Monthly Archives:: April 2014

Apr 30

Waiting on Wednesday * Take Me On

Waiting on Wednesday 3

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on Take Me On by Katie McGarry which comes out on May 27, 2014.

Take Me OnChampion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Why I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting because it’s Katie McGarry! I have loved all her books and this one sounds just as amazing as the rest!

Add Take Me On to Goodreads

What are you waiting on?

Kimberly


Apr 28

Review * Played by Liz Fichera

Reviews 3 ★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Played by Liz FicheraPlayed by Liz Fichera
Series: Hooked #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Hooked
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

What I Thought…

  • Played is a cute contemporary and an enjoyable read.
  • One of the reasons why I wanted to read Played was because I liked Sam from the first book, Hooked. Sam was different and interesting and I liked that he didn’t always back up Riley’s ideas, even if her ideas would have benefited him. Like Fred, Sam lives on the Rez but attends public school. He’s also seriously smart and has big plans for his future. He has a rocky relationship with his parents to start, but I liked how things started to come together at the end.
  • Riley was a lot harder to like. She had moments where I felt sorry for her but mostly she irritated me. Sam ends up saving Riley’s life so she feels like she owes him, so she hatches this crazy scheme to break up another couple so Sam can get the girl. Obviously we all know that this is not going to work, but I have no problem with this storyline. However, there were other things that Riley did that drove me crazy. She goes to this party and things get a little out of control and she does some not great things and of course there are pictures (her behavior wasn’t significantly bad, just drinking, kissing, etc). Her behavior here did not seem out of place, but everything that happened afterwards, the repercussions of her actions and he reaction to such were off and seemed out of place for her.
  • Riley is Ryan’s brother so again we come across their less than awesome parents. They have more money than sense and put an unreasonable amount of pressure on Riley to be “perfect.”
  • I loved watching Riley and Sam figure out their friendship and realize their relationship potential throughout the book. It wasn’t instalove but more of a slow burn.
  • I had two issues with Played. The first was that neither Ryan nor Fred seemed to be that pissed that Riley tried breaking them up. It was all “It’s ok, I understand” and I just don’t buy that they were at least a little pissed. She flat out lied to both of them and was caught and… nothing.
  • The other issue I had was lack of things relating to Native Americans. Essentially for Played Sam could have just been some poor kid who lived far from school. There really wasn’t much about the Rez other than his grandmother made baskets and his parents worked at the casino. I wish there would have been more.

Overall I rate Played:

OK

Kimberly


Apr 26

Readathon Update: Hours 1-4

Readathon 1

Just checking in with my fellow readathoners!

Updates

Books Read:

Death of BeesA Witches Handbook of Kisses and Curses

Thoughts: The Death of Bees is our April book selection and I can’t wait to talk about it a book club tonight. It’s different, unusual and a little bit disturbing. I’m about halfway through listening to A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses and as with all of Molly Harper’s books I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Pages Read: 129

Hours Listened: 2 Hours

Snacks: Iced Coffee, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and Pizza

Kimberly


Apr 26

Let the Readathon Begin!

Readathon 2

deweys-readathonbutton

Today is the day! You can read all about the read at Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, but basically you are doing a lot of reading and having bookish fun!

I will not be reading the full 24 hours, but since this is quite possibly my last “free” weekend until after my students finish testing at the end of May I am looking to put a solid 8 hours in before book club Saturday night and hopefully a little bit after I get home as well!

Introduction

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Richmond, VA!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Brownies of course!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I just changed careers and became a math teacher and we are gearing up for the end of year state testing and I am overly paranoid that ALL my students are going to fail.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Every readathon I do things a bit differently and this time I am aiming to do more updates on twitter. Twitter is a lot more interactive than just posting on my blog!

Updates (8am to Noon EST)

Books Read:

Pages Read:

Snacks Eaten:

Challenges

Kimberly


Apr 25

Readathon is Tomorrow!

Readathon 2

deweys-readathonbutton

Tomorrow is readathon day! You can read all about the read at Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, but basically you are doing a lot of reading and having bookish fun!

I will not be reading the full 24 hours, but since this is quite possibly my last “free” weekend until after my students finish testing at the end of May I am looking to put a solid 8 hours in before book club Saturday night and hopefully a little bit after I get home as well!

The Readathon Pile

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 8.22.30 PMA Witches Handbook of Kisses and CursesWe Were LiarsCatch A Falling Star

I will be starting with The Death of Bees because… well… I procrastinated a bit too long with the book club book and we meet tonight! I have no idea what I will pick up next (though I am leaning heavily towards What I Thought Was True) but at some point I have to cut my grass and I will be listening to A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses while I do it.

Are you participating? What are you planning on reading?

