May Wrap Up

These wrap up posts are inspired by Katie's Book Blog and Perpetual Page Turner

Picture from May:

YA Rainbow Covers of 2013
I'm Not A Binge Reader
Ring Toss Booth (Spring Blog Carnival) Giveaway
Bout of Books Acrostic Poem Challenge/Giveaway
Bout of Books Goals and Updates
The Harley Bear Post (Bookish e-newspaper)
Summer Solstice Readathon Sign Up
Harley's Hall of Bookish Fame: Maren Dillie
Armchair BEA

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5 Stars)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (5 Stars)
The Rules For Disappearing (Playlist & Giveaway) (4 Stars)
Losing It by Cora Cormack (4 Stars)
Strangelets by Michelle Gagon (4 Stars)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (4 Stars)
Sweet Peril (4 Stars)
Wild Awake (3 Stars)

Overall I pretty much enjoyed everything I reviewed this month!

Books Read But Not Reviewed:
Reread Harry Potter #2
Reread Shatter Me
Destroy Me
Unravel Me
Breaking Point

What happened this month?

1. My sister got married (well it was the end of April, but I just like telling people about it so we'll pretend it happened in May).  The picture on the left is me in my Maid of Honor dress!

2. Bout of Books 7.0!  Met my Book BFFs during a twitter chat randomly!

3. #bsmphotoaday on Instagram

4. I won some giveaways!  This hardly ever happens so I was very excited.

5. I decided to go ahead with the surgery =/ which means next month I may not be around the blogosphere for a week or two.  Going to need to schedule posts!

6. One of my best friends announced she's having a baby girl!  And my sister's best friend found out she's pregnant as well.

7. Had bookmarks made for my blog.

8. Armchair BEA.

Favorite quote from a book I read in May?

Armchair BEA 2013: Literary Fiction

This topic really confused me.  So my interpretation is going to be books that really made me think and stuck with me long after I read them.  Books I have or will revisit time and time again.

     I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower in theaters mainly because I love Emma Watson.  The movie blew me away so I decided to read the book and wow what an amazing book it was.  Everyone feels like an outsider at some point in their life and this book the main character is just so observant from his spot outside looking in.  He really made me think about why people act certain ways.

     When She Woke is kind of like the scarlet letter.  I found it scary realistic and thoroughly thought provoking.  What would I do in her situation?  The main character is so strong it is really inspiring.

     The main characters in Code Name Verity are also really amazing women.  They're spies/pilots during the war and their experiences made me laugh and cry and just omg the feels in this book!

     I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and loved all the themes.  I love that it was told from a young girl's perspective.  I really want to reread this over and over again.

     Sarah Dessen's books are in my opinion the best contemporary out there.  She touches on topics that are not "issue topics", but things that everyone deals with.  Like figuring out who you are and where you belong.  Or dealing with an absent parent.  And she doesn't focus solely on the romance which makes her messages stand out more.

     Harry Potter= duh.  Just brilliant.

Today I also reviewed Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith.  It was an...interesting book.


{Review} Wild Awake by Hilary Smith

Number of Pgs.: 400
Publication date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
How I got the copy: Won from April
Rating:  3 Stars

From Goodreads:
Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:
1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.
Things that actually happen:
1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Plot: 3/10
Characters: 3/10
Setting: 6/10
Pacing: 7/10
Style: 8/10
Cover:  The orange stands out among all those blue, black, and white covers that seem to be gracing the shelves these days.  I like that the girls hair has fluidity and seems the title suggests.
27+50=77 (3 Stars)

    In the notes that I took while reading the first few chapters, I actually wrote "Wtf did I just get myself into?".  I think that pretty much sums up my experience with this book.  I was thoroughly confused by the main character, yet highly entertained and intrigued at what she'd do next.  The underlying mystery of how her sister died and then what Skunk was hiding kept me turning pages.  And author takes her time revealing pieces to the puzzle so that your curiosity is killing you by the time you find out.

     But I just couldn't get past my dislike for the main character.  She has no self-preservation at all.  And what's worse is what happens is not realistic.  She goes to the ghetto to a hotel and trusts random strangers, at night, and didn't tell anyone where she was going.  And yet she manages not to get raped and chopped up into pieces and thrown into a ditch.  I understood she needed answers about her sister's death, but it just seemed so unrealistic and out of character for her since the beginning of the book she's little miss perfect.  I also get that the truth "wakes her up" and she kind of loses her mind from being lied to for so long.   It did make for an entertaining book, but personally it didn't work for me.

