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

Friday, January 28, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

Here's my 2nd "In My Mailbox" that was started by The Story Siren which consists of posting books I have received each week (or however often I get new books), whether it was bought or swapped or whatev.

I got abunchhh of books this week just like last week, SCORE!

Swapped from Paperback Swap 
1. Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris
2. Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Bought from Barnes & Noble
3. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
4. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
5. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
6. Awakened by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
7. Queen of Dragons by Shana Abe
8. The Tudor Chronicles by Susan Doran

Bought from local used book store
Book Barn Book Exchange
9. Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
10. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
11. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
12. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
13. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
14. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
15. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
16. Fly Me To The Moon by Alyson Noel
17. True Love and Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon
18. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
19. Family Patterns by Kristin Eckhardt

(I actually got #15 & #19 for FREE for buying $20 worth of books ;D )

Bought from Barnes & Noble
20. A Spoonful of Poison by M.C. Beaton
21. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
22. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
23. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
24. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

(I already have #24 but this was a set that I bought together. So I
swapped my used copy on Paperback Swap)

Swapped from Paperback Swap
25. Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris

Bought from Borders
26. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
27. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

What did you guys get this week?! ;D


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris

Title/Author: Shakespeare's Champion
Number of pages: 224
Series: A Lily Bard Mystery #2
How I got itPaperback Swap
Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:
When Lily stumbles upon the well-built corpse of a local body builder-his neck broken by a barbell-the town's underlying racial tension begins to boil over. The white victim was somehow connected to two unsolved murders of black residents of Shakespeare-and a dogged policeman is determined to stop the killing. But it is Lily herself who may have to decide whether to stay and fight for justice, or run away one more time.

My Review:
Let me start out by saying that Lily Bard is a bad a**! She's tough, determined, & doesn't take crap from anyone! 

This book starts off with one mystery and ends up with about 5 or 6 by the end of it. Different from the first book in the series, which focused on only events surrounding one murder. I'll admit I got alittle confused with all the events going on, especially since Harris doesn't always explain who people are/they're background stories at first. I honestly thought the mystery death had something to do with the "fitness world" but ended up being about racism going around in the town. Touchy subject but Harris portrayed it well. You can't help but think about all the little back woods towns like Shakespeare around the country dealing with the same ignorant problems as this mystery. Made me want to go out & kiss some butt!

As the stories unfold you start to realize the connection between the events happening. Harris brings in a bunch of new interesting characters that I enjoyed being in there. Most were not good guys, but they were definetly interesting.... which is why I love Harris so much. Her characters are fun and exciting.

I really wish I could see a picture of Lily though because it seems like every guy wants a piece of her! geeez woman! 

I enjoyed this book alot more than the first, which is saying something. I have already ordered the next 3 books in this series. I just hope Lily doesn't get hurt as many times as she did this time! There's not going to be any scarless skin on her body by the time Harris is done with her! 

Reading Challenges100 Books in 2011 ; Mystery and Suspense

Monday, January 24, 2011

Paperback Swap - Coolest Site Ever !

Soooo.... I wanted to introduce you guys to the most awesome website ever!!

This website has been my obsession for more than a year now!
What you do is:
  • Join the club!
  • Post your books that you want to swap (you get 2 free credits when you post 10 books!)
  • You receive a credit for each of the books you send out, which you can use to order other books!
  • When you find a book you want, click "Order this Book" or put it on your wishlist if it's not available at the moment, you will be notified as soon as one becomes available.
  • When someone requests one of your books print the wrapper, wrap the book & add postage, pop the book in the mail! (you will pay the postage for the books you send out - but you dont pay anything for the books that come to you!)

So far I have mailed 42 books, and I have received 61 books! (This is possible because I switched over credits I received at Swap A DVD to my paperback swap account. 2 DVD credits = 3 book credits)

You can even rate/review and check out other's reviews on books. I have found so many new, interesting books on this site just by browsing! I recommend this to all my fellow bookers because this is a way you can make room on your shelves for new books and trade out the ones you've already read/don't want anymore! All you do is pay for the shipping on the books you send out but you don't pay anything for the books that are coming to you! AWESOME!

