I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want
and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skill I want.
And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones
and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited. - Sylvia Plath

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong


Title/Author: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Number of pages: 400

Series: Darkest Powers #3

How I got it: Bought from Barnes and Noble
Rating: 5/5




Barnes & Noble Overview:
My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I'm not.
 
For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.
Not normal.
 
My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.


Definitely not normal.


And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.
 
As far away from normal as it gets.


My Review:
My favorite book of the series by far! In these books you just never know who to trust but these kids are smart and compliment eachother really well. Derek is still my fav character. If it wasn't for him, this group would completely fall apart. He's the smartest and most mature of the group.
   I think i liked this book more because the kids weren't constantly on the run like the other one. They actually stay put for the most part. I like to read about their interactions with eachother without having to read about all their running, escapes and all that.
   Chloe ends up learning some new things about her powers in this book as well. She has to use them in way she's never imagined but you gotta do what you gotta do right? and we FINALLY figure out what the necklace is for! not the most exciting thing in my opinion. Like, I wouldn't have based the covers on this necklace. I also don't understand why the girl on the cover, who is obviously chloe, doesn't match the description in this book. She has black hair now (she dyed it in book 2) so I wish they would have stuck to the book.
    The book was great all in all. I enjoyed it so much. I'm not sure if there's a 4th book coming or not? It didn't leave off anywhere like the other 2 books. I really hope there's more though because I'm in love with these characters (Even though this series has given me nightmares lol).



Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In My Mailbox #13

Hosted by The Story Siren ;D

Bought from Barnes and Noble
1. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
2. Fade by Lisa McMann
3. Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Given to me by family member
4. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton


Bought at used bookstore
5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
6. Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett

Won in a Goodreads giveaway
7. Spellcast by Barbara Ashford


The majority of these are 2nd, 3rd, 4th books in a series that I've already started. I don't know why but I tend to jump around from series to series instead of reading each book back to back. Are you the same way?

xox
Annie


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman


Title/Author: Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman
Number of pages: 352
Series: N/A
How I got it: won in a Goodreads giveaway
Rating: 4/5


 
Goodreads Summary:
He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence … until Lilly. Whimsical, lighthearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention.

But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery—but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey’s end?

My Review:
What a lovely, sweet book! I enjoyed it so much! I had never read about life in the 20s so this was a new treat for me. I especially loved that it took place in South Carolina because it displayed the real southern charms of that time.
    The characters are so lovable. Even though they each have the faults, you can't help but be so impressed how well Allison Pittman developed them. Cullen is a war-torn veteran who is scarred and rough to look at which has given him a tough shell but he is so caring and understanding with his mother. Even with Lily even though he hates to admit his admiration for that crazy girl. He tends to have a sarcastic tone throughout the book which adds to the humor.
    Lily was a flapper whenever she fell upon the Burnside's estate. A lonely flapper with no money and heading no where fast. The Burnside family takes her in to help her back on her feet and give her some guidance. Little did either side know how attached they would get!
   Betty Ruth Burnside is Cullen's mother who has dementia spells. She is a spitfire! My favorite character of all! She's out of her mind crazy but so lovable and childlike even. Everybody revolves around her to keep her sheltered and safe, mostly from herself. Betty Ruth is what keeps this crazy bunch together because if it wasn't for her I doubt any of them would have hung around longer than a day.
   I don't want to say too much but towards the end of the book the family goes on a road trip to accomplish a few things. This road trip was both hilarious and tiresome. Just by reading I felt like I was right there taking the trip with them. Pittman is an amazing author and she really grabs you. I plan on reading more of her books... I just hope there are more characters like Lily and Betty Ruth!

Reading Challenges100 Books in 2011 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Snapshot (4)





I couldn't choose just one so I put both. The first one is a full moon the night before the shuttle launch of the Endeavour, in Titusville, FL. This is my aunt & uncle's back yard. The whole family went over to BBQ and watch the shuttle launch the next morning.

The 2nd picture is the lift off of the Endeavour! It was the last launch of that shuttle, and 2nd to last launch ever. It is so sad they are canceling the space program and really hurts my heart!

