Mar 29, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

This week's BTT asks two related questions:

Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?


What fictional character do you feel is most like you personality-wise? 

I take a little bit away from all the characters about which I read. I don't try to emulate them per say, but sometimes they offer such wisdom or they say things that give me something to think about in regards to my own life that I can't help but be affected. 

Personality-wise... Recently I read Graceling (review here), and although I'm definitely not like Katsa in the kick-anybody's-ass sense, I could definitely relate to her predicaments. She didn't want to be owned by anyone ~ her desire to belong to herself surpassed any other desire of her heart, even the desire to live. She was controlled by a king she despised, something of which she felt she had no control. Sometimes I feel owned by a job for which I have no passion, which I'm sure everyone goes through at some point in their lives, but I feel stuck in a place I can't stand most of the time, and despite all my efforts, I can't seem to get out. One day, hopefully, I'll bust out a Katsa move and just say *enough* ~ when I have a backup plan to pay my bills ;). 

Also, Katsa won't give up herself for the sake of love. I used to be afraid of that too, until I met my husband who accepts me the way I am, stubbornness and all. I learned, just as she did, that love doesn't mean sacrificing a part of yourself or even your freedom. It means you share a part of yourself with someone who would never take it away from you, and you give each other strengths you never knew you had. 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 28, 2012

Repost: Review ~ Hunger Games

All I see lately, whether it's the news, facebook, twitter, and even the weather, is The Hunger Games. Yup. I was one of those who arrived at the theater an hour and a half early, first in line to get a good seat, twitching with anticipation to see the film adaptation of one of my favorite books. It's been about a year since I read the first in the trilogy, and as I went through my old reviews, I couldn't help but smile as the memories of how I felt after I read the book came flooding back. (The movie was fabulous, but as every avid reader knows, movies don't have the same effect as a book.) It was like reading it all over again, so in honor of the books that inspired this phenomenon sweeping the world, I wanted to repost my review.

Survival of the fittest - it’s the way the world has always turned.  In our present lives, at least for those of us currently residing in what is called ‘North America,’ there are not many hardships to survive – life is easy, food is always available, and shelter is easily attainable. Will this always be the case? Maybe…maybe not.
In The Hunger Games, Panem, formerly known as North America, has been divided into 12 districts, all under the control of the ‘leadership’ of the Capitol. The majority of the people in the districts live meager lives, supporting the Capitol with their goods and stuggling not to face an emaciated death.  Katniss Everdeen’s world revolves around putting food on the table and keeping her sister, Prim, and mother alive and healthy. She breaks the strict laws of the Capitol daily, venturing beyond the perimeters of District 12 in order to hunt and gather what her family would not be able to afford otherwise…
That is until the day of ‘the reaping.’ Prim, who is now twelve years old, is required to throw her name into the hat of ‘contestants’ for the Hunger Games, a fight to the death among 24 chosen children between the ages of 12 and 18, one boy and one girl from each district. Lucky for Prim, her name is only in there once. At least that’s what Katniss thought until she hears the overly-peppy, pink-haired Effie announce ‘Prim Everdeen’ into the microphone, causing her world to crash in around her. Jumping to Prim’s rescue, Katniss volunteers to take the place of her kid sister and faces death in the form of what everyone else calls ‘entertainment.’
Survival. Death. Grit. Rebellion. War. Love. Loyalty. Faith. I know that doesn't even cover it.
When I finished this book, I didn’t even know what to say about it except how much I loved it. My favorite element was Katniss, the heroine. She is a kick-ass female lead that can, without a doubt, take care of herself, but doesn’t allow the games to harden her heart or change who she is. She’s a survivor and protector, and will do whatever it takes to fulfill both roles. Katniss develops a close understanding of the world outside the electric walls of her district, and I think she will use it to her absolute advantage.
So what is this book really about, aside from a group of teenagers being thrown into a pit to kill each other off? From what I got from it, I think it’s about compassion and, obviously, survival in the face of oppression. Faith in each other, in freedom, and a belief in love, even if initially artificial, is what carries the main characters through their trials.
The end of the games brings about unexpected events, at least in the eyes of the  Capitol, and it become clear that the threat of death is still looming over Katniss and her male counterpart, Peeta. The arena seems as though it was really child’s-play compared to what the Capitol is capable of bringing down on them.
Find out what happens next in Catching Fire, the second book in this amazingseries.
Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~

Review ~ Graceling by Kristin Cashore

 Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

It's been a while since I read a book I couldn't wait to get home to read. And when I say that, I don't mean it as a quick thought of wanting. I was literally itching to stretch out and finish it, rushing through my daily routine, trying to get everything done so my easily distracted thoughts could focus solely on this book. 

