Dec 31, 2010

#235 - "Scandal in Spring" by Lisa Kleypas


Title: Scandal in Spring
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers, Book 4

Summary: 
After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman's father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can't snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses - the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift.
Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. But she doesn't count on Matthew's unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.
But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy's wildest fantasies.
 
My rating: 3 of 5
 
My thoughts on the book:
Just like the other books in the series, I liked this one, too! It was fun & sweet & funny & I liked the characters.
 
Challenges:

#234 - "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell


Title: North and South
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Summary:
Margaret is compelled to move from Helstone, her beloved childhood home in the New Forest, to Darkshire in the industrial north when her father resigns his parsonage owing to religious doubts.
When she first encounters John Thornton, her father's pupil and a man in favour of the power of master over worker, she finds their views in conflict. 
But industrial rebellion and family tragedy cause Margaret to learn the realities of urban life and Thornton to learn humanity. Only then can a mutual understanding lead to the possibility of enduring love.

Mrs Gaskell's finest social novel is also the powerfully moving story of the developing relationship between southern-born Margaret Hale and John Thornton, the young northern mill-owner.

My rating: 4.5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I finally read it & I loved it! It's been over 5 years since I first watched the BBC mini series North and South and I fell in love with the story, but I just kept postponing reading the book until now. The book is different than the mini series, although the main story is the same, but there are different scenes.  The book only made me love the characters of Margaret Hale & John Thornton even more. I recommend it! 

Challenges:

Challenge Wrap-Up: Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge 2010!


I completed The Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge 2010, which was hosted by Book Chick City!

I read the following books for this challenge:
 1. "The Stone Rose" by Jacqueline Rayner - review
 2. "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher - review
 3. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams - review
 4. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card - review
 5. "InterWorld" by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves - review
 6. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins - review
 7. "Changeless" by Gail Carriger - review
 8. "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld - review
 9. "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins - review
10. "Incarceron" by Catherine Fisher - review
11. "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins - review
12. "Rot & Ruin" by Jonathan Maberry - review
13. "Edge" by Thomas Blackthorne - review

14. "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White - review

15. "Thomas Riley" by Nick Valentino - review

16. "Unholy Ghosts" by Stacia Kane - review

17. "Unholy Magic" by Stacia Kane - review

18. "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld - review

19. "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman - review

20. "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion - review

21. "The Cellar" by A. J. Whitten - review

22. "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman - review

23. "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones - review
24. "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare - review

#233 - "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare


Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Mortal Instruments, Book 1

Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . .
 
My rating: 5 of 5
 
My thoughts on the book:
I finally read this book & I have to admit, that I see the appeal of the series! It was fast-paced, funny,  sad, suspenseful, with lots of action & fun characters & although I guessed how it will end, I still enjoyed every second of it. I'll definitely continue reading the series & this book can be awesome movie, so I'm looking forward to the movie also.

Challenges:

#232 - "Summer Intern" by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman


Title: Summer Intern
Author: Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman

Summary:
To do: 
- Attend photo shoot on pier at sunset. 
- Get invited to NYC's most exclusive parties. 
- Walk big star's makeup artist's assistant's dog. 
- Fetch dry cleaning when it arrives from Paris. 

There's nothing run-of-the-mill about working at Skirt, the preeminent fashion magazine. I'm Kira Parker, total fashion junkie. I thought I had it made when I landed this job. Ha. I mean, don't get me wrong—working at Skirt is amazing. And spending the summer in New York City without my parents? Golden. But now I'm up against Daphne Hughes, daughter of the magazine's owner. What Daphne wants, she gets—all wrapped up in a cute Coach bag. She's already got the guy of my dreams and all the right connections. Now she thinks she'll get the plum position working for the editor in chief without even lifting a diamond-adorned pinky? This catwalk is primed for battle. 

My rating: 3.5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I liked this book a lot! It was fun, fast & easy read, with likable characters. 

