Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Hunger Games Movie Casting

How excited are you for The Hunger Games movie to be released? I know I am! Suzanne Collins ans Gary Ross are working hard to get all the characters casted! We all have our wish list of who we wanted casted and who we didn't expect to make the cut! I think we will all grow to love everyone that will play our beloved characters. I mean Suzanne is very talented and I don't think she is going to let anyone mess this up. Hunger Games is going to be EPIC!!!

Take a peak of who has been chosen already if you haven't had a chance! If you are as ecstatic as I am, you are checking every detail of this movie every step of the way. Have I mentioned I can't freaking wait??!!!

Let the games begin!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clockwork Angel, Book 1

Title: Clockwork Angel - Book 1
Series: The Infernal Devices

Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication: August 31, 2010

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Ashley's Review:

I have a lot of opinions about Clockwork Angel. First, I would like to say I did end up really enjoying this book. It turned out to be very likeable. I had a problem with how long it took to actually get into the storyline and characters. Which took roughly about 200 pages…I also felt it had very similar qualities to City of Bones. When I say that, I mean specifically there were very similar traits with the main stars of the show as well as the storyline in itself. It seemed to have an equal personality in Clockwork Angel as City of Bones, all the way from the damsel in distress to the overall villain trying to conquer all.

At that I will say I did start to feel an attachment to each character and specifically because of their personalities. Tessa was a very sweet, intelligent girl. She could always see the good and bad qualities in everyone, yet she never let the bad qualities sway her opinion of them. She truly believed everyone had a good side and some people were just not strong enough to dominate the bad. I genuinely loved Will and Jem, for very different reasons. Will is very good at heart and is highly protective of each of his loved ones, even if he won’t admit it. He has a dark side that no one is completely sure of, but tries ot portray the bad boy mentality so no one will ask questions. He wants everyone to just think “oh well that’s Will being Will”. The last thing he would ever want to do is open up to anyone, especially those he cares for most. You will find the complete opposite traits in Jem. He is thoughtful and caring, always seeing the optimistic side of whatever the situation is. No matter the character and the situation, Jem gives the most amazing advice to help them through their issue. Definitely someone you would want around when you are feeling down.

The storyline itself felt pretty predictable throughout the drama to the villain, BUT I still found myself interested in finding out the end result. I did not feel like the story was completely original due to the similarities with City of Bones. It did answer quite a few questions that went without being said previously in all of The Mortal Instruments and it was nice to see the background of the characters I very much love in TMI. It will be exciting to see what characters will come back up in City of Fallen Angels. The book did take a lot to start enjoying, BUT it left me with wanting to see what the next adventure will bring in the next addition, Clockwork Prince. I do recommend this book if you love the Shadowhunter world as much as me!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Contest: Bookplate Giveaway

In order to promote a wider fan base, we are holding a Blog Contest open to anyone who follows our blog and who's a member of our Goodreads group. If you already follow our blog, just go to the link below to become a member of our group. If you're already a member of our group, just follow our blog! Leave a comment below to let us know you have done both and we'll put you in the drawing! It's that easy!

Bonus!! If you recommend someone, and they join our group and follow our blog, include that in your comment for an extra entry into the drawing. They must actually join both, recommendations alone don't count!

Contest Details:

There will be one winner chosen by random draw.
Prize will be a free bookplate. We will cover shipping.
This contest is open internationally.
Contest ends May 31st

Join our group here:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Classics Challenge

I thought it would be fun to challenge each other to read one classic novel a month. I know everyone has wanted to or considered it at some point. I was inspired by Bella because of her love of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wuthering Heights. I am sure everyone has their own inspiration, but I have only really sat down and tried to read a classic once even though I own several. I didn't finish it to say the least. In our Groupreads group-Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fanatics, I ran a poll to see what book everyone would be most excited to read.

The choices were:

  • Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte

  • A Midsummer Night's dream by William Shakespeare

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The winner was Wuthering Heights!!

The challenge for April/May has begun!! Feel free to join and expand your bookshelf!! If you have any suggestions for the next Classic we read, just let me know!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy, Books 1-3

Title: The Hunger Games - Book 1
Series: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication: October 1, 2008

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Ashley's Review:

The Hunger Games trilogy is absolutely amazing!! It is by far the best series I have ever read and what I will use as a stature to rate every book I read from now on. It is thrilling and emotional from the first page until the last! It is by far one of the best series I have ever experienced. It’s also the most unpredictable story line I have ever read. Throughout the entire series I found myself guessing what would happen next and what I hoped happened. I was wrong every time!! Suzanne Collins left me with surprise after surprise with each page I have read. There was no disappointment at all when things did not turn out as I had guessed. She was able to bring everything to a whole new level beyond what I could have even expected!!

