Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Google Friend Connect- My 2 cents

There's a bit of commotion lately over Google's decision to remove GCF for all non-blogger websites. And while I do think that this isn't a great move on the part go Google, I don't think it warrants all the stress it's getting.

A lot of people who use blogger are now stressing over whether GCF will go away for them too. But, chances are it most likely won't. You have to look at this from the perspective of Google, who is looking at this from the perspective of a company trying to get all its users onto its websites and platforms. The only reason that Google is taking away GCF for non-Blogger users is to encourage people to use Google +. They even say so in the official blog post about it:
Google Friend Connect—Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We're retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.
What reason would they possibly have to take it out of Blogger blogs? The answer: none. It would only harm them detrimentally, something they obviously don't want. There are tens of thousands of people using Blogger, most of whom use GCF and like it. If they were to take that away from their own product, they would be harming themselves. Bloggers would get irritated and most likely switch to another platform out of protest, and then where would Google be? They know that, so they won't do it. It's really a business decision more than anything.

I really think that they should keep GCF for everyone, because there are a lot of bloggers that I follow using it that aren't Blogger bloggers (haha, that looks kinda funny) and it's just going to make it a bit more difficult to follow them since I don't use my feedreader very often. But, Google is trying to herd everyone into using Google +, so, they are unfortunately probably not going to go back on their decision.

So, if you're stressing, my advice is to not give it anymore thought. If you're a Blogspot blogger, don't worry about it. And if you're a blogger using another platform, then I'll gladly follow you via feed burner. :) It's that simple. And who knows? Maybe someone else will step up to the plate and make another type of follower widget, a better one, in the absence of GCF! Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Pages: 400 pages
Expected publication: July 24th 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver

Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver
Pages: 15
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

A Demon Trapper’s bonus story.

Before Riley Blackthorne can take on Grade Five demons, she has to trap her very first. Her debut solo trapping experience should be a breeze, just a harmless Grade One after all. But throw in some dippy hippies (whose peace signs and Patchouli really aren’t driving any demons away), one mischievous demon, and a run-in with the police, and Riley might not be able to pull it off...
I downloaded Retro Demonology after I finished A Demon Trapper's Daughter because I loved the world that Jana Oliver created so much and I wanted more of it. At that time, the sequel hadn't been released yet, and I was wanting more of Riley's kick butt-ness. It's only a short story, a very short story, 15 pages, so don't expect a full length novel or anything. It's just a quick foray into Riley's first trapping mission alone. If you haven't read A Demon Trapper's Daughter yet, I definitely recommend downloading this story to give you a taste of what's in store.

Riley is cool as ever. She's excited to be on her first solo mission, even though it's only a biblio-fiend, which basically means it's a relatively harmless little demon. It was an interesting situation that Riley got herself in, and actually, this story provides some insight into Riley's world as a whole. It shows how much the world has degenerated, so much so that people are resorting to living in the past--literally, living totally retro.

Give Retro Demonology a try if you have 15 or 20 minutes to spare! 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Discussion: The Non Threatening Vampire {told in gifs}

Guys. I am here today to talk about something that has been seriously invading the YA community for quite some time now:

The non-threatening vampire.

What do I mean by the 'non-threatening vampire'? I mean a vampire that, even though he/she is all immortal and rocking the fangs and super-strength, they're about as dangerous as this dude:

Exactly.

This whole trend started with one Edward Cullen from Twilight--let's be honest people, it did. Before the Cullens and their sparkly butts stepped onto the scene, everyone saw vampires are something to be feared. Just look at all the badass vamps that came before sweet Eddie's time: Blade, Lestat and Louis, Nosferatu, and let's not for get the sugar daddy of all vampires, DRACULA. Now, when people just hear the word vampire, this is all they can think of:

SPARKLES FOR EVERYONE!
People, this trend NEEDS TO STOP, okay? I've had it up to hear *puts hand next to forehead* with all this "I love you, but I'm dangerous for you" crap, and then Mr. BIG, BAD, AND FANGY turns out to be nothing but a little kitten with oversized fangs. Hell, walruses are scarier than most of these vamps.