The site even keeps track of the money you save swapping your books. So far I have saved $274.50! SCORE ;D

So I suggest all of you go to this awesomeness site & get to swapping!!

Click the banner below!


Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Burned by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Title/Author: Burned by P.C. Cast
Number of pages: 323
Series: House of Night #7
How I got itBarnes & Noble
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.

Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own . . 

My Review:
First let me point out that this was the first time I noticed the cool backside of the dust cover. This is the 2nd hardcover I have in the series but I didn't notice the cool other side of book #6 or #7 till now. I think it was an awesome idea to do that!

I wish I would have been as excited about the book as I was about the cover =/ ... I found myself getting distracted every 10 mins and reading just to "get through it". I've never had that feeling with this series!! I'm pretty sure it had to do mostly with the fact that the POV wasn't Zoey's most of the time like before. Instead, the POVs focused mainly on Stevie Rae & Stark with Zoey, Aphrodite, Kalona, Rephaim and Heath every once in awhile. None of them kept my interest like Zoey's POV. I mean I enjoyed the idea of mixing it up alittle but Zoey's my girl! She's what keeps me interested in this series! I do appreciate how detailed this book was though. Alot more complex then previous books in this series.

OH & I also like it better when everyone's at the HON, together! not scattered in every which way. boooo >_< But I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy the next book better... I'm not going to say why because I try not to put spoiler's in my reviews, oh that reminds me...


what in the HELL is Stevie Rae going to do about Rephaim?! She's digging herself into more & more "poopie" as she goes. Come ON girl! Get some sense into that country noggin' of yours!!! Plus I think P.C. Cast should include a picture of this raven mocker she has pictured in her head... I'm having a hard time imagining Rephaim as the Raven Mocker my Cherokee people know... yuckkk.... (Sorry that frustrated me throughout this book)

Reading Challenges100 Books in 2011 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Follow Friday & Sneak Peak!

Okay I know I'm horrible about getting this Follow Friday out on time >_< better late than never? eh.. oh well lol.  The question this week is.... *drum roll* .......

who do you cheer for?

hmm... well... I'm going to assume this applies to all sports teams? I honestly don't really give a hoot about sports but since my boyfriend is THE biggest sports nut on this planet, I have to show alittle enthusiasm here and there... so "we" are Miami Dolphins fans ("Dolfans"), Miami Heat fans, and UM Hurricanes fans.... I bet you can't guess which city I live in ;)

btw... I just wanted to share what happens when my friends & family let me roam the streets alone for the whole day...

(info about these will be included in the next "In My Mailbox"- stay tuned!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

So I am doing my first "In My Mailbox" that was started by The Story Siren which consists of posting books I have received each week (or however often I get new books), whether it was bought or swapped or whatev. This week I actually added quite a few books to my overflowing bookshelves. 

Swapped from Paperback Swap
1. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Bought at Barnes & Noble
 3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
4. One In A Million by Kimberla Lawson Roby
5. Elixir by Hilary Duff
6. When We Get To Surf City by Bob Greene
7. The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Given to me by a friend
8. Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts
9. Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
10. Face The Fire by Nora Roberts

Bought from Downtown Book Center (Used Bookstore)
11. Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson
12. The Ishbane Conspiracy by Angela Alcorn

If any of you have read any of the books listed above please give me your opinion! I'd love to hear your perspective on the stories/writing style/author/etc..



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oopsiess :x

Okay so this is not one of my normal posts.. just something funny that just happened to me, and I wanted to share it with people I know could appreciate the humor of it...

Okay well I was just on the Barnes & Noble website checking on some orders I've made. I placed an order on January 1st (I received giftcards for Christmas and my birthday - I couldn't help myself!) which won't be shipped till the 25th. It won't be shipped till then for some unknown reason. Anyways..

