Monday, May 26, 2014

Mini Review Monday Postponed

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 6:10 PM 0 comments
Mini Review Monday is postponed this week due to spending time with my family and not having a spare moment to sit down and write a review. Mini Review Monday will be back next monday!

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Thank you to those who serve and have served!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking The Shelves[20]

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:00 AM 1 comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


I am so sorry I haven't been doing STS lately. I have gotten over 200+ books in the past few months and I will try to post them over the next few weeks. I am going to start with my trip to YAFest in Pennsylvania. I got to meet Jennifer L. Armentrout! Which was super amazing. She signed my books and gave me a copy of Daimon. It was an amazing time. I met so many awesome authors AND it was my birthday present. My fiance took me to YAFest as a gift AND THEN he took me to Pittsburgh the weekend of my birthday to go to HalfPriceBooks. It was a blast! So these pictures will be from those two trips. Plus a random trip to 2nd and Charles the Friday before my birthday. The dates are April 19th for YAFest and then April 26th for my birthday/Pittsburgh trip. If you want to see any other pictures feel free to check my Instagram. I normally add pictures to that first!

These are some books I actually bought at the YAFest. They were having a tiny little book sale in the back of the library and the books were 5/$1 so I got these AMAZING books plus a few for giveaways that arent pictured. 

These are the books from 2nd and Charles.



And here are a few of the books I got while I was in Pittsburgh. +halfpricebooks is an amazing place. I spent over $600 on all the books I got. I went to all 4 of the stores in PA.
Here is my youtube book haul of the trip to PA.






My fiance also got me two new bookshelves and we moved the rooms around so I have my own little booknook now. What do you guys think?


My Fiance also bought me this beautiful penguin for my birthday at HalfPriceBooks. His name is Schmitty-Burgh


Sooo What have you guys gotten over the past few weeks? Leave me a link to your STS if you want!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Author Spotlight: Carol Lynch Williams + Giveaway

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:37 PM 0 comments

About the author:

Carol Lynch Williams, a two-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition, is the author of several books for children, including two novels about the Orton family of New Smyrna, Florida: Kelly and Me and Adeline Street. A starred School Library Journal review of The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson praises Williams as she "again demonstrates her facility at mood and character development... Truer colors are hard to come by."

Carol's contact/follow information:
https://www.facebook.com/carol.l.williams.7
www.wifyr.com
www.throwingupwords.wordpress.com


QUESTIONS:
1) What made you decide to write YA books? 
Great question! Actually YA books chose me. And so did middle grade. I've always written for kids. I'm a kid in my head. Topics presented themselves to me, and the voice I used to tell the story was a 12 or 13 or 14 yr old. Books for kids are some of the greatest work out there. 
2) Out of all of your books which one did you enjoy writing the most? 
Oh! I LOVED writing Signed, Skye Harper. It's fun and happy and has quirky characters. I've written about Florida (a place I always write about) and  about a boy I would have thought was cute back in the day. There's kissing, my favorite dog, my agent's name, the Olympics, a loving grandmother, a naughty mom . . . what else should there be in a book? A one-legged rooster? Well, that's in there, too!

3) Who is your favorite character from your books? 
I love strong characters--and I think most of the girls I write about are strong. Anytime I write a book, that's my favorite character. Right now it's a girl who's named Evie. She can see dead people.

4) What form do you prefer writing in?(verse, normal long chapters, short chapters.) 
I like them all. I like letting the book help me decide what to do and then playing around and seeing if that works.

5) Was being an author a dream of yours? 
Always. I've always wanted to be a writer. Lucky me to have my dream job, huh? I would have also liked to be a Country singer. Hahahaha!

6) Are you going to be participating in any books signings this year? If so, when and where? 
I'll be at  Great Carson City Lit Fest, June 6-8 in Carson City NV, ALA (in Vegas) on Sunday (2:30 at the St Martin's Press booth), at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (www.wifyr.com)June 18, and several Barnes and Nobel signings for a chapter books series I'm working on (tbd).


Book Spotlight
I wanted to do a book spotlight on two of Carol's most recent books. Both of them are super amazing in my opinion yet they are both extremely unique.



Love is a very strong word. I feel a lot of love towards this book and a lot of love happened throughout the book as well. 

Winston isn't your average teenage girl. She has a good head on her shoulders and she knows what she wants. And what she wants are pretty simple requests. She wants to swim. She wants Steve to notice her. And she wants her mother to come home with her. Sadly, only two of these things happen in the book.

The love Steve started feeling for Winston seemed a little forced at first but after getting to know Nanny and her story about Leon, Steve's father, things started to make sense. Maybe Steve was always meant to be with Winston. 

