Friday, 26 August 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee

This weeks question is: In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do wish would come out of the closet for real?

Well let me start by saying how much I love True Blood! I haven't read the books but the TV show is deadly.  Does anyone think the books are better? Should I start reading them?
I think I'd like to see wizards come out of the closet. Share a bit of Hogwarts with us muggles, please. Or I'd like to see wizards like Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare's series. Love him!! 

I have a busy day today so I won't be able to visit as much blogs as usual but be sure to leave me a link if you stop by so I can check out your blog tonight! 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Missy's Reads and Reviews awesome giveaway!

So Missy over at Reads and Reviews is hosting one of the best giveaways I have come across in a while. She is giving away a heap load of prizes to celebrate reaching 1000 followers AND the giveway is open to Internationals which gets me excited. Hop on over and enter!

And keep an eye out for my 6 month Blogiversary coming up in September ;) 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Fast Forward Monday and my unexplained absence!

Fast Forward Monday is hosted by Mysteriousrose over at Mysterious Books. This meme gives us a chance to discuss what we will be reading/doing during the week.

Well let me started by explaining my lack of reading and blogging last week. I have been travelling around various parts of Ireland all week with my friends. I took a break from everything that didn't involve eating and drinking. But I'm back to reality for a while. 

So this week I plan on

  • FINALLY finishing The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I have been carrying it around in my handbag all week but haven't read a word of it. 
  • I will be going through all the emails I have received while I was away and will reply to my review requests.
  • I will also be reading and reviewing a short story I received a couple of days ago.
  • And this weekend I will be off again, camping on a beach with my friends! Lets pray it doesn't rain.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Review: I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

My best friend was more than just a best friend to me. Three words summed it up: I heart him. I’d never tell him though. I wasn’t stupid. Besides, what he’d told no one, but me, was a little something I wished I could forget… or ignore. He was gay. I guess gay wouldn’t be bad if I wasn’t so in love with him. Now it was just cruel. 

Stereotypes run amok in this college love story: Parties, alcohol, hookups, and breakups. Alexandria Carmichael may find it a bit much as she deals with the unreturned love from the boy who completes her. When all is revealed, not only does she risk losing her best friend forever, but also herself. Without her childhood companion for support, Alexandria takes a journey of self-discovery but fears what she’ll find at the end.

** I was sent this book by the author for an honest review**

I Loved You First is a novella length love story that had me hooked from  the very first page. Alex, a college freshman, has fallen in love with her best friend Seth. It seems like a pretty straight forward romance but for the fact that Seth is gay. Alex is the only person that knows the truth but this doesn’t change her feelings for him. Alex is forced to stand by and watch Seth as he dates a string of girls, while her heart silently breaks.

Reena Jacobs is a wonderful writer. Her characters and the situations are very real and easy to identify with. My own heart was breaking for Alex, who was in love with someone who can’t love her back in the same way. And poor Seth! I loved this guy, although there were times when I thought he was a bit inconsiderate and insensitive towards Alex. But at the same time, he has so much on his plate. I was really moved by his situation. I read this book in a few hours, it was hard to put down. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but there are some excellent scenes and an awesome bitch slap.

The background characters kept things interesting. Dink, although I don’t like his name, I did like the guy! Bruce, Seth’s love interest and all round bad guy in my books and Trinity, a breath of fresh air, who provides Alex with the strength and encouragement she badly needs.

Overall I really enjoyed this one and am giving it 4 out of 5 Stars

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTis an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This weeks question is:
“Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! If you can’t find any, feel free to find one on the internet!”

I recently read a book called Douchebag Roulette by Marie Simas. I instantly loved this title and the book was pretty good too. You can read my review here.

I went a head and Googled 'crazy book titles' and found this gem! Haha :) Surely they could have said Cooking with Winnie the Pooh??

Follow Friday time :) Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee

These weeks question is: How have your reading habits changed since you were a teen? Or if you are still a teen, what new genres are you in love with currently?

Funnily enough I used to read crime and mystery when I was younger. I read every single Nancy Drew book available to me. I couldn't get enough of them. But now I never touch those kind of books. Although this is something I plan on changing very soon! When I was in secondary school (high school) I read any romance book that my mum deemed unsuitable for me ;)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: The Endless Forest by Sara Donati

Blurb: In the spring of 1824, in the remote village of Paradise on the New York frontier, Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner celebrate a glorious reunion as their children return from far-off places: Lily and her husband from Italy, and Martha Kirby, the Bonners' ward from Manhattan. In the peace that follows a devastating flood, childhood friends Martha and Daniel, Lily's twin brother, suddenly begin to see each other in a new light. But their growing bond is threatened when Martha's estranged mother arrives back in Paradise. Jemima Southern is a dangerous schemer who has destroyed more than one family, and her anger touches everyone, as do her secrets. Has Jemima come to claim her daughter - or does she have other, darker motives? Whatever transpires, Martha, Daniel and all the Bonners must stand united against the threats to both heart and home.

