Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) [Review]

Title: Spellbound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall Series
Publisher: Hyperion Teens
Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Hardcover: 327 pages
Average Star Rating: 4.23

Synopsis (from Publisher):

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
My Review:
Oh my God. I absolutely LOVE Sophie. She's an amazing character and Rachel Hawkins has done a wonderful job at creating this world and the characters. Sophie is back in the third and final Hex Hall novel and she kicks ass. So many twists to keep you on your toes.
As for being Team Archer/Team Cal. I have warmed up to Archer, but around page 308 I literally punched the book. There is a marking on that page from not only my hand (which hurts, by the way) but also my nail polish. As you can see, I got really into the book. I read it within a day.
Now, even though, I wish the ending went differently, I still enjoyed this book. And I love this series. I've recommended this series to so many people. It's just that enjoyable and un-putdownable. It was really interesting to learn more about the Brannicks (gotta love them redheads ;P we do rock). I even didn't mind Archer that much. I still prefer Cal, but Archer's not bad either :P
I was a little disappointed with the Underworld scene, I was hoping for more, but learning about all those instances and possible future outcomes, was pretty interesting.
Memorable Quotes:
“Jackass, jackass on the wall, where's the info on Hex Hall?”
“We're going to the Underworld," Izzy said. She bounced a little as she said it, her eyes bright and her tone implying that "the Underworld" was akin to "Candy Land.”
"We've tried to kill each other, fought ghouls, and kissed a lot. I'm pretty sure we're married in some cultures.” 
“Um...Mercer? Haven't seen you in nearly a month. I was expecting something like, 'Oh Cross, love of my heart, fire of my loins, how I've longed--”
“I think I might have seen pride in Dad’s eyes. Or maybe it was just a gleam of Why is my offspring so insane?”
"Man, what had that piney-tasting stuff been? The Brannick version of Red Bull?”
My Rating:
4.5/5 Stars

Demonglass (Hex Hall #1) [Review]

Title: Demonglass
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall Series 
Publisher: Hyperion Teens
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Paperback: 329 pages
Average Star Rating: 4.28

Synopsis (from Publisher):
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father.
What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They're demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Acher to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
My Review:
What can I say about Demonglass? Why is it always so hard to talk about a book you liked rather than disliked? Well, for starters, I couldn't put Demonglass down. I loved it. This is the book that turned me from Team Archer to Team Cal. I absolutely love the main character, Sophie. She's hilarious and so relatable. When I finished this book I was so lucky that I only had a few days to wait for the new one because it definitely left with a cliffhanger.

This book had a lot of drama and kept me on my toes. It was just an adventure after another. The ending is crazy because I ended up really liking Sophie's dad and with the cliffhanger, you really don't know what's going to happen. But Sophie's quick wit is one of the things that you can always count on to put a smile on your face. Even when she's faced with danger, she still can pull something out. :D

All-in-all, I love, love, loved this book!

Memorable Quotes:
“Wow, Cross. I think you missed your calling. Screw demon hunting: you should clearly be writing Hallmark cards.” 

“I wondered if there were ever times when Dad didn't sound like he escaped from a Jane Austen novel.”

“Irish girls, red hair,' I replied, remembering a picture of them from Mrs. Casnoff's 'People Who Want to Kill Us All' lecture at Hex Hall last year.”

“Cal stepped forward, hopefully to come to my rescue.
"I could toss her off the pier, Ms. Vanderlyden."
Or not.”

“Oh, God, if that's where this woman had gotten her Sophie Mercer gossip, I was surprised she'd greeted me with a handshake instead of an exorcism.”

“Dad was at his desk when I opened the door, doing what all British people do when they're freaked out: drinking tea.”

“So did The Eye come here looking for me?"
"Actually, we came because we heard it was free corn dog night. Imagine our disappointment.”

“We could try to go together, "I said. "I think we'd both fit, and that way, if we end up transported to another dimension or morphed into a wall, at least we'd have company.”

My Rating:
5/5 Stars

Monday, March 26, 2012

Road Trip Challenge/Feature

So, it's getting to that time...ROAD TRIP! Yes, it's getting warmer and it's just about that time where everyone starts planning a road trip or thinks about a road trip. So I had this idea. Why not have some kind of feature/challenge that incorporates YA novels about road trips?! I know sounds like fun, right?