I couldn't remember what I ordered and as I scanned through the list... I see that I order the book Fallen by Lauren Kate. YES the book I JUST finished reading (I bought it last time I was in the B&N store - January 11th). I'm so surprised in myself because I usually keep an excellent tab on books I've already purchased.

Damn B&N for making me wait so long for these books! lol no not really, I dont know what I would do without this company. They are my absolute favorite store ever <3 kiss kiss!

My LATE Follow Friday

I have started doing Follow Friday which was started by Parajunkee to get to know other bloggers and for other bloggers to get to know you. I thought this was a great idea, I'm so glad she started this! Hopefully I'm doing it right, and hopefully someone will correct me if I'm not. *hint hint* :)

question of the week:

what makes up your non-human family?

Since I live in a small apartment there's only room for my 2 adorable pain-in-the-butt kitties, Flash and Wade (My boyfriend named them both after his fav athlete ever Dwyane Wade).

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title/Author: Fallen by Lauren Kate
Number of pages: 452
Series: Fallen #1
How I got it: Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

 Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her

My Review:
I have really mixed feelings on this book. In the beginning I really enjoyed the characters, especially Arriane - she's so fun and crazy (literally). But as the story went on, the characters personalities kind of were ehhh. I also felt like there were alot of loose ends, questions unanswered. I especially wanted to know who the hell was that guy in the cemetary posing as Cam's "dad". Stuff like that really urks me.

I also felt like there was no climax. The majority of the story was like setting up the plot, but in the end the plot wasn't even explained very well. I said to myself at the end "that's it? that's all you're going to give me??"

So now I feel like I HAVE to read the next book in this series to fully understand the whole story. I gave this book 3 stars because I really think it has potential, if only the author would have explained it better.

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Title/Author: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Number of pages: 320
Series: Harper Connelly #1
How I got it: Paperback Swap
Rating: 3/5

Barnes & Noble Review:

The first book in Charlaine Harris's mystery series introduces readers to Harper Connelly, a strange young woman who -- after being struck by lightning as a child -- is able to locate dead people and determine exactly how they died.

Accompanied by her stepbrother, Tolliver (who works as her manager), Harper heads to small-town Arkansas for their next job. Her client is a socialite named Sybil Teague, who wants Harper to find a teenage girl who disappeared on the day her son was found shot dead in the woods. The girl, Monteen "Teenie" Hopkins, has a reputation for being "wild as a razorback," and scandalous rumors abound about the two. But once Harper locates Teenie's corpse a short distance from the spot where Sybil's son died and reveals that she was shot in the back while trying to escape, the real trouble starts. As more town residents begin to turn up dead -- and with her brother in jail on bogus charges -- Harper must find the real killer before she becomes his next victim.

Fans of Harris's Southern Vampire saga (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, et al.) featuring Sookie Stackhouse -- the telepathic waitress from southern Louisiana with a thing for the undead -- will thoroughly enjoy Grave Sight, a terrific read filled with paranormal intrigue, hot romance, and some really clever mysteries. Anyone who enjoyed reading about Sookie's adventures will embrace Harper Connelly, who is created from the same feisty mold. Paul Goat Allen

My Review:

Charlaine Harris is known for her quirky characters and Harper Connelly is definetly one of them. She can find dead people and know how they dead, just not who killed them. Harper is not strong and independent like Charlaine's main characters usually are. She actually depends a great deal on her brother, Tolliver. That kind of annoyed me because I love to read about a strong woman that knows how to get the job done. The story wasnt one of her best mysteries because things were kind of in limbo for too long for my liking. I gave it a 3 not because the story was bad, it just wasn't as exciting as Charlaine's stories usually are. I'll definetly continue the series though.

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 ; Mystery and Suspense

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Title/Author: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Number of pages: 212
Series: Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1
How I got it: Paperback Swap
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart. . . .And bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon . . . and finds the family and excitement she's been looking for.

My Review:
This is a cute story. I'm sure if I would have read it when I was younger I would have given it more stars but it was kind of childish for me. The plot was exceptionally thorough though, everything that was mentioned ended up having a purpose somewhere throughout the book. You definetly have to pay attention and keep your guard up for little hints mentioned to prepare yourself for what is about to come. 