Challenges:

    #231 - "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones


    Title: Howl's Moving Castle
    Author: Diana Wynne Jones
    Series: Howl's Castle, Book 1

    Summary:
    In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.
    After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.
    The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.
    In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

    My rating: 5 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I have only one word for it: AMAZING! I loved it & I don't know what I've been waiting for until now. I have to admit that I first saw the animated movie & I loved it, but after reading the book, I'm blown away. Although the basic plot & storyline is the same, there are a lot of differencies between them & the book is 10 times better! It's fun, sweet, hilarious, with interesting, fun & lovable characters and a few twists. I loved everything about it & if someone asks me now who's my favourite wizard, the answer definitely will be Howl. Definitely one of my favorite book, which I'll read again & again. This was the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I've read and I'm looking forward to read more of her! I highly recommend it if you still haven't read it.
     
    Challenges:

    Challenge Wrap-Up: Take Another Chance Challenge 2010!


    The Take Another Chance Challenge 2010 was hosted by Jenners @ Life...With Books.
    There were 3 levels & I chose the Moderate Gamble level, for which I had to complete 6-12 challenges! 
    I completed 8 challenges, so I finished the challenge! 
    The list of the challenges I completed is below.
    1. Challenge 1: Read Your Doppelganger - My challenge post is HERE.
    2. Challenge 2: Blogroll Roulette - My challenge post is HERE.  
    3. Challenge 3: 100 Best Book - My challenge post is HERE.
    4. Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book - My challenge post is HERE.
    5. Challenge 5: Title Word Count - My challenge post is HERE.
    6. Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up - My challenge post is HERE.
    7. Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book - My challenge post is HERE.
    8. Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick - My challenge post is HERE.

    Take Another Chance Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick!



    Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick (worth 2 entries)
    Find an anthology of your choice. Read at least 5 entries in the anthology. Of the 5 entries you've read, pick your favorite one and then find a book by that writer and read it. (If your first choice doesn't have a book, then pick your next favorite until you find a writer that has a book.) Write about the anthology, your favorite pick from the anthology, and the book you read by your favorite pick. Because of having to obtain and read two books, this challenge is worth two entries. Thanks to J.T. Oldfield at Bibliofreak who partially inspired this challenge.
    Example: If you choose a poetry anthology, you would at least 5 different poems, pick your favorite, and then seek out a book of poetry by that poet. If you read a short story anthology, you would read at least 5 different short stories, pick your favorite, and then seek out either a novel or another book of short stories by that writer.

    I read the anthology Vacations From Hell, which has 5 stories from 5 different YA authors that were new to me, although well known: Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mlynowski & Claudia Gray! All the stories were good, so it's a great anthology, but I loved the most The Law of Suspects by Maureen Johnson, so I read her book Girl at Sea, which was amazing! My review for Vacations From Hell is HERE& my review for Girl at Sea is HERE!

    #230 - "Girl at Sea" by Maureen Johnson


    Title: Girl at Sea
    Author: Maureen Johnson

    Summary:
    Sometimes you have to get lost.
    The Girl: Clio, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan.
    The Mission: Survive her father's annoying antics. Oh, also find some underwater treasure that could be the missing link to a long-lost civilization.
    The Crew: Dad's absentminded best friend Martin, his scary girlfriend Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant research assistant.
    What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway?  
    As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more mysterious than the sea—her own heart.
     
    My rating: 4.5 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    I loved this book. The story was really great & I couldn't put it down. It was fun & had mystery, romance & adventure, and another plus for me is that it's set in Italy. I read it in winter, but it's definitely great summer read! There was something in the end that happened that I didn't expected, so it surprised me, too! It goes to my pile of favorites & I'll definitely read it again. I highly recommend it!

    Challenges:

    #229 - "A Very Merry Christmas" by Lori Foster, Gemma Bruce & Janice Maynard


    Summary:
    Though the weather outside is frightful, the hunky men are SO delightful. And three ladies are about to get their stockings stuffed with the season's best cheer...  
     
    Do You Hear What I Hear by Lori Foster: 
    Accused of stealing a donkey from the local nativity scene, pet psychic Marci Churchill is being watched by Sergeant Osbourne Decker, who can't stop thinking about frisking her... 
     
    Bah Humbug, Baby by Gemma Bruce: 
    The last thing ad exec Allison Newberry wants this year is to spend the holidays with her former flame, the unreliable-but-sexier-than-hell photojournalist Lee Simonson. But when a blizzard hits their ski lodge, there's only one way to keep warm...  
     
