Monday, April 30, 2012

April Reading Wrap-Up

It has been quite a busy reading month for me! I finished quite a few highly anticipated 2012 novels. Then again, I strayed away from my April TBR by a lot!

 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Review here

 Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, Bk. 2) by Ally Carter - Review here

Pandemonium (Delirium, Bk. 2) by Lauren Oliver- Review here

Across the Universe by Beth Revis - Review here

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Review here

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- Review here

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

How did your month of reading go?

-McKenna :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (6)

Welcome! It has been a busy week in books for me. I would like to mention one thing before I get started. I in no way support the doings of the affiliated blogger who mentors this meme. I will continue to do the meme, but only for the content. I enjoy seeing and sharing what others got. I in no way support plagiarism.

From the Library:
Eve by Anna Carey

Fire by Kristin Cashore (Audio CD)

For Review:
The Binding by L. Filloon
(Received in e-book format from Lightning Book Promotions)

 Contest Win:

 The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
( Thank you to Andrea at So Many Books, So Little Time and Egmont!) 

From PBS:
The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, Bk. 3) by Julie Kagawa

I hope you all had a great week in books! Link your IMM below!

-McKenna :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author- Jennifer E. Smith
Published- January 2nd, 2012
Poppy/ Little Brown
236 pages
Obtained from the library

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. -- Goodreads

Man is the title a mouthful! From now on I will be referring to The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight as "the book".

The book has a totally cute cover. I know your not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I unfortunately, am guilty of this crime. I try not to let it influence me, but ultimately it does. I found this cover describes the book pretty well, and I love the font. To say the least, the cover made me want to read the book.

I found Hadley to be a pretty like able character. I may not be her biggest fan, but she was good as far a protagonist's go. I have to throw in the fact that I love her name! I totally understand the anger towards her dad. I mean, who wants their Dad to just pick up and leave for another woman? Not cool!

I found the relationship between Hadley and Oliver to be cute, but it left me wanting more. Yes, I know, the book takes place in a 24 hour time frame. Maybe I was just in need of more oomph? I did like the fact Oliver was British! I adore British men. Their accent is just so swoon- worthy.

Overall, this was a cute love story, but not something to read if you are looking for serious romance. This is just more of a whistle wetter if you know what I mean. It was a good, quick afternoon read.

I will be giving the book 3 stars!

-McKenna :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
Author- Beth Revis
Published- January 11th, 2011
416 pages
Obtained from the library

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.--Goodreads

Oh my goodness y'all! This book was frexing amazing! It is so unique and so beautifully written that it sucked me right in from page one!

First off, the cover. When I first glanced at the cover I thought I was seeing some weird black hole thingy on the cover. When I looked closed though, I saw that the black parts were actually people. I found the cover very pretty and neat looking. It describes the book well.

The story begins in the past. On the first page, one of the characters named Amy is with her parents, ready to be frozen for their trip to a planet that supposedly supports human life. When they arrive, they will be unfrozen and continue their life on the new planet. I found this concept very neat. I have never read a book about space travel. The fact that this books pulls in both science fiction, romance, and dystopian elements is a bonus for me.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the romance between Elder and Amy. I found Elder as such a swoon-worthy character. He is quiet yet totally romantic. I love a guy that takes risk. He has the guts to stand up to Eldest and I appreciated that.

Amy, the other hand, was just an OK character. Yes, she was unfrozen prematurely, but she doesn't need to act all whiny about it. I mean, yeah, I would be worried about my parents too, but not like she did. I guess I just got frustrated with her. She did get better towards the end.

By the end of the book I was excited to see what would happen next. I knew there would be a cliffhanger ahead of time, so I was prepared. I think Ms. Revis did a great job of leaving the ending wide open for the next book. I am glad to say that I have the next book in my pile, so I will be getting to that soon.

Overall, I thought this book was fabulous. Great world-building and conflicts. I found myself getting angry and sad along with the characters. I mean, who wants to live in a metal box for their whole lives? Not me! I am excited to find out what Elder and Amy do next. I will be getting to A Million Suns VERY soon!

I will be giving this book 4 stars!

-McKenna :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (5)

Welcome to another addition of In My Mailbox. IMM is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren! I am so grateful that library has so many new books available, but man, my hole is getting deeper!

From the Library:

BZRK by Michael Grant

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

That's all for me this week! I hope y'all had a wonderful week in books also! Leave me a link so I can see your IMM!

-McKenna :)

Read-A-Thon- FINISHED!

I am finished the read-a-thon! I survived. So let's just ignore the fact that in the time I should have been reading I went to the mall and watched my friends kids. All of that excitement pretty much led to an early bedtime for me. I am shamed to say that I nodded of at 1 AM and woke up at 8....oops. I will say that I did get some reading done, but not nearly as much as I wanted.

