Thursday, April 24, 2014

A to Z April - U: UFOs

Okay, maybe I'm stretching again for a topic today.  But I do enjoy a good book about UFOs or alien abduction type stories.  So, once again I will share 5 of my favorite of this type of book.


Now this is a very recent YA book, in fact I don't think it is actually published till next Tuesday.  And one thing I really liked about it is that up to the very end, you don't even know for sure if it is aliens, or what.  Now I have to wait for a sequel to see if I get any more clues!  Such a great read!


Dean Koontz is one of my  most favorite authors ever!  I think I'd want to meet him even more than I'd want to meet Stephen King, if just because I can tell how much he loves dogs, like I do.  And this book is one of my favorite of all of his books.  In fact talking about it right now makes me want to read it again!  Wonder if I can fit it into my book reading schedule in the near future!


This is the first book in a series that I really enjoyed, up until one of them that came out a year or two ago.  I've kind of lost steam with the series I guess.  But the first 3 or 4 in the series were really good!


Now this is one that I haven't actually read yet, but I hear AWESOME things about!  The main reason I haven't read this yet, is that it is one of the books I was supposed to have received in a YA Book Exchange awhile back that never arrived.  With all the news stories about postal workers sticking mail in their attic, or throwing it when they deliver, I'm beginning to wonder if that is what happened to the two books I was supposed to receive that never made it to my house.  But anyway, I'll have to give in and read it this summer I think.


This is a newer teen title as well.  It came out last year, and I did enjoy it, so thought I'd share it as well.

Do you like UFO/alien stories?  Do you like to read nonfiction books about it? 

Also, while you're here, you can enter my 900 Follower giveaway on my T post.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z April - T: Time Travel

Although time travel is not in itself a genre, it is a type of story that I really seem to enjoy.  I've always kind of sided with the theory that you have to be careful because any little thing you change in the past will completely change the future.  But one of the books I'm going to share today doesn't happen like that.  Which was really the only problem with it that I had, because I really liked the book.


This is a pretty new teen time travel story.  I really enjoyed it!


This is a trilogy that just finished up last winter.  I really liked it as well.  Loved the characters in it, although the time travel again wasn't really what I was used to according to my theory.


Of course, one of the classics, that is kind of where I get the theory that I agree with from.


Now this classic story also has the theory that if you go back and change something, you do change what happens.  But it has the added depressing bit that no matter what you change, if it was meant to be, it will be.


This is an older YA time travel series that I found when I first started teaching I believe, early 2000's probably.  But I enjoyed it, so recommend it.

Do you like time travel stories?  If so, where do you fall on the different theories?  Do you think anything will change things to be totally different?  Or do you think if it's destined to happen, it will happen?

Oh yeah!  And by the way, I just reached 900 Bloglovin followers!  So to celebrate, I'm giving away a $9 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, your choice!  If you are international, I will give you a choice of a book up to $9 at The Book Depository as long as they ship to your country, which you can check HERE.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A to Z April - S: Science Fiction

Today I'm going to share some of my favorite science fiction stories.  As a former science teacher, I have problems with some science fiction that is just too unbelievable.  But I also have my favorite areas of science, paleontology, space, biology, etc.  In honor of it being Tuesday, I will list 10 today for Top 10 Tuesday.  Won't give any comments, just show the covers so it will be a quick scroll through post for my fellow A to Z'ers.  Now, I know some people may not consider all of these to be "true" science fiction, but these are the things I consider to be science fiction.  And I will pick some maybe less well known ones in case you're looking for a new read!











Wow, and I didn't even include any dinosaur books!  So many more I could share.  Do you read science fiction?  Do you have any favorite authors you think I should look into?


Monday, April 21, 2014

A to Z April - R: Romance

Now, I'm not what you'd call someone who picks up books just because they are romance.  But, I do like a romance within a story.  I just need there to be more than just a romance.  I read YA mostly these days, but I have read more adult romances in the past.  I preferred the "chick lit" as I called them.  They needed to kind of be funny, and as I am still single, I just couldn't really relate to people who were divorced when I was reading books that were straight romance, so that determined my choices.  I'll list 5 of my favorite romances below.


Jane Green is a good romance, chick lit, author.  At least I enjoyed hers until they kind of strayed into that married person story that I just couldn't get into.

This is an author that I haven't read any of her teen books, but do love her "chick lit" books like the one pictured above.


Stacey Ballis is another author that I loved her chick lit books.

Another fun chick lit author is Valerie Frankel.


And finally, one more fun author is Whitney Lyles.

I could give you many more, but I'm trying to keep my posts quick and easy to read.  Do you read romance?  Have you read any of these authors?  Who is your favorite author, or type of romance?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review - Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions - A collection of short stories by 16 different authors

I checked this book out from the high school library where I work because I really wanted to read it.  I'm glad I did, as I can now say I have read a story by one of the authors I'll be moderating a panel with in May, just in case I don't get a chance to read her newest book before then.  That author is Kelley Armstrong.  Along with some authors I haven't read before, there were a few of my favorite authors in this book:  Sarah Rees Brennan, Ally Condie, Carrie Ryan, and Rachel Vincent to name a few.  One of my new favorites, Kimberly Derting was also a part of this.

