In My Mailbox (38)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library!

I was able to go to a book signing this week AND I managed to snag some other fantastic books. Let’s see what there was in my mailbox this week:

For Review:

Only one review book this week which is totes okay because I need to catch up!

DiSemblance by Shanae Branham

My Thoughts:This will be my first techno thriller read and I cannot wait!

Bought:

The signed books are all from the Written In The Mitten signing I was able to attend last week. It was so much fun!

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter (signed)

My Thoughts:  I have the first two books in this series but I have yet to read them. Aimee said this one could work well as a book before the series or in between #2 and #3. I’ll have to see!

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton (signed)

My Thoughts: We read the first book last year in our book club and I have been anxious for the sequel. I can’t wait!

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin (signed)

My Thoughts: Hearing Lara’s inspiration behind this story made me even more excited to read it! She went on a similar trip as the main character so I just know it is going to be awesome!

Trajectories by Tess Grant (signed)

My Thoughts: I cannot wait to see how this unlikely pair deals with werewolves. Tess read a small teaser at the signing and now I want to read the rest of the book!

Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris (signed)

My Thoughts: I <3 Carrie!!!! I have so been dying to read this book FOR SO FREAKING LONG! I am over-joyed that I now have my very own, prettyful, signed copy!

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell (signed)

My Thoughts: I am not entirely familiar with the original fariy tale but I am still pumped to see how Merrie re-did The Twelve Dancing Princesses!

Breathe by Abbi Glines (e-book)

My Thoughts: Okay I am not going to lie, I mainly got this book because the second book was super freaking cheap. Not to mention I have only been DYING to read these books.

Because of Low by Abbi Glines (e-book)

My Thoughts: Like I said above, super cheap and I am so so so so so so so excited to read these ones!

Gifted/Won:

My sister’s best friend is going away to college so she gave me a few of her books!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My Thoughts: I have heard such great things about this book.

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

My Thoughts: I haven’t had a chance to read any of Deb’s books yet!

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

My Thoughts:I LOVE this movie so now I get to read the book.

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

My Thoughts: I’ve only read a few of Nicholas’ books so I can’t wait to read more.

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

My Thoughts:See above!!!

Ritual by Alex Duval

My Thoughts:Kati read this series back in the day so one of these days I’ll have to give it a shot.

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

My Thoughts:I haven’t read anything by Jodi yet but I am totally in love with My Sister’s Keeper so hopefully soon I’ll be able to read this one!

I hope you guys all got some great books this week; happy reading!

 

 

The Best of Twenty-Eleven

The year has come and gone so quickly that I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was starting my winter semester as a college Freshman and I was trying to squeeze in every ounce of fun that I could. A ton of memories were created this past year, some bad but mostly all good, and I like to think it has been one of the best years yet. In keeping with the same format that I used last year, here are some of the best moments of 2011!

Sidenote: Almost all of these are a tie between two or more things. Sorry about that, I tried my best to narrow it down but it just wasn’t happening!

1. Best Vacation– This is definitely a tie between the Myrtle Beach vacation I took with Kati and the Myrtle Beach Vacation I took with my family a month later. The weather was gorgeous both times and I got to experience a ton of different things with each trip. I was so lucky to be able to go on two vacations back to back like that!

2. Best Concert– This one also has a tie! It is between Warped Tour 2011 and the acoustic performance by We The Kings! Warped Tour is a day filled with music awesomeness! I saw so many bands perform, got a ton of stuff signed, and I even got to talk to a few of the performers. The We The Kings acoustic performance was brilliant for so many reasons: It was acoustic, it was small, it was free, it featured my future husband, I got to put my arms around my future husband, and I even got to take a picture with my future husband. IT WAS AMAZING!

3. Best CD– This is also going to have to be a tie! We The Kings dropped their latest album this year entitled Sunshine State of Mind. The title of the album couldn’t be more perfect because I get in a sunshiney state of mind EVERY TIME I listen to their CD. So what could be the competition to such an epic CD? All the mixed CD’s I got this past year! I had a lot of friends make me CD’s and all of them were filled with awesome songs that brings a smile to my face!

4. Best New Activity– I can’t explain too many details because I have yet to send out Christmas presents to some pretty freaking lovely bloggers but I do enjoy jewelry making. It takes time and is far more expensive than I could have imagined but it is so much fun to create!

