Saturday, May 26, 2012

Building the Book Stacks #3

 Elixir by Hilary Duff
Slide by Jill Hathaway
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Passion by Lauren Kate

School is officially out next week, so I decided to go ahead and grab some books from the library. :) These are all books I've been wanting to read for awhile; I've picked up 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Passion before but I never had the chance to read them. I'm hoping I'l actually be able to start them this time.

I've also already read Slide.. Sadly, while still being an enjoyable read, it didn't quite meet my expectations. Expect a review of it soon. :) 

If you've made a post about what books you've gotten this week, then feel free to link to it in the comments section. :) I'll be sure to check out all the posts in return!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Rating: ★★★★★ [5]
Release date: July 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: paperback
Source: bought - HPB
Pages: 310
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth (#1)
Challenge: --
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
This book is exactly how I imagined a great zombie book to be.

I'll admit that the beginning of the book was rather slow, and I found that I didn't care about the characters or the little "love triangle" that was beginning to form. Nothing about the protagonist really caught my interest, either. I only kept reading really, because of my love for zombies.

Eventually, the book just became AWESOME. I'm not exactly sure at what point..Maybe when the zombie outbreak finally becomes big, and the characters are in actual, immediate danger. It might have taken a bit longer than I had hoped, but once the action started, it didn't stop. Plus, things just became so emotional. It was so terrifying and vivid, and it literally had me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what was going to happen next.

I also started to feel for the characters. Although the protagonist had originally been very boring, I was suddenly rooting for her and feeling her pain when she had to make hard decisions. And you know, you actually got to see her go kinda crazy from all the zombie action. Plus, some of the ordeals the side characters had to go through were horrifying. I think I really enjoyed it because it was one of the more gruesome zombie books I've read in the YA genre. However, I didn't like the ending very much.. It was too abrupt, and left me wanting more. Still, anyone who loves zombies should give this book a try! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Building the Book Stacks #2

Fear by Michael Grant

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini {ebook}

I'm so excited to be reading Fear! :D The Gone series is amazing, and it's one of my absolute favorites so I can't wait to get started. I'm kind of sad that there's only going to be one more book! And a special thanks to Some Like It Paranormal for hosting the Starcrossed giveaway! :)

If you've made a post about what books you've gotten this week, then feel free to link to it in the comments section. :) I'll be sure to check out all the posts in return!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday #3

This weekly meme is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Basically, it's a great way to meet and follow other bloggers.

This week's question is:
What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?
Hmm, I think if I could go anywhere I'd like to go to a beach, specifically in Hawaii! Everything is just so calm and peaceful there, and I'd like to just lay on the sand and read while listening to the waves in the background. 

Something like this would be perfect!

Remember to tell me if you've followed me and I'll return the favor! Don't forget to link me to your own FF! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone 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!

My Teasers:
This week's teasers comes from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. I just started this today, and so far, it's a pretty good book. :) I love the werewolves that Cremer has created! They're just so different from the usual.
"You're a warrior, Calla. Remember that and keep it close. Distractions will only hurt you." (page 103)
"'You're like a dead man walking.' I pointed an accusing finger at him. 'Don't ever, ever try to pet a wolf. It's just insulting.'" (page 110)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Building the Book Stacks #1

So, I haven't been online recently due to finals at school and stuff, but that should change when summer rolls around. :) As most of you know, there has been some drama surrounding the Story Siren, but I won't go into that. I am not going to get involved and take a side, and I am still unsure whether or not I want to participate in IMM anymore. Because of that, for the time being at least, I will continue to post IMMs on Saturdays/Sundays, but under a different name.

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

The last book is obviously for my summer reading assignment. :) Has anyone ever read it before? Do you guys know if it's a hard read? I was looking forward to actually enjoying my work-free break, but it turns out the teachers assigned a lot of work. Even better is that I'm going to be super busy with my job. \:

Negativity aside, I have to say that I'm really excited that I'm finally going to start Unearthly; I've heard so many good things about it. Plus, the cover is just so gorgeous and shiny!

