Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Ann Aguirre

Mini Review Monday: As Long As You Love Me

MiniReviewMonday

As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

Summary From GoodreadsAs Long As You Love Me

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever; until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I received a copy of As Long As You Love Me on NetGalley along with book one, I Want It That Way which I reviewed earlier if you’d like some context. I enjoyed book one of the series quite a bit, so I couldn’t help myself and read book two already, even though it doesn’t come out until the 30th of this month. ALAYLM was a solid NA read with some good humor and plenty of sexy fun time, just like IWITW, but this time more serious issues were tackled, something that was greatly appreciated as it gave needed depth to the book.

Lauren, the MC and best friend from IWITW, takes center stage in ALAYLM as she adjusts to life back at home, a new job and online university, and an old flame. She’s not quite as funny as I found Nadia to be, but she is probably more realistic than Nadia, having some serious issues to work through that people can identify with. She has major anxiety issues, dealing with a lot of people (especially new ones) is not her strong suit, and she’s just starting to return to her usual self, unlike the fake version she forced out that was seen in book one. All of that is made more complicated when Rob comes back into her life, and she has to deal with past feelings (and new ones) coming to light.

Then there is the love interest, Rob, who is having a rough go of it in life from work (construction that he barely scrapes by on) to his relationships (a bad one with Avery). Having Lauren come back completely alters his life, from new potential financial avenues, to a potential relationship that might actually be good for him. However, Rob has his own issues, from incredibly strong self-doubt (stemming from how his parents treat him) to his troubles with opening up to people and believing them when they seem to genuinely care. He doesn’t have as much personality as you might expect from a secondary main character, but (especially those from small towns) he is extremely easy to identify with.

The rest of the cast brings up plenty of issues of their own. There are long distance relationships (and pregnancy to go with it), sexual abuse, and physical disabilities that are all brought up by various people throughout the book, and there is a wide variety of ways that all of them are dealt with which I found pretty interesting. The tone of the book is certainly more somber than IWITW, though there are still plenty of truly happy and exciting moments, but it is something to keep in mind. This isn’t your purely light and fluffy contemporary read.

Though ALAYLM was more serious, something I appreciated in some ways, I did enjoy the majority of what I read. However, there were a few negatives I should mention. The beginning of the book was a bit of a struggle as a lot of the dialogue felt repetitious and the first quarter of the book or so felt pretty rushed, not enough to be jarring, but certainly noticeable. Also, while I know that there is a lot of history between them, it felt like Aguirre might have used that as an excuse to move things forward pretty quickly in the beginning, and that was unfortunate. The story ended up getting to more of a normal pace, but if you liked book one, and book two intrigues you, I would say not to give up if you notice those same issues at the start.

Wow, this got a little longer than I planned for a Mini Review Monday post, but I guess that’s because ALAYLM covers so much ground, especially on different serious topics. Would I recommend it? It’s a good read, but there were some issues with it, and some of the sexual acts as well (the first one in particular) that didn’t sit well, but overall yes, it’s worth your time. If you want a New Adult read that isn’t all about getting your freak on and going crazy over a guy/girl, then this is for you. Thanks as always for reading.

Three Smiling Frodos w Background


Waiting on Wednesday #29

Waiting On Wednesday hosted by Breaking The Spine

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

Set For Release On: November 25th, 2014

Summary From GoodreadsThe Shape of My Heart

Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.

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The Shape of My Heart is the third book in the 2B Trilogy by one of my favorite authors, Ann Aguirre. I just finished reading and reviewing the first book in the series that just came out, I Want It That Way, which I enjoyed quite a bit, and that’s got me excited for the rest of the series. I’ve got book two on Netgalley that I’ll be trying to get to soon, but then it’s that waiting period for the third, and final book in the series. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

Have you heard of this series, or the author? If you have, did you get the first book already, and did you like it? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! ^.^


Mini Review Monday: I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

MiniReviewMonday

I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1)

Summary From GoodreadsI Want It That Way

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true—for her parents’ sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I received a copy of I Want It That Way from Netgalley, which I was really excited to get into since it is by one of my favorite authors, Ann Aguirre. This also gave me a reason to try some New Adult, something I’ve read hardly any of, and see what I thought of it. After reading it, my first thought is that I should give this new-ish age range/type of books a shot. My second was that I’m really happy that I was able to enjoy Aguirre’s work outside of my favorite series by her, the dystopian Razorland trilogy.