Here is my finish line questionnaire-

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  I had the roughest time from 11-1 before I finally crashed
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Across the Universe was great and very entertaining
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? More publicity!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Reading in a chair. As soon as I moved to my bed, things went down-hill FAST
  5. How many books did you read? 1 and 1/4
  6. What were the names of the books you read? "Across the Universe" and "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight"
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? "Across the Universe"
  8. Which did you enjoy least? I enjoyed both books I read
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I was a cheerleader for only a few of my friend's blogs. Just make sure you turn of the commenting code so others can comment quicker
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Likely, as long as it is on a day when I have nothing to do
  11. What role would you be likely to take next time?  Reader
I hope everyone had a great time doing their read-a-thon! I know I loved mine!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Read-A-Thon Update (1)

Hello all! I am three and a half hours into my very first read-a-thon! I am enjoying every minute, even though I have only read about an hour!

Introductory ?'s

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
It's a tie between The Way We Fall and Out of Sight, Out of Time
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I have no snacks planned out! I'm just gonna grab and go
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am an avid reader, but a slow one. I love to visit the beach and spend time with my two dogs. This is my first ever read-a-thon!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Never participated before

I have already completed Across the Universe. I only had about 60 pages left to read, so I finished that up. Now I am 20 pages into The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

See y'all in a bit!

Let me know how your RAT is going!

-McKenna :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

24 Hour Read-A-Thon

It's almost time! Nine hours from now I will be comfortably perched in my bed or reading chair, getting ready to begin my 24 hours of reading. To be quite honest, I am not expecting to make it 24 hours. I will for sure need a nap sometime in the afternoon, and I may take a nap in the middle of the night. I am a bear when don't have any sleep!

Here is my reading pile for the Read-A-Thon-

Switch by Carolyn Snow
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

I am most likely not going to get to all of these books, but I am hoping to knock out at least two, maybe three. I read painstakingly slow (60 pages/hour), so it takes me FOREVER to finish a book. This is also the reason I picked books that were 300 pages or less.

I will try to continue to blog during this venture, but it is not my priority. I am aiming to knock out as many library books as I can! Taking breaks from reading slows me down to much. I will try to check in every 4 or so hours to update you!

It's not to late to join the read-a-thon! You can even be a cheerleader if reading is not your forte. Here is the website.

Good luck on your reading challenges!

-McKenna :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
Author- Tahereh Mafi
Published- November 15th, 2011
Harper Collins
352 pages
Obtained from the library

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. --

So the minute I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. Then, when I heard all of the hype surrounding it, I doubted myself. I am not usually a person that likes the hyped books. It seems they never really live up to my expectations, based on what was said. This book however was different.

I love this cover! Beautiful, glittery and captivating would be the three words I would use to describe it. And can we talk about that gorgeous dress?! LOVE IT! God, if only I could be tall and pull that off!

I loved Juliet. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED her! She was the perfect mixture of kick-butt (I seem to be reading a lot of books like this lately) and vulnerable. I could not even imagine the pain of having to live with the fact you are a killer, or the fear that if you touched someone, they would die. When you think about it, how many times a day do you actually touch someone? I am sure it is much more than you think. To have to live with such hyper-awareness of your touch must be so saddening.

The chemistry between Adam and Juliet was wonderful. The author did a great job of weaving a fantastic, heart-pounding romance into a fascinating dystopian novel. The minute I read the first page, I knew this book was a winner, and it lived up to my expectations! It was action packed and romantic in all of the right places. The minute I was missing some spice, BOOM, here comes Adam!

I will say that the crossed out parts were a bit unnecessary in my opinion. I didn't really get the point of them and found them a bit confusing. Nevertheless, I still immensely enjoyed this book.

Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. Definitely one of the best Dystopian novels I have ever read. I highly recommend Shatter Me! Now if only the second book was published so I could feed my longing after that cliffhanger!

I will be giving Shatter Me five stars!

-McKenna :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

All I can say is Ahhh! I've dug myself even deeper into the library book hole! Besides that I am super excited about the books I acquired this week. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

From the Library:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

The Fame Game by Lauren Conrad

Partials by Dan Wells

From a PBS Game:
Never Have I Ever (Lying Game, Bk. 2) by Sara Shepard

XVI by Julia Karr

Summer and the City ( Carrie Diaries, Bk. 2) by Candace Bushnell

I hope you all have had a wonderful week in books! Let me know what was in your mailbox this week!
-McKenna :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pandemonium ( Delirium, Bk. 2) by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, Bk. 2)
Author- Lauren Oliver
Published- February 28th, 2012
Harper Teen
375 pages
Received from the library

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite. --Goodreads

Let's start with the cover first. Quite honestly, I am not as huge of a fan of this cover as Delirium's cover. I mean, yes, the cover is captivating and all, but it just didn't grab me quite as much as Delirium. Maybe it is the color that is throwing me off.....

I have heard many mixed reviews in the way this book is written. I thoroughly enjoyed the Then and Now parts, though I have to say I found the Now parts much more interesting. The Then parts were just monotone to me.

If I really sat down and though about how long it took me to really get into the story, I would have to say about page 200. Really and truly I wasn't completely enthralled until the last third of the book. Maybe it was because I was trying to recall what happened in Delirium? See, that's the problem with books being released a year apart. I can NEVER remember what happened in the first book!

