Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quick Update!

Hey ya'll!  Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be gone for the next week - I'm going to camp.  Hopefully I'll survive for a week without Internet access. ;) I should be posting again around July 8 or 9.

See ya! 



~ The Bookworm

My Top 5 Books of June 2013

I'm going to be gone for the first week of July, so I'm just going to go ahead with my "favorite books of June" post.  Usually, at the beginning of each month, I post a list of the books I read and what my favorites were from the previous month.  Here's all the books I read in June:

- Asunder by Jodi Meadows
- Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
- Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins
- A Dawn Most Wicked by Susan Dennard
- Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
- Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins
- Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis
- Light by Michael Grant
- Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
- The Host by Stephenie Meyer
- Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
- Just One Day by Gayle Forman
- Blurred by Tara Fuller
- Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
- Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
- Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker
- Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
- A Midsummer Night Dream's by William Shakespeare
- Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
- Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
- The Archived by Victoria Schwab
- Mind Games by Kiersten White
- Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke
- The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
- Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
- Prodigy by Marie Lu
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Yay for summer!  Lots of free time for reading. :) My top five favorites:

1. Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  Such a wonderfully gorgeous book.  I love the descriptions of Paris and the amazing character growth and thought-provoking dialogue.  This is the kind of book that really makes you think about life.  Absolutely adored it.

2. Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone.  A lovely sequel to Time Between Us.  It's hard to find good time travel books, but these are amazing.  I love how this one explores the consequences of traveling through time and being in love with someone in a different time period.

3. Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer.  Gosh, this was good.  Brigid Kemmerer never fails to amaze me with her inventive stories and fantastic characters.  I just love the Merrick brothers so much.

4. Light by Michael Grant.  A mindblowing conclusion to the Gone series, Light is full of twists and turns (including the deaths of many favorite characters! *sob*), and yet still manages to tie things up with a perfect ending.

5. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols.  Yay for books about country music!  Like all of Echols' books, there's a sweet romance and amazing character growth.  I'm seriously in love with this.  It's a great summer read.

Honorable mentions go to Prodigy and the two Sarah Dessen books I read!

What books have you read lately that you loved?

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Here's my haul for the week!

 

Books I bought/received:

- If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- Hooked by Liz Fichera

Books I got from the library:

- Foretold by Jana Oliver
- Also Known As by Robin Benway
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
- Fragments by Dan Wells

I'm really excited about all the books I got!  Lots of great books for summer reading. :)

What books did you get this week?

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ARC Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols


Goodreads summary:

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…


My review:

Well, it's no secret that I love Jennifer Echols.  (Haha.  See what I did there?  Like the title?  Okay, never mind.  Bad pun.)  I don't read tons of contemporary books, but hers have always been a favorite of mine because they're so raw and real.  Dirty Little Secret is no exception.  Jennifer Echols has done it again!

I was especially excited for this book because it's about country music, my absolute favorite music genre ever.  I'm from the South, so I've grown up listening to country music.  And it was so so so fun to read a book about it.  I mean, how often do you read a YA book about country music?  It gives this book a unique feel, which I loved.  It's hard to make contemporary books unique, but this one definitely is.

I really loved Bailey's character.  She's very tough and independent.  I loved her journey as she slowly began to forgive herself and her family and learned to start opening up her heart again.  Sam was so great as the love interest.  I was afraid he'd be a clich├ęd bad boy, but instead, he's so genuine and sweet and adorable.  I think I've found another book boyfriend. :) Oh, and he names his band Redneck Death Wish.  Love it.

The minor characters were also fantastic.  Like Charlotte, Sam's ex.  She surprised me by being a character who is truly hurting and trying to find her way, and I ended up loving her character arc.  I also love the way Echols makes all her character stick out with their quirks - for example, Bailey has a habit of rubbing her eyes a lot.  Little characterizations like this made each of the characters unique.

