April Wrap Up

April Wrap Up
These wrap up posts are inspired by Katie's Book Blog 

What Should You Read Next?

Bookish Bucket List
Harley Bear Post (e-newspaper)
Review & Recipe: 13 Reasons Why & Spinach Artichoke Dip/ Stuffed Mushrooms
Harley's Hall of Bookish Fame: Alice In Readerland (Interview)
Blogging Tips and Tricks #2


The Art of Wishing (3 Stars)
Crash and Burn (3 Stars)
The Peculiars (2 Stars)
If You Stay (5 Stars)
The Collector (4 Stars)
Belonging (5 Stars)

Books Read But Not Reviewed:
City of Glass
Losing It

Bout of Books 7.0 Sign Up & Updates

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Read all & Review the 4 I haven't already
Visit at least 5 blogs a day
Participate in tweet chats #BoutOfBooks
Participate in 2 or more challenges
And this year I'm hosting a challenge on May 16th!

Since this go around I'm on bed rest I'll have plenty of time to read.  I finally bought all the second books in the series I love and can't wait to reread the first books to refresh my memory and delve back into those amazing worlds.  I'm so excited to read all of these!

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves #34

 The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Both are a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and talk about what is coming up for the week on our blog. 

(Click cover for goodreads)

I got losing it from the library and read it in a day.  It's finally the first New Adult novel I've read that doesn't have abuse or some other tough issue discussed which was nice.  I also already blew through Elixir.  Such a good novella!  Janina from Synchronized Reading gave me her copy of Apollyon from her giveaway that I won!  So thanks again!  I started it and it's so good already.

Harley Bear Post #5

Click the link below to see my pinterest board for this week's bookish news!

This week's Harley Bear Post.

*Discussions: How to use twitter to your advantage & Book covers of the 90's vs. today  
*Reviews: Suddenly Royal
*Interview: Lisseth from book-a-holicz & Hasfah from Icey Designs
*Event: Trip to Harry Potter Studios in London
*JLA's new book Obsession is revealed 

That Awkward Thursday #3

Hosted by Wholly Books

April 25: That awkward moment when you love the book, but hate the cover.

Before blogging I never knew what to read next.  I was desperate for suggestions like a mouse scrounging for crumbs.  So when my roommate took a book out from under her messy bed and said "here read this" I decided what the heck.

 The cover looked stupid and the title sounded ridiculous.  It looked to me like Laguna Beach which I never had any desire to watch.  But like I said, I was desperate so I tried it.  And let me tell you, that cover deceives.  The book has nothing to do with six girls being friends taking a picture on a beach.  In fact, there's only like three girls in the whole book...none of which are blonde.  I also hate that the title makes it sound like they're "dumb blondes".  But it was a fantastic summer read surprisingly.  It's one that I reread every summer just because I like it that much.

Covers are such important parts of determining if we are going to try a book.  It seems when one book becomes a best seller all other covers try to mimic them.  Some trends:
*Twilightish: solid color with one object
*Girl in a pretty dress
*Girl with no head
*New Adult: Girl and Guy half naked doing something scandalous

Sometimes I see these trends and they make me not want to pick up the book (unless...lets be honest...if the dress is really pretty like The Selection I'll read it anyway).  I just feel like since the cover is nothing unique the content won't be either.

Have you ever been surprised by a book with an ugly cover?
What trends turn you off to a book?


{Review} Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins

Number of Pgs.: 408 
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
How I got the copy: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating:  5 Stars
From Goodreads:

I left everything I knew behind. 

But it was worth it. He was worth it. 

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself. 

If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE 

together forever. 

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Setting: 9/10
Pacing: 7/10
Style: 8/10
Cover:  I love the colors and of course Noah, but Rose never wore anything like that.  She always had her hair up and a frumpy dress on.  But this pretty outfit probably helps sell books I guess.
40+50=86 (5 Stars)

      This was such an interesting read because it takes a look at the Amish lifestyle from the modern day through modern eyes.  I thought the world building was done beautifully.  I didn't feel like I was getting a history lesson, yet I was learning about another culture with every page I read.  So many YA books show the characters madly in love after only knowing each other for a few weeks.  This series was no exception.  Noah and Rose fall for each other so fast in book one, but I liked that their relationship grew in this book even with limited time they had together.  And their time apart showed that they really couldn't live with out each other.  It made me wonder.  Do we have a soul mate?  Just one person for us.