Sara Donati's The Endless Forest is the sixth and final book in her Wilderness series and it is just as entertaining and exciting as the first one. This is one of my favourite series of books and since it has finally come to an end, I really tried to savour this last book. This has been a journey of epic proportions. Over the books and over the years I have watched all my favourite characters develop and grow into someone wonderful and unique. Sometimes I really feel like I know these people!

The blurb perfectly sums up this book. The entire Bonner Clan (and they are a huge clan!) have come home to Hidden Wolf; each bringing their own problems and hopes for the future. The previous novel ended in 1815, so this story has jumped forward 9 years. I'm often nervous when books jump into the future. I'm afraid everything will have changed too much. This is not the case; everything was different but also exactly the same. I felt like I was meeting up with old friends; it was easy and comforting. There were plenty of new characters, including Birdie, Nathaniel and Elizabeth's unexpected child.

I was swept away by the romance between Daniel and Martha. They way Daniel teased poor, shy Martha had me laughing out loud. Daniel is such a strong and interesting character. Having severely injured his arm in the war of 1812, Daniel spiralled into a depression and became isolated from his family. But here we see him as a man who has come to terms with his injury and the fact that he cannot shoot a rifle. He has come out of his shell and is stronger in so many other ways. Martha, and Callie too, are not on the same level as Hannah, Jennet and Elizabeth. They aren't quite as strong and independent as the other women in the Bonner family. But I loved them anyway.

Overall I thought it was a spectacular and beautiful finish to a wonderful series. BUT I did have one problem; the epilogue. It is one of the most unique epilogues I have come across in a while but I wasn't ready for what it said. *Mild Spoiler coming up* I of course know, that all people eventually die of old age or illness. The story ended with me feeling happy and satisfied until I read the Epilogue, which spans across about 20 years. Of course some of the older characters have died. I feel it was unnecessary to include this information. It ruined the ending of the book for me. I was left feeling bereft. If, like me, you like characters to live on in your imagination, then skip the epilogue.

Despite this, I adore the series and the final book lived up to my expectations. So 5 out of 5 stars; no question about it.

My Book Boyfriend #8

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by Missie of The Unread Reader which provides us an opportunity to swoon over the men in our books. This week I'm picking Daniel Bonner from The Endless Forest by Sara Donati.

Some Facts
  • Daniel is the son of the glorious Nathaniel Bonner (Last weeks Book Boyfriend!)
  • Raised by Indians and his English mother.
  • At 19 he went off to fight a war and came home without the use of his left arm. 
  • He is a backwoodsman, living in the strawberry fields on Hidden Wolf
  • He is fiercely loyal to his family and very protective over those he loves (Martha, lucky girl!)
  • He is tall, lean, has black hair and stunning green eyes
  • He has a cheeky smile and he loves to tease. 
  • But he is also incredibly sensitive when he has to be

Martha started to roll away from him, but Daniel pinned her down. "Are we done talking?" "Not yet," she said, and he kissed her through a broad grin. "I think I know what the problem is," Daniel said. "It's impossible to think clearly wearing clothes. Let's take care of that first."

He pulled her closer and kissed her, a sweet kiss that lingered no longer than a heartbeat. Then he pressed his mouth to her temple and he took a deep breath. He said, "Martha Bonner, I swear to you, I'll do everything in my power to protect you. Because I love you, and your happiness is the most important thing in the world to me."

Then he was back, two fingers thick with butter. "What - " she said, but he had already smeared it over her bottom lip and down her neck to the base of her throat. When he kissed her this time his tongue touched hers and the bright taste of new butter blossomed between them.

Phew, I am seriously in love with all the Bonner men. I finished The Endless Forest last night and will be posting up my review later today! 

Friday, 5 August 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTis an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This weeks question is: “What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?”

Well technically this book has just been published but I dreamt about getting an ARC copy of it. The book I'm referring to is The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I was so excited about its release and rushed out to the book shop to buy it the other day, only to be told it has only been published in America?? WTF? It was like a slap in the face. I have been waiting for this book for 5 YEARS! Why is it not published in Ireland?! *sigh* Anyway, I've ordered it off Amazon but I'm feeling pretty bitter over here. Cannot wait to read it! 

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee

This weeks question is: Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?)

Wow this is a tough question! The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom definitely made me look at the relationships and things I do in my life. It is a beautiful story about an 83 year old man and his last day on earth.  With out getting too much into it, it is essentially a story with the message that everything happens for a reason. Even the most trivial occurrence, the most fleeting relationships can effect our lives in a major way, without us  knowing it.  It is such a moving and inspirational read and a book that you would want to read again and again. 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event, hosted by Reading Between Pages that will be open from one thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
 This weeks theme is LOCATION

I'm currently reading The Endless Forest by Sara Donati and location is actually quite a significant theme in this book. The author is constantly referring to Paradise and the wilderness surrounding the town. I could easily have picked a paragraph describing Paradise but I though I'd go from something a little different. This extract is about Elizabeth seeking her son Daniel.

