TGIF (8)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is:

Bookshelf Tour:

Where do you keep your books at home? Are they organized? 

You guys will yet again catch me complaining about this question, not because I hate the question, I actually think it is totally awesome and I love looking at other’s bookshelves but I complain because this question comes at a totally sucky time! In every aspect of my life, I am organized beyond belief. My closet is organized by type of clothing, sleeve length, and color (don’t believe me? Ask for pictures & I shall send them to you). My nail polishes are lined up by color, while my perfumes are in alphabetical order. I am highly aware that I have OCD tendencies and that usually transfers over to my reading habits; key word being usually. Up until recently my bookshelf, which is located in my super awesome, super blue bedroom, was organized by author last name. If there were multiple authors for one book, it was always the first author’s name that I went by. Next, it was organized by books in a series, if the author had multiple books but weren’t in a series they were alphabetical. This process worked super nice with me. What I didn’t see coming was my bookshelf suddenly running out of room. I had a few rather big IMM’s the last couple weeks and that over-stuffed my bookshelf like A LOT. I was left with no idea how to organize it. You see, that is why I complain about the question this week because now you guys will be seeing my bookshelf in all of its unorganized goodness. I am still testing out how I want it to be organized and I like the system I have so far!

How I have these organized may confuse some but it makes perfect sense to me. I first went through and alphabetized them by author’s last name/series order/book titles alphabetized. Then on each shelf I pulled out all the books that I have read so far. All of the books stacked up and anything to the right of them are books that I have read. ALL the books to the left are books that I have yet to read. To say that I am behind on my reading is a bit of an understatement!!!

*There is my bookshelf in all it’s pretty, full-length beautifulness. Ahh…I just love looking at it!*

**I made sure to show off my totally awesome There For Tomorrow signed poster in this picture. I just couldn’t help it! And if you look closely the green-lined black and white pictures are awesome moments my family and I shared at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Don’t judge. They have the BEST bread sticks.**

*Top shelf starting with the A’s. This shelf features my beautiful leather-bound Jane Austen book. I have not read a single one of the stories within that book but I love looking at it!*

*This shelf starts with the C’s. Notice how The Hunger Game series is on my TBR side. Yeah, that should be fixed soon. Also this shelf features all of my high school yearbooks (you cannot see, they are hidden behind a picture). One of the yearbooks features a lot of my own writing, something I am very proud of!*

*This shelf starts with the F’s. There are SO MANY great books on this shelf that I have yet to read. Also the books stacked on top are books that I have borrowed from a friend. They feature The Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund. This is a series you all should read!*

*These last two shelves feature L-Z. Many great books are featured among these shelves. You might want to take into account how very little wiggle room I have on the last shelf. I may be taking a trip to the store for a new bookshelf soon!!!*

My bookshelf isn’t the only place I keep books. There is always at least one book in my purse at all times. You just never know when you are going to need a good book to pull out and read. I also have my itsy, bitsy bed side desk. On this desk I keep the books I am currently reading, the books that I have read but still need to review on, and all of the books I get throughout the week so I can make sure to add them to my IMM post. This is actually my desk on a super-duper good week. My book pile usually surpasses the height of my lamp!

Okay, so there you have it, the place where I keep all my precious, beautiful books! I know my method can be a bit confusing but I like to call it “organized clutter.” It just works for me!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (7/15-7/22):

In My Mailbox (19)

Sue’s Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson

Tune-In Tuesday (17)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Review: Sue’s Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson

Title: Sue’s Fingerprint

Author: Andrew D. Carlson

Publisher: Self-published

Pages: 232 paperback

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

A gel-like substance is suddenly discovered across the country. Ted Stevens, a Director in the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to investigate. He enlists the help of scientists at a government laboratory to analyze the ‘goo’. They discover the substance was sent to Earth and has unique properties; it can clone animals. Ted soon learns the substance can also clone humans.

Sue is the first of eleven new people cloned from the alien substance. She and the others arrive without prior knowledges (and without clothes!). They are discovered and recovered by Ted and contained on an abandoned military base. While there, the clones learn about themselves and the world around them. They also receive a message. Sue decides she must deliver it, and one morning they find she’s gone.

During the recovery of Sue, Ted learns of the clones’ message and begins to understand their true intentions. He needs to know more about the clones, so he collects samples for DNA fingerprint testing. The fate of the new people will be decided by the results from Ted’s friends at the laboratory. (Summary, courtesy of Goodreads.com)

I started this book with a completely open mind. When reading a science fiction novel, one never knows what to expect; authors are in charge of creating these off the wall, crazy, scientific instances so you never know what is coming next. While I was not completely satisfied with the outcome of this book, there were still quite a few things that I enjoyed about it.

