Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: Boneshaker

Genre: Fiction, Steampunk, Altered History, Science Fiction
Edition: Softcover; Library
Page Count: 416
Pub. Date: September 29, 2009
Series: First installment of The Clockwork Century Universe

My Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
Goodreads: 4.13 (Average)

Recommended For: Fans of steampunk or those looking to delve into the genre, Readers who like an inventive story (that happens to include zombies), Folks with imagination

My Summary & Thoughts:

An alternate-history novel based in the late 1800's with destruction, adventure, dirigibles, sky pirates, a mad inventor, AND zombies? COUNT ME IN. A book just as fascinating as its cover. You guys, Boneshaker was so much more than I expected! Such a brilliantly imaginative tale with flair and grit.

To start it all off, let me just talk about the appearance of the book. The cover is so lovely in person. A beautiful mix of art and design, all while giving a hint to what the story will hold within. And the pages - toned to a light sepia color with brown font, giving it that aged look and feel. The only thing it was missing was the musty smell that can only gather with time. (Though I settled for the new book smell!) From the start you can tell that every detail was doted upon in the process...much like the writing style. Which I absolutely fell in love with. Wonderfully descriptive and engaging; I could envision everything as if I was watching it unfold right before my eyes.

Boneshaker begins with a journalistic piece from a one, Hale Quarter. A young journalist who sets the ground work and describes the events leading up to creation of the terrible Bone-Shaking Drilling Machine at the hand of Dr. Leviticus "Levi" Blue. A single man and machine responsible for a disaster that caused most of downtown Seattle to cave in on itself, while bringing disease and terror in the form of a toxic substance known as The Blight.

While the early days of the Civil War were taking place, the Russians were looking for a way to drill trough the icy Klondike where a fortune of gold supposedly awaited any man who dared. After many had tried and failed, esteemed inventor Leviticus Blue won a contest offering him 100,000 rubles and six months to build a machine strong enough to penetrate the buried vein of gold. But being the smart man that he is, Levi finished well before the deadline. During an unannounced test run on the afternoon of January 2, 1863, the Earth shook under the vast central business district of the Seattle streets. The foundations of four major banks were ground to oblivion, taking with it hundreds of innocent bystanders.

However, no one could predict the kind of destruction that would follow. The streets were in an upheaval sure, but what was worse was the mysterious gas leaking from the tunnels created by the monstrous machine. Slow and sickly, the odorless and colorless gas crept along inch by inch poisoning all those who were nearest. Temporary measurements were taken until a city wide evacuation was the only way to survive. One by one the plans to contain the gas failed. Thousands of people fell ill and thousands more after. Simple barriers were not enough to hold it until, approximately one year later, the entire downtown area of Seattle was surrounded by an incredible 200 foot high brick and stone wall.

The story begins sixteen years later with Briar Wilkes (formerly Briar Blue) and her son Ezekiel "Zeke" Wilkes. The two live in the Outskirts just beyond the wall but not so far from it that they can forget it ever happened. Due to the endless plague the Blight reigns upon the city, the water has been poisoned and must be boiled and treated for 17 hours at the factory in Puget Sound where Briar works. Day after day she works to provide for her and her son, trying ever so hard to leave behind the tarnished legacy of her dead husband. But it's not so easy. Who can forget the man that changed all their lives? Zeke, having never met his father, is forced to rely on the horrid stories passed from one person to the next since his mother refuses to relay the truth or any information to satiate his growing curiosity.

But one day, Zeke decides he's had enough. He determines to make his way inside The Wall, back to a home he never knew and clear his father of the terrible crimes that have plagued their family for 16 years. If only he can get his hands on the papers the Russians sent demanding Dr. Blue do an early test run, if they even existed, then it would all be over. Provisions in hand, Zeke sets off through the underground tunnels that run up through the downtown. But he never expected just how bad the Blight had infected the city...or its undead inhabitants.

After hours spent fretting with worry and guilt, Briar does the only thing a mother could do - she sets off after him. After nearly beating information from Rector, a boy up to no good and a friend of her son, Briar sets off for the same exact tunnels Zeke allegedly took. But as she waits near the entrance, an earthquake shatters all means of hope and escape for her only son. Now that the option of going under is taken away, Briar is left with but one other choice: Over. Seeking the help from the air captains and sky pirates, Briar is led to Andan Cly, captain of the Naamah Darling, who just so happens to be in debt to the Wilkes family.