That being said, I will warn potential readers that there is some insta-love involved, something I’ve been open to saying I’m not a fan of. However, it’s not quite as fast as what I’ve encountered in the past, and Aguirre made it feel as real and understandable as something like that could be. Sometimes there is that instant attraction, and once you get to know the person a bit more, and understand who they are outside of just a great set of abs or pretty face, you just connect on a deep level faster than average.

Outside of the quick love connection, the romance is very touching, sometimes steamy (in a fantastic way), and it is tested in all the right (highly believable) scenarios. The MC Nadia has a great voice, is incredibly caring and sweet, but determined when it matters. Ty is a great guy, but reserved for reasons that are incredibly obvious, and not the standard bad-boy type that plagues this type of book, something I was really thankful for.

The banter in the book is great, humor is interspersed with the serious areas to keep the reader engaged, and the supporting cast is very strong, and completely fleshed out. Some of the scenes are a bit corny or predictable, but not in a bad way, just what you’d expect from college life. I’m looking forward to reading book two soon!

If you are looking for a NA contemporary read, especially if (like me) you are a college student yourself, then this is a solid book for you to try. It comes out tomorrow, so take a look if you’re interested! Thanks as always for reading. ^.^

Four Smiling Frodos w Background


Sunday Post #24

Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I love participating in Sunday Post because I can provide a recap of books I read, talk about what is coming up next week, and discuss any books I received in the past week!

This week I didn’t really go after too many books, but I did get a couple eBooks and NetGalleys that I’ll share. ^.^

                               Book Haul The Wicked Ever After

The Wicked Ever After by Kelly Apple

Depression, Love, & Swimming Pools by Leigh Wilder

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre (via NetGalley)

As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre (via NetGalley)

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Last Week on the Blog

Monday – Mini Review Monday: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga The Glass Arrow

Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Thursday – Killing My Kindle: Alexander Death by J.L. Bryan

Friday – Frodo’s Frisky Friday: He Needs Discipline by Dominic Rod

Saturday – Book of the Week: Horde by Ann Aguirre

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Another successful blogging week, and a great reading week is in the books! (Book blog puns are fun! ^.^) I finally read Horde, a book I had been saving for quite a while, and it was every bit as good as I could have hoped for. Alexander Death was a nice return to a series I’ve enjoyed and He Needs Discipline definitely satiated my naughty read for the week. Overall I was pretty happy with getting the books in that I did because the week was a little hectic.

For those who stopped by last week, you know I was dealing with some real life issues involving getting into the University, but it’s all good because I got the last appeal approved! Huzzah! I’ll be starting classes in just a couple weeks which is a bit crazy, but I’ve already got my books and I’ve been trying to study a bit to get ahead. Yay, education?! >.>

As far as blogging goes it went well as you can see since I had another week of daily posts, yay! I don’t know if that will continue when classes start and assuming I’ll have a work study job, but I’ll keep you posted. (More puns!) Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a great bookish week, and thanks for reading. Enjoy your Sunday!


Book of the Week: Horde

BookOfTheWeek

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Summary from GoodreadsHorde

The horde is coming.

Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they’re not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn’t run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade’s love.

Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn’t been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them.

This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity.

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Book of the Week is often one of the toughest posts that I write each week, which makes little sense seeing as how I should be able to go on and on about it, but when there is so little (if anything) to criticize all I can do is gush. With Horde it is no different. So prepare yourself for all of the positive feelings!

Horde, just like Rogue last week, is an excellent ending to a fantastic trilogy. It was the perfect blend of heartbreak and elation, thrilling action and tender romance. Horde is the type of book you stay up until 4 AM reading, and when you finish it you have to sit for another hour just to digest it all. There are so few books that have writing as powerful as Horde does, and considering the type of main character Deuce is, that is all the more impressive.

Let’s start with the action because that’s what Horde is filled with. Sure, some down time happens now and again, but for the most part these people are moving it across the world at a pretty fast clip. There are major battles that were written in amazing detail thanks to all of the research Aguirre did into similar wars. Add to that some cross country style running, skirmishes in the forests with traps and cunning tactics, and so many types of weapons displays it will make your head spin, and that makes for one wild and fun ride.

headspin

Oh my goodness the characters are incredible. O_O I fell in love with all of them and Horde had me going from incredibly sad, to super excited, and then to freaked the heck out because Aguirre puts them through hell and then some. Deuce is such a different MC from anything I’ve experienced. She’s so socially awkward and hyper-focused on the battle ahead that she misses and doesn’t experience a lot of what normally is the central topics in a story, and it makes for a very interesting perspective. Deuce is fiercely loyal once she counts you as a friend/family member, one badass fighter, and the transformation she goes through from Enclave to Horde is fascinating to experience.