5. Best Birthday Present– Last year I got a whole new bedroom so I was wondering how anything could ever live up to something like that. The answer came in the form of a brand-new bookshelf! I was making just the one work but I was desperately in need of one and my parents luckily noticed it! I love it so freaking much!

6. Best Movies– Well I do love me some movies…and popcorn! Some of my favorites were: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bridesmaids, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows: Part 2, and Footloose.

7. Best Books– Oh gosh! It was my original goal to read 100 books in 2011 but Goodreads just wouldn’t stop telling me how sucky I was at completing that goal so I changed it to 80 and I still didn’t accomplish it! However, I did squeeze in 76 books. The best ones (some 4’s and all 5 stars) are:

Sidenote: Some of the titles will be linked to my reviews and other will be linked to Goodreads since I have not yet reviewed them!

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Faithful by Janet Fox

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Matched by Ally Condie

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Re-reads of both Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols books

Fade by Lisa McMann

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

Between by Cyndi Tefft

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Girl v Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

8. Best Blogging Moment– How does one even choose something like this? In the past year I have met more authors, connected with more bloggers, reviewed more books, joined more weekly features, and had the most fun than I have EVER had! This whole experience has been one joyous event after another and I have all of YOU to thank for that. I have found some of the greatest friends and most influential people (and let’s not forget they all also kick butt when it come to writing reviews!) than I could have ever imagined. I would not trade this past year for anything!

9. Best Friend(s)– It is no secret that Kati has and always will be my best friend. I talk about her awesomeness all the time. But because of recent events, I feel like I must give a shout-out to my dear friend Stacey. Her and I were running buddies in high school. You could never find two girls who hated cross-country with such a deep passion like the two of us (even though we secretly loved it!) She has been there for both Kati and I through so many things and now it’s our turn to be there for Stacey. These two girls make my days so much better and I love them for that!

10. Best Family– Well of course this goes out to my family once again but not without some complaints! Zack and Zeke aka The Brat Pack drove me absolutely INSANE this past year. Those two boys are the epitome of annoying little brothers. I love them to death but jeez louise they sure are crazy! In all honesty, I am lucky to have my family always there for me. They support me through everything and even though they make fun of me every once in a while, they always know how to make me smile!

So that’s it for my 2011! I hope you all had a great year and an even better 2012!

TGIF (22)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Spooktacular Reads:

Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

I would like to think that I am a tough person who can handle scary books but in reality I am a big, big baby. However, I have managed to sneak in a few creepy books and by somewhat of a shock, I actually enjoyed them. The first couple are books that just really freaked me out. The rest are ones that have Halloween-ish elements in them (a.k.a. Paranormal books that I find to be totally, freaking awesome!!!)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

I just read this one. HOLY FREAKING CREEPY!

The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way

I read this one over a year ago and I STILL think of how twisted that story is!

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Of course fighting off demons with swords can be considered a great Halloween read!

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

This is a book about a girl who can sense dead bodies, FREAKY!

Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

This book is more of a love story but the main characters do spend quite a bit of time in the cemetary which is ALWAYS good for freaking people out.

Beautiful Creatures + Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both of these books a million times YES! Everything about them shouts great Halloween read! Plus Ethan and Lena…I <3 those two!

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

This is the PERFECT book for this time of year. It definitely makes me think of one of those cool made for TV movies that ABC Family always has this time of year. It could totally be right up there with Hocus Pocus!

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

I love me some Stacey Kade! You can’t have Halloween without a friendly little ghost (or in this case, a spoiled little ghost who wants things to go her way!)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

I was so surprised by how much I loved this book that is based so heavily on Edgar Allen Poe. This story is dark, creepy, and twisted, what more could you want?!?

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

I don’t think this one has anything to do with this time of year but I think it is a phenomenal paranormal book!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Oh yes, definitely a great paranormal book that is perfect for reading this time of year!

Released by Megan Duncan

Demon slaying people on the run? YES please!

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Oh how I love this book! Another great paranormal book that has NOTHING to do with Halloween but you should read anyway!

So what do you think? Are any of these on your list of books to read during Halloween time?

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (10/21-10/28):

TGIF (21)

Life As Kate (4)

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Tune In Tuesday (31)

Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast Book Trailer + Giveaway!!!

