Oct 31, 2011

The Keeping It Real Reading Challenge 2011!

I decided to sign up for The Keeping it Real Reading Challenge 2011, hosted by Kathy @ I Write, I Read, I Review

This challenge starts November 1st & ends November 30th 2011.

The goal is to read & review at least 3 contemporary YA novels in November.

For more info about this challenge & to sign up, go HERE!

My Reading List:
  1. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - my review
  2. Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik - my review
  3. Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett - my review
  4. (Not YA) Wild Thing by Robin Kaye - my review
  5. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker - my review
  6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - my review
  7. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - my review
  8. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - my review
  9. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger - my review
  10. Shut Out by Kody Keplinger - my review         

Challenge Wrap-Up: 2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge!

Marie Landry @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer hosted the 2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge

The goal was to read at least 3 books for this challenge & I read 6 books.

Here's what I read for this challenge:

  1. Hunted by Adam Slater - my review
  2. The Infernals by John Connolly - my review
  3. Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl - my review
  4. The Poisoned House by Michael Ford - my review
  5. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost - my review
  6. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver - my review

My Challenge sign-up post is HERE!

#132 - "Liesl & Po" by Lauren Oliver (ARC)

Title: Liesl & Po
Author: Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: HarperCollins Children's
ISBN: 9780062014511

Read on October 22nd, 2011 from e-copy acquired from NetGalley!

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable
Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.

My thoughts on the book:
For me, this was the first book by Lauren Oliver that I've read, so I can't compare it to her YA books, but I hope the magic of her writing style is there, too. I loved this book. First of all, I loved Lauren Oliver's writing style. I also loved the storyline & I loved the characters & everything about it. It was so funny & so much fun & although I wasn't surprised how the storyline developed & how the book ended, I enjoyed every second of it. I highly recommend this magical book for everyone!


#126 - "Halfway to the Grave" by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress, Book 1

Book read from September 21st to October 8th, 2011!

My rating: 5 of 5

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

 My thoughts on the book:
I've heard so many great things about the series, especially about Cat & Bones & now I know why that's the case. I have to admit that although I read this book in two sittings, they were quite apart. I got wrapped up in the story from the beginning & I read half of the book in one sitting. I loved it, but had to put it aside, but after that I was reluctant to return to it. I remember thinking "It can't get better than this.", so I postponed finishing it. And, wow, I was just so wrong. It can get better. I don't know what I was thinking. When I returned to it, I couldn't put it down & finished it. It has everything, great storyline, lovable & well developed characters, humour, hot romance, lost of action & of course kick-ass heroine. I mean really. I don't think I'll forget the fighting scene in the end. Athough this is only the first book, I have to say that Cat & Bones are definitely my favourite couple & I can't wait to read the sequel. I think I'm in love with them both ;) I highly recommend this book if you're like me & you still haven't tried the series. What are you waiting for? 

#125 - "The Poisoned House" by Michael Ford (ARC)

Title: The Poisoned House

Author: Michael Ford

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Pages: 328

ISBN: 9780807565896

Read on October 4th, 2011 from e-copy acquired from NetGalley!

My rating: 3.5 of 5

Life can be cruel for a servant girl in 1850s London. Fifteen-year-old Abi is a scullery maid in Greave Hall, an elegant but troubled household. The widowed master of the house is slowly slipping into madness, and the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs. Cotton, punishes Abi without mercy. But there's something else going on in Greave Hall, too. An otherworldly presence is  making itself known, and a deadly secret will reveal itself—a secret that will shatter everything Abi knows.

My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed The Poisoned House a lot. I have to admit that before I started reading this one, I thought it will be a little different, but when I started reading it I realised I was wrong. I have to admit that the summary gives more ominous vibe than it really is. I wouldn't call this book a horror, I'd call it a historical mystery or ghost story. The pacing isn't fast, but it fits the story perfectly. I liked the characters & although the secret & the ending didn't surprise me, I still enjoyed the journey. I'll definitely try Michael Ford's other books. I recommend it.


#124 - "Waking Hours" by Lis Wiehl (ARC)

Title: Waking Hours

Author: Lis Wiehl

Series: East Salem, Book 1

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Pages: 320

ISBN: 9781595549402

Read on October 6th-7th, 2011 from e-copy acquired from NetGalley!

My rating: 3 of 5

All towns have secrets. Some have demons.
Welcome to East Salem. A sleepy town with a history older than America where things are just a bit off. Where the supernatural bleeds into the everyday.
And where a tragic murder mystery is underway. A high school girl is found dead in the town park. And where forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris wants answers. All the suspects are teenagers who were at the party with her the night before-but who woke up the next morning with no memory of what transpired. Even though evidence confirms they were all at the scene of the crime.
Former pro-football linebacker-and local celebrity-Tommy Gunderson finds himself drawn to the case. And to Dani-who he last spoke with on their one high school date forever ago. Yet his celebrity status opens doors barred to Dani-so they form an awkward alliance.
They soon realize that there's more to the mystery than murder. And more to the evil they are facing than a mere human killer.

My thoughts on the book:
Waking Hours had lots of potential. It started  quite good & mysterious. Although it wasn't really creepy or scary, it had a few moments that creeped out. It got me really interested & it was a fast read, and at first I enjoyed it a lot, I liked the storyline a lot & I liked the characters, but in the end it just didn't deliver. The first half of the book was much better than the second half. I could easily see how the book will end & what will happen next, so no surprises there. Also, although I usually don't care if there is or isn't romance in the book, I was annoyed that after all that build up & chemistry between Dani & Tommy, nothing happened, I mean not even one kiss. It just felt like halfway through the book, the author changed her mind & decided to take the story in a little different direction, and I don't mean the romance, I mean with everything in the book. That's how it felt to me. Overall, it's not a bad book, it's ok & overall I liked it, but I can't really recommend it. I definitely won't read this one again & I probably won't read the sequel, too. In the end, I guess this wasn't a book for me...


