Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

My Tuesday Teaser:

"Seemed like a good safe idea, but then he heard the click and the whoosh, and the good safe idea instantly became a nightmare."

David Baldacci
The Hit

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels is, in my opinion, the best book in the Mortal Instruments series so far.  They keep getting better and better. I won't give away any endings here so it is mostly safe to read if you aren't to this point in the series.

This book focuses a lot more on Simon which I liked. He has a dilemma dating two girls. Since he hasn't had much experience with any girls, seeing a werewolf and a shadowhunter gets to be a bit overwhelming and he of course gets caught and ousted (temporarily) by both.  This gives us a bit of humor but we feel bad for Simon at the same time.  He tells his mom that he is a vampire and she flips out, forcing him to calm her using his powers but also to eventually move out.  His third big problem is that he finally loses it and bites a human in a moment of desperation and is devastated.  Devastated because he lost control and hurt a young girl and also full of self loathing because the blood was so good and he felt so strong after drinking it. 

Jace and Clary are happy for about the first two chapters of the story and then it all goes downhill from there.  We have a few glimpses of togetherness throughout but mostly a lot of angst. Valentine is gone but Jace worries that he will end up just like him, and he doesn't want Clary going down that road with him.

We also meet two new evil doers, Camille, and Lilith, who is one bad ass demon chic.  Her ultimate goal is to bring Clary's half demon brother Jonathan (Sabastian) back to life to wreck havoc on the world.  She uses both Jace and Simon to do this and her plan seems flawless because both guys are willing to die for Clary, who's life ends up in danger.

I loved the book all the way through and if you are a fan of this series, you will too.  I was on the edge of my seat through most of it.  However, I would have liked Jace and Clary to have had a bit more happiness together before tragedy struck... again.  At the end of the book (without spoiling it) I was ready to scream out of frustration because I didn't have the next book in my hand yet!

I have to say that one thing a stand alone book has going for it is that you aren't constantly banging your head against the wall waiting to see if the main characters will end up happily together forever or not.  They either do or they don't or you are left "assuming" what you choose.  Series reading, especially YA, constantly tortures our hearts and souls along with the hearts and souls of our beloved characters.  Even in T.V. series, it is the same thing.  I think back to X-files, Scarecrow and Mrs. King,  and Remington Steele (yes, I am old but the example of Gray's Anatomy works too).  When you are finally so excited, after waiting season after season for the main characters to realize that they were meant for each other, they finally do, only to have some major explosion or shooting or kidnapping tear them apart again and you have to wait until fall to see what happens. 

Oh well, I guess it is just the curse of loving a good series... on to the next book!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareMy teaser for today:

" You have never fed on a human, have you?  You will.  And when you do, you will not forget it." 

City of Fallen Angels
By Cassandra Clare 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Feature and Follow #1

Gain New Blog Followers

The hosts of this meme are Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. This week's features are The Bookish Confections and Picture me Reading.

Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?

A: Well, I don't like to read one really long book in the summer.  I like a lot of shorter books.  I'm sure I'll be reading a lot of paranormal romance/thriller and YA because those are my favorite!  

See you at the beach!

Friday Finds


I have three Friday Finds this week.  I put them all on my TBR list.  Two are from authors I love, David Baldacci and Susanna Kearsley.  One, The Collector, I keep seeing on the sites of other bloggers so I am going to give it a try.  Looks exciting!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Losing it

Omg! I finished a book and read a whole other one last night, stopping only when I finished at about 1:30am.  I do this way too often.  I just happened to browse a blog that featured this book and it sounded like a good, fun read.  I would never have bought it without reading the blog because I don't like the cover photo at all.  But... it wasn't too long and I wasn't that tired so I bought it and dove in.  My instincts were right on track and this book really was enjoyable.  I found myself laughing out loud a few times and being completely embarrassed with the main character, whose name is Bliss.

The plot is basically about a theater major in her senior year who, at 22 years old, is still a virgin.  Apparently, this is a big deal, not for Bliss, but for her friend Kelsey, who is determined to rid her friend of this,"problem."  To keep it short, Kelsey drags Bliss to a bar and just as Bliss is about to give up and go home (after several shots for her nerves), she sees a guy reading Shakespeare and says, "If that's supposed to be a way to pick up girls, I would suggest moving to an area with a little more traffic."  It begins from there.  She brings him home with the intent of "Losing it" but things don't really end up working out quite the way she planned.  What is even worse is when she walks into her class the next day and finds that Mr. Shakespeare is her new professor.  You have to read it if you want to know more but I kept turning the pages until it was over and was very satisfied with the ending.  Nothing too deep or tragic.  Just a nice light read that would be great for the beach! I would probably most recommend it to the college set but I am a good deal older than that (in years anyway) and I thought it was quite enjoyable.

Review: Hidden World

Great book for young fantasy lovers.  It reminded me of one of my favorite movies from the 80's, "The Goonies."  Basically, A boy gets a metal detector for his birthday and he and his best friend use it, assuming they will find nothing but nails and pennies.  When they come upon a large tree, the detector goes wild.  Investigating further, the boys find an ancient symbol and the digging begins.  The older brother and sister discover what they are doing and reluctantly join the cause and the result is finding a door of sorts.