    Rose is so strong and stubborn, yet she's also really immature still.  Noah is adorable.  He's so kind and gentle, but at the same time he's a hypocrite which annoyed me.  He'd tell Rose she  had to behave so she didn't get shunned, but then he'd go and get them in trouble somehow because he couldn't keep his hands to himself.  Very frustrating.  Their love was electrifying though.  It was so steamy for a YA!  I loved Suzanna, Miranda, and Summer too.  They were such fun characters in such a calm/boring setting.  I liked that we got to see Sam's POV in this one also.  It definitely enhanced the story to get an outside perspective and helped us learn more about Summer and Hunter. 

Top Ten Tuesday #24

Hosted by: Jamie from Broke and the Bookish

April 23: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

I went into all the top five with way too high expectations that they were a let down for me.  The Art of Wishing and Splintered I had been waiting for them to come out for like a year.  And I loved both their covers.  My Life Next Door and SLN were raved about so much, but kind of fell short for me.  And the Maze Runner was just boring and slow paced and I was expecting this action packed journey.

The bottom five I thought they'd be okay, but ended up LOVING them.  Unraveling and VA I got out of the library randomly because I saw them on the shelf.  Shadow and Bone's cover turned me off, but it was easily one of the best books I've read this year.  Sweet Evil I just got because I need a book for a long car ride.  And I didn't like The Iron Fey so I was surprised when I was in love with The Immortal Rules.  

Do you agree or disagree with any of these?

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves #33

 The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Both are a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and talk about what is coming up for the week on our blog. 
(Click cover for goodreads)

I already read and reviewed The Collector!  And I was so excited to get a spot on The Rules for Disappearing Tour over at Itching For Books.  I'll be posting my review and playlist for that book May 14th.  And I also bought a copy of the second HP book because for some reason I didn't own it and I'm doing the reread-along!

Wow this was a crazy week.  I found out I might need to get minor surgery and I was really upset, but after everything that happened in Boston I was reminded that life is too short to dwell on the things you can't change in life.  I've been trying to just take every day as it comes and enjoy it and not worry about what might or might not happen in the future.  It's actually very freeing to live this way.  Also, my sister gets married in less than a week!  I'm so excited!

In the bookish world, I've been scheduling lots of things for the blog and I'm really excited.  I'm participating in tours, being interviewed on another blog, signing up to run mini challenges in events, and giveaway hops.  I'm so excited for the next couple of months!  I love the blogging community!

*TTT: books I thought I'd like more/less than I did
*Random Thoughts Thursday

Don't forget to check out my review of The Collector!

{Review} The Collector by: Victoria Scott

Number of Pgs.: 352
Publication date: March 25, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Supernatural, YA, Paranormal
How I got the copy: Bought
Rating:  4 Stars
From Goodreads:

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Pacing: 9/10
Style: 9/10
Cover:  I like the hot guy on the cover of course, but I kind of wished they had incorporated more red or Dante's Red chucks! But I like the rays behind him.  I think that's supposed to be people's soul lights.
42+50=92 (5 Stars)

     Cue Cobra Starship's song Good Girls Go Bad and you have Dante's theme song.  He makes them good girls go bad.  Which at first made me not like him.  The first few chapters his only redeeming quality was his love for red Converse sneakers (boys in Converse are my weakness).  He was just so full of himself, rude, and an overall jerk.  And while I know a lot of reviews I read gave this book a low rating because of him, I thought his personality made perfect sense.  He works for the devil.  He wouldn't have gotten that job if he wasn't a jerk.  And let's be real, we've all had judgey thoughts like Dante had at some point about another person.  The only difference is that we just keep them to ourselves.  But Dante evolves over the course of the book and by the end I really liked him!  I also enjoyed that this was a male pov because those are very rare these days.  He's snarky which I enjoyed, but I'll admit there were times I thought a few of his lines were a little cheesy.  