If you've made a post about what books you've gotten this week, then feel free to link to it in the comments section. :) I'll be sure to check out all the posts in return!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cover Spotlight: Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand

Cover Spotlight is a post that I make sporadically to bring more attention to the beautiful covers that often draw us in. :)

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
I haven't yet started this series (although I bought Unearthly just this week!), but I've always admired the covers when I passed them at the bookstore. They're just so shiny and eye-catching! I really love the way the light reflects off of them. Plus, the girl on the cover, along with her dress, is very pretty!

I wish there was a bit more variety between the Unearthly cover and the Hallowed cover as they're nearly the same exact thing beside the color, the position of the girl and her dress. However, I think I still prefer the Unearthly cover due to it's color. I just love the blueish-purpleish shade they picked! I think it's much easier to look at than Hallowed, which is more of a strain on the eyes.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen a cover lately that's attracted your eye?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Torment by Lauren Kate

Rating: ☆☆☆ [3]
Release date:  Sept. 28, 2010
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Pages: 452
Series: Fallen (#2)
Challenge: --
Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.

What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

I definitely liked this one a lot better than the first, which I thought was a so-so kind of book. In this book, I think Luce grows more of a backbone, especially when it comes to Daniel. There are times when she doubts whether her and Daniel's relationship is healthy, which I thought was pretty realistic, seeing as they met like not that long ago and they're already declaring their love for each other.

Daniel, who I didn't particularly like in the first book, really got on my nerves in this one. There were points when he acted possessively and controlling. I loved how Luce started to take matters into her own hands instead of relying only on him. Since he wasn't going to give up any of his information, she took the initiative and began to look for answers herself.

I always thought that their romance was kind of sappy and didn't have much substance behind it. It seemed like anytime after they had a fight, Luce would want to run up and just kiss him to make up for it, which is obviously not how real relationships would work. Still, I felt that she was growing more independent of him, especially in the second half of the book.

Just like in the first book, I think I really enjoyed reading about the side characters more than the main characters. Cam, who I loved in the first book, is back. There are also some great new characters that Luce meets, who seemed like genuinely normal people. The side characters definitely make up for the, in my opinion, lacking main characters.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In My Mailbox #17

Exit Here by Jason Myers
Head Games by Keri Mikulski
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
The Hunger Pains by the Harvard Lampoon
Divergent by Veronica Roth

I read Divergent as soon as I got it, and I have to say that it was a pretty good book. (: I also thought that the Hunger Pains was fun to read! (Although it was kind of stupid at times)

Be sure to leave a link to your IMM so I can visit!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ [4]
Release date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ebook
Source: library
Pages: 341
Series: Revenants (#1)
Challenge: ebook
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Unlike so many books these days, Die For Me features a new kind of paranormal creature. Although maybe not entirely unique, the idea was very fresh and exciting.

Another reason I liked this book is probably because of the main character. Kate, the MC, was in my opinion, a really strong lead. She seemed like a genuine person, and I loved how she stood up for herself, instead of being some weak helpless girl. I especially liked reading about her relationship with her sister. They had a close bond, which made me wish that my sister and I had something like that.

Vincent was also adorable. I thought their romance was so cute! Plus, they didn't fall in love instantly, and there were even a few parts of the book when Kate was trying to distance herself from him. I didn't feel as if they were attached at the hip the entire time. I mean, they still were obviously dependent on each other, but I guess not as harshly as some other books.

The setting was pretty cool. I don't think I've read too many books centered in France or Europe, so it was nice reading about something different. Even if the setting wasn't too important in the story, I liked reading about a foreign place.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Absence and Kony 2012

So you might have noticed my month-long absence, or perhaps you didn't. In any case, I just wanted to make this post to say that I'm back!