The story takes place in a land of seven kingdoms, including massive fairy tale castles, princes and princesses, kings and queens, secrets and magic. Every so often, a child is born; this child grows into eyes of two different colors ~ they possess, or more accurately, are graced with  an extraordinary quality that sets them apart from the norm. In Katsa's case, she can kill any man that crosses her path, maim him with a flick of her wrist, and is used to do so by her king. Until she meets Po, who allows her to see that her strength isn't only held in her physical abilities.

Of course, the plot drives the story, and does so well. Every action the characters take is based on one certainty: words dipped in lies will kill them and those they love if they don't destroy the speaker of those words first. However, I've always believed the characters create the plot, and as a character-driven reader, I couldn't have been more satisfied.

The credibility of the characters is astounding. As you read, you can see their facial expressions, hear the tone in their voice, and experience their emotions. Katsa is everything I could want in a heroine. She's strong, determined, and fiercely independent, qualities which, in her case, could be seen as both strengths and weaknesses. She refuses to rely on anyone or anything but her own sharp senses, afraid that dependence would cause her to lose herself. Katsa's relationship with Po arouses this deep conflict within her, the desire of her heart battling with her need to belong only to herself. What makes Katsa so admirable in my eyes is that she refuses to give up on herself in order to love. Her flaw, at first, is that she believes you can't have one without the other, but she soon learns that love does not mean losing yourself ~ in fact, she discovers that it makes her whole, gives her even more strength, and reveals honorable truths about herself she was blind to and never could have imagined. 

The pace of Graceling is quick but not rushed. From the first chapter, the reader is immersed in action and mystery as the book begs for questions and leaves the reader plowing forward for answers. Nothing is ever simple. The characters face obstacles not easily overcome, whether it is from outside sources or within themselves, giving readers constant reasons to ponder.

As a reader, I was never left wanting as I turned page after page, unable to stop. 

Verdict ~ *Highly Recommend*

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I'm still reading Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes and I'm picking away at the last few chapters of World War Z. I've gotten a little sidetracked while reading these guys, so it's taking me forever!

What did you recently finish reading? I just finished Graceling by Kristin Cashore last night. I will be posting a review soon! The best book I've read this year :)

What do you think you'll read next? I've got Anne Rice's new novel, The Wolf Gift, waiting ever so patiently on my night stand. I think I'll give that one some much needed attention next.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 27, 2012

Hunger Games ~ Movie Review

Probably the most anticipated weekend of the year (aside from Breaking Dawn this fall), Hollywood did not disappoint readers with their adaptation of The Hunger Games. 

The book and the movie go hand in hand, complementing each other. The movie stays close to the events in the book, and as a reader, I was happy to see the actual story that I read and fell in love with on screen. Of course, not everything can be exact ~ details in a book are much more intimate than that in a movie ~ but I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't constantly thinking, "that's not how that happened!." This movie will make people want to read the books just so they don't have to wait a year for the next movie to find out what happens next. (As they should...)

Jennifer Lawrence ~ nobody else could have played Katniss. She was incredible, awesome, perfect in this role ~  exactly how I imagined our heroine. In fact, all the actors chosen matched their characters to a t. Peeta, well,  I was a little wishy washy about Josh Hutcherson, but he soon won me over as I watched. His relationship with Katniss was the biggest, and pretty much the only, deviation from the first book, although I can't say whether or not they will bring up the reality of Katniss's feelings in the second movie. We were able to witness Katniss's inner thoughts, doubts, and hesitations in the book. It's difficult to show that in a movie, so usually we only get what's on the surface.

My favorite aspect of the movie was the emotion I felt practically dripping off the screen. The acting was amazing and every moment had a physical presence ~ it was almost overwhelming. I knew what was going to happen, how events were going to unfold, but I still felt the sting behind my eyes and the breath stopping in my lungs at the portrayals of the fear, anger, terror, love, and courage that are the center of this story.


Happy Reading (or Viewing) Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 26, 2012

Musing Mondays

This week’s musing asks…
Have you ever found a book out of the blue, read it, and then had it be surprisingly good — one that stuck with you for years? If so, what book was it?

