Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA Ethics and Non-fiction



Today's Armchair BEA topics are ethics and non-fiction. 

ETHICS:

Interesting article on Armchair BEA about ethics in blogging. I haven't thought a whole lot about ethics in blogging just because I would hope that I would be ethical in everything I do. The article mentions the connection between bloggers and authors. If we are "friends" with an author through Twitter or Facebook or the like, should we disclose that in our reviews? Does it change our reviews? I had never really thought about that before. I disclose when I've received a book for review per FTC guidelines but the relationship aspect of it I don't.

A comment left on that article says that a relationship between bloggers and authors is bound to happen. It's just par for the course and I agree. There will always be interaction between book bloggers and authors. Authors want to promote their books to the people who are going to buy them and bloggers are going to promote books for the authors they like. How should that relationship be noted, if at all?

There are many different aspects of ethics but plagarism is probably the biggest in the book blogging community. My blog is not big enough to have ever had this problem but blogger friends have had portions or even whole posts used without their permission. This is unacceptable, of course, but hard to stop. The internet is so big that how do you even know that your work is being used? I think the only way to stop it is to make it such a bad thing that no one would want to be caught doing it.

NON-FICTION:

I was one of those kids in school that hated summers because summers meant no learning. I took home worksheets to fill out and wrote papers on different topics. I liked learning. Still do. So non-fiction is one of my favorite genres because of that love of learning. My favorite topics change but my love of non-fiction doesn't. I currently love Christian living non-fiction and anything related to entrepreneurship but am read a variety. 

Most of my favorite bloggers never review non-fiction books but my reviews of non-fiction have some of the highest page views. This review of a Taste of Home cookbook is the highest viewed post on my blog. I think that is because so few people review non-fiction. 

If you read and enjoy non-fiction, I'd be curious as to your favorite book or topic. As I said, I love it and am always looking for suggestions. Leave a comment or leave me the info here

And if you posted about either of these topics as part of Armchair BEA, please leave a link so I can visit.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Giveaway Day + Literary Fiction



Today's Armchair BEA topic is literary fiction. Now that I have a book blog I've been reading more YA books. They are enternaining but most importantly, they are quick reads. Quick reads = more reviews. I am a slow reader as it is so literary fiction takes even longer...I like to savor the words. I have quite a few literary books on my TBR but I haven't gotten to them yet. The last book I read that I'd consider literary was The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. 



What's your favorite? Know of a book that I've just got to read? Suggest it on my Worth the Read feature here.

Today is also Giveaway day! I'm giving one winner their book of choice from The Book Depository. Up to $15 value. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Contest is open internationally as long as TBD ships to your country.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Blogging and Genres



Tell us about things you've done to expand your blogging horizons, and the things you'd like to do but haven't managed (or figured out) yet. Come back here to link up your post, and then go see what other participants have to say. Let's foster our development as bloggers and learn from each other!

I first started a blog years ago but didn't start a books only blog until late last year. I'm currently just trying to learn as much as I can. There is lots of talk about "finding your voice" when doing reviews and I'm still trying to. I tend to write more formally than I talk. I'm trying to write a bit more like I talk. Being myself will help people to decide if they want to follow my blog. 

I've been trying to interact more on Twitter (@littlelovelybks) and it makes my day when I see that I have a new interaction on there. The whole thing makes me think a bit of high school though...I want to sit at the "cool" table but I don't have the guts to ask. When I *do* jump in to conversations, everyone is so nice though.

If you’re a reader of genre fiction do you have a favorite author or series? And what keeps bringing you back for more fantasy/sci fi/horror etc? And if you don’t read one (or more) of these genres what is it that deters you from those sections of the bookstore? I’m also curious to hear why you think these genres often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

I read so widely that there isn't much I don't like. I'm not big on contemporary adult romance and I don't read anything with demons but other than that, I like most everything. My heart skips a beat for dystopian, zombies, fairy tales and retellings, sci fi and fantasy. So I like many, many genres. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Classics


Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature. What are your favorite classics? If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it? How would you convince them to give classics a try? And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

So, classics fans, here’s your chance and your day to discuss your favorites and find new classic loving friends.