Not a gif, but... OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY.
Vampires, by definition, are:

1. a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
2. (in Eastern European folklore) a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.

Now doesn't that sound even a bit scary? I want MORE of that! I want vampires that, when I'm reading, they make me go like this:


There are, of course, YA authors that do have ruthless and scary vampires, and I applaud those for keeping the spirit of all the badass vampires alive. I do enjoy those novels.


So, in summary, I want less brooding and moody emo vampires, and I want more badass vamps.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (42)

I got some pretty great books this week!

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver. I got this one from the Harlequin Teen Panel for review. It's the sequel to Legacy, which I read ages ago when it was first self-published. Really good story, I definitely recommend it.

Remembrance by Michelle Meadow. I got this one because Michelle had offered it for $0.99 on Black Friday, and it was really too good of a deal to pass up! I've heard great things about it, so very eager to read it.

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle. This was another one I bought because it was only $0.99, and to me, 99 cent e-books are the best things in the world. :) The cover looks absolutely gorgeous!

Darkride by Laura Bradley Rede. I got this one for review. It seems really interesting, so I can't wait to read it!

What did you guys get in your mailbox?

6 prize packs to win, 1-5 open US, #6 open INTERNATIONAL!
This giveaway is to say thank you to everyone this holiday season. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dear Author: How to Approach Bloggers

Getting review requests has to be one of the most exciting things for any blogger. It means that someone enjoys our blog enough to want to send us their book to read and review. It's a wonderful privilege we bloggers have, and something that should be appreciated immensely.

But, by the same token, the author requesting the review also has to do so in a way that not only appeals to the blogger, but shows that the author actually took the time to investigate the blog they want their book reviewed on.

Blogging takes a lot of time: 1 book can take anywhere from hours to days to read, along with the hours it takes to write reviews and posts, to networking on sites like Twitter and Facebook. All that, plus our lives outside of blogging! Blogging can honestly become like a second job to many of us, so we don't really appreciate it when we get some pretty bogus review requests. Simply saying "Will you please review my book?" is not enough. The easier you make it on us, by including everything we need to know in one email, will greatly increase your chances of getting an acceptance for your request--or in some cases, even just getting a reply back.

You don't want to waste your own time, or the blogger's with requests that either won't be answered, or will be turned down. The best way to avoid that is to:
  1. Look around their blog. First thing's first, get a feel for their blog. If you're book is a steamy adult novel and you see that the most recent posts on a particular blog are all about Middle Grade or YA books, then just click out of their site and move onto a blog that does post about your type of book. The same thing goes for if you have a paranormal novel, but the blog you're looking at mainly reviews historical, then chances are it's not the best fit. PLEASE NOTE, that this is not a sure fire way of knowing whether a blogger will like your book or not. The only way to really know whether the blogger will enjoy your novel is to...
  2. Read the blogger's review policy. ALWAYS. For every single blogger that you contact, ever. This will save you SO MUCH time and trouble, as well as the blogger themselves. Trust me, there is nothing more infuriating then getting a review request for a novel that is so far away from what I stated in the my review policy that it's on another planet. That tells the blogger that you didn't bother taking 5 minutes to read what they do and don't like, and as a result, they will most definitely not review your book.
The email itself is also extremely important in the blogger's decision to accept your novel or not. This is an example of what NOT to send:
Hi,
I would like you to review my new YA novel "BOOK TITLE".

Thanks,
Author
Yes, I have gotten emails like that. Many of them. And to be honest, I don't even reply to those, because it shows me that the author didn't put in any effort.