I took a break in the first place because it was getting really hard for me to maintain this blog as well as my grades and extracurriculars. But I have to say that I ended up really missing blogging, so that's why I'm back. Although I might not post a whole lot, I will still try to post every so often. :) Unfortunately, I will be gone from the 11th-19th because it's spring break, and I'm actually going on a school trip to China! So I'm super excited for that. :D

Well, besides that, I really wanted to share this video that has recently gone viral. I've seen it everywhere on Facebook, and if you have 30 minutes to spare, you should definitely watch it. It brings to light a super important issue. So, please, watch it and share it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

In My Mailbox #16

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here. 

Woah, okay, so I got a ton of books this week. :D I told myself I wasn't going to get anymore, but I bought most of them super cheap from Goodwill and Half-Price Bookstore, so I really just couldn't pass any of them up. I just hope I actually have enough time to read them all. D:

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Red Glove by Holly Black
Passion by Lauren Kate
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Release date: Sept. 16, 2003
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Format: paperback
Source: Christmas gift
Pages: 254
Series: --
Challenge: --
The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.
Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset—life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life.
So, let me ask you a question. Do you want to live when the zombie invasion finally occurs?

If your answer is yes, then you should definitely buy this book. It may look like it's a humorous book (that's what I thought when I first bought it), but trust me, it's really not. Well, I mean, there are some humorous parts, but the book has a generally serious tone. It reads exactly like a guide, just as the title promises.

As a guide, I feel that this book does a pretty good job. It covers nearly everything that you'll need to know during a zombie apocalypse, such as what weapons are the best to use, the best shelters, and how to survive while on the run or creating a new fort. It even goes into detail of how zombies are created and their basic biology.

The end of the book contains records of "actual zombie attacks", that date back to hundreds of years ago. I thought these were a pretty nice addition to the book, and it definitely made zombies seem more like a reality than an idea.

If you're really into all things zombie, then I suggest that you buy this book. While I may have loved it, however, I feel that maybe people who aren't zombie enthusiasts like I am may get bored of this pretty quickly. If you're not sure it's your thing, maybe rent it out from the library instead.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #2

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which allows bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they're really looking forward to!

This week, I chose:

Above by Leah Bobet
Publication Date: April 1st, 2012
Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

I have to admit that it was really the cover that drew me in at first. I mean, just look at it! I love the whole dark feel of it, and how the girl's wings look. But judging from the summary, this also sounds like a really unique idea! I don't think I've ever read about a girl with bee's wings before. :)

What are you guys waiting on? Leave a comment with a link to your own post, and I'll visit!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox #15

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

When 16-year-old Nick receives a package containing the mysterious computer game Erebos, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. Players of the game must obey strict rules: always play alone, never talk about the game, and never tell anyone your nickname.

Curious, Nick joins the game and quickly becomes addicted. But Erebos knows a lot about the players and begins to manipulate their lives. When it sends Nick on a deadly assignment, he refuses and is banished from the game.

Now unable to play, Nick turns to a friend for help in finding out who controls the game. The two set off on a dangerous mission in which the border between reality and the virtual world begins to blur. This utterly convincing and suspenseful thriller originated in Germany, where it has become a runaway bestseller.

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

So I only got one book this week, but that's okay because I'm really excited to read this one. I've always loved books that involved video games/virtual realities! :) Plus, it reminds me of a manga or anime that I've read/seen before, although I can't quite remember what it was... Anyway, I'm hoping to get to this one soon!

What'd you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a link to your own IMM in the comments, and I'll be sure to visit!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Busting the Newbie Blues is an event hosted by Small Review. Basically, you fill out a questionnaire and hopefully bring attention to yourself as a newbie blogger. Plus, you get to find other awesome newbie bloggers as well! Even established bloggers can participate, so go check it out! :)

When did you start your blog?
I started my blog at the very end of September last year. :) 

Why did you start your blog?
Well, none of my friends or family like to read, so I have no one to talk to about books! After finding great blogs like the Story Siren, I became inspired to create my own, because I felt like it'd be a great way to share my thoughts with others. Before that, I didn't even know that book blogs existed. 