There are so many other great characters, from Tegan the healer, to Stalker the bad boy turned softie, to Fade the love interest. The list never really ends with this series, which is what makes the battles so freaking tough to endure. Every loss is a big blow, all of them have lasting impacts.

I Love Them All

Since I brought up the love interest I should probably touch on the romance in Horde, and the series in general. While all of this crazy action is going on and everyone is simply trying to survive, Aguirre manages to display a wide range of romance types and developing emotions. Of course Fade and Deuce (the MCs) are going to be a big one, and their romance is fantastic, but there are so many other sweet pairings! Stone and Thimble and their easy-going relationship (beginning of the series), Momma Oaks and Edmund as the ideal parental unit (Outpost & Horde), and even a hard to read type like Spence and Tully (Horde). The diversity and beautiful nature of them all is outstanding.

All of these wonderful things are contained in an equally impressive world that Aguirre created in the series. There was the tunnels and underground civilization of Enclave, which was dark and grungy but so alive at the same time. Then came the outside world in Outpost where Aguirre was able to take a character like Deuce and show how amazing all of the little things we see every day can be to one who hasn’t experienced it before. Finally, Horde showed readers beautiful forests, a huge variety of town structures and types from garrisons to standard villages, and the wonders of an island paradise.

It's so beautiful

 

Every bit of Horde and the Razorland series was epic. Horde might not be the ending I wanted in terms of some character arcs (because I’m selfish and love them all), but it was the right one. To try and fight for paradise you have to make sacrifices and incur losses along the way, and Horde proves that. If you haven’t read this series and want one of the best dystopian ones out there, then this is for you. Heck, if you just want great stories then the Razorland trilogy is for you as well. Thanks as always for reading.

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Ides of March Readathon

Ides of March Read-a-thon

To help those doing the month long challenge Take Control of Your TBR Pile and for those who just want to participate for a few days and knock out some of those books piling up. To count towards the participation prize you must read a book published before March 1, 2014. This is an easy stressfree read-a-thon. Enter challenges, clean-up your TBR pile and make a few friends. If you would like to host a challenge please contact me!

As you all know I love readathons with a passion, and this one is being hosted by one of my favorite book bloggers, Kimberly at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so it is absolutely perfect! This also happens to fall on the end of my spring break so it is a great time to get some extra reading in before classes pick back up. Here are some of the books I am considering reading during the readathon! ^.^

The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

Rogue by Gina Damico

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Horde by Ann Aguirre

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

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Currently Reading: Rogue by Gina Damico

Books Finished: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer, The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Pages Read: 623

Snacks:


Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon Vol. 2

Wicked Valentine's Read-a-Thon

Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon Vol. 2

The  Wicked Valentine’s Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of February 7-17 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!

In the meanwhile, we will be hosting book-related challenges where you can win some awesome prizes and have a Twitter party at the hashtag #WWReadathon! You can posts updates on your blog, Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook — as long as the profile is public and we all can enjoy your reading progress!

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I’m a huge fan of the WWReadathons and even though I know this post is going up a day late I’m still excited to participate. Unfortunately this particular readathon is during a time I’m semi-busy (I’m working the day this is posted & Monday, plus college stuff is due this coming week), but I will try to read as much as possible (as always) all the same!

I don’t really have a set list of books for this readathon simply because I wasn’t aware it was happening until the day of! So I’ll just put ten books I’m considering reading during it and update as I read. Sound good? Off we go!

Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

Rogue by Gina Damico

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Three by Kristen Simmons

Elemental by Antony John

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Horde by Ann Aguirre

The Future of Us by Jay Asher

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

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Currently Reading: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Books Finished: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor, Three by Kristen Simmons, Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen, Split Second by Kasie West, Tommy Nightmare by JL Bryan, If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Future of Us by Jay Asher

Pages Read: 2,804

Snacks: Yogurt, Animal crackers (RIP Shirley Temple), Dr. Pepper, way too much pizza


End of Year Book Survey for 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

Totally Random Tuesday

This year was the first time I heard about the 2013 End of Year Book Survey which is hosted by the lovely Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner and I loved the idea! Apparently this is the fourth year this has been running, but better late than never! Without further ado, let’s get into the survey!

thirteen reasons why 1. Best book you read in 2013? – Every time I think of what book I loved most it always comes back to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It had all of the feels and a big part of me connected with that story, even if it hurt at times. I loved it and will likely make this one of my few re-reads of next year.