#122 - "Hunted" by Adam Slater (ARC)

Title: Hunted

Author: Adam Slater

Series: The Shadowing, Book 1

Publisher: Egmont USA

Pages: 208

ISBN: 9781606842614

Read on October 4th, 2011 from e-copy acquired from NetGalley!

My rating: 4 of 5

Once every century, the barrier between the human world and the demon realm begins to break down. Creatures gather, anxiously waiting to cross the divide, to bring death and destruction from their world to ours. This time is called The Shadowing.
Callum Scott has always known that there is a supernatural world out there—he’s seen ghosts for as long as he can remember. Lately, he’s had visions of children being brutally murdered by a terrifying creature. Then the visions start coming true, and Callum realizes that he’s being hunted, too.
          Driven by a dark destiny, he must stand against the demons that threaten our world. And The Shadowing is almost here. . .

My thoughts on the book:
This one was quite a good book! Although it's horror, it didn't scared me or creeped me out (that's actually something that rarely happens to me), it was still good. I enjoyed the storyline & I liked the characters. The villain was good & creepy & it was fast-paced & I read it in one day, 'cause I couldn't put it down. I don't want to go into too much details, but there are ghosts, demons & plenty of weird things happening. The ending was good & there was also excerpt from the next book, which I'm definitely looking forward to reading it. Will I buy this book & read it again? Maybe, although I'm leaning toward probably. Will I read the sequel? Definitely. I just hope it's just as good, maybe even better & I recommend this book a lot. 


#121 - "The Infernals" by John Connolly (ARC)

Title: The Infernals
Author: John Connolly
Series: Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil, Book 2

Book read from September 19th to October 4th, 2011, from copy acquired from Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab!

My rating: 4 of 5

Samuel Johnson is in trouble. Not only is he in love with the wrong girl, but the demon Mrs Abernathy is seeking revenge upon him for his part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of Darkness. She wants to get her claws on Samuel, and when the Large Hadron Collider is turned on again, she is given her chance. Samuel and his faithful dachshund, Boswell, are pulled through a portal into Hell, there to be hunted down by Mrs. Abernathy and her allies.
But catching Samuel is not going to be easy, for Mrs. Abernathy has reckoned without the bravery and cleverness of a boy and his dog, or the loyalty of Samuel's friend, the hapless demon Nurd. Most of all, she hasn't planned on the intervention of an unexpected band of little men, for Samuel and Boswell are not the only inhabitants of Earth who have found themselves in Hell.
If you thought demons were frightening, just wait until you meet Mr. Merryweather's Elves...

 My thoughts on the book:
I loved the first book The Gates and I continued reading this one straight away, because I had it from the Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab email. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the first half of the book. It just wasn't as entertaining & as hilarious & fun & funny as The Gates. It just didn't kept my attention as you can see how long it took me to read it. I still loved Nurd & Samuel as characters, the Hell & the demons were imaginative, the humour was there, but there was just something missing. But, I have to admit that it got better & I enjoyed it a lot. It still made me laugh, it was fun & it was good sequel in the end. The ending was good & it makes me happy that there will be 3rd book in the series & I'm definitely looking forward to reading it. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot & I recommend it! 

    Oct 23, 2011

    Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Final Update!

    This read-a-thon is one of my favorite events & this was the 4th time I participated. I met my goals & this was the best I did so far in this read-a-thon & I even got some sleep, too, so I'm not tired at all for the first time after this read-a-thon. 

    Time spent reading since my last update:
    2 h 44 min

    Total amount of time spent reading since I started:
    13 h 27 min

    Pages read since my last update:

    Total number of pages read since I started:

    Number of books read since my last update:

    Total number of books read since I started:

    Books I started reading, but didn't finish:

    Books I read for this read-a-thon:


    Mini-Challenges completed:

    Dewey's Read-a-Thon: End of Event Meme!

    1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Between hour 12 & 13 - it was around 2:30 AM here & I got really sleepy.
    2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? - Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver; Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry; The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman...
    3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No.
    4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything.
    5. How many books did you read? Total of 14, but 3 were novels, 4 were novellas, 1 picture book, & 6 were graphic novels. 
    6. What were the names of the books you read? Secrets, Monsters & Magic Mirrors; First Frost; Liesl & Po; Franklin's Halloween; Angels and Demons - Perspectives of a Violent Afterlife; Enchanted Forest of Horror; The Summons; Quest for the Scorpion's Jewel; Zombie Cows!; Power Lunch; Sketch Monsters; The Awakening; Alien Snow; & Tales of a Sugar Hero.  
    7. Which book did you enjoy most? Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, but from the graphic novels - Tales of a Sugar Hero.
    8. Which did you enjoy least? I enjoyed all of them.
    9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? No.
    10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I'll definitely participate again as a reader, I'm a regular ;)

    Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Update #3!

    Time spent reading since my last update:
    3 h 19 min

    Total amount of time spent reading since I started:
    10 h 43 min

    Pages read since my last update:

    Total number of pages read since I started:

    Number of books read since my last update:

    Total number of books read since I started:

    Book(s) I'm currently reading:

    Books I already read:


    Mini-Challenges completed:

    Dewey's Read-a-Thon: The Mid-Event Survey!


    Mid-Event Survey:

    1. What are you reading right now?

    2. How many books have you read so far? 5

    3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

    4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, just told everyone that I'm busy.

    5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? No.

    6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing.

    7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No.

    8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Nothing.

    9. Are you getting tired yet? Yes, it's 2:30 AM here & although I had coffee half an hour ago, I'm still sleepy :(

    10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? No.