Saturday, January 31, 2015

400 FOLLOWERS!!!!!!!!!:D

OMG.

YOU GUYS.

I'VE REACHED 400 FOLLOWERS!!!!!

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
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I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!!
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OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!

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*My happy dance... though not as graceful as Ariel. xD*

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for following and reading this blog.  I know I'm not the best blogger (^-^''), but you guys stick around anyways, and I really appreciate that.  I'm determined to make this year a good one. :D

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*HUGS <3*

 My favorite part about blogging is connecting with other fellow book lovers, and I've truly met so many wonderful people (bloggers and authors alike!! :) ).  It's been a joy getting to know you all!!

Again, thank you so much. :)

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Warmest wishes,
Kyendwarrior

PS. On a semi-unrelated note, I'll be hosting a giveaway soon (sometime in February).  I didn't really have a reason for it, just that I felt I was overdue for one, but I guess this will be my reason now. ;)


My Rating System

Hi everyone!
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So I realized (after a a little more than a year of blogging, oops) that I never officially explained my rating system. I sort of did in my Sarah Dessen author review, but never in a separate post by itself.  I meant to get around to it, but I got sidetracked, and this post got buried under other posts.  As I transitioned over to the tagging system, I found it again and thought it was better late than never! :) (Though my Latin teacher begs to differ and always says, "Better never than late!" lol).    My rating system is posted on the side and in the review policy as well.  

I like to put the number rating at the end.  Sometimes what I say in the review and how I judge the merit of the book (well merit of the book to me xD) in numbers is different. I can completely tear apart a book in a review, but at the end give it a high rating, because despite those issues, I really clicked with/enjoyed the book as a whole- and the number helps to emphasize that. Or vice versa.  I can talk about only good things about a book, but give it a low rating because it didn't feel right to me or I just didn't click with it.

Now, without further ado, here's my number rating scale (based on Goodreads):


1- I didn't like it.
2- It was okay.
3- I liked it!
4- Loved it!
~~
5- Extra credit! Makes my all time favorites!


It's mostly straightforward except for the fact that my rating system is technically out of 4. 


*Yep, only up to Four. Sorry, Numbuh Five. *

In hindsight I should have rated everything out of four to begin with, but I actually didn't make my own official rating system (just used Goodreads' 5 star scale) until much later.  But technically, it's out of 4.  If  I give a book a five rating, a) it's super rare that I do, and b) it basically just got extra credit.  It was so good that it broke my scale. :)

Thanks for reading~! :)

Warmest wishes,
Kyendwarrior

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Waiting on Wedn-Thursday Wk 37 (oops!)


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine!:)
(This didn't post yesterday for some reason, so I'm posting it today xD.)
What I'm waiting on this week:
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*I love this cover!:)*
Plot blurb:

A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he's kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family's fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time. 
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.


Releases June 2nd, 2015

I'm not a huge fan of Young Adult verse in general, but this plot blurb reminds me a little of My Life After Now (the themes are a bit similar), which I liked, so we'll see! :)
What are you waiting on this week?


Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Blast: Love, Lucy


Hi everyone!!

I am so excited to introduce April Lindner and her new book LOVE, LUCY !!  She wrote an awesome guest post in which she shares “Some Rules of the Road” for traveling abroad, as Lucy did in the book.

If you haven’t yet heard about this fabulous new book, be sure to check out all the details below!

This blast also includes a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours and 3 signed JANE posters courtesy of the author. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About LOVE, LUCY

Title: LOVE, LUCY
Author: April Lindner
Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About April Lindner


April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.



The Guest Post

SOME RULES OF THE ROAD

Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip—in her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for real. It was time to take off the training wheels. 

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road—those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.


Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names. 


Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random train, and hopping on. 

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments—but it can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.


Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders—and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.

Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed?  Not on your life.


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway, ending February 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, for:

  • 1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – Int’l
  • 3 JANE posters (signed) – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy National Handwriting Day!



I have atrocious handwriting and art skills (hehe), but hopefully the pretty background makes up for it? :)

Warmest wishes,
Kyendwarrior :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feature and Follow #13

 Increase Blog Followers


Hi everyone! This weekly meme is hosted by the lovely Alison at Alison Can Read and the awesome Parajunkee! :)

This week's question:
Do you post your reviews anywhere besides your blog? Where else do you post reviews? 

Answer:
Yep! Mostly Goodreads and now Amazon! :)

How about you guys?
:)

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Updates for January :D

Hi everyone! Hope you all are having a fabulous week!:D

I know I've said this a gazillion times, but I'll say it a gazillion and one more time: I am extremely sorry for the lack of posts! I've been really busy with some personal issues, and I've been a little behind on everything and am slowly catching up.  I apologize!