So, I was thinking about joining forces with some other bloggers (let me know if you're interested!) and putting together a month dedicated to road trips. I was thinking there could be giveaways, challenges/trivia, maybe a scavenger hunt of some sort, hopefully some interviews with some authors of the road trip novels, maybe some guest posts. And the list can go on, this is just what is on the top of my head. Also, if you have any other ideas that could incorporate with this, let me know! :D

I have started to compile a list of books that feature a road trip in it and I will be posting that as another page. If you know of any books that I have forgotten, please let me know and I will add it to the list.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blogs To Talk About (5)

[[ I know that it is Sunday but as I said before if I get bloggers to participate, I won't seclude it on just Thursdays. I'll do it whenever I get interviews with bloggers. I have updated the questions a bit since my past few BTTAs. Anyways, for those of you who don't know what BTTA is, here's the lowdown: It's short for Blogs To Talk About. For whoever is interested can e-mail me at littleredreads@gmail.com and in the subject put BTTA or Blogs To Talk About, and in the message put your name and a link to your blog for me to check it out. Then I will contact you and send you a list of questions and when you respond I will set up a post. So, if you are interested in it, send me an e-mail! For past BTTAs go HERE ]]

Name: Cassie
Age: 23
Blog Name: The Anfractuous Bookaholic

~ What's the story behind the blog name?
When I first started blogging, I only had about 1 follower for the first month. I wasn't as dedicated to my blogging, didn't follow any memes or even realize how big the book blogging world really was. I just wanted another way of putting down my thoughts for the books that I had read besides Goodreads. Once I was really introduced to the blogging world and started to get more dedicated to it, my blog's name changed a few different times before I settled on “The Anfractuous Bookaholic”. The definition of Anfractuous is: full of twists and turns, which was exactly what my blog had been through before it really became what it is today, and it was a word that I stumbled upon while looking for a name that would stick. I love my blog's name and think it really fits me and my life as a blogger.

~ Why did you start to book blog and how long have you been book blogging?
Reading for me is my escape from the world, it's the time I take for myself to calm down and it helps me get through a lot of tough situations. Once I started to really read (on a constant basis) I found that most of my friends didn't share the same interests as me, none of them read or even liked to talk about it, so instead I turned to the Internet and found Goodreads. It originally just started off as a way for me to categorize and organize my books and then I found that I loved to talk about the books I had read and thats around the time I found the world of book blogging and instantly new I wanted to be a part of it, that is where the first seeds for “The Anfractuous Bookaholic” sprouted from. Now, I have been blogging since November 2011. So I have only been doing it for about 5 months but already love to do it sooo much. It is a great world to be a part of.

~ Where is your favorite place to read?
Ummmm.... I don't know if I necessarily have a favorite place. I have a pretty busy schedule so a lot of the time I have to be able to read wherever and whenever I can find the time. I take my book almost everywhere with me. To work, when I go out anywhere, to bed (yes, they sleep with me, LOL) it is usually constantly by my side. I recently just moved and am staying at my cousin's where there are 3 children under the age of 10 in the household. So it's definitely a juggling act sometimes trying to find time to read.

~ E-books or Hardcopy?
Most DEFINITELY hard copy. I don't own any of the electronic devices like a nook or kindle. I personally have no desire to read my books in that fashion. It's not the same if I can't have the physical book in my hands. My mom and dad have both offered to get me one, since I read so much, but every time I simply tell them no. It just doesn't feel the same for me. Plus I love going to the book store and browsing around, its a great way to spend time. =D

~ Favorite book of all time and why?
Wow. That is definitely a difficult question. I don't know if I could pin down a favorite, but I will give you a few that have stayed with me through the years.

Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small
Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Love in the Wind by Madeline Baker
The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

The first four are books that I read when I was younger and are the first books that sparked an interest in me to read and love it. The last 4 are all books that I have read within the past few years and have really moved something in me. All of these books have really made me sit down and take a look at the world and see something different and new to appreciate in it every time. They are also all books that have made me cry for one reason or another. They leave me speechless and have utterly captivated me by their beauty. Each of them hold a special place in my heart, all for a different reason.

