Thursday, August 15, 2013

Throwback Thursday #3

Throwback Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Stephanie @Bookfever and Christina @Booksane where we feature books that we've read in the past but are still crazy about. It could be a book you read as a child and still remember and love or maybe just a book that you haven't read in a long time and want to show your love for.
Each week we'll be featuring a new random question to answer!


The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will...and what a will it is!

To me the ultimate grade-school read was The Westing Game! Which thinking back on it this was a pretty tough little mystery for us kids. There was a variety of characters and who didn't want to be Turtle Wexler every now and again with her nose stuck where it shouldn't belong?


“Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows.” 

 Question of the Week: 

Do you listen to music while reading?

Sometimes I might have music playing but usually I can't concentrate on the music and reading my book.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

 About the Book 
The Two Princesses of Bamarre (Enchanted, #2)
Princess Meryl dreams of one day protecting the kingdom of Bamarre, while timid Princess Addie is content to stay always within the safety of the castle walls. The one trait they share is their devotion to each other. Their world is turned upside down, though, when Meryl is stricken by the incurable Gray Death. To save her sister, Addie must set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters' lives--and the future of Bamarre--hang in the balance.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

 My Thoughts 
I had no idea that this was actually book two of a series, so my reviews are going to be backwards (at least I've read Ella Enchanted before). xD
So this was my second time reading The Two Princesses of Bamarre and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. Levine writes characters that you can't help but love. Meek and timid Addie is relatable and Meryl wants to fight monsters and kick butt.
Every book I have read by Levine has had a sweet little love story too and we have Rhys the sorcerer in The Two Princess of Bamarre. He's seventy-eight in sorcerer years! Which is seventeen in human years and he's sweet and funny, a perfect little crush for all the younger readers and the older ones (like me).
There's adventure, love and true family ties in this book along with all the cool creatures.


The Two Princesses of Bamarre


“I was no hero. The dearest wishes of my heart were for safety and tranquility. The world was a perilous place, wrong for the likes of me.” 

“Step follows step,
Hope follows Courage,
Set your face towards danger,
Set your heart on victory.”

 About the Author 
Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf, illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a 1790 farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.

Goodreads | Blog | Website |

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Descended by Debra Ann Miller

 About the Book 
Descended (Fallen Guardian Saga, #1)
Destiny has two ways of crushing us…by refusing our wishes…and fulfilling them.

Vie had no idea when she descended into the small town of Newcastle, Wyoming that she’d find herself mesmerized by the mysterious and alluring eyes of one Carter Stone. And Carter believed he knew everyone that lived in his rural town until the day he locked eyes with Vivian Thorne. He couldn’t help but wonder what was different about this girl he had known all of his life.

He was right, Vie was the beautiful young Guardian that had been sent to their world looking for Carter and she did so merged in the vessel of the Thorne girl. Their meeting sparks a passionate romance between the two and soon after they embark on their journey to uncover the secrets of a past that they begin to realize they both shared. Their forbidden connection unleashes a war with disapproving parties and the lovers find themselves on a mission to uncover the truth of their not wholly human existence and their unbreakable bond.

Darkness falls as Lucian returns to settle a score with them and their lives take a thrilling and terrifying turn. The only way for Carter to stop Lucian and save the one he holds most dear is to unlock the secrets of his past and unleash the powers within him. What are the chances that two raindrops, flung from the heavens, will merge on a windowpane? Gotta be fate!

Deeply passionate and extraordinarily suspenseful, Descended captures the struggles between doing what is expected of you and unleashing your destiny, between fulfilling prophecies and desires, between loyalty and love.

Amazon |

 My Thoughts 
I tried really hard to enjoy this but it just didn't happen. Apparently angel books are not my cup of tea. :(
Descended starts off slowly and there isn't much action until the last forty pages or so. I didn't connect with any of the characters whatsoever. The main character Violet's personality flip flopped from dogging someone to find out something or hurting someone and then the next thing ya know, she was trying to console someone after upsetting or hurting them so I didn't like her at all. Then there's Carter...who is almost as frustrating as Violet (he's a little better) and their insta-love thing, though towards the end it is explained that  (small spoiler) they knew each other after all. Then we have our bad guy Lucian, who I found to be an over-the-top wannabe villain.
To me the storyline felt like a lot of other young adult books around today. Girl meets boy, short time later we find that we're soul mates, etc. My biggest problem was the constant mention of how 'beautiful' Violet was...what is wrong with what most call an average girl? Why can't she be pretty and still be as wanted? Overall I wouldn't read this again or plan on reading book 2. All of that said, I have to give a low review because I found myself struggling to finish this.


*Debra Ann Miller was kind enough to offer a copy of Descended in exchange for a review so thank you Miss Miller.

 About the Author 
I am a happily married, devoted mom of 3 living in Naperville, Illinois. I'm married to a fifth grade teacher, who is my best friend and soul mate. Being "Mom" for the past 23 years has been my privilege but really didn't allow me the time I needed to pursue what I loved most...writing. I put my interests on the back burner while I carted kids off to soccer games, baseball practice, and back home to make dinner and help with homework. By the time my head hit the pillow I was off to dream land where my imagination flourished.

After my grandmother passed away, I decided that life was too short to put the things we love to do on hold. The next day my story took flight. I felt compelled to put the words inside my head to the pages of my old school notebook. I wrote freehand whenever I could and the more I wrote the more the characters came to life. Carter and Vie began having conversations in my head daily and I found myself addicted to writing their story. Nine months later I finished and published, Descended (Fallen Guardian Saga #1). 