As for the tagging system, it's ongoing. ^-^ Hopefully it'll be done before spring break (or during? :D).

I'll probably be having a giveaway sometime in February.  Please look forward to it!! :D There's going to be tons of awesome books to choose from. :)

Lastly, the readathon this Saturday!!! I'm so excited for it!! No matter what, I'm definitely gonna leave some time for that. ;) Are you guys participating as well?

As always, thank you so much for checking out my blog! :)

Warmest wishes,
Kyendwarrior

Prep School Confidential

13411546Author: Kara Taylor
Release Date:  July 30th, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan
Genre(s): YA Mystery
Pages:  310
*Book one of a series*

~Spoiler Free~

Summary (Goodreads):
In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn't care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
 

Review:
Welp... that's the last time I'm reading murder mysteries by myself in the dark at 12 AM.  LOL. 

This book was both... fluffy and heavy? If that's even possible? It never lost it's humor, that's for sure, but at the same time, it is a murder mystery, so there was a lot of heavy stuff going on as well.

The plot definitely kept me on my toes.  Codes and sweet nerdy girls hiding secrets? BRING IT.  I was dying (pun not intended) to see the ending- and boy, was it satisfying!  I honestly did not expect it, which made it the best thing ever! It's been a while since I've read a book where I was constantly suspicious of almost every character. 

I love Annie!  She was snarky and spoiled at first (like to the point where I sorta wanted to slap her...), but she underwent major character development (though even at the end, she is a teensy bit spoiled-but that's part of her charm I guess xD), and had me laughing even in some of the most serious bits.   The only thing I HATED HATED HATED about this book was that love triangle. OH MY GOODNESS.  It appeared out of nowhere- well, no I take that back.  I expected it, but I didn't expect the random kisses. Those came out of nowhere and hit me square in the face.  Yuck.  The whole love triangle mess was poorly developed, just like our two male leads, and I think she would be better off alone actually...

But anyways.  I'll get over it... eventually. xD

THAT ENDING. SO CREEPY BUT SO INTRIGUING.  I think just for that ending I'd pick up the second book... even though I REALLY don't like where this love triangle is going.... UGGGGGGH (sorry can't get over this xD).  WHHHY BOOOK?! You had such a great plot and a lovely heroine with only slightly underdeveloped supporting characters (but they were endearing ;) ), but that terrible, terrible love triangle really just.... UGGGGGGGGH.

 I'm usually not a fan of mysteries (just 'cuz- maybe I'll write a post about it in the future ;) ), but with this book and the Deadly Cool series by Gemma Halliday (one of the few mystery series that I enjoy reading again and again- WHICH I WOULDN'T HAVE TO DO- though I don't mind- IF ONLY THE THIRD BOOK WOULD JUST COME OUT D:), I'm slowly warming up to them-esp. if they have a little fluffy mixed in. xD.

Thanks for reading!

Rating:
2.7 out of 5
(I was going to give the book a 3, but that love triangle... just killed it... not in a good way... and pun totally intended...)

#TimeToRead

Hi everyone!
National Readathon Day is coming up, and I'm super excited about it (it gives me an excuse to just read the day away :D )!!
From noon to 4, it's just high sailing with books, books, and more books! :)
For me, I have Mortal Enchantment saved just for this occasion- and if by some miracle I manage to finish it, then Snow like Ashes is next on my list. 
So are you guys participating? What books are you planning on reading? 

Happy Readings!:) 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday Wk 36


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine!:)
What I'm waiting on this week:
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Plot Blurb:
A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.
 


Date released:
July 14th, 2015

I do believe that is one of the most epic first sentences of a plot blurb I've ever encountered.  
I was hooked even before I finished reading the whole thing. 

So what are you waiting on this week?
:)

Jane Austen-based: Prom and Prejudice, Epic Fail, Prada and Prejudice

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*Wrote this a while back, but just recently found it buried under other to-be edited posts lol. Minor edits on the time references ;)

A few months ago (actually, I think this is closer to a year LOL),  I fell totally in love with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Afterwards, to help ease my book hangover, I went on a Jane Austen spree- well, sort of. It was more like any-YA-books-that-was-based-on-Pride-and-Prejudice-with-a-modern-twist spree.  LOL ;)  I meant to actually go on a true Jane Austen spree (Emma was next on my list!), but I got distracted with other books (like these ones) and new releases, and I haven't quite been able to accomplish that yet (perhaps this summer?) ;)

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My favorite out of the three Pride and Prejudice-based books was Prom and Prejudice.  It was such a cute book that I could read over and over again ;).  As expected, the plot is much like Pride and Prejudice, but with a modern twist, and the characters themselves were similar to the characters of the original book.  I actually was warming up more to Epic Fail, but the ending messed that up for me. (It was one of those, "Wait, the book ended here?" endings.) But Prom and Prejudice had great closure, and I liked it a lot.

