Sunday, June 29, 2014

JUNE BOOK HAUL

Guess what? My mom has started letting me use her camera to film my videos. She supports my blog and is happy to see the work I've created. So without further ado, here's my June book haul.
Yay! For good quality. It took me a lot of tries and a lot of effort was put into getting this video to upload.

Also, please stop by my Bookhype! If you don't know what it is, it's a new feature on this blog where I showcase books that you thought were overhyped that were published within November to June. So please go check it out! It will be starting soon.:)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

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Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

3 stars

”Stars are beautiful, but they may not take an active part in anything, they must just look on forever. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was.”

I’m sure by now every child and adult knows of Peter Pan. As a child, we know him from a beloved Disney movie, where he takes Wendy Darling and her siblings and a daring adventure filled with pirates. This concept of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up, remains with us through adulthood. Some adults even take on Peter Pan syndrome (famous case of this is Michael Jackson). Nobody really ever wants to grow up. The Disney version of Peter Pan is wonderful. There’s pixie dust, flying, Neverland, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans (a horrible racist song that goes with their introduction), crocodiles, and best of all The Lost Boys. It’s a magnificent tale and Peter Pan remains to be one of my favorite Disney movies (not my favorite, but in the top).


If you don’t know the story of Peter Pan, then I’ll tell you his tale. While the story of Peter Pan is his tale it also the tale of a young girl named Wendy Darling. Wendy is at the age where she must grow up. She must stop daydreaming of Peter Pan and adventures and do the things that young ladies do. Wendy doesn’t want that though. Her brothers are also content with her magnificent stories. Peter’s shadow finds its way into the Darlings’ residence and into the children’s room. Wendy helps Peter retrieve his shadow and they embark on a very dangerous journey to Neverland. 
 

Now this is a little odd for me. I don’t read classics for fun very often. In fact, never until I decided to pick up a free copy of Peter and Wendy on my Kindle. I’m quite happy I finished this though. Even, if it did take me from August to December to complete it. I really struggled in some parts of this book, but I did enjoy it. It’s not amazing, but it’s a good classic. It has a solid storyline, characters, and a great world. I originally was in love with this story. I mean it has very strong points and it can make any lover of Peter Pan and Neverland fly with joy, but it also didn’t keep me reading. That’s why I’m giving it three stars instead of four. If I would’ve finished this faster and not put it down as much as I did, I would’ve definitely rated it higher. 
 

The main character is Wendy Darling. (No not the blogger silly.) As a child, Wendy’s father almost gave her away because he wasn’t sure if he would keep her because she was “another mouth to feed”. Horrible thinking, I know, but this was how it seems a lot of fathers thought in the 1900s. It’s not the surprising if you think about it, but it is harsh.
 


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8

The main male character is Peter Pan. Peter Pan, while being a little boy, is quite the scary thing. He shows no concern for anybody and puts his friends’ lives in danger constantly. There were times when Peter actually scared me a bit. I prefer to think of him as the Disney Peter. While that version of Peter wasn’t as cruel he seemed more of a child who wasn’t cold-hearted.


Swoon Worthy Scale: He’s kid so that’s creepy

The Villain- is Captain Hook. Captain Hook is very violent. He takes pleasure in killing his men. At one point, it seems that Barrie kills a member of Hook’s crew just for the sake of it. The description was very detached and made Hook seem like more a psychopath. The odd thing is I don’t really see Hook that way. I’m not sure what my perception of Hook is. With all the movie adaptations and even this book, I don’t hate him. In fact, I prefer to think of him as the Hook from Once Upon a Time. I’ve never actually watched the show though only clips. (I swear I will eventually.)


Villain Scale: 7.5

One of my favorite of the odd characters is Nana. Nana is a Newfoundland dog and she is the children’s nursemaid. She takes care of the children and she loves them dearly. I love the concept of Nana. She is man’s best friend taking care of and raising his children. Tinkerbell, is also a very famous character. She has spanned her own movies and stories. She was never my favorite character and this book definitely made me like her even less. I do like where fairies come from though. It’s a beautiful little idea. Unfortunately, Tinkerbell does make a lot more sense with this tale. I understand her jealous of Wendy, but just because I understand her doesn’t mean I have to like her. I do love Michael and John. They were little Darlings, quite literally. Ah, puns. I can’t resist. I think the Lost Boys are quite the entertaining and fun bunch. They aren’t as adorable as the movie, but still fun to read about. I also read that apparently Barrie intended for Wendy to marry one of the Lost Boys, but never mentions his name. I thought this was interesting.



