October 31, 2013

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

The Compound (The Compound, #1)
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
Series: The Compound, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—or sorry?
First off, I only picked this up because of the freaking amazingly intriguing description. It was a serious steal. But when I started reading it, well, I realized...the description isn't the best part of the book. *high-five-score* It was well written and interesting-- and above all, really weird.

Sometimes this is a good thing. But other times? Well...ummm. It was almost too weird. Take this: how do you feel about living in an underground bomb shelter for 15 years? Me, well, underground? No. This is going to work out, and on top of that, there's too many flaws to the plan. What if, say, your underground shelter blocks you down there? All manner of things could fall on the exit, trapping you in a whole in the ground forever. It has the same problems as a storm shelter.

Which have you ever been in one of those? Even for a short time, maybe even to just clean it out...it's not pleasant in any manner of the word. I may be a bit claustrophobic.

Moving onto the next problem, which we run into in this book-- food shortage. They start to run out of food early on. Just a simple shortage of flour and it all goes downhill. Their livestock dies underground. So six years in, their flour has gone bad, their livestock has died and on top of that they don't even know for sure that there was a nuclear blast. Does this remind anyone else of that movie...what is it called....Blast from the Past? Is that it? I don't know.

But anyway. They have food sources dwindling. They don't know why they're down there...and well, Eli starts to investigate. Thank God, someone who doesn't believe everything that he's fed. So he investigates. And guess what? Things aren't always what they seem. They're at the mercy of a complete and total mad man.

This is where the SPOILERY part comes in, so if you don't want spoilers don't highlight it. Honestly, Eli's dad is completely fruity. Totally off his rocker, needs meds full time, how does this weirdo have kids crazy. Here's my first issue with him: he's power hungry. How is it that all of the random psycho guys in books have power? He has power and he wants more, so he takes his family, minus one son, into an underground bomb shelter and plans to stay for 15 years. He PURPOSEFULLY makes sure that they run out of food, just so he can see how far his family will go to survive. He starts having as many kids as possible, because when the food runs out, he wants his family to eat them. What kind of a sick bastard has kids and calls them "supplements" and wants to see whether or not his family will eat them? AND THEN. Turns out that he left one son in the real world accidentally-- but nothing has happened in the outside world. He just wanted to prove that his family could do it! They had funerals! O.O 

Freaking A! The entire idea just makes me freak the heck out. So much, like seriously. But I can't discount the fact that for this book to freak me out so much, well, it had to be something special. It was well written and gripping, and although I didn't really care all that much about the characters, I still wanted to know what happened to them. So there is that. If you can get past the downright psycho-ness of the story, it's definitely worth a read.

October 30, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #3
Source: Bought
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
I feel like what I have become is halfway between my mother and my father, violent and impulsive and desperate and afraid. I feel like I have lost control of what I have become.

*I'm going to give you fair warning before you start this - SPOILERS WILL BE CLEARLY MARKED.

I'm kind of stumped on what to say about Allegiant. I loved Divergent, and Insurgent was okay (it had a little too much relationship drama) but... I really don't have a clue about what to say on this one. I think that my mind might be kind of blown, which is odd because I rated this 3.5.

I liked that Tobias was a point of view in this one, but I have to admit that I didn't love that. I liked seeing in his mind, but sometimes Tris and Tobias just think so much alike that it bothers me. Sometimes I even had to question which character was narrating, because they thought so much alike. So, in retrospect, even though it was fun to read through Tobias's eyes, I really don't think that it was all that great of an idea to have him narrating through out the book. It was just too confusing for me.

Once I got into the story, it became slightly less confusing, which is nice. I will admit to not having read the first two again before jumping right in, so that's probably why we started off on the wrong foot. But I will admit to not understanding why a lot of things were happening. I realize that a lot needed to happen, because this was the last book in the trilogy, but... let me maketh a list of things I didn't understand. (SLIGHT spoilers, that you could possibly get from the synopsis in this list.)

