Thursday, May 31, 2012

Giveaway: My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop

Congratulations goes to Hira!!!  She won a copy of Across the Universe.

Welcome to my stop for the My Favorite Reads Giveaway.  Now what can you win from me?  One of my favorite books (or a similarly priced book) displayed below (to be purchased from Amazon or Book Depository).

How it Works:
  1. This contest is open to everyone (international included - as long as Book Depository/Amazon ships to you).
  2. Entrant must be 13 years of age or older.
  3. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, June 6th.
  4. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below. You can enter by doing one of the following: 
    1. Follow blog via GFC. Let me know your GFC name in the comments section. (You don't have to be a new follower.) 
    2. Leave a comment on this post. Answer the following question: What book has been your favorite read so far this year?
    3. Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a link to your tweet in the comments section. 
  5. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with logistics.

Other giveaways open at manda-rae reads a lot:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Once by Anna Carey
Eve Series, Book 2
Genre:  YA Dystopian
Anna Carey's website
Expected publication date:  July 3, 2012
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

You have to admit that the cover is stunning.  Makes me excited to read this one...

Dont forget to check out an author interview with R Rodriguez and enter a GIVEAWAY for her debut novel: Grace.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's post is Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years.

This is one of those posts where it would have been really nice if I had been blogging my reading experience ten years ago.  It's hard to remember what I read back then.  Let's see, I was barely starting high school ten years ago.  So I don't even know what I was reading back then (other than sheet music and biotechnology protocols).

Another note, I may have failed (scratch the may have, I'm sure I failed) at picking books that were written in the last ten years.  I ended up picking books that I had read in the last ten years that had semi-recent publishing dates.  Oops, my bad (and no, I don't want to fix my list)...

My faves while in high school (maybe, I'm guessing):

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

My faves from college:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My faves right after college (and right before my huge reading spurt):

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy
Morganville Vampires Series, Book 12

Description (taken from Goodreads):
In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Oh boy, me reviewing the twelfth book in a series without trying to give the plot away.  Yeah, this isn't going to work.  So, let me tell you, I will not talk about the plot at all because it'll ruin parts of the last book and some gradual parts that grew with the story.  Instead, I'll give you my opinion of this book (maybe).

First off, I have always been a Myrnin fan from the very beginning.  I like Shane, but he's not my favorite, and I'd totally be okay with Claire leaving Shane for Myrnin if I knew it wouldn't break any hearts.  Last Breath was by far my favorite book of the series, and those who've read it can probably guess why.  So, this one left me slightly disappointed.  I still love the series and the characters, this just wasn't one of my favorite reads.

So why was I disappointed?  You see a heck of a lot of character growth in the first eleven books.  And I felt like a lot of it was thrown out the window when I read, "I'm not worth his/her love.  I don't know how on earth we ended up and are still together.  I'm not worthy of his/her love.  It would only make sense for him/her to leave me."  Something along those lines.  What is up with all the self-doubt and low self-worth?!?  Is it a teenager thing?  I remember thinking things along those lines when I was younger, but I don't think them anymore.  Because honestly, I'm my biggest cheerleader after I realized no one's going to do the job for me.  So hearing those thoughts from my favorite characters turned me off from the book.  Maybe it was still appropriate for the characters and the plot helps justify some of it, but I was not sympathetic.

The Morganville Vampire Series as a whole is just awesome.  And I will tell all young adult vampire fans to read these books.  But you're going to see highs and lows within a series; this was a low for me.  Regardless, I'm still eagerly anticipating the next one.

Challenges:  Young Adult Reading Challenge

Saturday, May 26, 2012

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

Let me say this past week has been a very interesting week with house hunting.  And I'm exhausted.  Fortunately, there's very stormy weather outside which means I'll be cooped up reading all day...

From the Library:

  • Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I must admit that I've been a fan of the Jack-the-Ripper era.  The mystery is very intriguing, and I've enjoyed reading fictional books regarding that setting.  So, this should be a good one for me.

manda-rae's Past Week




I hope you all had an awesome week (and that it was filled with more reading than mine)!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Genre:  YA Thriller/Mystery
Jasper Dent series, Book 1

Description (taken from Barry Lyga's website):
It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.

Except for the body.


Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, “Take Your Son to Work Day” was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo’s Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn’t run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I'm still not sure whether or not I like Jazz' personality.  At the beginning of the book, he comes off as super cocky.  But later, we start to see that he is very much haunted by his past, his father is still manipulating him while behind bars, and he doesn't see how he can be a good person.  So, he sort of grows on you.

We're in a world where Jazz is the expert on serial killers because his dad was one of the best (or most gruesome).  And with that in mind, it seems he knows better than the cops and will be needed for insights to investigate some recent murders.  This bothered me a little, but we wouldn't really have a young adult story without the young adult character, right?  And there was one tiny flaw with one of the murder investigations that I noticed (but I'm not going to tell others in the hopes that they don't notice).

This book definitely borders the line of being a little disturbing.  It's kind of like someone telling you to not look in a box because the sight isn't pretty.  So you have to look in the box to verify that it ain't pretty.  That's how this book was to me.  Was it good?  Yes.  Was it gruesome?  Yes.  Was it different? Yes.  Would I let my little tween sister read it?  Heck no...

So let me tell you a little secret.  I'm still planning to read the second book.  This book was different from others because you're going to feel a little evil (or dirty) while reading it.  And that maybe, sort of, kind of, maybe not really worked for me.

Challenges:  Young Adult Reading Challenge
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