Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Books in 2013

Hey y'all,

You know how sometimes everything is going your way, and you're all optimistic and make a bunch of to do lists with unreasonable items? Yes, that was my last post in October. While I intended to participate if not complete NaNoWriMo, along with posting more frequently here, and maintaining a 4.0 GPA (from the midterm), I ended up failing to complete any of those things. So what happened?

Well, I got sick and spent half of November curled into a ball hoping I didn't have the flu. This is what happens when you don't have health insurance and can't go to the doctor, kids!

So I got zilch writing done for both the blog and NaNoWriMo. I don't feel too bad about the NaNoWriMo challenge, because on the scale of importance school is my top priority. I did get quite a bit of school reading done, so that was good. On the school front, I ended up with an A- and 2 B+'s which works out to a 3.3 GPA, which I suppose isn't completely awful given I haven't taken a class in four years. Especially considering one of those B's was an 89.5%, however the rounding up policy of the professor was that a student has to have an 89.7 to even be in consideration for being rounded up to the next letter grade. Now normally I'm not one to quibble over percentage points, but considering the poor economy, a GPA could make or break your application and keep you from getting an interview.
However, I do understand the policy, and I'm more upset with myself for even being in that position in the first place.

Alas, the Spring semester is upon us, and it give me another opportunity to do better! =)
I'm really looking forward to the new semester and the classes I get to take:

LIS 602 - Information Representation & Access

LIS 603 - Management in Library & Information Science

LIS 658 - Knowledge Management

In fact, my KM class is going to have students blogging and tweeting about the required reading this semester. So I've started a second blog, whitnageKM.blogspot.com dedicated to that class. If you have an interest in Knowledge Management, feel free to go geek out! Or just stick around here, for book & school related posts.

In more book related news, I have managed to catch up on my leisure reading over break! So far I've read:

Ten Lords A-Leaping by C.C. Benison

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Exposed by Laura Griffin

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes,

I'm currently reading:

The Let it SnowAnthology with stories by John Green, Lauren Myracle, & Maureen Johnson

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

United We Spy by Ally Carter

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I *hope* to finish my current reading list and get my reviews written so that I can schedule them to post throughout the semester in case I can't update due to school work. (Side note: THANK YOU FOR THE SCHEDULE FUNCTION BLOGGER!)

Anyhow..I believe I promised you my favorite books in 2013? And given there is less than an hour left in 2013, I better hurry!

According to GoodReads I read 61 books in 2013 as compared to 35 books in 2012. This is what happens when you lose your job.

My Favorite Books that I Re-Read in 2013:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


My Favorite Books in 2013
Game by Barry Lyga (YA Thriller) 
Omens by Kelley Armstrong (Adult Supernatural Thriller) 
Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor (YA Mystery) 
The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot (Adult Mystery) 
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (YA Thriller) 

And that's a wrap on 2013, I hope you all have a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

IT'S ALIIIIIVE!

Hey Y'all,

I am indeed alive! Sorry, I haven't posted much in the last month but it's been a whirlwind of papers and other various assignments. So this has been my face over the last month or so:



But I have good news! I have finally managed to work ahead of schedule with school so that I won't feel like a complete procrastinator when I am reading for fun, posting here, and I don't know...maybe participating in NaNoWriMo? Yep, I'm going to try and write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Which if you're like me, you'll want to know that it breaks down to: 1,667 words a day and 11,667 words a week.

School and writing? I must be nuts. But I really think I have a shot at completing NaNo this year. Last year I signed up but chickened out when it came to the actual participation part. So while I may not finish, at least I'll have tried! Plus, I've got a shiny new plot I'm working on, a sort of techno-YA themed novel. Techno being short for technology, NOT the crappy music genre. Although, could you imagine opening a YA novel and it starts blaring techno music? No thanks!

NaNoWriMo has over 200,000 users signed up so far, if you want to participate you can sign up at www.nanowrimo.org and feel free to add me to your buddy list, my NaNo name is Whitnage. Even if you're not sure you will finish, don't let that stop you. NaNo is the perfect community to do something like this, they have authors who give pep talks and cheer you on throughout the month, and you can even see if there are local participants in your region that do meet ups during the month.