  • The Allegiant. I understand that they're a group that wants to restore the factions, and are fighting with the Factionless... but... they're only a part of the story for a brief time. They beam in and beam right back out. Why?!
  • How it all started. GP versus GD. The explanation that we were given about that doesn't really make sense. How do you choose, in a situation like that? And how does it really matter?
  • In a war ravaged world, how is it possible to keep one city hidden & unaffected from the wars. The government is corrupt, people are dying and you can't tell me that people aren't crazy enough to go into government restricted areas. It's happened before and it will surely happen again. (Dun dun DAA.)
Now, that's my list. I don't think that any *real* spoilers were included. But aren't those all valid points? In an area like that, I don't think that there's anyway that they could have remained hidden. Let's move on. Dystopian societies are hard on me.

Tobias and Tris were kind of odd as a couple in Allegiant. I don't really feel like we got nearly enough couple time, in comparison to previous books, and I actually think that their relationship is getting a little unhealthy. I don't think that in a healthy relationship you would keep things like that from each other, which means we have a little continuation of the relationship drama from Insurgent in this one. It made me sad to see them fight over all of the things, and honestly I would've loved to have seen a more happy relationship.

I liked the addition of new characters, and I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed the fact that everything on the outside is a fight. It made the outside world (ravaged by war!) so much more authentic, in my eyes. Not everything was peaceful, and the peeks into the Fringe were wonderful help with that. People are starving and dying, so I'm glad that this wasn't written to shelter us from that.

And in all honesty, I don't understand the big deal about the ending. I feel like it was perfect and authentic. It's guaranteed that I'll never forget these books, and the fact that it preserved the character that we love should count for something. (To read further thoughts on the ending, please highlight.) [To me, Tris dying wasn't all that unexpected. I knew someone was going to die, I just didn't know who. And by dying in her brothers place to save the people, well, she remains the character that I have always known that she is; fiercely loyal and full of love. She sacrificed her life for her brother, whom she has forgiven and still loves, as well as everyone else. It was perfect. Her divergent abilities allowed her to live through the death gas, and she was shot. It was heroic. It was awesome. It was Tris. Anyone who says otherwise - think about it. If she hadn't died in his place, would you still think that she was the character that you loved?

All in all, I actually think that you should read Allegiant. It's not near as bad as what they're all saying!

October 29, 2013

Sketchy by Olivia Samms

Sketchy (Bea Catcher Chronicles, #1)
Sketchy by Olivia Samms
Series: Bea Catcher Chronicles, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
The first book in a series about 17 year old Bea Washington, an edgy, charismatic outsider and recovering addict, who discovers that with her new-found sobriety, she has a disturbing new skill. An ability to see, and draw, people's thoughts. Alarmingly, these visions are only getting stronger and increasing in frequency. As another girl in school is raped and left for dead, Bea must come to terms with her talent, learn to face her own truth, and try to help identify and stop the killer before he strikes again.
I liked Sketchy more than I thought I would, to tell you the truth. I hadn't really heard anything good about it, but it was an awesome deal, so I bought it. If nothing else, at least the cover was pretty, you know? But it actually turned out to be a good book!

I enjoyed the character of Bea. She was quirky and fun, and I felt that she gave the book a gritty feel. Mostly, she just wasn't afraid to tell it like it was, even if the way it was turned out to be pretty dang unbelievable. My only real problem with her is that she doesn't think before she acts, which puts her in several "unsavory" situations. I thought that her talent was wicked awesome-- who wouldn't love to be able to "draw" the truth out of anyone? And I mean literally, y'all. I could have all kinds of fun with that talent. But I could also get into tons of trouble with that talent, and from what I can see, that's all Bea really does.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily saying that it's a bad thing or anything...but, well, it would probably be better if she wasn't the kind of person that attracted trouble. Just sayin'. Now, before I get away from myself, I'd like to say that the mystery was handled well and that I enjoyed the supporting characters.

On a completely unrelated note, the story did have a few inconsistencies, and I found the use of excess exclamation marks to be distracting, but other than that, Sketchy was a good read.