Character Scale: 8.5

There are so many different arrays of life in Neverland. I think that’s what makes it so spectacular. Anyone can find somewhere to belong in Neverland. There are pirates, mermaids, Indians, crocodiles with ticking clocks, and The Lost Boys. Who wouldn’t want to go to Neverland?





I do recommend this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit and it’s a fun story. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the ideal bedtime story for young ones, but I imagine anyone can enjoy this one. No matter how old they may be. We all have a little bit of Peter Pan within us and it’s always fun to return to the childhood story that started it all.

I got this necklace for Christmas. I love it.



Cover Thoughts: My cover is literally nothing. I’m sure it’s like the classic ebook edition of Penguin classics.

P.S. Listen to this song.
All Time Low- Somewhere in Neverland



   

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: Kindle Edition

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I made a video this week about the books I received on my Kindle, but my Kindle wasn't working out and then I couldn't get the pictures of the books onto the video. I just gave up and was feeling frustrated. So, this is the best I could do. :/


I mean I tried! Please also visit this page and vote on my book feature called Bookhype!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Camelot Code by Mari Mancusi

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The Camelot Code by Mari Mancusi

3 stars

Sophie Sawyer and her best friend, Stu, spend their days and nights trying to defeat the wicked Morgan Le Fay in their favorite Arthurian videogame, The Camelot Code. One day she receives a text about Camelot Code that sends her into a world where King Arthur and Merlin really do exist and they need her help. Arthur having no idea of his destiny decides to be the hero for once and finds himself in Sophie’s modern day high school. Merlin enlists in Stu to become King Arthur until the real Arthur gets back. They are running out of time. Will Sophie be able to find the scabbard, get Arthur back, and keep the future the way it is? Or will everything change as she knows it? I quite enjoy Mancusi books. I loved Boys That Bite and I have yet to continue the series, but I plan to. I even enjoyed a novella of sorts called Karma Kitty Goes to Comic Con. Suffice to say reading both of those books and both being very different, I was excited to read The Camelot Code. I think Mancusi is a hilarious writer with a funny style and worlds that are even more fun. I don’t have a lot of experience with Arthurian legend. I think it’s fascinating, but it’s never really piqued my interests. When I saw this on Netgalley, I thought it looked interesting and then when I saw it was by Mary Mancusi I knew I had to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. While out of the books I’ve read by Mancusi, this one is the weakest. I think there is a valid reason to it. The story is strong and the characters entertaining, but it’s targeted at a younger audience. A much younger young adult audience from her usual books. This is very obvious when reading. It’s still fun, but this made the book hard for me to get through. Why? Well because since it was targeted at a younger audience I felt that Mancusi dumbed down the book as well as her characters. I went from loving and thinking all the characters were fun and adorable to loathing them and wanting them to stop saving the day because they were doing a pretty crappy job of it. My feelings changed towards the end though. Thank God!


The main female character is Sophie. Sophie is a gamer all the way. She is a pretty cool girl, but there’s one big problem I have with Sophie. She’s dumb. She doesn’t see what’s right in front of her and she lets her fears get the best of her and it messes up her train of thought. It’s not a bad thing, but it just made me struggle with her POV. But, wait! There’s another female main character. Bet you didn’t see that coming! I didn’t when starting this book. Mancusi likes to write multiple POVs and she tackles more than she usually does in this book (you’ll see what I mean). Guinevere is also a main character. She’s the Arthur’s best friend. I really liked Guinevere for the most part. She wasn’t a particularly strong character, but she added to the novel. I liked her well enough.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Sophie- 7 Guinevere- 6.5

The main male characters are Stu and Arthur. I really liked Stu. I thought he was adorable at times, but also a little infuriating. Then again all these characters were infuriating at some point or another. He was a good character and maybe my favorite of the novel. Arthur or King Arthur was also a pretty strong character, but he was just as much of an idiot as Sophie and he irked me to no end sometimes.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Stu- 6.5 Arthur- 6

The Villain- Morgan Le Fay is obviously the villain of this novel and it’s stated in the summary. It’s no surprise and therefore not a spoiler. She also gets her own POV. I actually enjoyed the insight to Morgan and her reasons for villain-ry. She had a great backstory.


