In My Mailbox (24)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. I have had a HUGE case of the lazies the past couple weeks so this IMM is actually three weeks in one (are you starting to sense a theme here?). I have got lots of great books so let’s check them out!

For Review:

Changing My Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

My Thoughts: This sounds like the perfect experience of every high school student. There are ups and downs and this wonderful book will explore it.

The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan

My Thoughts: The time of kings, princesses, love, and lies. This one sounds so great PLUS it will be the first time I have ever participated in a legit blog tour! To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement gov’ner!

Lockdown: Escape From Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

My Thoughts: Creepy, creepy, and creepier are the three words I’d use to describe this book. I can’t wait!

The Hero Always Wins by Robert Eaton

My Thoughts: A book about fighting, heroes, and knights, count me in! It sounds interesting!

Gifted/Won:

Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

My Thoughts: Thank you, thank you, thank you my darling Ashley @ Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing! This book is one I know I can share with my younger sister to (hopefully) help her make some better choices when she is online!

Beautiful Darkness poster signed by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

My Thoughts: Thanks Once Upon a Twilight for this awesome SIGNED poster! I didn’t even realize I had won it so it was a really pleasant surprise!

Bought:

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

My Thoughts: I have already read and adored, loved, obsessed about this book way too much so I just needed to get my own copy. I couldn’t pass up the sales at Borders! Read my review of this AWESOME book right here!

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

My Thoughts: I read this. In less than 48 hours. And loved it! My review should be up later this week (possibly tomorrow) so be sure to stop by and check it out!

Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

My Thoughts: I am very much aware that I only have the 1st and 4th books of the series BUT Borders only had these two so I got them while they were so cheap. The guy at the checkout had some issues ringing this book up so he just tossed it in the bag without charging me for it. The awesome book-giver-awayers (<<< I am pretty sure that is not a real word but that is the best I could come up with) will be missed dearly.

On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison

My Thoughts: I have not even picked up the first book in this series yet but come on, I’ve seen the movie and if I enjoyed it way more than any 18-year-old should, then there is no doubt I will love the book series!

Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell

My Thoughts: 1) This was clearly an impulse buy 2) I got it because I thought it would be something I could read with my grandma 3) Does it make me a nerd that I look for books to read with my grandma? 4) Am I the only person who thinks this sounds like Pride and Prejudice meets Gone With The Wind?

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen

My Thoughts: So I was at Barnes and Noble the other night (sidenote: please be aware that I have a large distaste for Barnes and Noble but must now go there for book buying purposes because of the sudden and heart-breaking closure of Borders) and saw this cover, thought it looked cute, read the back cover, thought it sounded cute, and then proceeded to buy it even though I have placed a very strict, non-discussable book-buying-ban on myself (trying to save up for BEA next year, heck yeah!). Yes, I have major problems.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

My Thoughts: I want to read this RIGHT NOW! I am thinking of taking a “review break” for the month of October so I can catch up on some fun, stress-free books. This one will be at the top of my list for ones to get through during  that month!

Okay, that’s all the books I got from the past few weeks! Leave a link in the comments section and I’ll be sure to check out your IMM as well!

TGIF (16)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Book Disappointments:

Have you ever come across a book you were so stoked to read, but it failed miserably in your eyes?

Oh boy! This is a hard question to answer because if I am being honest, there are no books that I’ve read that “failed miserably.” I tend to be rather picky about the books I pick up. I kind of get an initial instinct on whether or not I will enjoy the book so that definitely helps filter out ones that are probably just not for me. However, there are a few books that I was expecting to be left breathless after reading and instead was only slightly entertained.

First is Susane Colasanti’s novels, When It Happens and Something Like Fate. I like Susane’s work just fine but I wasn’t as blown away as I had imagined I would be. I expected her books to be similar to Sarah Dessen’s, which they were, but there was just something off for me. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly I just had a hard time connecting with the character and story line for these two books. That hasn’t stopped me from wanting to read more from her though. Her latest book, So Much Closer, sounds wonderful and I have been pretty anxious to read it.

