Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Favorites + Happy New Year!

2009 has been another crazy roller coaster ride, but thankfully one I quite enjoyed. Amidst all the turmoil in my personal life this year, the end has done rather well to redeem the suck that was the beginning of 2009. And I owe a lot of that to books and the blogging world.

I've only been among your ranks since October 13th (it feels like it's been much longer!), but I already feel like I found a place here. I've come to know so many wonderful people, whether it be through our blogs or twitter, and I can't even begin to tell you how awesome you all are! So thanks guys for helping me keep my sanity and welcoming me to a place where I can share my thoughts and express what I love (or sometimes didn't love) about the awesome books I read. ♥

NOW, time for some of my favorite things from 2009!

(Note: not everything I mention was released and/or published this year, but rather, books that were newly read and impacted me in some way)

► Yeah, I may have gone a little overboard, haha. Let's just say that 2009 was my year for books. When I began the year I never even thought I'd pass 50 but, lo and behold, I ended up finishing with 118! Crazy! (My full list for 2009) - I can already tell that 2010 is going to be an excellent year for books and I cannot wait! :D


► So many movies that made my geeky heart soar with glee! I was totally lacking in the movie department this year (I think I went to the movies around 4 times) but I'm fairly happy with what I did see. Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes were among the best released movies this year, in my opinion, and they are definitely two of my favorites. Overall, a pretty sweet year for movies. (Grand total for movies seen in 2009: 113 - Of the 113, 63 were new, never seen before)

I was going to do a list for TV shows but this list has taken me long enough, haha. I never really do resolutions for my personal life because, well, life is too unpredictable. But for 2010, I will make an exception for reading.

In 2010 I hope to:

● Read more (and pass my 118 books read this year)
● Review more (around 2-3 a week)
● Maintain an active and engaging blog
● Host more author interviews and giveaways
● Comment, comment, comment!

Easy peasy, right? Haha. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope 2010 brings you lovely bloggers everything you want and more. Happy reading! :)

P.S. Don't forget! There is still some time to sign up for my BONESHAKER giveaway! Ends tomorrow. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to do a quick flyby post and wish all of you lovely followers/bloggers/cool folks who celebrate a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I will be on a bit of a hiatus posting-wise for the next few days (maybe week), but I do suspect I'll be making the commenting rounds when I can.

I hope you all have a wonderful time this Christmas and that your holidays are filled with lots of love and presents. :)

See you on the flipside!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On My Wishlist (7) / Waiting On Wednesday (Dec 23)

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 Edge of the World (Terra Incognita #1)
Author: Kevin J. Anderson
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Epic Fantasy
Published: June 8th, 2009

Terra Incognita - the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the world, marked only by the words "here be monsters."

Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the known, and undiscovered, world, pin their last hopes at ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.

Each will send their ships to brave the untamed seas, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unknown to any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave and the mad who are willing to leave their homes to explore the unknown.

Even unto the edge of the world...

- I can't believe I just recently discovered this! It sounds amazing.


Title: The Demon's Lexicon (Demons #1)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: YA, Speculative Fiction - Urban Fantasy
Published: June 2, 2009

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.


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

Title: The Rise of Renegade X
Author: Chelsea Cambell
Genre: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction - Superheroes
Published: May 11, 2010

Damien Locke knows his destiny--attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with--of all people--a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he's forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

- I cannot wait for this!

How about you, what is on YOUR wishlist?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (Dec 22)

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!

The Things That Keep Us Here (ARC) by Carla Buckley

Someone called out, "Do you think we're going to have a pandemic?"
Peter regarded the young faces turned toward him. He thought of all those mute bobbing birds, felled instantly by the same sharp blow. "What does science tell us?"
Silence. They were thinking about this.
"Put yourself in the virus's place. If you had a good thing going, hooking up with everybody in town, would you move on?"