I will start this review off with the part that bugged me the very most but don’t worry, it only gets better from there! This book is labeled as young adult. Andrew is a young adult author. BUT, and correct me if I am wrong, I thought in order to be a young adult book it was required for at least one of the main characters to be between the ages of 14 and 21, you know the ages of real young adults? While this book did feature some characters that were in this age group, the main characters that were followed were strictly adults. That is not to say that young readers couldn’t read and like this book but it is a lot easier to connect with characters that are close to your age group. I like surprises but this was one surprise I really could have done without! For the first 20 pages, I kept thinking “Okay, the teenager that we will be reading about will be introduced here. Alright, they weren’t introduced on that page, maybe the next one….” and on and on until I finally realized that we would not be following a teenager.

The characters that we were introduced to were interesting. They were not as developed as the characters in a lot of books I have read and for this book is was both a good and bad thing. Since the book was written in third person and it was a fairly short book, we learned a little about each character. While this did make it okay for the short amount of pages, I wouldn’t mind at all if it was a bit longer just so readers could learn a lot more about particular characters. We were introduced to little personality quirks among some of the more important characters, like how Martha LOVES coffee and Sue’s passion is to cook, but that is about the extent of it. I would have loved to see more character growth especially with some of the main characters like Sue, the first clone, or Ted, the man in charge of containing the clones. We were able to see the very surface of what these characters were about but delving a little deeper would have made me a happy camper! The other clones learned a lot intellectually but I think it would have caused a lasting impression if I could really get inside at least one of the character’s heads.

I read the author’s bio at the end of the book and it mentioned that Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry. Andrew definitely put his knowledge of science to use in this book which I totally loved! One semester of college science was enough for me but I really enjoyed the way that Andrew introduced the science aspect in this book. He took simple terms that many people, science degrees or not, could grasp. I don’t want to say he dumbed it down by any means but he definitely took complex terms and ideas and then explained them in a way that a lot of readers could picture and  understand.

The main conflicts that this story dealt with were iffy for me. First there is the fact that aliens are on our planet. The way that these aliens were dealt with was entertaining to say the least. Sending the clones off to a deserted military camp caused some interesting situations. However when the book reached its climax I was a bit disappointed. The whole time reading you are reminded that the aliens must be here for some specific reason and when I read what the reason was, I couldn’t believe that it was all. I am not asking for world domination or for space flying monkeys, but just something a bit more epic than the real reason. It is very hard to explain without giving away spoilers but just note I was not overly impressed with the alien’s purpose on earth.

Regardless, of the few qualms I had with this book I still found it a pretty enjoyable read. Any young people interested in science/alien stories will most likely find that they like this book too. Working with Andrew has been a pleasure and I appreciate that he allowed me to review Sue’s Fingerprint!

Tune In Tuesday (15)/ Teaser Tuesday (9)

Tune in Tuesday is 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’s band is one that I am sure has been featured on other Tune-In Tuesday posts from others before. How could they not be? They are so full of awesomeness. Listening to their music makes my heart flutter, I kid you not. I love everything about the music that they create. The lead singer’s voice, the lyrics, the EVERYTHING. So by now you are probably thinking to yourself, “who could this band possibly be?” Well to answer that question my lovelies, I’ll give you this response, “Augustana of course!” Guys, this band brings a smile to my face every single time I hear their music but this song in particular really does it for me. So good!

Augustana: Sweet and Low

Now for the Teaser Tuesday part of this post! This awesome meme is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesday asks you to take the book you are reading, flip it to a random page, and share two sentences (no spoilers though!). Sounds easy enough, right? Well it is, plus it is a great way to see what others are reading!

It has actually been a long time since I have done a Teaser Tuesday post so I decided this week was as good as any to start that back up again. Being the ever-proficient person that I am (trust me, that’s a joke), I am reading two books at the moment so I have a few teasers for you! Enjoy and please leave a link if you have a Teaser Tuesday post to share with me!

“It was totally psycho!” added Scott. “We put the mouse in an empty cage with the goo. The mouse went and sniffed at it…stuck its nose in the stuff. And then, like, the stuff oozed and swelled up, and right before our eyes…another mouse. This is totally jacked up, man.”

Sue’s Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson, pg. 8

Coyel pointed towards Gonstower. “They call us Witches. But long before that, the Creators named us Keepers. It’s what we are. Keepers of the Four Sisters–Earth, plants, water, and sunlight. And as a Keeper, you can’t deny that all are floundering. If we don’t act now it’ll be too late.”