Kimberly


Apr 24

Review * The Geography of You and Me

Reviews 2 ★★★

Review * The Geography of You and MeThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith
Published by Poppy on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

What I Thought…

  • Without a doubt I absolutely love Jennifer E Smiths writing. I love how smooth her narration is, how everything flows and I love her unique ideas (even if they are a bit improbable). In The Geography of You and Me we meet Lucy and Owen, who are very different and meet by chance while they are stuck in an elevator during a city wide blackout. That’s not really where their story takes place though, their story is how they are separated and how they find each other again.
  • After Lucy and Owen are separated they begin an exchange of postcards, though there were far few post cards than I was expecting. It worked for the story though, showing how far apart and separated they are beyond the physical distance.
  • Owen recently lost his mother and him and his father leave town and end up taking a job in Lily’s building. After some unfortunate circumstances Owen ends up leaving New York with his father and they travel throughout the US looking for work. They traveled all over, landing in places here and there and finally ending up on the west coast. Their trip is not an easy one and wears on Owen a bit as he contemplates his future.
  • Lucy thought she would never be leaving NYC but her dad ends up taking a job in Scotland so off she goes! I enjoyed Lucy’s travels as much as I did Owens. I really liked how Lucy grew and changed throughout her travels as well. In NYC she didn’t really have any friends and was often by herself, but things started to change for her in Scotland, and even more so when she ended up in London. Without these changes I don’t think Lucy would have been ever been able to really take a chance on Owen.
  • As with her other books Smith gives us a satisfying ending, but not an over the top one. She leaves the couple exactly as they should and their future is still unknown, but that’s right kind of ending for them.

If you like cute long distance stories, The Geography of You and Me is for you!

Kimberly


Apr 22

Top Ten Tuesday * Characters Who Piss Me Off

Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized 10

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Characters Who Piss Me Off!

In no particular order…

Cynthia Hand Boundless Shatter MeJamie McGuire Beautiful Disaster Susan Beth Pfeffer Shade of the Moon Lauren Oliver Requiem

1. Clara, Boundless by Cynthia Hand

I DO NOT approve of how you treated Christian.

2. Juliet, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I know that it was by design, but I can’t help by be annoyed by all her fancy metaphoric thoughts.

3. Abby & Travis, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Every single thing about both of them pissed me off. Her whining. His super, over the top, not even cool in books, overprotectedness.

4. Jon, The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

As you get to know Jon, you find out about somethings that happen in a previous book and he is very good at reasoning away what happened and sorry, but no. Not ok.

5. Lena, Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Lena, your waffling drove me crazy.

Charlaine Harris Dead Ever AfterSuzanne Collins Mockingjay Kiera Cass The Selection Gillian Flynn Gone Girl Brodi Ashton Everbound

6. Vampire Bill, Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

There is no character more annoying to me than Vampire Bill. His mere presence in the books pisses me off.

7. Gale, Mockingjay by Suzaanne Collins

Gale, you are not the man I thought and hoped you were. Your change in personality was most unfortunate and your behaviors unacceptable.

8. America, The Selection by Kiera Cass

America, your constant whining and inability to really see what’s going on around you and your constant dealings with Aspen make me angry.

9. Nick & Amy, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If these two fail to piss you off, you’re probably reading it wrong. ;)

10. Cole, Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Cole, I liked you in Everneath, but the underhandedness that you did in Everbound is inexcusable!

Kimberly


Apr 21

Review * Sunrise by Mike Mullin

Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review * Sunrise by Mike MullinSunrise by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #3
Published by Tanglewood Press on April 15, 2014
Genres: Natural Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Pages: 466
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Also in this series: Ashfall, Ashen Winter
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.

When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever—and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.

What I Thought…

  • Sunrise was one of my most anticipated books this year. I love natural disasters and post apocalyptic stories and I loved both Ashfall and Ashen Winter. I was really excited to see where the Ashfall series was going to end!
  • Just like in Ashfall and Ashen Winter, Sunrise is dark and gritty and intense. This is not a happy go lucky post apocalyptic fiction tale. Bad things happen and life is seriously difficult, but among all that despair is also hope for the future. Even though this is considered YA, it is definitely for more mature YA readers.
  • Sunrise takes place over a few years time, and for this type of book it’s the only way these things could happen and make sense. There are a lot of changes going on and plans made for the future, none of which would have made any sense in a shorter time frame. It also allowed for Alex and Darla to grow up quite a bit.
  • There are a lot of different conflicts going on in Sunrise. Part of me understands that some of these things were bound to happen, but the other part of me wishes that some of it would have been condensed down because we’ve seen similar conflicts in Ashfall and Ashen Winter. Sunrise is pretty fast moving though, there is a lot of action and Mullin does a great job of skimming over the less exciting parts of their lives, while still giving us an idea of what was going on.
  • Alex and Darla are still the same determined (and sometimes stubborn) characters that they were before, though they have grown up a lot as well. I love them together and I love how they think about their personal future, but also the future of their family and others in Warren. I also love how Alex is realistic about his ability to lead at his age and how things change as he gets older and as new things develop and he grows more confident.
  • There were some things I had a difficult time with in Sunrise. View Spoiler » It know this is petty and shallow of me, but this really bothered me and made it difficult to read the rest of the book.
  • While I didn’t always enjoy the ride getting there I really liked the ending. Mullin wraps up a dark and gritty series with hope for the future, that despite the tragedy of Yosemite erupting and causing a volcanic winter that people can and will survive such circumstances. There is still a long way to go for survival, but there is a plan. I also really liked that he kept everything more local throughout the series, rather than trying to bring the whole country and what was going on everywhere else into the end he left things in the Midwest where Alex and Darla made their home.

