Waiting on Wednesday (35) - Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where book bloggers spotlight upcoming releases they are highly anticipating.

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
Hits Shelves on August 27, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
The whole "buttons being sewn into her skin" line promises enough creepy factor to have me extremely intrigued. Also, I can't deny the allure of a "dangerous magic-wielding serial killer." I have yet to read Durst's Vessel, though I fully intend to sometime in the future. I'm definitely excited for Conjured! It sounds like a thrilling read that I can't wait to get my hands on.

What is everyone else waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List (25)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weekly feature has book bloggers post a Top Ten bookish list for the fun of it! This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

1. Joyland by Stephen King - It's Stephen King's newest release, and I am dying to get my hands on it and read it in one sitting! Which is actually possible for once with a King book because it is only 283 pages! Wow, that's short for Stephen King!

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Every once and awhile, I need a break from YA and I just want some adult fiction. Can you believe that there was a point in time where all I read was adult books? Ready Player One sounds like a nostalgic, genre-defying, AMAZING read! Just my type of book!

3. The Twelve by Justin Cronin - I constantly gush about the first installment of this series, The Passage, but The Twelve remains unread on my bookshelf. It's even a Goodreads Choice 2012 Winner! I need to just pick it up and dive in.

4. The Stand by Stephen King - Okay, I can do this. I believe this is the second TBR Top Ten List I've included this on, but it is still unread. This is unacceptable! I must get to reading this!

5. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride - This book screams Courtney! A horrific yet humorous read about raising the dead for cash? Yup, I need to read this!

6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - This series has received so many stunning reviews, and I cannot wait to read this! Besides, I'm always looking for more fantasy to read!

7. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - I will admit that I was attracted to this book for a superficial reason. I liked the purple in the cover. But I am so happy I stumbled upon this book because it is a must read for the future!

8. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters - I've heard great things about this book, and I don't know why I haven't read it yet. It's sitting on my shelf right now. I definitely intend to read this sometime during the summer!

9. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - I have had this book for years. YEARS! It is a very challenging read, seeing as it's made with an odd assortment of papers with footnotes and appendices and who knows what else. But I will finish it!

10. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima - I've been meaning to get to this series for some time because I'm sure it will become a new favorite. Someday, I know I will read this, and I'm hoping for this summer!

Half of these books I already have sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be cracked open. The other half I don't have in my possession, but I fully intend to purchase or borrow them in the future. The only problem is finding the time to read them...

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on these books? And what books do you plan to read over the summer? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Showcase Sunday (2)

Sunday, June 16, 2013 10:00 AM
Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a weekly feature where book bloggers highlight the books and book swag they received, borrowed, etc over the past week.

-Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - I'm just about to start this one and I am SO EXCITED! I absolutely loved Shadow and Bone, and I cannot wait to continue this series!

-Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - I've heard you can't go wrong with books by an Aussie YA author, and I'd believe it after reading some of Melina Marchetta's work. So many people rave about Graffiti Moon, and I'm anxious to read it!

-Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers - I love that Dark Triumph's protagonist is Sybella! I loved her in Grave Mercy, and I'm sure this book will be action-packed and filled with assassins doing kick-ass stuff as they always do!

Bought (Kindle):
I also snatched up some Kindle books that were on sale! How could I resist 1.99 and 2.99 deals?!
-Sanctum by Sarah Fine - I had borrowed this from the library at one point, but it had started off a little slow for me, and I ran out of renewals before I finished it. I'll have to give it another try because it seems like a really popular book.

-The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney - I've been eyeing up this book for awhile, and it looks like my type of fantasy read - all sorts of spooky!

-Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - I've been wanting to read this book for some time so the discounted price was all I needed!

So what books did everyone else receive this week? Let me know and leave a link in the comments below!

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:14 PM
Title: Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: May 3, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Chaos Walking #3
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 603
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer*
“War makes Monsters of Men.”
― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.
As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many.