Things your email should include:
  • Your name
  • Your book's name
  • A picture of the cover, either embedded in the email or attached
  • What genre and age group it's aimed for
  • A summary/synopsis of your book
  • What type of review copy you're willing to provide (ebook, or physical copy)
Things that are not necessary, but could help:
  • If you're willing to do an interview, guest post, or giveaway
  • What other bloggers are saying about it
  • Link to the book's Goodreads page
An example of a good email that will definitely get a reply:
Hi/Hey/Hello {Whatever is your preference, really} *insert blogger's name*,

I would love for you to consider my YA novel "Insert book title here" for review. It's a paranormal romance aimed at a mid-to-late teen audience, and judging my some recent reviews you've done for "Paranormal YA novel #1" and "Paranormal YA novel #2", I think you'll really enjoy my work as well.

Here is a synopsis of "INSERT BOOK TITLE HERE": *This is a book synopsis. Isn't it amazing? Don't you want to read this book so badly now?*

If you're interested, I would be more than happy to send you a paperback copy. I'm aware you have an e-reader as well, so if you'd like an e-book instead, I can provide whatever file type is most compatible.

You can find what other bloggers and reviewers are saying about my book on the Goodreads page. {Insert link to book's Goodreads page}

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.
All the best,
Author
I'm not saying that this is the magic formula to requesting reviews, or that it's going to work 100% of the time. Everyone is different, and every blogger has different preferences. But something along these lines will absolutely be received more positively by the blogger.

The most important part of all this is to always be polite and friendly, and, if you like, funny! We bloggers love reading emails that aren't just cut and paste, we respond much better to personality and charisma. We're just regular people who love books. Don't be afraid to be funny! :)

Advice from other bloggers:
"Take a look around the blog, see what kind of books the blogger tends to like. If I can see that someone has actually looked at my blog, I'm definitely more interested in hearing their request. Keeping it to the point is good too- if it's paragraphs long, I tend to skim and lose interest. Quick synopsis, links to other reviews (if there are any) are mainly what I'm looking for."
-- @EverAfterEsther on Twitter from Esther's Ever After

"I think the most important thing is to make sure they enjoy your type of book. Making sure your book complies with a review policy isn't enough. If the books fantasy and they mostly review contemp, then maybe it's not the best blog. Aside from that, I think a cheerful e-mail explaining the book is always a good way to go!"
-- @KatelynTorrey on Twitter from Katelyn's Blog

"Don't approach them if you don't really trust them. And that means you should know, to some degree, who you're talking to. You should mention a name, you should actually like/read the blog if you say you do, and know it's something the blogger would read."
--@JulieHeartBooks on Twitter from Bloggers [Heart] Books

"Know the blogger's name and read their review policy! And don't send a general copies letter. Use a template and add details!"
--@RemarkableReads from Jessie's Remarkable Reads

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Destined by Jessie Harrell
Pages: 260
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Genre: YA Greek Mythology Retelling

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
The characters. With any retelling, the challenge for the writer is to take these characters that someone else created long ago and to give them a new life. Jessie Harrell did just that with the characters in Destined, which are the Greek gods and goddesses of old, and one young mortal girl named Psyche. I loved the way the gods and goddesses were portrayed, and how each of their distinct personalities shown through, even the minor characters like Hermes, Persephone, Charon, and Demeter. There were several characters, though, that stood out.

Eros. When we first meet Eros, he's a bit of a haughty bad boy, with an 'I'm cooler because I'm immortal' attitude and who goes to parties with the Greek god Dionysus-- and let's just say Dio is drunken trouble. But when he falls in love with Psyche, he becomes a different person. He is the god of love after all, and that side comes out. His romantic side was so sexy, even though I feel that he did come on pretty strong to Psyche. Honestly, the easiest way to push a girl away is to tell her you love her the first time you meet. But, he did what he had to in order to keep Psyche safe from his mother, the goddess of love Aphrodite, and her wrath.

Psyche. I really liked Psyche from the very beginning, because even though everyone glorified her as the most beautiful woman in the world, she didn't let that get to her head, and stayed really humble. Everything she did, she always did it for the best interest of others. Towards the end of the novel, when everything has gone downhill and she has to fight to get everything back, she doesn't back down.