Did anybody watch the shuttle launch? In person or on the television?

xox
Annie




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis


Title/Author: The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
Number of pages: 202
Series: Chronicles of Narnia #1
How I got it: Bought at used Bookstore
Rating: 2.5/5


 
Goodreads Summary:
The secret passage to the house next door leads to a fascinating adventure

NARNIA...where the woods are thick and cold, where Talking Beasts are called to life...a new world where the adventure begins.

Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis before they finally return home.


My Review:
I don't know what's up with these Goodreads summaries. They really don't tell it right. This book wasn't really based around Narnia. It didn't come till later in the book. This book was basically telling the story of how they discovered the magic to get to Narnia. The kids, Digory and Polly, travel to other worlds before they discover Narnia. I wish they would have looked through more worlds! Would have been more interesting in my opinion.
     I really liked the dialect in this book. So different and some words were funny for me to read. I'm sure if I tried to read the book out loud I would have sounded funny haha. But all in all, the book was not too interesting to me. The kids were funny and I hope they are in the next book. I do plan to keep reading the series since I already have the next 2 books. I just hope it keeps up alittle. 

Reading Challenges100 Books in 2011 ; 1st in a Series

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine


Title/Author: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
Number of pages: 248
Series: The Morganville Vampires #1
How I got it: Paperback Swap
Rating: 4/5


 
Goodreads Summary:
From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood

 

My Review:
I really didn't know whether I wanted to give this a 3.5 or 4 star rating. I decided to go with 4 because I really enjoyed the main characters - Michael, Eve, & Shane. The protagonist is Claire but i didn't care for her as much as the rest.
   Claire's a super smart 16 y/o in her first year of college. She's pretty immature and sometimes frustrating in the book. She's trying to prove she's worthy of being around the "older kids" which gets her into a lot of trouble all the time. Poor girl goes through so much crap at school, I was really scared for her!
   I enjoyed the characters of her roomates alot more. They were all very different but meshed so well together. I wish I was one of their roomiesss! .... well before shit hit the fan and their house was a hit zone!
   This book was entertaining enough. I finished it in 4 days which i'm proud of! haha it's been hard for me to read as much as I would like with school and all. This is going to be a rough semester for me =/
   I didn't really care for the type of vampires in this book. I'm such a sissy I'll probably have nightmares haha

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 ; 1st in a Series

Monday, May 16, 2011

In My Mailbox #12

Hosted by The Story Siren <3

Swapped from Paperback Swap
1. Wake by Lisa McMann
2. The Quick and the Thread by Amanda Lee
3. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
(I'm actually more than halfway through with #3 already lol)

Won in a Goodreads Giveaway
4. Twice Born by Margaret Mazzantini

Given to me by a family member
5. The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson
6. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
7. The Shadowmask by R.A. Salvatore


I finished the book I was reading (Dead Reckoning) while I was on vacation and I just happened to have "Glass Houses" with me so I started reading it yesterday on vacation and I'm already more than halfway through it. It's an intense book. That will probably be my next review even though I know I should finish "The Magician's Nephew". I like TMN, I'm just not into it as much as this one. It'll get done though ;)

Have you guys ever had that problem? Start one book then get distracted by a different one? I try not to let it happen to me but it does =/

xox
Annie

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Okay I know I put that I was reading "The Magician's Nephew" but I started reading this one also, got totally engulfed and finished this one first. lol. 


Title/Author: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Number of pages: 325
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #10
How I got it: Borders
Rating: 4.5/5


Goodreads Summary:
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

My Review:
Okay so the Goodreads summary doesn't really do the book justice. There is SO much more going on then what it stated. Seems like everyone is out to kill Sookie, like always. I also got a feeling that Sookie is just feeling fed up and run down. In this book she's not her usual funny self. She's still pretty sarcastic which I love but this Sookie is definitely in a "no bull shit" mood. There wasn't much joking around from anyone in this book actually. 
  Sookie & Eric's relationship is also a big topic through out the book. I like them together but I feel like Eric's gonna get her killed one day. I think she's started to think this too. Good ol' Bill makes an appearance in this book too. I'm not sure how I feel about Bill. I know Sook is safer with him but he's so bor- riiiing. But maybe that's what Sook needs, ha!
  A bunch of new characters, as always. I love learning about new ones, especially vampires. Harris really like to get creative with them! I wish I had her imagination! This book didn't disappoint at all. Harris is the most amazing writer I've ever read. There's obviously going to be another book, which tickles me to death. Who knows where the story will lead from here, I really have no idea. Charlaine surprises me every time.
   If you've read any books in this series, I encourage you to keep going! These books are the greatest to ever meet my eyes. I haven't been disappointed by any of them.