Flying high and dropping into the city, Briar is led by survival instincts and using all means necessary to find her son. But what surprised her the most was not how much the city has been polluted, but the fact that there were people living there. The dead and undead alike. What kind of trouble lies beyond the wall? Can Briar do it alone? Will she be able to survive the the Blight and the creatures it created? Can she outlast the rotters, the undead who feast on flesh and feel no pain? More importantly, will she find her son alive?

...Those are questions you will have to answer yourself! :)

Seriously, I cannot begin to describe how imaginative and ingenious this tale is. Once you start you won't want to stop until you reach the very end. And then you'll just want more. Boneshaker is totally unique in its vision of combining very real, albeit altered, history and science fiction. Trust me when I say that I am not really a big fan of zombies or anything related, but this story would not have been the same nor quite as exciting without them.

Same goes for each and every character. Without them the story wouldn't have the same warmth and purpose as I felt while reading. Briar is a no nonsense type of woman with admirable qualities, surviving on what little she can afford and wanting what's best for her son. The people she meets only fuel her desire to continue on and provide a shining light in the darkness.

Overall consensus: There's so much more I could tell you about the story but I'll just leave you with the words: Exciting, original, intense, unique, and satisfying. Being that this is my first outing with Cherie Priest, I can conclude that it will not be the last. If books like Boneshaker are what I have to look forward to in the steampunk genre, then count me in because I'm not going anywhere!

(On a sidenote: While I consider this an Adult read, I would also classify it as suitable for Young Adults. And well...everyone!)

- Also reviewed on Amazon and Goodreads

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Nov 30)

This is a weekly book meme hosted by J. Kaye over at J. Kaye's Book Blog.

Ahh, Thanksgiving has come and gone and I must say that it was an excellent week. Even despite the fact that I didn't get as much reading in as I would have liked. But I did reach (and pass!) 100 followers which is quite exciting! I can't wait to get the ball rolling for my first ever giveaway. I'm hoping to make some lovely people happy. :)

Completed this past week:

- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Review to be posted later today!)

Currently reading:

Truly, Madly (ARC) By Heather Webber
(For review and discussion on the Barnes and Noble Book Club website!)

Up and Coming:

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley (ARC)
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Wake by Lisa McMann
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Shadows Edge (Night Angel #2) by Brent Weeks

Not sure how the rest of my TBR pile will play out, but I'm excited to find out! There are some great books coming out next month and I can't wait to get my hands on them. (IE: The Dark Divine & Beautiful Creatures)

What are YOU reading? Link me!

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my first ever giveaway! Open to the US and Canada. Sign ups end December 16th.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Recap (Nov 23-29)


Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel (3/5)


In My Mailbox (Nov 29)
Award Time! One Lovely Blog
Oh hey, guess what! 100 FOLLOWERS!
(Including an announcement + poll)
Friday Finds (Nov. 27)/ Follow Friday (3)
Happy Turkey Day!
On My Wishlist (3)/ Waiting on Wednesday (Nov 25)
Teaser Tuesday (Nov. 24)
2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
It's Monday! What are you reading?


★ Review for Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (In progress)
★ I will be revealing the book additions to my first ever giveaway very soon! Stay tuned. :)

Sites/Links to check out!:

★ Vote for your Favorite Book of 2009 @ Mindful Musings! Don't forget to check out her awesome contests as well.
★ Are Twilight fans takings things a bit too far with this felt recreation of Bella's womb from Breaking Dawn? o_O I think the answer is: YES.
★ A HUGE contest is going on over at The Enchanted Inkpot on Livejournal. 3 Winners will receive a basket filled with 8 different books. How cool is that?

New Content:

★ I passed 100 followers!! So this means my giveaway now has FOUR winners! Make sure to SIGN UP if you haven't already.
IMPORTANT! I have a poll up in regards to my first ever giveaway. Please let me know what you think!
★ I signed up to participate in the 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge - hosted by J. Kaye's blog. Go HERE for the details. BY THE WAY, I added a Mr. Linky to the bottom of my entry so feel free to include a link to your challenge post. I'd love to be able to see how everyone progresses.

Cover of the Week:


A slow week of reading due to the holidays and work. :( But I do have some awesome books coming up that will hopefully kick my reading butt into gear. I hope you guys have an awesome Sunday!