Monthly Wrap-Up (April 2011)

Another month gone, already!?! We have now entered our 5th month of 2011! The month of April included a family vacation, a few minor emergencies, about 500 college papers that needed to be written, and then final exams for my first year of college! I was super busy so not a whole lot got done this past month. As always I did read some pretty fabulous books and I did manage to squeeze in a few posts. Here is what happened on the blog for the month of April:

Books I Read In April:

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole

Vision by Beth Elisa Harris

Dream Smashers by Angela Carlie

*The total was 5 books for the month of April. I am now 26% done with my goal of 100 books. According to goodreads.com I am 7 books behind but I hope to make up for it next month!*

Books I Reviewed In April:

Chime by Franny Billingsley. I read this book for the 2011 Y.A. Historical Fiction Challenge. I fell in love with Franny’s style of writing!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This book is AMAZING! The prefect Y.A. contempt, love story.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. This paranormal book was great! I love the awesome fighting scenes, the romance, and Will ;)

Act of Redemption by C.C. Cole. As the first in a series, this book blew me away! I loved the hard-core female lead character as well as all of the awesome fighting scenes!

Miscellaneous Things On The Blog In April:

I skipped out on a few IMM’s this past month but the one I did do was awesome!

(Read my IMM post here )

I did participate in a few Tune-In & Teaser Tuesdays. As always, they were a lot of fun!

(Read my posts herehere, & here)

I was a featured blogger on Y.A. Booklover’s blog this month. She hosted a super awesome interview!

(Read my interview here)

There is my blog posts of April for you! Looking back at how lazy I truly was this past month, I am making a promise that May will be better!

Book Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Angelfire (Angelfire #1)

Author: Courtney Allison Moulton

Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 453 hardcover

My Rating: 4/5 stars 

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember. 

After attending Courtney’s awesome launch party and hearing so many wonderful things about this book, I was quite excited to find out that this was our next book club read. I am excited to report that I can now be included in the group of people who loved this book! It is absolutely wonderful. I found the characters were amazing; so realistic & they truly acted like teenagers today regardless of how upside down their world has turned. The fact that this book is full of scary demons and some hardcore fight scenes is seriously kick-butt! I loved how Courtney made a female character that can take care of business all on her own. And let’s not forget about romance. This book is chop-full of sizzling, super hot romance between the two characters!

Courtney seemed to create wonderful characters with ease. The main character, Ellie, is your average teenage girl with average teenage issues. A distant, grumpy father, a cute guy friend who wants to take their relationship to the next level, an over-the-top super funny best friend, a recently murdered teacher, and oh, there’s that whole reincarnation, demon-slayer thing. So maybe Ellie isn’t just your average teen with all this extra crap going on but I loved that Courtney kept her personality real and down to earth even when she was slaying demons or wielding her swords. I did get a little irritated that she was so resistant to accepting the truth about her past, but I quickly got over it. She is sarcastic, honest, and completely funny. I wish I could have been friends with her! As for the people in the book who actually get to be friends with her, they are awesome! They played very minor roles but the whole group dynamic between them all seemed so realistic and fun. Even thought the main character and her friends where quite fantastic, they can’t hold a candle to Will. Holy hotness! You would have to be insane to not want a hunk like Will watching over you to make sure your safe. The green eyes, tattoos, and fighting skills just have me swooning! I will admit, he seemed a little whipped by this Ellie, doing whatever she may ask, but I still adore him. And the chemistry between the two is to die for! After being side by side in combat for centuries, these two are as close as they come. The very fine line between Will’s role as a guardian and as a lover was quite fine indeed, providing us with one deep & wonderful romance!

Demons, angels, and epic fight scenes, oh my! While at times I may have been a little confused over the world that Courtney created for us, I found myself loving the parts that I did understand! The demon & angel aspect of this story was created with originality. I can foresee demons becoming huge in the near future of Y.A. literature, and Anglefire will no doubt be the first major book of that fad! Who would have guessed that I would love a book with so much creepy, crawly creatures in it? As for the fighting scenes, you could not get more detailed or kick-butt than the ones that Courtney wrote in this book! I could have been right there with Ellie & Will watching the angelfire ignite from her swords or watching them kick some major demon booty!