I like the name Winston and I enjoyed the teasing from Steve. Whether she was Winston, named after the cigarettes or Winston Churchill, named so by Steve, she was an amazing character.

I believe going to get Winston's momma was one of the best things that could have happened to the small family. Sure there was heart break but in the end I think everyone ended up in a good place that fit them perfectly. 

I swear, I had a different image of what was going to happen in the end. I thought Steve was going to go back to school and ignore Winston. That is normally how cute summer romance type books end. But I was wrong! I also really loved the entire innocence of the book. Everything was so cute and refreshing. It was intense or dirty. It was just cute.

This book is written in a way that makes it a very quick read. It is told in 183 very short chapters. I found myself putting off things I had to do and saying just a few more pages. I haven't read a book in a while that I couldn't put down so Signed, Skye Harper has broken that chain. 

I would recommend Carol Lynch Williams's books to anyone, really. She has such a diverse writing ability and I think everyone would enjoy it.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 Kitties.








At first I really wasn't liking this book. Just something about it wasn't connecting with me. But I started to like it as I got further in.

I haven't personally read a book like this before but I have seen people saying it's a lot like another book that has already been written. I really don't see what all the hostility is about though. A LOT of book are like other books.

Shiloh is the main character and I didn't like her at first but after she got off of the tonic I did start to warm up to her. She was still a little too standoffish for me. 

The Terminals in general were very creepy and robotic at least until the cafeteria scene towards the end. That scene actually made me wonder just how many Terminals stopped drinking the tonic.

I loved how the book seemed to be a coming of age and finding your first love kind of book when that really isn't what its about. 

I find it to be very immoral of Dr. King to be making replicants and then drugging them so they appear to be inhuman, soulless creatures. What Dr. King stands for is basically like saying babies that are made in petri dishes and then put into a mother makes the baby inhuman and soulless. Then the fact that the world they live in actually allows these things to happen is horrendous. But money makes the world go round.

Gideon was different from the start. He got away with more than he should have been able too and I was instantly curious as to what his story would be. Turns out the story was very interesting and informative. Definitely showed a different side to Dr. King.

Abigail was a cute little side character. She was a good best friend but she wasn't very strong willed. Same goes for Daniel. He got offered something he wanted and in return her ended up almost ruining The Plan.

The authors writing isn't really my type of writing and I think that is what put me off in the beginning. I have read another book by Carol Lynch Williams and it was written in verse. I can honestly say I like her better when she is writing in verse.

The cover is very pretty but I'm not sure that it really portrays the book very well. Also, it kind of reminds me of the cover for Haven by Kristi Cook. Both contain butterflies and strangely the same title.

I am also not even sure what category to put this book in. I know its pretty much Science Fiction but it's like a mix of Dystopia and Utopia. It's a good place for the people who have the replicants but it's a bad places for the replicants. Dr. King rules over the replicants but that's it. 

Overall I gave the book 4/5 Kitties.



I am doing my own personal giveaway for a copy of Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams. The book is written in verse and it's very good!

REVIEW: Signed, Skye Harper by Carol Lynch Williams + Giveaway

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Signed, Skye Harper
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Publicist/Author 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Love is a very strong word. I feel a lot of love towards this book and a lot of love happened throughout the book as well. 

Winston isn't your average teenage girl. She has a good head on her shoulders and she knows what she wants. And what she wants are pretty simple requests. She wants to swim. She wants Steve to notice her. And she wants her mother to come home with her. Sadly, only two of these things happen in the book.

The love Steve started feeling for Winston seemed a little forced at first but after getting to know Nanny and her story about Leon, Steve's father, things started to make sense. Maybe Steve was always meant to be with Winston. 

I like the name Winston and I enjoyed the teasing from Steve. Whether she was Winston, named after the cigarettes or Winston Churchill, named so by Steve, she was an amazing character.

I believe going to get Winston's momma was one of the best things that could have happened to the small family. Sure there was heart break but in the end I think everyone ended up in a good place that fit them perfectly. 

I swear, I had a different image of what was going to happen in the end. I thought Steve was going to go back to school and ignore Winston. That is normally how cute summer romance type books end. But I was wrong! I also really loved the entire innocence of the book. Everything was so cute and refreshing. It was intense or dirty. It was just cute.

This book is written in a way that makes it a very quick read. It is told in 183 very short chapters. I found myself putting off things I had to do and saying just a few more pages. I haven't read a book in a while that I couldn't put down so Signed, Skye Harper has broken that chain. 

I would recommend Carol Lynch Williams's books to anyone, really. She has such a diverse writing ability and I think everyone would enjoy it.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 Kitties.


