Sunday, September 30, 2012

Best of the Bunch - September 2012


Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month.
The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read or reviewed in that month and give it our Best of the Bunch award.




September reads:










The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway ~ ★★★
Aftermath by Andrea Cremer ~ ★★★★
Döckálfar by Saga Berg ~ ★★★★★
Hana by Lauren Oliver ~ ★★★
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling ~ ★★★★★
The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro ~ ★★★★★ ~ My review.
Goodnight Sam by Inger Iversen ~ ★★★★★
Splintered by A.G. Howard ~ ★★★★★ ~ Review to come!
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare ~ ★★★★★




And the Best of the Bunch winner of August 2012 is...

~ Splintered by A.G. Howard
Paperback arc, 377 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books


Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family.


She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


I haven't read that many books in september, considering that 4 of the 9 books were short stories... And only 1 review is kinda sad, but nonetheless it was an awesome book month. 
I finally read the first Harry Potter (through force by my awesome Pottertwin; Em :D) Of course I love it, so I should thank her! And yes, I'm planning to read the other books as soon as I get my hands on them.
Splintered was amazing! One of the best books I read so far. Just fantastic!




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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #6


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews.
The point of this meme is to showcase the books you bought, borrowed, won, downloaded or received for review.










From Library:
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Het oude Egypte (ancient Egypt) by Leonardo Arte

Freebie:
Goodnight Sam by Inger Iversen (from Smashwords) - My tiny review!

Won:
Signed bookmarks from Bound and Broken by C.K Bryant & Bookmark and Postcard from Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis - Thanks to Jean BookNerd and her amazing giveaways!
A $25.00 Amazon.com Gift Card from Kim Carmichael! - Thanks to Jessica @ Release Day Diva Events' awesome giveaway!

Thanks everyone! :D ♥ 




So... what books did you all receive this week? Leave me links! :]

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Feature & Follow #4


Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted on friday by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.




Q: What is the BIGGEST word you’ve seen used in a book lately – that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.


This is a hard question... I can't really remember any big words in a book  lately that I had to look up. So no answer for this one. :]

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Awesome giveaway by Nely Cab!





Nely Cap is holding an awesome giveaway! Go to She Writes Again to enter!

What can you win?

A Signed Paperback of Creatura!
And yes, it is international! :D

Go enter and good luck! 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #35: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




~ Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Paperback, 452 pages
Expected publication: December 11th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.


--
If you want a chance at winning Opal check out the giveaway at 365 Books A Year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #34: Splintered by A.G. Howard


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.




My teasers:
"Don't look down," Jeb says.
Why do people say that? It only makes it impossible not to. My gaze sinks to the steps thudding beneath our boots. Bones, interlocked and bound with some kind of shimmery gold twine, make up the stairs. Most of the bones are deformed in size and shape. Others look humanoid. I press my palm over my mouth.

-page 149

He's a contradiction: taut magic coiled to strike, gentleness at war with severity, a tongue as sharp as a whip's edge, yet skin so soft he could be swathed in clouds.

-page 173




~ Splintered by A.G. Howard
Paperback arc, 377 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.




 Anyone can participate in Teaser Tuesdays. Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro

Title: The Stereotypical Freaks
Author: Howard Shapiro
Publication: November 4th 2012 by Animal Media Group 
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: e-book, 154 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Content Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon 

~synopsis~
Four disparate high school seniors come together to compete in their school's battle of the bands. Sharing a love for playing rock and roll, the members name the band "The Stereotypical Freaks" because they feel stereotyped by their classmates - smart kid, geek, star athlete and quiet weirdo… when in fact they know they are much more than those labels that have been placed on them.

When one member reveals life altering news, winning the competition takes on more of a meaning to each member. Scared and angry, upset and yet still with a lot of resolve they set out to win one for the good guys… will they?


My thoughts: 
I decided to read this when the author, Howard Shapiro send me a review request. (Thank you so much for that!) I almost immediately agreed because I just love graphic novels and since this one is about music I wanted to read it even more! So when he send me the e-book arc I started right away and a few hours (with some breaks in between) I already finished. And it was amazing!

I loved everything about this novel. The story, the characters, the art, the music. It all fit perfectly together. 

One of my favorite aspects was how with every chapter there were songs written down you could listen to with that chapter. And to top that off, it was definitely my kind of music! I really loved that.
Another thing I loved where the main  characters. Just like the blurb says: they are stereotypes, the smart kid, geek, star athlete and quiet weirdo. You wouldn't expect them to be friends but somehow through music they come together to form their band and become amazing friends. And their band is totally amazing! They rock!