~ What are your inspirations?
My biggest inspiration has always been Queen Elizabeth (the first one, the Virgin Queen), the way that she was able to over come so much and still rule her country without the help or marriage of a guy. I must say she is the reason that I love and absolutely need a strong female character in a book. If you mean when it comes to my writing, I would have to say my inspiration to write is all the authors and their books that I have read. Reading has been such a big part of my life and I have wanted to be a publisher author for so long that I have lost count of the years that I have desired it. I know I still have a long way to go before any of my writing is read or even published by anyone, but that is definitely one of my dreams in life.

~ Do you have any blogs/bloggers that you look up to or that inspire you?
I would have to say that there are three bloggers that are my inspire and were amazingly sweet and helped me out a lot when I first started to blog. They are Lea from My Adventures in Libraryland (http://www.lcsadventuresinlibraryland.blogspot.com/), Giselle from .Xpresso Reads (http://www.xpressoreads.com/), and Haley from Ya-Aholic (http://www.ya-aholic.com/).

~ What do you like to do in your free time?
I LOVE movies and I love going to the movies. Besides, that I am a pretty simple girl. If I am not a work or doing something that I absolutely have to, I just like staying at home and spending time with my family and reading whenever I can. I am a home body.

~ Name a dessert, a color, a drink?
Cheesecake, Purple, Sweet Tea

~ Favorite Coffee Shop?
I don't really have one, I don't drink coffee that often and when I do it's usually just home made. When I do go out to get coffee, it's from StarBucks. Mocha Frappe.

~ If you could be one character, who would it be and why?
Wow, that is another hard one. There are three different characters that come to mind right away, and I must say some of the reason I would want to be them is because of the significant other in their lifes. They are Bella from Twilight (mainly because I love Edward, drowl...), Rose from The Vampire Academy (Dimitri, ohhhh my...) and Katniss from The Hunger Games (ohhh, my beloved Peeta). But if I had to only choice one, I would say.... Rose. She is one of the strongest character I have ever read about and has been through a lot, but still manages to stay strong and true to her friends, herself and her loved ones.

~ How many books (on average) do you read a month?
Mmmm... Let me think. Before I moved I would say that I read about 3 books a week, so about 12 books a month. Now a days, since it is harder to read as much or as fast with a busy household, I would say it has gone down to about 6 a month. But I am definitely working on getting it back up to 12 or more.

~ What are some of your book blogging secrets?
I would definitely say taking your time, go over your posts re-read them and don't rush anything. Take your time to think about a book once you have finished it and really think about how it impacted you and what you got out of it before you do your reviews, that helps me out tremendously. Also, get to know your fellow bloggers and followers, they will become your biggest supporters.

~ What are your favorite books-to-movie adaptations? Why?
One of my favorites would be all of the Twilight movies EXCEPT for the first one. I will be the first one to admit that the first movie of the Twilight Series was pretty cheesy. But since then, they have gotten a lot better. Besides that one I would have to say, The Hunger Games, I know it hasn't released yet, but just by seeing the trailers I know I am going to absolutely LOVE it.

~ Do you have any book boyfriends? If so, name them and explain why.
I have a lot of book boyfriends. I would have to say that most of my favorite books have partially been influenced by me falling in love with one of the guy characters. Some of them are:

Edward from Twilight: He was my first book boyfriend and he totally 'dazzled' me, LOL. He was just so protective and willing to do anything for Bella and at the time in my life that I read the Twilight Series, that was exactly what I was looking for in a guy.

Dimitri from The Vampire Academy: Dimitri was my second book boyfriend and the way that he stood up for Rose and was willing to bend over backwards and help her out as much as much as he could, but wouldn't allow her to get away with any of her antics. He treasured her for who she was, that to me is something utterly amazing.

Peeta from The Hunger Games: Oh my gosh, I can't say in enough words how much I absolutely ADORE Peeta. He was willing to sacrifice everything for Katniss and loved her unconditionally despite all her faults. He went through hell and back for her, and even through his darkest fears he found his way back to her. How can you not love Peeta?

Han Alister from The Demon King: He is a different find of book boyfriend. I think more then anything I admire his strength. He went through the lose of his family in the first book, but still has somehow managed to find his way in life again.