In My Mailbox (Nov. 29)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

Book Blogger Holiday Swap:



I am yet again very pleased with this weeks loot. All new and all books I can't wait to get started on at some point! And let me tell you, that Leviathan cover? Absolutely GORGEOUS. It's even prettier in person. *_*

How about YOU? Get anything good in the mail? Tell/link me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Award: One Lovely Blog

Many, many thanks to Sammee @ I Want To Read That for giving me this award! I really appreciate the thought. ♥ So now it's my turn to pass it along.

The rules: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

The Awardees!
(Some are new (ish) and some are established but they are all new to me)

Celia @ Adventures of Celia Bedelia
Alita @ Alita.Reads
Jenn @ Book Crazy
Anna @ Book Nerds
Ashley @ Books Obsession
Angela @ Dark Faerie Tales
Kristen @ Fantasy Cafe
Holly @ Good Golly Miss Holly
Lauren @ I Was A Teenage Book Geek
Catherine @ On The Nightstand
Emilee @ Penultimate Page
Steph Su @ Steph Su Reads
Tina @ Tinas Book Reviews
The First Novels Club
Ann-Kat @ Today, I Read...

I could have easily given this out to everyone I follow since you're all so fantastic! :)

P.S. In case you haven't heard, don't forget to sign up for my first ever giveaway and make sure the stop by this post for an announcement and a poll!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh hey, guess what!


So you know what this means? There are now FOUR WINNERS for my first ever giveaway!

NOW! Before I reveal the additional books I will be throwing in, I have an idea to ponder. I originally stated that I would add yet another winner when I hit 150...but in all honesty, I doubt I'll reach that incredible number by December 16th. So, what would you say to reducing the first prize winner to ONE book of their choice (instead of 2) and adding a FIFTH (and POSSIBLY a sixth) winner?

PLEASE NOTE: That this is for feedback purposes only at the moment. There is no guarantee that I will change anything. I just want to see what YOU, the entrants, have to say about it (of course if the vote is overwhelmingly in any favor, I think my decision will be obvious). I have a nifty little poll for you guys to help me decide:

Any insight you guys could provide would be very helpful. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to expand on your answer!

P.S. I never expected to reach 100 followers (since being a follower is not required to enter) but we did it! Thank you so much to all those participating, promoting, and RT-ing on twitter. (And some extra special hugs to all those leaving me some lovin' via comments on a post and/or twitter.) Dean and I give you two thumbs up. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!

P.S. Comment HERE with a book you can't wait to get your hands on to be credited with TWO extra entries into my first ever giveaway.

Friday Finds (Nov 27) / Follow Friday (#3)

Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. The idea is to share books that you recently came across, whether new or old, that you've never heard of before and added to your TBR pile.

Friday Finds:

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington
(discovered via Speculative Fiction Junkie)
Genre: Dark Fantasy

The Returners by Gemma Malley (discovered via Goodreads)
Genre: Speculative Fiction, YA
New Release: March 2, 2010

Follow Friday:

Taking one from Twitter's books here and doing my own version of Follow Friday! Every Friday I will highlight up to 3 blogs that I follow or just discovered who I think are worth following around the bookish blogosphere. :)

Teens Read And Write

Dark Faerie Tales

- Want to follow a blog that has both looks and great content? Well I HIGHLY recommend both of the blogs mentioned above. They are AMAZINGLY gorgeous and among my favorites around the blogosphere. If you don't follow them yet, well why not?

P.S. Don't forget, sign ups still open for MY VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Open to US and Canada - ends December 16th! Did I mention that there are 4 winners now? ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

To all my fellow US bloggers, I wish I could tell everyone individually but I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving full of great food, good times, and lots of love! I know I have much to be thankful for this year, including the wonderful people I have met around the blogosphere because of books and reading. You guys are awesome. Stay safe, eat well, and I'll see you guys on the flipside. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Evermore (The Immortals, Book 1)

Genre: Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Edition: Softcover
Page Count: 301
Pub. Date: February 3, 2009
Series: The Immortals, Book 1

My Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 3.5 stars
Goodreads: 3.78 (Average)

Recommended For: Teens, Fans of Paranormal Romance novels, Those tired of vampires and/or werewolves who like a fresh outlook on a different type of supernatural being

Book Summary:

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

My thoughts:

This one is a bit of a hit or miss. The main reason being is that, while I enjoyed it enough, it just didn't stick with me.