October 28, 2013

Kiss and Make-Up by Katie D. Anderson

Kiss & Make Up
Kiss and Make-Up by Katie D. Anderson
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Emerson Taylor, a 16-year-old lip gloss addict with a secret gift: she can read the mind of anyone who kisses her. Though puckering up with brainy boys to get test answers helps her grades, a scholarship competition and a new crush compel Emerson to stifle her gift and study the honest – if old-fashioned – way. With support from her family, including her aunt/guardian who is in the cosmetics business, Emerson discovers that true beauty always wins out.
Kiss and Make-Up was a fun read for me, but I expected more of it. I expected it to be about Emerson dealing with her mind reading and finding love along the way, but it seems that just wasn't in the cards for this one. First off, Emerson never really deals with her problems. It seems like all she really does is find ways around them. Bad grades? No problem. Just kiss answers out of the brainy boys. Her personality was nice, she was a funny girl and all, but I just couldn't get past the cheating.

At first I thought that she was going to have a ton of common sense, but well, that idea was a bust. She didn't even have the common sense not to cheat. And I don't only mean on tests, people. She may not of liked what she was doing, but that doesn't change the fact that she did it anyway.

Speaking of which, I didn't really feel the love between Emerson and the boy she's interested in. It honestly seems like they're "in love" way before they even get to know each other. The feelings between them just weren't developed enough, which was a bit of a disappointment.

All in all, Kiss and Make-Up just didn't live up to the standards that I'd set for it.

October 27, 2013

Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento

Twigs by Ashley Formento
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2013
One pint-sized girl. Ten supersized crises. And it’s high noon.

They call her “Twigs,” because she’ll never hit five feet tall. Although she was born early, and a stiff breeze could knock her over, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs it, as life throws a whole bucket of rotten luck at her: Dad’s an absentee drunk; Mom’s obsessed with her new deaf boyfriend (and Twigs can’t tell what they’re saying to each other). Little sister Marlee is trying to date her way through the entire high school; Twigs’ true love may be a long-distance loser after a single week away at college, and suddenly, older brother Matt is missing in Iraq. It all comes together when a couple of thugs in a drugstore aisle lash out, and Twigs must fight to save the life of the father who denied her.
I have several very upsetting things to say about Twigs. First of all, I can't believe I made it through this book! For the about the first 30% of this book, I really wanted to drop it. But I soldiered on, with the false hope that it would pick up for me. But it was all in vain, because to tell you the complete truth, I hated Twigs. The character. Because she was annoying and self-centered and immature and had little development towards anything good.

Upon first glance, I really thought that I might like this. Maybe I'd get into the rhythm of the book (everything kept happening all at once, with no explanation to be heard) and it'd be okay. But I never got used to it. I'm still slightly confused as to what all happened, because there was some serious drama going on in this book. And most of it was stupid.

 But let's get back to Twigs. I can't stand her, I truly can't, and I'm curious as to how anyone could! Apparently, babies and dogs both like her (she even uses the same phrase in each instance), yet no one from the real world seems to. Except for Helen, who likes her after she throws hair dyes (?) on her. Violently. So of course Twigs (after meeting Helen on the street randomly, again), proceeds to go spend the night with her, alone, without telling anyone where she's going and without a cell phone. This almost makes me want to go spend the night with someone I don't know... no it doesn't. Especially since Helen is...well... to say the least, she's a little bit psycho.

Your husband cheats on you? Okay, go destroy a pharmacy. What about when he's out with a girl (or whore as you like to call him)? You convince Twigs to steal his car with you, and she breaks his arm on the way out. Atta girl! But what about *gasp* when you get home with his car? Whatever shall you do with it? Oh, how about you smash it to pieces then have a neighbor drive it to the hospital (where he's being treated for a broken arm) and leave it outside. Awesome, your debt to society is paid. OMG WHY ARE YOU SPENDING THE NIGHT WITH HER? You don't know her, and you watched her do all of this before you spent the night. ALONE. WITHOUT A CELL PHONE.

Call me crazy, but that does not sound like a safe friend to stay with. Or be around. As the book wore on, though, I do have to admit that Helen does have some sane moments that make her okay. But she's pretty crazy, regardless. I keep trying to talk about Twigs, but I've been sidetracked. So, again.