Villain Scale: 7

The supporting characters include Merlin, Lucas, Mortimer, and Elaine. Merlin, of course, is a given. He’s actually a pretty cool character and I liked him enough. Lucas also showed to be more than just a football jock and I really liked him in the end. Mortimer was lame and I have nothing to say him and his stupidity. Elaine was a girl who supposed to die and she was clingy and annoying and I just couldn’t. I really couldn’t deal with her, she was so obnoxious.


Character Scale: 7

This is a good novel for younger readers or even reluctant high schoolers who don’t read often. It’s a quick and simple read. Entertaining and definitely worth the read if you’re not one of the above mentioned but enjoy Arthurian tales or Mancusi’s novels. Give it a shot if you’re in the mood for something fun because you definitely won’t be letdown.


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover! It’s cute and fun. It definitely fits with the book and it’s what caught my eye in the first place.

Thank you, Netgalley and NLA Digital LLC for providing me with a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two Year Blogoversary!



Wow! I've been blogging for two years today. Last year I missed my blogoversary, but today marks two years. I'm so grateful to anyone who follows or has even looked at my blog. I'm thankful for the great friends I've made and I'm happy to have been welcomed into this amazing community. Thanks for sticking with me for so long! Here's to many more years!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

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Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

First in the Clipped Wings series

2.5 stars

Tenley has been watching Hayden ever since she moved across the street from the tattoo parlor, Inked Armor. He’s sexy, alluring and everything her past life would tell her to scream from. Hayden and Tenley both have secrets of their and when Tenley decides to let Hayden make her dream tattoo come true their push-pull relationship begins. Here’s the thing I really enjoyed the prequel to Clipped Wings. Cupcakes and Ink was a great prequel and made me start this book immediately. While Cupcakes and Ink offered little but was entertaining, Clipped Wings opens up with zero information about whom Tenley and Hayden are and as a reader if you haven’t read the prequel will be lost and confused. I struggled with this book for a very long time. TWO MONTHS! Two months before I got to the 50% mark in my ARC edition. I struggled with this book and at first I told myself slow and steady will win the race. Maybe this is the type where I need time to adjust, but I slowly contemplated DNFing Clipped Wings. I’m glad I didn’t though. Once the tattoo was introduced and the story seemed to have grown a bit deeper I couldn’t put down my Kindle and finished the rest of the book in one night. I think it’s so weird that I was so ready to throw this book to the wind and just wipe my hands of the boring dread-fest, but I’m glad I didn’t. The drama is petty, but I love tattoos. Hayden’s love for tattoos and his artwork was just fascinating to read about and made this book more enjoyable.



This book does have a lot of faults though and as a reviewer I think I should point them out. This book has a lot of metaphors that make zero since and really made me scratch my head when reading.
"The oxygen masks hung like victims of mass suicide, swaying slightly in a breeze that should not exist within the confined space.”

 


I just don’t understand why this sentence was in this scene. It made the scene lose impact and was just something I couldn’t overlook because it made zero sense. There are also weird descriptions:
"She looked up at me with her Disney eyes, all wide and pleading, lower lip jutting out in a sexy little pout.”
Again, what is going on? What are Disney eyes? Disney characters all have different eyes and drawings are almost always different. So what are Disney eyes?
I will give Hunting this: NA books are filled with sexual abuse victims, heartbroken girls with dead boyfriends, and drug addictions. Hunting, while still using the dead boyfriend bit, went above and beyond and wiped out everyone close to Tenley. Tenley’s whole life died in a plane crash. She survived but her family, fiancĂ©, and few friends were killed.   Props to Hunting for trying something slightly different the usual car crash.


In my notes I found the most accurate description I could give of this book before the 50% mark: Basically this book is just odd cupcake fetishes with random “I HATE YOU” feelings thrown around. That is pretty much this book for the longest time, but it redeems itself and once you get past that it’s decent and even enjoyable.


The main female character is Tenley. I don’t know if I like Tenley are not. In fact, she’s kind of boring and very two-dimensional. She’s also an idiot. A very big idiot. If you finished this book, then I’m sure you agree with me 100% because Tenley is so fricking stupid I’m not sure why anyone would want to put up with her. Hayden it seems almost doesn’t want to anymore but that’s a whole different book. I’m not sure if I like Tenley at all. In fact, I don’t really. She has her moments, but then again they are very brief moments of liking.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

The main male character is Hayden.