To start off, I liked Alyson Noel's writing style; presenting the reader with fun and engaging dialogue. It was easy to follow and painted a picture of the scenery and the characters from the get-go. But the more I read along, the more events seemed to go in a kind of merry-go-round. For instance, it seems that all throughout the story we were caught in a web consisting of an endless cycle of highs and lows - and what I mean that is, whenever something good happens, something bad inevitably follows right after...over...and over again.

And the characters - well, the characters were rather meek. I didn't dislike them, mind you, but I was just expecting a bit more.

  • Damen - I'll admit, the image Alyson portrayed is smoking hot. But where is...everything else? At first he didn't really have a presence that screamed at my attention. He's more mysterious than anything, what with the weird surprises and the constant disappearing act. The turn-a-round was when we finally got to delve a little more into his life. It made him more interesting (although that could have something to do with the immortal thing), yet it still wasn't enough to sway my opinion. I still believe he lacked a strong personality. I'm curious to see how he develops in the following books.

  • Ever - She is a fairly solid character. I felt her pain, her guilt, and got a good sense of who she was and why she shielded herself from the outside world. She is a girl who has lost everything and blames herself for a situation she couldn't control. As the story progresses, so does her character, taking her from a lost, sullen girl to someone beginning to accept help from others and finding her place in a vast world. New doors open and she begins to understand the depth of her unique ability. I'm also curious to see how her talents develop.

  • Riley - She was an unexpected character for me. Annoying as any little sister would be, especially so since she is a ghost (you can't kick her butt if need be), but I really enjoyed the scenes between Riley and Ever. I totally felt the connection, the sadness, and the sisterly affections.

  • Miles & Haven - The stereo-typical gay guy friend (humor included) and the eccentric, attention seeking goth girl-slash-vampire wanna be. Needless to say, I felt no connection to them. They provided some interesting dialogue between the characters, but no more than that.

  • I didn't relate to the characters as much as I'd like. The only one who redeemed the story for me was Ever. She was very dynamic with her feelings and her guilt, you could feel her emotion from the pages. I also would have liked to have seen Damen and Ever's relationship develop into something more than it was. But hey, that's what book 2 and 3 are there for.

    Another thing I wasn't too keen about was the ending. I felt it was rather anticlimactic. I don't know, maybe I was expecting more since there was so much involved leading up to the finale, but whatever the reason, I felt it did not do the book justice. Though, being that this is a series, I am hoping that the following books expand upon my unanswered questions and unresolved feelings.

    My little nitpicking aside, Evermore did have some redeeming qualities, the first one being the concept of The Immortals. I found the idea quite fascinating and original; a fresh take on a different type of supernatural being. And it was nice to be surprised by a story for once, considering I had no idea what was going to happen or what I was getting myself into. Secondly, I enjoyed the well versed descriptions. I felt they gave me a good idea of the story from a visual perspective.

    Overall consensus, I felt this book started off with a bang, but ended with a bit of a dud. So hence the 3 star rating. I found myself reading not out of need or fondness, but more for the sake of my own curiosity. But being that curiosity did get the better of me, I do want to know what happens next. I'll definitely be continuing on with the Immortals series in the near future.

    On My Wishlist (3) / Waiting On Wednesday (Nov 25)

    On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

    Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium #2)
    Author: Stieg Larsson
    Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Crime
    Published: 2005; This Edition: May 14, 2009

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

    But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

    As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

    Title: Struts & Frets
    Author: John Skovron
    Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
    Published: November 1st, 2009

    Told in a voice that’s honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they’d ever find their place in the world.

    Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

    When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

    - I'm such a sucker for books about music.

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
    Author: John Green AND David Levithan
    Genre: Young Adult
    Published: April 6, 2010

    One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

    How about you, what is on YOUR wishlist?

    For all those entered in my giveaway: If you comment to this post with a book you can't wait to get your hands on, I will add TWO extra entries to your contest submissions. This offer is open for ONE WEEK ONLY. (Ends WED 12/2 @ 8AM PST)

    You don't have to be a participant to comment obviously, but if you are please let me know. It makes it easier to tally everything up. (a +2 somewhere in your comment is fine)

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Meme: Teaser Tuesday (Nov 24)

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    "What is certain is this: On the afternoon of January 2, 1863, something appalling burst out from the basement and tore a trail of havoc from the house on Denny Hill to the central business district, and then back home again.
    Few witnesses agree, and fewer still were granted a glimpse of the Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine."