Patch from Hush, Hush: There is just something irresistible about him.

Tucker Avery from Unearthly: He's a gentle hearted cowboy, no need to say anymore.

David from Wings: He is the most kind hearted guy I have ever fallen for in a book.

Sam from Shiver: Like David he is just so gentle hearted that I couldn't help but loving him.

~ Name 5 books everyone should read at least once.
The Hunger Games Series
The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series
The Skye O'Malley Series
The Unearthly Series
The Vampire Academy Series

I know that is a LOT more then 5, but practically 99% of the books that I read are series, so I can't just name single books. =D

~ What is your dream job?
My dream job is being a published author, but I know most authors don't make a living just off of their books. So besides that I would love to be able to work in the publishing or editorial industry in some way or fashion.

Thanks so much Cassie for participating!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogs To Talk About (4)

[[ I know that it is Monday and I usually do this on Thursdays, but I figure if I get bloggers to participate, I won't seclude it on just Thursdays. I'll do it whenever I get interviews with bloggers. I have updated the questions a bit since my past few BTTAs. Anyways, for those of you who don't know what BTTA is, here's the lowdown: It's short for Blogs To Talk About. For whoever is interested can e-mail me at littleredreads@gmail.com and in the subject put BTTA or Blogs To Talk About, and in the message put your name and a link to your blog for me to check it out. Then I will contact you and send you a list of questions and when you respond I will set up a post. So, if you are interested in it, send me an e-mail! For past BTTAs go HERE ]]

Name: Rachel

1. What's the story behind the blog name?
I trying to figure out what a unique name would be that was not already used. I knew that I wanted to focus my blogging on my book hobby so I decided on a name that described all the books I love. I feel that ever book I will bother to review would be based on if the book is unforgettable or not.

2. How long have you been book blogging?

I have been blogging for since January 16, 2012.

3. Where is your favorite place to read?
I always love reading at home on my bed where I am completely confortable and my back never aches.

4. E-Book or Hardcopy?
I will always prefer hardcopy because I can carry them anywhere easily without worrying that I have signal. The only E-books I will ever read will be the free ones. I love folding and closing pages.

5. Favorite book of all-time and why?
My favorite book of all time is the famous Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. I enjoy books with a dangerous game that the hero has to survive; the Triwizard Tournament is a perfect competition. I also love the characters and the constant suspense and mysteries in this book.

6. What are your inspirations?
I was inspired to start writing when I read some of my sisters amazing stories. I find songs very inspiring.

7. What do you like to do in your free time?
I barely have free time, but besides reading, I love hanging out with friends, singing and traveling to distant countries. I really want to go to Australia someday. 

8. Name a dessert, a color, and a drink?
Pistachio gelato, purple, hot chocolate

9. Favorite coffee shop?
I love going to a sort-of –Coffee Shop near where I live called Carmens. This amazing establishment also sells bagels and Italian Ice so I guess it could be considered as a different kind of shop.

10. If you could be one character, who would you be and why?
I would love to be Cammie Morgan from the Gallagher Book series by Ally Carter. Her life is so exciting and she can do so many brilliant feats.

11. How many books (on average) do you read a month?
I probably read about 20 books a mouth.

12. What are some of your book blogging secrets?
I started blogging to distract me from the long wait between my favorite book of 2011, Secrets by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur, and the sequel’s release date.  

13. What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptations? Why?
The Princess Bride because it is perfect, exciting and the cinematography is amazing. Cary Elves, who plays Westley, was wonderful and perfect as his character. I have a hard time choosing whether the book or movie is better. Everyone should definitely watch the auteur Rob Reiner’s films.

14. Do you have any book-boyfriends? If so, name them and explain why?
I love Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy series because he is hilarious. I also love Peeta from the Hunger Games series because he is so caring and courageous.

15. What are 5 books that everyone should at least read once?
1.     Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
2.     Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
3.     Hourglass by Claudia Gray
4.     Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5.     The whole Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan.

16. What is your dream job?
I would love to be an author or an explorer.

Thanks for interviewing me Stephanie! J
Everyone should go check Rachel out! It was a pleasure interviewing you! Adrian Ivashkov is one of my book-boyfriends as well!

xo Stephanie