Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February Wrap Up - 2012 TBR Reading Challenge

It's that time again for the monthly wrap-up of the reading challenge I am participating in this year. I can't believe how fast this month went! I have done a good bit of reading this month, and got a whole bunch of new books as well. My birthday is in February, so I hit the thrift stores, got some gift cards and pre-ordered Pandemonium, it should be here any day now! I also started the Millennium Trilogy, and ordered the second two of that series. Mostly, I'm still trying to get through some ebooks and the pile I received for Christmas. It's been a good month though!

I managed to read 6 books that qualify for the challenge this month, but only used 4 entries, as I did a series post of the three Vampire Diaries books I read (it just seemed easier). 
The six I read and posted about were:


You can click the picture to take you to their reviews if you like.
I also read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, which was late 2011 so I didn't count it, and 2 others that I haven't posted about, so will probably get included in the March wrap-up..

Some March reads I plan to get through are:
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Vampire Diaries: The Return - Nightfall by L.J. Smith
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
and maybe one or two more.

March is the last full month of school this semester, and I have a test and a paper to do, so I will have to take a break mid month from reading in almost all of my spare time!

I also plan to get started on The Scarlet Letter, because I like working through some classics every now and then too, there are a few on my original challenge as well that are much older that I keep saying I should start too. I have vacation in May, so maybe I'll get through one or two of them then.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Goodreads Summary: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door

Why I Read This Book: Since I loved Anna so much, it only seemed natural to check this book out as well.

Review: I really liked this book, a lot. It was cute, and completely unputdownable (not a word, so what). Perkins writes in a way that even though you know it`s going to happen, you are dying to know when, and how so badly that you just. can`t. stop. reading! The story is similar to your average YA contemporary love story, but it just feel so genuine, that it is also different in a way. The character Lola is very eccentric in the way that she portrays herself to the world, but she is still just a teenage girl, and she acts like one as well. It seems Perkins has been criticized in some reviews for the "zany" way Lola acts, but I didn't think it took away form the story, it actually added to it. As much as I can't picture someone dressing like that in real life, I think this side of Lola was done for a reason that was very much an integral part of the story. Overall, there was only one small problem I had with the book, and it was that the characters Anna and St. Clair were in this book (not my problem, I was happy to see them!) but the problem was that in this book they didn't really act the way I would have pictured from their characters in Anna and the French Kiss, it seemed they were just written in to this one to call it a sequel of sorts, but they actions fit whatever Lola needed from them, and not necessarily what I could picture from them as developed characters from another book. Minor peeve, but nonetheless, I didn't really like that.
Overall, great book, full of all the necessary warm-fuzzies I read these type of books for!


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Goodreads Summary: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Why I Read This Book: I picked this one up as something humorous between more serious books that I was reading.

Review: I liked the flow of this book, and it definitely did deliver in the funny department. Kaling writes in a very conversational way, which was enjoyable. As with my recently read Bossypants by Tina Fey, I was a little lost on places as I did not have a firm grasp on Kaling's acting background, however it wasn't as much about her past acting experiences, and I thought she did a better job of explaining them for people who may not have know about 'Ben and Matt' or watch 'The Office' regularly. I like the book, but I didn't love it. I thought it was going to be better from what I had heard from friends who had read it, so for that reason I was left a little bit disappointed.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Naked In Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb

Goodreads Summary: It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion. 

When a senator's daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she'd been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve's growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome... and the leading suspect in the investigation.

Why I Read This Book: I had some reservations about beginning this behemoth of a series, as it is over 30 books in and still going, but someone who`s judgement in books I trust said she likes it, so I thought I would start picking away at them.

Review: Although I did enjoy this book, it was a little slow getting into. I didn't find the story got interesting until almost half way through the book. Also, I found some things about the future setting under explained. However, I did like it enough that I will read the next one at least, so that's something. I'm not a crime novel reader traditionally, so it was nice to try something else. I have also never read any Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts) so it was also nice to get introduced to her somewhat as well. I liked this book, and I'm, looking forward to reading the next, but there are a few that I'm more exited about that I will read first. For this reason I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, however their rating style is a bit different there, so I will give it 3.5


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Goodreads Summary: Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in "Eclipse," and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

Why I Read This Book: I am neither a huge lover or hater of Twilight, I took them for what they were, liked them, and moved on with my life. I liked them enough that I thought this book was worth a read based on how short it is. I also had read Midnight Sun prior to this, and thought I might be as pleasantly surprised by this as I was by that.