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far
Definitely getting views and comments consistently. I do get comments occasionally on my posts, but I don't get comments and views on every post that I write. 

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Sometimes I feel like I'm invisible, as cliche as that sounds. There are days when I feel like no one reads my posts, but I think I'm just too down on myself because I envy all the older bloggers who get like 40 comments per post. >:) 

I also find my number of posts discouraging. I don't understand how bloggers are able to consistently post every day. As it is, I have trouble reading one book within a week because of my busy schedule.

What do you find most encouraging? 
Definitely the whole book reading community. :) I just see everyone acting so nice and friendly to each other; it's great to see everybody united by their common love for reading! I'd love to get more involved in the community, but I'm rather timid, even on the internet.

Also, every little comment or view I get encourages me to keep blogging, because then I realize that at least someone is looking at it.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? 
I like it when you can really tell that the blogger loves the book in their review. There are some people that just put so much emotion into their review. I've been trying to be more creative with my own reviews, so they don't sound bland or boring. I'm not too sure it's working, though. \: As I said, I'm kind of a timid person, so even writing my own opinion on this blog is challenging. I'm hoping that, through blogging, I will open up and be more friendly. :)

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this? 
Hmmm.. I dislike it when blogs post reviews that are only a paragraph long. I feel like if you're going to review a book, then you might as well put more effort into it. Then again, I'm not going to tell people how to run their blogs. I myself try to post at least a few paragraphs when reviewing.

I also dislike overly complicated blogs. I haven't seen too many of these, but when your blog is hard to navigate or my screen is crowded with a bunch of things, then I probably won't read your blog. I like to keep things simple!

Any advice for other new bloggers? 
I would just say to never give up! I know that people are always telling each other that, but it's true. :) Even if you aren't getting a lot of views/comments right now, your blog will grow in time. It will just take some dedication and hard work, though. Plus, if you love doing it, then why should it matter how many people are visiting your blog? Do it because you enjoy it! :)

Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
I don't have any questions in particular, but any tips - especially networking tips - would be appreciated. :)
Also, I'd like to know how you use Twitter to network yourself. I always see a bunch of bloggers claiming it's an amazing tool, but I haven't figured it out for myself yet.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments. 
I like hearing other peoples' thoughts, so if you comment on a review, be sure to let me know what you are thinking about the book! Also, if you leave a comment on one of my posts, I'd be more than happy to comment on one of yours!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ [4]
Release date: Dec. 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: hardcover
Source: bought
Pages: 498
Series: The Infernal Devices (#2)
Challenge: --
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

For all of you Jem lovers out there, I'm sure you'll be happy to know that Clockwork Prince focuses a lot more  on him than Clockwork Angel did. I really liked this book, because I felt that certain characters got more character development that they did in the first. The characters in this book aren't just black and white; you get to see a whole different side to them than what you'd expect, especially with Jem and Will. I really loved watching the characters change and grow.

This book really made me feel pretty emotional, which doesn't happen too often. It really takes a lot to get my heart strings pulled, and well, this book did it. I'd feel happy for a character when they triumphed, but then I'd feel horrible a moment later when they had trouble. This book was really a rollercoaster ride of emotion for me.

One thing that I was disappointed in was Will's predicament. If you've read this, then I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I was kind of letdown with how it was solved way too easily. After waiting nearly a book and a half to even find out what his problem was, I felt that it was gone way too quickly. I would have perhaps liked more of an exciting "end", but I guess not every book is perfect.

Still, I will definitely read Clockwork Princess when it comes out. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Author Interview: Katja Rusanen

Today we have an author interview with Katja Rusanen, who is the author of And You Must Love Me.

When Renate falls for local bad-boy Ronny she has no idea what she's getting herself into. After all, she's only 15. She's never had to deal with someone like his Gypsy girlfriend Sabina, who is ready to go to extremes to keep him. And she certainly wasn't expecting to find herself caught up such a dangerous cat and mouse game which gets even more complicated when Ronny's cousin Emil gets involved in it.