Elizabeth stood in the soft spring sunlight and considered. Daniel might be helping Callie or working with Ethan; he might have gone to call on one of his student's families, or he could have gone home to the small house he had built for himself in the strawberry fields, an hour's walk up Hidden Wolf. A walk she would not have hesitated to undertake even a few years ago. A walk she would have enjoyed, because it was her favourite time of year in the endless forests, when small things woke up and reached out.
Page 168.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

My Book Boyfriend #7

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by Missie of The Unread Reader in which we swoon over men in books! This week I'm picking Nathaniel Bonner from Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series.

Some facts:

  • He is half Scotish and half Mowhawk. 
  • He is the son of Hawkeye and he lives in the endless forests of Paradise, NY
  • His wife Sarah died in childbirth several years earlier and now he raises their daughter alone.
  • He is smart, confident, sensitive to other people's feelings and has a strong but gentle sense of humour. 
  • People in the town are intimidated by him. 
  • His chest is covered with Mowhawk tattoos
"I wake up wanting you and I go to sleep wanting you," Nathaniel murmured, pulling her shoulders up to meet him so that her head fell back and the arch of her neck rose to meet him. "Elizabeth. I want you as much as I want to breathe..."

'His hands were on her back, moving in circles. He kissed the corner of her mouth, took her lower lip between his teeth and worried it gently. Touched her upper lip with his tongue and then claimed her, his arms surrounding her, one hand cradling her head.'

"When I'm dying," he said. "When I close my eyes at the last, it'll be your face I see, right at this moment."

It was just impossible to find a picture that looks like my vision of Nathaniel. This is the best I can find. To me Nathaniel's hair is a bit longer and his facial features more angular. This picture is also missing his tattoos.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Review: Called Home: Two Hearts Answer by Gloria Schumann

Goodreads summary: Emma Benson's view of life was crafted by the death of her brother as a child, abandonment by her father and later, the man she trusted she would marry, until David Schlosser-back in town after years in New York writing best-selling novels-threatens her neatly tended life. Romance blooms. Emma and David eventually persevere in the face of tragedy, refusing to leave their dreams behind.

**Kindly provided to me by the Author for an honest review**

Favourite Line: "I don't need a hero, I just need someone to believe in me."

Emma Benson returns home to Wisconsin in order to help her mother and keep their farm from financial ruin.  David Schlosser, a best selling author from New York comes home again, seeking the quiet life that this small town has to offer. One stormy night, their lives are thrown together when David is forced to take shelter in Emma's cellar as a tornado rages above.

Essentially this a sweet romance with some crime and mystery thrown in. Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me. My main problem with the story was Emma. She is mean and rude and I cannot fathom why David is interested in her. She is nothing but harsh and sometimes cruel towards him. There is no endearing qualities about her, so I just can't understand what David sees in her. His irrational pursuit of her made me loose so much respect for an otherwise cool guy. 

Emma comes across as extremely bitter; a trait that I cannot stand. The reason for this bitterness is finally explained towards the end of the story and I did feel some compassion for her. But by then it was too little too late and the damage was done. I just couldn't warm to her.

David was a more interesting character for me. While he was very presumptuous and demanding, I did find his passion for Emma to be very sweet in the second half of the book. There are no sex scenes but what it lacks in sex it makes up for in the MANY steamy kissing scenes. Boy, those will get your heart racing. 

The suspense/mystery element is well written and exciting. Some of the crimes are particularly creepy which I enjoyed. The author kept me guessing as to who was behind all these crazy events and kept up a sense of suspense throughout the story. I did feel the the ending was a bit rushed but it was still intriguing. 

Overall I'm sorry to say that I didn't like it. Emma and David didn't gel for me. But if you like a clean, sweet romance with a bit of suspense and mystery to keep things interesting then I would recommend this for you. It's just not the one for me. 2 Out of 5 Stars

July Wrap Up

I thought I would take some time out to have a look back on what I got up to this July. I didn't get through half of what I wanted to. But I guess that is always the case with me. I was doing a month long internship last month so I had very little free time for my blog. But the month is at an end and I am free as a bird, so expect a lot from me in August!

Books I reviewed in July:

The Wrong Path by Vivian Marie Aubin du Paris

Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon

My favourite book from July: It has to be Chasing Daisy

Memes I took part in this month:

Follow Friday
Blog Hop
Teaser Tuesday
My Book Boyfriend
Fast Forward Monday

The best thing about July was reaching 100 followers and hosting my very first Giveaway! I had a lot of fun doing it and can't wait to get started on my next giveaway when I reach 200 followers. Hopefully it will be an August Giveaway!