Writing style & voice. The novel is set in ancient Greece, but it's written with a modern voice, which is what made it so easy to relate to, I think. When things are written with a more archaic voice, there's a certain detachment that us as readers automatically get because we don't speak that way, but Psyche spoke just like an regular teenage girl from today would. Plus, the novel is told from the dual perspective of Pysche, of course, and Eros as well. This helped us get both sides of the story and not hate Eros for some of the things he does, like we probably would if we didn't understand his reasoning behind what he does.

The insta-love. The only problem I had with Destined is that I felt like Psyche gave in way too quickly to Eros/Aris. She started softening towards him rather quickly. If I were in her position, I know for a fact that it would've taken weeks for me to even let him put a hand on my shoulder. I understand that, for the sake of length, it can't take weeks, but at least more than 5 or 6 days. If Psyche and Eros's love could've grown more over a longer period of time, I think it would've made the ending much more poignant.

Overall, I really loved Destined! Greek mythology is one of my favorite things to read about, and Jessie Harrell did a fantastic job giving Eros and Psyche her own unique twist. Destined is a wonderfully written novel, with a touching romance and characters that came off the page. I'm very eager to read more of Jessie Harrell's work, definitely some more Greek retellings--- next time, Hades and Persephone, perhaps? :) 5 out of 5 stars. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Huge Holiday {Giveaway!}

I can't believe it's already holiday time! The year really does go by so quickly! I love this time of year because it's holiday after holiday after holiday. :)

The day this is being posted is Thanksgiving, and I am SO grateful for the wonderful blogging community that exists and that I am so fortunate to be a part of. I started this blog 2 years ago to talk about the books I love, and you all have helped me do that. I used to think that being a book lover and avid reader was a rare thing, because no one around me understood my book obsession, but then I joined the blogosphere, and I was amazed with what I found. I am happy to say that I no longer feel alone in my love of books, and it's all because of you guys. Thank you so much.

To say thank you to all the amazing bloggers, readers, authors, and the all-around awesome people that I've met, I've put together a giveaway. This giveaway is also my Christmas/Hanukkah present to you guys, which is why it ends on December 31st. This time of the year is a time of giving, and it really makes me happiest to give books to someone that I know will cherish and love them, which is why I love the blogging community so much.

I really hope everyone has an fantastic holiday season full of love and family and lots of great new memories. :) Oh, and lots of books!

NOTE: Prize packs 1-5 are US ONLY, prize pack #6 is INTERNATIONAL! :D (I love you international readers)

Prize Pack #1
Prize Pack 1 includes:
-ARC of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

BOOKMARKS:
-Elemental Assasin's series by Jennifer Estep
-The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff
-WanderDust by Michelle Warren *SIGNED*
-Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey *SIGNED*
-The Dark Days of Supernatural tour
-Released by Megan Duncan
-Flame of Eternal Surrender by Rhianne Paille *SIGNED*
-The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Prize Pack #2
Includes:
-If I Die by Rachel Vincent

BOOKMARKS:
-Flame of Enternal Surrender by Rhiannon Paille *SIGNED*
-Arson by Estevan Vega *SIGNED*
-Dark Days
-Wildefire
-Dear Bully by Various Authors
-The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
-The Crescent by Jordan Deen *SIGNED*
Prize Pack #3
Includes:
-ARC of Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire

Bookmarks:
-Indelible by Lani Woodland *SIGNED*
-WanderDust by Michelle Warren *SIGNED*
-OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy *SIGNED*
-Flame of Eternal Surrender by Rhiannaon Paille *SIGNED*
-The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
-The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
-The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab *SIGNED*
Prize Pack #4
Includes:
-ARC of Planesrunner by Ian McDonald

BOOKMARKS:
-Flame
-Shadowed Summer by Saudra Mitchell SIGNED
-WanderDust by Michelle Warren *SIGNED*
-Class of 2k11
-The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen johnson
-Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
-The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Prize Pack #5
Includes:
-Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray

BOOKMARKS:
-Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey *SIGNED*
-A Touch Mortal *SIGNED*
-Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
-Trance by Linda Gerber
-Like Mandarin by Kristen Hubbard
-Dear Bully by Various Authors
-Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Prize Pack #6
Includes:
-The Pledge by Kimberly Derting poster *SIGNED*
-The Pledge stickers(2)
-The Pledge passport *SIGNED*
-The Pledge bookmark
-Abandon by Meg Cabot post card
-The Revenant post card *SIGNED*
-The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver post card
-The Lipstick Laws by Nancy Holder post card *SIGNED*
-This Is Teen post card
-Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter pen
-This Is Teen USB
-3 Across the Sky by Beth Revis pins
-A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis pin
-Mistwood by Leah Cypress bookmark
-I "heart" NetGalley sticker
-Flame of Eternal Surrender by Rhiannon Paille bookmark *SIGNED*
-Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder bookmark *SIGNED*
-A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford Sticker *SIGNED*
-Change of Heart by Shari Maurer bookmark
-The Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep bookmark
-Wander Dust by Michelle Warren bookmark *SIGNED*
Rules & Guidelines:
  • Prizes 1-5 open US ONLY!
  • Prize #6 open INTERNATIONAL!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.
  • GIVEAWAY ENDS 12/31/11
For the entries, I wanted to give something back to the authors of these amazing books, even if it's something as small as following them on Twitter. So please, follow them, I know they love it when they get new readers. :) It's the best gift you can give an author.

Please remember to include your COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE in the main entry, even if you live in the US


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Pages: 464
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected publication: May 1st 2012

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Anna, a tender-hearted southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the reality that hope and love are not options for their kind. When it's time for Anna to confront her demons, will she choose to embrace her halo or her horns?
Doesn't this one look so freaking good? Harper Teen usually has some pretty fantastic books, so I'm really enthusiastic about this one. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, this was a book that was chosen from Inkpop.com, which is super cool. I really can't wait to read Sweet Evil. May needs to get here faster!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boxes of Books!

So, I just organized my bookshelves in an effort to make more room on them, (which I did!). They were so cluttered before, but now I made room for quite a few more books.
This is just one of my pretty bookshelves :)
I cleaned out some books that I don't want anymore to make room for some new pretties, and I've been selling boxes of books in Twitter. I'm down to my last 2 boxes, and I've decided to make a post about it for any bloggers that want some book goodness.

BOX #1
This is what Box #1 includes, which is

  • The Ashley's by Melissa de la Cruz, 
  • Gothic Lolita by Dakota Lane
  • Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle Replaced with The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
  • The Girl's Guide to Vampires
  • Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion
  • Favorite by Karen McQuestion
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau
  • Undone by Brooke Taylor
Both boxes are $22! is If you want one, please email me at whatsyourstorybookreviews@gmail.com. Also, if you'd like to change which books you order from Box 1 or 2, feel free to include that.

Cleaning Out The Shelves {GIVEAWAY} #2

Hey guys! As I'm sure you all can relate to, my bookshelves have reached their maximum capacity. My parents have suggested on several occasions that I throw away some books, but even thinking about that makes my eye twitch. So, I decided to turn to you awesome bookish peeps. I have quite a few books to give away, and I'll be giving them away one or maybe two at a time (so I don't go broke, lol). So this Cleaning the Shelves thing will probably last for a while.

Today's book up for grabs is:

An ARC of Teenage Waistland. I've had this one sitting on my shelves for ages, and I just never got around to reading it, so I figured I would pass it on to someone else who will.

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reiew: Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire

Lightbringer b K.D. McEntire
Pages: 300
Publisher: PYR
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Never is a place of greys, a world a breath beyond our own, layered just past the memories of yesterday and the fleeting present moment. It is here, in this dismal limbo, that ghosts such as Piotr, Lily, and Elle must sort out an existence, both protecting the children called Lost and themselves from the walking darkness that is the army of rotting Walkers.