And the writing is amazing.  One of my favorite scenes is when Bailey performs for the first time with Sam and his band.  Echols captures the feel of this scene perfectly - the crowd's raw excitement, the sound of all the instruments, and Bailey's surprise at how much she's enjoying herself.  This book just totally represents the spirit of country music.

I would absolutely recommend this book.  Whether you like country music or not, you'll end up being sucked into Bailey's story.  Dirty Little Secret is a wonderfully original YA contemporary and the perfect summer read.

Favorite quote:

"I like doing things that make me uncomfortable.  I try not to have a comfort zone."

* I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  9 out of 10 (4.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week, a new list topic is posted, and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013."

My Top Ten:

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  I have a feeling this'll be on a lot of Top Ten lists.  It's heartbreaking and gorgeous and made me cry and the romance is so swoony and it's just completely perfect.  This series will always be one of my absolute favorites.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  This book is like the exact opposite of CP - it's fluffy and pure fun, but it's oh-so-sweet and delightful, and I'd just like to sit here and bask in its perfection.  And yes, Etienne St. Clair is positively swoon-worthy.

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray.  I read this book while going through post-Downton Abbey depression, and it was just what I needed.  The writing is so rich and enthralling - I just love the way it captures the feel of the 1920s, one of my all-time favorite historical periods.  You can't go wrong with the 1920s and a supernatural murder mystery!

4. Sever by Lauren DeStefano.  My word, this author can write.  Lauren's writing is so poignant.  Multiple times while reading this, I'd go back and reread a line or sentence just because it was so lovely.  The story, the characters, the writing...it's so wonderful.

5. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.  *squeal* What an amazing sequel!  This is one of the few love triangles that I wholeheartedly love, and there's so many awesome twists and the writing!  Eep!  Why can't I write like Tahereh Mafi?  Love her gorgeous descriptions and metaphors.  And Warner.  Excuse me while I go swoon.

6. Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  It's amazing how, even though this is the fourth book in the series, it still manages to be just as fresh and addictive as ever.  What more can be said?  I'm obsessed with this author.  I'll read anything she writes!

7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  Whoa.  This was the definition of mindblowing.  Creepy aliens...atmospheric writing...shocking twists.  I need the sequel now!

8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  I'm just in awe of this story.  I actually read it a couple weeks ago and just loved everything about it.  The way Paris is depicted, the whole theme about traveling and finding yourself...in any other story it would come across as cheesy, but it's so striking and realistic in Just One Day.  Can't recommend it enough!

9. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.  I've loved fairytales ever since I was a child, and Meyer is seriously talented at writing fairytale retellings.  I love the addictive, suspenseful plot in Scarlet, as well as the fast-paced writing and cool sci-fi aspects. 

10. Pivot Point by Kasie West.  Fun, fun, fun!  This is one of the few paranormal novels I've read this year that really sticks out as unique.  I love how relatable and hilarious the main character is, and all the other characters were so fleshed out and different.  Loved it!

Whew.  I don't usually include so much detail in my TTT lists, but since this week we got to cover our favorite books, I couldn't help fangirling over them a bit. :) What's on your TTT this week?

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ARC Review: Blurred by Tara A. Fuller


Goodreads summary:

Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?


My review:

Blurred is so much fun!  I really enjoyed Inbetween, the first book in this series, and was especially excited for this one since it features two of my favorite characters - Cash and Anaya!  And Blurred certainly did not disappoint.

I love Cash and Anaya.  They're such strong, well-developed characters.  Lots of YA heroines tend to be whiny and wimpy, but Anaya's the exact opposite - she's determined and will stop at nothing.  Loved her!  And Cash's sense of humor adds to the story so much.  His sarcastic quips were awesome.

I really love the way Tara Fuller handles the alternating POVs - she's great at making the story suspenseful.  One chapter from Cash's POV would end in a cliffhanger, then it would jump to Anaya, who'd be in a totally different situation.  I couldn't read fast enough; I was always dying to know what would happen!

