Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a new list of our top ten something and this week, it's our Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever. I've only got five for this week though, but enjoy!
1. Bella Swan- Twilight
Let's use New Moon as an example, where Edward leaves Bella for her own safety. Most girls in this situation would of course, be devastated if their boyfriend dumped them, but let's get real, eventually they'd move on. However, Bella practically renders herself comatose for months, wakes up screaming in the middle of the night and constantly puts herself in danger to hear Edward's voice. 
2. Cam- Fallen
Cam is one of the fallen angels in Lauren Kate's Fallen series. I suppose he grows on you throughout the series, but in the first book, I really just feel like smashing in his face. He tries to weasel his way into Luce's heart, even though she doesn't have any romantic feelings for him. He takes her on a picnic, gets her a necklace, kisses her in front of Daniel and even has a car pick her up from the school to have her taken to him off campus. Just leave her alone!
3. Nora Grey- Hush, Hush
Nora seems like a nice girl, but she falls for Patch way too quickly. I mean, this is a guy who she assumes is stalking her, has hinted at using her for a female sacrifice and speaks directly to her mind with some weird psychic power. Yet, she still can't stay away. If this were me, I would be running to the hills by now.
4. Sydney Sage- Bloodlines
Sydney is completely clueless when it comes to boys and romance. I understand we all can be sometimes, but her lack of knowledge in the dating realm is beyond belief. She can't even decipher between when a guy is asking her out on a date or if he's simply asking her about theatre. When it comes to Adrian, a guy whose had his heart broken one too many times, she ends up hurting him too.   
5. Rose Hathaway- Vampire Academy
In the first book, Rose breaks all the rules upon returning to the academy though she's on probation, sneaks around to meet up with a moroi guy so they can make out and develops a major crush on her mentor and starts obsessing over him though she is underage and he is an adult who is seven years older than her. Not to mention, he's her teacher.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 978 19219657 9
Source: Purchased
Number or Pages: 268
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret...
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast- and nearly got someone killed. Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence- to learn to keep her mouth shut, and and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
This book was incredible. I could really see Harrington's books becoming movies one day. Speechless is Hannah Harrington's second book and it's just fantastic. I read Saving June some time last year and I loved it, so I wasn't too surprised when I found this book just as good. The main character Chelsea wasn't a very friendly person at the beginning of the book. I personally thought she was a royal b*tch. She's with the in-crowd and her best friend, Kristen is the most adored and popular girl in school. The book starts with Chelsea confessing to Kristen that she snooped through a girl's phone and found photos of this girl making out with her best friend's boyfriend. She forwarded the photo's to her own phone and uses them to blackmail the girl into getting her and Kristen fake ID's. Like I said, royal b*tch. 
So, she's not a very appealing character at the start. After she shares a secret that really wasn't hers to share, someone nearly gets killed. Her 'friends' turn against her and, disgusted with herself for what's she's done, Chelsea takes a vow of silence. She doesn't even speak up when her car is defaced, the slurs on her locker door get menacing, or even when she is verbally abused. All of this, however, pales in comparison to what Chelsea is putting herself through.
But as new people start entering her life, Chelsea realises that maybe it's time she forgives herself for her failures and moves on. A book about change and fresh starts, finding new people as well as finding yourself. I think every teenager should read this book. There's an underlying message here that targets teens in their own world- word's do hurt. 
I really enjoyed this book and I absolutely cannot wait to see what comes next from Hannah Harrington.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nominated for Liebster Award (Again)

Thanks so much Manda from i solemnly swear for nominating me for this award. Manda actually nominated me first, but I couldn't access her post, so I apologize for that. 
Here are the rules for participating in the Liebster Award:
- Thank the blogger that nominated you for the award.
- List 11 things about yourself, answer the 11 questions from your nominator and then create 11 questions to give to your nominees.
- Select 11 nominees whose blogs have less than 200 followers, whom you think deserve attention from other bloggers and get in contact with them to let them know they've received a nomination from you. 
In my previous post, I listed 11 things about myself and selected my 11 nominees, so here, I will answer Manda's questions! 
Here are my answers to Manda's questions:
1. What is your favorite book of all time?
I really like the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Biggest Potterhead.
2. What is your worst reading/book habit?
I am so possessive of my books. I almost never lend  them out to anyone, unless I trust you with my life.
3. Can you read in the car, or does it make you super nauseas like it does me?
Nope, if I even try to read in a moving car for so much as five minutes, I get a headache and feel like throwing up.
4. Have you ever read the Reached series by Allie Condie? In that series, the society only allows 100 songs, 100 paintings, 100 poems. I won't make you name 100, but if your society could only have 5 books, what would they be?