Caught between her duty to her calling as the Lightbringer and her concern for her new ghostly friends, Wendy must walk the line between the two worlds, aiding Piotr in his fight against the Walkers as well as searching out the wandering soul of the one who means the most to her. Time, however, is running out and in the end... who will she choose?
World and mythology. Lightbringer is set both in our world, and in a place called the Never, where ghosts and souls dwell in a sort of limbo. These worlds overlap each other, and our main character Wendy has the power to see the Never. What's more, she has the special power to reap straggling souls and send them into the light, onto the true afterlife. The Never was a really interesting place, reminiscent of the Netherworld in the Soul Screamers series. At first, it's all a bit confusing because we're thrown into it without much explanation, but then we learn that there are different types of beings in the never, such as Walkers, Riders, and Lost. Riders are basically dead teenagers that guard the souls of the Lost, which are children that haven't crossed over into the light. Walkers are gruesome creatures that eat the souls of the Lost, at the cost of rotting and decaying into terrible creatures.Each of these plays an important part in the story, and it's interesting to see how things aren't always what they seem to be.

The characters. I liked the characters in Lightbringer, especially Piotr and Eddie, the former being a Rider and the latter being Wendy's best friend. Wendy herself ran a bit hot and cold with me, because she could be annoyingly snappy at times, pushing away the people that cared for her and tried to help her. I'm glad to say that romance wasn't a huge part for a change. I mean, it was there, but Wendy's main goal was to beat the White Lady and save the Lost. Plus, romance-wise, the ending was a bit sad. But there will be more books, so all hope is not lost!

Also, Piotr is Russian. Russian. That's totally sexy.

The villain. This is one of those 'I hated her so much that I loved her' moments. The antagonist of the story, which is the White Lady, was so absolutely disgusting. She's like the ultimate bad guy, because when it's revealed who she truly is, it's like a slap in the face. (Although I kind of guessed it a bit earlier) Towards the end, every word that came out of her mouth just ignited the ire in me even further. She was so absolutely horrendous that I had to appreciate just how much I hated her character. It's easy to love a character, but pretty difficult to make me honest-to-God loathe one. I know it sounds weird, but for that reason I loved the White Lady, because I hated her.

The pacing. The only thing I didn't really like in Lightbringer was the pacing. I felt like it just took too long to get the good parts. About 100 pages in was when it started to get really good, and even then it was still lagging a bit. I sometimes would skim the long descriptions in favor of the dialogue

Overall, Lightbringer was a great YA debut for K.D. McEntire. I will definitely be picking up the sequel, and if you're looking for a good, inventive story about your not-so-average ghosts, then Lightbringer is definitely for you. 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (42)

Yet another small IMM this week. One book:

I received the ARC of this one a while back, and then PYR sent me the finished copy this week. It's a hardcover and it's absolutely gorgeous, so glossy and pretty. :) I've already read it, my review should be coming up in the next few days. What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Discussion: When The Main Character is of Questionable Morals in YA {Told in gifs}

Because of the fact that I have fallen in love with written these gif posts, here is yet another. This one is when you have the (generally) female main character, and she is as LOOSE as they come. I've only read a few books where it's been this way, but they irritated me to no end. I have no problem with sex in stories, in fact I'd love to read some bolder YA that includes it in a well-written way. But there are just some stories that take it WAY too far, and the main character becomes, well.... slutty.

You know, she's all like this:


And when shit gets really crazy she's all like:



I just want to jump into the story and be like STOP it, you're only making yourself look like a desperate idiot! Then I want to slap some sense into this chick.



But she just keeps right on going. That can really ruin a book, or, as it is, an entire series for me. Honestly, I don't like those kinds of people in real life, and I like them even less in books. It's like, "Do you really need FOUR boyfriends.... at the same time?!?!"


