Friday, January 31, 2014

[Review] Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 11/09/2009
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 336
Source: Gift
Genre: YA (14+) - Contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Alanis Morisette - You Learn

My Rating: 
Warm and fuzzy read

My thoughts

Note: Do you want to know when I read this book? January 27 to February 01, 2012.
Let that sink in... it is now January 2014. And I am only now getting around to reviewing this book. This book, which I absolutely adored. This book has been sitting on my to-review pile for TWO WHOLE YEARS. Now hand me my laziest book blogger award! :D Despite the lapse in time I feel the story is still fresh enough in my mind that I can review it without the reread (though I do hope for one in the near future!).




Leigh Nolan is a psych-major freshman at Stiles College, a small liberal arts college in California. And... the transition to college life has been stressful, to say the least. The teachers expect too much of her. She and her boyfriend of one year are having problems. A thirteen-year-old is figuratively kicking her ass. But she still has her best-roommate-ever, Ami, who understands her insane obsession over cheesy romance novels and hosts the best pep-talks ever. And then there's Nathan, Andrew's roommate, who she can't seem to get out of her mind...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[Book Tag] One Day



So... I've actually started reading book blogs from Feedly again! :D It's a miracle, it truly is! Anyway, because of that, I discovered this book tag which is perfect for a lazy reader/book hoarder like me. Thanks to Carly (Writing from the Tub) for creating this tag.

1. Which book has been on your TBR for the longest?

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard is up there. Been on my shelves from about October 2010.

2. Name an author you've been wanting to read for ages now?

Melina Marchetta. Seriously. I do plan to read On the Jellicoe Road before the film comes out, so hopefully soon I can ammend this terrible injustice.

3. Tell me a series you're determined to finish but need to play catch up with?

I keep pretty up to date with most
series that I want to finish. There are many that I need to start. :P As for series that I still need to read the third book of, well, there's Bitterblue, The Lucky Ones, Promised, The FitzOsbornes at War, Champion... There are way too many series that I've started but don't intend on finishing, which might drive some people crazy but I'm not going to force myself to get through a series if I've started it. That's just torture.

4. Let's go one better - tell me a full series you want to read but haven't started yet?

Gone by Michael Grant

5. What are five books published over a year ago that you want to read this year?

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Guitar Highway Rose by Lois Lowry
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Days of Blood and Starlight (#2) by Laini Taylor

6. Which book have you been wanting to reread but haven't got the chance?

So many! The first one that pops to mind is Anna and the French Kiss. I adore that book hardcore but still haven't given it a reread since I first read it in 2010!

7. To finish, give me one book to film adaptation you missed in the cinema but want to catch on DVD?

The Perks of Being A Wallflower... can you believe I STILL have not seen this film?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

[Review] Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 21/09/2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 270
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA (14+) - Contemporary

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Bloc Party - I Still Remember

My Rating: 
Beautiful

My thoughts


Perfection. This story is kind of bittersweet, beautiful and magical.

Highly highly recommended for readers who love realistic/contemporary fiction.


Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac follows Naomi after she hits her head on concrete steps trying to save the yearbook camera. She doesn't remember her friends or family. She doesn't remember who she IS, really. And then she meets James, mysterious James with the mysterious past, who's as lost as she is, and they start a rocky relationship. But then things go awry and she is left to pick up the pieces, left to remember...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

[Review] Requiem (#3) by Lauren Oliver

Add to Goodreads
(#3, Delirium)
Delirium | Pandemonium | Requiem

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 05/03/2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 391
Source: Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Dystopian

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Placebo - The Bitter End

My Rating:
Surprising and beautiful

My thoughts

To be completely honest I'm surprised that this series finale didn't disappoint me. Not in the slightest. I remember that Delirium was the very first book that I read for review through Netgalley. It proposed an original and somewhat fluffy dystopian concept, but more importantly it was written by Lauren Oliver -- I had just recently read her debut novel Before I Fall, which I was highly impressed with, both for its story progression and writing style. Even now, three years after I've read my first Oliver book her writing and talent continues to amaze me. I'm not going to say this book was perfect but it was a constant rollercoaster ride, entertaining; full of twists and turns that seems to come with the dystopian genre; it tied up the series well, and it was full of emotion and yet more lovely quotes.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

[Review] Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Click on cover for Goodreads.
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 03/10/2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 279
Source: Gift
Genre: YA (14+) - Realistic

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Linkin Park - Numb

My Rating: 
Unique and engaging!