The Pros: networking, motivation, & writing.

The Cons: A little bit of insanity for about 30 days.

And let's face it, we're all a little crazy 365 days a years, what's a bit more in Novemeber?

Aside from NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try and clear out my current reading list that has been sadly neglected:

- Going Rogue by Robin Benway, (Free ARC from Netgalley)
- Ten Lords A-Leaping by C.C. Benison, (Free ARC from Netgalley)
- Exposed by Laura Griffin,
- How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller,
- Knit Christmas Stockings, 2nd Edition by Gwen Steege (Free ARC from Netgalley)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Re-read before the movie releases on Nov. 08)

As I finish these, I'll be posting reviews at (hopefully) a more frequent pace. This is so I can clear the way for my proposed Christmas Reading List. Yes, I have a Christmas Reading List. Doesn't everyone?

My goal with all of these books on writing is that they will help me to revise my NaNo novel into something suitable to query with in the Spring of 2014! 

*fingers crossed*

So wish me luck, because NaNo starts tomorrow!

Happy Halloween, 

- Whitney

P.S. - Four weeks until Turkey Day 

P.P.S. - Eight weeks until Christmas! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Review - Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Hey Y'all,

Somehow in the midst of my many school projects and essays I was finally able to finish a book! Another thing, usually when I review a book I link to various book retailers. However, from now on I'm only going to link to Amazon and WorldCat. If you're unfamiliar with it, WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog and you can put in a book and then your location to find what library nearest you has the book available. Because the only thing better than books is free books. Plus, you get to support your friendly neighborhood library. =)

 
On to the review!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Grad School With Gifs!

Hey y'all,

Sorry it's been a while, but I've been swamped with reading so far this semester. I love reading, and usually breeze right through it, but let me tell you, grad school reading is decidedly different! It's one thing to read a story, but absorbing what a textbook has to say over 30 or 40 pages is pretty intensive. Especially since I'm going to school online and I don't have the benefit of going to class and seeing what the teacher places an emphasis on, I just have to assume it's all important and then try and learn it all.

One of the ways I'm graded is based on discussions board participation. My professors create threads on the class website that involve the week's reading and pose different questions and give us a chance to interact with one another and highlight different passages we found interesting or debate points in the book. This sounds easy, but it is definitely not.

First, I've been indoctrinated into the 140 characters or less cult that is Twitter. Which I love, but still, it has caused me to subconsciously shorten things down as concisely as possible. In some ways this is good, but we can't just 'favorite,' 'retweet,' or 'like' a status/tweet to show that we saw it and agree. But seriously, how much would we learn if that was how we responded to everything? Plus, it would do little to further any academic debate. Instead, we have to develop well thought out responses and back up our reasoning.

Second, my classmates are super smart. I was totally prepared to post last week in the boards and I decided I'd sleep on it and spell check the post in the morning before submitting it to the group. When I woke up though there were these long, formal replies and my response was:



However, once I calmed down I realized this was just an opportunity for me to step up my academic game. So this week I got my reading done extra early, typed my notes up and this time around I was much better prepared to respond in the discussion groups. Plus, participating in the discussion group is making it easier for me develop what I want to say in an essay for one of my classes.

So here I am, trucking along, the not so little library grad that could, thinking that I'm starting to get the hang of grad school when I fail my first quiz. Yeah, failed. And to make matters worse, I did all of the class work and studied. If I hadn't prepared I would know that I only had myself to blame. But when you do everything assigned and make your best effort and it doesn't work out? It's kind of heartbreaking.


So I took a day off from cracking the books, saw a movie, had some ice cream and then headed back into my academic cave yesterday, prepared to do better next time. Fast forward to this morning, and there was a class wide announcement regarding the quiz. It turns out that some of the questions didn't apply to our specific reading or were considered too broad, so the professor threw those questions out! So I hurried to check my new grade and saw that it had changed from a 60% to actually having an 89%!