I feel like, as a teenage girl myself, the way some of these characters act is WAY out of line. I'm extremely open when it comes to YA--I think it should handle mature themes like sex and shouldn't brush them under the rug--but once it gets to drinking and doing drugs and having casual sex with several different people all wrapped up in one book, and it's all shed in a positive light, that's when I put the brakes on. Because, yeah, all of that is happening in real life with real teens, trust me. But that doesn't mean it's right at all. When I read a book that treats these things so nonchalantly, as if it's totally normal for 16 year olds to hang out and get high, it just sets me on edge.

What do you guys think about this? I know this is a big topic, and I welcome all opinions! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Pages: 320
Expected publication: April 24th 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
I don't think there are words in any language on this earth that can accurately sum up just HOW MUCH I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK. To start with, I'm completely and utterly obsessed with The Masque of Red Death story, to the point that I do think my parents should be concerned, lol. So, to know that there's a YA novel out there about it is just too much for my poor heart to bear! I'm so, so, so very excited to read this!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{GIVEAWAY} Guardian by Gillian Joy

Guardian by Gillian Joy
Pages: 164
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Headstrong and determined, Hannah always knew that she would become the Guardian. She was the keeper and the protector of all supernatural beings. What she didn't expect was that it would mean she would have to endure the agonising death of her mother first hand as their supernatural connection brings her to her knees, or that it would mean that she could never be with the man she loved. Blond haired, blue eyed Gabriel was her handsome childhood friend, but would circumstances prevent her from ever being able to explore her true feelings for him?
Jesse, the dark alluring but incorrigible vampire would give anything to be with her, but as the guardian Hannah is forbidden to fall in love with the supernatural.
With her life in turmoil over her conflicting emotions about Gabriel and Jesse and her frustration at being unable to exact revenge for her mother’s horrific death, Hannah flees her life in an attempt to start over. But can we ever really escape from ourselves?
There is no escaping destiny no matter how hard she might try and Hannah must learn to reconcile her commitment to her family with her responsibility as the Guardian and her duty to her heart.
Gillian contacted me to help promote her novel, Guardian, because she'll be revealing the cover to the sequel, Forever, on Guardian's facebook page. She's very generously offered up some really great prizes for you guys to win.

What can you win?

Prize 1: AN EBOOK COPY OF GUARDIAN! Woo! Who doesn't love free books?
Prize 2: A Guardian bookmark and magnet. Also super awesome! :)

Rules + Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.
  • ENDS 11/23!



Review: Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade

Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
Pages: 394
Publisher: Crush Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal

Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her an escape from her self-absorbed parents. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s motives. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other. When the school’s scrumptious delinquent, Hayden Anders, offers Tessa self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, his timing couldn’t be better. Although hanging out with him is a necessary evil in Tessa’s fight to stay alive, resisting a bad-boy she secretly yearns for might be more than she can manage. Together, Tessa and Hayden work to unravel the mysteries behind the two covens to discover why they’ll stop at nothing to lure Tessa to their side. She must form an alliance with one of the covens before it’s too late. But the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all who she holds dear — including Hayden.
Characters. Most of the characters in Something Witchy This Way Comes really surprised me. They were really interesting and just when I thought I had them figured out, they did something to change my opinion. Most notably Hayden, who for a majority of the novel is portrayed as this bad boy heart throb super player that is just a "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am"kind of guy. But when he's given the task of protecting Tessa, the main character, he really steps up and after a while we see a much sweeter side of him. And while he never actually stops being that bad boy that we all know and love, something does change in him. Tessa was a great character, strong and level-headed. I was just annoyed when she wouldn't give Hayden a chance! I mean, sure he doesn't have the best reputation, but everyone deserves a chance! Especially someone as sexy as him!


Steaminess. Holy askoiqweorjadoiflakdgoiuwelrkjag. QOEIURLKASDLFMKHLFJDF. This book is delicious! Not in a hugely sexual way, but there was this wonderful tension between Tessa and Hayden for the longest time! This was me while reading:

The witches. These weren't your average witches. They had some pretty cool powers, especially Tessa. But, the guy witches were super hardcore! It was awesome to read a story where there wasn't just awesome girl witches, but some pretty cool magical guys too.