And Fuller holds nothing back.  Poor Cash suffers so much in Blurred (by the way, LOVE the title and the way it relates to the story) and I felt so sorry for him.  I also love the role that Finn and Emma, the main characters in Inbetween, play in the story.  It's definitely different to see their characters the way Cash sees them. 

This is a great sequel that I'd totally recommend if you enjoyed the first book.  I love the unique concept of reapers; this is refreshingly original as far as paranormal novels go.  Fingers crossed that there's going to be a third book! :)

My rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Summer 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week, a new list topic is posted, and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Summer 2013."

I split my list up - the first half are books releasing this summer, and the second half are books I own and plan on reading this summer.

1. Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  Need.  This.  Now.  'Nough said.

2. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson.  So sad that one of my favorite series is ending, but super excited to read it!

3. Deception by C. J. Redwine.  Loved the first book, Defiance, and can't wait for this!

4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.  I wasn't able to get my hands on an ARC, but other bloggers have been saying it's an amazing sequel!

5. A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris.  Eep, I love Rachel Harris!  Her books are adorable and I can't wait for this one!

6. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.  This has been sitting on my bookshelf for ages, and I recently read and loved Bray's The Diviners, so I need to check this one out soon.

7. Mind Games by Kiersten White.  I'm a big fan of Kiersten White, and I just downloaded this on my Kindle, so I need to read it soon!

8. Eve by Anna Carey.  I've had this for ages but just never got around to it.

9. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris.  This is on my Kindle and I've been wanting to read it for a while.

10. Touch of Death by Kelly Hashaway.  Another Kindle book I want to read soon (can you tell I'm trying to read all my e-books this summer? lol).

What's on your summer TBR list?

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Recent Cover Reveals!

There have been so many awesome cover reveals lately, I decided to whip up a quick post with some of my favorites! :)

- Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano releases October 1, 2013

- Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Sherpherd releases January 14, 2014

- Evertrue by Brodi Ashton releases January 21, 2014

- Perfect Lies by Kiersten White releases February 18, 2014


Which of these books are you excited for?  I'm especially looking forward to Perfect Ruin!

~ The Bookworm

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza


Goodreads summary:

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.


My review:

Mila 2.0 has an awesome premise and is, in actuality, merely an okay-ish book.  The beginning is terrible, but once the action starts, the story gets a lot more exciting. 

First off, why is it nearly 500 pages long?  You could've chopped off a quarter or a third of the story and it would've flowed a lot better.  I think the first 150 pages should have been shortened - that's what I really had trouble with.  It starts off with lots of clich├ęs: Mila and her mom have recently moved to a new town, Mila has a very overdramatic and irritating best friend, and Mila immediately falls in love with this cute new guy at school.

UGH.  What annoys me most about this is the fact that, in these first 100-ish pages, the story is set up so that you think it's along the lines of a contemporary, and that characters like her best friend, Kaylee, and the love interest, Hunter, are going to have an important role in the story.  But instead, Mila and her mom have to escape some bad guys and spend the rest of the novel on the run.  So what was the point of all those pages about school, friends, etc., when it has nothing to do with the rest of the story?

So yeah, I was a little disappointed that the action doesn't begin until a third into the book.  Yup, the first action scene in this "thriller" actually takes place after 150 boring pages of drama.  I don't think this book really qualifies as a thriller.



Thankfully, the story does pick up after the first third.  Like I said in the beginning, once the action starts, the pacing improves, there's more sci-fi type stuff and fight scenes, and it finally starts feeling like an action book.  So yes, there are eventually some fun twists and action. 

And we get some characters, like Lucas, who are actually interesting and not stereotypical(*coughcough* like Kaylee).  And I do like the relationship between Mila and her mom.  My only other issue is that I found Mila to be a little too bland and hard to connect with at times.  Sure, I was entertained by the fun action scenes in the second half, but I was never really rooting for Mila.