 2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer. I enjoyed everything I read by Levithan prior to this book, and there was SO much hype surrounding it so I thought it was an easy win. Boy was I wrong. It was disjointed, the female MC was just…ugh, and Cremer was not at her best here from what I have heard.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book from 2013? Doll Bones by Holly Black. I thought this would be a good MG read when I bought it, but I didn’t think I would end up loving it! Great book, wonderful characters, so sweet.

Splintered by A. G. Howard 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? – Besides Thirteen Reasons Why, probably Splintered by A.G. Howard or Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. So many great books! ^.^

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013? – Easily the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre. I’ve read (and loved) Enclave and Outpost already and Horde will be one of the first books I dive into for my challenge in 2014. It’s the best dystopian series out there.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? – If I HAD to pick one it would be Ann Aguirre, but here is my Top Ten Tuesday post from last week about new-to-me authors which is a much better representation!

 7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? – I had read a tiny bit of steampunk before but Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is in my top ten books for the year and made me go out and get a bunch more. Freaking awesome in every way!

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2013? – Has to be Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. The book had action galore, the story never had a dull moment, and it is about Greek mythology which I LOVE. So ya, definitely unputdownable.

 9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the number one, but besides that it’d be Paper Towns by John Green. I’d love to say An Abundance of Katherines because it was the book by Green that spoke to me the most, but I technically read that in December of 2012, so Paper Towns will do quite nicely.

Lets Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson 10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. The cover is simple but adorable, and it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

 11. Most memorable character in 2013? – Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin. He was the most original of any character I experienced this year and the journey he takes to discover who he is was a blast to be on.

 12. Most beautifully written book in 2013? – I’m trying not to repeat myself too much so I’ll go with Looking for Alaska by John Green which was wonderfully written. Loved it.

 13. Books that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the far and away #1, but the other ones that comes to mind are both by Zoe E. Whitten, Penny for Your Debts & Peter the Wolf which both hit me hard.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2013 to finally read? – An argument can be made for a ton of the books I read this year, though next year the list will likely be a mile long. I’ll go with Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp which came out in 2009! Crazy.

 15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013? – From Looking for Alaska: “We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations.”

 16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013? – I didn’t include anything of novella length so that makes my shortest book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (145 pages) and the longest book Divergent by Veronica Roth (487 pages). I’m happy to say I enjoyed both quite a bit! ^.^

Antigoddess Cover 17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? – I don’t remember going crazy over any one scene despite reading about so many great ones, but there was definitely one involving the feather on the cover of Antigoddess that had me going right to Twitter. Kendare Blake, why do you make me love you so?

 18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013? – The dynamic between Artemis Fowl and Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl series is beautiful and I ship them so hard (as weird as that may be).

 19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously? – Outside of the books previously mentioned, it would likely be the most bizarre book I read this year, Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin. A great read but truly insane.

 20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver. I believe it was Kat from Katytastic on YouTube (who is awesome by the way) that recommended this one to me as well as Doll Bones, and both are my favorite MG reads for the year so thank you Kat!

 21. Genre you read the most from in 2013? – I’d say it is a tie between fantasy and contemporary, to close to call.

 22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? – So many to choose from! It’s got to be Aja Killian from the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale who is just so adorably awkward. ❤

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson 23. Best 2013 debut you read? – Besides Splintered? Then it has to be Insomnia by J.R. Johansson, a pretty creepy book that I enjoyed quite a bit.

 24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? – Splintered and Antigoddess for the umpteenth time, but also Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Holy freaking crap. Just read it if you haven’t, so pretty!

 25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013? – Etiquette & Espionage again, but also Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin was a really fun read. His sense of humor and mine just click.

 26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is really the only book I read this year that had me super close to tears. I felt all of the emotions while reading that book.

 27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?The Archived by Victoria Schwab. While Vicious has been received and enjoyed by many, The Archived seemed to be a book that people only found out after Vicious’s success, and I encourage any who are on the fence to give it a try.

I hope you enjoyed this survey and feel free to join in on the fun by clicking here and linking up your own responses! I definitely plan to do this again next year, it should be pretty interesting to see how the books I read then will match up to the ones from 2013. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the new authors you discovered this year! This was my first year where I really dove into reading at a higher, book blogger-level pace, so pretty much all of the authors I read this year were new for me.  So these are just SOME of my favorites in no particular order. Enjoy! ^.^

1. Jay Asher – Author of Thirteen Reasons Why, my favorite book I read in 2013. I LOVED that book for reasons I can’t even explain. It was easily the book that hit me the hardest emotionally, where I felt like the book really took me to that story and forced me to live through every ordeal and difficulty along with the characters. It was brutal, it was draining, and I loved it, so for that Asher is on this list.

