Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reading Right Now! (#22)

Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles Book 1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
I'm on page 20 of 489 pages which makes me about 4% through the book.

What I'm Reading Right Now! is The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. I've had my eye on this book for a little while just because the story sounded interesting and the cover really caught my eye. Here's what I know about the book just from reading the synopsis and the first chapter or so, Lia lives in a kingdom with some strange traditions. As the first daughter, she is expected to marry a prince from a far away kingdom to cement an alliance. Lia has never met this prince and resents the tradition that dictates the marriage, her brothers and sisters are allowed to marry who they wish, who they love, and Lia wants that same choice. But Lia has a plan, on the day of her wedding she runs away and takes something very important with her. As Lia tries to make a new life for herself in a village, she doesn't know that the jilted prince and an assassin are hot on her trail. So that's all I know about it and it sounds really good.
I've really just started this book and it wasn't what I was expecting at first. I'm enjoying it though and can't wait to see how it continues. I sense a romance either between her and this jilted prince or her and the assassin, which should be fun. It almost has a medieval feel to it which I'm enjoying. Hopefully I'll get farther into it this weekend and it becomes a book that I really enjoy from start to finish.
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you are reading below. Also, have you read Kiss of Deception and what did you think of it? I'd love to know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday Catch Up for February 11, 18, and 25

So this Top 5 Wednesday is going to be a mash up of all the Top 5 Wednesdays I missed during the month of February. My reason for missing so many Wednesday posts, well there is always the reason of my extreme laziness, but I also suffered from not having enough books for each topic. Some of the past Top 5 Wednesday topics, I just couldn't think of really good books or enough books to go with each post. So I decided to do the next best thing and combine the last three Top 5 Wednesdays into one post. I hope you enjoy this mash up post and here's to hoping that I do better in March.

February 11--Top 5 Books That Take Place in Your Country/Region/Area
I had trouble thinking up books to go with this topic. Sometimes you do find that special book that is set in the same general area of where you live and it does bring a little bit of specialness to the book, but what I found when trying to find books for this topic was that it was hard. I tried looking up lists for books set in the state where I live, North Carolina, and I did find some lists, but I wasn't sure of the truth of those lists. I wanted to be sure that the books really were set in North Carolina rather than just playing a guessing game. So here's the books that I came up with and I can guarantee that at least a part of each book is set somewhere in North Carolina.


1. Shine by Lauren Myracle: I read this one in January 2015 and it was set in the mountains of North Carolina. The setting was pretty important to the overall story because it chronicles the affects a hate crime can have on a small, mountain town. The characters are shaped by where they live. The setting of the book is not just a place, but a real home for these characters.
2. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (basically the whole Covenant series): I also read this one in January of 2015 and so can say with certainty that it definitely takes place in North Carolina. This book is set on a fictional island near Bald Head Island, North Carolina. I loved the beachy setting for this series and it was just a plus that it also took place near a real North Carolina town/island/whatever. This is just a North Carolina resident putting this out there, but North Carolina is really cool cause it has a little of everything, beaches, mountains, and the piedmont. I used to live in the landlocked state of Kansas, so being able to live in a state that offers multiple vacation experiences is just really fun.
3. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: Now for this one I will admit that the majority of the book takes place somewhere else, but the first scene does occur on a random North Carolina road, so I can totally count it. Also the first scene was really great for setting the tone of the book and I mean it said North Carolina, and that was all I needed to make it count for this list.

February 18--Top 5 Friend Groups You Want To Be A Part Of
This topic was another one where I failed at finding 5 books to fit the list. There was really only one friend group I knew I definitely wanted to be a part of. It was the first and only one that really jumped to my mind. Not saying that there aren't other great friend groups out there, but I couldn't think of any others that I would want to be a part of like I would want to be a part of this one.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: This was the one friend group that jumped to the forefront of my mind and just pretty much overshadowed all other friend groups. I kind of grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione and their friendship was one of the greatest things about the series. I loved all three of them and they each added something special to the group. Of course I would want to be friends with them, with the added bonus of being a student at Hogwarts!! The only reason I picked the third book to represent this was because I was trying to find an original cover with the trio on it, this was the closest I got.

February 25--Top 5 Best Character Arcs/Development
So this is the Top 5 Wednesday that is actually scheduled for today. When I first considered this topic, I wasn't sure I would be able to think up enough books to fit. The more I thought about the topic, the more books came to mind and I was able to come up with a full five. I think the best character arcs come from series, where you start out with a character and really see them grow and become the heroes they are destined to be. So here's my picks for the Top 5 Best Character Arcs/Development.


