Friday, May 31, 2013

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: A Review by Malissa

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


This was my "mystery book" that Brandy picked for me, so going in I didn't know the title, cover, plot line, nothing. I figured it out about halfway through, not so much because I recognized the story from one I'd heard about but because I saw a cover on Amazon while browsing that had the same cut-in-half letters as my chapter headings. Still, I didn't read any descriptions because I didn't want to know. It's really fun reading that way, and I think gives a bit different experience because you don't have any preconceived notions starting off. 

So what did I think? 

The book starts out keeping readers about as clueless as I was anyway, so it fit the mystery book theme very well. Juliette (though we don't know her name yet) is in a mental institution that's clearly more of a prison. She narrates in a very disjointed way that involves counting everything (breaths, days, heartbeats, fingers) with Arabic numerals rather than written out words, and there are many strikeouts showing what she thinks as opposed to says. It has a journal-like stream of consciousness feel to it, but isn't an actual journal (though at times the journal is mentioned and you're given the impression that it's supposed to be) because she'll often be describing something such as feeling her way down a pitch black hallway in the present tense when she couldn't actually be writing. This odd narration style combined with my cluelessness about the plot and Juliette's insistence that she's not crazy, gave the distinct impression that she might be. I thought for a very long time that we might be dealing with an extremely unreliable narrator ... 

The writing itself is different from the run of the mill because of the numerals, the strikeouts, and the very dramatically descriptive language. Overall I liked it. The strikeouts become more sparse and the narration more stable as Juliette herself became more emotionally stable, and that was a neat effect. Often I enjoyed the very descriptive passages, especially in light of the bleak, dystopian setting (yup, it's another dystopia ...). It was an interesting dichotomy. Passages like "a chocolate river lapping the pale shore of my skin" and "my heart it parasailing in the springtime" give you really strong visual images. On the other hand, it definitely became too much at times. Though it seemed very much like Mafi used that sort of language to excess intentionally as opposed to it being a simple lack of editing or restraint, it still made reading certain passages a bit tedious or unbelievable. For example: "I never would have thought his dark hair would've been so soft. Like melted chocolate." and "The weight of the notebook in my pocket feels like I'm balancing a bowling ball on my knee." I don't even know what chocolate hair would feel like short of slimy and icky, and the bowling ball on the knee thing just sounded silly (I snapped a pic to remember it for my review later). So while I think Mafi is a writer to watch and who has talent and isn't afraid to stray from the easy and ordinary, the writing took me out of the story at times. 

As far as the story itself goes, it was fairly compelling. Despite being yet another YA dystopian setting, I didn't find it too predictable. I wondered what would happen next. Juliette was somewhat hard to get to know because she seemed so trapped in her own mind (and us with her and her strikeout thoughts) for a long time, but I ended up caring about her and rooting for her. Because of the present tense first person POV, and the fact that Juliette herself has been locked up for years and doesn't know the current world well, we don't get much world building until the very end of this book. It's an original way to develop the story, and I liked that, but I missed it too. It's just a personal preference, but I LOVE lots of world building and exploring of what went wrong with society in my dystopias. About the time I really got drawn into the world, the book ended. Well played, Ms. Mafi. Now I *have* to pick up book two ... 

The last point I wanted to address was the romance (because you know there is one ...). I wasn't sure at first how believable I found Juliette's and Adam's complete and utter ... obsession with each other. Especially given their backgrounds which seemed to lead to general distrust of others and loner tendencies. But as we found out  more about them and their history as children (despite never actually speaking to each other), it begins to make more sense. In the end, I bought in. I will say, though, that there's some pretty steamy stuff in this book for YA. At least if you're giving it to actual teens. Nothing "happens," but some very hot and heavy almost occurs a couple of times and promises for the future are made. To illustrate: I lean into his ear, lower my voice. Whisper the words so only he can hear me. "You're going to get better," I promise him. "And when you do, I'm going to show you exactly what choice I've made. I'm going to memorize every inch of your body with my lips." I'm not sure if that would have freaked me out as a 15 or 16 year old or made my head explode (OK it would have definitely freaked me out because I was nerdy and sheltered ...). So I'd hesitate to give this to some of the younger teens who are loving this genre. I don't generally believe books *make* people, young or old, engage in inadvisable behavior, but that much blatant passion seems likely to fire up some ... curiosity to say the least. 