The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I'm simply at a loss for words. Yet somehow, I'm still typing, still forming coherent, hopefully, sentences, while my mind is a churning mess of emotion and feels. Monsters of Men was everything I wanted and so much more. It was the electrifying finale to a series I have fallen head over heels for, and I just want to reread it again and again so I never leave the world of the Chaos Walking series behind. I know what you're thinking. She's talking all sorts of weirdness. But I'm dead serious, and if you've read this series, you must know exactly what I'm going through. It is rare for a series to continue to be exceptional as it progresses, and it is even rarer for a series to get better with every book when you thought it was impossible for it to improve. But the impossible is now possible. The Chaos Walking series is that series, and you need to read it right now. I told you I wasn't kidding.

Waiting on Wednesday (34) - Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, book bloggers spotlight upcoming releases they cannot wait to get their hands on.

Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
Hits Shelves on July 9, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Neryn thought she had lost everything and could trust no one, not even her mysterious companion, Flint.

But when she finds refuge at the rebel base of Shadowfell and discovers her canny gift as a Caller, she feels the first stirrings of hope.

Now she faces a perilous journey with the rebel Tali and the Good Folk, who shadow her steps. She must find the three Guardians who can teach her how to use her unwieldy gift – one that it is rumoured could amass a powerful army.

Can Neryn master her magical power to save Alban from King Keldec's stranglehold?

Or will she be too late? (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Shadowfell was my first Juliet Marillier read ever, and I fell in love with her writing from the first page. It was fantasy done right, and I cannot wait for the sequel!

I just wish the covers for Marillier's books were more appealing. I was disappointed with the cover for Daughter of the Forest, and many of her other books deserve beautiful covers but unfortunately, the opposite happens. Shadowfell's cover was stunning, but the cover for Raven Flight is disappointing. I'm a bigger fan of the Australian cover, but that's just me being picky.

Let me know what you're waiting for this week! Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below!

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Monday, June 10, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Published: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 378
Source: Library
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“It takes forty muscles to frown, and only twelve to jam a cupcake in your mouth and get over it.”
― Sarah Ockler, Bittersweet
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last... (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I decided to read this book after Rather Be Reading highly recommended it. I've been making it my mission to sample more of the contemporary genre. I used to think I would never be a fan of YA contemp, but I was proven wrong. While fantasy remains my favorite genre, I've found some fantastic books in this neck of the woods. This was my first Sarah Ockler book ever, and I found it to be a cute, enjoyable read. I strongly suggest that you have sugary treats on hand before reading this! Each chapter in Bittersweet was titled after a cupcake name, followed by the cupcake ingredients, that tied in perfectly with the plot developments. The cupcake names were witty and fun, and the descriptions seriously had me drooling. 

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Thursday, June 6, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Illustrator) (Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd)
Published: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Pages: 215
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Back in the day, I was a BIG Roald Dahl fan. At the start of A Monster Calls, I was reminded of The BFG, short for The Big Friendly Giant. In both books, a large monster, or giant, comes in the middle of the night to the bedroom window of a child, or teen, who is having trouble sleeping. After that, all similarities between these two stories cease, and A Monster Calls veers off onto a darker path. It almost made me long for the adventures of Giant Country because A Monster Calls is not an easy book to read, but it is still such a rewarding, meaningful read nonetheless.

Waiting On Wednesday (33) - Half Lives by Sara Grant

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, book bloggers showcase upcoming releases that they're eagerly awaiting.

Half Lives by Sara Grant
Hits Shelves on July 9, 2013
Add to Goodreads
I learned that surviving isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you survive, you've got to live with the guilt, and that's more difficult than looking someone in the eye and pulling the trigger. Trust me. I've done both. Killing takes a twitch of the finger. Absolution takes several lifetimes.

Seventeen-year-old Icie's parents have given her $10,000 in cash, a map of a top-secret bunker, and instructions to get there by any means necessary. They have news of an imminent viral attack and know that the bunker is Icie's only hope for survival. Along with three other teens, she lives locked away for months, not knowing what's happening in the outside world or who has survived. And are they safe in the bunker after all?

Generations in the future, a mysterious cult worships the very mountain where Icie's secret bunker was built. They never leave the mountain, they're ruled by a teenager...and they have surprising ties to Icie.