*DISCLAIMER: I was sent this book is exchange for an honest review.*

Thursday, May 22, 2014

REVIEW: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments

Title: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Publisher: Forever

I have read this book before. It was actually my very first New Adult book. I had gotten it for free on my Nook and took a chance with reading it. At the time, I owned over 500 physical books and I didn't really like reading on my Nook so I don't know what drew me to this book but I am glad it happened.

The first time I read this book I have no idea that it was going to be part of a series. I just dove in and expected to read some trashy college romance novel. Instead, I found myself reading a heart-wrenching story full of pain, tragedy, real love, trust and struggles. This book goes far beyond that of your average college experience book and takes you to a place where two people would rather feel pain and loneliness than the love of someone else. It takes you into the lives of two people who have known each other for their entire lives yet neither of them know the extent of the others damage.

Normally stories that revolve around physical abuse are placed on a female protagonist. Yes, Callie was abused but not by her parents. Kayden takes the blows in this book and it is strange to see a male character as strong as him in this situation.

While reading this book you come to realize just how easily lives can change. People who have known each other for their entire lives become friends after High School. This book also makes you wonder why things happened in the timeline that they did. Why couldn't Kayden and Callie have met like this during High School? Why didn't Kayden stick up to his father sooner? There are so many questions but I enjoy the timeline the book offered me. I don't think a book should be considered a good book if it doesn't leave you wondering "What If's."

Do you think that everyone has a secret? Something that has broken them in their lifetime? Everyone in this book is broken. Seth, Kayden, Luke, Callie, everyone has something to hide in this small group of friends. I am still curious to find out what exactly Luke's issues are. I know there is something up with his home life plus the situation with his sister but the book never really goes into Luke's story.

The ending of this book SUCKS! Not in the sense that it's bad writing or a bad plot. It just sucks that it happened and it ended like that. The first time I read this book I ended up sitting on my bed for a while after I finished it just staring at my Nook. The second book wasn't out and I just couldn't believe it ended like that. So, now, a year-ish late, I have just finished the first book, with the same exact ending. Only difference is, this time, I came prepared. 

I absolutely love Jessica Sorensen's writing. She has this magical ability to place these words onto pages and they just flow so perfectly. I never catch myself looking back at the page I read wondering what happened. Everything is crisp and clearly stated. Her books are definitely ones I find myself getting completely lost in.

The one piece of advice I will give to anyone who wants to read this book is to get the second book the same time you buy the first one. You will thank me later.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 Kitties.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Word of the Week Wednesday[8]

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments


Word of the Week - Balustrade - Struck pg 134
Meaning - A king of low wall that is placed at the sides of the staircases, bridges, etc., and is made of a row of short posts topped by a long rail.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Mini Review Monday[13] Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children GRAPHIC NOVEL by Ransom Riggs & Cassandra Jean

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments


Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs & Cassandra Jean







I don't read many graphic novels but if one is made for a YA book then I will probably read it as a refresher for when the next book comes out. That is the exact purpose that I used this book for. 

I liked it. It will never beat the real book in my eyes but it did help me to remember everything I may have forgotten. It gave me the ability to read the next book without having to go back and re-read the first book.

The graphical representation of the book was an wasn't how I pictured it. The characters looked different and the house looked different but it was still nice to see another persons view of the book.

I still find the relationship that is forming between Jacob and Emma to be a tad bit awkward but then again this entire book is strange and unexpected. 

I also found it very odd how well Jacob's dad took the new about him leaving for a while. It's like his dad knows more than he is letting on to.

Now I can go read Hollow City and see what happens with Millard and Miss Peregrine. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 Mini Kitties.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

REVIEW: Half Bad by Sally Green

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:47 AM 0 comments
Title: Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Format: Hardback
Source: Library
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

REVIEW:
I hate fantasy books. Well, I thought I did. But I had heard so much hype about Half Bad that I just had to pick it up and give it a try. Turns out, I don't hate fantasy. Or maybe this book was just THAT good.

The entire time I was reading, for some reason, I picture Nathan as Dylan O'Brien. If Half Bad was to be turned into a movie I would root for Dylan to play Nathan.

I enjoyed the plot and the story line. It had a Salem Witches time feel to it but it was told in present day which was a little hard to follow at first. It sounded like Nathan was living in a shack and had to make his own clothes and bread and then cell phones were thrown in and I got confused but I sorted things out after a while.

If you want a book with some violence, witches, a tad bit of romance and a good story then you should check this book out. Oh, and magic, did I mention magic?

The only real complaint I have is how it ended. It was RUSHED. And what I say rushed I mean it climaxed within 10 pages. It left me feeling cheated and I had a lot of unanswered questions. I know this is going to be a series but you shouldn't rush an ending like that. A 394 page book and it's ending is summed up in 10 pages. Really? 