This suspenseful, deeply romantic, and unique debut novel is a book that you will not forget! I will impatiently awaiting the arrival of the second book of this series!

Katelyn is MIA!!!

Technically I am not MIA yet but I will be very shortly. I am just dropping this short little blog post to let all my fellow bloggers know that I will not be posting for the next week or so. *enters sad face here*. I am going on Spring Break round 4 with my best friend Kati Shu. (I am not 100% sure if this is our fourth or perhaps even our third spring break vacay together, but anyways…) We will be taking a lovely drive from Michigan all the way down to Myrtle Beach. The weather is supposed to be a solid 60 degrees the whole time (maybe not beach weather, but hey, I’ll take what I can get!).

We plan to sun bathe, swim in the ocean (but hopefully not drown as we did in last year’s trip to California), dance (but hopefully not get punched in the face while doing so. I am guilty as charged), eat (it is my all-time favorite hobby aside from reading), read (we will most likely read Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series; it is an annual tradition. However, I also took up suggestions on Twitter, here are the results: A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford, Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker, Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala, and Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. You best believe I will check those out before the trip!)

Well, there you have it, my excuse for not blogging. However, when I return there will be lots of good stuff happening. I will blog about the trip, catch up on weekly memes, post some awesome reviews, and did someone mention a giveaway??? That is right, I am participating in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop! However, I have no idea what good Irish themed books are out there so I am going to be calling it the, “un-LUCKY dead giveaway.” The book to win just might be Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth… So stay tuned, come back and join me in a week or so!

I hope everyone else’s spring season is off to a fantastic start! See you all later!

In My Mailbox (7)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. Here is my list of books I got this week. This is IMM number 7 and I was feeling kind of lucky this week! (All summaries are courtesy of Goodreads.com):

Bought:

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

My Thoughts: Well first off, congrats to Courtney for the awesome book launch. I am so extremely happy that I was able to attend that event! Courtney was able to sign & personalize the book (eek!!!) and she also read an excerpt from her book! If the summary isn’t enough to just completely draw you in, then I don’t know what is! It just sounds like a kick-butt book!

Generation Dead  by Daniel Waters

Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren’t staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic.” But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good.

When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

My Thoughts: I chose this book for the A-Z challenge. A zombie love story is most definitely something I have NOT read yet so I am pretty darn excited to actually have my own copy!

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band’s manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she’s deaf?

Piper can’t hear Dumb’s music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

My Thoughts: This is perhaps the most unique sounding book I have picked up in a long time! I mean come on… a deaf girl managing a band!?! This book just screams awesomeness at me.

So Shelly by Ty Roth

Until now, high school junior, John Keats, has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy, Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.

After stealing Shelly’s ashes from her wake at Trinity Catholic High School, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie island where Shelly’s body had washed ashore and to where she wished to be returned. It would be one last “so Shelly” romantic quest. At least that’s what they think. As they navigate around the obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her tragic and premature end.

My Thoughts: Well this book wasn’t on my original 2011 Debut Author Challenge list (I must have been on something to not add this book to the list!) It sounds fantastic. Maybe a little love story? A story of self-discovery? Am I sensing a tad bit of mystery? Well I will find out soon enough, it sounds great!

Miscellaneous:

While at Courtney Allison Moulton’s book launch at the fabulous Schuler Book Store in Lansing (literally the best store I have EVER been to) I had some sticky fingers and picked up a few bookmarks, a sticker, and a pin….ok more than a few ;). They include:

Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness bookmarks (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)

A Touch Mortal bookmark…signed!!! (Leah Clifford)

Angelfire bookmark and sticker (Courtney Allison Moulton)

Iron Queen bookmark and pin (Julie Kagawa)

The Dark Days Supernatural Tour bookmark (multiple authors)

Also in the miscellaneous category is a lovely little troll from Gae Polisner (Author of The Pull of Gravity)… oh wait, that’s right, there is a troll caper somewhere between Gae’s mailbox and mine. After the first attempt failed (the mail was actually opened & the troll was gone!) I contacted Gae and she sent me another one. This time she included a super cute little poem but yet again, the troll was missing. Even though we have had some troll-napping issues I am very thankful to Gae for the sweet letter and the awesome (signed!!) 2k11 bookmarks and sticker!

Well that is it for my awesome little mailbox this week; what did you get in your mailbox?