Saturday, March 29, 2014

One Year Anniversary

Today is the One Year Anniversary of my book blog! While I haven't been actively updating since my Summer abroad with limited internet last Summer to my crazy semester upon returning, I have been doing some behind the scenes work. The Harry Potter post about WB Studio Tour London is almost done! It has some fun pictures from my visit and mostly talks about the filming secrets that they used to bring the books to life. I also have read maybe 50 books since my last review so I have a bunch of notes being sorted and prepared for review posts, which might look a little different since I am trying a new review format. So while right now I haven't been actively updating I am getting to a point where I hope to be posting at least once a week.

So while that is a update on my life and progress to returning to the blogging world, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge that I have had this blog since March 29, 2013 and I'm quite proud of it! I hope to continue to gain connections and expand my blogging because I am a reader! Reading is my escape from life. I will never stop reading and I enjoy putting my opinions in the world and finding other book blogs to get recommendations from. This blog brought me many wonderful things in the months I began it and I can't wait to get back to that point again.

I hope that despite my extended hiatus my followers will still be with me when I begin posting again in the next few weeks.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meg-A Readers: When Lightening Strikes Review

Meg-A Readers 2013

My FIRST Meg Cabot Book

I was about to start 5th grade in 2003 when I discovered the amazing author Meg Cabot. Our local library had a program where you earned prizes for reading a certain amount of pages/books depending on your grade. I remember that I was trying to find a book at the library because I was a few books away from whatever prize I wanted. Searching the shelves I picked up the first book of the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series and decided to read it. It was devoured in one night. I went back and borrowed the rest of the series from the library and read it all that summer. I eventually purchased them because I loved re-reading the story. The Princess Diaries series was the next series I started and now I own all of these as well. I continued to follow her book releases and have read almost all of her young adult series. Since this is the book that started my currently vast collection of Meg Cabot novels I wanted to review it. I'm quite sure my opinions have changed as a now college junior from a then elementary fifth grader. But this remains my favorite of all Meg Cabot's series because it was my first and I still love picking it up to read, though I read it much faster now because I tend to rush to the parts I love!

The Goodreads Blurb: Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved up enough money to buy her own Harley. Then something happens that guarantees Jess will be one of the least until her newfound talent ends up getting her dead.

Jess Mastriani was my role model then and ten years later I still love her. She has a fiery personality, is intensely loyal, and has an strong moral compass. I'm from the midwest and I strongly relate to her for that, as well as many other personal reasons. I feel she is character that many can make connections with. Jess also became an example that taught me many life lessons. She teaches never to back down from what you believe in, fix your mistakes, and put family first. All things that I still believe today!
The first book strongly sets the premise that the rest of the books follow, which is to be expected. But it does it in a subtle way. In many series authors often make the first book an information dump, but Meg Cabot skillfully introduces us to the key characters, sets up the themes for the series, and tells an amazing story. When Lightning Strikes sets up relationships that the reader becomes very involved in, or at least I do! The book leaves you wanting to know whats next for Jess, as well as several other characters.
I think that Jess's newfound talent was also a very unique thing. I had never read another book like this when I first read it, and even now I can't think of another book quite like it. If you haven't already go read the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series. They are quick reads that tell a compelling, unique, and memorable story.
Check out When Lightning Strikes on Goodreads or Amazon!!!
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weekend Update: Apologies, Excitement, and News

Where in the World is Lisa Jean?

I mentioned I had news, but then I was too busy to announce it. Now my journeys at an end, but I want you to know why I have been gone from my blog for so long. I had meant to post during these past seven weeks, but I couldn't find the time.

I'm in London!!!

I have been on a study abroad in England touring for a few weeks, but mostly stationed near St. Paul's Cathedral. I even spent a weekend in Scotland. I am sorry that this update is coming when I only have a week left in my eight week trip. But that is what happens when you stay in a flat that limits the data (mb) and minutes you can use each week. And with travel blogging was a lower priority. But next time I am going to disappear I promise to let you know first!

Still I have been working on blogging plans in some ways. I have pictures from travel that are tributes to some of my favorite British Authors. Look forward to a post dedicated to my Harry Potter experience in London and Scotland. Also look forward to a post all about the amazing author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. I took pictures of some other London landmarks featured in books I have read and re-read so I might do a blanket post for those books or individual reviews. This is still to be decided.

Either way I look forward to sharing some of my bookish experience on this trip with you when I return to the states the week of August 12th. I will also be participating in Meg-A Readers the next week as well, which I am very excited about since I followed that even last year! If you don't know what the Meg-A Readers Blog Hop is then check out the information here.