I should probably feel a bit of embarrassment that I was an English lit major in college and yet I don't really enjoy that many classics. I am easily swayed to the shiny new cover over the classics. The language is also different from now so it takes me even longer to read. I'm already a slow reader so I hate to add additional time.

Jane Eyre is probably my favorite classic book.

Do you read classics? If so, what is your favorite?

Armchair BEA - Introducing Myself



Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 

This is my first Armchair BEA. I first read about it on Twitter and since I'm unable to go to the real thing, I thought this would be incredibly fun. I've jumped in with both feet...I'm also a cheerleader this year.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. 

I'm the queen of sarcasm.

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why? 

I'd have dinner with the Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Anyone who follows me on Twitter has heard me say that he wants me to marry him and have his evil little babies. So I guess it could be the rehearsal dinner for our big wedding.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 

This one is really easy...the interaction with other book loving people! I love reading comments here on my blog, leaving comments on my favorite blogs and interacting on Twitter.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Lovin' Readathon


The Summer Lovin’ Readathon is a week-long readathon event hosted by seven independent bloggers. (Oh, Chrys!, Tumbling Books, Effortlessly Reading, Love Life Read, Shelf Addiction, Read Sleep Repeat, and Reviewing Wonderland)

Spend the week of July 1st through the 7th reading at your own pace, when and how you want too. There will be daily challenges for awesome prizes and opportunities to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

Beginning at 10 am on Saturday, July 6th to 9:59 am on Sunday, July 7th the week will end with a 24-hr marathon readathon. Twitter parties, mini-challenges, games, prizes given every hour, and more chances to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

Sign-ups will be open through July 6th. I’m in, are you?

Revisiting My Favorites


I've been thinking quite a bit about the books that I'd like to re-read. Though I've never been really big on re-reading books, there are some that I do like to read again. I've read the Harry Potter series several times. In high school there was a Danielle Steele (gasp!) book that I read every Spring Break at the beach.

Since starting my book blog, I haven't re-read any books at all. There are several reasons why I don't re-read:

1. There are literally hundreds of books on my Goodreads TBR list.
2. Reading a book I already read means one less "new" book that I can read.
3. If I loved a book enough to want to read it again, I fear that I won't like it as much the second time. That would crush my little bookish heart.
4. I tend to push aside books I've already read for the stack of shiny new covers.

There are books that I have really been thinking about though. And summer seems like such a great time to revisit some of my favorites. The longer days and slower pace. Staying up later. It being too hot to do anything else ;-) 

My list to revisit:

The Harry Potter books
The Hunger Games trilogy
Slammerkin 
Jane Eyre
Howard's End is on the Landing

I think that I'm going to spend June, July and August revisiting some of my favorite stories.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Introducing Worth the Read

Introducing Worth the Read, a new feature here at Little Lovely Books. 

I sometimes have trouble deciding what to read next. I tend to read the same types of books without trying anything new. Worth the Read, is my way of asking my blog readers to suggest their favorite titles for me to read and review. 

I am open to most types of books but do reserve the right not to read a suggested book if it contains a topic or is a genre that I hate. I also need to be able to get a copy through my library unless I already wanted to purchase a copy.

If you have a book that you think is Worth the Read, please suggest it in the form below. I will randomly choose the first book to read and will post each time I read another suggestion. This might be weekly or less often, depending on number of titles suggested. 

Huge thanks to Renae at Respiring Thoughts and Christina at A Reader of Fictions for allowing me to borrow the idea. 