    By Firelight by Janice Maynard
    Madison Tierney is feeling anything but merry this Christmas. But when she gets stranded with mountain man Grant Monroe in his secluded cabin, she feels her Christmas spirit - and her temperature - start to rise...
     
     
    My rating: 3.5 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed all the stories. Do You Hear What I Hear was hilarious & liked it a lot. Bah Humbug, Baby was ok & I liked it, but I loved By Firelight.
     
    Challenges:

    #228 - "I'm Your Santa" by Lori Foster, Karen Kelley & Dianne Castell


    Summary:
    He's making a list, he's checking it twice - and he's hoping you're more naughty than nice. He's your own personal Saint Nick - sans beard, belly, and red suit - and he's coming special delivery in this sizzling collection... 
     
    The Christmas Present by Lori Foster:
    When Beth Monroe catches her fiancĂ© fooling around, she's out for revenge...and the sweetest kind comes courtesy of Levi, the cheater's best friend. But when their one-hour tryst stretches to an entire weekend, holiday cheer takes on a whole new meaning...  
     
    It's a Wonderful Life by Karen Kelley:  
    Hollywood hottie Jeremy Hunter needs to get serious about his acting career, and that means Christmas spent researching his upcoming role. But going incognito as a preacher in a tiny Texas town soon brings wicked temptation in the form of beautiful Bailey Tanner... 
     
    Home for Christmas by Dianne Castell 
    A philandering boyfriend plus an empty wallet add up to LuLu Cahill's worst Christmas ever, until she heads home to O'Fallon's Landing and crosses paths with jilted groom Sebastian Moore. Sebastian is determined to go through with his pre-wedding holiday bash. All he needs is LuLu to fill in for the bride...
     
     
    My rating: 2.5 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I loved only one of the stories: The Christmas Present by Lori Foster & I'll definitely read more of her books. As for the others, I didn't like It's a Wonderful Life & I wasn't too crazy about Home for Christmas, too, although it had funny moments. I guess the problem was that I didn't like the characters, they annoyed me.
     
    Challenges:

    #227 - "Wish List" by Lisa Kleypas, Lisa Cach, Claudia Dain & Lynsay Sands


    Summary:

    Four of Romance's hottest authors present holiday tales filled with love and laughter:
    I Will by Lisa Kleypas
    Puddings, Pastries, and Thou by Lisa Cach
    Union by Claudia Dain
    All I Want by Linsay Sands   

    Dear St. Nicholas,
    What we'd really like for Christmas this year is:
    An Irish Estate
    A Family
    Mountains of Sugarplums
    A Quiet Elopement
    Someone to close down all the London clubs - (like White's)
    OR
    Marriage to a Man who is Honest, Loving, Sexy, Handsome and Titled.
    But we know there aren't enough of those to go around... are there?

    Respectfully,
    Four English Ladies

    I Will by Lisa Kleypas:
    Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father's will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways. As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn't know any decent women, except for his friend's spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins . . . 
     
    Puddings, Pastries, and Thou by Lisa Cach:
    It’s Christmas, and Vivian Ambrose has once again been passed off from one relation to the other. Orphaned long ago, and with no fortune, she has had to rely on the charity of cousins for her meat and bread, when what she dreams of is puddings and pastries, and a home, husband, and children of her own.
    Richard Brent has all but given up hope that a decent, loving woman will have him. He has enough stains upon his public character that he is barely tolerated in genteel homes, and then only because he comes from a good family. When he meets Vivian, his last flickers of hope are stirred to life, for she is the one woman he has met whose hungers may tempt her to take his bait .


    My rating: 3 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed all of these stories. The best one is definitely I Will by Lisa Kleypas. I loved it. As for the others, I enjoyed them, too! They were all funny & fun & I liked the chemistry between the main characters!

    Challenges:

    #226 - "Love Is A Battlefield" by Annalisa Daughety


    Title: Love Is A Battlefield
    Author: Annalisa Daughety
    Series: Walk in the Park, Book 1

    Summary:
    Recent history has taught Kristy O'Neal not to believe in love or risk her heart. Ace Kennedy came to Shiloh to research his family history - but it's Park Ranger Kristy he's studying. Using his own ancestors as an example, can he prove that true love really does exist before Kristy walks away forever?
     