This would be a totally negative review if not for the second half of Mila 2.0, which I do think is a LOT better than the beginning.  That's enough for me to bump up the rating a little.  Still, I'm probably not interested in reading the sequel, unless the reviews for it are really good.

My rating:  2.5 out of 5 stars

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis


Goodreads summary:

There are worse things than death, worse people too

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.


My review:

What a fun read!  I thoroughly enjoyed Persephone.  While a lot of books based on Greek mythology can be melodramatic and/or depressing, Persephone is instead a lighthearted, refreshing take on the classic myth.  It reminded me a bit of the Percy Jackson books at times!

The main character Persephone is a great narrator.  She has a very real voice and is just your ordinary teenager...until she finds out she's a goddess!  I enjoyed watching her discover that she's a goddess, and I also thought her reaction to this news was really fitting and realistic.  It's easy to feel sympathetic to her and get caught up in her story.

I also liked Hades's character.  He's different than the typical Hades in Greek mythology stories; he's not as moody or prone to getting angry, as in some books I've read.  Instead, he's a lot more understanding and kinder than I'd expected.  I really liked this!  It made him stick out as a character - he was a great cross between a powerful god and a sweet guy.

And yay, there's no insta-love!  The romance develops at a longer pace, and I liked the way Hades and Persephone's relationship grew over time.  The plot is fast-paced and has many fun twists and turns.  The ending was especially exciting - lots of action scenes!

Persepone was an interesting read that I'd definitely recommend to fans of Greek mythology!

* I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  7 out of 10, or 3.5 stars

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week, a new list topic is posted, and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Best Beach Reads."

My Top Ten:

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  This is contemporary at its finest.  The perfect fluffy read for a day at the beach.

2. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.  This is a great lighthearted summer read, plus a good deal of the book takes place at the ocean!

3. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.  A thought-provoking story you won't be able to put down.

4. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller.  Filled to the brim with humor and adorableness.  It's a fun, quick read.

5. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris.  This is a delightful time travel story with a funny main character and swoon-worthy romance.

6. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.  This book alternates between hysterical and heartfelt moments, and it's just such a fun read.

7. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  The ideal summer read.  Really, I can't recommend it enough.  It's short, sweet, and packed with emotion.

8. Auracle by Gina Rosati.  This is a paranormal book, but it's a great beach read because it's super fast-paced, has a contemporary feel to it, and has lots of fluffy humor in it.

9. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.  I'm actually bringing this with me to reread when we go to the beach in a few months; that's how good it is.  It's about a girl traveling the world and discovering herself.  So, so good.

10. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.  Like Auracle, this is a paranormal story, but it has so many laugh-out-loud moments and is really lighthearted and cute.

What books are on your TTT this week?  Comment with a link to your blog. :)

~ The Bookworm

Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer


Goodreads summary:

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…


My review:

My word, these books are so amazingly good.  Brigid Kemmerer never fails to disappoint, and Spirit is every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be.  From the fast-paced plots, stellar writing, hilarious dialogue, and great character development, this series really sticks out from other paranormal books.

Hunter is such a great main character.  I mean, wow.  I never liked him in the previous books, but with Spirit, Brigid has managed to turn him into a sympathetic character that I grew to love.  I'm just blown away by her amazing talent to make you feel for these characters and root for them.  Hunter suffers a lot in this book, and I can't even count the number of times my heart broke for him. 

Of course, the rest of the characters are every bit as good.  It's interesting getting to see the Merrick brothers through Hunter's eyes.  I ended up loving Michael Merrick, in particular, even more in this book.  He's just such a support and a real friend for Hunter when he needs one.  And Kate?  She was awesome!  I didn't love her as much as, say, Becca or Layne, but she was still great.  I love how she and Hunter would text each other so much.  I know it sounds like it'd be annoying, but it was actually a quirk that made their relationship so cute and real.