I have a feeling this is going to be an very interesting read. Especially with a viral pandemic being so real to the times today. (Also, one of these days I will stick to just 2 sentences, haha)

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!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: In Too Deep (39 Clues, Book 6)

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Adventure, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover, Library Edition
Page Count: 206
Pub. Date: November 3, 2009
Series: 39 Clues, Book 6

My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
Goodreads: 4.10 (Average)

Recommended For: Everyone - Kids, Teens, Adults - good family series

Book Summary (back of the book):

Fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan, head to the Land Down Under to discover what their own mother and father knew about the hunt for the 39 Clues. But following in their parent's footsteps brings up lost memories for Amy so awful that she can't share them...even with Dan. Haunted by the ghosts of their past, chased by deadly competitors, Dan and Amy can't see who is an enemy and who is a friend. Their blindness leads to a terrible mistake....and the death of a hidden ally.

My Summary:

Excellent, excellent continuation of the 39 Clues adventure! Amy and Dan Cahill are back and better than ever.

To get you newbies caught up to speed:
Ever since her (Amy) grandmother's will had been read, she'd been chased from one continent to another...by her own relatives. Her grandmother Grace Cahill had laid down a challenge to every branch of the Cahill family - either join the race for the 39 Clues and become the most powerful person in the world... or walk away with a million dollars. Amy and Dan had chosen the chase. Not that a million dollars wouldn't be pretty sweet. But they knew their grandmother wanted them to win.

pg. 3

In Too Deep provides much more of a back story, which is one of the things I was most excited about. The story was driven more by the characters, rather than the search for clues. And we finally get some semblance of an answer to the burning question: "What really happened to Amy and Dan's parents?" (Keyword being, "semblance") Amy and Dan are hit with some shocking news that sends their world in a brief spiral. And not only that, but images from the past are starting to burn their way into Amy's present. Pieces are coming together and new alliances are being formed in coalescence with that one fateful night.

In the 6th book, we see a little separation between the Amy and Dan due to a circumstance that Amy isn't fully prepared to share with her brother. But once the cat is out of the bag, you see an even stronger bond form between them which makes this such a well-rounded book amidst all the craziness.

In addition to the regular cast of characters, Amy, Dan, and their au pair Nellie, are met by two new relatives - one a long lost beach bum of a cousin, and the other a relative they have only known by name and her reputation for ruthlessness. The mother of Ian and Natalie Kabra. And my does her unannounced arrival add much excitement to an already perilous quest. Such an interesting twist! I love being able to glimpse other members of the Cahill family. And it doesn't look like she's going anywhere.

Another interesting turn of events was the discovery that Nellie, their trusted au pair and guardian, may be more than she says. Her character has the opportunity to become a great asset to the series. I just hope the next author follows suit.

The aspect I enjoyed most was the fact that there was a plot and purpose. Some of the other books lead Amy and Dan to wander around the globe, jumping from place to place all while trying to escape the snares of their conniving relatives - yet there's never really any depth to the story. But Jude Watson gave the book plenty. The twists and turns kept me in suspense and were well placed throughout the book. And I thought the storyline was met with a nice mix of history - which a few of the previous books tend to lack. Being the history buff that I am, I was quite thrilled with the direction it took. (Without giving too much away, it involves planes and one lost heroine)

Overall consensus - an exciting continuation that has once again sparked my interest in this series. I have to admit, it waned a little after the fifth book, but this was immensely satisfying. I can't wait to see what happens next! If you haven't read the series, I highly recommend it. The books are roughly 200 pages each and such a fun ride.

Book 7, The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis is slated to be released February 2nd, 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekly Recap (Dec 14 - Dec 20)


Blue Moon (The Immortals#2) by Alyson Noel (3.5/5)


Bookizzle's first ever giveaway WINNERS!
Friday Finds (Dec. 18)/ Follow Friday (6)
Boneshaker Giveaway
Interview with steampunk author Cherie Priest
On My Wishlist (6)/ Waiting on Wednesday (Dec 16)
Teaser Tuesday (Dec. 15)


★ Review for In Too Deep (39 Clues #6) by Jude Watson
★ My best of 2009 list(s)!