Reading Challenges100 Books in 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In My Mailbox #11

Hosted by The Story Siren

Here are my goodies for the week! ;D


Bought from Borders
1. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
2. Sew Far, So Good by Monica Ferris
3. Patterns of Murder by Monica Ferris
(#2 & #3 were buy one get one free! yayyy)


Bought from Winn-Dixie (local grocery store)
4. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
5. Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan

Swapped from Paperback Swap
6. Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? by Perry Romanowski

Won in a giveaway on Good Reads
7. Fallen by Karin Slaughter
8. Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman



I'm so excited for my new reads! wish I could read them all at once!! ;D

xox
Annie

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong


Title/Author: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Number of pages: 368

Series: Darkest Powers #2
How I got it: Bought from Moore Books, a bookstore in Key Largo, FL
Rating: 4/5



Goodreads Summary:

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.



Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.



My Review:
I liked this book a little better than the first one in the series. I guess it just had a little bit more character development and interaction that I really enjoyed.

The four kids are basically on the run most of the book and they just cannot get a break! It was a little unnerving reading it because I knew something bad was about to happen to them ALL THE TIME. It definitely kept it interesting though.

Derek has really become my favorite character. He's like the misunderstood superhero. He's portrayed to be a little harsh and mean but I think he just really cares about Chloe, more than he has let on. He's always there to save the day and get them out of trouble. Too bad the author has portrayed him to be really ugly and smelly lol

One thing that has bothered me through both books is that this necklace/talisman Chloe wears around her neck apparently has some big significance (I mean it's portrayed on both covers... must be a big deal) but they hardly even talk about the necklace. Only like two or three times in each book. IF that much. I really want to know what the big deal is with this thing ?

Some of my questions from the first book were answered in this one but I still feel like these a big chunk of information that I haven't learned yet. These books really keep you guessing. I really wish I had the 3rd book already so I could keep reading because it of course leaves off right before something major is about to happen. I plan on going out tomorrow to get it =]
 



Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011


 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox #10

Hosted by The Story Siren ;D



Okay in all honesty, I have NO idea why I received this book, lol. It came straight from the publishing company SOHO, but I'm not sure if I actually received this because of a giveaway I won (and was not informed that I won) or if the publishers sent it to me for review.

Either way, THANK YOU SOHO for sending this to me! It will most likely be my next book to read. Even though this is the third book in the series, I feel confident enough with it that I won't need to read the first 2 books of the series before. If I enjoy this book then I will then go and purchase the first 2. 

Mystery novels are my new favorite so I'm really excited to read this one.

Keep on the look out for a review in the near future =]


xox 
Annie 

Saturday Snapshot (3)

Hosted by At Home With Books



Soooo this is a picture I took friday night at this club I went to called LIV on south beach.

I was standing on the second floor and this was just a small portion of the dance floor with a jumbo tron going along with the beats the DJ was mixing.

LIV is a huuuugee club inside the Fontainebleau Hotel and one of the more popular ones on South Beach. I always have such a great time here and meet some pretty interesting people from all over the world.


What did you guys do this weekend??

xox
Annie

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong


Title/Author: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Number of pages: 390
Series: Darkest Powers #1
How I got it: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4/5


Goodreads Summary:
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
 
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…




My Review:
This was my first book (i think) that involved ghosts or talking to ghosts. It was new and interesting for me! Chloe isnt exactly the most exciting or likable character to me but the story was interesting enough.

I enjoyed trying to figure out what all the other characters "problems" were. I dont know why but I like to read stories that involved group homes/boarding schools/etc ..

One thing that annoyed me was the dialogue between characters. It's like the author didn't like for the characters to finish their sentences. what the heck, let them talk! The characters were constantly butting into the other person's sentence which was just beyond frustrating.

I kinda felt like the whole "supernatural" thing was forced too. Nothing was really building up to it and it didn't really go into much details about supernaturals either. hmmm... I guess the second book will fill us in?? But I'm going to try not to criticize the author's writing style too much because I really did enjoy the story!