Next is Joan Bauer’s books, Rules of the Road, Best Foot Forward, Hope Was Here, and Peeled. I read Joan’s books for my Young Adult Lit class a few years ago. I was entertained by her books but I found them to be a bit preachy. Joan always touched on great subjects but the characters and the way they dealt with certain situations were almost too innocent to seem realistic. I may have not been the biggest fan of her books but they all do carry some beautiful messages.

Last for today is a collection of books that I have not finished (yet) due to a lack of interest. Bright Young Things and The Luxe are two books by Anna Godbersen that I started a while ago and have yet to finish. I couldn’t connect with either book but I am still going to finish them one day….I hope. A lot of people LOVE Anna’s books so I want to finish at least one so I can really make a clear judgement on it. Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly, is a book that I got about 50 pages into before I realized that it was written in 1942. I was so confused because the cover was freaking adorable and looked newer. As it so happens, publishers decided to re-vamp the cover to appeal to young readers. Well the new cover certainly drew me in but the story did not hold my interest AT ALL. I really try to finish every book I start, but with this one there really is no way of knowing if I’ll ever pick it up again. Last is Take Me There by Carolee Dean. I think this book would have been finished had I not been in a negative mood while attempting to read it. I first picked it up and from the moment it started, I kept thinking “Oh my goodness, will anything good happen in this book at all?” I mean, it was one terrible issue after another when it came to the main character and I just couldn’t take it. But this one, like all the others, will eventually be finished before I make my final decision on the book.

So there are the books that didn’t shine quite as bright in my eyes. What books didn’t quite live up to your standards? Leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your TGIF post!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (9/9-9/16):

TGIF (15) Last week we talked about what books we would like to be seen turned into TV shows or a movie. I posted hot pictures of Alex Fuentes. That is all you need to know.

Alex Charles: Dreams In Time by Kim Reynolds This is a great follow-up to Alex Charles: The Evening Oak. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the main character.

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine + Giveaway (Ends 9/19) All you have to do is leave a comment. It is that easy. And trust me YOU WILL WANT THIS BOOK!

Tune-In Tuesday (25) I introduced the ever-simplistic and beautiful group known as Dashboard Confessional. Their music is wonderful in every way.

Dreamland by Alyson Noel Book Trailer + Giveaway (Ends 9/22) For this giveaway, all that I ask is that you spread the word about it. Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, I don’t care how it is done but if you share the giveaway somehow, you are entered to win!

I Need Your Help! Stop by and check out what I have to say and of course vote on my poll, because well, I NEED YOUR HELP! (duhh!)

I Need Your Help!


As many of you may have noticed, I have been posting less and less over the past couple weeks. Well let me take a few moments to explain the craziness that has consumed my life:

1) School started on September 6th. This will be my second year at my local community college. My professors started off right away with homework so I am sure many of you can understand how much time that takes up.

2) My work schedule has nearly doubled! On top of going to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I now work Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. If you didn’t catch that, it is all 7 days of the week that I now have either work or school. Talk about having a busy schedule.

3) Of course craziness doesn’t stop there when it comes to me. My uncle recently got married on 9/10/11. The wedding was beautiful and I danced my booty off at the reception but a wedding takes a lot of work. I had family coming in from Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and god knows where else. So I had work, school, family to entertain, wedding rehearsals, I had to help set up the venue of the wedding, and of course chauffeur my mother and sister all around through all of this.

4) And as many of you know, we had a slight crisis in my household a few weeks ago. My brother (whom I love very much but can be QUITE STUPID sometimes) crashed our car. Watch out for “those deer” or as I like to put it, try to avoid doing fishtails down a dirt road at 50 mph. It can flip a Durango at top-notch speed.

5) Also, I have been hosting giveaways left and right on the blog. I mean come on, Sophie and Carter one day of the week and then Dreamland a few days later. You just can’t beat it.