I seriously have never cried so much because I loved the characters so much. You can’t help, but feel emotionally attached to Katniss and Peeta throughout each book. Not only do you feel connected with them, but also with their families and friends. Throughout the entire journey, you feel like you are right there with Katniss experiencing everything firsthand. From her past to her present, it’s as if you have known Katniss her entire life. She is so selfless, always looking out for everyone else’s best interest. She is a so strong and would do anything for her loved ones at any given time. Peeta is one of the sweetest, genuine characters I have ever read about. From the moment he first saw Katniss he was willing to do anything and everything for her, no matter the situation.

This series had me hooked! Each book is a “sit down where you are at and not get up until you are finished” kind of book. I could have sat and read all 3 books in a row without sleeping or eating if I wouldn’t turn into a zombie. The storyline itself is unlike anything I have ever read. It is almost like what will happen if reality TV is taken to an all new level with destruction involved. There are certain aspects of the games itself that remind me a weird mixture of American Idol, The Truman Show and Idiocracy meets the novel Lord of the Flies. I know you see that example and think what?! I don’t think I would be interested in that at all. I had a friend describe the series to me and I was definitely on the fence after reading the synopsis. I would have serious regret if I had never read it. If I had 2 words to describe this series, I would say Hunger Games is EPIC AND AMAZING!!! I would re-read this series a million times and probably will. I am not sure if anything can top how this series made me feel! This series is beyond a 5 star rating!

Amber's Review:

The Hunger Games is the type of trilogy that requires a genre all its own. It's a mold breaker. By far, these books have had more impact on me than anything I have ever read before. The story of Katniss and Peeta and the other district residents is beyond touching and entertaining. Really, there are no words to describe the enormity of what you will find on these pages.

Collins amazed me with her ability to drill straight to my heart from the very beginning. You are immediately drawn to the characters, attached to them as if you actually know them, as if your love for them is real. The dystopian world  she created for her characters is so believable it's scary. It's one of those situations where you think Wow, this could really happen. This could actually be a possible future for us if we are not careful! And that is terrifying. There is so much more than an entertainment value in these books. There's a message. There's a warning, and that is just one reason these books will stay with me forever.

The events that take place in this story envoke such strong emotions in me. I was completely lost in it. I consumed all three books in as many days, and I felt a terrible loss once they were over. I felt myself wanting to fight for the characters, feeling angry and protective when they were hurt, happy and excited when they were comforted, devastated and heartbroken when some were lost. I cried for them, and laughed with them and even jumped up and down and shouted in triumph. It was definitley an experience I will never forget.

I will never forget the Boy with the Bread; the genuine concern and care Peeta feels for Katniss is touching. He would lay down his life for her without a second thought. I will never forget the Girl on Fire; Katniss has the strength and determination of no one I have ever known. She sticks up for what she believes in. She protects the ones she loves no matter the cost. And I will never, ever forget the story of the Hunger Games, the Tributes, the Districts and the battle they partake in to win their freedom and the right to protect their children from a gruesome fate.

Five stars are just not enough to represent the perfectness of this story! I highly, highly recommend this trilogy to everyone from YA to adult. I think it has an important message for everyone and is an unbelievably beautiful read that I wish I could experience over and over again for the first time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dark Lover, Book 1

Title: Dark Lover - Book 1
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
Publication: September 6, 2005

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead...

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both....

Amber's Review:

All I can say is Why, oh why did I wait so long to read you?! This book was phenomenal! I am so extremely excited to have found a new adult series that really delivers! You all know my opinion about Fever, unbelievably amazing! But the only other adult series I have read was Riley Jenson. Eh. Decent. A little too smutty and not enough romance or storyline. But this book was a breath of fresh air and has totally restored my faith in the adult genre! It had the perfect balance of sexiness and plot, romance and danger, crime and mystery. I absolutely loved it.

I adore the brothers! Every one of them! Wrath, who is the main character for this first installment, is just breathtaking. He is so masculine and badass you almost can't even imagine him being capable of an emotion such as love. But you learn about his past, his pain, and we slowly get to know him and his history. He is really something else. J.R. Ward did so well creating such a deep character!

Ward has definitely created a vampire world for grown-ups! I do love my YA. I love my sparkling Edward. But Wrath and his brothers were made for mature women with a love for the dangerous bad boy, and let me tell you, that fits the bill with me! This series has everything I've been looking for! Rivalry between the vampires and the "slayers", love and loss, action and fighting, mystery and suspense. I couldn't ask for more from a book, and I am left with nothing but total excitement to see what happens in the other installments!

Her teasers into the backgrounds of the other brothers are killing me! I want to read every one of their stories right now! But I know I have to take it one at a time. Good thing I just bought the box set! I have a feeling I will be devouring this series quickly, so thank goodness she has no intentions of ending the series anytime soon. Lover Unleashed, book 9, was just released and another is in the making, which is good news for me and my newborn addiction to the brotherhood!