I must admit I cried at the sad parts. Especially at the end. And I never cry when reading books! So it definitely says something about how amazing it was. So I hadn't expected this. This novel seriously made an impact on me. I have also lost some people to cancer so it made me think about it all over again. This is not a bad thing. It once again made me realize that it's okay to be scared but you have to face your fears and once you've done that, you realize that it wasn't that bad to begin with. *wipes tear away* Now this book wasn't all sad topics and deep, sometimes it also was really funny and made me laugh out loud.
Now about the art... Unlike some other graphic novels where the art is just crap this one was actually well done. I loved it!

The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro is one of my favorite graphic novels I've ever read. The music did me in but the story and characters is what kept me going. I would recommend this to everyone I know. Even if you're not into this genre, you should read it. It's an amazing but sad coming-of-age story that will leave a deep impact on you and the way you think about some things. Or so I hope. This novel is simply a must-read, not only for young-adults but for anyone.





About the author:
HOWARD SHAPIRO lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons. The Controller for the Pittsburgh-based Visual Effects firm, Animal Inc., he has also written four children s books and The Stereotypical Freaks will be his debut Graphic Novel. His 2008 book, Hockey Player for Life, has been the number one downloaded children s hockey e-book on Amazon s Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011. His, Hockey Days book was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children. Through a corporate sponsorship program he set up (and maintains), since the 2010-11 season, both of his children s hockey books have been given to NHL teams (over 2,500 copies to date) for use in their community and educational initiatives. Since 2006 his annual charity raffle, which he matches dollar for dollar donated, has raised funds for several hockey-related charities including the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Hockey Fights Cancer and the Keith and Lisa Primeau Scholarship Fund. For more information, please log on to howardshapiro(dot)net

Visit Howard at: http://www.howardshapiro.net 
Find him also at: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #5


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews.
The point of this meme is to showcase the books you bought, borrowed, won, downloaded or received for review.





Bought:
The Iron Duke by 

For review:
 The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener


I'm so happy with all the books I got this week. Especially the review books from Michelle Diener! She was so nice to send both the signed arc and IATC. I love historical fiction and I know I will love these books. The Iron Duke and Queen of Kings looks very nice too. Found them at a local bookstore. I just had to get Queen of Kings because I love anything to do with ancient Egypt. Can't wait to read it!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Feature & Follow #3


Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted on friday by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.




Q: What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?


 

So many books that are popping in my head right now. But I gotta go with the obvious: The Hunger Games! 
Also the last book I read was (finally!) the first Harry Potter book and that was definitely without a doubt worth all the talk!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #34: Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




~ Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista
Paperback
Expected publication: October 30th 2012 by Omnific Publishing
Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #33: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.




My teaser:
Harry was speeding towards the ground when the crowd saw him clap his hand to this mouth as though he was about to be sick - he hit the pitch on all fours - coughed - and something gold fell into his hand.

-page 140-141





~ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published October 4th 2004 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published June 26th 1997)
Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him, whose parents were killed in a 'car crash'. He is bullied by his aunt and uncle, and his fat, spoilt cousin Dudley, and lives a very unremarkable life with only the odd hiccup (like his hair growing back overnight!) giving him much to think about. That is until an owl turns up with a letter addressed to Harry and all hell breaks loose! He is rescued by a world where nothing is as it seems and magic lessons are the order of the day. Read and find out how Harry discovers his true heritage at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, the reason behind his parents' mysterious deaths, who is out to kill him, and how he uncovers the most amazing secret of all time, the fabled Philosopher's Stone! All this and Muggles too. Now, what are they?



 Anyone can participate in Teaser Tuesdays. Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #4


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews.
The point of this meme is to showcase the books you bought, borrowed, won, downloaded or received for review.








Bought:
Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto (The Book Depository)
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh (The Book Depository)
Fearless by Brigid Kemmerer (Kobo)

For Review:
Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Netgalley)

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Feature & Follow #2


Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted on friday by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.




Q: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?



For me it was definitely Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Many people talked about how awesome it was but it just didn't live up to it in my eyes. The only positive thing was how original the world was so it might have potential for future books in this series.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #33: Awakened by Inger Iversen


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




~Awakened (Few Are Angels #2) by Inger Iversen
Expected publication: February 14th 2013
What must he overcome to protect her?

With no clue of what to do next and the responsibility of looking after Alex and Mia as promised, Kale is up to his ears in problems and no solutions. How will Kale save Ella, keep Alex and Mia safe, control Jace as well as control the Bloodlust that creeps beneath the surface waiting to be released? Will Kale be Ella’s savior or will he convict her to a fate worse than the one Laurent has already promised her?

What truths will she learn?

Ella knows that the choices she makes affects not only her but everyone else around her, but what about the choices made to find her? Ella learns the truth about the death of her parents, learns that the ones she thought she could trust aren’t so trustworthy after all. How will Ella handle these betrayals, and will she be able to sacrifice what is necessary to obtain eternal life?

♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!