     What I did enjoy was the character Skunk.  He was like a big teddy bear, or a love bison as I think Kiri refers to him.  He's quirky and kind.  I'd never read another character like him before--especially not a love interest.  I also liked the author's writing style.  I think this is what kept me from DNFing the book the most.  Her writing is so descriptive and flows so poetically.  She uses a lot of similes which helped me become part of the story instead of just being an observer.  However, there was a simile every other sentence it seemed.  It got a bit excessive after awhile.  I was reading an ARC though so maybe the final copy was different.  

      If you can get past all the cray cray, the writing is worth it.  It was hands down the weirdest book I have ever read, but it was somehow captivating, entertaining, and interesting.

Armchair BEA 2013: Development & Fiction

     Blogging is a lot like a child learning to walk.  There's a pattern that I've seen in everyone, including myself.  First you learn to crawl.  You set up your blog with a few graphics, a review and a meme or two, and start slow.  

     Soon you meet other bloggers on twitter or goodreads and they hold your hands while you stand on your feet and learn to take the first few steps into scary things like discussion posts, readathons, and negative reviews.  

     Before you know it you're standing on your own running, coming up with fresh new ideas and experimenting with new types of posts.  You're not afraid to start a new feature or plan an event because you know you'll have the support of those awesome bloggers out there.  At least this has been my experience.  If it hasn't been yours you're not meeting the right let's be friends.

     During the last Bout of Books readathon I randomly started talking to a few ladies on twitter about our love for cookies and coffee, which has nothing to do with books.  But we've been chatting every day since and call ourselves the...wait for it...Book BFFs!  Now we're hosting a 24hr readathon, having google + hangouts, readalongs (June= The 5th Wave), and so much more.  I feel like meeting them has already taken my blogging experience to the next level and it's only been a few weeks.  They've helped me get over my fear of vlogging and have inspired me to share a little bit more about myself instead of hiding behind the computer screen.  In the future I want to get into more web and graphic designing!

     My tastes have changed so much since I began blogging.  I used to only read Chick Lit because I thought that's what I was "supposed to be reading" for my age.  I was also embarrassed to buy YA because I thought people would judge me.  I got over that eventually.

     Sarah Dessen was my gateway drug to YA Contemporaries.  But when my cousin forced me to read The Hunger Games I started devouring every Dystopian I could get my grabby hands on.  Then came my discovery of New Adult, which I love.  I soon discovered Paranormal and I think this is my favorite so far.  Recently I've gotten into Fantasy.  I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone!  Also, now I want to start trying Historical Fiction and Horror.  Those two I've tried in the past, but they're not my favorite yet.  But the one thing I love in every book is a good romance.  As long as there's romance I'll try it not matter the genre.
(Click for reviews)

I want to hear about your blogging experiences and favorite genres!

Book recommendations are highly appreciated too.

Armchair BEA 2013 Introduction

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

      Hey fellow book nerds!  Nice to meet you.  My name is Melissa.  I'm a 23 year old blogger and I may or may not have an addiction to books.  When I'm not reading you can most likely find me baking some new recipe I found on Pinterest or dancing.  Sometimes I multitask and do both at the same time...which then leads to my other favorite!

      I started blogging after I graduated college.  I had all this free time to read finally, but no one to discuss books with.  My dad randomly suggested I try blogging one day and use my reading buddy, Harley Bear, as a mascot.  Now I've been actively blogging for a little over a year and it has been an amazing journey.  

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 

      I'm from NJ.  Which is why it's killing me that I can't make it to BEA this year since it's only a short ride away.  But I plan on going to ALA and BEA next year.  Anyone else live in the area?  I haven't met any bloggers yet in real life.  I have been to Books of Wonder once for a signing though so if you go there let me know because I plan on going back for future events.

Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?  

      Last year I participated, but didn't take full advantage of it.  I'm excited to join in the twitter parties and Instagram thing.  I decided to come back this year because I want to meet more bloggers!  I met a few last week during Bout of Books and now we talk daily so I think events like these are awesome for connecting with more readers.

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?  

      Flow charts and quizzes are my favorite.  Whenever I'm reading a magazine I always go for the fun pages first.  So I started making them for my blog randomly.   Here's a chart to help you decide What Should You Read Next and a quiz to see Which Literary Character Are You?

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?  

 I would go on a date...yes a date...with Daemon Black from the Lux Series.  If you've read it you know exactly what I'm talking about.  If you haven't read it you really need to go do so right now!  He's hilariously witty, easy on the eyes, and he loves cookies.  What more could you want?
Now I want to hear about you!  Do we have anything in common?  
Leave a link to your intro post and I'll be sure to stop by. 