Twigs was... how do I put this? She doesn't think things through.... She's prone to making untrue judgments... She only cares about herself... She's annoying... Nope, I just don't know how to put this, so please just understand that I didn't like her, and I don't know how to explain it.

The only light part of this book was Coop. I enjoyed several of the scenes that he was in; because he made it lighter and funnier. He really was a sweetheart, and I wish that he had been around more often. All in all, Twigs just wasn't the book for me. I don't know how to say it any better than that.

October 26, 2013

The Perils of Being a "Feeler"

I am a Feeler
*Post inspired by Ashley @ Nosegraze.com. Image is linked to her post, and image was created by her.*
I've noticed over time that I've become a much more critical reviewer. When I started out, everything was three stars, and rarely did I deem a book over or under that average. But the longer I reviewed, the more diverse I became with ratings. I'd rate a book five stars, then my next read would be two stars. There was no longer any rhyme or reason. So I've started to wonder... am I becoming too harsh? I've brought out the stats...to help me better decide whether or not I'm becoming harsh.

(If there was a half star, I just rounded it up.) {Reviews from August 1, to October 12, 2013}

2 reviews were one star
7 reviews were two star
14 reviews were three star
7 reviews were four star
0 reviews were five star

According to the stats (and stars) I'm really not that harsh. But when I think about all the bad things I think about certain "upsetting" books, I realize that I'm harsher while reading than I am in reviews, unless I really really hate the book... so. Why am I not as harsh in reviews?

Is it maybe because I don't want to hurt anyone... or is it because once I think all of those things, it's like it's out of my system and I don't have to think about it anymore? Sometimes I realize that I disliked several things about the book, and maybe even ranted about some, but when it's all said and done I didn't hate the book, and in most cases I even liked it. So I rate it an easy-peasy three stars. And sometimes when I have nothing but good things to say about a book, well, I may have nothing bad to say; but I just can't say that I loved it. Another one for the "three star" pile.

So you see, being a feeler really isn't that great! I wish that I could be all analytic and all that jazz. But at heart, all I am is a feeler and that's all I'll ever be. #Ermagerdthefeels

But how confusing is it for you, as a reader, when you see a harsh-ish review with a higher rating, or a nothing-but-good-things review with a low rating? Does it confuse you too? Because even though I do it myself, it still confuses me. Did they like the book, or did they really hate it? So, I've actually started to wonder lately if star ratings are even necessary? Don't get me wrong, I love them, but...if your review isn't matching your rating... what's the point?

How do you feel about reviews/stars/the feels? I realize that this post is kind of weird and all, but I just wanted to say all of that in just kind of a general way. LOL.

October 25, 2013

Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace

Snow White Sorrow (The Grimm Diaries, #1)
Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace
Series: The Grimm Diaries, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?

Sixteen year old Loki Blackstar is no Prince Charming. His mother is a ghost. His only friend is a red Cadillac that sings to him through the radio. He looks like an Angel but acts like jerk. No wonder he has been banned from Heaven, which is the least of his troubles. Loki needs a job to pay for school and support himself.

Still, Loki has a rare gift: He is a Dreamhunter. One of the few in the world who can hunt and kill immortal demons in their dreams so they never wake up again.

When Loki is sent to kill a sixteen-year-old vampire girl the locals call Snow White Sorrow, he is pulled into a magical but dangerous world. The locals believe the monster to be Snow White.

The real Snow White... living in the ruins of an ancient castle in a small town. She is described as horribly beautiful, terrifyingly enchanting, and wickedly lovely.

What he finds instead is a beautiful monster girl filled with rage and hurt, who has an epic untold story to tell of things such like why the Brothers Grimm altered the fairy tale, who the Evil Queen really is, where the mirror came from, and who possessed it.