So, I guess despite some flaws, I'm giving 4 stars for creativity, a decent amount of originality, and the fact that I do want to read book two despite being nearly dystopia-ed out. Overall, I'd recommend the book. 

In other news, I kind of hate the cover on this one. Yeah, she's forced into ridiculous dresses for a bit in the book, but really? It represents nothing but a pretty girl in a dress ... Blech.

Have you read it? What'd you think?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Review

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


I loved this book. I wish I could spend more time with Tris and this world. I love the way Veronica Roth writes things. She doesn't just tell you something, she makes you feel it, live it. 

There seemed to be a lot of struggle going on in this story. There's the obvious struggle between the factions, trying to figure out who's on what side and who to trust. But there's also a major internal struggle warring itself inside Tris.This caused some waffling in her previous strength, but it was all understandable. She's not infallible, she's a teenage girl, despite not wanting to be seen as one. Even an adult would likely struggle if put in her situation. She's scared, she's sad, she's lost her ability to see even her own strength until it's almost too late. 

I really liked that physical pain lasted as well. I realize that might sound mean, but it made it so much more realistic. She was shot; that should affect her abilities for a while. And it does. She's human and easy to relate to.

I am anxiously waiting for Allegiance. :)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) 

Recently Finished

Tragic (Rook and Ronin, #1) 

 What I Might Read Next

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)   Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)

What have you been reading?


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten ~ Freebie Week!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a Top Ten topic for you to create your list, then you share it on their post so others can find you. :)

  ♥ Top Ten YA Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks

This week's Top Ten is a freebie. I looked back at the old ones to see if something struck my fancy, since it's like a Monday morning in my brain, despite it being a Tuesday. And I found one! :)  I even came up with MORE than ten, since this one was quite easy for me. I shall try to narrow it down.  In no particular order... 

Honorable Mentions 

Because I didn't want to really leave any out that I thought of... 

Huh. One more and I would've had two entire lists. lol  Such is life. There's just too many good books out there, I guess. Okay. Not true. There can never be enough good books. 

What books have you read that you think would make great book discussion books? :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Day

Happy Memorial Day!

I'm not doing a regular post today. Just a quick happy wishes day. I hope everyone enjoys their day. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Divergent: A Review

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


I loved this story. Can I stop there? I don't want to ruin anything. Okay. Thanks. Done. 

No, really, I did really love this story. The bleak world Veronica Roth created and how she made me feel I was there, part of the Abnegation as Beatrice/Tris tries to decide what is best for her, and if that's the decision she should make. Does she do what she wants to do or does she do what she's expected to do? The factions, how it's broken up by "good" qualities and as if no one has any bad qualities or possesses the qualities of all factions. They are not mutually exclusive, these traits, and it shows in the characters. 

The characters. I loved (I really need to find another word... sheesh) and hated characters Veronica created. Their strength, vulnerability, and flaws all felt real, not contrived. I wasn't just being told about Tris' confusion, I felt it. I understood why it was hard for her to let go of some things, to embrace a new part of her life. The way Veronica portrayed some characters (I don't want to give anything away, so I'm being vague on purpose) made me hate them. And not like "S/He's an ass, she should stay away from him," but more in the way of, "I &%#$ing hate them and I hope they die," sort of way. It's a good thing these are characters in a book because I would question my sanity after that thought. :)  

Other characters surprised me in their loyalty and their place in the story. Ms. Roth holds nothing back and has no qualms about where the story takes her. I cried, I laughed, and I loved. Speaking of love, I enjoyed the romantic relationship building as it did. It wasn't insta-love to me, and it was confusing and intense, tentative and tender. It had the real characteristics of a new love brewing, not an obsession. That was nice.

Given the type of book, you obviously know where things are headed as far as a bigger picture goes. But I like the way it progressed, the unexpected twists and turns she took me down. I am anxious to read on.
I am super excited because I got to work today and Insurgent was sitting on my desk. So I get to continue the story! I am nervous because who knows what kind of cliffhanger may await me at the end, but I can't help it. I want to know more about Tris and Four and all the other characters I've come to think of as friends. So I will continue, knowing that I will have to wait until nearly the end of the year to find out what happens after this. Such is my instant gratification nature.

Have you read it? What'd you think?


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading

NOTHING  :(  I just finished Eleanor & Park last night and haven't had time to start one yet. Plus... I'm still hungover from E & P. :)

 Recently Finished

Eleanor & Park

Loved. It.