Saturday, May 25, 2013

{Blog Tour + Giveaway} Praefatio by Georgia McBride



Title: Praefatio (Praefatio #1)
Author: Georgia McBride (Website)(Facebook Page)(Twitter)(Pinterest)
Pages: ebook
Source: Publisher via book tour
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2013

Summary from publisher:

Seventeen-year-old Grace Ann Miller is no ordinary runaway. After missing for weeks, Grace is found on the estate of international rock star Gavin Vault, half-dressed and yelling for help. Over the course of twenty-four hours Grace holds an entire police force captive with incredulous tales of angels, demons, and war; intent on saving Gavin from lockup, and her family from worry over her safety. But instead, authorities believe that Grace is ill, and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, the victim of assault and a severely fractured mind. Undeterred, Grace reveals the secret existence of dark angels on earth, an ancient prophecy and a wretched curse steeped in Biblical myth. Grace’s claims set into motion an ages-old war, resulting in blood, death and the loss of everything that matters. But are these the delusions of an immensely sick girl, or could Grace’s story actually be true? Praefatio is Grace’s account of weeks on the run, falling in love and losing everything but her faith. Who do you believe?

I'm excited to be participating in another blog tour for Month9Books. This time I was able to read and review Georgia McBride's Praefatio. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not big on angels and/or demons in books. As a way to read a bit out of my "comfort zone" I gave this one a chance though. I find it a bit hard to review because I'm quite afraid that I will post spoilers.

I was impressed that this was a first novel. The world building, characters and dialogue were good. The concept was a bit different for me but McBride made it work quite well. I had a bit of a hard time at first keeping the characters straight but was able to figure things out fairly quickly.

It actually wasn't as dark as I was expecting but it was plenty dark. The angels and angel myths presented within the story are interesting and developed.

Although angel books will probably never be a go to genre for me, Praefatio was a quick read with plenty of action to move along the plot and well developed characters.



About the author:

Georgia loves a good story. Whether it’s writing her own, or publishing someone else’s, story is at the heart of everything Georgia does. Founder of Month9Books, YALITCHAT.ORG and the weekly #yalitchat on Twitter, Georgia spends most of her days writing, editing, or talking about books. That is, of course, when she is not blasting really loud music or reading. Born and raised in NYC, she now lives in North Carolina with four dogs, a frog, a parrot, 2 kids, parents and a husband. PRAEFATIO is her first novel.




TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY:
Grand prize includes a signed copy of PRAEFATIO, nail polish, Halo perfume, postcards, candy, Garnier Nutrisse hair color, and a PRAEFATIO keychain (US Only).


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Friday, May 24, 2013

{Thoughts On} The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald



Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 159
Genre: Classic
Source: my own copy

Summary from Goodreads:

Jay Gatsby is a self-made man, famed for his decadent champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island's bright and beautiful, Gatsby longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion.The Great Gatsby is an elegiac and exquisite portrait of the American Dream

I have a wonderful hardcover from the 50s that I bought at a library sale years ago. I so prefer it's plain design to the awful paperback copy with the floating eyes. 

I had thought that I read this one in my early twenties but I recalled nothing from the story. I decided to read it since the movie version is out. Now that I have finished it, I've realized that there is not a single person who would be interested in watching it with me so it will be a Redbox rental instead.

I enjoyed this look into the rich back in the 20s. I haven't read much from that time period so it was interesting to see how Fitzgerald wrote the people of that day. The descriptions of the time period and especially those of Gatsby's house were well written and I loved that I felt like I was there. 

Jay Gatsby was an interesting character but at the end was still a mystery to me. I was left wondering what was real and what wasn't. He seemed so uncharacteristically eager near the end. So different from the description of him at the beginning. I was somewhat baffled by his attraction to Daisy. She seemed like such a boring, pampered woman who did pretty much nothing during the entire novel. 

I must say that the language got increasingly easier to read the more I got into the book. I think that I need to read classics more frequently but I'm a bit terrified of them because of the differences in turns of phrases between then and now. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Great Gatsby and look forward to reading more Fitzgerald, and classics in general, soon.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{Thoughts On} The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson and the Olympians


Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (book #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages: 375
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Published: June 2005 (1st printing)
Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:






Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

With cover art from the major motion picture, this first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.
After a Twitter discussion between me, Alexa, Jessica and Katelynn on good MG to start out with, I remembered that I had this one sitting on my shelves. Since they so highly recommended it, I gave it a try and really enjoyed it.