Snow White has killed every person who has dared come near the castle where she once lived with the queen. Mysteriously, she lets Loki live, and whispers two words in his ears; two words that will change his life forever.
Snow White Sorrow was one of those books that I picked up just because. It looked interesting, and twisted fairy tales are my absolute favorite theme. And while the twisted fairy tales angle panned out (loved the "Grimm diaries" take) the actual way it was done wasn't all that great. I know this is a weird place to start, but let's start with the ending. The "ending" wasn't really an ending. The fairy tale itself wasn't resolved, nor were most of my questions answered. It just kind of...ended. Dropped off the ends of the earth without a goodbye, just stopped. *END of Book one*

Here's where I ask...what happens? I feel like I don't want to make an effort to read the next one if you're going to do me like that! I need to have at least two issues resolved. Give me that much, seriously! Other than that, though, I really liked this one. The characters weren't nothing to write home about, but the fairy tales...gotta love them.

I loved all the twists (Georgie Porgie, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and maybe even some others) that were present. They're what gave this one three stars for enjoyability. Other than that, it was just like every other book I've been reading lately-- disappointing. I think my standards must have gone up or something. Who knows.

Anywho, I found Loki to be an alright kind of character. I even liked him sometimes, but honestly, most of the time, Loki is a huge bonehead. He's got an innocent, childlike thought process, but then sometimes you realize that he's way ahead of you. It's weird, he's got all of this darkness inside of him, but he just seems like a little kid. He expects the best of everyone, and sometimes it's downright distracting.

Also, randomly out of nowhere, occasionally you'll get one sentence out of another character's point of view. It's kind of awkward. It threw me out of the story a bit, and I feel like I could never get fully immersed in Snow White Sorrow.

All in all, I liked the fairy tale elements of this one, but the characters were lacking, and I had hoped for a more resolved ending. Not a bad book, all things considered.

October 24, 2013

Impossible by Komal Kant

Impossible (With Me, #1)
Impossible by Komal Kant
Series: With Me, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: October 24, 2012
Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.
I picked up Impossible because it looked cute-- I mean, isn't that cover absolutely adorable? So, I was expecting a cute (if sort of fluffy) romance. Turns out that this didn't fulfill my expectations at all! It turned out to be more like lust than romance, and well, it was actually kind of confusing. They were constantly back and forth with each other, and I don't really think that they even liked each other as people...which poses a bit of a problem in my mind.

Ashton was so stuck up and snobby. She was way full of herself, and you know that thing that gives you logic? Her's doesn't appear to be working because she says things that make no sense. For instance, she broke into his house to try and shut down his band practice, and when he asked her what she was doing there, she said (and I quote!) "I could ask you the same thing." By my calculations, she was in his house. You're the only one intruding, girl! Not only that, but she was actually a really mean character. She used Luca, and she did some very rude/mean things that made me dislike her a bit more. I could not bring myself to feel anything for her.

Which brings me to Luca: I don't understand the problem. He seems like an okay kind of guy, to tell you the truth. Ashton may have said he was hideous or whatever, but tell me that isn't a whole lot of judging. He sounded okay to me, and even though he had very simplistic chapters, I think I would've liked him if I ever met 'em. He seems sweet.

On from that, their love wasn't very well developed. It seemed like they were "in love" long before any real feelings happened between them. The ending just didn't work for me either; it seemed like nothing was properly resolved.

All in all, Impossible just wasn't for me. Maybe it'll be something you'll like, though, so if it sounds good give it a shot!

October 23, 2013

The Last Dance by Kiki Hamilton

The Last Dance
The Last Dance by Kiki Hamilton
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Two people couldn't be more opposite...

Kellen Peterson, the gorgeous star quarterback of the Griffin High football team, seems to have it all. Until the night of the Homecoming game, when Kellen gets tackled and suffers a traumatic brain injury - an injury that changes his life - including his ability to walk, talk and throw a football.

Ivy Ly is a senior and counting down the days until she can escape to college. Though her parents have big plans for her to be a doctor, Ivy is afraid to tell them she'd rather pursue music as a career.

Ivy's best friend, Mira, is obsessed with Kellen. When Ivy is asked to tutor the injured football player upon his return to school, she thinks it's the perfect opportunity for Mira to get to know him better - but sparks fly - in more ways than one...
The Last Dance was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was expecting a fun, sweet romance, but it turned out to be more of a cliched fluff book. Sometimes that's good, but in this case it kind of sucked. I have no inspiration about what I want/need to say about it-- it didn't provoke any real emotions for me.