What I Might Read Next

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)  Meant to Be

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cover Love: Top Ten Tuesday Favorite Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a Top Ten topic for you to create your list, then you share it on their post so others can find you. :)

  ♥ Top Ten Favorite Covers of Books I've Read

I had fun going back and looking on Goodreads to browse covers of books I've read. I also tried to think about books I read prior to using Goodreads. That being said, since not all books seem to hit me, this probably isn't a comprehensive list. ;)  Nonetheless... in no particular order...

I love the colors and how it all just 'pops' out at me. It's simply breathtaking, really. 

Creeptastic! This was the first book I ever bought based solely on the cover - I had *no* clue what the book was about, I just knew I had to own it.

This was a gift from Malissa, but I probably would have done the same as with the previous Yovanoff book - had to own it. :)
I love the simplicity. The mockingjay is a character all on its own and it's just perfect. No other cover could do this series justice in my eyes.  

I love the masquerade look and once you read it you see a glimpse into part of the story. I love it.
I love this. I mean, really, who doesn't want to be laying with a ghost over you in the mist?
Simply gorgeous. All four of these are wonderful and I'm sad to see them redone. As they usually are when movies are made. :(
*This* cover. This is the one I have on my shelf and I still love it. I really wish they had kept with this theme when making the rest of them.
Another simple one, yet so meaningful again. I liked it before I read it but loved it after I read it.
This cover is so haunting to me. Her eyes are so sad, and she has no mouth exposed. Perfect cover for a perfect book. 
What books have you read whose covers you just adore?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Release Day Giveaway: Tragic by JA Huss

Tragic: Rook and Ronin #1
By JA Huss
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published May 15, 2013
Science Fiction Press

About the Book

Rook Walsh is TRAGIC.

Because life so far - just sucks. Some girls get parents. Rook got the foster care system. Some girls get Prince Charming. Rook got an abusive frog. Some girls get lucky...

 Rook got a second chance.

And she took it. Because when fate throws you a bone - you grab it with both hands and run.

Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his photography studio that she's got The Look. The dark and desperate look he much have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract.

Rook is paired up with top model, Ronin, and he's everything her abusive ex-boyfriend wasn't. Patient, gentle, happy, attentive, and sexy! He knows exactly what to do to make Rook blush for Antoine's camera.

Rook's luck changes in an instant and suddenly she's the darling of the modeling world. It's a dream job to go with a dream guy and all she has to do is look pretty and follow directions. But there's always a price to pay - and Rook is about to get the bill.

New Adult Contemporary Romance *Mature Content* Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language usage

Find It!

Goodreads          Amazon
Kobo                  Barnes & Noble

♥ Giveaway ♥

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Antoine's camera is on Ronin's left, so Ronin's left hand begins to caress my foot with small circles, a touch so light it actually makes me squirm because my feet are totally ticklish. He takes the hint and slowly sweeps up my calf, which is just about the most sensual feeling I've ever experienced. I moan out a little and his bruising kisses are back, crushing against my mouth. 

Just as Antoine takes his attention to our lips Ronin's right hand also begins at my foot, swirling his fingertips around the soft pad of my arch. I laugh into his mouth and he pulls me close, my hair hiding our faces for a moment, and says, "Shhhh, now. Be good Gidge." And then his right hand sweeps up my leg and under my dress, caressing the same small circles along my inner thigh. 

"Oh, shit," I whimper as as I bury myself in his neck. Just a few more inches and I'm going to come undone. My neck tilts back as the sensations all crash together and he takes his kisses to my plunging neckline, his left hand, the one still out in the open, slips up to my breast just as the hidden hand drops down a little farther, just a flutter of a touch against my crease.

He reaches over, not with the hidden hand, and picks up a glass of wine and hands it to me.

My fingertips barely understand what to do with the glass because the only thing on my mind is where his other hand is. We each take a sip and then he bites into a cherry, taking half of it in his mouth, and spits out the pit.

Antoine barks something harsh in French and Ronin laughs. "It's a fucking pit, Antoine, it's not litter." he rolls his eyes at me. "Sit still now, Rook, and keep your mouth closed for a moment."

My mind is still on his fingers as they caress my inner thigh, but I do my best not squirm.

He brings the cherry to my lips and I keep my mouth closed. This makes him smile and then he traces my lips, dripping juice as he paints them. I'm just about to let my tongue dart out and get the juice when Ronin's mouth reaches up and licks it off, stopping to suck on my bottom lip, and then gives it a little nibble that makes me cry out.

