January Wrap Up

I forgot to do one of these in December, so this will also include at least December reviews.

Reviewed in December

 

    Reviewed in January

    Read in January

    • Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan James
    • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
    • Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
    • Possess by Gretchen McNeil
    • Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
    • Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
    • A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
    • Steel by Carrie Vaughn
    • The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
    • Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

    And to those who commented on my Err suggestions post, thank you! I’m not going to sweat it if I don’t get more than one review out a week. I want this to be fun, so as per suggestions made, I will not pressure myself.

      The Second Harper Readathon!

      I was reminded today that I had this planned for tomorrow, so here it is. The readathon starts at 9am, wherever you are, and ends Monday at 9am. And you do not have to be participating in the overall reading challenge for the month to read in the readathon! The only rule is of course to read YA Harper books from their YA imprints.

      I’m not using a linky for link up this time, if you decide to participate and make a post about it, just comment with link!

      For me, my only goal is to read Masque of the Red Death. And if I finish that I’ll move on to The Selection.

      So get your books ready and get plenty of sleep! Tomorrow will be a fun reading day. 🙂

      Drama Drama Drama.

      Hi! My name is Chelsey, and I am a book addict. I am also a drama addict, but only as long as it’s drama in my favorite TV shows, movies, or books. There’s been way too much going on in the blogosphere though. I feel like we’re all forgetting why we’re doing this in the first place: love of reading and sharing that love. In the year I’ve been blogging, I’ve never spoken up anytime something controversial was happening. Maybe that’s because sometimes I missed out on the event entirely. Who knows. This time I am, because January has brought the apocalypse. I can’t remember a month in the last year with more drama.

      First off we had all these different author/agent/blogger nasties going around. Authors, I get that these books are your babies. Yes you are going to be disappointed about every single negative review. And yes, some of those reviews will be bashing you and/or your book. We’re only human. We are not perfect. I know you feel the urge to strike out at that person, it’s understandable. But it’s not acceptable. That’s one of those times you need to be the bigger person, and reread your positive reviews. But don’t rig the system by voting them above others. Again, unacceptable.

      Bad behavior by either party isn’t going to necessarily chase me away from a book, especially if it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for months. I honestly don’t think a story should suffer just because the person who created it, or readers who read it, temporarily forget how to act maturely.

      Second, and last of all. ARCs. Everyone wants them. And I’ll admit, yes even I am dazzled by ARCs. But they’re not why I got into blogging. I discovered book blogging through the weekly In My Mailbox meme. I loved seeing what books everyone was getting, whether they were for review or bought by the blogger. I discovered many books that I may never have heard about without blogging. I’ve lost count of how many books I bought in 2011, but I’m sure it was well over 100. Now you might stop and think “Oh but Chelsey reviews a lot of ARCs”. And you’d be right. BUT! They are not my ARCs. I get them through a tour site. Honestly, I love the idea of tour sites. I really think publishers should set up something like that for bloggers and get more bang for their buck. Then there wouldn’t even be the issue of oh that blogger has so many more ARCs than I do. As I said, I’ve been blogging a year now, and I’ve reached over 1,000 blog followers. I do not however, have publishers banging down my inbox with review requests. And you know what? That’s just fine with me. I’m not going to stop blogging just because I don’t have contact with all the YA publishers. I have plenty to read. And even if I didn’t, I could always go to the library.

      Jealousy is an ugly thing. We all feel it at some point or another, but that’s when we need to step back and take a breath and remember that just because you might not be rolling in the ARCs doesn’t mean your world is ending, or that your blog is unsuccessful. Remember why we all got into blogging in the first place: Love of reading and sharing that love with others.

      I’m sorry if that seemed long-winded and somewhat rambling, but I needed to get it out. This is not directed at any one person, and no offense is intended.

      Harper YA Challenge 24 Hour Giveaway

      Yes, this was supposed to be up yesterday. I had something scheduled yesterday that was unavoidable, and did not have time to get this post up. I only got home from this thing today, a couple hours ago. Sorry for the delay, but there was nothing I could do about it. Anyways lets get this started!

      Pay attention, because there will be TWO GIVEAWAYS in this post. One for INTERNATIONAL entrants, and one for US ONLY. Both are under the cut.

      PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to be participating in the reading challenge to enter the giveaways. These are for everyone!

      INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY
      Anyone and everyone can enter this, as long as the book depository ships to your country.