Witch Song by Amber Argyle, pg. 24 (e-book)

In My Mailbox (16)

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. For the second time in a row I ran out of time to post my IMM last week so this week is two weeks in one. Don’t forget to click the book title to add it to your Goodreads account!

Review:

 Sue’s Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson (Signed)

Summary: A gel-like substance is suddenly discovered across the country. Ted Stevens, a Director in the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to investigate. He enlists the help of scientists at a government laboratory to analyze the ‘goo’. They discover the substance was sent to Earth and has unique properties; it can clone animals. Ted soon learns the substance can also clone humans. Sue is the first of eleven new people cloned from the alien substance. She and the others are contained by Ted on an abandoned military base. While there, the clones receive a message. Sue decides she must deliver it, and one morning they find she’s gone. During the recovery of Sue, Ted learns of the clones’ message and begins to understand their true intentions. He needs to know more about the clones, so he collects samples for DNA fingerprint testing. The fate of the new people will be decided by the results from Ted’s friends at the laboratory.

My Thoughts: When Andrew first sent me an e-mail about his book and said he thought I would enjoy it because it seems similar to Solid by Shelley Workinger, I just about instantly fell in love with that statement. First off, I totally appreciate authors making sure that the book may be of interest to me. He took the time to go through my reviews and found out that I REALLY enjoyed a book similar to his own. This leads me to my second point which is I did enjoy Solid by Shelley Workinger so I am very excited to see Andrew’s twist on this sci-fi story.

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Summary: Ashlyn Woods has just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can’t wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops special powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil’s favor.

Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they’re up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated.

And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts:  Holy crap I just finished this book and it was freaking fantastic! Seriously it blew me away. I don’t want to cause any spoilers so I will keep quiet but look forward to my FIVE STAR review that will be up on the blog soon! Also, I find it completely awesome that Book Crazy Blog, Electrifying Reviews, and Y.A. Addict are all quoted on the back. I follow those actual blogs and they are quoted on a real, live book! That is just too awesome!

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco (Signed)

Summary: So, you’ve just discovered that the person who has tormented, mocked and humiliated you for the past three years is lying in the school parking lot, bleeding internally from a hit and run accident. No one else is around and you need to get to a life-and-death family emergency of your own before it is too late. What would you do? Oh, did I mention you have the secret ability to heal others just by touching them? This is just one of the many situations 13-year-old Willow Krimble must face in this Web Novel, A Girl Named Willow Krimble.

Willow lives with her mother and older brother, Wyatt; she loves hanging out with her best friend, the feisty and sarcastic Razzel Fiora, and she has a close relationship with her grandmother. Seems pretty normal, right? It might be if the two most popular girls in middle school, Shayla Stergus and Snella Burenbine, did not taunt and remind her, on a daily basis, that she was born without her left leg.

Forced to maneuver through obstacles most teenagers would not need to tackle, Willow is suddenly blessed (or cursed?) with the unusual power to heal others through touch. Ever selfless, Willow’s desire to help the injured and sick thrusts her into a world where she is given immense responsibility, putting the needs of others before her own, all the while trying to maintain her secret.

Willow’s adolescent journey takes her through an emotional cyclone where she finds joy and purpose in helping an array of patients from an old man with Alzheimer’s to a mauled animal in a pet store. But Willow soon finds out there are limitations to her ability and, no matter how hard she might try, she cannot save everyone.

Through the intermingling of joy and pain, Willow is repeatedly tested to discover just how strong she can be, how strong she has been her entire life, and how everyone possesses the ability to effect another person’s world, with or without a secret power.

My Thoughts: First, thanks so much Giuseppe for sending me this book! The premise sounds completely interesting, a teen girl who can heal people with a touch is just awesome. I can’t wait to read this one to find out more.

The Virgin Diaries by Kimberly A. Johnson (PDF)

Summary: What’s it like to have sex for the first time? Seventy-two people, young and old, gay and straight, responded to the call for answers and those answers are in The Virgin Diaries. This candid collection of stories provides a unique opportunity to be a fly on the wall. There is no commentary. The stories stand on their own, allowing the reader to form his or her own conclusions. Whether you are a virgin and desire to make an informed decision or are looking for a walk down Memory Lane, The Virgin Diaries offers confidential insights into one of life’s most personal experiences.

My Thoughts: I will not lie, when I first got this book review request I was a bit undecided on if I would accept but the more I thought about this book and what it stands for, I just couldn’t help but say yes. A book that teaches ALL of the pros and cons of sex along with different views points in a non-vulgar read is just genius. If only my parents would have had this book handy when they were going through “the talk” with me.