Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday - 5/27/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog and Blog Hop Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View and Crazy For Books
Currently, I am giving away a copy of Falling Under by Gwen Hayes. Click here to enter.

The first question is: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?
I’m not a very fast reader and finish an average of two books a week, usually one bound book and another on my ereader. I wish I read faster because my TBR pile is stacking up, both in electronically and on my bookshelf.

The second question is: What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?
My favorite book-to-movie adaptation is Pride & Prejudice (the version with Keira Knightly). Yes, yes, I know it’s different from the book and many Jane Austen purists hate it but it just works for me and I have watched it on DVD more times than I can count. The miniseries version with Colin Firth is really good too, but longer. If I need a quick P&P fix, I just watch the movie. Which book-to-movie have I disliked? The one that immediately comes to mind is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Awesome book, disappointing movie.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: Divergent

Title and Author: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 487 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Purchased

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Divergent is a fast paced, gritty, exciting, awesome thrill ride of a novel. It is the best debut novel I have ever read and one of my favorites this year.
Beatrice/Tris is an amazingly well written character. I love her tenacity and resourcefulness. She knows she has limitations but does not dwell on them, choosing instead to use her assets to their full potential. Her personal fears, hang-ups and her competitiveness with other initiates really humanize her. I love Tris’ internal battles with bravery versus selflessness and the true meanings of those values. I feel this novel goes deeper than the average YA read and speaks volumes about human nature.
Divergent is told from Tris' perspective so we only see Four through her eyes. This first person perspective often leaves other characters under developed, but not here. We really get to know Four and I really like him. He is the perfect combination of quiet strength, power and vulnerability.  
The romance between Tris and Four is done just right. It does not overpower the story because it is not the primary focus. I love how slowly and wonderfully it develops, but I wanted to shake Tris a few times for not realizing that he likes her sooner.
While the action throughout the novel is constant, the end hits hard and fast. It left me feeling like I got off a roller coaster ride, in a good way! This is a must read, dystopia at its very best. Veronica Roth is an amazing author and I am looking forward to reading anything she writes.
Content: Kissing, heavy violence

New Look, New Books!

Last week was so very busy, I was unable to share two very good things that happened in my bookish world and give shout outs to some well deserving bloggers. First, I won a custom header from Jenny at Into the Morning Reads, who not only redid my header, but the whole site as well. I desperately needed something new, and this is perfect for me! Being a minimalist, Jenny’s talents were a bit wasted on me as she designs awesome fantasy headers which you can check out at New Books for New Bloggers and Reading Pixie.
Second, I won a box of books, swag AND a $10 Amazon gift card from the lovely Lisa and Stephanie at Once Upon A Chapter. I won Evernight by Claudia Gray, Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and Outside In by Maria Snyder. Also, do you guys see the Once Upon A Chapter pens?!? Very cool!
Thank you ladies, you rock and you made me very, very happy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop organized by is hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Page Turners. Can you believe its summer already?!? For this hop, I am giving away a copy of Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.  Good luck, thanks for stopping by and don't forget to visit the other participating blogs!
Contest Rules:
Must be 13 years old or older to enter
Fill out the form below
You must be a follower through Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter
Have a US shipping address
Giveaway ends on May 31, 2011

(Truly Bookish is not responsible for any products lost or damaged during shipping)

Best Books of 2011

Today’s topic for Armchair BEA is to share some of your favorite books so far this year, and/or the the books being promoted at BEA that you hope will end up among your favorites for the year! 2011 has been a fantastic year for YA books. Some of my favorites reads so far have been debut authors and sequels and that goes for books that I am anticipating as well.
Here are some my favorite books for 2011 and links to my reviews:
Divergent by Veronica Roth (have not reviewed it yet), The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, The Lost Saint by Bree Despain, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.
Here are some of the books that I am eagerly anticipating that I hope will be among my favorites. I think all of these are being promoted at BEA:
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton, Frost by Wendy Delsol, The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, Vanish by Sophie Jordan and Supernaturally by Kiersten White. 
What are your best books of 2011?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review of Hereafter