I found Kellan and Ivy's relationship to be...I don't know, boring. They didn't have any true chemistry together, nor did I really think that they "loved" each other after such a short time. Not only that, but Kellan had such a messed up view of Ivy-- he saw her totally different than I did, and seriously, I was in her mind. That just screams no to me.

I liked Kellan's courage, but in my opinion that's really all that he had going for him. I would've hoped that he was unbelievably sweet or something, but it just kind of seemed like courage was all he had going for him. I did like that the author was trying to make a lesser known condition more read about, though.

Ivy...wasn't very good for me. Sometimes she seemed okay, but I can't think of one thing that stood out about her to me. I think that the biggest problem I had with The Last Dance was the lack of character development. That, and well, the lack of originality. Ivy's friend Mira appeared to be a token "quirky" best friend who wears crazy clothes and drives a VW beetle. Then we have Ivy, who's super smart and only has one friend, and then Kellan who's crazy popular and a football player. These are all such stereotypes! Stereotypes that I personally am sick of, but I don't want to go on a crazed rant.

All in all, The Last Dance really wasn't for me.

October 22, 2013

Top Ten Character Names I LOVE

This weeks topic was "top ten character names I love", so here you go-- with no real further adieu, here's my favorite character names!!
1. Chaz Pendergast III, from Queen of Babble. I have no idea what the story behind this really is, but I've loved his name ever since the first book! I just...it's such a good, fitting name for him.

2. Patch Cipriano, from Hush, Hush. I found out later that "Patch" is just a nickname, but I don't even care. I don't remember liking the character very much (if I remember, he's pretty creepy) but I RILLY like his name.

3. Beau Vincent, from The Vincent Boys. Honestly, his name is hot. I like it, it's country and I know some Beau's. It's just not a name you hear very often, you know?

4. Katniss, from The Hunger Games. Honestly, I don't think I would have liked her name had I not loved the book as much as I did, you know? It's like loving the book gave me this like avenue to love her name.

5. Belly Conklin, from The Summer I turned Pretty. I just think that her name just has the cutest ever inflection to it-- love!

6. Scarlett Wakefield, from Kiss Me, Kill Me. SCARLETT. I'm just in love with the name Scarlett, she's just happened to be the first book character I thought of with that name. ;)

7. Rebel Blue, from Goodbye, Rebel Blue. Who wouldn't want to be named Rebel? That's just a really awesome name, especially paired with Blue! :D

8. Anna Oliphant, from Anna and the French Kiss. I just loved the little thing that they did in the book "Banana Elephant", which is really what won me over on this name.

9. Echo, from Pushing the Limits. Is that not one of the prettiest names ever?

10. Avery Shaw, from The Avery Shaw Experiment. Honestly, the only reason this name is even on my mind is because I was just talking about the book...but I'm running short here!

So...what do you think of these names? Do you love love any of them?

October 21, 2013

Outcast by Adrienne Kress

Outcast by Adrienne Kress
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or … not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy. A really hot alive and breathing guy. Oh, and he’s totally naked.

Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is.

He thinks it’s 1956.

Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass.
Sing 'em to remember. Sing 'em because you remember. I remember Gabe, I remember. And I'm never going to forget.

The idea behind Outcast was really intriguing, but I honestly wasn't sure how it would turn out. Because, well, let's be honest here. How often do books deliver based on intriguingness? Almost never. But it turns out that Outcast was a step above the rest. Because it did deliver, in my mind. It had all of the elements that I like to see in a paranormal-- a hot guy who's somewhat paranormal, a freaky cult, some kind of scaryish ghost and some crazy twists in between.