I have read Matched by Allie Condie, but not the rest of the series, though I want to. I would choose The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
5. Do you write? If so, have you ever finished a work and/or attempted to publish it? If so, do you want to, or are you content with blogging?
I write more as a hobby, and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with other people reading it. I've never attempted to publish anything because I've never finished. I am very content with just blogging and writing lightly as a hobby.
6. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Why or why not?
YES! I love Harry Potter for so many reasons. I grew up with it, the characters are an inspiration.... too many reasons to list.
7. Do you have an e-reader or do you prefer hard copies? And if you prefer hard copies, do you buy or borrow from the library?
I prefer hard copies and I buy a lot of my books. I only borrow from the library occasionally. I don't have an e-reader, but I read PDF files when reviewing for authors.
8. Not exactly book related, but coffee or tea?
Tea all the way! It's better for you.
9. Do you have a favorite word? If so, what is it?
Mediocre is my favorite word. Don't know why, I just like the way it sounds.
10. Do you like giving/receiving books as gifts?
I love both. I give books I like to people I know will enjoy them and I like receiving books if the people know me well. Otherwise, they just get me random books that I don't like.
11. Was this whole thing as tough for you as it was for me, or did you really enjoy coming up with all this stuff?
I really did enjoy answering these questions, it was fun! And these questions were great, I had a lot of fun! 
Thanks Manda!   

Nominated for a Liebster Award!?

I would just like to deeply thank Kali from Gemini Perspective for nominating me for this award! I'm really flattered! The Liebster Award gives great blogs that really don't get enough attention the opportunity to gain more readers and followers and this way we can get to know them because their blog is, well, awesome! So, as you can see, I really am excited that I got a nomination.
The steps: 
- Thank the blogger that nominated you for the award.
- List 11 things about yourself, answer the 11 questions from your nominator and then create 11 questions to give to your nominees.
- Select 11 nominees whose blogs have less than 200 followers, whom you think deserve attention from other bloggers and get in contact with them to let them know they've received a nomination from you.
11 Things About Myself:
1. Reading is my number one hobby/passion. I love reading and would do it all day (which I do!)
2. I'm kind of obsessive with my stuff.
3. I am a huge Potterhead! That is, I am a fan of the Harry Potter franchise. I've loved it ever since I was a little girl, and I'm still a fan now, though it's over.
4. I used to have a big, big, big crush on Johnny Depp and I would rent 3-4 of his movies every weekend and stay in and watch them.
5. Supernatural is my favorite TV show right now. They're currently filming their 8th season and if you're not already into this show, I suggest you check it out because it's really good!
6. Only a handful of people like the music I listen to, because it's not mainstream.
7. I have a younger sister, and I consider myself lucky that the two of us are so close, we have a lot of fun and tell each other everything.
8. I'm an English and History buff! I love learning! You know how people say you're either good at English or Math, and usually never both? Well yeah, that's the case here. Math is not my forte.
9. I love drinking Green Tea. I drink it every night, and I can't sleep without it. Actually, I love tea in general! Especially Green Tea though, and I love it when it's infused with other flavors like Green Tea and Lemon, Green Tea and Vanilla, Green Tea and Jasmine... Okay I think I've gone on enough about my love of Green Tea.
10. I have never and will never ever in my entire life, smoke a cigarette or get a piercing other than my ears. 
11. I feel privileged to be writing this blog and never thought it would go this far, far enough that I can even write this post about being nominated for an award!
11 Questions from Gemini Perspective:
1. What first got you into reading? How old were you?
 I can't remember what first got me into reading or even why I like it so much. I like to think it's a genetic thing because both my mother and grandmother were avid readers. I was probably about 5 when I first started reading.
2. What is your favorite setting for a book?
Interesting places, like underwater or a rainforest! Someplace cool!
3. Why did you start blogging?
I was interested in sharing my opinions on books with other book lovers and just to see what was out there in the blogging world! I can tell you now, I was so surprised at how huge the book blogging community is!
4. What is your biggest reading pet peeve? What is one thing you hate seeing in books?
I don't have a reading pet peeve! Well, not yet anyway. One thing I hate in books in predictability. I hate being able to predict what will happen, which is usually always.
5. Where do you accomplish most of your reading?
I get most of my reading done in my bedroom, sitting on my bed, or in the mornings when I wake up with a cup of tea (green) sitting on my bedside table.
6. If you could transport yourself to any book of your choosing, which would it be, and why?
Vampire Academy! Particularly the second one, Frostbite. These books are incredible and the characters are amazing, they're courageous, dedicated, strong... I would love to be a part of that! 
7. What is the number one book you would recommend to others?
I would recommend Stolen by Lucy Christopher. That book is incredible. 