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As a whole, Epic Fail and Prom and Prejudice  were very similar. In fact, I thought one book had copied the other until I realized, duh (*face palm*), they were based on the same book. (LOL) Prada and Prejudice was a little different.  Instead of being a modern twist, "Elizabeth" bumps her head and goes back in time.  I thought this book was okay; it was a lot of fluff and not a lot of substance.  I mean the first two books were fluffy as well, but it had some substance that grounded it ( like the themes of Pride and Prejudice were much clearer in those two books).

Out of these three, I would recommend Prom and Prejudice first (better ending), and if you're like me and craving more Epic Fail.  :)

The next book I want to pick up is Spy and Prejudice, but I'll have to see LOL.  I might get sidetracked again ahaha.

Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday Wk 35


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine!:)
What I'm waiting on this week:
A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram, #1)
*This cover is creepily cool*

Plot blurb;
Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.
Comes out Sept. 1st. 2015 
So what are you waiting on this week? :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dangerous Reflections

22402628Author: Shay West
Release Date:  June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Genre(s): YA Science Fiction 
Pages:   214
*Book one of a series*

~Spoiler Free~

Summary (Goodreads):
Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?
 


Review:
**Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this book! **

The biggest problem I had with this book is with its main character, Alex.  She's not a very likeable girl; she's shallow, whiny, and a little bit dumb.  She also has "The Chosen One" complex (which is just briefly mentioned at the end... so I'm withholding judgment there).  But oddly enough, if you take her out of the equation (and the insta-love... ARGH), the plot of the story is interesting.

But anyways.

I'll mention the good first.  The plot is interesting.  It's not particularly unique (time traveling, saving the world), but the details and the historical aspect gives the plot its own color.  I absolutely love history, and so I could relate with Alex on that level (the one and only thing).   (Btw, I was total fangirling over the Book of Kells- even if it was brief. )  Drifter and his master also intrigue me, and throughout the book, I was trying to figure how each historical event related to one another (only to find that the book ended before that was revealed. ARGGGH).

... And that's about it.

Now for the bad parts:

The book has waaay too much telling rather than showing.  It makes the dialogue and the general flow of the book stilted/awkward, making the book a little bit "clunky" to read (not sure if this is the right word choice).

And finally... Alex.

The insta-love game is strong with this one.  I honestly don't want to delve too much into it (it'll make me rage all over again... > . < ), but she literally falls in love with every "good looking" guy she sets her eyes upon.  (!!!)
.  

And her relationship with Beau is absolutely RIDICULOUS.  She KNOWS (SHE SAYS IT LIKE A GAZILLION TIMES) he's just using her for her brains, and she would get annoyed for like a split second before melting under his" handsome smile." (This would happen again, and again, and again...)  She even states, in not so many words, that she wants a guy like him to validate her own worth.

Um no.   

Alex also sounds like an elementary school kid even though she's suppose to be in high school.  She's very materialistic and selfish, and she blames her mom for everything (then turns right around, promises to be better to her mom, and then blames her mom again).  I understand that she's coming from a tough spot (her dad left her, etc), but that still doesn't excuse her behavior, and IT'S NOT HER MOM'S FAULT.  I actually sympathized more with her mom than with Alex- until her mom tells her to ignore her bullies and to make light of it by laughing it off. DUUUUDE. She was being bullied with inappropriate photo-shopped pictures.  This is not something to be laughed off and ignored.

Also, all her friends think she's the greatest thing ever. I thought it was weird how random people would just come up to her and become instant friends with her.  That's not realistic- but then again, this book is about time-traveling soooo.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Her friends aren't so bad though; in fact, I sort of like them better than Alex (I say sort of, since they aren't that developed...). Both Catelyn and Beau are just bad characters.  I disliked them not only because of their actions, but also because they were one-dimensional and complete cardboard.  They were just there to be there.

Final Thoughts:  I was really hoping Alex would change by the end of book (that would have been AWESOME character development), but alas, that wasn't so. In a nutshell: Enjoyed the plot, disliked the character (s).

Thanks for reading!:)

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday Wk 34


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine!:)
What I'm waiting on this week:
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Plot Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous.


Release date: February 24th 2015 


I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one... I was a little disappointed by the Healer series, and though I love the Poison Study series to death, I don't know  if a new book would add anything more to the story (... then again it's been a while since I've read this series, and this will give me an excuse to read it again LOL).

Will be eagerly and nervously watching for this one. 

What are you guys waiting on this week? 
:)