2. A.G. Howard – Author of Splintered, my favorite debut of 2013 by a wide margin, and someone who I’ve even had the pleasure of speaking with on Twitter! She is so sweet, and Splintered being her debut with how amazing it was still boggles my mind. I look forward to reading Unhinged so I have an excuse to talk with/about her more just as much as for the book itself. ^.^

3. Gail Carriger – Author of Etiquette & Espionage, my favorite book outside of my usual genres and also in my top 5 overall for the year. I haven’t spoken to Carriger, but I did REALLY enjoy E&E and need to get to book two early next year. Her writing, engaging characters, and fantastic world building do it for me in every way and I get to read steampunk!

4. Ann Aguirre – Author of Enclave and Outpost, two more of my favorite reads of the year and the best dystopian series out there. Aguirre is someone I respect as an author, a person, and as someone who fights against adversity and stereotyping. I became such a big fan of her and her work that I bought EVERY single book she has out for my print collection, and her discussion on females in science fiction writing was a huge part of that. If you haven’t read it I highly encourage you to do so here. I can’t say enough nice things about her, she’s an inspiration.

5. Victoria Schwab – Author of The Archived, a book that definitely made my top ten for the year and a series I can’t wait to continue in January when The Unbound is released. Schwab is one of the best bookish/author personalities on Twitter, really fun to talk to, and I loved The Archived so more of her books in my life in 2014 will be wonderful.

6. Leigh Wilder – Author of the Deadly Liaisons series and one of my best author friends on Twitter. Her naughty books add some spice to my reading life which is much needed and her writing is excellent. She’s got a great sense of humor, I love talking to her as often as I can manage, and I can’t wait for more of her work next year.

7. Zoe E. Whitten – Author of Peter the Wolf and Penny for Your Debts, one of the most skilled writers you probably (sadly) haven’t heard of, and whose collection I own on my Kindle app on my computer. She is another of my best author friends on Twitter, and someone I could never get tired of talking to. She’s amazing and so are her books, I look forward to reading more in 2014. ^.^

8. Rick Riordan – Author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and someone I’m sure  anyone reading this knows all about. I found out about Riordan way late in the game, but I enjoyed the first two Percy Jackson books and I’m excited to read more by him next year.

9. Larry Kollar – Author of Accidental Sorcerers and White Pickups, someone you probably (and again sadly) might not have heard of, and a great friend of mine on Twitter. Larry is a great guy, always funny, and one of the most enthusiastic authors that I’ve come across. I enjoyed his series thus far and look forward to see what he has in store for 2014! ^.^

10. Maureen Johnson – Author of The Name of the Star, a name the vast majority of you know, and a fellow nerdfighter. I’ve only read The Name of the Star by her so far, despite owning the sequel, but I did enjoy it and Maureen, of course, is amazing on all fronts so I’m sure I’ll like the rest of her work too. She’s hilarious, a fantastic Twitter personality, and great on vlogbrothers videos. Need I say more?

So those are the top ten new-to-me authors for this year! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your authors mainstream, indie, or a mix? Are they ones that debuted in 2013 or, like mine, have been at it for a while? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Character Names I Love

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about character names you LOVE!

1. Sevy from The Sevy Series by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – One of my favorite characters, Sevy’s name fits perfectly because just like her it is short, sweet, and it kicks ass. I can’t imagine her having any other name, and in fantasy the short kick-butt names are hard to come by.

2. Fade from The Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre – Even though Fade isn’t the MC in the series I felt that his name really matched his character’s style. The guy really does fade into the background at times but then BOOM comes to the forefront and kicks major Freak butt! Great character, perfect name.

Ritchie Sudden

3. Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin – Ritchie Sudden, to me at least, seems like a punky, rocker-dude type name, and that’s pretty much what he is in Wise Young Fool. His last name, Sudden, goes well with his character’s meteoric rise, and fall, in the rocker scene. I’d like to chill with Sudden any day, but he’s too cool for that.

4. Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – How could this pairing be any better? It’s perfect! Colin, an unassuming, uninspiring first name (no offence to the Colins out there, my name is Eric so I feel your pain), for a guy that is constantly underachieving considering his genius-level brain. Plus, Singleton as a last name for a guy who keeps getting dumped? Nicely done Mr. Green, nicely done.

5. Bobby Pendragon from The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale –  I can never remember a title from this series to save my life when I want to discuss it, but I’ll never forget the name of the series as a whole, or its protagonist. With a last name like Pendragon how can you not be destined for awesome adventures? Exactly.

6. Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard – I’m guessing my love for this name stems from a certain Matrix character, but Morpheus in Splintered deserves full credit for living up to every bit of the coolness that I associate with his name. He is awesome, if a bit psychotic (but what great characters aren’t a little nuts), and being on his team over Jeb is as easy as breathing. Wonderful.

7. Artemis Fowl from The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer – Maybe this one is more about the character than the name, but considering the guy has the name of a god(dess) perhaps not. Artemis Fowl is the guy I think I always wanted to be, at least after he learned compassion to an extent, and I would trade names with him faster than he can create a time paradox (that’s pretty quick by the way). Amazing character, fantastic series, kick-ass name.

8. Frodo from The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien – Oh come on, did you really think I was going to skip my namesake? I have been called “Frodo” or some variant of it for over a decade now and it’s more “me” than my real name by any measure. frodo smile

9. Bartimaeus from The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – I have no real explanation for this one except that I love the name just as much as the djinni that it belongs to. It’s original, it’s fun, and it sticks in the brain, can’t go wrong with that!

10. Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns by John Green – It flows off the tongue so easily and is just as unquantifiable as the character that bears her name. She is an event, a magical adventure, and the name might be a bit of a mouthful at times, but I think it’s perfect. Yes I’m repeating authors, and descriptive words, but these characters and their names are soooo good!

So those are the top ten character names I love! What is your top ten list for this week? Are yours more peculiar or do they match perfectly with the characters? Are they long or short, hilarious or straightforward? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Fraterfest Wrap Up

Fraterfest

Fraterfest Wrap Up

Fraterfest Read-A-Thon is a fun way for bloggers to attack their TBR piles, specifically the books that contain “things that go bump in the night” (think vampires, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, ghosts, etc.) and is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Hey everybody! I hope you enjoyed Fraterfest as much as I did and that all of your reading goals were met, surpassed, or destroyed by all of the reading you got done! ^.^ I had a lot of fun reading some twisted books, one with some naughty vampires, and even a MG! I managed to finish a total of six books despite having two days of not reading and they are:

Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Club Midnight by Leigh Wilder

One of the best things about the readathon was that I enjoyed all of the books I read, which might be more luck than anything. My favorite read was Doll Bones by Holly Black, a middle grade read, and something that is normally not in my range of go-to books. Reviews for all of these will be posted in the coming weeks. I didn’t participate in any of the challenges and I missed the Twitter chat due to homework, but overall I had a lot of fun and a book/day is pretty good.

How did your Fraterfest go? Did you meet the goals you set? If you didn’t are you satisfied with how much you did manage to read? Let me know, and thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Auto-buy Authors: Randomness by Frodo

Auto-buy Authors

Grabby Hands Gif

I saw the always entertaining Gaby at Queen Ella Bee Reads do a Top Ten for authors on her auto-buy list and decided to talk about my own, why I consider them “auto-buys” and a bit about auto-buying authors in general, thanks Gaby!

First a bit about auto-buying books from authors. In a follow up post Gaby took a step back and after really looking at her list realized she didn’t have (at least as many) authors she really auto-bought. Whether this was because of genre changes or jumps from one target age range to another (MG/YA/Adult/etc.) it altered that immediate “Must Buy NOW!” mentality. That’s where I differ. I really do have a bunch of authors where it doesn’t make a difference what they are writing about, what age they target or really any qualifier out there, if they write it I will come.

A lot of that has to do with my reading tendencies. I don’t stick to genres or often even to YA, Adult or what have you, I bounce from one type of book to the next at random and that works for me because it keeps the reading experiences fresh and makes each book stand out more. So the following authors are ones that I either own their entire collection (in print or eBook format) or that when I have the monies to I will and that will continue as long as they write. Here we go!