*cue thirty second dance party*


In closing, I have this to say: for those considering getting their Master in Library and Information Science, you should be prepared to focus and work hard. Grad school is no where near as laid back as college. You know what the difference is though? In college you have to take required classes that don't even pertain to your major and get through them so you can earn your degree. In grad school ALL of the classes pertain, and ALL of them are interesting. Or they are to me at least. Yes, it is a struggle to stay on top of the material and sometimes I get intimidated by either the technology or my brilliant classmates, but in the end I'm better because of it and I get to learn the most interesting things about libraries and information science.

OK. Enough with the PSA for how awesome library school is. I promise I won't write such long posts every week about grad school. On the book review front, I'm about a 100 pages from finishing School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins and then I'm going to read Omens by Kelley Armstrong. I'll try and have those reviews ready to post for the spooky month of October.

Now though? I need to tackle an essay!

*cracks knuckles*

Let's do this!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Awkword Pause

Hey Y'all,

Back in June I posted here and here about studying for the GRE in preparation for applying to UK's Library & Information Science Masters degree. Well..starting today, I am officially a student at the University of Kentucky!
*throws confetti*

What does that mean for the blog? Well, simply put, this isn't going to be just a book blog anymore. 

I've decided to retool the blog and instead of only posting book reviews (which between you and me was getting a little dull), I will now post once a week on a variety of book & library science related topics. So you will still get reviews of the books I'm reading, but less frequently and between book reviews I'll post about my adventures in going to grad school and other bookish news. 

Wish me luck! 

- Whitney 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

City of Bones Movie Follow Up


Hey Y'all, I was going to post this to the actual review post but it got so long that I decided to give the subject it's own post entirely. 

First, my reason for dropping the City of Bones movie from 4 to 2.5 stars. 

So after I posted this yesterday I finally let myself google what the mainstream movie reviewers were saying about the movie. It was bad y'all. Seriously, I got this vibe that most of the reviewers were living in fear of another Twilight type movie phenomenon and they thought if they gave it enough bad reviews the studio would cancel City of Ashes and they wouldn't have to review it. 'Cause their time would be better spent reviewing insert any (Franco/Day Lewis/Clooney) movie. 

Naturally, my inner fangirl wanted to rush back to the blog and give the movie a million stars and call them all butt heads. Thankfully, I slept on it and chatted with others on twitter (s/o to L.M. Murphy & DB Graves) about the movie which helped me to work out my own thoughts on the movie. 

Looking at the movie now what the film left out was a clear explanation of The Clave and the Downworld(ers). If the foundation of the TMIverse is ignored then the rest crumbles, simple as that. As a fan of the series it was hard for me to see that because I already knew what was left unsaid or unexplained so I wasn't sitting in the theatre scratching my head. This lack of clarity is what I believe led to many critics saying the film took a 'kitchen sink' approach of throwing every kind of supernatural creature into the movie and it knocks the film down to a 2.5 for me. 

As for the other reviews I read last night, what ticked me off the most wasn't so much because they were negative but because of the tone the reviewers struck. Many seemed to either write the entire series off because of Cassandra Clare's fanfiction roots or because it had vampires and a love triangle so it must be Twilight 2.0. 

Bias Alert: My name is Whitney and I write fanfiction. 

As someone who has written fanfiction (Harry Potter, Naruto, Supernatural, BtVS, Avengers, etc) and also aspires to write original fiction this obviously upsets me. Fanfiction for me is like a writer jungle gym. I get to hone my own writing style while playing in another author's sandbox. Writing fanfiction is nothing to be ashamed of and no one should be written off (so to speak) because of their fanfiction background.*

As for the many Twilight copy references I read last night in reviews, that's just plain incorrect. Would the studio like for the movie to recreate Twilight's success? Obviously. Did Cassandra Clare hope her book would sell as well as Twilight? You bet your bottom dollar. 

Spoiler Alert: The series has sold more than five million. 

2nd Spoiler Alert: Aside from the fact that there are vampires and a love triangle, there are no other similarities to Twilight that I can think of. 