My thoughts

Everybody Sees the Ants is written by A.S. King which automatically means that I had to own a copy (with the intention to one day read it). Of all of her novels to date this was probably the one that instilled the most doubt in me, as in, I wasn't sure if this would be my kind of book. Male protagonist? Strange POW/MIA-themed lucid dreams? "Everybody Sees the Ants"? But I need not have worried; as far as I'm concerned A.S. King can do no wrong.
Lucky Linderman has a problem and his name is Nader McMillan. He just won’t leave him alone, and hasn’t since he was seven. That’s when the bullying started. But when Nader goes a little bit too far at the local swimming pool, it’s time to get away. Lucky physically escapes Nader by going to Arizona with his mum for two weeks, but he also mentally escapes his parents in his dreams where he rescues his MIA grandfather. And then there are the ants in his mind, they understand him, they keep him company… Everybody Sees the Ants is a brilliant coming-of-age following a teenage boy who needs to discover who he is, face his demons and make sense of this messed up life of his.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (14): My Blogging Wishlist


So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

Day Fourteen: My Blogging Wishlist
    • More email pitches from my beloved publisher/publicists, rather than just receiving the books in the mail. Sometimes I do get surprised with a book I really wanted to read, but it really is a lottery.
    • A better Netgalley ratio. This one is embarrassing. Let's more on, shall we?
    • A search function on Feedly!
    • To not get stuck in a blogging/reading slump.
    • Meet more fellow book bloggers and readers, as well as authors, publicists, etc. Maybe go to a few more author events + SWF2014?
    • More space on my bookshelves.
    • To connect with the book community more, discover even more amazing books and have a great reading year! :D


    So that's the end of this end of 2013/start of 2014 challenge/meme thing. It was heaps of fun. I did skip a few of the categories, but I got to the end (a bit late, but life and not being bothered got in the way). I've got lots to catch up on. Don't worry, I'm not going to disappear right after this. In fact, I'll be posting a new review very shortly. And I'll figure out how to catch up on my book hauls too.


    Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you all stay safe and happy & have a good reading year!

    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (12): Getting more followers


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Twelve: How do you plan on getting more followers this year?


    I don't really care about how many followers I have (also since it's been around the same number for a whole year). I would like more comments though - I love to discuss books and every comment I get makes me happy. :)
    • Posting more often.
    • Writing more quality content.
    • Getting up to date with my book reviews and my book hauls (I'm dreading this task... I have no idea how I'll go about it since there must be at least 50 books since last time).
    • Participating more in the book blogging community again. I've been neglecting it since Google Reader went under (I never got used to Feedly - and they don't have search! Still!). This means COMMENTING on other peoples' blogs again!


    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (11): TBR Shelf


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Eleven: TBR Shelf - How many?



    **I skipped #8-10 in the NY challenge because I didn't have anything to say about them. I have a lot to say about my TBR shelf though.

    I'm definitely not going to physically count my books and my TBR is only a rough number because I have lots on my swap list and/or I've stopped wanting to read, so... over at Goodreads I have 374 on my TBR shelf. 94 of those are on my swap list, so my official number is 290 books.

    Should I be feeling proud, like a hoarder, or ashamed? Because I kind of feel a combination of all three. I do resolve to whittle down this number somewhat this year. I probably won't make much of a dent since I just can't seem to stop buying books or receiving new books for review, but I'm going to try my hardest. Please tell me there are people out there who have dug themselves even deeper in the TBR debacle...

    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (7): Blogger Pet Peeves


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Seven: Top Ten Book Blogger Pet Peeves



    1. Music that turns on immediately as you load the page. If I have to mute my speakers to be on your blog (meaning I couldn't find where the music was coming from) you're doing something wrong.
    2. Too many images everywhere or too big and flashy.
    3. Bad grammar, sloppy editing. This is a big thing for me as I've naturally always been a stickler for correct use of the language. I still make mistakes, but don't mistake your "your"s with "you're", or "too" with "to", "there" with "they're", etc. Use spell check, or type in MS Word before you post.
    4. No/barely any book reviews at all, only book hauls or tags. I'm a really lazy blogger myself, but if your only posts are book hauls or tags it sends the wrong message to me. It says, "I'm only interested in showing off/getting pageviews", like, do you even read?
    5. Comment verification. I dislike comment verification with a burning passion!!!
    6. No images in your posts, like, at all.
    7. Getting series books in the mail for review. It just makes me feel bad, especially if I never had any intention on reading that series in the first place. I wish publicists would consider whether their reader would actually read the series, if they have the first books... email ahead of time instead of simply posting them off? I love getting books from publishers, don't get me wrong, it's just... I don't have much space in my room for more books, so this certainly doesn't help.
    8. On reviews - be personal too. I don't just want a summary of what happened in the book. I want to know what you think. 
    9. Getting random indie author friend requests on Goodreads. I know you're trying to get your book out there but I explicitly state in my description that I don't accept indie authors unless you're also a book reviewer. That also goes for normal members who don't review books but also request me as a friend.
    10. The drama. I haven't seen any of it lately, but that might be due to the fact that I haven't been as active on the Blogosphere...?

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (6): Best Books of 2013


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Six: Best Book(s) of 2013





    This was a hard decision to make, but... Revis delivered. This was a series finale done right. It was simply beautiful and perfect and ended nicely. I loved it so, so much. I still have yet to write a wrap-up review on Shades of Earth and the series as a whole. I've been afraid to ever since I first finished reading it because then it'll truly be over. Here's what I wrote on Goodreads...