    Change of plans. I had originally figured I'd continue on with The Immortal series and read Blue Moon as my next book, but I decided against it. I need a change of scenery so I figured my library book would be the best bet. I'm loving what I've read so far!

    Feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

    2010 Support Your Local Library Challenge!

    2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog

    There are four levels:
    • The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.
    • Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
    • Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.
    • Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.
    (Aim high. As long as you read 25 by the end of 2010, you are a winner.)

    Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale.

    *Crossovers from other reading challenges count.*

    Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

    (No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.)

    If you sign up, make sure to link your post in the Mr. Linky!

    I'll be keeping track of all my reads through this post along with a special tag/label and I'll have a link in my sidebar for easy access for those of you who are curious.

    My goal: The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.

    o1. Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron (Review)
    o2. Hate List by Jennifer Brown (Review)
    o3. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

    So I caved. I was only going to do one challenge next year (YA Reading Challenge) but I figured this would fit perfectly in my schedule since I do check out a TON of books. Seriously, I'm always reserving books online (or perusing the catalog) so the library doesn't even call me anymore to let me know my books are ready to be picked up. They know I'll come, haha.

    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this!

    P.S. Feel free to link to your challenge post below so I can refer back to it. I'd love to be able to discuss how you're doing and see which books you're checking out. :)

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    It's Monday! What are you reading? (Nov 23)

    This is a weekly book meme hosted by J. Kaye over at J. Kaye's Book Blog.

    Ahh, I can't believe Thanksgiving is almost here! But will I let that stop my reading this week? Absolutely not. I've got some great books coming up and I can't wait to get started. For those of you just tuning in, make sure to check out my first ever giveaway! I've got some great books up for grabs so make sure to check it out. :)

    Completed this past week:

    - Evermore by Alyson Noel (review in progress!)
    - School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

    Currently reading:

    Blue Moon (Immortals #2) by Alyson Noel (Possibly. Still undecided)

    Up and Coming:

    Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (ARC)
    The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley (ARC)
    Soulless by Gail Carriger
    Shadows Edge (Night Angel #2) by Brent Weeks

    Most likely in that order. Unless of course I just HAVE to have Shadowland (Immortals #3). In which case I'll probably just go out and buy it. And spend more money I shouldn't be spending. It's seems resistance is futile whenever books are concerned.

    What are YOU reading? Link me!

    P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my first ever giveaway! Open to the US and Canada. Sign ups end December 16th.

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Weekly Recap (Nov 16-22)


    School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari (3/5)


    In My Mailbox (Nov. 22)
    Friday Finds (Nov. 22)/ Follow Friday (2)
    Bookizzle's FIRST EVER Giveaway
    2010 YA Reading Challenge
    On My Wishlist (2)/ Waiting on Wednesday (Nov 18)
    Teaser Tuesday (Nov. 17)
    It's Monday! What are you reading?


    ★ One word: AWARDS! I was recently a recipient of the "One Lovely Blog Award" courtesy of I Want To Read That. I'm still making my list of lovely blogs to pass it on to but it should be done shortly. :) Thanks again Sammee!

    Sites/Links to check out!:

    ★ Parajunkee's View is having a button sale! She makes fantastic graphics so if you're looking for something chic, I encourage you to check it out.
    ★ Vote for your Favorite Book of 2009 @ Mindful Musings! Don't forget to check out her awesome contests as well.
    ★ Morgan @ Books and Literature for Teens recently introduced me in her "Inspiring Today" feature. I love her site and I definitely recommend checking it out!
    Tom Cruise in Twilight? Omg, this guy is GOOD. So funny!

    New Content:

    ★ I finally got my giveaway underway! 8 books, 3 winners (so far). Make sure to SIGN UP if you haven't already. GO, GO, GO!
    ★ I will be participating in the 2010 YA Reading Challenge - hosted by J. Kaye's blog. Go HERE for the details. BY THE WAY, I recently added a Mr. Linky to the bottom of my entry so feel free to include a link to your challenge post. I'd love to be able to see how everyone progresses.