Sites/Links to check out!:

★ CONTEST: 100 Followers Giveaway @ In Which A Girl Reads
★ CONTEST: Pre-Kick Off Contest @ Princess Bookie
★ CONTEST: 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 5 @ Ellz Reads
★ CONTEST: 12 Blogs of Christmas - Day 6 @ The Book Rat
★ CONTEST: 200 Followers Contest @ Sophistikatied
★ CONTEST ARC of Firespell @ Bookworming in the 21st Century
★ CONTEST: The Body Finder + Swag @ The Road To Publication (Author of The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting)

Giveaway Update:

★ The winners for my first ever giveaway have been announced! I have received word from all winners so expect your prizes to be mailed to you soon. Didn't win a book? Have no fear - I'm also giving away a brand new copy of BONESHAKER to one lucky participant. Contest is international. Sign up now!

(P.S. Don't forget to check out all the great contests/giveaways on my sidebar)

Cover of the Week:

Merlin's Harp
- A new twist on Arthurian history? I'm down.

In other news, I'm sick. :( So that is my excuse for the lack of reading and reviews. It sucks, but what can you do. Also, no IMM this week. Still awaiting a delivery from bookcloseouts.com - which is taking FOREVER. I hope they'll be here soon. I miss getting books in the mail.

I hope everyone had a fantastic week. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bookizzle's first ever giveaway WINNERS!!

Dean & Sam Winchester approved :)

124 comments and 529 entries later, we have our 5 winners! Thank you so much to everyone who participated and helped promote my contest. I'm so happy that my first ever contest was such a success. (I was so worried when I started, omg) But you guys are awesome. ♥

And NOW, the winners!

(She chose: Catching Fire and Tithe)

The Book Vixen
(She chose: Blue Moon)

(She chose: Wicked Lovely)

(She chose: Soulless)

Jenny N.
(She chose: Speak)

Winners were chosen via Randomizer.org. Emails have/will be sent out in order of the prize winners. You have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner. (Although I do ask that you please reply in a timely manner so that the other winners can choose their book. I want to mail everything out ASAP)

Didn't win a book? Have no fear - I'm giving away a brand new copy of Boneshaker over here! Contest is international too. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Finds (Dec 18) / Follow Friday (#6)

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:

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross
(discovered via The Book Smugglers)
Genre: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction - Superheroes
Released: May 2009

(*grabby hands*)

The Gaslight Dogs by Karen Lowachee
(discovered via Orbit Books)
Genre: Speculative Fiction - Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Released: April 2010

(I adore the cover!)

Follow Friday:

Taking one from Twitter's books here and doing my own version of Follow Friday! Every Friday I will highlight 2-3 blogs that I follow or just discovered who I think are worth following around the bookish blogosphere. :)

Ashbooks Book Community Button
Ash Books Community

- A recent affiliate! Check 'em out, they've got a nice site going on.

Bookworming in the 21st Century
(Contest: Big Birthday Bash)

- Kristen has a very lovely and insightful blog, not to mention a really fantastic contest going on. Make sure you stop by and say hello!

P.S. If you follow me on twitter than you've heard that I have calculated all the of entries for my first ever giveaway. The total was: 124 comments - 529 entries! WOW. Thank you guys for making it so successful! I'll be (randomly) choosing the winners tomorrow so stay tuned!

P.S.S. Don't forget to check out my interview with author Cherie Priest! I also have a giveaway going for her recently released steampunk novel, BONESHAKER. Make sure to sign up!



In celebration of the holidays and the new year, I wanted to give away a copy of BONESHAKER to one lucky participant. BONESHAKER is truly an amazing novel and I can't help but love it even more for introducing me to steampunk. For more information on one of my favorite reads of 2009, check out my review and my interview with author Cherie Priest! You really don't want to miss out on this one, trust me.

And now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a brand new copy of BONESHAKER. If I get a plethora of entries, I will up the ante to TWO books/winners. Oh, and did I mention that the contest is International? :)

To Enter:



- Giveaway is International!
- Must be over 13 to enter
- Extra entries included in the form
- BONUS: Take 'The Steampunk Style Test' and post your results for an extra entry :)

Giveaway ends January 1st, 2010!