I suppose the romance could be considered insta-love, but just like in the previous book Spark, it's written in such a way that it seems realistic rather than cheesy.  I'm so impressed with the way Brigid writes romance, she's seriously good at writing relationships.  And then there's the plot, which has so many surprising twists that I could barely keep up!  There was always something big happening, be it an action scene or character development.  I loved it.

Needless to say, I adored Spirit and can't wait to read more books in this series!  (Why does Michael's story have to be the last?  I need it nowww!)  If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it!  There's so many great characters and exciting plots.  Amazing!

My rating:  9 out of 10, or 4.5 stars

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. 

Here's my haul!  I know the picture is like, majorly crappy, but oh well:


Books I bought:
- Of Triton by Anna Banks
- Asunder by Jodi Meadows
- Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Books I got from the library:
- Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
- The Archived by Victoria Schwab
- Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
- Doomed by Tracy Deebs
- Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker
- Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I've actually already read the top three, all of which are ones I bought.  I can't wait to dive into all my new library books, though.  They're all books I've been dying to read for ages!

What new books have you gotten?  Leave a link to your stacks in the comments!

~ The Bookworm

Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review: Of Triton by Anna Banks


Goodreads summary:

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?


My review:

I just love this series.  These books are all-around adorable and so ridiculously fun to read.  Although I liked the first book, Of Poseidon, just slightly better than this one, Of Triton is still a well-written sequel!  It's like a cuteness overload.  These books make me want to dance and squeal with happiness like this:



Eep, I love all the characters!  From Emma and Galen, to Rayna and Toraf, to Nalia and Grom, these are well-rounded characters that I loved and came to care about - I could not stop reading until I knew what was going to happen to them!  Anna Banks is really talented at making all these characters unique and giving them each their own vibrant personality.  Love 'em!

It's too bad that this is so short, though - only 250 pages.  Still, the plot held my attention throughout, and I appreciated the fact that Emma is a clever heroine who knows what she's doing.  I love her sass, and I always enjoy her narration.  I also really liked how there was a great balance of action between the two separate narrations, Galen and Emma.  It made this book so hard to put down!

Of Triton is an amazing sequel that does a great job of continuing the story of the Syrena realm and bringing forth lots of new revelations and character development.  If I had to pinpoint exactly why it wasn't *quite* as good as the first, I guess it would be that it wasn't as hilarious as Of Poseidon.  I did miss some of the hysterical one-liners, but there was still some humor spread throughout the story!

This is definitely worth reading if you loved the first book, and even if you didn't care for the first book much, I'd still recommend this because the plot is so fast-paced and well-developed.  I can't wait to read Of Neptune!  I need more of this adorableness in my life.  Like, now.

My rating:  8 out of 10 (4 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, June 6, 2013

YAGB Baltimore Workshop

Last night I got to meet five of my favorite authors!  Somehow, I convinced my dad to drive me two hours to Baltimore to go to a writing workshop and book signing by authors Kat Zhang, Sarah Maas, Susan Dennard, Erin Bowman, and Jodi Meadows.

It was pretty epic.  Allow me to explain my feelings in gifs.  There was a lot of this going on:




Suffice it to say, it was a pretty awesome evening.  All the authors were SO sweet and amazing, and I got lots of great advice, ideas, and inspiration from the two-hour writing workshop.  And the book signing afterwards was so much fun!  These authors are so genuinely sweet and just all-around wonderful, inspirational people.  Of course, I collected tons of swag. :) Here's a couple pictures from after the signing:


Jodi Meadows, me, and Kat Zhang!


Jodi Meadows, Kat Zhang, me, Erin Bowman, Sarah Maas, and Susan Dennard!

I had an awesome time.  Thanks so much to these amazing authors for taking time out of their busy schedules to come talk to us about writing.  I learned a lot from the workshop and had a great experience!

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Feature Travel in Some Way

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week a new list topic is posted, and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Books that Feature Travel in Some Way."

My list is a jumble of all sorts of travel: road trips, time travel, travel in space, traveling to foreign countries, etc.  Here it is:

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

2. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

3. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill.