    Cover of the Week:

    The Girl With Glass Feet

    Hope you guys had a great week of reading. I know I did. I can't believe Thanksgiving is almost here. I hope you guys have some awesome plans! :)

    In My Mailbox (Nov. 22)

    "In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!


    I FINALLY GOT MY LOOT! I may have done a little dance. Not gonna lie. :)
    • Fire by Kristin Cashore
    • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
    • Wake by Lisa McMann (TBR)
    • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (TBR)
    • Shadow's Edge (Night Angel Trilogy #2) by Brent Weeks (TBR)
    • Soulless by Gail Carriger (TBR)
    • Truly, Madly (ARC) by Heather Webber - (TBR; For Review)


    • Blue Moon (Immortals #2) by Alyson Noel (TBR)
    • Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

    Both up for grabs in my first ever giveaway! Make sure you sign up.


    • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
    Although I highly doubt I'll have time to read this by the time it's due. So I may just return it since there is a waiting line. Don't want to be too selfish now.

    How about YOU? Get anything good in the mail? Tell/link me!

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Review: School Of Fear

    Genre: Children's Fiction, Adventure
    Edition: Hardcover
    Page Count: 339
    Pub. Date: September 1, 2009
    Series: ?

    My Rating: 3 (out of 5)
    Amazon.com: 3.5 stars
    Goodreads: 3.20 (Average)

    Recommended For: Younger readers, Fans of quirky characters, Fans of books like The Mysterious Benedict Society

    Inside Cover Blurb:

    Everyone is afraid of something...

    Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.

    Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.

    Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.

    Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.

    Which is why this may be the scariest summer of their lives. Worse than detention or summer school. Even worse than the orthodontist. The foursome must face their phobias at the exclusive and elusive School of Fears. The school is unusual, to say the least. But "terrifying" would be a more accurate description.

    The curriculum is simple: Conquer your fears in six weeks or find out just how frightening failing can be.

    My Thoughts:

    If I were to judge a book by its cover, I'd say that this book looks awesome! I love the illustrations on the front and those that are featured at the beginning of every chapter. (Reminded me of The Mysterious Benedict Society in that instance)

    Aside of the overall look, the thing I liked most about the novel was the dialogue. Very fun and witty, I laughed out loud more than once. I enjoyed the interaction between the four kids and how you see them grow and develop as the story progresses. If anything, the lovely writing kept my attention the whole way through.

    But what is keeping this book below 5 (even 4) star status, in my opinion, is the ending and the overabundance of "personality".

    The buildup for the ending was okay (albeit repetitive) but when push came to shove, all the entertainment was jam packed in the last 50 or so pages. And not only was the end predictable (the twist became apparent in the middle of the book) but it was also incredibly rushed, only giving us enough detail to get by. It almost seemed like chunks of it were taken out just to make it fit under 350 pages, which is unfortunate. It gave it an incomplete feel and I felt there was much that could have been elaborated on.

    And when you get a story that thrives on the quirkiness of its characters and plot line, there is the off chance that you over-do the amount of quirk in the story. And School of Fear just happened to be in that category. While I appreciated the unique voice each character had, toward the middle and the end of the story, it just became a bit too much. The four kids were threatening to cross that line from quirky into annoying more than once (although, I think Theo did cross it multiple times) and Mrs. Wellington, the eccentric instructor, spent her time across that line throughout the book.

    Speaking of the characters, another thing that made me somewhat detached towards the story was how hard it was identify with any of them. I found myself on the side of indifference rather than actually being involved in their lives and the journey they were on.

    Lastly, the cover uses words such as "fear", "terrifying", "worse than ____" and I do feel like those are misleading. This book is far from scary, relying more on insinuating "scary" adventure instead of experiencing it.

    I don't mean to come off so negative because, for the most part though, I did enjoy it. It's a cute book, even with the sometimes over-the-top characters. Gitty's writing style is simple yet enjoyable and the humor, for the most part, is really quite funny. I didn't exactly begin the book with any expectations and I think that helped my take on it. Overall consensus, it's just a fun, light read.

    The ending did hint at a continuation of the series, but I haven't heard if there will be a book 2 in the near future or not.

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Friday Finds (Nov 20) / Follow Friday (#2)

    Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. The idea is to share books that you recently came across, whether new or old, that you've never heard of before and added to your TBR pile.