I'll also be on twitter a lot this week @HarleyBearBooks and 
if you're doing the instagram thing you can find my photos here.

Harley's Hall of Bookish Fame #4

Maren Dille

Thanks for stopping by today!

If your book was being made into a movie, who would you cast?
For The Faith and Fate of David GhentDean Geyer for David, Maggie Grace for Layla,Patrick Wilson for Nathaniel, Eric Bana for Karael, Paul Bettany for Puriel, Carrie Ann Moss for Ramiala,

You had me at Dean Geyer.  He's the guy that plays Rachel's new love interest on Glee right!?!

How often do you write?
I try to squeeze time in every day. Sometimes that time is very productive and I write whole chapters at a time, other days all I end up doing is deleting a bunch of paragraphs and words. Both things are necessary in the creation of a good novel.

What is the best part about being an author?
I’m always searching for the next book or television show that will have all the aspects I like. Character development, authenticity, strong chemistry, compelling scenes . . . as a writer, I can control all that and live in my own story. The art of creation is challenging, but also extremely rewarding.

I agree.  I'v recently started writing and love being in control of the story, but it isn't easy at the same time.

Did you make playlists for any of your books?
I tend to choose one song and use that for inspiration for the entire novel—much like a trailer for a movie. For The Faith and Fate of David Ghent, I listened to Breaking Benjamin’s “Give Me a Sign,” the acoustic version.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Think about what I could/should be writing. Seriously, the stories are always at the back of my mind. I’m also a wife and mother, daughter and sister, and friend. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends.
What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
I loved The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Everything was exactly how I thought it should be, the acting was top-notch, and the emotion and message of the book came across so well in the movie.

Stacking The Shelves & Sunday Post #37

 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 what books you got this week, what happened on your blog last week, and what is to come next week.
Books Mentioned:
Wild Awake 
(Thanks April!)
Every Little Piece
(Thank You Kate Ashton!)
Walking Disaster
The Book Thief 
(Audiobook from Library)

Friday a box of books that I won from April of Good Books And Good Wine blog arrived on my doorstep.  I made sure to open it when I was alone and I'm glad I did because there was a little bit of screaming, books shimmies (for you TeaTimers out there), and lots of smiles.  I would have been embarrassed for anyone to see this reaction to books bunches of pieces of paper bound together.  But you fellow book nerds get where I'm coming from.  Next week I'll do a vlog showing the other ones I received.

I also had my first hangout on google+ with my new Book BFFs!  They're a great group of ladies and we're planning some pretty awesome stuff.  
Check out some of my new buddies: Angela, Melina, and Lindsay.

Today I'm attending my neighbor's wedding!  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed because it's an outdoor wedding and the weather has been so iffy lately.     
*Wild Awake
*Breaking Point
*Armchair BEA posts!
*I'll also be doing the Anti BEA Readathon

What did you get this week?
Don't forget to vote on June's poll (right side bar)
I want to know about your 2013 beach reads!

{Review} Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Number of Pgs.: 371
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Supernatural
How I got the copy: Bought
Rating:  4 Stars

From Goodreads:

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Pacing: 7/10
Style: 8/10
Cover:  I like her dress in this one better, but their pose is a little strange to me.  And that's not really what I pictured Kai to look like unfortunately.
38+50=88 (4 Stars)

    My first reaction to the first 100 pages or so is W.T.F..  Kaiden is nowhere in sight for those first few chapters and I was very upset by this.  He was my favorite part of book one!  But I pushed through because I really liked Sweet Evil and I didn't want to give up just yet.  I'm so glad I kept reading because once Kai comes back into the story it's amazing.  Let's just say there's a steamy scene that involves laundry and ya it was worth the 100 page wait.

    Anna's character has changed since book one which was interesting to see.  Deep down she's still sweet, but since she's been having to work as a demon (push drugs/alcohol on teens) she's starting to enjoy it at times.  It was a nice break from her goodie goodie role in the first book.  Blake was the fun comic relief.  He kind of reminded me of Kenji from Shatter Me (one of my favorite characters ever).  He lightened the mood of the book immensely.  I liked the new characters, like Z, who had a really unique background story also.

       While I felt like not much happened in this book, I was kind of okay with that.  It was more character driven than plot driven.  And since I love connecting on an emotional level with characters it didn't bother me too much.  The ending was pretty suspenseful though and I'm already anticipating book three.

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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 5 books toward her goal of 100 books.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 0 books toward her goal of 100 books.

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 16 books toward her goal of 50 books.

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