February Recap

I read the following books throughout the month of February.  I think my favorites in the bunch were The Goddess Test, Desires of the Dead and Feed.  This month I read a total of 20 books.  Woo me!  That's two more than last month.  *brushes shoulders off*
The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)
Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11)With This Ring, I Thee BedThe Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy
The Heiress (Madison Sisters, #2)The Countess (Madison Sisters, #1)
The Princess in His Bed
 Shimmer (Riley Bloom, #2)Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2)I Think I Love YouEnclave (Razorland, #1)
Will Work for Prom DressThe Chaos (Numbers, #2)Wake Unto MeGirl, Stolen
On the Hunt (Includes: Sentinel Wars #4.5, Final Prophecy #5.5, Gods of Midnight, #4.5)It Happened One Season
Feed (Newsflesh, #1)
Vixen (Flappers, #1)Shine

Manic Monday Recaps (Week 2/28/11)

Good day friends.  I hope you are all doing well this bright and shiny Monday.  I had a great weekend.  We celebrated my son's fourth birthday and he and all his little friends had a blast.  I'll have to post pics for you guys to see them in all their scurvy-faced pirate glory.  As always, I got rarely any reading done over the weekend, but I did get some good reading done throughout the week.
Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Last week I read the following:
- Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
- The Girl Who Was on Fire by Various Authors
- With This Ring, I Thee Bed by Various Authors
- The Heiress by Lynsay Sands
- The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
- Enclave by Ann Aguirre
- Girl, Stolen by April Henry

I reviewed the following: 
- Shine by Lauren Myracle [review]
- Stay by Deb Caletti [review]
- Feed by Mira Grant [review]

Have a great week friends.  Happy Reading!


Feed by Mira Grant

Title:   Feed
Author:  Mira Grant
Pages: 608
Genre: Horror
Source:  Netgalley 
In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

It raised the dead.

Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.

Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:

When will you rise?  [via GoodReads]
Mira Grant (a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire) has written about two of my favorite things... blogging and zombies.  Put them together and you have a winner - at least with me.  In Feed, Bloggers are seen almost as heroes.  If it weren't for them and their blog posts humanity would have had a lot more casualties during "The Rising".  Thanks to their posts giving pointers on how to kill a zombie humanity survived.  

It's been 20 years since the initial "Rising" and, bloggers/sister and brother team, Georgia and Shawn Mason along with their sidekick and all-knowing technological guru Buffy, have been selected to follow Senator Ryman throughout his presidential campaign.  As part of the Senator's press team, their mission is to bring the truth to the people.  To those people who remain indoors most of the time (obviously as part of their survival tactics), to see and learn of the man that may one day be their President.   They were hoping that their honest reporting might get them new followers and increase their blog ratings... they were definitely not thinking that their lives might be in danger - zombies being the least of their problems.

This book was excellent!  At a little over 600 pages it was a little intimidating at first and although it did have a slow start (there was a lot of explaining taking place in the beginning) about 100 or so pages in when conspiracies start flying, it really picks up.  I had a tough time putting it down actually.  I must confess that what initially made me want to read the book were the zombies, but I found that I was more captivated by the characters - Georgia, Shawn, Buffy, their blogs, the Senator, his campaign and the iminent danger caused by humans than I was by the actual brain munchers.

Told mostly in the first person through Georgia Mason's perspective and scattered blog entries (including Shawn and  Buffy's) you get a full scope of what's going through each of their minds.  Using these methods you are really able to connect with these characters.  Ms. Grant has a sense of humor since you can see it shine brightly in her characters.  You can also tell she did her research since there are a lot of pop culture references, George Romero idolizing... I'm sure many zombie flicks were watched in the making.

Now if you're looking for a zombie book full of blood and guts... this is definitely not the one.  The zombies are more like background noise.  You know they are there, you are even scared of what you might find just around the next corner, but they are not at the forefront of the story.  This story is about the characters, about a world that was changed by this zombie epidemic, a world left scarred but that survived nonetheless.  

I loved it!  There was action, adventure, betrayal,  political intrigue, even weapons of mass destruction... and through it all the possibility of becoming a zombie's main dish.  Needless to say, I have no complaints about this one.  I've been ranting and raving to anyone that will stop and listen.  So yes, read it!

My Rating:


Stay by Deb Caletti

Title:  Stay
Author:  Deb Caletti
Pages: 320
Genre: YA/ Teen
Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough.... [via GoodReads]
Ms. Caletti has written a very strong and powerful story  in Stay.  Although I've never been in a situation like Clara's, I can very easily see where this work of fiction may ring true to women.

In Stay we meet Clara who is leaving behind her home, friends and especially Christian for the summer.  Her father believes that by not telling anyone where they are headed she'll be safe and provide the space needed for Christian to get over their break-up.  Through alternating chapters we learn of Clara's present and her future.  We see how she's dealing with her break-up and how she's moving forward, but we also see how she met Christian, how they fell in love and how it got to the point where she had to run away from him.

