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A Written Rhapsody: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays: R.E.M.- ÜBerlin

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

I've been in a really odd and down mood this week and was looking for things that would make me happier. Combining my love for Aaron Johnson and dancing like a maniac always ends in me smiling! I'm sure the people in the video are likely extras, but a little part of me really hopes they aren't because imagining some guy dancing around like that in public makes my day.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Follower Fridays

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

I'd probably say religious type of books. It's not that I have anything against religion, I just find a lot of them to be a bit preachy and forceful at times. I also find them to be unrealistic a lot of the time. Things just magically seem to work out in the story lines I've come across. However, I am okay with reading spiritual books as long as they have a decent story and aren't making me feel inferior for my beliefs. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

"When Keri Daniels's boss finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.
Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town—and looking for him. He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping trip, Keri can ask one question.
The chemistry between Joe and Keri is as potent as the bug spray, but Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart, and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever?"

I figured this would be a cheesy romance novel, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. Normally when I read these books I find the plot to be pretty unrealistic and ridiculous, but this book was different for me. Stacey presented the story and characters in such a unique way that I felt like I could know all of them. The family within the story definitely helped with this because it was something most people can relate to. The Kowalski family is a family I actually wanted to be a part of because they all had their own roles and personalities.

What I especially liked about this book was that I could feel the tension between the two main characters. Usually these books seem to have two characters that hook-up at a first or second meeting, but Stacey actually let it build until even you wanted them to get together.  Though there were a lot of secondary characters, I liked how everyone somewhat had their subplot. There wasn't a plot in this book that I didn't care about; I wanted to know more about each one of the characters. 

I honestly had very few issues with the book. Keri was sadly the only character that didn't do much for me.  I did like her, but her inner conflicts seemed kind of unreasonable at times. I didn't really feel the breakdown of her character, so by the end I just felt as if she gave in because there were few other options. Poor Joe, I felt for the guy. I could tell how much he had loved her, I just couldn't understand why Keri didn't feel the same. It felt as if Keri was able to throw him away easily while Joe struggled for months. As this book was set in a camping settings, the activities felt kind of redundant after a while. I kind of wanted them to do something else other than ATV cruising. 

Stacey is a writer who has such a lively and fun writing style that you can read for hours and not even notice. If you're looking for a story that is not only realistic, but filled with characters you can actually get to know and care for I'd say this book is for you!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays: Somebody That I Used to Know by Walk Off the Earth

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

I didn't think I'd like this, but it very much attracted me. I love the guy in the middle who just sort of comes out of nowhere. It's a pretty cool collaboration idea overall.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Within by Clare C. Marshall

"Trinity Hartell’s life changed after the accident. Left with irreversible brain damage, she becomes a burden to her mother, a cause for heartbreak for her boyfriend Zack, and a flattened obstacle for her jealous best friend, Ellie.

But then she starts writing. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the psychotic, murderous protagonist of her novel bears a striking similarity to the charming Wiley Dalton, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.

Or, perhaps not…"

This book wasn't really what I was expecting, but I was somewhat surprised by how much I liked it in a hatred sort of way. Confusing I know, but you'll understand in a little bit.

The story is definitely original in its plot and characters. There are a number of twists in this book; it's sort of like a roller coaster. One minute I'd be in this heart-wrenching scene and the next I'd want to slap characters. (Yeah, I'm talking to you Ellie and Mrs. Hartell!)

The story does start off a bit slow and I did have to wait a while to really understand where the plot would go, but it wasn't anything that deterred me from reading. This brings me to the characters. Marshall was able to create an interesting array of characters that kept the story going. My only wish was that they were a bit more developed. I never really felt the best friend connection between Ellie and Trinity. Even after the accident, I found myself repeatedly screaming in my head, "How are you her friend?!" Alternatively, I did feel the love Zack had for Trinity even though there was little development in their story line as well. I believe it was due to how emotional Zack was throughout the book. His feelings always seemed to jump out from the pages and grab a hold of me.

The most enticing part of this book was the mystery of the plot. I never really understood what was going on until the latter half of the book. Dalton was one crazy psycho, and I'd really wanted to know more about him and where his story really stemmed from. Marshall did a great job writing a suspenseful yet heart-breaking plot that kept me reading to the last page.

Though different from what I first expected, this creepy page turner is for anyone who's looking for an intriguing love triangle with a twist. My only wish would be for the story to continue to get more into the lives of Trinity's family and friends. I'll definitely be watching out for Marshall's future projects! Thanks again to Faery Ink Press and Clare for letting me be a part of this amazing blog tour.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Follower Fridays


Q: What's the craziest thing you've done to get your hands on any particular book?

A: Honestly, my life isn't that exciting. The craziest thing I can think of is probably driving to four different stores to find a copy of a book. Well that or paying a lot more than any book should ever cost, haha. What about all you lovely people?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

"The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. 

I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for.
And Death would be my willing teacher. 

Five years ago Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death--by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky--she would never be normal again. 

Now she's the target of Death's Ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden--Abbey's secret crush--starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death is with him because of her. 
Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets."