Percy is a 12 year old boy and I liked seeing the world through his eyes. He's been kicked out of every boarding school he has attended and when his class makes a trip to a museum, all the weirdness that is his life begins to click into place. Once this starts to happen, he really begins to see how things have happened to him in the past that are way out of the ordinary.

Once he makes it to the Half Blood's Camp, my enjoyment level went way up. I so loved hearing about the different gods and goddesses and about the training that the kids did. I adored how well the Greek myths were woven into the story. It made me immediately request a book on Greek Myths from the library so I can learn some on my own.

But once their quest began, I was on the edge of my seat and flying through the pages. As much as I enjoyed the action and the mystery, I did get to a point where I was ready for it to all wrap up. At almost 400 pages in length, it was fun but a tiny bit too long.

Grover, his best friend and protector, and Annabeth, Athena's daughter, were so much fun and such lively characters. I enjoyed the banter between the three. They grew into such brave kids and I loved the way their relationship gets more solid as they complete the quest. 

A couple of twists and turns surprised me and I enjoyed that immensely. I look forward to reading the other books in the series soon.

I was able to follow up my reading with watching the movie version and I was a bit surprised at how much was changed. I did learn that I have a new celeb crush. Logan Lerman, who played Percy, wasn't bad on the eyes. I'll forget the fact that he is technically young enough to be my son.  Pish posh...book boyfriends and celeb crushes don't have an age requirement, I say.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

{Thoughts On} One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick


Title: One Glorious Ambition
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Pages: 367
Source: Publisher for review


I was interested to read Jane Kirkpatrick's ONE GLORIOUS AMBITION because the life of Dorothea Dix is so very interesting. Taking a real life person's life, making it into fiction and pulling it off so no small feat.

I think that Kirkpatrick did a wonderful job doing just that. Dix's life came alive and I found it to be both believable and engaging.

Dorothea is a character you just can't help but like. She wants more that her time period allows. She loves with a fiercely loyal love that I thought was wonderful.

The historical setting was realistic and I enjoyed going back in time to learn about Dorothea and her life. 

The dialogue was good and the story flowed well. It was a bit hard to get into because of the slowness of the story but was still interesting, nonetheless.

I would recommend this title to anyone who enjoys historical fiction - that this was based on a true character just makes it that much more interesting.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Wrap Up Post

Bout of Books


My Bout of Books goals are very simple:

1. Read 4 books
2. Comment daily on blogs that are participating
3. Participate in at least one Twitter party
4. Update this post with my progress each day

Monday: reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (106 pages), commend on multiple blogs
Tuesday: finished Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (375 pages total)
Wednesday: reading Undercover Angel by Cynthia Rutledge (107 pages) and will be attending the Twitter chat. Yay! After the chat I'm planning to finish my book.
Thursday: Finished reading Undercover Angel. Started Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.
Friday: Finished Ella Minnow Pea. Started The Selection by Kiera Cass.
Saturday: Finished The Selection. Made me goal of 4 books read but one was not one I owed so I want to read one more from my shelves. Read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Began Scarlet by Marissa Mayer. Read 126 pages.
Sunday: continued reading Scarlet. Read to page 225.

Bout of Books 7.0 was a huge success. I passed my goal by a book and a half and that was while I was sick. Had I been feeling better, I could have read more. 

Next time I want to bump up my number a couple and attend more Twitter chats. I joined one out of the three scheduled. I'd also like to make more comments on participating blogger's blogs. I started out strong in that and then fizzled since I didn't feel like looking at the laptop.

If you have a wrap up post, link me up so I can visit!



Friday, May 17, 2013

{Thoughts On} Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan



Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Goodreads)
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Pages: 260
Source: Publisher for review

Summary from Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.