Author: Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC from publisher through NetGalley
Can there truly be love after death? Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive. Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
If you are in the mood for a spooky paranormal romance, Hereafter may be the book for you. Amelia’s existence is really sad. She is achingly lonely, scared and confused about who she is and even how long she has been dead. When she rescues Joshua from drowning, for the first time in her ghostly existence, she feels something and the two of them form a bond. She is immediately drawn to him and he becomes her anchor in the living world.
Amelia and Joshua’s romance is very sweet. He helps her find out more about herself and her past, which is also sad. Hereafter is a romance, but it also has themes of the loss and emptiness left behind when a loved one dies.
This book has some dark elements to it including demon possession and some trips to a chilling netherworld with wraith like creatures and a portal that seemingly leads to hell. We see hints that Amelia is more special than your average ghost, but the book ends before we really find out why she seems to have extra abilities.  

Hereafter does not end with a cliffhanger, but with a promise of a deeper story to come. I have lots of questions and hope that they will be explored in upcoming books in the series.
Content: Kissing, violence

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cover Reveal: The Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Release Date: Nov. 16, 2011
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Author Blog:
Find her on Twitter: @brendapandos
Genre: Paranormal

The Onyx Talisman is the third and final book in the Talisman trilogy. All was perfect in Julia’s life until Nicholas had his vampire blood-lust activated by his mother Alora, her immortal enemy, turning him evil and bent on revenge. Heartbroken and out of choices, Phil and Julia ran away in the middle of the night, with Scarlett on foot, to Orange County to warn and plead Nicholas’ Godfather for help. Once arriving at Harry’s though, the local coven accosted them and they narrowly escaped.

After they returned home, there was a huge showdown between Phil, Nicholas, Scarlett, Alora, Katie and Julia. Alora almost got what she wanted—Julia’s vampire warding talisman—but Preston, Nicholas’ father, and Harry came to the rescue. They escorted Nicholas and Alora back to Beverly Hills, pledging to return Nicholas free from his blood-lust. But all Julia’s received in the past four months is a letter stating Nicholas missed her along with some song lyrics and promise of a quick return. That was a month ago.

Now Julia awaits Nicholas’ return with the Fab Five Coven: Phil and Katie—the sober vampires, Scarlett—the half-vamp/shape-shifter, and Tyler and Julia—the inducted humans. She’s stuck in Scotts Valley with Phil as her self-appointed chaperon and no way to return to Los Angeles to check on Nicholas. Only Scarlett and Julia know her fate ultimately involves the demise of all vampires, possibly including the ones she loves. When the time comes, will she even have a choice?
The book covers in this series have all been beautiful and this one is no exception! It complements the other two books perfectly, take a look at those covers:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday - 5/20/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog and Blog Hop Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View and Crazy For Books.  If you're a new follower, please leave a link to your blog in the comments so that I can visit your blog.
This week's first question is: Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you?
OK, here are five things I feel are quirky:
1. I don’t like the taste of store bought chocolate chip cookies, either pre-made or from the frozen dough. They seem to have a funny after taste to them. I only like the ones I make from scratch.
2. I don’t ever want anyone else to do my laundry, not even my husband, because I just feel like they will mess it up. Crazy, I know.
3. Like Parajunkee, I read several books at a time, usually one or two bound books and another on my ereader.

4. After I wash my face, I have to blow my nose. Always.
5. I only like dark chocolate, I feel any other chocolate (milk/white) is a waste of calories.

The second question is: If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?

The books would have to be Anna and the French Kiss or Die for Me, not because I want to go back to high school or meet zombies, but for Paris alone! I have been to the south of France, but not Paris. The authors’ descriptions of Paris are so lush, beautiful and romantic, it is high on my list of must visit places.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – Fateful

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Publish Date: Sept. 13, 2011
Pages: 356 pages
Genre: Paranormal

Summary: It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you?

