Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fateful by Claudia Gray

FatefulSummary (From Goodreads): The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

New York Times best-selling author Claudia Gray delivers adventure, dark paranormal suspense, alluring romance, and a truly surprise ending, set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic's first — and last — voyage.

Review: Wow, I'm not even sure where to begin this review. I should probably start by telling you guys that I loved it! Fateful was such a great book. It blended many different elements yet was able to make them all work together.

The main focus of the book is between Tess and Alec's romance, and the obstacles that they have to overcome. It's really done in an interesting way, since Tess is a maid and Alec is the heir to a huge steel fortune. It adds a nice upstairs/downstairs touch to the story and reminded me a little of Downton Abbey. Gray also adds some great relationships between side characters, so it isn't just a focus on Alec and Tess. Other characters have the chance to grow and develop as the story moves along.

There is a lot going on in this book. There are the historical aspects of the Titanic and the class system, as well as the paranormal aspect of werewolves and Gray's take on werewolf mythology with the Brotherhood, a powerful group of werewolves who use their abilities to gain wealth and influence throughout the world. While all this information can make the book seem dense at times, Gray keeps the action moving along at a nice pace.

I felt really anxious while I was reading this book. I think that was because I know how the story of the Titanic ends. There is the sense of urgency to the story which made it much more exciting.

I found Claudia Gray's writing to be really enjoyable. I haven't read the Evernight series, but Fateful made me want to check out her other work.

Bottom Line: Fateful was a great page turner! I'd reccomend it to fans of books that combine historical and paranormal themes, like A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6 - Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Book: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Author: Kat Rosenfield

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Expected Release Date: July 5th, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads): An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent

Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.

Why I'm Waiting: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone sounds like a really original and interesting idea. I like books that tell multiple stories that weave together. The mystery part of this novel is what really intrigues me. How did Amelia Anne die? I guess we'll find out come July 5th!

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bout of Books Readathon Wrap Up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The Bout of Books 4.0 Readathon is now over and I (drumroll please)... Didn't. Meet. My. Goals. *facepalm*. Ok, before you all start feeling bad for me keep in mind that I finished one book and am well over 100 pages into four others, so it's not like this readathon week was a complete failure for me. This also was my first readathon, so I didn't really have a strategy going in. Since I enjoyed the readathon this time around, I plan on participating next year as well. Here are some things I plan on doing differently...

1. Plan, plan, organize, and plan some more. I felt like one of the biggest blunders I made this week was not creating structured reading times. I think it would be very beneficial to set aside a couple of hours each day that I could devote solely to reading during the readathon week. That way I know I can at least get through a hundred pages or more everyday. I could have also set aside time for blog posts, challenges, etc. I also should have given my reading selections a little more thought. Most of the books I picked were 300 - 400 pages long. I think it would have helped my reading momentum if I had put a few shorter books (200 pages or less) into the reading pile. That way I would have something that moved along a little faster if I felt like I was in a reading slump.

2. Utilize the community. In the beginning of the week, I used Twitter and the Bout of Books hashtag frequently, but by the halfway point of the readathon, I wasn't accessing the community at all. Seeing how other people were doing with their goals was a great motivator for me in the beginning, and I really should have tried harder to stick with that community throughout the readathon.

Overall,  the readathon was a great experience. I'm certainly not discouraged because I didn't meet my goals. I feel like I'll do better as I get more experienced with participating in readathons.

What are your readathon strategies? Sound off in the comments!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5 - Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Book: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Expected Release Date: June 5th, 2012

Summary (From Goodreads): Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Why I'm Waiting: Shadow and Bone is the type of book that I would buy for the cover alone. It looks really cool! The story itself sounds unique and interesting. It sounds like there is some sort of war going on between good and evil, and it seems very high stakes. I also am a sucker for stories where an underdog finds that he/she has the power to save the world. Honestly, who doesn't love an underdog? Shadow and Bone sounds like it has a lot of things going for it, so I'm definitely excited for this release!

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bout of Books Readathon & Updates

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

I've had a lot going on in my personal life recently, so I haven't had a lot of reading/blogging time. Now that I'm done with my freshman year of college, I have decided to devote a week to reading. I am entering the Bout of Books readathon, which starts tomorrow. I'll be posting my progress on my blog, my goodreads, and twitter. If you haven't signed up yet, I encourage you to do so!

My Goals:

1. Finish my 2 current reads.

2. Get through 6 additional books.

Reading List:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)The Woman in Black
OpheliaThe Gathering Storm (The Katerina Trilogy, #1)FatefulLike Mandarin
The Near WitchAshes, Ashes

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Are you planning on participating in the readathon? Let me know in the comments!


Number of books I've read today: 88 pages of The Woman in Black and 54 pages of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Total number of books read: 0
Books read:

Ok, so today wasn't very productive readathon wise. On the bright side, The Woman in Black is only 200 pages long, so by the time you read this I may already be done with it. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is moving a little more slowly, so I'll probably break up my reading slump by introducing a new book from my list into the mix. I'm thinking Fateful... nothing's more exciting than werewolves on the Titanic!

Number of books I've read today: 1 (The Woman in Black), 55 pages of Like Mandarin.
Total number of books read: 1
Books Read: The Woman in Black

Today was much more productive than Monday. I got through my first book and started a new one. I am currently working on Like Mandarin, Fateful, and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I'm really enjoying the readathon community. It's great to see so many people enthusiatic about reading! I would probably accomplish more if I spent a little less time on Twitter reading about everyone's progress, but I just can't help myself. Thon on, people!

5/ 16
Number of books I've read today: 100 pages of Fateful.
Total number of books read: 1
Books Read: The Woman in Black

I'm really enjoying Fateful. I think it will be the next book I finish. At this point I think it would be really tough to reach my goal of finishing 8 books, but I'll try to get through as many as I can.

Number of books I've read today: 100 pages of Like Mandarin, 52 pages of Fateful.
Total number of books read: 1
Books Read: The Woman in Black

I had a pretty busy day today. Life got into the way of my reading. Somehow I managed to get through 152 pages, which isn't shabby at all! I don't have anything major going on this weekend, so I should be able to devote most of my time to reading. Thon on!

Number of books I've read today: 120 pages of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Total number of books read: 1
Books Read: The Woman in Black

I'm about halfway through three different books right now, and my goal is to get through at least two of them over the weekend. How's everyone else doing? Let me know in the comments!

Number of books I've read today: 103 pages of The Near Witch.
Total number of books read: 1
Books Read: The Woman in Black

So I started another book today because I chose the week of the readathon to develop some form of ADD. I'm having a lot of fun though, and the books that I'm reading are great!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4 - Hemlock

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)
Book: Hemlock

Author: Kathleen Peacock

Publisher: HarperCollins

Expected Release Date: May 8th, 2012

Summary (From Goodreads): Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Why I'm Waiting: This book sounds really good. It combines a murder mystery with a paranormal fantasy and i'm really interested in the author's take on werewolves. From the summary it sounds like she tackles it as a virus that most people are aware of and trying to deal with like any other disease. I also am in love with this cover! I love how the vines wrap around the letters. Hemlock looks beautiful and sounds intriguing. I might have to purchase this one, even if it makes my bank account cry. I'm sure mr. debit card will get over it once he sees the cover.

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.