    Friday Finds:

    Libyrinth by Pearl North (discovered via Adventures of Celia Bedelia)
    Genre: YA, Fantasy

    Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (discovered via Goodreads)
    Genre: Speculative Fiction

    Follow Friday:

    Taking one from Twitter's books here and doing my own version of Follow Friday! Every Friday I will highlight up to 3 blogs that I follow or just discovered who I think are worth following around the bookish blogosphere. :)

    The Story Siren
    The Story Siren

    Steph Su Reads

    - Kristi @ The Story Siren is very much a powerhouse blog site in the YA bookish blogosphere. Looking for recommendations, contests, or new books? Or maybe you're looking for some in sight into some great books, either way, I highly recommend stopping by!

    - Steph Su Reads is a recent find for me. In her neck of the woods you'll find wonderful reviews, a pretty awesome giveaway, and a very insightful looks into some great books. Just read a few of her reviews and I guarantee you'll quickly understand why she earned the "Best Writing" badge from Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

    Also, make sure to stop by MY VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY post and sign up! Multiple books will be given out to multiple winners so make sure you get in on the action. Giveaway ends December 16th!

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Bookizzle's FIRST EVER Giveaway!


    Well, here we are. IT'S ALL HAPPENING!


    How to enter: Leave a ONE comment with your e-mail (please include your extra entries for those participating). All entrants MUST be over 13. You DO NOT need be a follower in order to enter, but it is highly encouraged (plus it gives you a better chance to win!)

    Open to: US and Canada ONLY. Sorry my International lovelies. I'll have something for you later. EXTRA Entries:

    + 1 - if you PROMOTE via twitter/facebook/etc (you will get an extra entry for each individual site you advertise. YOU MUST LEAVE A DIRECT LINK. And yes, you may tweet multiple times. MAX ENTRIES = 3)
    + 1 - ADD or ALREADY FOLLOW me on twitter (@nikkinizzle - Make sure you leave your twitter name so I can credit you)
    + 1 - NEW follower (add me via google friend connect on my sidebar)
    + 2 - OLD follower (♥)
    + 2 - Put the contest on your SIDEBAR (+3 if you use my button! Must leave a link)
    + 4 - POST about it on your blog (Must leave a link)


    NOTE: The deadline may change depending on how many entries I get. If I reach 100 followers before the deadline is reached, I will add another winner (and possibly add another book or 2 to the prize haul). If I reach 150 (highly unlikely, hah) I will run around in circles then add some more prizes.

    Any and all comments not following the above guidelines will be deleted and won't count for squat. Sorry!


    • - Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Softcover)
    • - Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black (Softcover)
    • - Soulless by Gail Carriger (Softcover)
    • - Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins (Hardcover)
    • - Evermore (Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel (Softcover)
    • - Blue Moon (Immortals #2) by Alyson Noel (Softcover)
    • - Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Hardcover)
    • - The Way of Shadows (Night Angels #1) by Brent Weeks (Softcover)


    Grand Prize winner will receive: TWO books of their choice
    First winner will receive: ONE book of their choice
    Second winner will receive: ONE book of their choice
    ETA: Third winner will receive: ONE book of their choice
    ETA: Fourth winner will receive: ONE book of their choice

    (Grand prize winner can select ONE of the hardback books if they so choose, but not both. Sorry, fair is fair.)

    REMEMBER, If I reach 100 followers or more, there will be a FOURTH place winner and even more books to choose from. WE DID IT! 100 FOLLOWERS! OMG, 150 FOLLOWERS!! And if I go past that...well, I'll work that out if/when I get there.

    ★ ALL WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN RANDOMLY. Once the deadline for entries is reached, I should have the winners picked approximately 48 hours later. Winners will be notified via e-mail along with a big shiny blog post. After that, you have THREE days to respond before I randomly pick another winner(s).

    Just to give you an idea of books that will be added if I reach over 100150, they are: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, AND MORE. Who knows, I might even add more books and winners because I feel like it.

    ETA: Earn TWO extra entries by commenting on THIS post. Offer good till WED 12/2!

    <center><a href="http://bookizzle.blogspot.com/2009/11/bookizzles-first-ever-giveaway.html"><img src="http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm75/nicokee/bookizzle/giveaway01_sml.png"/></a></center>

    Feel free to use the small button or the large one at the top of the post!

    If there are any issues and/or comments, please e-mail me.