But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic.

I have yet to read Claudia Gray’s Evernight series but I fully intend to as I have heard good things about it. Fateful seems to have a lot going on (werewolves on the Titanic!) and that’s exactly why I want to read it. It just sounds so crazy and awesome!

What books are you waiting on?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review of The Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Lakin

Release Date: Aug. 13, 2010
Publisher: AMG Publishers
Pages: 272 pages
Author Website:
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley
Summary: A young blacksmith must undertake a perilous journey to the four ends of the world to rescue his wife, who is held captive by the Moon. Along the way, he befriends a powerful wolf who encourages, protects, and ultimately saves his human friend. A stirring allegory of God’s love in classic fairy tale tradition.
Review: Joran is a blacksmith who longs for a peaceful life and to not feel like an outsider in his family and community. He has a fight with his wife and in a fit of anger, sends her back to her family only to find out she never made it there. Joran sets out on an epic journey to find her and is joined by a wolf, Ruyah, who helps him. Joran’s quest to find his wife leads in him find out a lot about himself.
Joran is such a human character. He makes grave mistakes and assumptions, he whines more than he should and wallows in his own misery. Regardless of all that, I liked him and was very sympathetic to his situation. While I liked Joran, I really loved Ruyah. He was such a loving and patient character and his sacrifice is just beautiful.
As with the characters, the fantasy elements of this book are great. Ms. Lakin’s descriptions of the journey to the houses of the Moon and the Sun and the trip to the cave of the South Wind are wonderful. Joran’s ability to telepathically speak to animals is very cool and is one of my favorite parts of the story.
The Wolf of Tebron is a really good fantasy novel. I enjoyed Ms. Lakin’s writing and am looking forward to her next book: The Map Across Time.
Content: Violence

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Release Date: Originally published in 1973
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 230 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Rating: 2 stars

Goodreads Summary: Will Stanton discovers on his 11th birthday that he is no mere boy. He is the Sign-Seeker, last of the immortal Old Ones, destined to battle the powers of evil that trouble the land. His task is monumental: he must find and guard the six great Signs of the Light, which, when joined, will create a force strong enough to match and perhaps overcome that of the Dark. Embarking on this endeavor is dangerous as well as deeply rewarding; Will must work within a continuum of time and space much broader than he ever imagined.
Review:  I have read some really good middle grade books and hoped I would love this classic as well, unfortunately, I did not. The book was slow and confusing. I still don’t understand how the folklore elements, the Hunting of the Wren and the Wild Hunt, tied into the core story of the Old Ones and the never ending battle between good and evil. Additionally, Will’s explanation of how parts of us, the things we think and believe, exist on another level outside of time made no sense to me. The story lacked cohesion and did not flow very well.
To be fair, The Dark is Rising is the second book in a series but they are all supposed to be stand alone books. Maybe the plot would tie together a bit better if I read the other books, but this one was hard enough for me to get through, I just don't think I can read the rest. I know The Dark is Rising is a classic and there are tons of people who love it but it is not for me.
Content: Some violence.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Away by Teri Hall

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:
Title: Away (The Line #2)
Author: Teri Hall
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: Sept. 1, 2011
Author Website:

Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal
Summary: When Rachel crosses The Line she leaves behind everything she has ever known and enters a strange new world: Away. Life there is hard, and survival is never guaranteed. Bizarre, wild creatures roam the forests, and people—the same people she’s always been told are dangerous and untrustworthy—have gifts she’s never thought possible.

Rachel has to rely on Pathik, the boy she risked her own life for, to help her navigate the strange customs. He’s exasperating, but she thinks she can trust him, and she hopes he’ll lead her to answers about her father. As it turns out, he leads her to more than she bargained for, and Rachel finds herself on an adventure filled with life and death choices, dark conspiracies, and unthinkable sacrifice.