Clary has her moments of being annoying, but for the most part she is a badass female main character. She doesn't curl up in a ball for three months because Prince Edward & the Sparklepuss Gang left her. To me, this is where the critics should at least read the TMI cliffnotes so that they have an understanding of what the series is actually about. I know they are reviewing the movie and not the book but even if they read the cliffnotes after the fact that will enhance their review because they'll be able to more accurately pinpoint where the director went wrong with the City of Bones movie, instead most just resorted to (incorrectly) comparing it to Twilight. 

End rant. As you were. =) 

- Whitney 

*Unless you write self-insert fanfics, those are the outcasts of fanficdom, usually, for good reason. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare + TMI Movie Review *Updated*


Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing City of Bones by Cassandra Clare as well as the new movie. WARNING: Below the cut there are spoilers for the book/movie. 



On to the reviews! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review - The Phoenix Reich by Joshua Lisec

Hey Y'all, 

Sorry for the late post, but I've been lured into the Breaking Bad cave. Seriously, I've watched the first three seasons in eight days. It's THAT good, y'all. Anyway, so today I'm reviewing The Phoenix Reich by Joshua Lisec. 

On to the review!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Review - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I first read this book a few years ago while I was still in college. I was prompted to re-read it recently following this article where a group of parents from Queens, NY challenged  the book on their children's 6th grade summer reading list. One parent, Kelly-Ann McMullan-Preiss, went so far as to call the book, "'50 Shades of Grey' for kids!" Considering The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a New York Times bestseller and won the National Book Foundation award for Young People's Literature, it's not exactly erotic fiction for kids or even in the ball park. I'm guessing that Mrs. McMullan-Preiss has not actually read the book, because if she had then I am almost certain that she would have found it to be heartbreaking and inspiring, as most readers have. 



On to the review! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Review - Love Me by Diane Alberts

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing an e-galley from Entangled Publishing called Love Me by Diane Alberts.


On to the review!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Christmas in July, Pt. Four


Hey Y'all, 

Today we've got two very different titles, one anthology features widows and the other NASCAR drivers, but they're both equally heartwarming. For the final Christmas in July post, I've selected Holiday in Stone Creek featuring two stories by Linda Lael Miller, and A NASCAR Holiday 3 featuring stories from: Liz Allison, Wendy Etherington, Brenda Jackson, Marisa Carroll, & Jean Brashear. I hope y'all have enjoyed the Christmas in July series as much as I've enjoyed writing the posts. 

On to the reviews!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review - Voodoo For Two by Elle James

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing Voodoo For Two by Elle James which I received as an e-galley from Entangled Publishing.

On to the review! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Christmas in July, Pt. Three

Hey Y'all,

Dashing Rakes, FBI Agents, & Christmas? Oh My! This week I've selected Risky Christmas featuring Jill Sorenson & Jennifer Morey as well as The Heart of Christmas featuring Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, & Courtney Milan.

On to the reviews!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review - Famously Engaged by Robyn Thomas

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing an e-galley from Entangled Publishing called Famously Engaged by Robyn Thomas.


On to the review! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review - Texas Hold 'Em by Kay David

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing an e-galley I got from Entangled Publishing called Texas Hold 'Em by Kay David.


On to the review!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas In July, Pt. Two

Hey Y'all,

Like hot cowboys and Christmas? Then this edition of the Christmas in July series is for you! Today's selection is A Texas Christmas featuring Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, & DeWanna Pace and then Holiday Hideout featuring Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis, & Julie Kenner.

On to the review!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review - The Archived by Victoria Schwab + Vicious

Hey Y'all,

I was only planning to review the first in a new YA series, The Archived by Victoria Schwab. But then I received (through netgalley) & devoured the first hundred pages of her upcoming book, Vicious. So I'll be reviewing Archived & previewing Vicious today. But first a reminder:

*Broken Record Plays Squeakily*

Don't forget about the Clarion West Write-A-Thon it's still going on through August 2nd and is a great cause, so please donate! =)

On to the reviews! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Christmas in July, Pt. One

Hey Y'all,

Today starts the first of four parts in my Christmas in July series of posts. The first books I'll be reviewing are two ARCs from Netgalley:  Starry Night by Debbie Macomber & Twice Loved by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

So turn up your favorite Christmas song and read on!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review - The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand

Hey Y'all,

No offense to Necessary Lies & Hard Road but after reading them both back to back, I wanted my next book to be a happier read. So today I'm reviewing The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand which was provided by Netgalley.