The premise of a notebook of dares left for a guy, and at the Strand no less, is an intriguing one. Who wouldn't love to converse with a witty, book loving boy? What kept me from totally and completely loving this book was the awful character of Lily. She made me want to Hulk smash something. Her character was 16 but she sounded and acted much younger and that threw me off in my reading. 

I didn't hate Dash like some other reviewers but his character was drawn with dialogue that made it seem like he was trying to prove how smart he was. How ironically hipster he was. The problem with that is that truly smart, ironically hipster people don't go around talking about how smart and ironically hipster they are. But he has the best dialogue in the book with such awesome lines as:
"Are you wearing earphones that I can't see?" I asked.

I snort every single time I read that line. He has the most character development, in my opinion, but the secondary cast of characters...Sophia, Lily's brother Langston and his boyfriend Benny, as well as Great Aunt Ida were great fun. There was a great family dynamic to Lily...she had so many people who loved and were looking out for her. Though I loved that her large family loved her, I thought their protection of her was babyish and a bit over the top. 

And Boomer. Every time he appeared on the page, I pictured a stupid dog saying "which way did he go?" Props to the authors for making him so vivid, even if I couldn't stand him. 

The romance was completely predicable but was enjoyable for me anyway. I was rooting for them to not totally hate each other anyway. They did get to know each other through the dares and comments in the notebook so that part at least was rather believable. My one gripe with the plot comes at the last part of the book. Lots of things happened that I felt were unneeded and really added nothing to the overall story.

This was a cute, quick and funny read that will appeal to readers who love books about books (lots of quotes and bookish references) and those who love the romance. I didn't rate it as high as I would have probably only for the fact that I didn't like Lily but overall it was a highly enjoyable read. I'll seek out other books by the authors for sure.

Rating: 3/5 for very enjoyable with some things that irked me

Thursday, May 16, 2013

{Thoughts On} This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers



Title: This is Not a Test (Goodreads)
Author: Courtney Summers
Pages: 322
Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Anyone who knows me knows that I've become a bit obsessed with The Walking Dead thanks to my friend, Mandy. Since she got me hooked on the show, I've been trying to find a good post-apocalyptic zombie-ish book to read. Enter Kat's The Aussie Zombie Recommends page on her fantastic blog. I looked up all the titles she mentioned and my library only had one. This is Not a Test was awesome. 

Although the cover is entirely creepy, I am not sure what it has to do with the plot. The title, however, is genius. I loved how it played out in the book.

Sloane was hard for me to like because she is just so depressed and ready to give up. But she has a strength that she doesn't even know she has and I enjoyed how she grew through the book. While I still don't really like her, I do admire how she handled things. When she made mistakes, she admitted it and put others in front of herself.

Cary, Rhys, Grace, Trace and Harrison were well developed characters and I was easily able to put myself there in that high school with them. The first part of the book was a bit slow for me but once the action picked up and I got to know the characters better, I wasn't able to put this book down until I finished it. I read it at night which added to the tension and a well timed text I received just about made me come out of my skin. Note to self, don't read scary book in the dark and forget that your phone is on vibrate. *shudder*

I thought that Summers did an excellent job of making the days seem like I think they would be. A whole lot of action but times of just sitting around...waiting for the end. One thing I was thinking throughout is that if we are hit with a zombie apocalypse, I want to be in a in school that has a library...water and food from the cafeteria and all the books I can read until the zombies eat out my brains. 

There are realistic dynamics between all the characters and I loved seeing them develop over time. They were stuck together for better or worse and that leads to all kinds of interesting scenarios. I don't want to be spoilery but I will say that a couple of scenes were completely unexpected but completely believable and totally hot.

I wasn't sure what to expect with the ending but it was satisfying and very well done. Summers writing style was wonderful so I'm looking forward to picking up her other books soon. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars only because the beginning was a bit slow for me but the last 2/3 of the book was excellent and it was about so much more than surviving.