Some of the stories go along with series of books, such as Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, and Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire series.  Even Carrie Ryan's story fits into the world of her Forest of Hands and Teeth series.  While I haven't read the Morganville Vampire series, and still don't know that I will, I really did like the story in this book, Automatic.  It reminded me a bit of the whole True Blood idea of making synthetic blood.  Only in this story, they were putting the blood into cans, and into a vending machine.  But something went wrong with it.  The recipe/formula was more calculated for the vampires that had been around longer, and caused the younger ones to lose themselves to the monster inside.

I haven't read Claudia Gray before, unless it was another short story, but her story, Giovanni's Farewell, the first one in the book, was one I really enjoyed.  Ravenna and Cairo were twins, who have a very close connection.  But they have kind of grown apart a bit, until a class trip to Italy.  She finds out that the little episodes her brother has are because he can hear/see what everyone around him is thinking, and it is a lot to take in.  At the same time, Ravenna learns while in one of the tombs that she can see dead people.  I won't tell too much more, just wanted to point out that I really liked this story, and now will have to read the other books Claudia Gray has written.

Another of my favorite stories in the book was Red Run by Kami Garcia.  It's based on one of those old stories about there being a ghost on a stretch of road that if you stopped to pick him up, you would die in an automobile accident or something.  I enjoyed the twist on the story that Garcia put to make it different.

The final story I'll talk about is by another author I haven't read before, Jeri Smith-Ready.  It is called Bridge, and is written in a prose sort of way.  It's about a future when people born after a certain time can often see ghosts.  And there is a ghost who wants to talk to his brother, to save his brother from killing himself out of guilt that it was his fault his brother died.

Sixteen paranormal stories, some better than others, but I think everyone will like different ones based on what types of stories and writing they prefer or enjoy.

Stacking the Shelves - April 20th, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. A few things this week.  The only physical books were ones I bought, but that's okay I guess.

Physical books purchased:

So I had to buy Dorothy Must Die, because I had to give the ARC up to someone else at the bookstore where I work part time.  And I must have my own copy of it to get signed when I moderate the panel with the author in May.  The 2nd book I bought because I went to listen to the author, the Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien at my bookstore this past week.  I wasn't able to meet her or get it signed unfortunately, because my mom's knee couldn't take the standing in line, and no matter how much I told her to go sit down while I stood in line, she wouldn't do it.  And the last one is a book I'd wanted for awhile.  I'm hoping that instead of taking a creative writing class (cost of that is too much right now), I can use that to help me get better at writing.

E-book purchased (only 99 cents!):

Normally I'd only do these types of books for free, but this one sounded pretty good, and 99 cents isn't too bad.

E-galley from Edelweiss:

I can't remember if I shared this when I first requested it, but I waited till after I'd read the 2nd book to actually download it, since it is only good for 60 days after download. Since I just finished Book 2 this past week, I went ahead and downloaded the e-galley of the third one this week.

Not much this week, but that's okay!  It's not like I will ever again in my life be able to say that I have nothing to read.  Plus, with BEA coming up, that'll be a bunch more books.  I did get notified of winning a book this week, and when I replied asking if they needed my address, they didn't reply, so I'm hoping it's really on its way.  It is one I was going to buy this week until I saw that I'd won it.  I'll let you know when I get it I guess.

So how about you? What books were added to your shelves, physical or e-reader, this week?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: The Saints (Quarantine #2) by Lex Thomas

First thanks to Egmont and Edelweiss for allowing me to read this e-book before the 3rd book in the series comes out this summer. Just like when I was reading the first one, The Loners, this one was also hard to put down.  The story from the first one is that there is a virus that kills all the adults, but only the teens get it.  And it causes their hair to go white.  They were quarantined in the high school by the military.  When they reached a certain age, they would "graduate" out because staying in there as adults they would die.

Now, when it seems as if maybe the military has left them to die, and the main character Will's brother David has left the school to see about help, all of a sudden these other people show up.  These other teens.  And since they seem to be there to rescue the students left in the school, they are called "The Saints".  Like in the first book, there are still the gangs.  However most of the Loners escape when they first are able to get out. But as they are leaving, a school bus is run into the opening which blocks their escape.  All the kids run to the quad and they see two adults dressed in helmets who tell them that they can't come out because they will be killed.  But the adults promise to get food to them, and even have food now.  Supposedly they are the parents of one of the students.  Even though they promise the students that there is enough food for each student to last two weeks, the gangs still fight for food.  And the Loners have been decimated by those that escaped, and still end up with no food, like back in the very beginning.  Plus, all the new kids, the Saints, are now there.  Everyone goes back to their areas.  The Saints take over the containment area that the military left that is now blocked by the school bus.