The series has a continued plot and storyline, but each book focuses on a different brother, which is just fine since I am in love with every one of them already! It's so hard not to be. The glimpse we get of each brother and the hardships they've been through, and continue to go through, really tugs at your heart no matter how much they hide behind the tough guy bravado! I highly recommend the Black Dagger Brotherhood to everyone! Well, everyone of age! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon!

Are you participating in the Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon? Find out more about how to join here!

Can we say "addicted?"

OK, in the last 2 months I have been a very bad girl! lol! Seriously, I don't even know how much money I spent on books here lately. It would be easier for me to just list all the books I've bought. I can't help it! Our used book store is amazing!!!!

Sometimes I just can't fight that crazy all-consuming impulse to buy books! If I find a good deal on a book I've heard about and planned on reading anyway... SOLD! A quote I remember reading from my favorite series ever, Fever - go figure, said that "If I can find something for cheaper than what I would have paid for it at Walmart, then I get to have it!" What a wonderful justification system!! lol!

Well here is my list of damage... And as much as I say in my mind "No More!", I'm sure I will be adding to it all too soon!!

Defiance - Strange Angels #4
Afterlight - The Dark Ink Chronicles #1
Nightshade - Nightshade #1
Entice - Need #3
The Fallen - Volume 1
My Soul to Keep - Soul Screamers #3
Glimmerglass - Faeriewalker #1
Unwind - Unwind #1
Tantilaize - Tantilize #1
Spell of the Highland Warrior - Highlander #8
Unearthly - Unearthly #1
Wither - Chemical Garden #1
Some Girls Bite - Chicagoland Vampires #1
Friday Night Bites - Chicagoland Vampires #2
The Backdoor of Midnight - Darkest Secrets #3
The Darkest Pleasure - Immortals After Dark #3
City of Fallen Angels - The Mortal Instruments #4 (two copies, one for me and one for our contest winner)
Lover Avenged - BDB #7
Lover Mine - BDB #8
Dark Visions (3 books in 1)
The Forbidden Game (3 books in 1)
Halo - Halo #1
Angel - The Angel Trilogy #1
The Dead-Tossed Waves - The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
The Dark and Hollow Places - The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3
Radiant Shadows - Wicked Lovely #4
Darkest Mercy - Wicked Lovely #5
The Iron King - Iron Fey #1
The Iron Daughter - Iron Fey #2
The Iron Queen - Iron Fey #3
Storm Born - Dark Swan #1
Thorn Queen - Dark Swan #2
Iron Crowned - Dark Swan #3
Matched - Matched #1
The Black Dagger Brotherhood - (Box Set Books) 1-6
The Highlander Series - (Ebay Lot) Books 1-5
Night World - Volumes 1-3
The Faierie Path - The Faerie Path #1
The Lost Queen - The Faerie Path #2
Leaving Paradise - Leaving Paradise #1
Return to Paradise - Leaving Paradise #2
The Awakening - Darkest Powers #1
The Summoning - Darkest Powers #2
Kissed By an Angel - Volume 1
Beautiful Creatures - Caster Chronicles #1
The Devouring - The Devouring #1
Captivate - Need #2
Darkest Secrets - Volume 2
The Fallen - Volume 2
Jonas - Beautiful Dead #1
Lords of the Underworld - Books 1-6
Stray - Shifters #1
Paranormalcy - Paranormalcy #1
A Tale of Two Cities
Jane Eyre
Spirit Bound - Vampire Academy #5 (read them all but needed to complete my collection!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Recent Book Cover Reveals!

Here are some book covers which have been revealed within the last month or so! Enjoy! And feel free to post more in the comments section if you've come across any yourself!

Title: Reckoning, Book 5
Series: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publication Date: November 1st

Title: Hades, Book 2
Series: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publication Date: August 30th

Title: Last Breath, Book 10
Series: The Morganville Vampires
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: November 1st

Title: Supernaturally, Book 2
Series: Paranormalcy
Author: Keirsten White
Publication Date: July 26th

Title: Everlasting, Book 6
Series: The Immortals
Author: Alyson Noel
Publication Date: June 7th

Title: Beautiful Chaos, Book 3
Series: Caster Chronicles
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publication Date: October 18th

Title: Vanish, Book 2
Series: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication Date: September 6th

Title: Crossed, Book 2
Series: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Publication Date: November 1st

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amber's Bookshelf

Here are a few photos of my pride and joy!! It's my Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Bookshelf! I have about ten more books on the way, but I couldn't wait. I'll post again later once they're all added too. Feel free to share your bookshelf photos in the comments section! We'd love to see them!