I really liked our main character, Riley. At first I was expecting her to be our average, virginal, annoyingly whiny paranormal girl lead. I was pleasantly surprised! Riley was actually quite the badass. She was very straightforward and sarcastic, and let's be honest. She shot an "angel" in the face. That was pretty frecking epic. Am I right or what? Loved that. I also loved that she almost always has something to say that is so true. Seriously, check out this quote-- I love it because it's true!
Or worse. You see, an adorable little tank top on Lacy would look demure and pretty. One me it would look totally indecent, like I was some sex kitten. Basically, big boobs make people think you're trashy.
That is absolutely true! I can never get out of the house in anything resembling a tank top, so I feel for Riley. But I'm going to move on now. I liked Gabe-- he was a lot sweeter and more decent than I thought he would be. And I don't know that I would necessarily refer to him as a greaser, but whatever. He is who he is, right? Gabe was a huge part of the story-- he kept it going. You just don't realize until the end how big of a deal he is, and then it hits you how crazy awesome the whole plot was. It was twisty and turny and actually kind of confusing...but in a good way, do you know what I mean?

It was really interesting in the beginning, but as the story progressed it seemed like we were getting way too much information at one time...but it all starts to make sense later, so I'm actually okay with it. I just hope that there's less info-dump in the author's next book, because I really liked her writing. I didn't realize it until the end, but I was totally following and feeling everything that Riley was throughout Outcast, which can't be anything but good in my opinion.

All in all, Outcast really is worth a read. It was a great paranormal that made my head spin, and I absolutely loved the surprise ending, it was totally epic!

October 20, 2013

Giveaway: The Krinar Chronicles by Anna Zaires


I'm going to be as honest as possible here: I had no idea [when I accepted this as a giveaway prize] that this series was an "erotic" science fiction. I had no idea, which is my own stupid fault... but I should have been paying more attention. I was trying to support the authors, who had contacted me about their YA debut. So, if this is your thing, enter away! But if it's not, I totally understand, because erotica isn't my thing either. Giveaway is INT, for the entire Krinar Chronicles trilogy. Any e-book format.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dima Zales is a full-time science fiction and fantasy author residing in Palm Coast, Florida. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked in the software development industry in New York as both a programmer and an executive. From high-frequency trading software for big banks to mobile apps for popular magazines, Dima has done it all. In 2013, he left the software industry in order to concentrate on his writing career.


Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works.

October 19, 2013

Everyone's Doing It: One Girl's Trials & Errors with Wordpress

*Post written at the end of August-- I know. I'm such a bad blogger.*

As some of you know, I recently tried out a self-hosted wordpress blog. I set up all those domain bounces and moved all my stuff-- and turns out that I really didn't like wordpress. But why not? Everyone else did... was I just some weird fluke or something? Don't get me wrong, it was okay; but only for the first few days. I missed my home here, at blogger. But part of my missing blogger was some problems that I was having with wordpress. It was impossible to get my comments imported correctly. I tried everything. Keep in mind that while I was trying to figure out the duplicate comments problem, I was also paying for hosting each month and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. (Why didn't I like it? Am I just not cut out for this stuff?)

My first problem (other than the comments) was the fact that the theme I wanted (free, yes I'm cheap) just WOULD NOT display correctly, even though I hadn't done anything to it! So, after asking around a little bit, I talked to Ashley from Nosegraze, who was so helpful and fixed my theme issues within a few minutes. I can't thank her enough for that one! (:

But anyway, back to the comments, my actual, true-blue, second problem-- I imported my comments from blogger immediately, of course. And what happened? Well, about half of them imported twice. I have yet to figure out if that was my own stupidity or a glitch in the import. So, I set ahead deleting all the duplicates-- and then, when I'm finished, I happen to go do something and come back...every single duplicate was back. I CANNOT stress to you guys how terrible that was-- I eventually just gave up, it was never going to work for me, you know? But from that point on, I got to work importing in my intense debate comments, which required the making of a site map, which took forever, and then it didn't work. They never showed up.

It imported them to the wrong place, which meant I could look at my dashboard (on disqus and wordpress) and they were there, but if I searched for them on the site they were just gone. It was an unfixable, troublesome problem. From that point on, I decided that since I couldn't figure out most of the plugins, and I missed my blogger stuff (I know, *gasp*) I was moving back. ASA-freaking-P. So I set out to do that. I started madly googling "keep your domain after move from wordpress to blogger" and other similar things and found out something sad-- my current provider, RFE Hosting, just wasn't set up for a move back to blogger. So, of course, I switched providers; which cost me another ten dollars. I decided to go with the most popular host I could find-- Go Daddy.