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling: I couldn't not mention Harry Potter. Probably one of the best characters arcs that I have read and probably will read. Readers grow up with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. All the characters in the series go through so much and grow so much, but I think Harry and Hermione really wow in how much they've grown from beginning to end of series. It was one of the coolest experiences to read this series as I was growing up, because I felt like I actually was growing up with Harry. Now I would love a book that revisits Hogwarts and Harry, Ron, and Hermione as adults.
2. I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Wayne Cleaver #1) by Dan Wells: John Wayne Cleaver goes through so much growth throughout the entirety of this trilogy. If you are in to creepy, scary, sociopathic characters, then John Wayne Cleaver is one you'll have to add to your to read list. When the series first starts, John Wayne Cleaver is just plain creepy, and as a reader I was intrigued by him but also terrified. As the series goes on and comes to its close, John Cleaver morphs into a little bit of a hero and I just felt for him. Good news for me is that I've heard rumors there could be another book in this series and I'm excited for that because I definitely want to see what John Wayne Cleaver's been up to.
3. Gone (Gone Series #1) by Michael Grant: This series is flippin' crazy and so satisfying. All the characters in the series go through so much growth and turmoil. By the end, they are not the same kids that entered The Fayz. They've all had to go through so much crazy stuff. This is another one of my favorite series and I will recommend it to anybody and everybody. Such a fun series to read.
4. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan: Now I haven't finished the Percy Jackson series yet, I've only read the first two books, but I just know that Percy will go through a lot of growth as the series goes on. I see it in a way similar to the Harry Potter series, in where a boy must embrace his destiny and become the hero that he is meant to be. I will finish this series one day.
5. The Merchant of Death (Bobby Pendragon #1) by D.J. MacHale: This was an early favorite series that I started in middle school. I think more people definitely need to read this series and enjoy it for the awesomeness that it is. Bobby Pendragon goes through so much and grows so much as the series goes on. He's another character that becomes the hero he was always destined to be. A definite, fun must read!

So that is the end of my mash up Top 5 Wednesday posts for February. What books do you think fit the topics above? Do you agree with any of my choices? I'd love to know.  Top 5 Wednesday's are a really fun weekly post to include on your blog. There are always cool topics to discuss and think about. I suggest you join in the fun yourself! Here's a list of all the Top 5 Wednesdayers! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa De La Cruz

Title: Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1)
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published by: Hyperion/Hachette Book Group
Released: 2011

Summary: The Beauchamp women have a secret, they are immortal witches. Forbidden from practicing magic, they try to live normal lives. The matriarch Joanna loves to bake and redecorate her house, no nonsense Ingrid works at the local library, and wild child Freya works at the North Inn Bar.
When mysterious occurrences start to happen in North Hampton, it's up to the Beauchamp women to figure it out. Disappearances, murders, and bizarre natural disasters are plaguing their home and it might be a sign of something much worse to come.
My Thoughts: While scrolling through the new monthly releases on Netflix, I came across the Lifetime show Witches of East End. It looked like something fairly interesting to watch and I knew it had been based off a book series. I decided to pick up and read the book first before watching the show. I found the book to be an interesting read, interesting and different. While reading, it was like watching the events from afar, there was no real connection to any of the characters. None of the characters were really all that likable. They all felt like a different species from the mortals they were living beside. I felt like the reader was led astray by the title and synopsis of the book in describing them as witches. Yes they could do magic and had wands, but they were something vastly different then the term witch brings to mind. It wasn't a bad different, but it was just very misleading to call them witches. The Beauchamp's had a special history all their own.
Overall, I found it to be an interesting, quick read. The short chapters really accounted for that quick sort of feeling. I won't say I was caught up in the story, but I was definitely interested in seeing how it was going to end. I do think there were some misleading elements to the title and synopsis, because in the end the Beauchamp's were much more than witches. I'm definitely curious to see what the show is like now. If you want to pick up a book that's a little different from the rest, then this might be just the book.
Not what I was expecting.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: DeathNote #3: Hard Run by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Title: DeathNote #3: Hard Run
Story by: Tsugumi Ohba
Art by: Takeshi Obata
Published by: Shonen Jump Advanced: VIZ Media, LLC.
Released: 2003
Summary: In this third installment in the DeathNote series, it's L against Light and Light against the whole police force. Who is smarter, L or Light? How long can Light outsmart the police to deliver on his plan of ultimate justice? Will all these questions be answered in this volume? No, no they won't, but it continues on the journey to those answers. Watch and see how the DeathNote changes Light from someone focused on doing what's right, to someone who gets consumed by power.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this third installment of the series. Seeing the battle of wits between Light and L was fun. Some of what Light is thinking as he tries to avoid capture is too complicated for my simple mind, but I can't deny that he is smart. Watching Light get transformed by the power is really interesting to watch, and a little scary.
L is an odd detective, but I like him.
The ending has me really interested for the next installment.
Overall, I really like this manga series and can't wait to see what happens next.
Sometimes Light be scary!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