  • John Green – Most of you know who this is, best seller, Vlogbrother, leader of Nerdfighters, Crash Course teacher, master of the emotional sucker punch as well as all around funny guy, John Green is all of these things and much more. I’ve seen all his videos (and Hank’s too of course) so it is only fitting that I love his books. I’ve never given a book by Green less than 5 Smiling Frodos and that isn’t because of any bias, they are just that good. An Abundance of Katherines remains one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. The only piece by him I don’t own is his collaboration with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (yes I even own one of the prizes he gave as a perk Double On Call and Other Stories) and that is one I’ll likely get when I get paid on Friday. Not sure why I put that off. So ya, I’d recommend his work to anyone.
  • Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Sarah-Jane is pretty much the opposite of John in every way. He’s contemporary she’s fantasy with an edge to it. She’s an indie author. You (sadly) may not have heard of her unless you have been following my blog/Twitter for ages where as Green is like crazy huge in so many communities. Green writes brainy characters and complex relationships, Sarah-Jane creates incredibly detailed and amazing worlds and kick-ass heroines. You get the picture. Something else you may not realize about Sarah-Jane? She’s just as amazing a writer as Green is. I want EVERYONE to know that and to check out her work, but for now her collection will at least reside on my (virtual and real) shelves. I can’t wait for more of her work in the future!
  • Ann Aguirre – Back to an author that needs no introduction. It all started with Enclave which I won in a giveaway and devoured and loved immediately upon arrival. Fast forward to about a month or two ago where Twitter is buzzing over a post Ann wrote, This week in SF, which received both incredible support and infuriating backlash. I made a few comments on Twitter and decided I would do one of the two things I believe are the best ways to support authors in any fashion, I bought her entire collective works. At once. I wish I could say I read them all already, but alas there are seemingly infinite books out there and only so much reading time for this hobbit. (In case you are wondering the other way I feel is best to support authors is to review.) She now has a section all to herself on my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to dive into each book as well as any she writes in the future. She happens to be one heck of a writer (I gave Enclave 5 Smiling Frodos and called it the benchmark for Dystopians). ^.^
  • Leigh Wilder – Every now and then I like to get a bit naughty and that includes my reading. I discovered Wilder completely at random on Twitter and decided to check out her work. I now own every sexy piece she’s written that I could get my hands on, virtually at least since hers are all eBooks. She usually writes either short pieces or novellas and each leaves me craving more. I’d recommend her to any fan of Erotica. I’ve rated three of her works so far and they’ve always been a 4 or 5. That says a lot. Check her out!
  • Rick Riordan – Here is another author you’ve all heard of. I don’t technically own all of his work (yet), but I do own box sets for Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles as well as books 1-3 of The Heroes of Olympus with book 4 on pre-order. Pretty good right? I’ve actually only read The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters by him, but as with Aguirre he has his own section of my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to read more of them when I can. Not much more to say, he’s just really, really talented.
  • Zoe E. Whitten – An author of some of the most controversial books I’ve ever read, Whitten is an author you may never have heard of but definitely should check out. She writes about taboo subjects and refuses to hold back, something I give her major credit for, and if you can handle that I urge you to give her a shot, she deserves it. Her writing level is incredible, some of the best prose I’ve ever seen and the emotions she elicits (at least from me) are the strongest I’ve ever felt while reading a book. Her characters are dynamic, their personalities unique yet relatable and I love them all for different reasons. I won’t gush further but seriously, just go read her stuff and thank me later. Oh, and I own every one of her ~35 pieces, ya she’s that good.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – While the authors I have mentioned so far span a variety of genres this is the first where I am tearing you right out of fiction and thrusting some non fiction goodness onto you. Gladwell is brilliant and makes me use all of my brainpower which, to be honest, I don’t do often enough. Sure some books make me think about a variety of issues, but Gladwell’s books force me to view the entire world in ways I never would have considered. The inner workings of society, how people achieve success, chance and the people that benefit from it and why, so many aspects of life I never would question otherwise I have because of him. Give your brain a workout and check out one of his books. I own them all and have his newest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants on pre-order. ^.^
  • Angela Kulig – If you follow my blog you’ve seen me review her work, talk about her awesomeness and squee over how excited I am to read her upcoming work. Angela is incredibly talented, jumping from the creepy to the hilarious and back again, sometimes in the same piece, with an ease that few can match. I own and have read all her work and look forward to sharing more of it with all of you in the future. Much of her work has a darker side to it and I love that. It isn’t morbid by any means, but it isn’t happy-go-lucky either, and sometimes I think we need that dose of reality. Check her out!
  • Jeremy C. Shipp – I feel like the Adam’s Family song should play here…oh well. Shipp’s books are definitely creepy and spooky, kooky, and yes sometimes downright ooky, and I love them all. His Attic Clowns pieces are the best Horror/Bizarro Fiction I’ve ever read and always leave me laughing and wishing there was more. I don’t own all of the anthologies he has been a part of (because of the sheer volume) but if it’s just him I’ve got it in one format or another. One of my favorite authors and Twitter follows, Shipp is just a great writer plain and simple. Can’t recommend his work enough.
  • Sean Beaudoin – Similar to Shipp but with a lighter side, Beaudoin examines the human condition in every one of his pieces at a different angle. The Infects shows our inner animal, for some prey and for others predator, and brings them to light. Going Nowhere Faster is the vast majority of teenagers personified by Stan, the MC, and his attempt to get out of neutral and at least into first gear with hilarious results (and far less car puns). Fade to Blue is insane in every way and I loved it, examining the world around us and the potential worlds we can create (in our heads and in reality). Beaudoin is talented, creative and always packs his books with more laughs than I thought possible. I own all his books and have his newest, Wise Young Fool, on pre-order. Go take a look!