Yes... I picked it up and read it one sitting. It was Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen. I've read mixed reviews of this novel, but I absolutely adored it, and after turning that last page, I sat there for a few minutes, silent and in awe. Every time someone asks me what my favorite book is, I can never pick just one, but The Ice Queen always makes it to my list.

... a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.

She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets--what turned one to ice and the other to fire.

A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best. 

I think I stumbled upon it on one of my many trips to Barnes and Noble, one of the two bookstores that existed in my town. I was lucky to find it among the rows and rows of books, and I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't had the privilege to read it.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 23, 2012

Hunger Games Clips

Today's the day everyone's been freaking out about... I've seen it on every news website from CNN to The Weather Channel... The Hunger Games is being released in theaters today and is said to be the biggest hit and money maker of the year (until Breaking Dawn is released ~ but personally, I'm way more excited about seeing Suzanne Collin's novels on screen). So, in my excitement, I was going through clips, watching in anticipation as my husband laughed at me over my shoulder, but soon quieted as he got drawn in ~ *sucker*  ~ too good not to share :)

Happy Hunger Games Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 22, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better...

Thursday is probably one of the better days of the week.. It's one day closer to the weekend ~ in other words we can see the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.. 

Booking Through Thursday is a 'weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading..' 

This week's question asks:

Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?

I'm working on a book, only have a couple of chapters (peace and quiet is a rare state of things in my house lately), and it's a blast to do. I'm not sure what it's like to get to the end, having hundreds of pages to organize and edit, but I'm quite positive it's not an easy task. That being said, I also think that if an author lives and breathes their story, it will come alive to the readers. There's one book that made absolutely no sense to me, a jumbled mess of dramatic events that hardly ever tied together... 

If I had been the editor Lauren Kate's Fallen series, I would have thrown the manuscript back at her and told her to get her thoughts organized. Maybe that's a little harsh... but she would write this whole mysterious, tragic event in Luce's life, leaving us wondering what really happened only to move on to the next tragic, self-inflicted mess, hoping we'd gasp in astonishment and forget all about our musings.. (*Clears Throat* Like Luce's first kiss who mysteriously died in flames and shadows instigated by Luce, sending her to the institution in the first place... what, how, why???? O but no one cares about that guy anymore because Daniel is supposed to give us enough to think about and drool over...) Nothing was ever resolved and romance was used to distract from the storyline (I'm a sucker for it too, but if it sacrifices a good story, it seems a little cheesy to me)..  As much as I had looked forward to it, I was so disappointed and found myself thinking of different ways the story could go that would make more sense... 

But you know what... she's published, I'm not.. So, as much as I'd like to, I really couldn't say that I would have written it better... 

(P.S. The sad thing is... I'll probably read the fourth book out of curiosity.. The series made me so mad mostly because it had such potential and I wanted it to be what it could have been!!! The idea was awesome, the execution, not so much... Why suffer through another? Because I'm hoping Lauren Kate will change my mind and I'll be ashamed of all my ranting...)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 20, 2012

Intuitive vs Rational

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” 
― Albert Einstein 

Unfortunately, Albert's right ~ especially today. We are all expected to be rational, logical, practical ~ "faithful servants" who hold their tongue and go along with the crowd. The rational minds always make it to the top, become people in charge, spouting down requests for originality, creativity and artistry, when what they really want is what their logical, straightforward, forever-inside-the-box minds have already imagined up as a final result. I am an aspiring writer and artist, and while I'm told that my point of view is unique and could 'really bring a lot to the table,' I'm constantly looked at as if my ideas are, I guess for lack of a better word, weird. Maybe some of them are strange, but I like to think outside the box and I know I'll make it in this world because a lot of my thoughts are ... what's that word again? Intuitive.

That, and I'm more determined than ever.

It's too bad, but it always comes back around to the "faithful servant" idea, no matter what is said to the contrary ~ just do what everyone else wants, and it'll be just fine. Well, sorry people. I refuse.


Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! 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!

Happy Tuesday! I woke up thinking it was Wednesday, rushing around, believing I'd be late for work. A fun way to start the morning :)

My teaser hails from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Katsa, one of the toughest female characters I've met, is hilarious in her own right ... I doubt she even knows it.. :)

“I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said. 
"It would look stunning, My Lady," she called. 
She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.” 