He bites into another cherry and again, to Antoine's disgust, woofs out the pit into the grass. Spitting is a skill only boys really acquire. They are so good at it. It might gross out Antoine, but not me. I think just about everything Ronin is doing with his mouth is astonishing right now. The secret hand under my dress appears again. he lifts my left hand and paints each fingertip pad with cherry juice, then sucks it off, nibbling them one by one, just like he did my lips.

I just stare at him and his eyes never leave mine. "What?" he finally asks.

"You-" I say.

He raises his eyebrows.

"-are bad."

He laughs. "If you were naked right now I'd drip this juice all down your belly and let my tongue--"

"OK, that's enough," Antoine says. "Excellent job, Rook."

Fucking Antoine.

I bite my lip as Ronin licks my fingertips one more time and then grins up at me like an idiot. "Want to come over and watch a movie, Gidget?"

I nod enthusiastically as Elise helps me up, and then Ronin bounces to his feet and puts his arm around me protectively. "You fell asleep pretty quick last time, are you sure you're up for a movie?"

I'm not sure if a movie is the code word for sex or not right now, but either way, I'm definitely up for it. 

About the Author 

JA Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really - Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master's degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with the farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Find Her


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review • The Last Little Blue Envelope • Review

The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)Title: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope #2
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 2011
Source: Library
Rating: 4 stars

~ The Scoop from Goodreads ~

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack--and the last little blue envelope inside--she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure--one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.


I actually enjoyed this one more than the first one. I wasn't sure, going in, what to expect to get from this. I liked 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would, so I left it a bit disappointed. However, I left this one quite happy with where the story went and how it was all tied together. 

I really like Maureen Johnson's writing and how she incorporates wittiness and sarcasm into her characters. The storyline was a smidgen predictable, in the broadest of the term, but there were still some nice surprises along the way.  

This isn't a heavy read, or a life-changing, thought provoking read. Yes, there are some nice insights made, revelations to be had, but overall this is an upbeat story that I felt fairly light after reading it. I like that. 

Have you read it? What'd you think?


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading

Eleanor and Park Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Recently Finished

Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Jellicoe Road

What I Might Read Next

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

What have you been reading? Share with me... :)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a Top Ten topic for you to create your list, then you share it on their post so others can find you. :)

  ♥ Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

When I saw this topic, I immediately thought of number 1 on my list. But aside from that one, I had to think to recall books I've read that were "tough" subjects. Once I started thinking, though... the list grew. lol  Here we go... 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
(or any by her, really...)
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
The Deep End of the Ocean by Jaquelyn Mitchard
Cut by Patricia McCormick
A Corner of the Universe by Ann M Martin 

What books have you read with tough subjects?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Bout of Books Goals

Bout of Books 7.0

Bout of Books
What is it? Direct from the hosts:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

So...  goals. I plan to finish my mystery book, and read some of the following:  Shatter Me, Days of Blood and Starlight, Unravel Me, Eleanor and Park, Unearthly, Sing Me Home, Meant to  Be, and Elsewhere.

As far as how many, I  have to keep it small at 3-4  books. ;)  I will update this post daily with my progress below and I'll do a mid- and end-week recap post.  [and fix this formatting tomorrow.  ugh.]

Happy Monday and happier reading.


Pages read: 75
Books finished: 0

Pages read:182
Total Pages Read:  257
Chapters listened to: 5 
Books finished:1
Thoughts: At this rate I may not reach my goal. But I'm still reading more than I did the last couple of weeks, so there's that. :)  But, I did start an audio book, which I haven't done in ages. I started listening to it at work. So we'll see if that helps with completing more books. :)

Pages read:30
Total Pages Read:  287
Chapters listened to: 6 
Total chapters listened to: 11
Books finished:1
Thoughts: Didn't read much yesterday due to plans, but hopefully I'll get back into it today. :)

Pages read:57
Total Pages Read:  344
Chapters listened to: 4 
Total chapters listened to: 15
Books finished:1
Thoughts: I read a bit more yesterday, but still didn't get as far as I'd like. But I did have fun with the acrostic poem below. :)

Pages read:0
Total Pages Read:  344
Chapters listened to: 3
Total chapters listened to: 18
Books finished:1
Thoughts: I had work and date night with the hubby last night, so I didn't much reading done at all. :( But it was time well spent anyway. :)

Saturday & Sunday
NONE  :( :( :(  I got so busy over the weekend that I had no time for reading. 