I think the cover of this book is perfect for it.  Because in ways that is the way the story is told.  Although the story mostly has a light feel to it, there is a dark overcast throughout most of it.  You always have this niggling creepy feeling of impending doom so you can never truly enjoy the moment.  Ms. Caletti did this so expertly.  She was able to invoke so many feelings into her story and pass them on to me as the reader (i.e. the confusion, frustration, and eventually fear).  I also really enjoyed the setting... on the coast, the lighthouse, the sudden changes in weather.  It provided the perfect atmosphere and exactly what was needed for such an emotional roller-coaster type read.

In the end, I think Ms. Caletti believably captures the intricacies of relationships - not just the abusive one between Clara and Christian, but that between father and daughter, the camaraderie of best friends or two brothers and even that of a budding romance. Her writing, character and plot development are phenomenal and very relateable.

If you are a fan of Ms. Caletti and/or contemporary young adult fiction I recommend you get yourself a copy of Stay.  You will not be disappointed. 

My Rating:


Shine by Lauren Myracle

Title:  Shine
Author:  Lauren Myracle
Pages: 376
Genre: YA/Teen
Source:  Netgalley
When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author. [via GoodReads]
Cat has spent most of her life shutting people out from it.  And that includes her childhood best friend Patrick.  When Patrick is the victim of a terrible hate crime, Cat takes it upon herself to find out who did it.

Although I was a bit suspicious about this story at first, I really took a liking to Cat.  I was worried that I wasn't going to enjoy a story touching on so many sensitive subjects (i.e. hate crimes, racism, substance and sexual abuse, etc).  Nonetheless from the first moment I heard Cat's voice I was captivated.  Cat is the brightest thing in this story.  She literally shines.  I especially enjoyed how through Cat we are able to capture her small, southern town, its residents, their beliefs, etc.  Each of the characters introduced in this story were multi-dimensional.  They each had their own story lines and I liked how they slowly developed throughout the story.

Ms. Myracle has a way with words.  She masterfully captures the rural south - depicting a lot of its darker sides - the poverty and drug issues.  The mystery revolving around Patrick's crime was superbly crafted.  I was suspicious of everyone and could only get more and more frustrated as no one seemed to care enough to find out who committed the crime.  I was on an emotional roller coaster as Cat not only tried to discover who hurt her friend but also as she came to terms with her past and moved forward from it.   

All in all,  Shine packs a hard punch.  It was an intense, emotional, tear inducing journey - but one that I am so glad I took.  It realistically captures and explores issues like sexuality, rape, prejudice, violence and addiction.  It was dark, it was raw, it was captivating.  Read it!

My Rating:

Bookcase of the Week - Starring... Jessica of Confessions of a Bookaholic


On this week's Bookcase of the Week it is with great pleasure that I bring you Jessica of Confessions of a Bookaholic's bookcase.  So many of you already know Jessica and I thought it would be fun if she sent us pictures of her bookcases.  So, of course, she got one of my emails (and still with my fingers crossed) I got her response.. saying that she'd participate.  Hooray for us, right?!   Here's what she sent us:

My poor bookshelf! It is beyond full. I bought this shelf a few months ago and books are already stacked 2 rows back on each shelf. I dream of the day I can have an entire library full of shelves! For now, I'm stuck with this shelf. The top drawers are for swag and contest books. I also have packing supplies, my blog cards and everything else needed for sending off giveaway books. At the main top I have a few notebooks and a binder containing the information that comes with review books. That is a recent addition and is due to my resolution of "staying organized" for 2011!

 The top 2 sections of my bookshelf contain signed books (in the back rows) and books I plan to read soon or need to review. I've attempted some sort of organization but it is very difficult. The 2nd row down (right side) has mainly ARCs that are coming out soon. I do try to keep these in order so I can move them up to the top shelf when it's time to read them. The bottom 2 sections have more books I need to read. The only books I've read in this section are The Mortal Instruments series. I would say that 90% of all the books visible on this shelf are the books I need to read. The books behind these I've mostly read.

As you can see, I even have books in the floor now *gasp*. Somehow this just feels..wrong! I hope to get a new shelf next month to at least get the books out of the floor. The next picture is actually of the inside of a cabinet. All of these books have been read and are "pre-blogging" books. They are some of my favorites as well. I keep them in a cabinet for now to keep them safe. The last picture is of my nice cozy office.. err.. couch! I hate siting in an office chair so I relax on the couch and do my blog work. I have my computer, Kindle, and most recent book always handy. Currently that book is Unearthly.

I own around 400 books and my goal would be to have them all displayed somewhere. Maybe someday I'll have the library of my dreams. We can all hope, right?

Thanks so much Nely for inviting me!

Jessica thank you so much for the tour of your bookcase.  I am also running out of space and have started doubling up on the books I have on each shelf.  What's a girl to do, especially a girl with no more space for bookshelves.... meh.  I need a bigger house.  One with an extra room for a library.  Wouldn't that be nice?!   Thanks again for playing along. :)

For those of you who haven't passed on through to Jessica's yet, please visit her here (tell her I say HI!)


Giveaway Results: How to Marry a Duke, How Sweet It Is & Kat, Incorrigible

Winners were chosen using I will be sending out e-mails within the next couple of minutes, so be on the look out for those. You have until Friday to get back to me, if I haven't heard from you by then, a new winner will be chosen. 
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