I put in the transfer request-- I was excited to start moving back. My payment went through, then the transfer began...or it should have. Turns out that it takes 60 days for a new domain to be old enough to move to a new host. I was SO upset. I know that this has nothing to do with any companies, but I was so upset at this point that it didn't even matter.

I got a call a few days later from a company representative, which helped a little bit with my sadness. I got another one a few weeks later asking how my domain was going. I told the man, of course, that I hadn't started the move yet. He said, "well, your domain is already here, according to my page". I told him I would check, and immediately logged on...to see that everything was just as I had left it. :/ A week later, I got an email saying my domain was finally eligible for transfer! I was ecstatic! I don't know if you guys know this, but I've been posting on my blogger for the last month, even though it wasn't going anywhere. I missed it.

So a day later, I took the redirect code out of my blogger html. Remember how excited I was earlier? Well, that died shortly afterward. I began the transfer (after working for hours on several different computers to start the transfer)...only to find out that I needed a code from my previous host, RFE Hosting, that was impossible for me to find. I spent three days looking for it, knowing that if I didn't have it within seven days, the transfer would be canceled.

I finally contacted customer support. The guy that I talked to was very nice, and told me that I would need to request the code through him-- the asked me why I wanted it. I got the code in my email the next morning. Here's the part where I was excited again-- finally I was going somewhere. But once I input that code, I got another email. "It will take up to seven days for your previous host to approve this request." Ouch. More waiting. I try to be patient, I really do, but it's just not me.

Yesterday I got an email-- your domain transfer has been approved! By this point, I was dragging butt. (Is this really worth it? I'll do it tomorrow, I'm too dang tired.) So, this morning (August 26th) I logged onto Go Daddy, blogger, and a help site. Let's just say I spent the next two hours in a constant state of horror. Again, as is tradition, I just couldn't figure it out. I picked up the phone to call support-- and got a low battery light. That killed that idea of course. What if it went out while I was talking to some poor support person?

So I ended up going to the support forum. My issue was resolved within five minutes. It was something simple that I thought had already been taken care of. But, in case you're wondering, at this point I was just about ready to die. It worked-- kind of. I set up the blogger redirect, exactly as blogger told me to. And it's sending people to the old, now null, FREAKING WORDPRESS SITE. So, of course, I set about canceling my hosting. Which there is no option for on RFE Hosting. I contacted customer support again. Asked how to cancel my hosting-- another thing you have to do through them. He canceled it and got me a partial refund-- the partial refund was unnecessary, but it was definitely nice.

Then after the hosting and the domains and things were all set up, I thought that we were going to be perfectly ready to go; that I was going to be golden. BUT. At 8:56 PM, my blog went offline for no visible reason. Then it came back up about an hour later, but only redirected to the new domain with one address-- the blogspot one. It didn't redirect "thebookbabesreads.com" or any other variation of that. To make matters worse, my RSS feed was also gone, and the previous "non-redirect" was sending people to a parked domain. If you saw that, I am terrible sorry. But I'm still here, I swear!

The next morning, I got up and tried to start sorting out my troubles again. I was successful at fixing my RSS feed, but the aforementioned domain issues were still going on. It was horrendous. After about half an hour of screwing around by myself with numerous help articles, I decided to just call support. I was on hold for about five minutes, then I talked to a lovely woman named Teresa who had it fixed in about 30 seconds. Just one tiny problem on their end, which she explained to me when I asked. Also, she called my blog cute!

I then moved on to the comment system and stayed with it for a couple of days. It never really did work out-- if you commented on my blog (at any time in the last year with intense debate, or while I was on wordpress), I'm truly sorry but your comment is gone. :/ I was unable to fix that little snag of moving back.

In conclusion: the reason I wrote this post was just for me to vent a little-- not to discourage anyone from moving to wordpress, but to just give them a solid idea of what might happen if you move and don't like it and have to move back. Not saying that anyone will go through what I've gone through...but well, you might. If you do decide to move to wordpress, I recommend researching the host you plan on using, testing out everything before really moving your entire blog/livelihood there, and for sure using a comment system that works well. I have no suggestions other than that.