I completed the challenge for Harley Bear Book Blog! An acrostic poem featuring a title of a book. I chose:


Memorable Monday ~ Insurgent

Memorable Monday is a meme hosted by Escape in a Good Book. I'm excited to join in on this one because I love quotes, which was the driving force behind the creation of Memorable Mondays. I thank the ladies at Escape in a Good Book.

So... how do you participate? It's simple ~

1) Share a quote that has captured your interest lately in a Memorable Monday post on your blog.

2) Come back here and leave the link to your post in the comment box below. If you don't have a blog, I'd still love to hear read your quote. Leave it in the comment box instead of a link to a non-existent blog. :)

3) Visit other participants if you have time. It's always nice to have visitors. There's no overstaying your welcome this way, and they don't have to offer the obligatory drinks. Or clean.

4) If you tweet your posts, feel free to use the hashtag #MemorableMonday.

This week's choice:

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)"I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity. Because inside me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom, toward Tobias, and above all, toward life. And as hard as I try, I cannot kill it."

~ Insurgent by Veronica Roth


I *love* this. Anything strike you lately?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bout of Books Sign Up & Goals

Bout of Books 7.0

Bout of Books

What is it? Direct from the hosts:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Hey y'all! I've decided that I would partake in this fun competition to try and decrease my TBR pile some. Not by much, but every little challenge helps me out. :)

So what am I planning on reading? My mystery book that Malissa sent me. Although hopefully I will actually start that Sunday, but I definitely won't finish it. Unless my mother's day gift is a day just to read. lol  My goal after that is two more books, making a total of three. I would push for four, but between kids and my job, I'm not sure that's feasible. If I plan on sleeping. ;)  I don't know what I'll read after my mystery book, though. I haven't decided. I should get Eleanor & Park in the mail soon, as well as Days of Blood & Starlight. So maybe those... also on my list that I have insta-access to that I will choose from: Unearthly, Elsewhere, Wicked Lovely, Shiver, & The Diviners.

To narrow it down:

Read 3-4 books
Participate in 1 challenge

Anyone else wanna join up? Just go up to the pic at the top and it (should) lead you to the Bout of Books website. :)  Or just click here. :)

I hope everyone has a great week!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review • 13 Little Blue Envelopes • Review

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope #1
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: September 2006
Source:  Library
Rating: 3.5 stars

~ The Scoop from Goodreads ~

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.


After reading Requiem, I really needed a breather from seriousness. From death and destruction and the heaviness of the world ending and all. This seemed like the perfect pick.

I've read four books now by Maureen Johnson. While the first, Devilish, still remains my favorite of hers, this one didn't fair too bad either. It's cute, whimsical, and fun.

While it was an adventure, I did have some problems with it. She is 17 years old. And I'm not sure it matters just how mature that child is, as a mom myself I cannot fathom letting my 17 year old daughter traipse across Europe without contact, without a buddy, without something. Maybe it's the way some people live, but for me I just can't imagine it. But once I got past that (I maybe, possibly, pictured as a college student... that's definitely possible), I was able to enjoy her ride a bit more. 

I also struggled with how naively trusting she was. I realize that she trusted her aunt and so knocking on whatever doors Aunt Peg told her to was perfectly ok with me. But the random strangers she meets and just automatically trusts them not to, I don't know, murder her in her sleep, seems a bit extreme. It would be awesome if our world was that nice, but it's really not. I know, I know, there was the one shady character, but even that didn't seem to be a big deal to her. She just brushed it off like, "Oh, that happened. I'm not freaked out at all." 

Overall, I did enjoy the story. We get to see Ginny grow little on her adventurous side and come to accept that her aunt is gone. It's a fun, light read, and I look forward to seeing what happens in The Last Little Blue Envelope.

Have you read it? What'd you think?


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

I have less than 100 pages left and am hating that life is getting in the way of reading. :(

Recently Finished

The Lucy VariationsThe Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Malissa sent me her ARC of this to read. I really enjoyed it. :) My reading slowed down a bit in the last week and a half. My son turned four and I had lots to do to celebrate. :)

What I WILL Read Next

Mystery Book by ? 

Malissa's mystery book for me is waiting on my shelf at home. :) In case you missed it and care to know... you can find out about our mystery books here   

What about you? What have you been reading?