Tessa's parents. You'll understand why when you read the book, but they were literally the most despicable people. They were the only characters I did not like at all. They literally just didn't care about their kids. And when I say they didn't care, they didn't care. I just wanted to slap them in the face, especially Tessa's mom.

The ending. (Well, a bit of it anyway.) The ending was bad at all, it just kinda felt a little too neatly wrapped up. I guess it let me down from what I was expecting. The whole book was building up to this confrontation between the two opposing witch covens... and then it was over. Things still weren't totally peachy keen after, but still. I'm wondering if this is a stand-alone, because that could be why it ended so clean-cut. I hope not, I want more Hayden!!

I love Something Witchy This Way Comes, and I definitely recommend it! 5 out of 5 stars!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (41)

Really quick IMM this week because I'm underneath a mountain of homework.

I got one book in the mail, an ARC of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I already have another copy of this one, so I will definitely be giving my 2nd away soon. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Books for Sale

I've got quite a few books for sale here for extremely cheap after I cleaned out my shelves to make room for new books. Please, peruse to your heart's content! :)

HOW TO BUY:
Email me (whatsyourstorybookreviews@gmail.com) with what book/books you want. I will calculate the shipping costs, which will be added onto the price of your books, and then send you the invoice with the total price via PayPal.

PLEASE NOTE! Total price= sum of price of books you chose + shipping.

SHIPPING: BOOKS WILL BE SENT MEDIA MAIL! Media mail shipping prices are extremely cheap, around $2.50 to $3.00 for a book. For larger orders, discount shipping can be worked out. :)

  • This is on a first come, first serve basis. Whomever emails me first for a certain book is the one that gets it. This is to keep things fair. 
  • Books will only be sent out AFTER payment has been received. 

As of right now I'm only selling to US residents. But, if you're an international follower and you'd like to buy a book and are willing to pay for the shipping, then by all means email me. :)

Books
BookType
(Hardcover or Paperback)
QuantitySale Price
(Shipping cost will be added to the final total)
Reserved By

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
by J.K. Rowling
Hardcover
1
$3.00

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (SPECIAL EDITION)
Hardcover1$3.00

Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks
Hardcover1$2.00

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Hardcover1$2.00

Shattered by Kathi Baron
Hardcover1$2.00

Undone by Brooke Taylor
Hardcover1$2.00

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb
Hardcover1$2.00

Gothic Lolita by Dakota Lane
Hardcover1$2.00

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Paperback1$1.00

Dreamland by Alyson Noel
Paperback 1 $1.00

The Ashley's by Melissa de la Cruz
Paperback 1 $1.00

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
Paperback 1 $1.00

The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau
Paperback 1 $1.00


Immortal, Love Stories with Bite by Various Authors
Paperback 1 $1.00

Lush by Natasha Friend
Paperback 1 $1.00

Perfect by Natasha Friend
Paperback 1 $1.00

Aquamarine & Indigo by Alice Hoffman
Paperback 1 $1.00

The Tale of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Paperback 1 $1.00

Emily Windsnap and the Monster From the Deep by Liz Kessler
Paperback 1 $1.00

Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist by Liz Kessler
Paperback 1 $1.00

Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy
Paperback 1 $1.00

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
Paperback (a bit beat up) 1 $1.00

The Girl's Guide to Vampires by Barb Karg
Paperback 1 $1.00

Marked by P.C + Kristin Cast
Paperback1$1.00

Betrayed by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Paperback1$1.00

Chosen by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Paperback1$1.00

Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Paperback1$1.00

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn
Weight: nearly 5 pounds
Size of Book: 12" by 9", hardcover, 266 pages
Details: all pages in full color on thick glossy stock
Condition: Brand New

Price: $50.00 + Shipping= $15.00

TOTAL PRICE: $65.00

QUANTITY IN STOCK: 1

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