Fans of zombies, post-apocalyptic and just flat out excellent writing will enjoy this one. This is Not a Test packed a punch...made me laugh, made me cry, made me scared and in the end, made me very glad I read it. It seemed like it could be real life but with zombies thrown it for added awesomeness. 

Rating: 4/5



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Tough Reads


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is top ten books dealing with tough subjects (abuse, suicide, grief, etc or something personally hard for you)

1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - oh my. I read this one before I started blogging or really even reading bookish blogs. I don't even remember how I heard about this one but wow. Tough topic but so well written. 









2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - this one had a couple of personally painful scenes in it. At the time I read it, I had to put the book for a while after these scenes to regain my footing. I enjoyed it quite a bit then and wouldn't be quite as bothered by it now but it would still hurt.








3. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman - based on the story summary, I should have known that this one would get to me but a friend of mine and I were doing a read-a-long of this one and I didn't want to let her down. A little bit of a break was needed after an incredibly heart breaking scene but this book was a good hurt that ended with hope.







4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - another one that I ultimately enjoyed but that hit too close to home at spots. I lived it in real life and avoid it in fiction when I know about it in advance.









Ummm, it appears that I don't read many issues books or books that are personally hard for me. Apparently I avoid them very well. *shrugs*

Link me up in the comments if you played along this week. I want to see what I'm missing.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Bout of Book 7.0 Goals

Bout of Books


My Bout of Books goals are very simple:

1. Read 4 books
2. Comment daily on blogs that are participating
3. Participate in at least one Twitter party
4. Update this post with my progress each day

Monday: reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (106 pages)


{Thoughts On} The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller



Title: The Summer I Became a Nerd
Author: Leah Rae Miller
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Pages: ebook, 326
Source: Publisher for review

Description from Goodreads:

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


I have to admit that even though this one has been on my radar for a while, I wasn't sure I would love it. My expectations weren't exactly the highest even if the synopsis made it sound like a cute, summer read. I loved this book. It gave me all the feels. It took me back to high school - in both a good and bad way - and reminded me of everything that I loved and hated about that time in my life.

Maddie is a funny, snarky and sweet character that I just couldn't help but root for. Her love of comic books would probably ruin her cheerleader girl reputation and she goes to great lengths to make sure no one finds out about it. When her favorite comic is back ordered she goes to the local comic shop, in disguise, to buy a copy and Logan, a classmate, finds out her secret. 

Through her budding relationship with Logan, she finally is able to be who she is. A cheerleader AND a nerd who loves comics, and sci-fi. I completely fell head over heels for Logan's character. He wasn't the typical broody, hot idiot teenaged boy that is so prevalent in today's YA. He was sure of himself but was still a bit awkward as boys that age are.

Their friendship was a nice change from the usual instalove. I enjoyed how their relationship grows as she becomes more comfortable with who she is and what she enjoys in life. The awkwardness of some of their interactions was so spot on. 

I love that the central theme is to be yourself. One of my favorite scenes in the book is a conversation between Maddie and her father in which he tells her that there are always going to be people who don't like her because of who she votes for or where she lives and what she wears and that is so true. High school can be torment for some but there will always be people who don't like you no matter how old you are.

This book is a prime example of why I love YA books. The Summer I Became a Nerd is a fast, funny and sweet read. I fell in love with the characters and found myself rooting for them the whole way through. The writing was wonderful, as was the all important dialogue, and the cast of characters was both well developed and interesting.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book and would highly recommend it especially to anyone who loves YA but also to anyone who loves a charming read.

Rating: 5/5 for giving me all the feels and for being consistently entertaining.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Choosing the Next Book

I love me some book blogs and have read a few posts about choosing next books lately. I'm amazed at how some bloggers have complex systems for choosing and others read strictly by publication date.

I've discovered that I am mood reader. I might be in the mood for a dystopian or a non-fiction or a YA but I never know what mood I'll be in until I get there. For this month I am participating in the ARC Sweep Challenge and I made a list (by pub date) of all the ARCs I have. 

I've hated every minute of my reading and I only technically read ONE for the challenge. 