They eventually end up in what seems like a cavern but which ends up being the entrance to a whole other world full of fantastic creatures, futuristic technology, and adventure around every corner.  The mission:  To find and be in charge of a treasure trove dedicated to be used for any resource that will help improve the future of mankind.  I won't spoil it but it does have a mostly happy ending with a tiny bit of bittersweet to go with it.

I really liked this story.  It was a good length.  It wasn't too elaborate that you couldn't keep all of the characters straight, it kept me wondering what was going to happen next, and the creatures were really interesting in their make-up and abilities.  It is definitely a book that I would consider using in the classroom for a fourth or fifth grade class or just to buy for a young reader who loves fantasy.  If you like stand alone stories, this is a good one but it could definitely have a sequel with a mission for the next generation of characters or a prequel that takes place in the hidden world before this adventure. It was just good fun to read.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Musing

Hosted by www.shouldbereading.wordpress.com
Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

My Musing...
When I was 15, I worked at Burger King and became good friends with some of my coworkers.  Years later, I found one of the guys on Facebook and was delighted to discover that he wrote a novel for children called, Hidden World under the name Jason Robert.  What a great accomplishment!

My gears started turning and from there, things just fell into place.  I had just started blogging, he had his book published, I was in touch with him on Facebook, and I teach fourth grade so the book connected to the age I teach.  I contacted him and asked him if I could read his book and write about it on my blog and he readily agreed.  I just grabbed it yesterday and can't wait to start reading!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: City of Glass

City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series and I was not disappointed.  Finished it in two nights.  I had to close it on the first night because it was 2:00am and I had to get up at 6:30am for work (ugh!).  By the next evening, I was a complete zombie but I just had to see what happened next with Valentine and if Jace and Clary would finally know the truth about their relationship to one another.  

The book opens with Clary finding out that she needs to travel to the City of Glass in order to revive her mother from the magical coma she is in.  Jace does not want her to go and so lies to her about when they are leaving so that she will miss the portal.  She is desperate and furious and impulsively, she uses her new found power of rune making to create her own portal.  Luke grabs onto her at the last minute and ends up going through with her, saving her from drowning in the lake when they arrive.  This adds another problem to the mix because Luke is a downworlder and therefore not welcome in the city.  Meanwhile, Valentine is trying to destroy the city using the mortal instruments to call demons. He also has a few fellow evildoers working within the city.

I could feel Jace's struggle when he sees Clary, wanting so badly to hate her so he could stop struggling with how much he really cares for her.  Of course, this doesn't work and they have many scenes where they almost give in to the obvious chemistry between them.  Simon is still a major character in the story as the nerdy, yet kind of hot vampire.  He seems to mature a lot in this book, having accepted Clary's love for Jace and his new path in life... or death I should say.  I wasn't a big Simon fan in the first book but I find I am liking him more and more as the series progress.  Alec and Magnus share some great sarcastic dialogue that made me laugh out loud and we finally meet Jocelyn and learn more about her part in the story. 

There were some great action scenes in the story and a few heartbreaking moments.  We are also presented with some new characters that add great twists and turns to the plot.  Some you will love and a few you will love to hate.  Of course, we still have the major questions that must be answered:  Will Clary and Jace find out that they can be together or are they really siblings?  Can the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders put aside their differences and work together to defeat Valentine?

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out because I don't believe in spoiling the story for those who haven't read it yet.  I will say though, that as I finished the last page and closed the book, I had a smile on my face.  :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Header Design

After hours playing around with tons of clip art and backgrounds in Picmonkey, I finally designed a header that I am satisfied with.  Hope everyone likes it!  I think I'll stick with this one for a while.  :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New blogger banter

As a fairly new blogger, I am learning something new almost every day and I'm loving every minute of it.  I'm also the type of person who likes to try things out on my own, and usually, a Google search gets me what I'm looking for almost immediately and I can begin experimenting.  This sometimes results in some big blogger blunders, but it's fun all the same.

I'm actually thrilled with how far I have come in just a few months.   Just yesterday, I learned how to use Picmonkey to create a collage to customize my blog heading.  It looks so much better than it did last week!  Today, I added the Google + gadget so people can, "+1" me.  This is great and once I really understand what it means, it will be even better.  :)

However, the blues set in this afternoon when I decided that I wanted to add the "Pin it" button to my blog.  I started by reading a few different websites with directions and finally settled on one that seemed the most straight forward.  I've used code before so I was able to follow the steps easily until I noticed that the piece of code I needed to paste below on my "edit html" screen wasn't there.  I found a similar line, tried it, but no luck.  Being the slightly obsessive person I am (really...just slightly), I spent almost two hours trying to complete my task until life forced me to put my quest on hold (who knew kids needed to eat!).

 Oh well, better blogging comes with time and tomorrow is another day.  :)