Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

So today's weather in Ohio (in the middle of winter!) was in the 50s. Weird, I know. My mom told me though that because of something with the hurricanes the winds are changing so we won't be getting that cold of a winter this year. Fine by me!

Anyways, since it was such a nice day, I decided to take a walk. I couldn't not take a walk - I didn't have to wear a jacket outside! ME! And I'm always cold. I also love being outside. In the summer, I'm outside every day. It also just felt like the woods were calling to me. So I started walking towards the woods were I felt I should enter.

I've never taken a walk in the woods during winter before, and I realized I'm missing out. There wasn't snow on the ground, but there had been recently, so there wasn't any spider webs! Usually I'll encounter a couple, but all the precipitation must have gotten rid of them. After walking around for a good 15-20 minutes I stopped to listen and just think. I do the best thinking in the middle of the woods. All the silence and slight movements of the outdoors - bliss.

Luckily, one of our dogs followed me. He's a little thing and thinks he's much bigger than he is. One of our neighbors dogs started wailing, at least that's what it sounded like. So lets recap: I'm in the middle of the woods, almost completely alone, and there is a dog that sounded like it's being tortured. Maybe because I read too much or because at work we were having a conversation about Sasquatch today but I started to imagine some huge thing coming at me. Not a completely irrational thought but now that I think about it, I shouldn't have been so scared.

I started walking back to my house and I swear the howls were getting louder. Not only that but my little dog kept stopping and looking back. He only does that if he's interested, so I knew something was moving. I didn't know if maybe the dog was following us or not. Finally, after almost getting back to my house, I spotted a dog jogging through the woods behind me. He didn't even see me at first and I called to him. Then I noticed he had blood on his mouth. At first I panicked. I mean seriously, BLOOD! 'Did this dog do something to the other dog' I thought. But then I remembered that our dogs eat dead deer sometimes (I know, it's really gross) so maybe this dog just got hungry. It didn't seem threatening so I called to it again.

I finally got back on our property and took a look at the dog. It had blood on it's face, green stuff on it's back, beaches stuck in it's fur, and it smelled like feces. I thought I found a lost dog in the middle of the woods. After my quick assessment I noticed another dog coming through the woods. This one had two leaches trailing it. I knew it either got away from it's owner or it broke free from some kind of made-up dog staying contraption.

After calling my Mom and describing the dogs to her, she told me she didn't know who one of them belonged to - the bigger one with the blood on it's face. So I was thinking I found a lost dog! But then we finally contacted some neighbors and we found their owners.

This was kind of a pointless story but it's strange because I wonder if the dogs would have made it home if I hadn't found the one in the woods. They would have had to of crossed a frequently used roadway to get to our house. I like to think that maybe I saved one of them from being injured today. This is why I always follow my instincts. Not doubt I really wanted to go for a walk in the woods today, but I almost felt like I had to. Coincidence or not, I'm glad I ventured out today :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)

Title: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)
Author: Susan Ee
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while freer and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penrynw will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on fur survival. Together, they journey toward the angel's stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My Take:

This book was so original! Definitely one of my favorites.

Yes, it was about Angels somewhat, but the world is in shambles. The angel's Apocalypse is in full force and there isn't such a thing as normal living. Penryn's younger sister gets taken by angels and Pen is forced to work with the enemy, an angel. Penryn is trying to get her sister back and Raffe is trying to get his wings back. 

I LOVE the tension in this book. Penryn is trying really hard to suppress her feelings for Raffe, and it's interesting to watch. Throughout the book I was trying to figure out if Raffe was good or bad, and honestly, I'm still unsure. I wish she would have asked Raf more questions throughout the book, but she wouldn't! 

There are many twists in this novel I surely didn't see coming. Strange things keep piling up in this new, dangerous world and it kept me curious. Things happen, but you have no idea what the outcome would be because it's not something you've ever heard of happening before. And with this insane world, you can expect everything to turn out ok. 

There are still MANY questions left unanswered and I'm beyond ready for the next book to be here already! 

I. want. more. NOW!!

(I wish this book was published so I could have one for my shelf!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quote: Sonnets from the Portugese by Browning

It's only part of Sonnets from the Portugese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.'