This high-stakes, original, and thought-provoking adventure from Sara Grant follows two unlikely heroes, hundreds of years apart, as they fight to survive. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Half Lives doesn't sound like or look like a book I would usually pick up, but the dual narratives from characters living hundreds of years apart has me intrigued. This doesn't sound like a time travel book either, which is a plus because I'm not huge on time travel. Well, I did read a lot of Lynn Kurland romances back in the day, but that's beside the point.

I'm also wondering about this "absolution takes several lifetimes" line. It sounds like a unique premise, and I'm hoping Half Lives proves worth the wait!

What is everyone else waiting on this week?

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:00 AM
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Published: March 3, 2005
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 221
Source: Gift
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I first heard about John Green my freshman year of college. A friend of mine sang his praises, and I was so intrigued, I immediately added Looking for Alaska to my book collection. And I have finally read it more than four years later. Why did I wait so long? Who knows? The lesson to learn from this story: buy books and actually read them before they gather dust or you might be missing out on a great book for way too long. And while I did have a couple of issues with this book, Looking for Alaska was still that great book, and it was an enjoyable read filled with touching, emotional scenes.

Waiting on Wednesday (32) - The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday gives book bloggers a chance to spotlight upcoming releases they are eagerly anticipating.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Hits Shelves on August 27, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
I absolutely loved Crown of Embers, and I'm excited to read more by Carson. So much happened in the sequel, and I'm dying to know what the conclusion will bring! This series has become one of my favorites, and I'm hoping the final installment will be fantastic!

Review: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: The House of the Scorpion
Author: Nancy Farmer
Published: September 1, 2002
Publisher: Atheneum Book
Series: Matteo Alacran #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages: 380
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“People’s souls are like gardens. You can’t turn your back on someone because his garden’s full of weeds. You have to give him water and lots of sunshine.”
― Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón's bodyguard, "How old am I? ... I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."

"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy field lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico--Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister, grasping cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family. He is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards and by the mindless slaves of Opium, brain-deadened 'eejits' who toil in the poppy fields.

Escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. Around every turn in this vivid, futuristic adventure is a new, heart-stopping surprise. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Can you believe that I had never even heard of The House of the Scorpion until a few months ago? My good friend Amanda and I were showing each other our bookshelves on Skype when she came across her copy of The House of the Scorpion. She said it was one of her favorites and recommended it to me. With the three rewards on the front cover, it wasn't difficult to convince me. After finishing this book, I understand why so many people are singing its praises.

Review: The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey Book

Friday, May 24, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: The Isle of Blood
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Monstrumologist #3
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Horror
Pages: 538
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*This book review is spoiler free*
“There are those who labor in the darkness, that the rest of us might live in the light.”
― Rick Yancey, The Isle of Blood

When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can't let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated--and not convinced.

Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky--and will put Will Henry's loyalty to the ultimate test. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
The Isle of Blood is the heart-pounding third installment in The Monstrumologist series. Once again, Rick Yancey does not disappoint when it comes to horror and suspense, and he manages to write gory books without crossing the line into cheesy. The Monstrumologist series has reminded me of how horror should be done and it has become one of my favorite series.

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Golden
Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 278
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“It seems to me that the experiences that stay with you, the things you'll always remember, aren't the ones you can force, or go looking for. I've always thought of those things as the ones that somehow find you.”
― Jessi Kirby, Golden

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Golden is one of those books that remains with you long after it ends. After finishing it, I had to let the book settle before I could even think of writing a coherent review. Reading Golden made me feel vulnerable and alive in a way I haven't for far too long. From start to finish, this book is overflowing with hope, wonder, and pure, raw emotion. When I saw all the hype surrounding it, I was both nervous that it was undeserving of the high praise and excited to see if it would be a new favorite. And I'm so happy to say that Golden is worthy of every positive review it has received, as it exceeded even my highest expectations.

Waiting on Wednesday (31) - Allegiant by Veronica Roth

7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is where book bloggers spotlight upcoming releases that they are looking forward to.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Hits Shelves on October 22, 2013
Add to Goodreads
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
I can't handle waiting any longer! I need this right now! No excuses! I need to know what happens to Tris and Tobias and everyone. The ending to Insurgent was so unfair and left me hanging!