Title: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Published by: Amulet Books
Released: 2011
Summary: A hate crime rocks the small town of Black Creek, North Carolina. A boy is tied up, beaten, and left for dead, sending the town reeling. That boy was Cat's best friend Patrick, and she's determined to find the culprit, but it is complicated because Cat has her own issues to deal with, issues she's let fester for three years, Cat has cut herself out from her friends and her life. By playing detective and solving the crime inflicted on Patrick, Cat hopes to break out of her shell and be the person that she once was. Black Creek holds a lot of secrets though, secrets Cat will have to wade through to get to the truth.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It was a very quick read with an addictive writing style. There were times in the story where I couldn't stop reading because I had to find out what happened next.
I really liked getting introduced to the town of Black Creek, North Carolina. It is always cool to read a book that's set in the state (or area) that you live. I also liked the closeness of the town. Not saying the town was perfect, it definitely had some problems, but I liked the feeling of community that the town embodied. Everybody knew one another, knew one another's families, and they cared about their town.
I also liked the mystery of the story, wondering who really had done so vicious a crime.
I did kind of question Cat's detective skills. I don't think she made a very good detective. Just when it seemed that her lines of questioning might reveal something, she abandoned it. She was also kind of impulsive, going to visit the creepy drug dealer pedophile just seemed like an exceptionally bad idea, and she went and did it anyway. I also thought she acted a little young for her age. I almost didn't believe she was 16, felt more like 13 or 14.
I really enjoyed reading Shine. It had a great story and enjoyable mystery. I also really enjoyed the fact that it was a stand-alone novel, you don't find too many of those in this day and age. Reading Shine was a great way of  stepping into a small, mountain town and discovering all the love that's in it and all the troubles that plague it.
Give this one a read!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Reading Right Now! (#21)

Title: The Treatment (The Program #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
I just started this one pretty much, so I'm on page 26 of 344 pages which makes me about 6% of the way through.
What I'm Reading Right Now! is The Treatment by Suzanne Young, which is the second and final book in The Program duology (I think). For 2015, I really wanted to finish more series this year, so a duology is great for that goal. I read the first book sometime back in 2014 and enjoyed it. The Program was about a world in which depression and suicide run rampant in teenagers. The Program was implemented to help save teenagers by rehabilitating them. Rehabilitation consist of erasing a teens sad memories and releasing them back into the world.
The Treatment picks up right where The Program ended, which means I was a little bit confused while reading. Usually it takes me a little bit of time to catch back up between books in a series. In this book Sloane and James are on the run and join forces with the rebels and that's all I know. I hope I enjoy this one just as much as I did the first. So that's it for what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you are reading in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Futuristic Books

This week's Top 5 Wednesday is all about our 5 favorite futuristic books. I had to think about this one a little bit, just which ones exactly were my favorites. I enjoy futuristic books, but I don't think I've really read that many of them. There are a bunch more out there that I want to read and enjoy. But all these ones that I picked I definitely did enjoy or at least found them really interesting. So here's my Top 5 Futuristic Books!

Title: Glow
By: Amy Kathleen Ryan

I actually won this one through a Goodreads FirstReads Giveaway and I'm sure glad I did. I really loved reading this one. This book is the first in an underrated (I believe) trilogy about people aboard spaceships. The background is that the Earth has become sort of uninhabitable and a select number of people were sent to find a new planet to live on. Our main characters in the book have never seen Earth, they were born on the spaceship and are an important part of populating and inhabiting their new home planet. I guess they are vital to the survival of the human race. Then bad stuff starts to go down. Their spaceship is attacked, all the girls are kidnapped, a bunch of adults are killed, and it's up to the kids to survive. The book goes back and forth between the girls and the boys as they struggle to survive and reunite.
This was probably my first introduction to space books and I freaking loved it. The setting of the ship was so well thought out of what needed to be included for these people to realistically survive such a long trip. They had a farming section on the ship with trees, flowers, and animals, everything that humans would need to start life on another planet. The action and story was really good too. I just very much enjoyed this one and can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series. This is definitely an underrated space series that more people need to read.