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      US ONLY
      Only citizens of the United States may enter this giveaway. I cannot afford international shipping.

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      The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers Blog Tour: Lynn Weingarten Interview

      I’m pleased to be hosting Lynn Weingarten on the blog today for an interview, as part of the blog tour! The tour schedule can be found at the bottom of the post.

      If there’s an upside to having your heart broken, it’s this: A broken heart makes you brave.
      The first day of sophomore year doesn’t go the way Lucy planned. After a summer apart from her boyfriend, she’s ready to greet him with a special surprise and instead gets a shocking one in return: He’s breaking up with her. Beyond devastated, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life.
      Enter three stunning girls with the unnatural ability to attract boys and an offer Lucy can’t refuse: They can heal her heart in an instant. And then she’ll be one of them—a member of a sisterhood that is impervious to heartbreak and has access to magic distilled from the tears of brokenhearted boys. But to gain their power, Lucy must get a guy to fall in love with her the old-fashioned way, and then break his heart in the next seven days.
      While the sisterhood may need another Heartbreaker, Lucy’s only desire is to get her ex back. But how far is she willing to go, and who is she willing to cross to get what she wants?

      Where did the idea for The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers come from? Did it just pop into your head one day, or did it slowly take form over time?

      The initial seed came from a book I read– a non-fiction book about how to pick up women. In the book, groups of guys would go out together and use various tactics to get ladies and I started thinking about how it would be fun to write a book about a group of girls who did a similar thing. The rest of the idea grew quickly from there.

      While writing TSSoH, what were your writing routines? Did you stick to a daily word goal you wanted to hit, or were there days where you couldn’t write anything? About how long did it take you to write the novel from start to finish?

      I wrote most of TSSoH very late at night. Sometimes I wrote on the roof of the apartment I lived in at the time, often I wrote with the lights off and candles burning. I’d get in the writing mood by listening to various magicy heartbreakery songs (including lots of Loreena Mckennit and also the song Maneater). I definitely took days off while I was writing, although not many and I really tried to power through when I felt stuck. One thing that really helped me was that I didn’t write the first draft in chronological order. I had enough of the plot figured out ahead of time that I could jump around between chapters as I went. This made it a lot easier to unstuck myself on stuck feeling days – if I wasn’t getting into the next chronological chapter, I’d flip through until I found one that I felt like writing.

      Which character did you enjoy writing the most, and which one gave you the most trouble? While I personally loved Olivia, Liza had this spunk, and was the perfect character for loving and hating at the same time.

      Thank you! Liza and Tristan were probably the most fun to write. Liza because she is such a sass pot and Tristan because he is very jokey. Lucy was a bit hard to write because her heart iscompletely broken and at the same time she’s just learned that there’s magic in the world. So on one hand there is this really difficult terrible thing that she’s dealing with and at the same time that she’s suddenly understanding that the world is more amazing than she ever imagined. Trying to keep track of how she might feel was definitely difficult.

      One thing I loved and disliked at the same time was Lucy’s choice in the end. Instead of going the predictable route, you chose the other way. Was it hard to make that choice?

      I knew right from the beginning what I wanted the ending to be. I’m not surprised you had mixed feelings about it! I figured a lot of readers would. But I felt like she had to make the choice she makes in order for me to tell the story I wanted to tell, which continues into the next book.

      The way TSSoH ends leaves enough open for the possibility of sequels. Will we be seeing any, or are you working on something completely different now?

      There will indeed be a sequel, which I am currently in the process of revising!

      And lastly, what novel has had a lasting impression on you, as a reader and a writer?

      It is too hard to pick just one! I will say that some of my favorite writers are: Lucy Ellman, Graham Greene, Jennifer Egan, JK Rowling, Tom Robbins and Jane Austen. And all of their books have affected me as both a writer and reader.

      Thank you for your awesome answers Lynn! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog today.
      Lynn can be found at:
       

      Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

      Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
      Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
      Release date: February 7, 2012
      Source: Around the World Tours
      Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1
      Purchase: Book Depository

      Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

      Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

      If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

      We need more books about witches, and this definitely fits the bill! I also love that it’s set in the late 1800s. As I’ve mentioned at least once before, I’m loving period pieces, in book form as well as TV and film. Jessica Spotswood did an awesome job of writing an atmosphere that fits the time and the book very well. I felt like I was there.