In a place with no technology, no electricity, no medicine, and very little hope, Rachel discovers that only one thing makes life worth living. If only it’s not too late.
Loved The Line, it combined two of my favorite elements: dystopia and paranormal. The Line ended with a cliffhanger so I have been looking forward to the sequel for a while. I am also hoping for a bit of romance between Rachel and Pathik….
What books are you waiting on?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Winner of the Spring Blog Carnival!

The winner of the Spring Blog Carnival, chosen by, is Tiffany D. who has been notified!

Thank you to everyone who participated! My next giveaway will be the Splash into Summer Hop on May 25 so make sure you enter!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday - 5/6/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog and Blog Hop Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View and Crazy For Books.  If you're a new follower, please leave a link to your blog in the comments so that I can visit your blog.
Currently, I am giving away a copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver along with some swag. Click here to enter.
This week's first question is: What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?
There are so many great characters out there, it’s hard to choose! I just finished The Iron Queen and am really loving Megan and Ash right now! Their relationship is awesome and the world building in the book is great! I also have a fondness for Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Her world is awful, but she is such a strong character and killer with the bow and arrow. I also wouldn’t mind being Anna from Anna and the French Kiss – can you imagine spending an all expense paid year in Paris?!?

The second question is: Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?

As a relatively new blogger, I have been blessed to communicate with so many fantastic bloggers that have given me critical advice and support. I can’t thank them enough. I would love to meet the super supportive Jenny from Into The Morning Reads and New Books for New Bloggers: a site that that gives away a popular new title to new bloggers every month. How great is that?!? Also, I would love to meet Amber from Awesomesauce Book Club who took the time to give me invaluable advice on blog hops and media mail when I was just starting out. Love her!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Taker and Dark Inside

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week, I am posting two very different books that I am equally excited about:
Title: The Taker
Author: Alma Katsu
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Gallery Press
Publish Date: Sept. 6, 2011
Pages: 352 pages
Author Website:
Summary: Described as an "epic supernatural romance," The TAKER combines historical fiction with a supernatural element for a dark romantic story that's "astonishing... heartbreaking and magical."

In the novel, set in the 19th century, a girl from northern Maine falls for and gets impregnated by a wealthy local out of her social league. When she flees to Boston to have the baby, she gets swept up by a group of immortal beings, and a tricky love triangle develops after the leader of the undying crew falls for her and gives her everlasting life.

Title: Dark Inside
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publish Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Pages: 352 pages
Author Website:
Summary: Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.
Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.
What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 358 pages
Author Website:
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.
Review:  It’s very rare for books in a series to get better with each progressive book, but Julie Kagawa has done it. The Iron Queen, third in the Iron Fey series is the best one so far and that’s saying a lot because books one and two are really good!
The Iron Queen picks off almost exactly where The Iron Daughter ended with both Megan and Ash exiled from the Nevernever. Both the action and the romance start right away and it never slows down.
This book is a perfect balance of plot and romance, one never overpowers the other. Ms. Kagawa’s world building continues to be awesome, with vivid and rich descriptions of the iron kingdom and the creatures that live there. I love a well written fight scene and this book has tons of them.
As great as the plot and the setting are, it’s the characters that really stand out in the series. Megan has matured significantly since book one. She is no longer the self conscious 16-year-old from book one. Instead, she has grown into a strong young woman who understands she has responsibilities and embraces them. And Ash, oh Ash…. I am and always will be Team Ash! The Winter Prince is so swoon worthy, far from perfect, but perfect for Megan. Puck is awesome as always and Grimalkin, well Grimalkin is the brains of the operation.
If you have not started The Iron Fey series, I highly recommend it. It is one of my favorite and I love it so much that I already pre-ordered The Iron Knight, book four in the series, from Amazon. Now I just have to try to wait patiently until October to get it!
Content: Sexual situations and violence. A note to parents who may be screening this book for a younger teen, the romance between Ash and Megan is a lot more intense than in previous books in the series.


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