Hope you enjoy!!! O, and leave your teaser ~ I love Teaser Tuesdays ~ I always find something to add to my ever-growing list of TBR... :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~ 

Mar 19, 2012

Musing Monday

This week's musing poses the question:

Would you choose to review a book if it's description sounded interesting but the cover was terrible? 

You know, I used to 'judge a book by it's cover,' if you want to put it that way, but I've learned my lesson time and time again. I still think the cover is a part of the book and should justify the beauty inside, and my eyes automatically look toward the book with the breathtaking cover, but I wouldn't turn down a book that sounded good just because there was effort lacking in making it look good. I'd shake my head and shame whoever was in charge, but I wouldn't condemn the whole book. The cover is supposed to serve a marketing purpose, drawing the eye to that particular book. It's supposed to make it stand out from the rest, and books with fabulous covers do get picked first.

(Lesson learned: Ever read Lauren Kate's Fallen Series? BEAUTIFUL book covers, horrible storytelling.)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 15, 2012

City of Bones ~ Discussion

So I wanted to review this book, City of Bones, which I gobbled up by the way, but I decided to do something a little different and a little more fun. I found a list of discussion questions (intended for book clubs, of which I am not a part ~ no time), and they really get me thinking about the nitty gritty of the book.

Here we go :)

· When Clary learns that Magnus Bane had erased her supernatural memories, she says that she had always felt like there was something wrong with her. How much of this is because she didn’t know her history, and how much is caused—as Magnus says—by the simple fact that she’s a teenager? Does she belong in the Shadowhunter world?

Being a teenager sucks. You're still growing into yourself, figuring out who you are. Personally, I never felt that I belonged either, but I'm not sure many of us did. Sometimes you feel lost, like you don't know which way to turn and sometimes it's hard to choose right over wrong because emotions and hormones are even more strung out than at any other point in our lives. I think in Clary's case, it could have been a little bit of both. She's got a double whammy with not only being at that ripe age in between child and adult, but she finds out that most of her life was based on a lie. How's that for an emotional upheaval?

· How much of what mundanes see in this world is a glamour, constructed by those with magical powers? Why do these glamours exist? How do things change for Clary once she can see through them?

From what I've read, it seems there are glamours around every corner, shadowing not only buildings but every other 'person' you come across. People are happy in their ignorance ~ like the old cliche saying, "Ignorance is bliss," and, truth be told, they probably couldn't handle anything outside their realm of possibility. When Clary begins to see through them, she feels like she's seeing a whole new world, when in reality, as Jace so kindly put, it's the same place; it never changed ~ it's her that is changing.

· Where did Nephilim, witches and warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and faeries come from? Do their origins justify the roles they play and the rivalries between them?

Let's see if I can remember all this... I know vampire are a result of some kind of disease in humans.. witches and warlocks are part demon? Nephilim are a result of the Mortal Cup ~ the blood of angels. Werewolves and faeries, I'm drawing a blank. I know faeries are supposed to be nasty little buggers though, best avoided. The Nephilim seem to consider themselves at the top of the 'social' ladder, being the paranormal world's 'police force.' The rivalry between the vampires and werewolves ~ well it just seemed that it was something that was always so, (maybe I missed something, but...) there didn't seem to be a solid explanation.... faeries seemed to be mentioned randomly here and there... yeah, I suck at answering this question...

· Why did Valentine rebel against the Clave in the first place? What does he hope to accomplish by stealing the Mortal Instruments and fighting the Clave now? Whose best interests does he have in mind?

Valentine was a little overzealous. He believed that because the Shadowhunters were in place to protect the world and its people that all Downworlders needed to be exterminated. The Accords kept an uneasy peace between the Nephilim and Downworlders, and Valentine was forbidden to break this peace. He hopes by stealing the Mortal Instruments to create an army of Shadowhunters (the only way they can be made without being born into it) to accomplish his 'cleansing.' He thinks he has the world's best interest in mind, but really he's just a selfish, egotistical villain with a black void for a heart. His hate and anger turned his 'good intentions' into something more sinister.

· At one point, Jace says he doesn’t believe in God (City of Bones, p. 256). Do you think this is true? Can someone be a Shadowhunter and not believe in God?

I think Jace says a lot of things he doesn't mean. I don't think he really knows what he believes in this respect. He's got the blood of angels, so as a Shadowhunter, I think it would be difficult not to believe in God. Then again, Jace hasn't exactly experienced a normal childhood or life, so I'm not really sure if he truly means it or not.