It feels too much like school to me if I have to read that book next. I don't like my reads to be scheduled. I want to read what sounds good. So my solution? 

Netgally ban. 

Two reasons for this. 1) I don't have an ereader so I either read them on my computer or on my phone. Both kill my tired old eyes so I put them off. 2) I always bite off more than I can chew. Seriously, I request too many. It's a sickness really.

For now I'm going to stick with my personal copies and library books. Those are easier to choose from because I can see them, touch them, flip through them. And pick what fits my mood at the moment.

So how do you pick your next read? Do you read based on mood or do you have a schedule?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

{Thoughts On} Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham


Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe
Author: Lauren Graham
Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: For review from Publisher, via Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

A charming and laugh-out-loud novel by Lauren Graham, beloved star of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls, about an aspiring actress trying to make it in mid-nineties New York City.
Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works. Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

I read this for the simple reason that I love Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls. Curious to see if her humor would translate from the screen to the page, I didn't really even read the book summary.  I wanted to fall madly, deeply, forever in love with this book. I did enjoy it but after a while I just wanted it to be over.

The main character, Franny, is a wanna be actress who has given herself a deadline of 3 years to "make it" and if that time passes she is going to give up. She lives in New York with her best friend Jane and their roommate, Dan.

At almost 400 pages, not much happens for much of the book. Franny tries to find acting work and takes an acting class. I have no interest in acting and don't really "get" it so I was lost for a large chunk of the book that talked about methods in acting. It is at the acting class that she meets James Franklin. A relationship of sorts develops between the two of them but it is never defined and it isn't even close to being good. There is a sort of love triangle-ish thing that happens...twice...but in the end it worked for me. I can see why she was torn.

Classmate Penny was one of my favorite parts from the start and I wish her character had been developed a bit more. She was more real than the others and I would have liked to have known more of her story.

Someday, Someday, Maybe was an easy and charming read but I think that I just had too high of expectations for this one.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Radical Dating




Title: Radical Dating: When God Takes Over Your Love Life
Author: Diane Montgomery, Gabrielle Pickle and Sarah Bubar
Pages: 176
Genre: Christian, Dating, Relationships
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Rating: Enjoyable, thought provoking read 
Find It/The Authors: (Goodreads)(Unlocking Femininity Website)
Twitter: (Diane)(Gabrielle)(Sarah)(Unlocking Femininity)
Buy It: Amazon

Radical Dating is a collection of essays about God's plan for our love lives. In following Him, we are to hand over every aspect of our lives to him, including men, relationships or singleness. I was highly interested in reading this book because I am a single mom who has lived through an unwanted divorce. Where is God in all that? This book was just what I needed to read right now and a reminder of things I already knew.

The authors begin with defining love through scriptures. Only through knowledge and belief in God can we experience true love. Outside of God, there is no true love because true love can only be found in Him.

I was tickled that Twilight made several appearances for what true love definitely is not. The authors listed a couple from each generation that was considered love defined...an ultimate relationship...from Romeo and Juliet to Paris and Helen of Troy to Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler to Rose and Jack in Titanic to Noah and Allie in The Notebook (swoon...sorry!) and Bella and Edward in Twilight. The one thing that they all have in common is an all consuming, sweeping depiction of love....society's definition of love.

They give specific tips for each season in relationships...from being single, to having a crush, being a girlfriend and being a wife. Our lives change and so do our roles in relationships. One of my favorite ideas was to be the woman of a godly man's dreams.

One flaw was their use of the term "boy" throughout. I am in my 30s and the last thing I want is a "boy". But overall, I enjoyed Radical Dating. It was quick read that really made me think. And their ideas were backed up with scripture, of course.

Filled with ideas of how God wants relationships to work along with practical tips, Radical Dating is a book every woman who considers herself a Christ follower should read. I'd recommend this book to other singles who are looking to include God in every area of their lives, including their love lives. It's well written and engaging. It shows godly ways to live and love in a world that views love so drastically different than He does.  
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