If you like Darker fiction the Ashfall series is for you!

Previous Books in the Series

Ashfall | Ashen Winter

Kimberly


Apr 17

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 4

RTB

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

One of my favorite blogger friends, Cindy from Cindy’s Love of Books just recently made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. We were chatting about the move and I was telling her how awesome WordPress is and how much I love plugins so I thought I would share my list of favorite plugins with my readers!

Akismet

Without Akismet I’m pretty sure I would die from spam overload. Akismet does a fantastic job, I’ve had a comment or two sneak in, but Akismet catches 99% of all the spam. Even though I am a small blog the number of spam comments Akismet catches is staggering.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus automatically backs up your blog, and that’s a must! I’ve used mine before and I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I was to have a back up! The nice thing about UpdraftPlus is that it backs up to Dropbox (or whatever platform you choose) every month/week/day that you choose automatically, so you never have to think about doing it!

Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin

The UBB is the only plugin I have that I paid money for, and it was worth every penny. Seriously it does all the things book bloggers need: it formats all my reviews the same and has automatically updating indexes, those two things alone make the price worth it, but it does lots of other things as well.

WordPress Editorial Calendar and Schedule Posts Calendar

I found the way to schedule posts in WordPress to be pretty unfriendly and these two helped me out a ton. The editorial calendar shows you your posts in a calendar style layout and you can easily move posts around as you want. The Posts Calendar adds a calendar to your schedule options on the posting page which is a huge deal for me as I usually think about my posts as the days of the week, not the date that they will be posted.

Simple Content Templates

Tired of constant formatting the same types of posts (TTT, WoW, StS etc)? This plugin is for you. You set it up one time and then you can just select the template you want when you are starting your new post!

CommentLuv

This one automatically links the commenters last blog post to their comment! This makes it super easy to reply back to your commenters, right on their own blog.

What are your favorite plugins?

Kimberly


Apr 15

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I Want

Top Ten Tuesday 8

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Bookish Things I Want

Some of these are out of my price range/unrealistic, but whatever, it’s my list, I’ll do what I want ;)

1. A Library

It doesn’t have to be a ginormous library, but I’d like one room dedicated just to books with a nice comfy chair and a bay window that faces southwest so I can watch the storms roll in. That’s not too much to ask, right?

bc2. Book Club T-Shirt

Kate from Midnight Book Girl had this designed for our book club and it’s totally awesome and I can’t wait till we get T-Shirts!

3. Framed Covers

There are so many awesome book covers and I would love to get some framed like: The Selection, Everbound, Wither, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and more!

4. Book Art

As much as it pains me to see a book “destroyed” I really want one of those book art things, where they recreate a scene from the book with the pages of the book (looks a bit like a pop up). I don’t know which book I would want but they just look so cool! Check out one of my favorites at the National Art Society.

5. Replace Books I Stupidly Gave Away

In my move from Wisconsin to Virginia I decided that I didn’t need all those old books that I don’t read anymore. And while it’s true I don’t need them, I really still wish I had them, even if it was just to look at them on the shelf. The books I am most sad about giving away are my Christopher Pike books, that was a huge part of my childhood and I hate that I gave them away.

6. Bookish Retreat

Someday I want all my blogging bff’s and I to go on a bookish retreat. Logistically this will be a difficult feat because we are pretty spread out, but I would love to just hole up in some little cabin (with electricity and running water of course) for a weekend and have a good bookish time.

7. Days off so I can attend all of BEA

Standardized tests are sucking all the fun out of BEA for me this year. Don’t get me wrong I love my new job, but teachers are not allowed time off during the testing window, which is essentially all of the month of May, which means the only day I can go to BEA is Saturday. :(

I’m having a hard time thinking of more things so I’ll leave the list at 7 for today.

What’s on your list?

Kimberly