And that cover is gorgeous! I love how fiery it is and how well the flames contrast with the water! I'm really hoping this is a stunning conclusion to a favorite series! You can tell this by the amount of exclamation points I've used in this post!

What is everyone else anxiously waiting for this week?

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read (24)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 7:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday, book bloggers post a top ten list based on a bookish theme. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is...

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of Books I've Read

I know, I know. You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover. You might miss out on an amazing story if you do. But it takes a lot of convincing for me to buy a book with a cover I don't like. In fact, I've bought many books because of their stunning covers. Well, that's not the only deciding factor. The book has to have a unique premise as well. Unfortunately, the book isn't always as good as the cover suggests. But at least I have a lovely book cover to look at! Here's some of my favorite covers...

1. The Harry Potter series - The old covers have a nostalgic feel for me because the Harry Potter books were and continue to be such a wonderful reading experience for me. The characters remained with me long after I'd finished the books, and I love how the new covers keep the magic of this series alive.

2. Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier - I'm not usually a fan of book covers with just a girl on them, but for some reason, I fell in love with this cover. I think it's the color scheme and how the girl's bathed in golden light. It has an almost ethereal beauty. And the writing was as beautiful as the cover!

3. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough - I love creepy anything, and this cover is definitely goosebump worthy. It has all the prerequisites of a spooky cover: scary looking trees, dark colors, and, if you look at the cover in a larger size, you'll notice there's something hiding behind the tree on the left. I love this cover because I'm weird like that, and it's a great match for such a terrifying read!

4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce - I am crazy about this cover, and it's a perfect fit for a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. I love how the one girl's hair blends into the wolf's fur, giving it a more sinister feel. And that red is so bright and eye-catching!

5. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke - I'm actually cheating because I have yet to read this book, and I need to get on that. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for too long, and this cover is one of the reasons I bought it. It's so pretty! I love the elegant font style, the winding road, and the surrounding countryside fading to black in a creepy way. Must read this soon!

6. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - This cover has to be one of my favorite YA covers ever! It's so exotic and wild! I love it!

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - I gush about this series way too much, but I have to say I love the covers - especially the cover for The Knife of Never Letting Go. For some reason, I'm really into covers where the title takes up the most space. And I'm loving the font style and the words scrawled in the background, which goes perfectly with the Noise that is a constant presence throughout the series!

8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan - This cover is gorgeous! It definitely has a Gothic feel and a whimsical charm. Sadly, Unspoken is one of those books where I loved the cover, but was disappointed by the story. Oh well. It happens.

9. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand - Apparently, I have a thing for gates on book covers. Once again, this book has that Gothic, creepy feel I love. The font style is also a winner in my book (pun ;) ). And the story itself did not disappoint.

10. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman - I've been slowly working my way through this book, savoring Pullman's retellings of many of the Grimm Fairy Tales. My book has the cover on the right, but I'm also a huge fan on the one on the left. Both perfectly capture the sinister and frightening feel of these dark fairytales.

What about you guys? What are your favorite covers? Let me know in the comments below!

Bout of Books 7.0 Wrap Up!

Monday, May 20, 2013 6:02 PM

Bout of Books 7.0 has ended, and once again, I failed at what could have been an epic read-a-thon. The past week was just not my week, and it shows. I didn't even meet my modest goals for Bout of Books.

Books I Read:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (1/2 of it)
Add to Goodreads

Looking for Alaska by John Green 
Add to Goodreads

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Add to Goodreads

Bout of Books was, for me, a solitary experience. I wasn't entirely sure what was going on, but that's mainly my fault for not checking the site and regular updates. Unfortunately, I completed no challenges and I participated in not a single twitter chat.

I'm beginning to think that read-a-thons are not for me. I think they're a really cool, fun idea, but I hate rushing through books. I like to savor books, and sometimes, when a book is amazing, I even go back and reread earlier parts just because I don't want a book to end.

Overall, I don't regret trying out something new, and I may even give Bout of Books another go the next time. But I'm beginning to think I'm just not cut out for read-a-thons.

What about you guys? Do you have fun participating in read-a-thons? Are you a speed demon when it comes to reading or do you prefer a slower pace?

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