Review: Being pleasantly surprised did not happen. I did not enjoy this book very much at all. The only part of it I liked was the re-telling of the meadow fight from Bree's point of view. I think I didn't like it because I just didn't care about Bree. For some reason Meyer took a liking to this character, and wanted to develop her further, but I did not. I hardly remember her from the Eclipse book, really just the brief scene from the movie, and I still think she only stands out there because she reminds me of actress from The Vampire Diaries who plays Anna... Anyway, the book just lacked an interesting story, I didn't care for any of the characters, and Meyer isn't a such a fantastic writer that it doesn't matter (like, say, J.K. Rowling). The draw of the Twilight series for me was the Cullens, and Bree just doesn't matter.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Vampire Diaries 2, 3, & 4 by L.J. Smith

Goodreads Summaries: 
Book 2 The Struggle: 
Torn between two vampire brothers
Damon: determined to make Elena his, he'd kill his own brother to possess her. 
Stefan: desperate for the power to destroy Damon, and protect Elena, he gives in to his thirst for human blood.
Elena: the girl who can have anyone finds herself in the middle of a love triangle . . . one that might turn deadly.

Book 3 The Fury: 
A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...
Stefan: Tormented after losing Elena, he' s determined to end the feud with his brother, Damon--whatever the cost. 
Damon: Mocking Stefan and Elena, he laughs in the face of doom. 
Elena: Wild with her craving for blood, she confronts the ultimate evil. 
The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Book 4 Dark Reunion: 
The Final Conflict...The Last Deadly Kiss 
Elena: Now she rises from the dead to recreate the powerful vampire trio. Stefan: Summoned by Elena, he keeps a promise to her and fights the most terrifying evil he' s ever faced. 
Damon: Joining the brother he once called enemy, Damon battles this new horror with strength, cunning, and deadly charm.
Why I Read These Books: Basically I read these three books because I read the first one, and I liked it.
Review: I didn't like the second book as much as I liked the first. I think I can attribute this to the fact that not a lot happened in most of the book, and it was kind of boring. Also, I started watching the TV show after I finished book 1, so was watching it and reading this book at the same time, and the book really wasn't as good. I still liked it though, so I will give it 3 stars. The 3rd and 4th book got more excited, and I enjoyed those a lot more than the 2nd book. Also, the TV show and the books as SO different at this point that I wasn't trying to compare them at all anymore, which helped. There was a lot of spooky twists and turns in the last two books that kept you on your toes. After seeing the TV show actors, I don't think I will ever picture a lot of the people the way Smith describes them, but I am now enjoying the book series quite a bit, and look forward to starting 'The Return' series about them, I would give both book 3 and book 4 four stars.
Book 2 - 

Book 3 - 

Book 4 - 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January Wrap Up - 2012 TBR Reading Challenge

If you have been keeping up with the blog, then you know I am participating in the '2012 TBR Reading Pile Challenge'. Each month there is a wrap up post to be written, and a contest to be entered. I would have had this entry up yesterday except that the book contest kept me scouring other blogs for book covers for hours, and I still only got 11/12 of them!! Oh well. That's OK. I only knew 3 right away! Good contest though, I really liked it. So, on with my wrap up post.

This month I managed to read 5 books on my challenge list, however I started a little early and had 2 done before December was over. I'll count those anyway, as they were on my official challenge list. I did read a few others as well, which also fall into this category, but I'll stick with my initial 40 book list for contest purposes.
The five I read and posted about were:

The Book Thief

You can click the picture to take you to their reviews if you like.
I also read Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and the Vampire Diaries books #2 and #3, which fall into the older books category, but again, were not on my contest list.

Some February reads I plan to get through are:
Second Life of Bree Tanner, the Twilight novella (which I have already started)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (don't think that's on my list)
The fourth Vampire Diaries (again, not on my list)
Lola and the Boy Next Door.

So, only 2 from my list, but that's OK, I'm making good progress :)

I'm having fun with this challenge, although looking at my list there are some that I'm not that excited about reading. I'll  have to start them soon, because it takes me awhile to get through a book I'm not excited about, because I'll read others in between. But, you never know, I could be pleasantly surprised and end up loving one of them!