· What is it about the Silent Brothers that is so disturbing to Clary and the others? Do you think the Silent Brothers play up this aura of creepiness? 

The Silent Brothers are the most dangerous, most powerful Shadowhunters. But their name suits them, making their self-mutilation all the more creepy. Their black hoods, sewn lips, and scarred faces are bad enough, but when you can't hear them moving up behind you? Creepy... I'm taking 'play up' to mean that they try to be creepier than they are to scare the wits out of the people around them ~ I don't think they do this. I think they are completely themselves, and that is creepy enough.

· Why was Jace, who rarely felt fear, so afraid when he was imprisoned in the Silent City?

The Silent Brothers do not fight physical battles, something in which Jace can handle himself. When it comes to getting into people's heads, altering their perception, stealing their memories, the Silent Brothers are pros. Jace is afraid of something he can't fight with his fists and fast feet.

· Shadowhunters are charged with protecting mundanes, but they seem to have very little respect for those they serve. Why do you think their feelings for normal humans are so complicated? Why do they continue to serve mundanes if they don’t like them?

This is a question Clary has brought up before... I think they see mundanes as 'ignorant', maybe even 'helpless.' Mundanes can't see the world for how it really is, and I'd think that would be frustrating having to protect people from things they don't even know exist. It's even against the law to marry a mundane as a Shadowhunter, and if this is a decision you make, you are exiled, as if mundanes carry a nasty plague or something that shouldn't be passed on. I think the history of protecting them goes back so far, that it is just a part of tradition to protect them. It's the law, and it's what they were born to do. Without that purpose, who would they be?

· Discuss the character of Hodge. Why did he betray his young charges? Was he just self-serving and bad, or did he do some good with his life? Was he right to fear Valentine more than the Clave?
Oh Hodge, you disappoint me. Hodge was afraid and he couldn't cope with his punishment. I think he was both self-serving and good, an odd combination, but there it is. He helped and guided his young charges but at the same time left a mess for them to clean up. I don't think he was right to fear Valentine ~ he should have stood up and fought for those who trusted and respected him. Now he is just a coward that left feelings of confusion in those who looked up to him.

Done! What do you think? Anything to add?

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! 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!
Bonne journee me amis!

I hope your week is going well :) Last week I posted a teaser from Max Brook's World War Z, a fabulous 
book I am STILL reading, but this week I'm reverting back to Cassie Clare and her Mortal Instruments. I just started the second book in the series, City of Ashes.

Here's a little tease for ya:

“Mom. I have something to tell you. I’m undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I’m here to tell you that undead are just like you and me … well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.”  

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 12, 2012

Musing Monday

This weeks musing asks:

What book do you wish you were reading right now? Where would you take it to, if you could go anywhere to read for a while?

I wish I was reading The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. Hopefully this will come in the mail today, so I won't have to wish for long :)

I would love to take this book to my own personal imaginary library I have built inside my head.. It doesn't exist (yet), but hopefully one day I'll have my own little sanctuary of a reading room.

Maybe not exactly, but you get the idea :)
Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 9, 2012

Hollowland ~ Review

"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

I read Amanda Hocking's Hollowland in two days. I've done that will all of her books ~ there's just something about her writing that draws you in and forces you to block out the rest of the world. It kicks off with Remy fighting her way out of a quarantine or a safe-zone. She's badass, so she kicks and screams her way out, saving  a couple other girls along the way. However, her little brother, Max, was evacuated, and although she has no idea where he is, she makes it her mission to find him, no matter how many zombies she's likely to run into along the way.

Remy is one of the few female characters I respect. She she kicks more butt than the boys, and she never fusses or waits to be saved. Her one flaw is that she shuts down her emotions (although, she considers that a strength) and refuses to enjoy any kind of normality in this crazy world. Maybe she thinks it's an illusion, maybe it's just that she's been in survival mode for so long that she's afraid or doesn't know how to revert back to who she was. Despite her best efforts, she cares and will do anything in her power to make sure her new family stays safe.