I will be honest. This book is very hard for me to review. I am not sure what to say that isn't a spoiler but I will say that I think YA readers should check this out especially if you don't know how you feel about fantasy. I have been sitting on this review for a few weeks not and still have no idea what to write other than the fact that I am glad I read it. Never had a book left me so stumped about a review.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 Kitties.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Word of the Week Wednesday[7]

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 6:55 PM 0 comments



Word of the Week - Archipelago - Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Graphic Novel
Meaning - A group of islands. A sea or stretch of water containing many islands.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Mini Review Monday[12] Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:55 PM 0 comments

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell

REVIEW:
I really didn't think I was going to remotely enjoy this book. I normally dislike the books that people "fangirl" over. Haha, get it? Anyways, I actually adored this book to the point where I was actually mad it ended.

I felt myself really relating to Cath. Although I'm not really into fantasy books and I don't write fanfiction I still feel like I can relate to her. She likes to be alone and she has a passion she is really in love with. 

Then we have Wren. The other half of the nerdy twins. She wants to spread her wings and fly now that she is in college and it is both sad and expected when she crashes and burns.

Levi pushes a few buttons with me at first. You really shouldn't go around kissing multiple girls. He is lucky that Cath forgave him even though they weren't together. But by the end of the book I found myself wanting a Levi of my own.

The way the book ended made me scream. Like actually scream and toss the book in frustration. I wanted more information. I am literally dying for a novella or something that tells me what happened with Cath and Levi. I want to know if Cath finishes "Carry On, Simon." Maybe I will have to write me own fanfiction that satisfies my needs.

Overall, I have the book 5/5 stars. 

As a side note, I found myself laughing out loud while reading this book. Some of the humor was definitely aimed at the older crowd. The V. C. Andrews reference and a few other things just made me really adore this book.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

REVIEW: We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:52 PM 0 comments
Title: We Are The Goldens
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date: May 27 2014

REVIEW:
Have you ever read a book where it was okay and you finished it but you just feel like you could have lived your life perfectly fine without ever having read it? For me, that was this book. It was less than 200 pages and it took me three days to read it. 

The characters were very dull and they were just your everyday, run of the mill, high school kids. Nothing about them jumped out at me and I felt like I just walked through a school and started listening to a conversation that anyone could have.

Nell was slightly annoying and kept trying to prove that she wasn't a "baby." Her actions actually led me to believe otherwise. She did things that you would expect any random high school kid to do. She let a guy go a little bit too far. She had a guy best friend and that turned into, you guessed it, a little bit more. 

Felix was a good guy but lets face it, he isn't likely to exist. He seemed a little bit too mature for his age of fifteen. I guess there had to be one level-headed character. The only thing that made him seem real was his over active sex-brain. But even that was a little too dramatic in my opinion.

I think without the student-teacher relationship this book wouldn't even exist. And the bad part is, ever that part sucked. It wasn't very imaginative, we never got to meet "George" and it didn't seem as dangerous as it should have. I almost feel like if a young girl was to read this then she would feel it was okay to have a relationship with a teacher. 

There are many unanswered questions by the end of the book. What happened to Angel? What happens with Nell and Felix? What about the pregnancy? Real or not real? It just left my head spinning and left me feeling incomplete and unsettled.

If the book would have had a faster reading flow then maybe I would have liked it more but I just feel like I wasted three days of my life on something that I could walk through a mall and overhear.

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 Kitties.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bout of Books 10.0

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:59 PM 0 comments


Sooo. I tried to do this last year and I completely failed. I have been having a rough couple of weeks and have been completely depressed about not getting out apartment so I want to do this and try to pull myself out of this hole.

Bout of Books 10.0 is a yearly thing and if you want any info please go to the BoutOfBooks blog.

I will be updating my progress on Instagram and possibly YouTube so please check out both of those.(Just click instagram or youtube in this sentence).

GOALS

♥City Of Ashes♥ 66 pages
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
♥The Redemption of Callie and Kayden♥ 46 pages
♥Mortal Danger♥
♥A Stairway To Danger♥
♥Miss Peregrines Graphic Novel♥
♥Signed, Skye Harper♥


And then whatever else I can read when I finished these books. I am going to try to make it doable and hope that I can read more than this but I will be happy if I only finish these.

*UPDATES*
May 12 9:04am - I have finished The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, written my review for it and started book 2 in the series. YAY!

End update. So I didn't read very much. I did read more than normal but with my car breaking down and a lot of other stressful situations I just didn't have much time to sit down and read. I finished 3 books and read 112 pages from 2 other books. So, not bad, but not amazing! How did you do?

So are you joining too? Leave me a link to your post in the comments!


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