8. Of all book-to-movie adaptions, which was your favorite? Which one did you dislike? 
I loved I Am Number Four. I read that book and watched the movie and it was really good. One of my favorite movies now! I don't have one that I don't like yet. 
9. Who is your favorite male and female character? And if you could dream-cast, who would you choose to portray them?
Rose Hathaway and Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy series. I would choose Chace Crawford for Adrian and I'm not sure who for Rose yet. Someone new!
10. Do you enjoy writing, or are you strictly a reader?
I do enjoy writing, I have a lot of ideas for books, but I can never get around to finishing them! I'm just not motivated enough, so I'd say I enjoy reading more.
11. You are now a superhero. What ability/power would you have?
I would have the ability to be invisible! Invisibility all the way!
11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite book/series of all time?
2. What is the longest time you have spent reading non-stop?
3. How long have you been blogging for, and why did you start?
4. Who is your favorite literary heroine/hero?
5. What is your favorite horror book of all time?
6. If you could meet any author in the entire world and ask them something, who would it be and what would you ask them?
7. Have you ever attempted writing? How did it go?
8. What is/was your favorite subject in school?
9. What book would you recommend to other book lovers above all others?
10. Do you prefer morning or night reading? Why?
11. Do you listen to music while you read or do you prefer not to? If so, what do you listen to?
My 11 nominees:
*Had a few declines, so I've nominated 10 blogs. 
Kali from Gemini Perspective 
Kathryn from Kathryn's Inbox 
A barmy bookworm sitting on the shelf... 
Belle from belle malory 
Rallu from The Daydreamer 
The Book Knoll 
The open page
Manda from i solemnly swear
Amy from Cafe Reads
Feed on Books
Make sure you check out all their blogs and give them a follow!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Title: Rapture
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 385 61812 0
Source: Purchased 
Number of Pages: 448
The sky is dark with wings...
And time is running out for Luce and Daniel. In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all of their fates. But as Dark Forces gather, great sacrifices will have to be made in this final, epic struggle... In the fight for Luce, and for love, who will win?
I really don't know how to begin this review because I don't think I will be able to properly express just how much I loved this book. This would probably have to be one of the best books I have read in a while, simply because of the fact that it made me feel things that I haven't felt in such a long time as a result of a book. You know how a movie can make you cry and feel sad or happy really easily? Movies can provoke so many emotions in a person effortlessly, because you are seeing a scene played out before your eyes. It's a lot more difficult with books, and you have to have a lot of talent to provoke those sorts of reactions in readers. Rapture made me cry, swoon, laugh, tear-up, and I felt something inside me, a connection to the story and the characters I have grown to love so much that I haven't experienced since reading series like Vampire Academy and probably even Harry Potter, which is saying something. 
I've seen other book reviewers mention this in their reviews on Kate's books, but Lauren Kate really has an excellent talent for describing past events in previous books in a way that doesn't make you feel as if you are reliving the entire book again and she incorporates it into her text really well.
Your heart will be racing as you follow Luce, Daniel, Cam, Roland, Arriane, Annabelle, Gabbe, Molly and a few other new and surprising characters in a race through time to hunt down three ancient relics that will lead them to the site of the epic Fall in a desperate attempt to stop Lucifer from his evil plan of erasing the past. Every page in this book was  worthwhile and I enjoyed every second! I felt privileged just to read this book and was so surprised at the ending, I couldn't have imagined a better conclusion to the series.
So grab the tissues and prepare yourself for the biggest, most intense literary shock you will ever experience! I seriously still can't believe this is the end of the series. 
If you're a fan, please leave your comments, I'd love to hear what you all think of Lauren Kate's Fallen series. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen In Love
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 857 53172 8 (hbk.)
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 201
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story. And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories intersect over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in medieval England.
Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love. Arriane pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first - and last - time, Daniel and Luce spend a night together like no other. 
This book is not technically a part of the original Fallen series, which generally consists of Fallen, Torment, Passion and Rapture. Fallen In Love has been dubbed book 3.5 in the series, published not too long after Passion, but before Rapture was released, the final book in this series. So this book is more of a spin-off book portraying the love stories of Miles and Shelby: Love Where You Least Expect It, Roland: Love Lessons, Arriane: Burning Love and of course, Daniel and Lucinda: Endless Love. It was really interesting and so much fun to read! A helpless romantic at heart, I enjoyed every second of this book. 
Fallen In Love was also flexible to today's society, featuring a gay couple in one story and teaching us that sometimes friendship is the best kind of love in another. Lauren Kate was definitely not afraid to experiment in this book, but it was done subtly and beautifully. The romantic medieval England setting and all those romantic stories in one book had me swooning and wishing I could be there with them myself!