On to the review!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Review - Hard Road by J.B. Turner

Hey Y'all,

So I'm not one of those people that love summer.

No, I'm not a Yeti.

My problem with Summer is that A) I don't do heat, and B) I don't do bugs. While I may handle one of these at a time, both at the same time is a deal breaker. Plus, ya know, I'm allergic to grass, dust, & pollen. So I'm typically an indoors gal until Fall, that wonderful time of year with crunchy leaves and chilly weather. I have a point. I promise.

So for those of us who aren't sun worshippers, what better way to beat the heat than by reading Christmas themed books?! Starting Monday, July 8th and every Monday in July thereafter, I'm going to be reviewing two Christmas Anthologies. Feel free to shoot me suggestions if you have them.

Anyway, so today I'm reviewing an ARC received through Netgalley called Hard Road by J.B. Turner.


On to the review! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Hey Y'all,

I forgot to mention this Wednesday, but I'm participating in the Clarion West's Write-A-Thon.

<--- See the shiny banner?

It's a great cause because it helps them to fund their fabulous workshops and my goal is to raise $150 for them. So if you'd like to donate, here's the link to my page. Anyone who donates $20 or more I'll name a character after you in my current WIP, The Descendants. It's a YA fantasy story based on the descendants of the Greek prophet Cassandra.

Anyway, today I'm reviewing an audiobook from my local library, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.


On to the review! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Hey Y'all,

Phew! GRE is DONE.

If you follow me on Twitter you may already know this, but in case you don't, I did it! I made the scores I needed to apply to UK! Which is extremely lucky because I didn't have any back up.



So Monday I submitted my application and now it's just a waiting game.

*bites nails*

*waits*

*bites nails some more*

Seriously though, It shouldn't be too terribly long of a wait since I applied for Fall admission and the deadline for Fall applicants is 7/1/13. I'll let y'all know the outcome when I find out. In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Anyway, so today I'm reviewing a book received from Netgalley, Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead.


On to the review! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Whitney & The Wonderful GRE Cave.

Hey Y'all,

So I was planning to post my review of Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead today but I've had a some major things come up in the last week and a half. The first was a family emergency and my dad was admitted to the hospital for a few days. I'm happy to say he's doing great now and we had a lovely Father's Day celebration yesterday.

The other thing that I've been working on for the last week and a half is cramming for the GRE. Why, you ask? Well, I've decided to apply for the University of Kentucky's Master of Library Science program! In all honesty I don't know why I haven't applied before now, it looks like a great quality program that's affordable too.

So, that's what I'm up to right now. I take my GRE on Saturday, 6/22 so I should be able to start posting again by next Wednesday, 6/26. For now though it is back to the GRE cave for more studying!

Wish me luck!

Whitney

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review - The Last Kind Word by David Housewright

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book provided by Netgalley called The Last Kind Word by David Housewright.


The Last Kind Word is another in Housewright's McKenzie series. Millionaire and unofficial PI Mac McKenzie goes undercover as a favor to St. Paul PD with a gang of gunrunners in hopes that he can lead the police to some stolen weapons.

Tightly plotted and much in the same vein of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport Series, The Last Kind Word is a fast moving story that will have readers biting their nails as McKenzie jumps through hurdle after hurdle. Not to worry though, the book comes to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. I'd definitely recommend this book.

4/5 Stars.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book from Netgalley called Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen.


Blood Orange is the story of PI Jaymie Zarlin who normally deals with finding missing people, but finds herself drawn into a murder investigation of local teenager Lili Molina. Faced with the police's mishandling of the case, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth of what happened to Lili. Jaymie's search for the killer leads her into the hornet's nest of Santa Barbara's rich & poor.