      I enjoyed Cate and Finn and the romance between them. That’s another thing about period romances, it’s all kisses and light touches that are forbidden. Cate’s family was interesting, as was the town and some unexpected friends Cate made.

      Definitely a great addition to the paranormal genre, I’m looking forward to reading the rest in this series, as all as anything else Jessica Spotswood writes.

      Err, Any Suggestions?

      Image from WeHeartIt.com

      So let’s be honest here. My reviews aren’t quite as plentiful as they used to be. I’ve been in a reviewing slump. But not a reading slump! I’m still averaging two to three books read a week, but posting only one review a week maybe.

      I know I’m not the only one to experience this kind of slump, so does anyone have any suggestions on what you did to get out of it? I’d love to hear from you!

      While I’m at it, is there anything you guys would like to see in my reviews that I’m not currently doing? I’m open to suggestions on that front as well.

      Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

      Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
      Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
      Release date: December 1, 2011
      Source: Purchased
      Purchase: Book Depository

      What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

      So night before last I’m climbing into bed. Literally, I have a loft bed and the ladder broke so I’m using a combination of chair to stool to bookcase to bed. I took Catching Jordan with me, because for some reason now I always fall asleep when I read in bed, no matter which book it is. I figure I’ll get a few pages in before I fall asleep. WRONG! And that’s how awesome this book was. It kept me up so long that I only got maybe 2 hours of sleep. I couldn’t even finish it that because I got so tired. Finished it the next day.

      I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of football. So you’re probably thinking to yourself, why did I even buy it? First of all, I’ve heard awesome things about it and that piqued my interest. Second of all, I may slowly be changing my mind about football because of a friend. So even though I had no idea what was going on in the actual game or practice parts of the book, I still enjoyed this.

      Jordan is hilarious. I love her. I want to be her. She has all this spunk and courage. Major courage to want to play in such a rough sport that can make or break you. And she really was just one of the guys. All these guys she’d grown up with, and they had absolutely no problems with a girl on the team. This was such a tightly knit team I don’t think anything could’ve broken them. Extreme loyalty barely begins to touch on how close these people are. My favorites were definitely Carter and JJ, even Jake sometimes. My favorite of all though was Henry, one of the most awesome best friends you could possibly have. All of the characters in this book felt real. And I loved her parents. Even her dad, who was initially an a-hole, but came through for his only daughter when it mattered.

      Now, I came into this book not expecting a love triangle, but there was one. It was gradual though, not right off the bat. I started off rooting for one guy, but definitely changed my opinion not even halfway through the book. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was how weepy Jordan got sometimes. Such a strong girl reduced to so many tears. Other then that, this has been one of my favorites so far of 2012. I will most definitely be reading anything Miranda Kenneally writes in the future, especially the companion novels that are coming out this year and in 2013.

      Middle Grade March Madness Sign-Ups!

      Benji over at The Non Reluctant Reader invited me to co-host this month long challenge with him, and since I do occasionally read and enjoy middle grade books I said yes! So here’s all the info, and the sign up!

      THE BORING STUFF
      • The last day to sign-up is March 7th.
      • You may sign-up if you have a blog, goodreads, amazon, library thing, or Barnes and Noble account where you post reviews
      THE LEVELS
      1. Citizen, Read 1-3 Books
      2. Mayor, Read 4-8 Books
      3. Congressman, Read 9-12 Books
      4. President, 13+ Books
      THE SCHEDULE
      January 20th: Sign-Ups are OPEN (along with the giveaway)
      February 22nd: Giveaway Ends
      March 1st: Challenge Begins
      March 7th: Sign-ups close, First giveaway of the challenge goes up
      March 14: Second giveaway of the challenge goes up, first giveaway of the challenge ends
      March 15-17th: Middle Grade 72 Hour Readathon Begins!
      March 21st: Third giveaway of the challenge goes up, second one ends
      March 28th: Final Giveaway of the challenge goes up!
      April 1st: Challenge ends!

      Now, if you don’t have any middle grade books to read, fear not! Benji and I are giving away two books of your choice from The Book Depository. You can enter the giveaway after the page break!

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      Stop SOPA and PIPA

      Tomorrow is the huge internet blackout day in protest of both SOPA and PIPA. To find out more and to know what you can do, head to this website: http://sopastrike.com/.

      So obviously, there will be no post for Thursday January 18.