One other thing that bothers me is when a book leaves off without an ending, so you don't have a choice but to read the next book to find out what happens. Thankfully I have the second book in this series so it's not too much of a burden, but still >_<

Okay so to sum it all up, YES i did enjoy the story! I definetly recommend buying all 3 books in this series at once though (I'm sure the 2nd one leaves off just like this one did).

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 ; 1st in a Series


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: The Strawberry Letter by Shirley Strawberry


Title/Author: The Strawberry Letter by Shirley Strawberry
Number of pages: 192
Series: NA
How I got it: Giveaway on Good Reads
Rating: 3.5/5


Goodreads Summary:
Listen up, ladies! Shirley Strawberry, co-host of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show, delivers more of the no-nonsense woman-to-woman straight talk her listeners have come to love. Shirley tells it like it is—from the heart. Whether the topic is cheating boyfriends, crazy mothers-in-law, job troubles, or money problems, Shirley’s girlfriend-next-door honesty has made the Strawberry Letters segment of the show a huge hit. Now, in this uplifting motivational guide, she brings her vivacious, inspirational, and down-to-earth message to women everywhere: Get up, get out, and be the best you can be!



As a single parent and a woman willing to let Mr. Right find her, Shirley’s been there and done that—and she’s got hard-won lessons to share. In this call to action to help women look at their lives with a candid eye, she tackles the issues her fans want to hear about:

 • Love and Relationships: the highs and lows of dating, marriage, and breakups

• Family: the challenges of being a great mom

• Sisterhood: ways to get (and give) the support you need to stay sane

• Self: tips for overcoming low self-esteem and depression, and finding balance, faith, and acceptance

 Full of motivating “Strawberry Tips,” personal stories that provide welcome advice on the run, and helpful suggestions for drama-stuck girlfriends, this book offers a simple message of strength: a challenge to love yourself and your life!

My Review:
I was excited to start reading this book because I'm going through an emotionally stressful time in my life right now and I think this book was meant for me to read. I'm not one to read self-help books or really anything that doesn't involve fiction (who likes to read about reality? BOR-RING) but I had high hopes for this book since I know Shirley Strawberry is a sassy no non-sense type of person.
      I think most woman would be able to relate or take some advice from atleast one story in this book. I know I sure found some enlightenment with a few. Shirley doesn't preach to you like most self-help/advice books. She relates to each situation by telling us about situations she has faced through out her life, how she dealt with them and how she SHOULD have dealt with them. She mentions how she has made plenty of mistakes in her life and she's trying to help us from making those same mistakes.
     She includes quite a few letters she has received from listeners asking for advice and I must say some of them are pretty crazy! She even calls one of the letters a "ghetto hot mess!". It's crazy to hear some of the hardships others are going through but it is also encouraging when I hear that others have gone through my similar situation. It's good to know I'm not that only one who's been there dont that.
    I didn't get any kind of amazing life-changing advice out of this book but it sure was helpful and inspiring. I would totally recommend anybody to read this, whether they are going through a hard time right now or not because sooner or later we'll all need some advice to hold on to.


 


Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011








Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #9

Hosted by The Story Siren =]


Bought from Bargain Books & News stand in Key West
1. The Duchess by Amanda Foreman

Swapped from Paperback Swap
2. The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr


Title/Author: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Number of pages: 328
Series: Wicked Lovely #1
How I got it: Paperback Swap
Rating: 4/5


Goodreads Summary:
All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read


My Review:
It took me awhile to get into this book but i partly blame it on being busy with school. I ended up really enjoying this book though. It's nothing like I've read before. The whole modern day faerie is new to me and I loved the way Marr introduced me to it. 
    I loved how she describes the different types of faeries and how theres different courts. Some things would confuse me but everything came together as I kept reading. I don't want to give too much away but it's not your usual love story(s). Aislinn (pronounced Ash-Lin but I can't help but pronounce it like As-Lin) is not like any other protagonist ... actually none of the characters can be described as typical. It was very refreshing to read about a whole new set of personalities.
    Since I knew this was the first book of the series I was afraid that the book would end on a cliff-hanger like most do, but it didn't. Which is what I like. I'm glad it ended the way it did because I don't feel like I have to read the second book to really appreciate the first one. But I will definetly continue with the series. I'd love to see how these characters develop further.
 



Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 ; 1st in a Series