I couldn't help but (favorably) draw comparisons of Veronica Mars to Blood Orange. Both include a feisty female PI in a community that features both the 1% and the 99% sharing the same city. That said, Karen Keskinen hit the nail on the head with Blood Orange. It was an exciting, page turning, twist filled story. I can't wait to read the next Jaymie Zarlin book. Highly recommend this debut by Karen Keskinen.

4/5 Stars

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review - At Any Cost by Cara Ellison

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book from Netgalley called At Any Cost by Cara Ellison.

Amazon  
At Any Cost is the story of First Daughter Fallon Hughes and Tom Bishop, the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her. A young lawyer with no social life? Sounds like a bodyguard's dream protectee! That is, until one of Fallon's clients commits suicide and she's not convinced. Drawn into a conspiracy theory and rising sexual tension, Fallon and Tom must expose the plot before they wind up dead.

I'm a sucker for a book with political intrigue, so I liked the story. It moved along at a fast pace and the characters were interesting, though slightly predictable. I'd recommend it to those looking for a quick & light thriller.

3/5 stars.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review - The First Lie by Diane Chamberlain

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a short story from Netgalley, The First Lie by Diane Chamberlain.


The First Lie is a short prequel to Chamberlain's upcoming Necessary Lies and is the story of Ivy Hart, a 13 year old in 1958 North Carolina. Ivy lives in a small house on a generous farmer's property with her grandmother and pregnant 15 year old sister, Ella May. Intrigue abounds over just who is the father of Ella May's baby and why she's keeping quiet on the subject.

At 35 pages, The First Lie is a great teaser before Necessary Lies. It's just enough to whet the reader's appetite. Also, as a Southerner, I'm always on high alert for forced sounding Southern dialect - but no such problems here! I'm looking forward to finding out just what dark family secrets the Harts are hiding.

4/5 Stars

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review - Good As Gone by Douglas Corleone

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book from Netgalley called Good As Gone by Douglas Corleone.


Good As Gone is the story of former U.S. Marshall Simon Fisk who now retrieves children kidnapped by an estranged parent and taken to foreign countries. Fisk's one rule is that he won't work stranger abductions, having lost his daughter years ago in an unsolved case. However that is about to change, because to avoid a prison sentence in France, Fisk accepts a job searching for 6 year old Lindsay Sorkin. His search sends him through multiple countries and straight into a dangerous international scheme. 

Douglas Corleone knocked it out of the park with this book. From the first chapter to the last pages it kept me rooted to the spot until I finished. I would highly recommend this book for those looking for a nail biting thriller with heart and I look forward to reading other books by the author! 

5/5 Stars 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reviews - Desire by Design & Tall, Dark, & Divine


Hey Y'all, 

I hope everyone enjoyed your Memorial Day Weekend! Today I've got two reviews for you: Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg & Tall, Dark, and Divine by Jenna Bennett. Both of these are great romances with a HEA (Happily Ever After). Check back here either on Friday or next Monday and I should have the review of my current book, The Waiting Game by Eve Devon up and ready! 

On to the reviews! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review *Updated*- Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book received from Netgalley, Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor. 

Prep School Confidential is the story of Anne Dowling a 16 year old prep school queen bee. Anne can talk her way out of anything. If that doesn't work, there's always petty breaking and entering picking the lock to the headmaster's office to remove anything too incriminating. None of which really matters once you burn down your prep school. Well, technically it was just the auditorium. In less than 48 hours, Anne is enrolled & sent to the prestigious Wheatley School, a Massachusetts boarding school for the children of powerful families. Anne could care less who her classmate's parents are, she just wants to put in her time and get back home to NYC for her senior year. But everyone at Wheatley has a secret worth killing for and when Anne's roommate Isabella winds up dead she finds herself at the middle of a murder investigation. But Anne is not about to sit around and be framed for murder. With help from Isabella's sexy twin brother Anthony and her cute classmate Brent, it is  going to take all of Anne's fast talking  an lock picking skills to get to the bottom of this mystery.