Things again go downhill, gangs fighting gangs, although one of the new kids, Gates, seems to be quite the party animal, and even brings together a lot of the gangs.  When all of the Loners go on to different gangs, leaving Will alone, Will goes back to hide in his elevator.  The Saints end up taking him in, and he becomes really good friends with Gates.  Both of them lost brothers, as Gates brings the news that they had found Will's brother David all shot up in a house.  Relationships will be tested, and some people may be a bit crazier than they had seemed initially.

Once again on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happens next, all the differences between the gangs, and the scheming of certain individuals, all leads up to a thrilling climax.  Great story, and now I've downloaded the e-galley of the 3rd book and I'm ready to find out what happens next!

A to Z April - Q: Quiet, Quitting, and Quotes

Okay, Q is a hard letter to decide what to talk about. So I'm going to talk a little about 3 different topics that begin with Q and have to do with books.

Quiet - Do you have to have quiet when you read?  It kind of depends for me.  While I can just read in quiet, no problem, I can also sit and read during the commercials while I'm watching tv.  Or at night in bed, I often read while the news is on.  I often like to go to restaurants by myself and take my book and eat while I read.  So noise isn't really a huge factor to me.  It can be, if it is an annoying noise, but background noise isn't an issue for me.

Quitting - I used to hate not finishing a book I'd started.  I felt like I had to finish it if I'd started it. But recently, the more books I find that I want to read, I've decided that if a book isn't really getting my interest, it's not worth spending the time to finish it.  I haven't quite set a point when I give up.  It could be 100 pages, a few chapters, just depends when I decide it isn't for me.  I also choose not to review those books that I don't finish. The most I do is mark them as not finished on Goodreads, and maybe give a reason why.  Since me not liking a book doesn't necessarily say anything about whether it is a good book or not, I don't feel it is fair to rate it.  That's just me.  Now there are books I finish, and really don't like, or think are terribly written, and I will rate and review those.  But again, it is my opinion, and it is all about the book, I would never attack an author.  How about you?  How do you feel about quitting a book?

Quotes - I see a lot of people with favorite quotes from books.  I often don't remember quotes the first time through a book.  But when I re-read them, I pick up things that I loved.  And at one time, when I first started reviewing books, I would put post-it notes to mark pages I wanted to make sure to talk about in my review.  I just don't do that anymore.  No time or forget to try to do it when I'm reading on my Nook.  I wish I was better about that, but most of the time I'm just loving to read the story, and not necessarily looking for quotes, unless it is something that just majorly stands out as awesome when I first read it.  How about you?  Are you one of those people that get quotes from reading right away?

So that is my Q post.  Not much.  Stay tuned for a review later today!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A to Z April - P: Paranormal

One type of story that has really taken off in the past decade it seems is paranormal. Especially for teens it seems. And it has always been one of my favorites.  For my post I'm considering books about ghosts, vampires, werewolves, angels, etc. to be considered paranormal.  I'll share 5 of my favorite paranormal books below.


Make fun of me all you want, but I will always love the Twilight series.  And honestly, yes, it has vampires, but I really feel it is more of a romance story than a traditional vampire story.  Which for all those who make fun of vampire sparkling, need to really kind of get over it.  As far as we know, vampires aren't real, so who knows what they would really be like.  The author can make them however they want for their stories, and all authors do change them in some way.


This is a book I'd seen on the shelves at the bookstore where I work, but just never got around to reading it until I got a good deal on the first two books at a Scholastic Book Warehouse sale.  Then, I really loved how detailed and creative the ghost story was.  You can read my review of it HERE.


This is a really great ghost series that I found as e-books I believe.  There are 4 books I think in the series. But it is again really good characters, the ghosts are done well.  I've asked the author if she'll ever do any more with the series, and I don't thinks she plans on it.  But the characters and storyline has really stayed with me after reading them.  You can read my reviews of the first two books in this series HERE.


I am a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan, as you know if you've been following my blog for very long.  And I could have shared her werewolves series, but this is a series that I find so creative and different, that I decided to share this one as well.  It includes ghosts, in face one of the main characters is a ghost.  And there are all other sorts of paranormal details.  You can read my review of this HERE.


And this is a story about angels.  But an incredible story, so original, and so different.  I can't even think of any other stories to say it reminds me of them, because of how original it is.  Although, there are some bits that make me think of the Supernatural tv show.  I've got the 2nd book in the series on my TBR shelf, needs to be read soon, because the third books comes out this month!  You can read my review of this book HERE.

So, wow, I could go on forever and ever with all the paranormal books I love. These are all YA books, but I'm not a teen, I'm in my 40's, and I enjoyed them all.  Probably the ones that would be considered younger out of these are #2, and maybe, just a little bit, #3.  The rest would all be very in depth and great reads for any adult who loves paranormal titles.

Are you a fan of paranormal stories?  What are your favorites?  Do you consider what I've listed as paranormal or not?