Title: Starters
Author: Lissa Price

The reason I initially picked this one up was the cover. I mean you can't pass this one up without having to take a second look at the cover. And the story inside was really good. This is a future society where only the very old and very young are still alive. There was some type of disease that wiped out the rest of the population. The old and young were only spared because of a vaccine. The older people resent the young though, and if a young person doesn't have a living guardian, they must live in hiding. There is a way for young people to make money though, and that is to rent out their bodies to older people. The old people are able to be young again in a rentable body. That's what our main character decides to do and then it sort of becomes a thrill ride to save herself, her family, and find the villain.
This one was a lot of fun and I really need to read the next book. 

Title: The Summer Prince
Author: Alaya Dawn Johnson

I was able to read this one through Netgalley and ended up enjoying it. Some of the story was a little weird, but probably the coolest part of this book was the world. It was set in a futuristic Brazil where there was a caste system in place. I didn't understand everything that was going on in this book, but it definitely kept me interested the whole way through and being able to experience a futuristic Brazil was a definite plus. The world was very immersive and the book should be given a try just for that.

Title: The Declaration
Author: Gemma Malley

This was an interesting one because it revolves around the question of what would you do to live forever? This is a world where a longevity drug has been invented that gives the option to live forever. But every person who decides to take the drug and live forever must give up their rights to ever have children. Every child that is born is a surplus and a drain on resources. They are sent to institutions where they are taught that they are worthless and that the only thing they are good for is to serve the legal citizens. I like this one because it is just a very interesting world. It brings up the consequences of whether it's right to live forever and what has to be sacrificed because of that choice. It also brings up the question of is it fair to deny others the right to life and happiness.

Title: The Reality Bug (Bobby Pendragon #4)
Author: D.J. MacHale

The Bobby Pendragon series was probably one of my favorite series when I was in middle school and might even have been my first foray into a possible futuristic world. This futuristic world was all about virtual reality and people getting lost in that virtual reality. The citizens of this world ultimately decided that virtual reality was better than real life and because of that decision, it was the first world that Bobby Pendragon wasn't able to save. This also has sort of the same concept as another book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, but The Reality Bug actually delves more into the consequences of what would happen if people chose virtual reality over everything else. There have to be people actually living and producing food and creating things for society to survive. If everyone just chooses to live in a virtual world, then they have condemned themselves to really no life at all. I just found this book really interesting and it's a part of one of my favorite series.

Title: These Broken Stars
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I almost forgot about this one, but had to add it because I loved it sooo much. It starts off as the Titanic in space and then becomes a survival story on an alien, deserted planet. Just a really cool story with a really sweet romance. I really enjoy space books, and this one was a lot of fun. If you haven't read it yet, you really should.

So that's it for my Top 5 Wednesday of my Top 5 Futuristic Books. I hope you enjoyed it. What books would be on your list? Give me some recommendations for great futuristic books that I need to read ASAP. Go check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Deity (Covenant #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Released: 2012
Summary: After the disastrous events in New York, Alex has returned to the North Carolina Covenant. Her Awakening is drawing nearer and she doesn't know what to expect. When Seth has to travel to New York with Lucian, Alex is able to reconnect with Aiden, although it's not entirely by her choice. Still concerned for Alex's safety, Aiden and the others guard her day and night. Alex isn't sure who to trust or what will happen when it comes to her future. What do the gods have planned for Alex and her friends?
My Thoughts: I'm going to keep this review relatively short because I don't want to spoil anything that has happened in the others. I have gone on and on about my sort of disappointment and ambivalence of this series. I'm still sticking to my overall thoughts that in the end, this is just an average enjoyment series for me. But Deity has to be my favorite book of the series so far. The main reason for that being that Alex didn't annoy me half as much in this one, Yayy! There were still a couple incidents where I wished she used her head more, but overall, I didn't hate her in this one.
I really enjoyed all the romantic tension with Aiden and am pretty firmly on his team again. I don't know what to really think about Seth in this one. I'm still on the fence with him.
Some parts of the story dragged for me, but Deity really did offer an interesting story. A lot of things happened that are going to make the rest of the series very interesting. I will be picking up the rest of the books so I can see how it all ends.
My favorite book of the series so far.