work for her affections. Guys need to learn that a girl isn’t just gonna give it up because you give her the time of day! Lily also brings out the best in Kaleb by letting himsee he doesn’t have to drown his pain.

“I’m simply remind you that you’re worth more than what you’ll find at the bottom of a bottle.”

Rips are becoming more common place and everyone with the time travel gene is now able to see them. Rips are also becoming more defined. Not just one at a time, but multiple people. The gang also learns about the Infinityglass that may be the solution to help heal the time continuum. They are threatened by Chronos to bring Jack Landers to them or the time continuum would be fixed and no one knows what the implications would be.

Kaleb is surprised to discover Lily also has an ability. She can find things, and also has a latent time travel gene because she too can see the rips. They journey to discover just how powerful she could be. Everyone is surprised to find out she is more powerful than any of them could imagine. Her grandmother tells her that each generation the ability becomes stronger and that’s why they fled from Cuba – to protect her.

In the end we discover more about the Infinityglass and that it isn’t an object, but a person.

I really enjoyed reading from Kaleb’s POV. It’s a nice change from the continuous streams of girls’ POVs I’ve been reading lately. This was a spectacular sequel which continued the magic from Hourglass, just switched gender perspectives.

Recommended for: Time travel enthusiasts, those who love swoon worthy boys and another kickass heroine!

Not recommended for: Those who dislike time travel.

 

*Review* Hourglass by Myra McEntire October 13, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 14 June 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-book, via library
Status: Book one of the Hourglass series

Summary:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should’ve happened?

This was recommended to me by the lovely Jodi Meadows on Twitter. I’ve been itching to get my hands on it ever since. I decided I wanted some for fun books to read at the library and checked this out from my library’s e-book loaning system. This book was so addicting! I loved it! I also loved that it takes place down in middle Tennessee. That area holds a special place in my heart just like east Tennessee. I’ve been toying around with a time travel idea for a novel for ages, but haven’t had any experience with published ones to see how it could go. After reading Hourglass, I fully intend on fleshing out that idea!

I absolutely loved Em. Right from the beginning I admired her. She has a quiet strength that makes her frequently underestimated. She’s also extremely determined. Love that in a strong female protagonist! A girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to figure out things is a good friend of mine! And the sass! Oh she’s got that sassy Southern girl down pat!

“Aren’t you just a knight in shining armor? … Wherever do you keep your horse? And who scoops up the crap it leaves behind?”

Michael. I was uncertain of Michael the whole time. He seemed too perfect. I kept feeling like he had something up his sleeve to make him skeevy. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case! How he was so willing to – AH! Can’t spoil it. *swoon*

I mean how can you not love this?:

“I love you – broken in pieces, whole, however. No matter what the future brings, no matter what was in the past.”

Kaleb. Oh. Kaleb. I love him. He’s so adorable and lost. He just needs a good cuddle!

Love this part!: “Hey, bro, do you think you can put Shorty back on her chain?”
I stepped forward with my hands on my hips, only slightly intimidated to find Kaleb almost eye level with me when he was seated and I was standing.
“First of all, no one is the boss of me but me. Secondly, if you ever reference my ‘chain’ again, I will kick your ass.” I jabbed him hard in the chest with my finger. Possibly breaking it. “And thirdly, don’t call me Shorty.”
Kaleb sat silently for a second, his eyes wide as he looked at Michael. “Where did you get her? Can you get me one?”
I blew out a loud, frustrated sigh and dropped down beside Michael, who didn’t even try to hide his smile. “You should probably apologize to Emerson.”
“I am sorry.” Kaleb grinned at me. “Sorry I didn’t meet you first.”

Time travel. This aspect was so beautifully done! Seeing rips was fantastic. I’ve had dreams through the years similar to this and with all the traveling I’ve done this is something that can work beautifully or disastrously! Myra did a perfect job! I love how they cautiously deal with time travel and that the characters are very aware of the consequences that could come from screwing with the time continuum. I’m one of those strange people who would NOT go back and change anything in my past given the chance. Nope. I’m a firm believer in the past happens for a reason to shape your future and if that’s screwed up, duh! It would screw up your future. Yes, I still ponder the what ifs, but I wouldn’t actually act on them. I really admire Em’s ability to throw that to the wind when necessary thought!

Oh the romance. The feels! The kissing. *swoon*

“No matter what your reality looks like, you’re the girl I’m in love with today, and the same girl I’ll be in love with tomorrow and all the days after that. Not just because of who you are, but because of who you were.
It’s all part of your story, Em. And I want to be a part of your story, too.” *instant butterflies!*

Did I mention cold shower worthy?

“He bent down burying his face in my neck. I reached back to grab onto the iron bars behind me to hold myself up. My jacket slipped off my shoulders. I was pretty sure I was on fire and at that moment I would have sworn that bursting into flame was a glorious way to go.”

I mean, whoa. This book is the full package. Action, intrigue, romance? What more do you need? Go get this NOW! Or… you know… my birthday is at the end of the month. You can get it for me!

Recommended for: Time travel enthusiasts, those who love swoon worthy boys and a kickass heroine!

Not recommended for: Mushy romance haters, those who dislike time travel.

 

 
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