The plot is typical of apocalyptic novels these days ~ a virus infects the human race, turning them into flesh-eating monsters, and those of the minority that remain uninfected must try to survive in a world completely transformed from anything they've ever known. It's back to the basics with a few battles along the way. What makes this story is the characters. I've described my admiration for Remy, but Harlow with her naive and youthful way of looking at things offsets Remy's constant serious tone. Lazlo, my personal favorite, and his transformation from a spoiled rockstar with no other real skills than being in the spotlight to an ordinary but all around good man who teaches Remy a thing or two about how life is still happening around them, even among the walking dead. I'm a character driven reader, so although I really liked the plot, it's the interactions and relationships of the characters that strike me the most.

Amanda Hocking rocks ~ there's really no other way to put it. Her writing is simple and flows smoothly from page to page and her characters are dynamic and believable.

Give this one a shot! I'm tellin' ya, it's a pretty sweet read :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 8, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

I love the interaction between book bloggers ~ we go to each other's sites, share ideas, and discuss what we're reading, what we should read next, and just basic questions only a book addict would think to ask.

Here's a question from Booking Through Thursday ~ a weekly meme that asks questions about reading, characters, book blogs, etc.

This week's question:

Which non-series book would you most like to read the sequel to? Do you have any wishes for what might happen in it?

I've heard a lot of people say there are too many series, trilogies, and sagas in the reading world today, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If a story is so good that you become drunk on it and walk around in a reading-induced-zombie-like-coma, why would you want to stop at a mere 300+ pages or so? 

One that comes to mind is Stephenie Meyer's The Host. That poor novel was overshadowed by Meyer's monster of a creation, Twilight, and I fear it hasn't got the attention it deserves. I actually read The Host before I read the love saga that's swept the nation, and it is what inspired me to try out more of Meyer's books. The only thing I didn't like was how short it was. I wanted to know how the world got the way it did and what would happen next. I wish there was a prequel, a sequel, something, anything! 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 7, 2012

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I've got my nose in World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. I never thought the idea of zombies could sound realistic, but there's Max Brooks for ya.

What did you recently finish reading? I read Amanda Hocking's Hollowland (the cover on Kobo is sooo much better) and Hollowmen back to back. Another story revolving around zombies.. I swear I'm not doing this on purpose (not really), these books just seem to be surrounding me!

What do you think you'll read next? Hmm, decisions, decisions.... I've got a few choices here.. I could go with a little Cassie Clare and the second novel in her Mortal Instruments, or I was looking at Anne Rice's new book, The Wolf Gift. Time will tell ;)

What are the rest of you readers up to???

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Mar 6, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! 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!

Tuesday is probably one of my favorite days because, well it's not Monday, and it's not close enough to Friday that you look at the clock every 37 seconds because you're itchin' to get out. So happy Tuesday everyone!

Right now I'm reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War as recommended. Different from the books I usually read, but that doesn't mean it's not just as good. Let's just say I went out of my comfort zone on this one, expanding my perimeter. 

Here's my teaser:

"And then they came, right out of the smoke like a freakin' little kid's nightmare! Some were steaming, some were even still burning...some were walking, some crawling, some just dragging themselves along on their torn bellies...maybe one in twenty was still able to move, which left...shit...a couple thousand? And behind them, mixing with their ranks and pushing steadily toward us, the remaining million that the air strike hadn't even touched!"

Hehe, kinda creepy huh? I just finished Amanda Hocking's Hollowland, was snooping around for my next obsession, and my cousin recommended this one. I definitely don't regret taking him up on his advice :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)


Mar 5, 2012

55 Questions About Reading

Thanks to Stuck in a Book for this template I am using because I have nothing else I can think of to write about this morning :) This reminds me of one of those surveys everyone used to have on their Myspace page before Facebook took over the world... wow, that makes me feel old... This should be interesting...

1. Favourite childhood book?

As if you didn't think I was weird enough, the book that comes to mind is Billy Baker's Dog Won't Stay Buried. I read it I don't know how many times between fourth and 8th grade. I wonder what happened to that book?

2. What are you reading right now?
I'm reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. It's interesting so far ~ I'm about 40% of the way through and it tells the story of the 'zombie war' from the point of view of people being interviewed. Not bad :)

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None at present.

4. Bad book habit?
Sometimes I'll start a book only to finish it a year later. If you're not into it, you're not into it right?