I do feel like Lena grew more in this book. She is another kick-butt heroine, and I enjoyed her romance with Julien. But, the whole time I was aching for Alex. I missed him BADLY!

The end of the book was the best part. Oh. My. Gosh. This cliffhanger is INSANE! I need to know what happens next!

Spoiler- (highlight to read)

Ahhhh! Alex is back! I think my heart skipped a beat when I read that. Now there is a love triangle! Man does Mrs. Oliver know how to get her readers to come back for more!

Overall, this book was enjoyable. It was a little slow-paced, and lacked action for me. I did enjoy the romance, but need more! I definitely liked Delirium better. Regardless, I will be reading the next book.

I will be giving this book 3 stars!

-McKenna :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to my third IMM, which is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! So, me being myself, I requested about 20 books from my library catalog a few weeks ago. Suddenly this huge rush of books pours in ( not literally). Oops! Now I have 8 books waiting to be read, most by the 28th of April, and some on May 7th. I have lots of reading to do!

From the Library:

Out Of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, Bk. 5) by Ally Carter
Yay! I love Ally Carter and this series! I was so pumped to be first in line wishing for this one!

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, Bk. 2) by Beth Revis
Even though I have yet to read Across the Universe (which I have from the library also), I figured it was best to have this on hand in case I NEED to read the 2nd book immediately after

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Love Lauren! I am in the midst of Pandemonium at the moment and loving every second. I wanted to try out her other work because I adored Delirium so much!

That is all for this week! What did y'all get in your mailboxes this week?

-McKenna :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Happy Easter and Passover! I finished up Uncommon Criminals this morning and I am once again reminded why I love Ally Carter!

Uncommon Criminals (Heist, Bk. 2)
Author- Ally Carter
Published- June 21st, 2011
Hyperion Book CH
298 pages
Received from PBS

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.-- Goodreads

After reading Heist Society earlier this year, I was really excited to get my hands on the second book. It didn't disappoint!

I love the premise that this book is based on. Girl raised in a family of thiefs, falls in love with a colleague, yadda yadda....Basically, Carter took on a subject that is pretty much one talks about stealing things in real life, but the way she writes about it makes the subject light and laughable. Was the writing perfect? No, but it was enjoyable.

The book was fast paced and romantic in all of the right places. I loved the chemistry between Kat and Hale. Once again, you are left wanting more to happen between the two. The book took many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The ending left me floored. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK! Don't you hate when a book leaves off on the most fantastic yet horrible cliffhanger? Yep, that is exactly what happened.

I found many of the characters to be extremely likable. I love Gabrielle's facade of ditziness, and Hales loveablilty. I mean, how could you not fall in love with Hale?! I love Kat and her stubborn and independent qualities. She reminds me a lot of me.

Overall I found this book to be a cute, quick read. I look forward to the next book in this series! If you haven't yet read the Heist series, you are missing out.

I will be giving this book four stars!

-McKenna :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author-Laini Taylor
Published- September 27th, 2011
Little, Brown & Company
432 pages
Received through PBS

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?--Goodreads

I had been hearing about this book for quite a while before I finally decided to pick it up and give it a whirl. Man, am I glad I did!

The world-building in the book was fabulous! It was as if I could picture it in my mind, the bird cage-esque city of Loramendi and the cobblestone streets of Prague. I love when an author can put a picture in your mind so vividly!

I loved Karou as a character. I love kick-butt heroines in general, but I think the quirkiness about her is what drew me in. She makes her own path in life, rather than follow the road less traveled, which reminded me of myself. I loved the chemistry between her and Akiva. It was almost as if he was dangling right in front of you, but you never really got to know him fully.

One negative that I did not like about this book was the confusing bits in the beginning and towards the end. In the beginning I had a rough time remembering who was who because SO many characters were introduced at once. Also, towards the end of the book when Karou and Akiva break the wishbone, the constant flashing back and forth had me so lost. For about 100 pages, I had no clue if a new character was introduced or if it was the same character in another form. I'm glad the loose ends got all tied up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to the next book in this series titled Days of Blood and Starlight (due to be released in November 2012)

I will be giving this book four stars!

-McKenna :)

I'm Back!

I'm back! Man did I miss blogging! (Is it possible to have blogging withdrawal?). I feel well rested and caught up in my reading! So while I was on vacation I decided to to take the plunge and join the Dewey's 24 hour Read-A-Thon. I have been wanting to do this ever since I saw the concept on Wall-to-Wall books. On top of that, I have accumulated 9 library books all due on the 28th (oops), so I figured this would help to get those read faster. The Read-A-Thon will be on Saturday, April 21st.  I will be posting periodically throughout the Read-A-Thon with books read and other misc. items. Feel free to be a cheerleader! I will be starting at 8AM. This will be interesting. I have a feeling I will not make it through the full 24 hours. Any hoo...that was just a brief rambling. I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone on the trip, so I will have a review up shortly.

Happy Reading!
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