I've always dreamed of having my very own dragon, well every since I read "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini...but this was a different aspect of human/dragon interactions. Instead of the dragon being of service to the human, the human is actually catering to the dragon. It's cute how the author played up the whole "princess captured by dragon/knight comes to save princess by slaying dragon/they live happily ever after" scenario. Definetly an interesting and funny twist when the princess doesn't want to be rescued! Seeing as she wasn't kidnapped in the first place. I enjoyed all the characters but I doubt I'll read the rest of the books in this series.

I recommend this to a younger crowd (the book says ages 10 & up but I say anywhere from 9-13), anyone really into dragons, or someone looking for an interesting change up from the usual fairytales.

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Title/Author: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Number of pages: 332
Series: Vampire Academy #1
How I got it: Random used bookstore in Key West (forgot the name :( )
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school—it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's—the very place where they're most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My Review:
This book has been on my bookshelf for awhile. Mostly because I've been so obsessed with the House Of Night series and I didn't want to get mixed up with another vampire series until I was done with HON. Well... I couldn't help myself. I received a Vampire Academy "sample" booklet from a local Books & Books that contained the first 5 chapters the other day so I figured I'd just read the sample booklet, see how I liked it, and I'd finish reading the actual book I had on my bookshelf at a later time. As you can tell, I have already finished the book. Like I said, I couldn't help myself!! (I also finished the book within one day, thats saying something for me!)

Okay onto my feelings of the book... I couldn't help but compare it to the HON stories. I mean c'mon... vampire school, earth/air/fire/water/spirit elements, one student with powers that surpass the other students and vampires, lots of crushes and hookups, stuck up enemies looking for revenge, bonds/imprints, etc... you get the point. But, I soon realized this book is very different. Instead of silly words like "bullpoopie", Vampire Academy is more serious and more believable, in my opinion. I guess you could say alittle more "grown up" even though the character in both books are suppose to be around the same age. The main character, Rose, is a smart-mouthed badass who would do anything for her Moroi & BFF Lissa. I adored that bond that held them together, even though I felt like they talked about it alittle TOO much. I felt like every paragraph mentioned how Rose was focusing in on Lissa's emotions. The author probably mixed dreamy Dimitri into the guarding of Lissa so the readers wouldn't get so annoyed with the whole Rose/Lissa bond. He was definetly my favorite character and hope he remains a main character throughout the next books in this series.

This book had alot of twists & turns with some "whodunits?". One of the better YA paranormal books I've read, can't wait to get the rest of the series! I def. recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal! More mature than the usual YA.
Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Review: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Title/Author: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
Number of Pages: 216
Series: Lily Bard Mystery, #1
How I got it: Paperback Swap
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
From the author of the Aurora Teagarden novels comes a new series set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, a Southern town brimming with charm and a definite touch of noir. When her landlord is murdered, loner Lily Bard looks like the prime suspect. Uncovering the real killer may be the only way to prove her innocence, and Lily soon focuses on the other residents of tiny Shakespeare in her quest to expose the culprit.

My Review:
After I read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, I ordered the first book in all of her other series. I really loved her style of writing so I was pretty sure I wouldn't be disappointed, and I wasn't. This story started out alot slower than the Sookie Stackhouse series but I quickly learned it's a very different setting. Shakespeare's Landlord is darker then I expected it be but I loved the strong woman Lily Bard is. She made me feel like I could take some karate lessons and be able to defend myself in any situation. She also taught me that I shouldn't take anybody's crap.

I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Every single one of them had a purpose. I found myself constantly trying to figure out who the killer was, even when I wasn't reading the book. It's well thought out and put together. When I look at it now that I've finished, it was a pretty simple book but the story was great. I can't wait to get the rest of the books in this series. I don't normally enjoy books that don't involve any type of paranormal/fantasy but I would definetly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery.

Reading Challenges: 100 Books in 2011 ; Mystery and Suspense