Onto the review!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Team Nonsense:

Hey y'all,

You can't get on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media these days without seeing something like #TeamBelieber or #TeamOneDirection. We've gotten very caught up in explaining who we are by identifying as a fan/follower of a certain person or group. It has even, and maybe especially, pervaded the book world. Twilight has Team Jacob v. Team Edward, Vampire Academy has Team Adrian v. Team Dmitri, and The Sookie Stackhouse books have Team Sam v. Team Bill v. Team Eric (or if you watch True Blood it's basically Sookie & Team Everyone). So who cares, and why am I even talking about it?

Well, for the most part it is harmless, but like everything else there are people who ruin it for the rest of us. Case in point, this article from The Guardian tells about how Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse books was threatened over which lover Sookie chose at the end of the final book, Dead Ever After. I just got done reading through some of the pissed off readers' reviews on GoodReads and people are crazy mad about who Sookie chose. I understand being frustrated and not liking the ending and needing to vent about it in an online format with other readers. However, you should at least give some other reasoning for disliking the book aside from or in addition to the love interest Sookie selected. Obviously it held your attention long enough to read the other 12 books in the series. 

If any of the rabid Harris haters should happen to find their way here, let me say this: I don't have a dog in this fight. I've only read the first 4 or 5 books in the series and watched the first two seasons of True Blood and really could care less who Sookie chose. 

Review - Hush by Stacey R. Campbell

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book provided by Netgalley called Hush by Stacey R. Campbell. Hush is the first in the Lakeview series and is the story of Blakely Henry a small town girl whose only concern is enjoying her senior year at Lakeview Academy without any boyfriend drama. Something which seems unavoidable when British exchange student, Max Ryder shows up suddenly with questions about her adoption. Little does Blakely know, but Max has been sent to Lakeview to figure out whether or not Blakely is the sole living heir to the throne of Tamura. But Max isn't the only one searching for any heirs to the throne. Someone who has already gone to a lot of trouble to kill off the royals of Tamura and they'll do anything to keep Blakely off the throne.

On to the review!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review - Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing a book provided by Netgalley called Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun. Sworn to Raise is the first in the Courtlight series and set in the magical kingdom of Algardis. Orphaned Ciardis Vane is a laundress in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom and is going exactly nowhere.  That is until she's handpicked to train as a court companion with the elite Companion's Guild. From there it's a whirlwind of of culture and etiquette lessons and just as Ciardis adjusts to her new life, she discovers her shocking heritage and that her gifts may be the only thing keeping the kingdom from destruction.

On to the review! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review - Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith

Hey Y'all, 

Today, I'm reviewing the YA book I received from Netgalley called Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith. Shadow Embraced is the story of a young dhampir (half human/half vampire) named Scarlett with no idea of who or what she is, only that she loves to fight. After one fight too many she winds up at a hidden away school that is specifically for supernatural types. But Scar is the only dhampir, and finds out quickly that it's because dhampirs are notoriously unstable. Something that is of special concern to the staff when students begin to go missing. Scar is caught between learning to control her newly embraced abilities, attempting to fit in, and a search for answers that may very well lead to her own demise. 


On to the review! 

Beach Reads, Pt. Three

Hey y'all, 

Today is the final in the Beach Read posts and features two of my favorite Suspense books. When you manage to find a good book in the overcrowded suspense genre, it is a very happy day indeed! The two books I selected are: 

All The Pretty Girls by JT Ellison 
Snapped by Laura Griffin 

On to the reviews!

Monday, May 20, 2013

How To Successfully NOT Pay Attention in Class:


Note: I originally posted this as a note on FB in April 2009. 

No one should probably read this, but I'm a senior less than a month from graduation and I feel it is my duty to impart some of my hard earned wisdom to underclassmen of the world. Here goes!

1) If you can, bring your laptop. If possible, sit in the back row so that you don't annoy people sitting behind you or give them the opportunity to rat you out or otherwise get even.

2) Go to Google Documents and make a new word document. Title this document something like: Accounting 201 Notes. Yes, you could use Microsoft Word, but I recommend Google Docs because it not only stores your notes online & frees up your hard drive, but also gives you an excuse if your teacher walks around and wants to know why you have an internet browser open.