I am going to keep this review short, as it was a short book, and I have nothing much to criticize it on. It was a brief, simple book, consisting of four short stories, meeting coincidentally on a romantic Valentine's Day in England. 
Romantics will definitely enjoy this book. We finally get to know a few of the fallen angels we have grown to adore, their love stories and a little more about their personalities and why they are the way that they are. 
Some will make you cry, others will make you laugh and you'll just all around love it. I definitely recommend checking this book out if you are a Fallen fan!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Title: Passion
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 978 0 385 61808 3
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 420
"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have always chosen me. Forever."
Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross, before they fought the Immortals, they had already lived so many lives. And so Luce, desperate to unlock the curse that condemns their love, must revisit her past incarnations in order to understand her fate. Each century, each life, holds a different clue. But Daniel is chasing her throughout the centuries before she has a chance to rewrite history. 
How many deaths can one true love endure? And can Luce and Daniel unlock their past in order to change their future?
This pulsating thriller series is going to bury vampires six feet under. Passion is the third book in Lauren Kate's Fallen series and I have to say, this book was excellent. It's a little different than the first two books which are both set in schools, first Sword & Cross, then Shoreline, but this book takes an exciting turn. Luce travels back in time through the Announcers, portals that can take a person back through time to relive their past memories, but very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You can't alter the past without altering the future, after all. 
Luce visits many of her past incarnations in different centuries all over the world, in a desperate attempt to try and find out why she dies in every lifetime before she can love Daniel, the angel that fell for her. On her quest, she meets a mysterious Bill, who claims to be part of the Scale, a group of low-ranking angels that were the first to side with Heaven before the Fall. Daniel chases Luce through their past lives, but is always a second too late, with Luce jumping into another Announcer, transporting her to a different time, before Daniel can reach her.
And I have to hand it to Lauren Kate. I can't imagine how much research would have went into this book and she delivered it perfectly. By chapter 9, I was keeping myself awake until the early hours of the morning to read this book. 
One of the best series of the angel bunch! 
A quick note: Before I review Rapture, the conclusion to this series, I will be reading & reviewing Fallen in Love, dubbed book 3.5 in this series. Published before Rapture, it is sort of a mid-series spin-off book, so keep an eye out for this review. :-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of Release: 2010
ISBN: 13579108642
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 452
Love never dies...
It took Lucinda an eternity to find her beloved angel, Daniel. But he waited for her. Now they are forced apart again, to protect Luce from the Outcasts- immortals who want her dead. During their separation, Luce learns about her mysterious past lives. But the more she discovers, the more she suspects that Daniel is hiding something. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't true? Is it really their destiny to be together? Or is Luce actually meant to be with somebody else?   
What an improvement this second book was! You may remember me mentioning in my review on Fallen that I didn't particularly enjoy that book. I was a little worried about this one being the same, but I was surprised! This book was just incredible. Once you reach a certain high in the book, you just can't stop reading! With twice the amount of drama, suspense, mystery and passion as the last book, I found myself re-reading certain parts because I loved them so much. The end fight scene could not have been described better, Kate did a fantastic job, my heart was racing so fast I though it would explode through my chest (though I'm glad it didn't). 
I cannot wait to start reading the third book in this series, Passion, which I will begin as soon as I finish this review. I don't want to give away too much to those of you who haven't read this book yet, but the introduction of a more complicated love triangle in this book was really great. In Fallen, the love triangle there between Luce, Daniel and Cam is not too bad because we know that Luce doesn't have any feelings towards Cam. Her love is only for Daniel. In this one however, we meet a new boy who might/might not sweep Luce off her feet. 
If you read the first book and didn't like it too much, I understand, but I really insist on giving Torment a go. I'm sure you'll find it a lot more captivating than the first. Old characters re-emerge, new ones surface and Luce goes on a quest for answers that Daniel refuses to give her about who she really is, was and is going to become.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wishing all my followers a very happy and safe new year! Here's to 2013 and all the exciting stuff it holds in store for us (plus all the books we're going to read and review!) I hope you have all had a fantastic Christmas and that New Years is just the same. Don't drink too much! Today is New Years Day here in Australia, but I think you Americans are a day behind, so I hope you all have fun! 
I've been pretty busy lately with NYE preparations and finishing off leftover Christmas food, cooked by my nonna (yes, I'm an Italian girl) who is an incredibly gifted cook, her pasta is just... well, words don't even cut it. 
And on that note, I am going to leave this brief post here and go and check if there's any more of her pasta left in the fridge. Then I will get straight back into reading Torment and posting a nice review.  If any of you want to see a spectacular New Years firework display, I suggest coming to Australia and getting your butt to Sydney for 2014!
Hope to hear from all of you soon! :-)