Alright, I really don't want to be a Debbie Downer on this book, but let's just get the negative stuff out of the way. Starting with our protagonist, Abbey. She's cute. I'm giving her a little leeway with her character because she was dealing with a death that was close to her. We all do some "cray cray" things when upset. However, her very unhealthy crush on Nate was borderline nutso. I do remember what it's like to have a crush on a guy at age fifteen or sixteen, and I'm sure I was a giggling mess, but Abbey kicks it up a notch. I honestly wouldn't have been shocked if I read that she cut a lock of Nate's hair and put it in her secret Nate Shrine. I'm all for girl power and having standards for a guy, but her devotion was pretty hardcore delusional to the point it was getting creepy to read. I actually wish Dane had given a bit more information on Abbey's struggles instead of focusing on her love of Nate. 

The overall love story in the book didn't feel all that authentic or believable for me to even have any real gushy moments over it. Sure, Nate was pretty cute and I really adore any guy who shows love for his younger siblings, but by the end I really felt his character to be pretty unnecessary. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just say there were a few, "Really? THAT is what you're going to suddenly do now with little explanation?" The biggest disappointment in this book was that I kept waiting for that real pivotal climax moment for a while, and though it somewhat happened, I was left pretty disappointed. 

Okay, now for the good. There were a few to this book and it's what kept me reading. The whole idea of the grim reaper wanting to feel loved was kind of heart-wrenching if you thought of it from their point of view. Death just needed a hug, I felt for him/it. My favorite scenes were probably the Denali climbing adventure. It was exciting to somewhat experience what it would be like to be in that type of environment and Dane did a great job being rather descriptive for something people would likely never experience. I also really enjoyed the connection between death and the ravens. I know ravens have always been somewhat dark, but having them included in the book gave scenes a pretty ominous feel where I was even sort of hesitant at times. 

Lastly, maybe I am a little biased in this, but I'm so appreciative of having Tanner be a physically challenged character who is just a random character in the book. I really haven't come across book characters who are in chairs who are portrayed as just "normal". I really wish it would happen more because, as a physically challenged person myself, it is an aspect I would love -- to connect with a character who experiences things without going into all the "woe is me" hardships that are normally portrayed when having a condition. Honestly, THANK YOU, JORDAN DANE for not making me feel somewhat invisible. 

I really think the story could be an amazing book with a little more development in places. I see what the author was trying to do, and I really wanted to care for some more of the characters, but just couldn't do it. I almost wish this book continued so I could find out more. It sadly just ended up making me feel incomplete after a couple of hours of devoted reading, and that isn't a feeling I like having after I read a book.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Tour: Tempest by Julie Cross

"The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. 
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future. 

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities. 

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him. 

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world."
Krystal over at Live to Read is hosting a fun little arc tour for Tempest! Luckily, I got to be a part of this cool little crowd of folks on the tour and got my chance to read it this past week. The best way I could describe this book is The Time Traveler's Wife meets The Butterfly Effect.

I liked the whole science fiction meets love story idea, but I could've used a little more of a love story personally. The time travel aspects seemed to be a little too much for me, and oddly enough made the story drag sometimes. The overbearing theme didn't help me get into any of the characters for the most part. One of the characters that made me sigh pretty much right away was Jackson's best friend, Adam. I can't stand a character written for convenience, and I think that's exactly what he was. It was hard to believe that there just happened to be a friend who understood the space time continuum pretty well.

I will say Cross had a good handle on her ideas of time travel. It was interesting to see a slightly different take on the idea than we usually see. As a start to a trilogy, I hope to see a bit more development into characters as we jump deeper into the story. If you're into the whole jumper aspect, this story will definitely keep you reading!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays: Heartbeat by Childish Gambino

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

I'm not a big radio listener, but I'm glad this song came on as I listened. I love those moments where a song stops me from working and I have a, "What is this? I WANT IT NOW!" moment. Something about the dubstep makes me want to go out and party like it's 1999. I don't think I'll be getting sick of this song anytime soon.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Notes: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"Starting over sucks. 

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. 

And then he opened his mouth. 

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me. 

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is."

I've been patiently waiting for this book to come out, so I was crazy excited when I was able to get a copy off NetGalley a while back. I mean hello, what's not to like about hot looking aliens? Though I love me some alien eye candy, I'll be honest; this book fell below my expectations.

I know a lot of people love the idea of a character being a book blogger, but it came off kind of cheesy to me. It was fun to see little shout outs to different memes and know what the character was talking about, but a part of me couldn't help being bothered by it at the same time. Other than that, I found Katy to be fairly realistic and enjoyed reading about her.

Daemon. I wanted to like him, really, I did. He was a hot, douchebaggery(It's a word, just go with me.) mess. As I read though, there was just something missing about him for me to put him up on my list of potential literary boyfriends(Don't pretend you all don't have one, I know you do). I think a lot had to do with the characters going so back and forth with their emotions.  Though I had my issues, I enjoyed Katy and Dee's relationship most about the book. Dee was probably my favorite character because she was so cute and bubbly.

Overall, there were some great scenes written in the book. Armentrout definitely has a way with words when writing action and steamy scenes. I will say that I was a bit confused by the ending with the way it was worded, but I wouldn't say it was something that ruined the book by any means. Being a huge alien fan, it isn't a book I would read repeatedly, but it was a fun getaway read.  If you're looking for a thriller Roswell-esque type of book, Obsidian would be right up your alley!

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