Throwback Thursday #2

Throwback Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Stephanie @Bookfever and Christina @Booksane where we feature books that we've read in the past but are still crazy about. It could be a book you read as a child and still remember and love or maybe just a book that you haven't read in a long time and want to show your love for.
Each week we'll be featuring a new random question to answer!


Lord Loss (The Demonata, #1)
Darren Shan

Grubbs Grady has stiff red hair and is a little big for his age, which means he can get into R-rated movies. He hates history and loves bacon, rats, and playing tricks on his squeamish older sister. When he opts out of a family weekend trip, he never guesses that he is about to take a terrifying journey into darkness. Hungry demons and howling werewolves haunt his waking nightmares... and threaten his life.

I recently re-read books 1-3 and then caught up to book 9 in like a month. Then of course the library didn't have the last one but these books are AWESOME! I first read Shan's Saga of Darren Shan/Cirque du Freak series and loved it so then I discovered his Demonata series. These books are creepy, gross and like a more kickass R.L. Stine.


“You thought I was a werewolf?" Dervish asks.
"Yes." I answer hollowly.
"You ass.”

 Question of the Week: 

Do you have an e-reader?

I do have an e-reader! I won my Kindle last December and have loved having it. Paper books are still better but free e-books are nice and addictive.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Throwback Thursday #1

Throwback Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Stephanie @Bookfever and Christina @Booksane where we feature books that we've read in the past but are still crazy about. It could be a book you read as a child and still remember and love or maybe just a book that you haven't read in a long time and want to show your love for.
Each week we'll be featuring a new random question to answer!


I was almost late to the party since I didn't realize Steph and Christina had decided to start this until today. So my first Throwback Thursday features Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute: Andy Evans. He's a senior at Melinda's high school, and Melinda hasn't been able to speak clearly since the Incident with him at the senior party last August.

I think I read it in my early teens which to me feels like twenty years ago (it's only been ten years). I first saw the movie featuring Kristen Steward, Michael Angarano and Steve Zahn. If you haven't seen the film all I can say is you've missed out. I recently re-read Speak and was blown away again by Melinda's story. to me, it's a must-read for all girls and women.


“IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding.” 

“Do they choose to be so dense? Were they born that way? I have no friends. I have nothing. I say nothing. I am nothing. ” 

“If I ever form a clan, we'll be the anti-cheerleaders and walk under the bleacher forming mild acts of mayhem.”

 Question of the Week: 

What is your favorite drink while reading?

Truthfully, I try not to drink anything while reading because I'm a bit of a klutz (you're suprised right?) and I don't want to spill anything on my book or Kindle.

Review: Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri

 About the Book 
Another Faust (Another, #1)
One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish-only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city's most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor's extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up-reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty-they start to suffer the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary re-imagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

 My Thoughts 
Let me start off by saying that I'd never heard of the Faust legend before reading this. Pretty simple idea: mortal, demon, soul, selling of said soul.
The prologue starts off five years before the rest of the book where we're introduced to our main characters who are Victoria from England, Christian from Scotland, twin sisters Belle and Bicé from Italy and Valentin from France who only have age and unhappiness in common. Then one night they all disappear from their beds.
The children reappear five years later in New York with their beautiful governess, Nicola Vileroy who's only outward imperfection is an odd left eye which pretty much scares the hell out of everyone. About a quarter of the book takes place before they're enrolled at Manhattan Marlowe School where the kids wreak havoc using "powers or gifts" that Vileroy has given them...for a price. As we learn very slowly throughout Another Faust and don't know for sure until the last hundred pages (well I didn't at least), Madame Vileroy is a demon! Was I surprised much? Not really since I'd been guessing she was a witch or something since each chapter has a flashback to some of the others our governess has "helped". The woman literally has an EVIL EYE! xD
Overall it wasn't a bad story but I didn't enjoy the characters. Victoria was a bitchy hag, Valentin was a liar and kind of lost his mind/any decency he may have ever possessed at the end, evil Vileroy (I know I'm supposed to hate the bad guy but sometimes I don't) and Belle who was so vain to start off with. I did like the story idea but I might have connected better if it was someone who had sold their soul for family or love...maybe. My biggest problem was that I felt like there wasn't a real ending and I don't do well with maybe they had a happily ever after.
So if you enjoy books about evil governesses and pretty dumb kids who will sell their souls for petty reasons, then you should read Another Faust.

Another Faust

 About the Authors 
Daniel Nayeri is a writer and editor in New York. He wrote and produced "The Cult of Sincerity," the first feature film to be world premiered on YouTube. He has had all kinds of jobs around books, including book repairman, literary agent, used bookstore clerk, Official Story-Time Reader Leader, editor, copy-editor, and even carpenter (making bookshelves). He's also a professional pastry chef. He loves Street Fighter 2, hates the word "foodie," and is an award-winning stuntman.

Dina Nayeri graduated from Princeton where she first discovered her passion for fiction. However, being a stubborn know-it-all, she had to spend five years in the business world first. She worked as a consultant at McKinsey in New York City and as a project manager for Saks Fifth Avenue. Dina then received an MBA and an M.Ed. from Harvard, where she was a Zuckerman Fellow, a teaching fellow in economics, a resident advisor, and a speaker on topics in business and marketing. Next she's off to the Iowa Writers Workshop for her MFA. Dina lives in Amsterdam. In her spare time, she loves to cook, travel, read, and collect fancy degrees to decorate her future sarcophagus.

Dina and Daniel were both born in Iran and spent many young adult years in Europe. There they learned several languages between them and tried Frosted Flakes for the first time.

Another Site |