Hayden is my perfect male. On the outside, but on the inside he is too much of a he-man for me. I’m not really sure how I feel about him either. He’s hot and perfect but not for me. Something about him just throws me off. Hayden and Tenley also love to keep secrets. Hayden is the bigger hypocrite though. He’s such a hypocrite that he is now to be dubbed as ‘Hypocrite Hayden’.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 4.5

You know what’s awkward but also hilarious. This:
"The piercing, what’s it called?”
“Apadravya.”

Nothing says dirty talk like penis piercings during sex. Tell me the name of your lips rings again, Hayden.




The Villain- Trey. So they have a villain in a contemporary for once. It’s completely different and in all honesty not very well done. Trey is just a douchecanoe hoping to row and cause destruction in Tenley’s life.


Villain Scale: 2

I do like the members of Inked Armor. They are pretty awesome and funny. Sarah and Hayden’s aunt were also good characters. I basically liked the side characters more.


Character Scale: 5

The downside to the second part of the book is that is full of half truths. That’s Tenley and Hayden’s whole relationship and why it caused so much problems. They can’t be completely honest with each other because there past is oh, so tragic.




The constant drama, lying, and secret hiding is ridiculous. I would suggest reading this when in the mood for trashy literature. I’m a little disappointed by this one, but that’s how books are. You can’t love them all, but at least I liked this one.


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It’s why I wanted to read it in the first place. The wings are gorgeous. I just wish it was similar to the tattoo on Tenley’s back.

Thank you, Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing me with a copy of Clipped Wings in exchange for an honest review.






Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday!

I've never participated in a Top Ten Tuesday before and I thought a video would be a lot more fun than just writing about books I would take on vacation:
Yay! Books I only featured eight books and I meant to add that I would bring my Kindle and since I usually read two kindle books at once. So that's ten!

Vote on Bookhype and tell me what new releases were a let down for you!

http://vampireandotherparanormalthingsqueen.blogspot.com/2014/05/new-feature-bookhype.html

If you don't want to clink the link you could just tell me here too.:D

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mini Reviews: The Not So Great Ones and A Good One

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Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes

3 stars

You know what I’ve noticed lately in literature? When kids say they are going to do something they usually keep it. This little girl definitely does. She vows to destroy the village that killed her father. *maniacal laughter* The plot thickens and not all is what it seems in this story. I quite enjoyed it. It’s a quick, chilling read that Karen recommended and I read it because it’s what I do when free things that sound good stumble my way.


Cover Thoughts: Gorgeous. Even though it's not for an official book it's a pretty amazing cover.

P.S. This is free on Tor.com so go read it: here


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My Past with Mr. Parker by Nicole L. Farrell

2 stars

Ronnie meets Chase on a holiday vacation and they fall in love. She finds herself pregnant. Then as fate would have it Chase is her new teacher and the other new teacher just so happens to be his girlfriend. GASP! Wattpad stories. You can all act like you haven’t read one or just pretend it doesn’t exist but I read this one. It was pretty bad, but the drama made it fun. The constant clothes descriptions, bad grammar, and random sentences made this laughable. Did I laugh? Yes. All in good fun, of course. This isn’t a sophisticated read, but it’s fun. Like My Immortal bad fanficiton fun.


Cover Thoughts: It could've been worse?


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Dating for Keeps by Rachel Hogan

1.5 stars (I’m generous to the indie writers)

Tessa doesn’t stay in a relationship for very long… ever. So her friend bets her that she can’t stay in a long lasting relationship with the cute guy at the bar. She decides to take her up on that offer and she really wants to master bedroom in their new apartment.

So this was pretty bad. I mean Hogan tries. She tries hard. I bet she wants her own Christian Grey but a tamer version. That’s basically what this guy seems like for the longest time. Basically their hot dates consist of steamy business talk. Sexy. Tessa also notices Lucas doesn’t always have a British accent. *gasp* He’s supposed to be British! Tessa is also an idiot who believes that anyone who says they are a FBI agent without even showing identification is a real agent. 



Oh and Lucas loves her within less than two months. The epitome of bad tropes and idiots is all over this book. And let’s not forget to add the typical NA kissy cover. *throws tropes into the air like it’s confetti*


Cover Thoughts: NA cover trope. Basic cover is basic.