Lastly, Thanks to all my followers for dealing with an extended absence with little information. I'm grateful you didn't abandon my blog and I hope to continue to make it better!

I tried attaching pictures, but it seems my internet here won't let me. Those will have to wait as well! But at least you are informed now!!

EDIT: Seems the picture got on here but huge and 3 times. I have fixed that. It is a picture of me by the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finally the Jack Templar Blog Tour Post with Giveaway

  monster hunter tour

Sorry this is a few days later then I promised. Still I have big new coming up that gives more of a why. Until then, here is the book blast post! You have already seen my review posts for Jack Templar Monster Hunter (here) and Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter (here). I did the second book as a part of the Blog Tour and wanted to include links to the tour schedule so you can see what other people thought and give you more information about the series awards and author! Plus another giveaway with money included below.
Awards for Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Book of the Year Finalist by Forward Magazine  
Next Generation Indie Book Finalist
gunhus award           
   Indie Excellence Finalist 

   gunhus award 2       
   Parents Choice Recommended Book Award
  gunhus award 3                  

Author Jeff Gunhus Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/8/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Escape with Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy

Jack Templar and the 
Monster Hunter Academy
By: Jeff Gunhus

The Goodreads Blurb: After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

To see my review of the first novel in the Jack Templar series look here!

The second book starts of with the warnings that filled the first book, but then jumps straight back into the action! As you read you see Jack Templar evolve and mature and I also felt that the author's writing evolved and matured. It got five stars because I felt that the second book outshines the first in many ways such as writing style and characterization. 

The book is filled with adventure and the unique premise that attracted me to the first book gets more interesting. While definitely still a middle grade book, the sequel more than the original is enjoyable for older audiences. Written for reluctant readers, this book keeps you interested and turning the pages.

The book ends with another hook to keep you wanting to continue the series. I will be interested to see if the third book in the series continues to make the series improve.

Also stay tuned for my Friday post. I got this book from the Blog Tour and will post the schedule and $25 Tour Giveaway!!

Check out Jack Templar on Goodreads and Amazon!

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Escape with Above Rubies

Peace River
By: Jaclyn M. Hawkes

The Goodreads Blurb: His chivalry was strangling her. He thought he was helping her—and in truth, he was. She was in desperate straits. But as honorable as he was, he was also breaking her heart.

Her attraction was drowning him. When World Champion rodeo cowboy Rossen Rockland and his friends rescue a young runaway who has been abused by her foster father and take her home to his parents’ ranch, he expects her to turn out to be a pain in the neck. And sometimes she is.

It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she has way more than her allotment of troubles—and far more than her share of gifts. Lovely, talented, and ravingly brilliant, Kit Star is too young, unbelievably humble, and oh, so loveable. Knowing that she needs his protection and time to grow into her potential, Rossen also figures out that what she really is, is a pain in the heart.

The second book of the Rockland Ranch Series, which started with Peace River, Above Rubies can also stand alone. It features the characters you meet in Peace River, but the focus is on the newly introduced Kit Star. Also remember that this is a LDS contemporary romance series. Which means its a clean romance and has religious aspects to it. I enjoy that, but its not for everyone.

Kit Star is another girl with a troubled past that doesn't let it define her. I love the strong female roles that Jaclyn M. Hawkes writes. Kit rises above her past and lets faith conquer fear. I so respect her for that. Some of what she deals with I don't know if I could handle the way she did.

Rossen plays a much larger role as well. I enjoyed getting to know him better. He is the kind of guy I want in my life. Who doesn't love an intelligent cowboy?

The story was well written and its a pretty fast read. Both characters were beyond stubborn which got a little frustrating and I also felt that they communicated with everyone but each other!

Still if you want a clean contemporary romance with musical talent, strong women, overcoming trials, and powerful messages to share then go get Above Rubies!!

Check out Above Rubies at Goodreads or Amazon!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Escape with Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
By: Christine Amsden

The Goodreads Blurb: Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.
Cassie Scot is a women of strength and power. She is confident with herself and very independent. While at times I found her to be a little difficult to get along with, I respected her for all she went through and who she was. She is a powerhouse and a brave person to tough out the hard situations.
The mystery was very well-done (I didn't guess right at all till the end) and the book keeps you on your toes. It had solid friendships and intrigue. It was well written and created a unique world. I think the series has a lot of potential. It lived up to it in the first book. 
Without giving spoilers there was one familial relationship that I felt to be unrealistic, stupid, and detracting. Maybe its setting up for the next book, but it diminished my enjoyment of this one. And I also found the romance poorly done in terms of balance. So while this book has a lot of highlights and is well worth the read, I took a star for these two annoyances that detracted from the overall positive aspects of the book.

Check out Cassie Scot on Goodreads and Amazon!

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