The news about the love tragedy that ensues travels fast in the small village of Loddefjord, Norway, and Renate feels invisible fingers pointing at her. She starts to fall apart under the pressure. But was it really Renate's fault? Will she ever find out what really happened? Each malicious whisper at school increases her freefall. Can she stop her own destructive behaviour before it's too late?

Why did you decide to set your novel in Norway?
The novel could actually happen anywhere, but as I grew up in Finland, it was easier for me to write about Nordic teenagers. I visited Loddefjord, Norway, and felt it was the perfect setting for Renate’s story.

What kind of research did you have to do in order to accurately describe Loddefjord and the gypsies?
There search that went into all aspects of the book, including the setting and characters, was a combination of my own experience and that of other people. This included first-hand accounts of Loddefjord, and interesting insights into the Nordic Romani culture, which I used as a base to build up the Sabina’s story. Also during my recent trip to Bergen, Norway, I visited some of the places that are mentioned in the book. It was a funny experience as they felt so familiar even though I was there for the first time!

Do you relate to any of the characters in particular, and why?
I would say I relate mostly to the main character Renate. Well, they say that all fiction has at its center a kernel of truth. That kernel in this story is the traumatic event that Renate has to face. This actually happened to me and I felt the urge to write about it and break the silence as I want that people who are going through the same hardship know that they are not alone!

How do you feel about releasing your first novel?
Absolutely amazing! I’m so thrilled that the book which I worked on three long years is finally out there! Now I’m looking forward to hear feedback from the readers while I’m working with full speed on the sequel.

Describe your book in 3 words.
Strong- Insightful - Gripping

Katja Rusanen is a Finnish writer who has been living in Barcelona since 2004. 'And You Must Love Me' is her first novel. She also writes short stories, six of which have been published by the Barcelona Connect Magazine over the past few years. She is a Spiritual Life Coach and is involved in charity work. In February 2012 she will participate in a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the Amani Children's Home in Tanzania.

If you would like to find out more about Katja, check out Facebook:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #14

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

Torment by Lauren Kate {ebook}
The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima {ebook}
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green {ebook}

I'm really excited to read both An Abundance of Katherines and The Exiled Queen. I really loved the first Seven  Realms novel, so I'm hoping The Exiled Queen will be just as good! Plus, everyone has been raving about the Fault in Our Stars lately, so I figured that I would check out some of Green's other work. As for Torment, even though I didn't like Fallen too much, I still figured that I'd give it a chance.

What'd you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a link to your own IMM in the comments, and I'll be sure to visit!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Follow Friday #2

This weekly meme is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Basically, it's a great way to meet other bloggers.

This week's question is:
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get your hands on any particular book?
Wow, okay, so I must be a pretty boring person, because I don't really know how to answer this question. I honestly haven't done anything ridiculous just to get a book. I haven't waited in a long line or camped outside a store. The "craziest" thing I've done was wait for hours to get Rick Riordan to sign my Percy Jackson books... We don't have too many author signings where I live, so I guess you could say that this was sort of a big event for me.

Anyway, be sure to leave a link to your own Follow Friday post in the comments! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt

Rating: ☆☆☆ [really like a 3.5?]
Release date: Jan. 10, 2012
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press Inc
Format: ebook
Source: netgalley
Pages: 320
Series: Save the Pearls (#1)
Challenge: ebook
In a post-apocalyptic world where resistance to an overheated environment defines class and beauty, Eden Newman's white skin brands her as a member of the lowest social class, the weak and ugly Pearls. Doomed unless she mates soon, Eden hopes a Coal from the dark-skinned ruling class will save her. But when she unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, perhaps mankind's only hope, Eden is cast out-into the last patch of rainforest and into the arms of a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction to him. To survive, Eden must change-but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty-and of love. Along the way, she receives some beautiful insight from her virtually adopted aunt Emily Dickinson.
To be honest, this book was pretty odd, but it worked. In Eden's world, people with the darkest skin color are considered beautiful while the paler people are the outcasts. Even though it's so different compared to our culture today, I feel like this could really happen. The way the book presented the setting made it seem very plausible, as if this could one day happen to us if we don't stop messing with the environment. I really liked how it was different yet not extremely outlandish to be completely unbelievable. The setting was really one of my favorite elements of the book.