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nada... I don't like checking out books from libraries... It's too hard to bring them back! When I've read a book, I want to see it on my bookshelf to read again as I please.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
I have an iPad on which I use my favorite Kobo app. I still love the feel and smell of a real book in my hands though.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Usually I'll read two at a time, but I try not to go more than that.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
The only thing I can say that's changed is I read a lot more. Also, book recommendations and reviews have probably affected the books I choose to read ~ that and GoodReads. Right now, I'm trying to diversity my reading palate.. But it's hard to get out of your comfort zone :-/ 

9. Least favourite book you’ve read this year (so far)?
I've loved all the books I've read this year, so I'll go with 2011 ~ I'll say, without a doubt, Beautiful Beings by Kailin Gow... It was all over the place and didn't make any sense whatsoever... 

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?
This year, I'd have to say... Legend by Marie Lu... AMAZING!

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Rarely, but that's not to say I'm afraid to..

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
This is a vague question... I could say snuggled under the covers in bed... or I could say I typically read books containing some kind of mysterious element... if it gets too real, I might get uncomfortable...

13. Can you read on the bus?
I can read pretty much anywhere and everywhere... If it's a good book, I don't hear anything...

14. Favourite place to read?
Like I said, snuggled under the covers... or in a bubble bath..
15. What is your policy on book lending?
I'm pro-book-lending...

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Yup, only if I've lost my bookmark again...

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Never... but with an e-reader, I do take notes... 

18. Not even with text books?
That's a whole other story... but it also depended on the book... If it was a nice new textbook that I knew I'd keep for future reference, then no.. but typically, writing in the margins helped me remember where information was located within the thousands of pages being read.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?
English.... :)

20. What makes you love a book?
There isn't just one thing in particular... it's a combination of things.. Originality is probably the biggest selling point for me though...

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I listen to the types of books they like to read and go from there... Just because I love a certain book, doesn't mean they will...

22. Favourite genre?
Paranormal fiction or YA...

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
umm... if I wish to read something I usually read it... but my historical fiction quota has yet to be filled this year...

24. Favourite biography?
Don't read biographies... 

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

26. Favourite cookbook?
I love The Pioneer Woman ~ she's a riot :)

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman... I can't say it changed my life, but I read it in one sitting, and all I can say is it was incredibly moving..

28. Favourite reading snack?
hmmm... don't usually eat when I'm reading,  but sometimes while I'm eating lunch at work, I'll make a few glances at my current read...

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Never... If it sounds like a book I would like, it usually is...

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Usually but not always... 

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Sometimes, I just can't help it... Life's too short to read bad books... It keeps people from wasting their time.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
The Stand by Stephen King ~ First, it's incredibly long (took me a couple of months to read), that and it's so bleak, you have to take breaks from the gloom and doom.... but, in the end, it's totally worth it :)

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
I'm never nervous to begin a book...

35. Favourite poet?
Poe, Shakespeare... other than that,  I don't read a lot of poetry..

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Hence the reason I don't check out books from the library.. you're time is limited...

38. Favourite fictional character?
The one that comes to mind is Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games ~ not your typical female..

39. Favourite fictional villain?
I'd have to say Dexter ~ the wonderful creation of Jeff Lindsay ~ I know he's not really what many consider a 'villain,' but he's not all good either ~ and you can't help but love him

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on holiday?
They wouldn't be any different than books I would read on any other day...

41. The longest you’ve gone without reading?
Maybe a day or two.. I usually can't go too long without it...

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Tower of Parlin Min. Great ideas in need of polishing...

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Other people in the house...

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
True Blood and Dexter... I know they are shows - not movies - but I enjoy the shows so much better than I enjoy the books ~ and that's extremely rare...

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Bag of Bones ~ Stephen King

46. The most money you’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I'd say around $50... I usually only buy what I'm going to read next... I don't outbuy my ability to read...

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never... That would spoil the whole point..

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
Boredom.. It's rare that I won't finish a book.... You never know if it could get better

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Nah.. I just put them where they'll fit on the shelf

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
If I really enjoyed the book, I'd rather keep it.. to be honest, it's hard for me to let any of them go permanently

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
If I'm avoiding them, then I probably won't read them ~ reading is the one thing I have control over... I wouldn't waste time reading a book I didn't want to read...

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Most recently, Article 5 ~ but it was mostly the female character, not the book itself... she was an idiot most of the time... 

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
If I don't expect to like it, why would I read it?

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Beautiful Beings by Kailin Gow again... Great synopsis ~ bad execution...

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
All my reading is guilt-free... why would I be ashamed of something I enjoy? Because of what other people think? BAHAHAHAHA!

Happy Reading Everyone :)