So now that you know just how crazy everything has been, you may be a bit more willing to help me out with an itsy bitsy favor…Here it is, our first major English paper of the year is a review. Lucky for me, I have PLENTY of those to choose from. That is where your help comes in. I narrowed it down to the three reviews I would like to use for my paper (of course MAJOR editing is needed to make it into the proper format for an essay paper but the tough work is already done) If those of you whom are reading this would be so kind as to read one or all three of the following reviews that I have written or if you are made of awesomesauce and already have read the reviews, you can go right on to the next step. Vote for your favorite! It would make my life 10 times easier and I would love you all for forever.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Giveaway: Dreamland by Alyson Noel

I have got another great opportunity for readers of this blog to win yet another book. I have been lucky enough to post quite a few giveaways lately, a fact that I find very exciting. The newest one is to win Dreamland by Alyson Noel, the third book in her Riley Bloom Series.

Title: Dreamland (Riley Bloom #3)

Author: Alyson Noel

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.

As a follow-up to Radiance and Shimmer, Dreamland has been a highly anticipated novel. For you today I have the wonderful book trailer to this book!

So what did you think of the trailer? I have not read the first two books of this series, but I am definitely anxious to get started!

GIVEAWAY:

Now on to the rules for the giveaway!

This one I am going to be doing a little differently. All that I ask is that you 1) tell my your thoughts on the book trailer or series as a whole and 2) share this giveaway somehow whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, or your blog.

-You must be from U.S. or Canada

-You must leave a comment with valid e-mail, your thoughts on the book, AND a link with how you shared this awesome giveaway with the world.

-You must leave comment before the end of the day on 9/22/2011

-Winner will have 24 hours to respond before another one is chosen!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the trailer don’t forget to add Dreamland along with Radiance  and Shimmer to your “to-read” list on Goodreads.com!

Tune-In Tuesday (25)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This week I don’t have a big story to share with you guys about a band. This one is going to be simple because my love for the music by Secondhand Serenade is simple. They play songs. The songs are beautiful. I love their music. All you need to know is that they are awesome and if you haven’t listened to them yet you definitely should start!

Book Review + Giveaway: Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Title: Sophie & Carter

Author: Chelsea Fine

Publisher: Acacia Publishing, Inc.

Pages: 128 paperback

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Source: I received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbor Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they’ll sit together on Sophie’s front porch swing and escape from reality, if just for a while. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation nears, will their friendship become something more?

This is the best little surprise I could have ever hoped for. When I read the summary for this book I thought it sounded like the most wonderful contemporary fiction story ever. It sounds like just the type of thing that I would love. However, when the book showed up and I noticed how small it was, I began to get a bit worried. How could a book that is only 117 pages be any good? Well, I don’t know how Chelsea does it but she made me fall head over heels in love with both her characters in such a small amount of time. I felt their pain, and I so desperately wanted a better life for the both of them.

Sophie and Carter are two teenagers dealing with a whole lot of crap. Sophie’s mom is never home so Sophie is forced to take care of the Littles (her brothers and sister as she like to call them) but that is okay because she loves their guts (as she states quite often). Carter on the other hand has only one person to take care of and that is his mom. After years and years of the two of them facing the abuse of Carter’s dad, Carter must deal with the aftermath, a crazy, drunk mother. My heart broke for both characters. Their lives are so difficult, complicated, and so devastating. Instead of their crap-tastic lives bringing their personalities down though, these two stay strong by bonding together.

The relationship between Sophie and Carter is a crazy one but it works for them. When most people would look at their own lives and feel sorry for themselves, Sophie and Carter look at one another and think of how much they want to make the other’s life so much better. You could feel the love and compassion emanating from both of these characters even before they realized it themselves. Sophie is smart, beautiful, caring, strong, responsible, and basically everything Carter could ever want in a girl. Carter is quiet, kind, gentle, understanding, and basically everything Sophie could want in a guy. You could see how perfect these two are for each other but for the longest time they failed to see it. However, when they come to the realization that they just may have been made for each other, it just couldn’t be a more perfect moment.

I know it may be hard to believe that I have such strong feelings for a book this small but just trust me on this one. Read it and I promise you will not be disappointed. Chelsea creates two layered, complex, and completely wonderful characters in this story. You will fall for Sophie & Carter just as much as I did!