The pacing was awesome. It didn't take a long time to get exciting, even with all the explanations of Eden's world. There wasn't much downtime, and it really kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.

The romance going on between Eden and her love interest was kind of strange. It was kind of like she hated him, but then she didn't. I felt maybe there was a little bit of "instant love", but it didn't bother me too much, since it took a bit for the guy to come around. Other than that, there were still lots of moments where I could see growth in Eden's character as she realizes that maybe the world she grew up in isn't right.

I wish that there had been more of a description of Bramford. While I was able to picture everything else clearly, I found it hard to see him in my mind. Hopefully, with the next book, it'll solve all of that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox #13

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (only $3 too! :D)

Die For Me by Amy Plum {ebook}
The Everafter by Amy Huntley {ebook}

I'm so excited that I finally got The Forest of Hands and Teeth! I feel like I've been waiting to read that book for forever! :) Plus, I love anything that has to do with zombies. Finding it at Half-Price for only 3 dollars was amazing. :D

Leave a comment letting me know what you got in your mailbox this week! Or link me to your IMM!

..Oh, and by the way, Blogger finally implemented replies to individual comments. o: I'm so excited!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

So I just want to say, sorry for the lack of posts! I had midterms this whole week, so I was busy studying. :)

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ [4]
Release date: Oct. 13, 2011
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Format: ebook
Source: library
Pages: 458
Series: --
Challenge: --
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more?
I was pretty surprised when I opened this book on my Kindle to find that it was written in verse. Now I've seen books written in verse before, but I never really thought about actually reading one. Having read this, I'm pretty amazed at how Kehoe can say so much using so little words. I mean, this book practically gives you the bare minimum in words, yet Sara's feelings and thoughts are still projected clearly to the reader.

Sara was a relatable character. The whole time she was doubting herself reminded me of my own times of self-doubt. I really understood how she felt all those times where she compared herself to the much more accomplished dancers. Honestly, I really felt like I was going through the struggle with her.

Audition isn't a light book about dancing; in fact, it actually has a lot of heavy themes in it. As mentioned, there's Sara's struggle with figuring out what she really wants to do. Plus, there's her relationship with Remington, which I thought was rather creepy. The book also delves into the tough and busy life of professional dancers. It shows the beauty of dancing yet it also reveals just how hard a career like this can be. Sara's not the only dancer who suffers because of the sport.

All in all, for my first verse novel, I really enjoyed this. Although I don't have any experience in ballet, I still thought that the ballet terms weren't too confusing and that the book was easy enough to read.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox #12

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

Unlovable by Sherry Gammon - thanks to Let's Evaluate.

Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt

I only got two books this week, but they both seem pretty awesome. I can't wait to get started on the both of them! I'm curious, has anyone read either of these books and if so, what did you think?

I'd love to know what books you guys received, so either leave your answer in the comments or link me to your IMM! :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rapture by Phillip W. Simpson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ [5]
Release date: Oct. 1, 2011
Publisher: Pear Jam Books Ltd
Format: paperback
Source: won - Goodreads First Reads
Pages: 223
Series: Rapture Trilogy (#1)
Challenge: --
The Rapture has occurred, just as the Bible predicted. The faithful have risen up to Heaven. Those left behind are in a living hell.

Earth burns, hell-like in its oppressive heat. Every volcano in the world has erupted, and tsunamis and earthquakes continue to devastate the planet. Clouds continually rain ash onto the scorched landscape, sparking fires all around. Plants and animals are dying. Food is scarce. The night sky is devoid of stars, and the moon - when it can be seen - is the colour of blood.