     Charlie was such an unusual heroine.  She's not "pretty" in society's standards, but she is gorgeous on the inside.  I thought she was a little too trusting, but I was kind of naive like that in High School too unfortunately.  I loved that her character grew through the story too not just Dante.  I wanted to know more of her back story so I hope we learn more in book two.  Her friends Annabelle and Blue were such unique characters too and very realistic to High Schoolers.  I don't know why, but the whole book I kept suspecting people to be collectors.  I guess I just don't trust anyone these days...even grandmas apparently.

    If you like Sweet Evil you should definitely try this one.  It's similar in the sense that the main guy's job is to corrupt the sweet girl.  Unlike Sweet Evil, there's not much romance in this one.  I wanted more, but at the same time I hate insta-love so I was kind of glad their relationship developed at a slower pace.

Blogging Tips & Tricks #2

Here are some more tips I've gathered over the past few months.

1. Search Bar:

See the pretty search bar on the top right hand corner of my page?  I just learned how to do this the other day and here is the code so you can add one to your page. 

1. Layout-->Add Gadget-->HTML/Java Script

2. Copy & Paste the code below.
3. Change the color of your search bar.  For example, To change the color of the search box I used #35BABA the teal color of my blog.
4. Save

<form id="searchthis" action="/search" style="display:inline;" method="get">
<input id="search-box" name="q" size="25" type="text" style="background: #FFFFFF; border: 2px solid #000000"/><input id="search-btn" value="Search" type="submit" style="background: #35BABA; border: 2px outset #000000; color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold;"/></form>


2. Jump To:
Ever wonder how to make links that allow you to jump down the page to the content you want?  This tutorial really helped me when making my Review Archive.

This blogger teaches you how to make these Named Attribute Jumps.  It took me forever to understand how to do this though because her directions are a little tricky.  So here's my extra advice.

1. Copy and Paste the link below to the top of your review archive.  (Blogger is stupid and will mess up the code so every time you go to update your archive you have to make sure you open it when it's in HTML format already.  It sucks, but the end result is worth it.

<span style="font-size: large;"><a href="#A">A</a> <a href="#B">B</a> <a href="#C">C</a> <a href="#D">D</a> <a href="#E">E</a> <a href="#F">F</a> <a href="#G">G</a> <a href="#H">H</a> <a href="#I">I</a> <a href="#J">J</a> <a href="#K">K</a> <a href="#L">L</a> <a href="#M">M</a> <a href="#N">N</a> <a href="#O">O</a> <a href="#P">P</a> <a href="#Q">Q</a> <a href="#R">R</a> <a href="#S">S</a> <a href="#T">T</a> <a href="#U">U</a> <a href="#V">V</a> <a href="#W">W</a> <a href="#X">X</a> <a href="#Y">Y</a> <a href="#Z">Z</a> <a href="##">#</a></span></div>

2. Where you want the link to take you put this code:
 <a name="C">C</a>
Do this for all the letters.  So for example, you'd put that code above the authors or covers that start with C.

3. DO NOT click compose.  Save it in the HTML format or all your hard work will be messed up.

The tutorial I linked to shows you how to do this with other things besides letters.  here's an example of my read-along page where I have links so you can jump to the different events I participated in.

3. Blog Lovin' Button:

This I learned from Kimba! She's amazing and you should follow her tips and tricks.  She taught me how to make the bloglovin follow button code so that it opens in a new browser when someone clicks on it.  I took it a step further on my blog and made the button smaller because it was GINORMOUS!

<div style="margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; text-align: center;"><a title="Follow Harley Bear Book Blog on Bloglovin" href="http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4993461"target='_blank'><img height="50" width="120" alt="Follow on Bloglovin" src="http://www.bloglovin.com/widget/bilder/en/widget.gif?id=4027339" border="0" /></a></div></center>

The red parts are where you can change how big you want the button to be.  The blue is where you would change it to your blog's bloglovin' page.

4. Polls

Do you like the poll on the right hand side bar?  I like this site the best for creating easy and simple polls.  You customize it and then copy paste the code into HTML/Java Script gadget in layout.

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Melissa has read 5 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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