Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
·         Grab the book your currently reading
·         Open to a random page
·         Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
·         Be careful not to include spoilers
·         Be sure to include the title and author

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna is descending upon me, coming down the stairs without taking any strides.  Her feet drag horribly along like she can’t use them at all.
Monday, December 26, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe


Another Readathon if any one wants to join, Click here!
This Readathon extends until January 1st and there are contests and giveaways!  What a great way to finish up the year!  My personal goal is to read 4 books before the end of the year...I would try for more but I have to work too. 
I finished:
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Teaser Tuesday 3

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
·         Grab the book your currently reading
·         Open to a random page
·         Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
·         Be careful not to include spoilers
·         Be sure to include the title and author

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
She breathed his breath inhaling him.  Their bodies fit together perfectly, she couldn’t help noticing; in Jessie’s white satin heeled shoes, she was but a little shorter than he was, and had only to tilt her head back slightly to kiss him.

Review: Dreamland by Alyson Noel

Title: Dreamland
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: September 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: After Life, Dreams, Magic, & Family Ties
Pages: 210
Plot: (From Back of Book)

“The dismal truth of my existence bloomed before me: While I may have excelled at Soul Catching, I was a total failure when it came to having an afterlife. My Social life was even deader than me.  I had no friends.  No hobbies.  No place to go…

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work.  So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a away to contact her sister, Ever.  She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams.  As a dream jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate.  As a dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer.  But dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up.  Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio.  What she finds is a far cry from a dream.  Can Riley break though the nightmare to reach her sister?”

I was very passionate about The Immortals series and when I came across The Riley Bloom series I was very excited and very curious.  I loved her character in The Immortals; she was always so quirky and entertaining that I knew then that this would be an interesting spin-off. 

I found that Dreamland wasn’t as dreamy as I thought it would be.  It definitely held more than a few nightmares that I wouldn’t want to find myself in!  Compared to Radiance and Shimmer, it was a little darker and lonely.  Overall, it was a great addition to the series.  I’m sure that Alyson Noel knew what she was doing and felt that it was needed for Riley’s character development.

Noel creates an intriguing afterlife in the Here & Now.  The world that she paints is one that is truly wondrous and full of spender and mystery.  Her characters light up the story as they are fun, curious, absorbing, and meddling.  I love that all Alyson Noel’s books are easy reads, her writing has this free flow style to them. 

Riley Bloom is the typical little sister who idolizes her big sister.  Even in the afterlife she still wants to contact her.   But then twelve year old Riley has a few things to learn about the afterlife.  As impatient as this twelve year old can be, she’s always looking for the easy way out or the quick way to do things… and she learns the hard way that she won’t get anywhere with her selfish ways. 

I felt this book earned an A-, as it was darkly forlorn but still wholesomely engrossing.  If you were a fan of Immortals then find out what happened to Riley after she crossed the bridge!

My Rating: 18/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 5
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Horses, Mythical Creatures, Romance, Family, & Death
Pages: 404
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
"It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races.  Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. 

Some riders live.

Others die.

At nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion.  He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different.  She never meant to ride in he Scorpio Races.  But fae hasn't given her much of a choice.  So she enters the competition- the first girl ever to do so.  She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen."

I am a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater and her work.  I adored the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and I loved Lament and Ballad.  When I found out about The Scorpio Races I was thrilled!  I didn’t even have to know what it was about – I just knew that whatever it was, I would love it too, just as I have loved every book that she has written!

Wow, this book was stunning, astonishing, and truly remarkable!  It was very different from everything else she has had published.  The world she creates on Thisby Island is one that is dangerous and still inviting.  Maggie Stiefvater has a way with developing characters that are so realistic and original, that by the end of the novel you feel as if you’ve known them your whole life.  Oh and her writing style- It’s so lyrical and magical that it will leave you breathless. 

I found that this novel was slow paced and the first half was a build up to the races but I understand why it needed to be this way.  Our main character, Kate aka Puck, had to have the time to learn and train for the races.  I had a lot of respect for Kate; she held on to her values as she was bold, gutsy, and spirited.  As the first and only girl to have ever entered the Scorpio Races, she was strong and persevered through out everyone trying to talk her out of it and telling her she couldn’t do it.  Sean was an intriguing character, a rare and unusual addition to the story that was strange and puzzling.  I found that he baffled me in a peculiar way that I couldn’t get enough of him throughout the tale.  Oh and I can’t forget about the man eating Water Horses- Capaill uisce- I found these creatures to be terrifying, brutal, and vicious.

I want to give this brilliantly unique novel a solid A; for the beautiful and lyrical writing, the heartwarming characters, and the fierce ruthlessness of the water horses.  I would definitely say that if you want something truly new and imaginative to read, then this is the book for you!  But I still would recommend all of her books!

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Monday, December 19, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 2010
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Supernatural, Demonology, Orphans, Romance, & London (19th Century)
Pages: 476
Plot: (From Goodreads)

“Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.”

I have read this book before, but I really felt the need to reread it.  With Clockwork Prince being released this month I wanted to make sure I fully recalled all the important details that it held within its bountiful pages.   I could never forget the main story but Cassandra Clare likes to give hints as to what is coming next that you might not catch if you aren’t paying attention.  Therefore I got my refresher and I’m raring to move on to Clockwork Prince!

Clockwork Angel is a great spin off of the Mortal Instruments!  This tale is alluring and elaborate, truly masterful!  As I am a huge fan of the Mortal Instruments Series and I wish I could wipe out my memory to read them new again, I felt that this is my chance to do so.  That guess was spot on!  Even though there are some new and old characters and the world they are living in is SO different, the story that Clare tells is compulsively captivating, richly dark, and brutally unruly.

Cassandra Clare creates beautiful characters that you can relate to and admire.  I know that I could really relate to Tessa.  As I’m sure most readers would agree with me.  Tessa’s passion for reading is obviously something most readers will relate to.  But it is also her shyness and her gumption to be more like the characters from her favorite books.  Then there’s Will and Jem… Oh, how could you not fall for them!  Will is a tortured soul and a lot like Jace from M.I., but he might actually be a little crueler than Jace ever was.  Jem on the other hand is very different from Alec or Simon.  Nothing ever really gets under his skin, everything just washes over him, and he takes it with stride… he’s definitely the nice guy of the story. 

I felt this amazing tale deserved an A-, as it holds the beginning of a remarkably dark and enchanting story!  If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare and haven’t started this series- then you need to!  If you haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels yet- then you have to go pick one up and start it!  I promise you will be running back to the store to buy the next one!

My Rating: 19/20
Originality: 4
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

Saturday, December 3, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

December's Bookshelf

This month I'm attempting:

1. Dreamland by Alyson Noel
2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Switched by Amanda Hocking
4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake
6. Dark Seeker by Taryn Browning
7. Chime by Franny Billingsley
8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
9. Supernaturally by Kiersten White
10. The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Holiday #Readathon

Well I have had a lot going on lately!  I came across this Readathon and thought what a great way to kick off getting back into my reading!  It started Friday, December 2nd and goes through Sunday, December 4th.  There are a lot of mini challenges and giveaways, so check it out and read a couple of books!  I also have to work this weekend but my reading shelf contains two books that I want to accomplish:
Dreamland by Alyson Noel & The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  If I accomplish those then I will continue on to something else...I'm not sure what but I positive that it will be good!  I did pledge to donate one book for everybook I read to my local library!  Good luck to everyone participating and happy reading!