The remnants of humanity fight for survival. Most have fled the cities and now hide in caves deep in the mountains. By night, demons stalk the Earth, capturing the remaining humans and killing them - if they're lucky. The less fortunate are converted to worship of the Devil, and ushered into endless hell.

Eighteen year old, Sam (short for Samael) was raised in the town of Jacob's Ladder, Utah. It is appropriately enough near to a place of natural scenic beauty called Devil's garden. He finds himself alone, unable to rise up with his family because he is half demon. His mother, a devout Christian, was seduced by Satan and conceived his child. She smuggled the boy to an old friend Hikari, a Japanese sword master and demon expert. Since then, Hikari and his daughter, Aimi, have been all the family Sam has known.

Now they're gone, and Sam must set out on the mission Hikari charged him with long ago: to help all the humans left behind. Armed only with his beloved Japanese swords and his wits, Sam wanders the post-apocalyptic world alone, separated forever from everyone he loves. Cursed by his demonic heritage, he must now embark on a quest that will take him across the US to the City of Angels.

There he will confront his destiny. There he must fight to save a friend ... and the souls of the living.
Now normally I don't think I would have picked up a book like this if I had seen it at the bookstore, but I got the chance to read it through the Goodreads First Reads program. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. One thing that made the book so enjoyable was the pacing, which I thought was perfect. There would be some moments of downtime, but an action scene would quickly follow so the story never got dull. And what's even better is that Simpson really knows how to write action. I could clearly imagine the whole scene in my head, which just made the reading experience so much better.

I also normally don't enjoy books that alternate between the present and flashbacks. I often find the flashback scenes to be annoying, because I'd much rather be in the present time with the character instead of stuck in the boring past. However, I actually really liked the fact that Rapture involves the use of flashbacks. I feel like it was a great way to give us crucial information instead of just dumping it all on us straight away. Plus, it gave us more insight into the characters, especially the main character, Sam.

Speaking of Sam, I ended up really loving him. He was an extremely likable guy, and I felt for him through all the tough situations. Another awesome thing about him was that he wasn't perfect; there were moments when he wasn't sure whether it would be better to do the right thing or just give in. Despite his half-demon heritage, he seemed human, just like anyone really.

The only negative thing I really noticed about this book were the few grammar and spelling errors. I don't think they detract from the book, though; in fact, I hardly even noticed them.  They were just some minor things that could be fixed. And I know those aren't going to stop me from reading the next book. :)

And for all of you guys interested in reading this book, I have some great news. The Kindle edition is on sale from Amazon for only $2.99 instead of the usual $9.99. So if you're interested in reading it, you should definitely get it now. It's listed on Amazon here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I'm sure by now most of you guys have seen the brand new CoLS cover, but I just had to post about it. It's so beautiful! I like it a whole lot better than the CoFA book cover, mostly because I thought that Clary had looked kind of strange in it, but enough about that. :) I love how Jace looks here; he's exactly how I pictured him! What do you guys think about the cover?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cover Spotlight: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

So this is going to be a new kind of post that I'll be doing every so often. Covers are what usually draws a person in first, so in these posts, I'll be talking about the covers that I think are gorgeous, whether they are old or new books.

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
I have yet to read this, which upsets me. Why? Because I love anything having to do with werewolves/shapeshifters and well, just wolves in general. Plus, this cover is so amazing. I love how you can see the girl and the wolf at the same time, and especially how the eyes line up. I also love how simple it is; there aren't that many distracting colors, and so the color in her eye makes it really stand out! I know there are multiple covers for this book, but I really like this one the best. Now I just need to actually read the book! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In My Mailbox #11

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers are able to show off what books they received. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks 
Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate (arc)

I really really can't believe that 2012 is here. 2011 went by so fast, it's crazy. I'm also really hoping that the world isn't destroyed in December, haha.

Leave a comment below with what you received or a link to your own IMM post, I'd love to check it out!