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

5. There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones.

6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

9. River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren.

10. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins.

What's on your TTT this week?  What kind of books about traveling do you enjoy?

~ The Bookworm

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley


Goodreads summary:

An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.

It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living.

But all is not well...

A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as they take over the underworld. as the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers.

Professor Moriarty.

When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.


My review:

When I saw this book on Goodreads, everything about it screamed, "Read me!"  From the Doctor Who-ish cover (gas masks and overcoats, anyone?) to the awesome premise (an alternate London with steampunk machinery in 1895) this book sounded like my dream come true.  Not to mention the awesome references to Sherlock Holmes!  But in the end, while this was definitely a good book, it simply wasn't great.

As much as I love steampunk novels, I hate it when the machinery is confusing and difficult to understand.  Perhaps other readers didn't have this problem, but I sometimes had trouble trying to understand the descriptions and imagine what was happening.  Also, I could've used some more clear backstory, rather than the jumbled explanations that were thrown into the story.

I had a bit of a problem with the writing style, too.  It just didn't pull me in right away, and seemed bogged down with too many descriptions.  It took a while for me to really get into the story.  I'd have preferred more of the witty dialogue, which I greatly enjoyed, rather than the long rambling paragraphs.  And sadly, I saw a plot twist at the end coming.  It was rather obvious to me from the very beginning.

Aside from these problems, however, The Lazarus Machine is very fun.  I love how quirky the main character Tweed is.  He's kind of like a mash-up of Sherlock and the Doctor - he's both clever and curious, and very socially awkward, which I loved.  The other narrator, Octavia, was spunky and funny, and the rest of the minor characters added charm to the story.

And the dialogue - hilarious!  I loved the sarcastic banter going back and forth between Tweed and Octavia.  Again, this was very reminiscent of TV shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who.  I chuckled
numerous times while reading it.

So while I loved the characters and witty dialogue, I found the pacing to be slow and the descriptions a bit confusing at times.  The Lazarus Machine isn't for everyone, but I would recommend giving it a try if you like BBC shows or historical steampunk novels.

My rating:  3 stars

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Top 5 Books of May 2013

At the beginning of each month, I post a list of the books I read in the previous month and what my favorite books were.  Here's all the books I read in May:

- Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
- Ink by Amanda Sun
- Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
- Destined by Jessie Harrell
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- Taken by Erin Bowman
- The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
- Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
- Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
- So Close to You by Rachel Carter
- The Diviners by Libba Bray
- Dark Triumph by R. L. LaFevers
- The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
- Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
- Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
- When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
- Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- Sirens by Janet Fox
- How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
- Love Story by Jennifer Echols
- Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack
- Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
- Private by Kate Brian
- The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley
- Of Triton by Anna Banks

Thank goodness school is finally out - I've had lots more time to read in the past couple weeks.  My top 5 favorite books:

1. Dark Triumph by R. L. LaFevers.  My word, this woman can write.  I think this is even better than her first book, Grave Mercy.  All the historical detail...it's just amazing.  Not to mention the wonderful characters.  Like Beast. *dreamy sigh*

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray.  After going through post-Downton Abbey depression, I decided to read this and totally loved it.  I'm just in awe at how brilliant it is.  I felt like I was in the 1920's - that's how good her writing is.

3. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.  This book has it all.  It's an awesome historical/steampunk mash-up that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I mean, zombies + parasols = perfection.  Charming and delightful.  Can't wait for the sequel!

4. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.  I wasn't expecting to love this modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet so much, but it was amazing!  A great twist on the classic tale, and all the characters were so real and well-developed.  Amazing contemporary book.

5. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller.  Yay for books that are unashamedly, wholeheartedly, wonderfully nerdy.  I was grinning and nodding my head the whole time while reading this.  Nerdfighters for the win!

What books have you read recently?  What were some of your favorite reads from last month?  I'd love to know, so feel free to drop a comment. :)

~ The Bookworm