So those are my auto-buy authors. Somehow I ended up at a nice round ten auto-buys though I assure you the list wasn’t padded or cut down in any way, these are my favorites and I happen to have ten of them. ^.^ There are a bunch more that are borderline for me. I either own almost all of their work and just haven’t gotten to a few, love their work but some of their pieces don’t interest me or I’m just not quite as obsessed with them (yet). Some of those are: John Grisham, Stephen King, D.J. MacHale, Larry Kollar, Jill Archer, Christopher Paolini, Brigid Kemmerer, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Samantha Durante & Tina Folsom. There are plenty more but I don’t have all day and neither do you I’m sure. Thanks as always for reading and it would mean the world to me if you would at least click on those 10 author links and just check out their work when you have time. They are worth it and then some. ^.^


Waiting on Wednesday #8

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre

Set For Release On: October 29, 2013 

So I just finished reading Enclave a couple days ago, if you want to read my review feel free to do so here, and though I have yet to read Outpost just yet despite owning a copy and really wanting too (soon I hope), Horde is already calling to me. I can’t wait to see what adventures Deuce has, how the “horde” is going to come into play in the book and whether or not our beloved heroine can survive the onslaught.

I’m pretty sure ARCs of this book aren’t even available yet so I’m definitely going to be waiting for quite some time (that would be assuming I could even get my hands on an ARC which isn’t likely anyhow). How am I supposed to wait until October? HOW?!

Anyway…if you haven’t read Enclave and you don’t understand why I have all of this pent up excitement for Horde then please do yourself a kindness and do so. It’s fantastic, the best dystopian I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and I’m sure you’d love it. I can’t speak for Outpost (yet) but I’d check that out too once you are done with Enclave. Until then maybe I (and you as well) should/could check out Ann’s Sirantha Jax series, sound good? Alrighty! Well enough gushing from me.

Does Horde appeal to you? Do you already have it pre-ordered? Have you read Enclave and/or Outpost and if you have what did you think of them? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! 🙂


Day 49: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Day 49

Summary From Goodreads

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

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Enclave is a thrill ride from beginning to end. Fast paced action with danger lurking around every corner will keep you on your toes and the new discoveries will leave you with a sense of wonder just as great as the characters within experience. From the dark tunnels, to the new enclaves and the feared and oft-mentioned “topside” Enclave there are new worlds seemingly around every corner.

Deuce is a kick-butt, no nonsense type of character. She’s stubborn and fiercely loyal once she places her trust in someone or something but she’s also quite ignorant of life outside her enclave. At least at first. She has to be tough and with that sort of mindset since she is a huntress, a role that requires a mix of bravery and a steely resolve.

Fade is this mysterious entity. All you know about him in the beginning is that he lived in the tunnels, without the protection of any enclave for years prior to joining Deuce’s, and supposedly he’s even lived “topside”. While his outer shell seems designed to keep people away, probably due to the frightening things he’s had to face in his life in the tunnels, he’s also quite the softy. He cares about people in a way that surprises both Deuce and the reader at the same time. He’s gentle when he can be, and steadfast and devoted to those few he bonds with, including Deuce. He’s a very likable character.

The romance between the two is understated in a good way. It’s something you can see building naturally (no insta-love, hooray!) and through non-romantic actions. They bond, they grow to trust one another and rely on each other and that eventually makes them closer than either of them probably thought possible. It isn’t all encompassing and it doesn’t become the focal point of the book which is fantastic.

The various “worlds” that are created here, both the underground and topside, are wonderfully done. Neither of them is some sort of paradise waiting to be basked in, they each have trials to face and obstacles to overcome. The strict regimen of the underground, specifically the enclave, is offset by the wildness of topside where no rules seem to be present at all. It’s hard to say which would be worse, one polar opposite or the other, but both are equally fleshed out to perfection. The fear you take from the underground is one of the system you believe in not being at all what it seems, and from topside what it would be like with no system at all, anarchy at it’s worst.

Enclave was the perfect blend of all these things and more. As far as Dystopia books go this easily jumped to the top of the list, my previous one if you remember was Divergent and I’d have to put Enclave head and shoulders above that one. I can’t wait to read Outpost and I’d recommend Enclave to anyone, fans of Dystopia and a good read in general. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 50!

Mount TBR Challenge #38/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #38/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #49/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #17/44

Five Smiling Frodos w Background