    My rating: 3 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    This is a christian romance novel! It's fun & sweet book, with likable characters & I enjoyed it!  
     
    Challenges:

    Dec 30, 2010

    Challenge Wrap-Up: Neil Gaiman Reading Challenge 2010!

    The Neil Gaiman Reading Challenge was hosted by Marny!
     
     The goal was to read at least 5 books or/and graphic novels by Neil Gaiman!

    I re-read 2 of his books, read one of his graphic novels & read 6 more books, which makes total of 9! I planned to read one more (American Gods), but didn't got around to it! 
     
    Here are the books I read for this challenge:
    1. Neverwhere - review
    2. Anansi Boys - review
    3. Stardust  (re-read) - review
    4. InterWorld (with Michael Reaves) - review
    5. Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett) - review
    6. The Graveyard Book (re-read) - review
    7. Coraline - review
    8. Odd and the Frost Giants - review
    9. The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch (with Dave McKean) - review (graphic novel)

    Challenge Wrap-Up: Once Upon A Time Reading Challenge 2010!


    The Once Upon A Time Reading Challenge 2010 was hosted by Tena at Crazy Book Slut!

    The goal was to read at least 5 fairy tale retellings! 

    I completed the challenge & read 5 fairy tale retellings (four YA & one adult).

    Here's the list if books I read:
    1. "A Kiss in Time" by Alex Flinn - retelling of Sleeping Beauty - review
    2. "Beastly" by Alex Flinn - retelling of Beauty & the Beast - review
    3. "Princess of the Midnight Ball" by Jessica Day George - retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses - review 
    4. "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" by Jessica Day George - retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon - review 
    5. "The Sevenfold Spell" by Tia Nevitt - retelling of Sleeping Beauty - review

    Take Another Chance Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book!


    Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book (worth 2 entries)
    Find two books that have the same word in the title. Read both books and write about them. (Worth 2 entries because you have to read two books).
    Example: If you pick the word "Love," you could read any two books that both have Love in the title. To help you find books that have the same word, you could go to Amazon.com, type a word into the Search box and see what books come up with that word.

    I read 2 books with the word Leviathan! Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin (although my copy's title was only Leviathan, and that's the original title, too, but in English is translated as Murder on the Leviathan) and I read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld! I loved both this books!  My review of Boris Akunin's Leviathan is HERE & my review of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan is HERE!

    Take Another Chance Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up!


    Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up (worth 1 entry)
    Go to this list of book genres and pick a genre that you have NEVER read before. Find a book from that genre, read it, and write about it. Note: If you seriously cannot find a genre that you have never read, then pick the genre that is as far away from what you normally read.
     
    I read all fiction genres, but I don't read non-fiction, so for this challenge I decided to read a non-fiction book! I read The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi! This was actually my first & only non-fiction book that I read in 2010! My review's HERE!

    Take Another Chance Challenge 5: Title Word Count!


    Challenge 5: Title Word Count (worth 1 entry)
    Go to Random.org and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the numbers 1 for the min. and 5 for the max. and then hit generate. Find a book to read that has that number of words in the title. Read the book and write about it.
    Example: If you get 1 for your number, read a book that has a one word title. If you get 2, read a book that has a two word title and so on and so forth.

    I got number 1, so I had to read book with one-word title. I actually read a lot more one-word-titled books this year, but the first I read was Aurelia by Anne Osterlund! My review's HERE

    Take Another Chance Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book!


    Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book (worth 1 entry)
    Pick one of the major literary awards from the list below. Click on the link for the award you picked. You will find a brief description of the award and links to past winners. Pick one of the past winners, read the book and write about it.

    For this challenge read The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is Newberry Medal winner for 1994! My review's HERE!

    Take Another Chance Challenge 3: 100 Best Book!



    Challenge 3: 100 Best Book (worth 1 entry) 
    Choose one of the lists below and go to the link provided. Choose a book to read from the list that you haven't read before. Read the book and write about it.

    Since I still hadn't read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card & it was #1 on the Top 100 Sci-Fi Books I decided to read it finally & I read it & I don't know what I've been waiting for until now! My review's HERE!