GIVEAWAY:

Since the publishers are made of awesome, I now have an extra copy to giveaway to one lucky person. Here’s how you can enter:

-Must live in the U.S. or Canada

-Must leave a comment telling me what you think AND leave a valid e-mail address

-Must leave a comment before 9/19/2011

FOR EXTRA POINTS:

+1 Follow Katelyn Torrey (me) and Chelsea Fine (author) on Twitter

+1 Add Sophie & Carter as “to-read” on Goodreads

+2 Tweet about the giveaway (MUST LEAVE LINK!!!!)

Best of luck to all of you and thanks for checking out my review of this book!

Book Review: Alex Charles – Dreams In Time by Kim Reynolds

Title: Alex Charles: Dreams In Time (Alex Charles #2)

Author: Kim Reynolds

Publisher: Angel Oak Press

Pages: 368 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received a paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

On a cold winter’s evening in Raleigh, North Carolina, Alex Charles left 1989 and traveled into the darkness of 1942. Her mission simple: to save two boys from drowning just days before Christmas. But how could she have known the danger that awaited her in the past.

Joseph Graham, her fun-loving uncle, tried to give her all the essentials necessary for time travel and changing destiny. However, he couldn’t live without his own true love, Laura Chestnut, a woman he met during the last days of the Civil War.

Sometimes forever is too long to wait. Returning to 1870, Joe knew the risk, but wasn’t going back for personal gain forbidden?

The rules aren’t the same this time. Even though destiny can change, how far will Alex and Joseph go to rewrite the past?

After reading the first installment to this series, Alex Charles: The Evening Oak, I was beyond excited to start this book. I desperately wanted to know the rest of Alex’s story and figure out more of her family history. While some questions were answered and a few mysteries were untangled, I was still left dying to know more! Alex Charles: Dreams In Time is a great follow up. The characters develop a bit more, they grow and learn a lot, the events that unravel keep us interested and quite a bit of new questions are formed!

Alex and Joe continue to nurture their relationship during the beginning of this book. Joe tries to learn as much about his niece as possible before he leaves on his final time travel and Alex tries to pump as much time travel information out of Joe. Joe stays just as fun-loving and kind as ever. I am convinced that he would be one of the coolest uncles ever (if my uncles weren’t already the best that ever lived!) Alex matures a lot throughout this book and she becomes a lot stronger of a person. She is faced with a bit more drama in the second installment as she decides on major life decisions while also dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing both parents and the knowledge that her uncle will soon be leaving as well. Even though Alex is facing a lot at this time, I love how Joe and her continue to build a strong family bond. However, Joe’s time was limited and when he finally did go forth on his final mission, I found myself missing him dearly.

After Joe leaves, Alex is faced with more than any person should have to face. She learns of HUGE family fortunes, messy, confusing family secrets, and she is forced to deal with it all on her own…well of course she has the help of Lilly and Jackson’s wonderful family. Even though Alex and I were both sad to see Joe go, she still has a tremendous support system as she prepares for her first time travel. Seeing Alex take every piece of new, earth-shattering information in stride was inspirational. Her strength and determination to make a difference in the past is amazing!

A bit of mystery was added in this story by Kim including another flashback to one of Joe’s past time travels. In the time travel we are re-introduced to Joe’s true love, Laura. I loved seeing more of Joe’s experiences but my gosh, it is making me anxious to read more of the series. I NEED to know how his and Laura’s story turns out and how it affects Alex’s life.

The most exciting aspect of this book was finally being able to see Alex’s first time travel jump! I loved the quirky family she goes to live with and ultimately saves. Tucker and Curtis Lee Blue are funny little boys who were faced with death at an early age. Alex dedicates her first time travel to saving them. While, I did enjoy the time she spent with the family, the end of her stay (which ends up being the conclusion of the second book) with the Blue family ended a bit oddly for me. It seems to wrap up a bit too quickly but that is honestly the only complaint I have about this whole book!

Reading this series has been a joy and as I stated in my review of Kim’s first book, her take on time travel is so unique and refreshing. I am crossing my fingers for a third installment; I can’t wait to see what happens in Alex’s future!