Love this part! The beginning should sound familiar to a lot of people, and I never knew the rest of it till a couple of days ago. This sonnet is beautiful!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Boys That Bite (Blood Coven #1)

Title: Boys That Bite (Blood Coven #1)
Author: Mari Mancusi
Rating 2.5 of 5

Goodreads Description:
Two sisters - as different as the run and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Coven is to die for. But for the other, getting out could be lethal ....

When Sunny McDonald gets dragged to Club Fang by her twin sisters Rayne, she doesn't expect to find anything besides a bunch of Goth kids playing at being vampires. But when some guy mistakes Sunny for her dark-side-loving sister and bites her on the neck, she finds out that his fangs are real - and deadly.

Now, Sunny has less than a week to figure out how to reverse the bite, or else she's going to end up as the perpetually undead. And not only will she be a vampire, she'll also be conned to Magnus - the bloodsucker who bit her - forever. And forever is a really long time...

My Thoughts:
This book was simply OK. The characters were somewhat relatable, but not completely. Especially Magnus since he's like a century old. He still talks of a different time period sometimes and it seems weird compared to the narrator's voice.

There was enough going on to keep me interested but not enough that made me love it. It just seemed like a simple read, and that's exactly what it was.

Will be reading the next though - I already have it from the library so why not?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Quote: Bradstreet 'To My Dear and Loving Husband'

I started taking some English classes and I keep coming across so many quotes that I love. I just have to share them! So enjoy :)

'To My Dear and Loving Husband'
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Isn't that so cute!! I loved it the first time I read it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

Title: Half-Blood (Covenant #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

My Thoughts:

Gods/Immortals are always interesting for me to read about. And since the main characters name is Alexandria. How could I not read it?

This was a great story. It seemed to mirror Vampire Academy a little bit because of the guy training the girl in a school she fled, but was brought back to. There are a lot of other elements that made this story completely different and I LOVED it! 

First, the Apollyn, this God-like person, was really fun to learn about. Like Alex, I agree that for him to have the name Seth was somewhat of a disappointment. I was looking for something more that said God. 

The story keeps you interested the whole time because there's plenty of action. The only thing I wished there was more of where things like what characters gestures were or what they were doing. Maybe even how they were feeling. There was a lot of dialogue, which I like, but there wasn't much else telling what was going on around them or what they were thinking about it all. I don't remember descriptions of places and stuff to be too much so I think that was really good.

And for the life of me I still can't figure out why Pures and Halfs can't be together. SO stupid. 

Will definitely be continuing the series!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where there is a different list featured every week. Anyone can participate and if you link back to their site you might get a couple extra visitors!

It's 2012 and that means more authors and more books! Since I had a little hard time coming up with my top ten, I cheated and split all the ones I'm really excited for up. There's still a list of ten but some extras added later. I figured it's my blog, so I can :)

Top Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012
(This list is all the sequels I'm waiting for. They also all come out in 2012.)

I even tried to put them in order for you guys.

10. Untitled (Hush, Hush #4)
by Becca Fitzpatrick
The end is finally coming and I can't wait to see what happens. I'll be sad to see it go but I just want more Patch!

9. Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)
by Holly Black 
I read the first two books in this series in the middle of last year. I feel like I've been without these characters for too long. I want them back!

8. City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
by Cassandra Clare
With that cliffhanger in City of Fallen Angels? Who isn't dying to get their hands on this?!

7. Timepiece (Hourglass #2)
by Myra McEntire
A lot of books have two boys going after one girl. This isn't exactly like that but kind of. Kaleb is a huge flirt, even though Michael already has Emerson's heart, and I can't get enough. Kaleb makes this series for me, and he didn't even come till at least half way through. But we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the sequel it seems, so how can I not be excited?

6. Untitled (Madly #3)
by M. Leighton
Madly's story is one of my favorites. Leighton has created an original world and I love all the chaos that goes on. Madly's my first mermaid so of course I love her. I also happen to love the man she loves, so, I want her story. NOW. 

5. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #2)
by Cassandra Clare
Clare knows what she's doing in both her series. This love triangle is probably one of the best I've come across. With Clare, you can't really guess what she's going to hit you over the head with next. That's why I love her stories, and why they make me want to rip my hair out! Jem or Will? Jem or Will? 

4. Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
by Lauren Oliver
The first half of Delirium was SO slow for me. But by the end I was like WHAT??!! Oliver really knows how to create a cliffhanger, or make you want to hunt her down and demand the next book immediately.

3. Untitled (Shatter Me #2)
by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me blew me away. There was everything you could want: action, romance, a slightly unknown world, and awesome characters. Give. me. NOW.

2. Waiting for Mercy (Cambion #2)
by Shannon Dermott
Mercy's story is so unique I feel in love with her story from the first couple of pages. Everything I've read in this story has been a surprise and with all the men floating around, I'm always interested. Mercy has herself in more than one debacle and waiting to see what happens next is killing me.

1. Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls #3)
by C.C. Hunter
This might be one of my favorite series ever. I'm drawn to the camp, the characters, all their unique situations, and all the craziness that's happening. We're trying to find out what Kylie is along with Kylie. She doesn't know exactly where her heart belongs, and strange things are still happening. There are even other characters that have strange things happening. I think because of all the different relationships and multiple trials that are happening in this story, I'm completely hooked.

Honorable mentions:

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth Bloodrose (Nightshade #3) by Andrea Cremer (which comes out today!)

These next books are either first in the series, or I haven't started the series yet.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
by Richelle Mead
Even though I haven't read the last VA book yet, or read the first in this series, I'm pumped for this book to come out. I love Adrian and since he's a main character in this, I couldn't be more excited. I knew Rose would end up with Dimitri and since Adrian is one of my favorite characters, I'm not THAT devastated for VA to end. 

Tempest (Tempest #1)
by Julie Cross
This book is about people in college and since I'm a recent college grad, I feel like this book could be more relatable to me than other YA books are. It's also about time travel and love, so duh, I'm excited.

Everneath (Everneath #1)
by Brodi Ashton
Having six months to choose to fight to live with your family, friends and boyfriend on Earth, or give in and live in the underworld with a sexy immortal? I think this is going to be a good one. YES, PLEASE!

Desinty's Fire 
by Trisha Wolfe
This is about shape-shifters (my favorites) and it's set in the future. She's one of the last of her kind and the enemy has better access than ever to her home. It sounds like there's training, fighting, and even romance in this novel. Woohoo :)

Review: Crossed (Matched #2)

Title: Crossed (Matched #2)
Author: Ally Condie
Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

My Take:
Since I just thought Matched was good, not awesome or amazing, I thought this one would be the same. In the beginning, it was awful. I couldn't find the story interesting and I almost gave up. But after about 50 pages it gets a lot better. 

I'd never been a huge fan of Ky before but this book tugged my opinion of him all around. Just when I was really starting to like him, he goes and keeps things from Cassia. So I couldn't like him after that of course. But then things keep happening and I'm not sure how I feel anymore. Xander is still my favorite and I'm sad we didn't see him in this book. But I'm thinking we'll see him a lot in the next. 

There are more secrets and things the readers don't know in this book, so that makes it more interesting. Things in their lives are really starting to change and I could have kicked Cassia multiple times for the stupid decisions she was making. I really don't think she uses her head much.

Even though this book was really confusing and I couldn't exactly tell what people were talking about some of the time, I'm glad I read it. I'll definitely be reading the last in the series.

Review: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)

Title: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
Author: Richelle Mead
Rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Salvation has its price. 
The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever." 

Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead....

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere. 

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever. 

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price? 

Fall in love with Rose and Dimitri all over again in Spirit Bound, the eagerly awaited fifth novel in Richelle Mead's enthralling Vampire Academy series.

My Take:
This series just keeps getting better and better! 

Mead knows how to create a wonderful story. She makes a couple things happen at once - we have the Dimitri is a Strigoi issues, Christian and Lissa are still broken up, Adrian wants a relationship, and there's chaos in the royal court. SO much and it's all got me hooked! 

I almost tore into the last book right after this but I made myself sleep instead. I never saw that ending coming :O Thank goodness I don't have to wait a year like everyone else, or I'd go cra-zy. 

I have to admit, I wasn't ever a huge fan of Dimitri, at least not like all the other girls who read this series seem to be, but after this book.. well, he's grown on me, a lot. Christian and Adrian though are still competing for my favorite characters. What can I say, I like the crazy ones. This book has a lot of Adrian, and it's making me really excited to read [book:Bloodlines|8709527]. 

Read this book now!