Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 5 Books & Goals

I realize I haven't posted anything since October. I think the amount of blog entries I post will continue to be scarce, but hopefully I find a balance next year. Anyway, since I'm on break, I decided to make an end-of-year list!

Top 5 Favorite Books I Read in 2014

  • Chaos by Sarah Fine - The conclusion to one of my favorite series that I believe deserves more attention. I'm sad it's over, but I couldn't have asked for a better ending.
  • Easy by Tammara Webber - This book definitely lived up to all the high praise it has received. It was an emotional and amazing read.
  • Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews - One of my favorite urban fantasy series. Each book has been awesome and addicting so far. 
  • Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine - Loved the characters and the setting. It would have been satisfying as a stand-alone, but having a sequel makes it even better.
  • Spiral by Mila Ferrera - This book surprised me. It was unexpected, heartbreaking, and different from other new adult stories I've read.

Top 5 Books Released in 2014 I Still Need to Read

  • Breakable by Tammara Webber - Well, I loved Easy, so of course I need to read this one.
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - I've been waiting YEARS for this!
  • Rival by Penelope Douglas - Loved Madoc in the first two books.
  • Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead - I actually started this months ago. I need to finish it so that I can get excited for The Ruby Circle.
  • This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner - The first book was amazing, and I'm sure this will be too.

Top 5 Books Releasing in 2015 I Can't Wait to Read

  • Blood Queen by Rhiannon Hart - It was suppose to come out this year, but the release date moved to 2015. That cliffhanger from book 2...!
  • Burned by Karen Marie Moning - Another one that was suppose to come out this year. I'm pretty much dying for this book!
  • End of Days by Susan Ee - I had a feeling it would be out next year, but I'm shocked it's coming out in May. That's not too far. Yay!
  • Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine - Although the first book could have been a stand-alone, I was so happy when I found out there was going to be a sequel!
  • The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I think the Covenant series will always be my favorite books by JLA, so I'm very excited for this spinoff!

Top 5 Bookish Goals for 2015
  • Buy a bookshelf - There's stacks of books growing on my floor because I ran out of shelf space...  I need a new one! I plan on buying a 5-shelf case next month.
  • Go to a book event - I caught a cold (which almost led to bronchitis) & missed YALLFest in November. I was so disappointed! Some of my favorite authors were there this year too. :'( I'm hoping to try again in 2015. And maybe the SC Book Festival in May.
  • Read at least 25 books - That includes those 10 books listed above. I need to seriously find a balance between work & life outside of work. I only read about 40 books this year. I feel behind.
  • Stop buying Kindle books when I'm bored - For real... I already have too many books to read, especially in my Kindle app! Plus, I'm trying to save money. I gotta calm down.
  • Get a Kindle - lol Okay, I know I sound like I'm contradicting myself, BUT! Reading on my iPad sucks. I just have no idea which type of Kindle to get.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mini Review: First Night by Lauren Blakely

First Night
by Lauren Blakely
An erotic novella from the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Blakely...

It was only supposed to be one night…

When the sinfully handsome man walks into her bar in San Francisco, Julia Bell simply wants a break from the troubles that keep chasing her. That escape comes in the form of sexy, confident and commanding Clay Nichols, who captivates her mind AND turns her inside out with pleasure. The attraction is electric and they share one scorchingly hot night together, but they also discover there is more than just off-the-charts chemistry; the connection between them runs deep. Clay never thought he’d return to New York with this woman still on his mind. But he can’t get her out of his system, and he needs more of her…He wants more than just the first night…

*This is a prequel novella to the erotic romance NIGHT AFTER NIGHT.*

Mini Review:
I started with this novella to see how I would take to the series, and sadly I'm not impressed.

Even though I guiltily enjoyed this book, it reads like beginner/intermediate fanfiction. The writing seemed blocky, and I felt like someone had a thesaurus sitting next to them trying to expand on the vocabulary usage. Let me tell you that this can be a good and bad thing.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll give the actual series a shot, but if I do I'll be sure to post a review.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Chaos by Sarah Fine

Title: Chaos (Guards of the Shadowlands, #3)
Author: Sarah Fine
Pages: 388
Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: October 7, 2014
With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.

The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?

My Thoughts: After the devastating cliffhanger in the previous book Fractured, I was dying to know the fate of Lela and Malachi! I had no idea what would go down or how things would be resolved in this final book, but knowing what the characters had already gone through in the first two books, I knew it wasn't going to be easy for them. Or even me as a reader, since I knew I had to prepare myself for the all the heartbreaking moments to come.

It really was no surprise that Chaos had me hooked from the very first page. It picked up right where Fractured left off with Lela determined to do everything she could to save Malachi. I was so happy when Ana, a familiar face from Sanctum, teamed up with Lela on the mission, even though their reunion wasn't what Lela expected (if you've read Vigilante, you'll understand Ana's reaction). Plenty of other characters made an appearance throughout the book as well. Some were familiar, others were new. And just like in Fractured, it wasn't easy figuring out which characters were trustworthy or not. It caused me to question every single action of certain characters and definitely raised the tension in the book.

Something I really appreciated about Chaos, and this series in general, was how important love is to the characters. Being loved and loving someone gave them the hope and strength they needed to keep going after all the hardships and trauma they had endured. Which brings me to one of my absolute favorite relationships ever: Lela and Malachi. I don't want to get into too much detail about what happened between them in Chaos because it's one of those things that shouldn't be spoiled. However, I will say that there were many times where I was swooning and smiling like crazy and many times where my heart completely broke for them. Their moments together were some of the most emotional parts in the series, and I'm going to miss reading about them.

Chaos was addicting and filled with the explosive action and sweet romance I've come to expect from this amazing series. Even though the ending was bittersweet to me because the story is now over, and I'm going to miss Lela and Malachi and all the other wonderful characters, it was the perfect conclusion to Lela's story and one that she deserved. The Guards of the Shadowlands series will always be one of my favorite series, and if you have not started this series yet, I highly recommend that you do!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

To celebrate the release of the final book, I have two prizes up for grabs! The first one, for US residents only, is a hardcover copy of the first book Sanctum. The second prize will be open internationally (if you live in the US, you are eligible as well), and the winner will be able to choose a paperback copy of either Sanctum, Fractured, or Chaos! Both giveaways end November 8. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck! :D