    Honourable mentions:

    • Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys {review}
    • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick {review}
    • Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near {review}
    • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins {Goodreads review}
    • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {review tk}
    • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak {Goodreads review}
    • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey {review}
    • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin {review tk} {Goodreads review}

    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (5): Worst Book of 2013


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Five: Worst Book of 2013


    What book deserves this honour of being considered my least favourite book of 2013? I'm happy to say that I didn't come across too many stinkers last year. While Allegiant disappointed me immensely (still need to write my review for that...) and Dance of Shadows frustrated me with its horrid storytelling, I'm going to crown Game On by Monica Seles as my stinker of 2013! Woo! *confetti*






    (2.5 stars) I was excited to read this book. I knew from the start that it probably wouldn't make it to my favourites for the year, but I was expecting something light, fun and quick to get through. I love tennis and was expecting to read more tennis action. I wish that was the main reason this book fell completely flat for me. The characters. The characters! Full of cliches... the main character is a doormat, "perfect" but always complaining, so eager to please her "idol" who treats her like trash. The love interests (yes, a love triangle - who would have thought!) and the whole romantic arc is just not well developed at all, shallow, base. The writing was... just. Ugh. Just not a good read at all.


    Saturday, January 4, 2014

    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (4): Books I Won't Miss


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Four: Books of 2014 You Won't Miss


    *Date format: dd/mm/yyyy


    No cover... yet



    All of these but two stem from author loyalty/love. The other two (No One Else Can Have You and The Winner's Curse) are by debut authors but I've heard great things about them already and I love the premise. It's highly probable I'll get around to buying and reading some of these titles in 2015, just because I only buy hardcovers when I feel it is necessary, but alas - I will get around to them all sooner or later!



    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (3): Missed Books of 2013


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Three: Books of 2013 You're Sad You Missed


    • Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith - Holly recommended this to me and I trust her taste in YA contemporary fiction.
    • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - This book has exploded in the book community. I suppose I'm waiting for the paperback release, but still, I wish I'd been able to read it in 2013.
    • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - I just really wanted to read this book, right from the start. But it's so expensive and I could never justify the purchase, so I'm waiting for the US paperback release.
    • Reality Boy by A.S. King - A.S. King is on my auto-buy list. I haven't picked this up because I'm two books behind (from Everybody Sees the Ants)...
    • Vicious by V.E. Schwab - Heard amazing things about this, and about Schwab in general. Really need to read some of her works, but I'm most excited about this since it's a standalone adult fantasy novel!



    Book Blogger New Year's Challenge 2014 (2): Pros & Cons of Blogging


    So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

    Day Two: Pros & Cons of Blogging



    PROS

      • The community: I've met so many other readers around the world who love reading as much as I do, who I can share my thoughts and ideas and opinions with, my excitement and disappointment, anticipation and desperation. You guys are awesome! <3 :D
      • I discover new books. There are so many titles I would otherwise not have picked up had it not been for the encouragement and pushing from fellow readers and publishers.
      • Being closer to publishers and authors
      • Getting perks-- stuff for review and the occasional swag. More on this in the 'Cons' section.
      • The community pushes me to read more, I think. Particularly Goodreads, but also the Blogosphere. Seriously, I push on around 60 books a year. That never would have happened had it not been for book blogging and the book community in general.
      • I can write about books... and I love books! I love geeking out over them, and knowing that you guys GET IT.
      • Receiving comments. Seriously, they make my day. Sometimes I don't reply (I forget!) but I appreciate and love every single one I get. :)
      • Looking at book porn (aka. book hauls).
      CONS
      • Guilt over not reading all the books I receive for review
      • Guilt over not reviewing every book I read on time
      • Blogosphere drama. I haven't heard much in 2013, except for I think the beginning of the year?
      • The pressure to post more often
      • It's a lot easier to keep track of Booktube than it is the Book Blogosphere. I'm always behind on my book blogger reading... I might have to further prioritise my book blogs so I at least get around to my absolute favourites...
      • Bad on my bank account... so many recommendations, I just want to read them all!

      Book Blogger New Years's Challenge 2014 (1): Blogger Resolutions


      So at the end of 2013 I was looking for something that would help me wrap up the reading/blogging year for me. I finally found it! This challenge consists of one question a day, for the first two weeks of the new year. I'm coming into this a little bit late, but that's never stopped me before! Thanks to Parajunkee for your continued creativity!

      Day One: Your Blogger Resolutions for 2014


      • Catch up on book reviews from previous years. Seriously, I'm going to do it this year! I have over 10 books, some of them I read all the way in 2011 I think. Yikes! I might have to do some rereading.
      • Blog more regularly. I'm not going to put any numbers to this resolution, no I will post twice a week, because I know I can't make any promises. I'm way too unorganised for that! (Why am I even a blogger?)
      • Participate in more bookish events and book blogger tours, tags, etc.
      • Get up to date with book hauls... I'm months behind and the idea of grabbing everything I have received in the past few months and taking photos of them and linking, etc, is very daunting for me!

       
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