3) Don't get caught up in the interwebs! You must master the art of looking up at the teacher about every minute, occasionally with your head thoughtfully cocked to one side as if you are actually chewing over what they are saying. Also, if you are playing an online game, be sure to remember not to press the keys to loudly in your haste to defeat Donkey Kong.

4) Say something in class at least once a week. Whether an anecdote that pertains to the lesson or a question it reassures the teacher that you are paying attention. Also, do try and keep the anecdotes brief because if we have to hear everyday about how down on the farm such and such happened it will get old fast. And seriously, if you are going to answer a questions, make sure it is one you know!

5) Stay in good relations with your classmates. This helps in case you miss something and they are willing to help you out, it helps if you're able to help them out with something in return because there's nothing worse than when people don't pay attention and then ask you a million questions. After many many eons of classes I have developed a ninja sense where my brain is programmed to respond to keywords such as Test, paper, homework, etcetera and I very rarely have to ask my classmates questions.

6) If you can not bring a laptop, there are still options. You could bring your cell phone and text with people however be cautious of the buttons on texting because it can be really annoying for your classmates to hear that little clicking button noise the entire class. Also if texting, don't be obvious! Try and sit at a table and text underneath but be sure that the front is covered!! Or you could wear a hoodie with a front pocket thing and text in there, but be sure to sell it by shivering occasionally as if you are cold. Also, if you're wearing a hoodie you could have your music device in your pouch and the headphone wires running up the sleeve. Though I'd recommend leaving one earbud out so you can still nod along to the lecture. If neither of these are an option, I recommend falling back on the old book/magazine within a book.

Avoid:
1) Talking to your friend in class! You know how when you're sitting there in class and you hear a fly buzzing? That's how hearing two people talking (even quietly) is for your other classmates. For example, in class right now there are two girls who are sitting there talking not loud, but enough so that people keep shooting them dirty looks to stfu. The key in all of this is to draw as little attention to yourself, or at least control the type of attention you get. If you must talk to your friend in class keep it brief.

2) Beware if you have glasses also, because I've had people tell me that they can see me playing a game on my computer because it reflects in my glasses.

Warning: I am a senior and have awesomely easy classes. Use this guide at your own risk. Also, I supplement this with doing my reading so that I am still up to date with my classes and all of my assignments on time and I don't complain when I mess up because I take responsibility for my slacking. =)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beach Reads, Pt. Two


Hey y'all, 

It's 84 degrees outside today and my allergies are killing me, obviously this means Summer has arrived. Allergy doctors and school kids rejoice! Today I'm posting Young Adult beach reads and next week I'll post Suspense beach reads.  I've been both dreading AND looking forward to this week because of all the great YA books currently available. Ultimately, though, I selected two books: 

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause 
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha 

On to the reviews!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Beach Reads, Pt. One

There is a saying in Tennessee that if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it'll change. I'm sure this is true of a lot of other places too. As a case in point, Denver received more than a foot of snow last week.

Alas, despite temperatures outside in the 50s I am determined that Summer is on it's way! So in honor of the little season that could, I'm going to be posting reviews of some beach reads over the merry month of May.  This week I'll be posting romance beach reads and next week I'll post YA beach reads.

Reviews after the jump!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Game by Barry Lyga


Let me start by saying that it's been a week since I first read Game by Barry Lyga and my mind is still blown. Game is the second in the Jasper Dent series, preceded by I Hunt Killers, and Lyga has knocked this one out of the park!


-SPOILER ALERT- 

An Awkword Introduction

Hey Y'all, 

My name is Whitney and I'm a book addict. 

Back in the 90s Stone Age, book lovers such as myself were a sad lot because connecting with people who loved the same books you did was nearly impossible.*  Seriously, imagine reading a great book and having no one to talk to about all of the WTFery!

But unluckily for you the whole wide internet is now my support group, because with sites like Twitter, GoodReads, & Blogs not only can you easily connect with other book fans, but authors and publishers as well. 

The three genres I read the most are YA, romance, & mysteries/suspense, but I'm always up for a good book despite the category. I plan to post my reviews of these books on here and GoodReads.