Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blogger Spotlight ~ Charli from To Another World


If you want to be interviewed for a Blogger Spotlight, please go here. I'll send you a series of questions as soon as I can.

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Today, I am featuring Charli from To Another World! 

About the Blogger

Charli is the blogger behind To Another World, her corner of the interweb where she can ramble about books and other bookish things. Being a Potterhead, Divergent, Initiate and Nerdfighter fills up her Twitter @Charli_TAW, and instagram (@charli_toanotherworld) feeds. She is also a debater, Scout, writer and photographer. 


To Another World- charliotherworld.blogspot.com



(I added a few responses to her answers in purple.)



Hi Charli!

Hi Kaitlin! I'm honoured to be interviewed over here!


First, describe your blog in three words.



Ummm.... Purple, hopefully-sometimes-thought-provoking and bookish.

What makes your blog worth reading?

*mutters darkly about not being conceited* I like to think that I have a unique voice, though I don't suppose I do! I think my reviews are insightful and detailed, and I enjoy writing discussions and just bookish stuff!

What blogging plans do you have for 2014?

I want to read more UKYA, more classics and 125 books! Bloggy-wise, it's not my blogoversary till July but I'm excited for that, and I'm possibly hosting a readathon as well as "Summer Reading Smackdown" Year 2!

Hopefully you will be hosting that readathon again! I need an event to look forward too. ☺

What is a UKYA book you highly recommend?

So many! Geek Girl by Holly Smale, After Eden by Helen Douglas, Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (my book of 2013) and Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham are all top picks.

What is one of your favorite cover trends? Least favorite?

Interesting question! I have a love-hate relationship with "girl in dress" type covers. I like ones where it's simple and the world is displayed, sometimes.

I think a lot of people are getting tired of the "girl in dress" covers.

Do you have any book/reading quirks?

Not particularly! I go through about 100 sticky notes per 200 page book (gets me odd looks on the bus!) But not particularly much else!

Besides reading and blogging, what do you like to do for fun?

I'm a Scout, I'm a debater, I work in my school library and do air rifle shooting with my Scouts!

Yay for working in school libraries! (I'm a student aid in mine.)

Now, time to gush about a book you love.

Pick one of your favorite books/series and answer the following questions about it.

What book is it and who is it by? 

Divergent is my favourite ever, but I'm going to talk about Earth Girl by Janet Edwards.

Why do you love it? 

It's a beautifully written dystopia with clear-cut themes, a beautiful romance and a historical element!

A dystopia with a historical element? Now I'm interested!

Why did you pick the book up and read it in the first place?

It was part of my school library Gifted and Talented Book of 2013 Summer Scheme. It won!

Who is your favorite character from it and why? 

Jarra, the protagonist!

Rate the cover on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = horrible, 10 = absolutely amazing) 

about 9!

Thanks for letting me interview you. :)
Thanks for having me!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review ~ Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

If you would like to know more of my thoughts on this series, you can read my review of The Madman's Daughter!

Series: The Madman's Daughter #2
Genre: YA historical fiction, horror
Pages: 368
Publication date: December 28th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Goodreads Description: 
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.
As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.


As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.


With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.  
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review. 

Her Dark Curiosity was just as creepy as its predecessor. Actually, considering scenes towards the end, it's even creepier.

LOVE TRIANGLE

I might as well get the romance out of the way first. Yes, there's still a love triangle. It's not something I expect most readers to enjoy, but I didn't mind it. It wasn't the most amazing part (which is why I'm keeping this brief) of the story, but I still liked it. 

JULIET

Oh dear . . . what are you doing, Juliet?

By the end of this book, it's clear that the heroine is walking down this dark and dangerous path. She's becoming more inclined to explore the darkness and madness that we first saw inThe Madman's Daughter. She's definitely not an easily likable character. I expect many readers to disapprove of her actions (especially towards the end, where she makes some shocking decisions). Juliet really struggled with the darkness inside her in this sequel, which made her a very interesting character. I'm really curious as to how she deals with that darkness in the next book. Will she succumb to it or decide to fight it instead?

THE EXPANSION OF MADNESS

I loved how Dr. Moreau's experiments expanded in this story. They weren't secluded to an island anymore. More and more people were revealed to be involved in the madness, and I loved how the author did this. It allowed for a few (no, many) new conflicts to arise.

OVERALL

Her Dark Curiosity wasn't as engrossing or as great as The Madman's Daughter. The sequel still had the creepiness, twists, and mystery that I absolutely loved in the first one. There was even another killer ending that left me dying for the next book. If you liked The Madman's Daughter, you're going to want to read this one too! 

I have one more thing to add: I love how the books are inspired by classics. It makes them all the more interesting!

My questions for you:

What did you think of The Madman's Daughter (if you've read it)? 
Are you familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Why do you like/dislike love triangles?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blog Tour: Review ~ If I Speak True by Jessica L. Brooks


Welcome to the If I Speak True blog tour!

If I Speak True
Series: Flora #1
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 455
Publication date: January 27st, 2014
Add to Goodreads

Description: 
Dahlia Kennedy's sixteenth birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he's practically from a whole other era. The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But... is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What is going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself? As secrets usually go, however, it's only a matter of time before everything comes out. And when Dahlia finds out the truth of who Rowan is, who she is, and how he really feels -- it’s beyond anything she could have ever imagined.
Source: I won an e-arc in a giveaway. This has not affected my review.

If I Speak True went well for me! Early on, I could sense that it was going to be good. The writing, the characters, the story--they all felt good. There wasn't much that I didn't like about it.

CREATIVITY

This book was definitely creative. It mixed the real world with a dream one--one with a queen and other royals I loved the explanations behind the conflicts happening in Ambrosia and I really liked certain elements (for example: all the males were named after trees). Most of the specifics about the world were revealed towards the end of the books, so all I'll tell you is that I really liked how it was put together. It was a very interesting world.

THE MAIN CHARACTER

Dahlia is one of that stood out to me the most. More specifically, it was her POV. Her narration and thoughts . . . they just made her seem real. She wasn't anything too special (well, aside from the fact that she could travel to a different world in her dreams), but was instead a completely normal teenage girl. Dahlia reminded me a lot of many girls I have conversations with, both online and offline. She had her awkward moments (a certain frosting scene comes to mind), and she had her funny ones (many of them). She also had to deal with many friend, family, and school issues, just like a lot of other teenagers.

I know I'm not describing it well, but the things Dahlia thinks and does . . . well, they're things I can see (and have seen) others her age thinking and doing. For some reason, this really stood out to me.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

My interest level in this book dropped in the last ten percent or so. As I mentioned before, many of the details of Ambrosia were revealed towards the end. A lot of them. It was a bit of an info dump. The details were a lot to take in. I still really liked them--I just wish they were a little more spread out. 

Also, the climax of the story fell flat for me. I barely noticed it. The highest point of the story is one of my favorite parts of a book, and the highest point of this book just didn't feel very high.

OVERALL

I really enjoyed this one! Along with its creativity and realistic main character, I loved the humor in it. There were a few laugh-at-loud moments that I absolutely loved and there was an entertaining POV that I enjoyed. While the ending didn't leave a huge impression on me, the rest of the book was really good--good enough to make me interested in continuing the series.


Jessica Brooks
Jessica L. Brooks resides with her husband of over sixteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with fellow readers and writers on most social networks like Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also connect with her on her blog, Let Me Tell You A Story. Jessica shares reviews for her favorite books on Afterglow Book Reviews, spreads writing and author love for independently-published authors at Indie Ignites, and salutes all writers (no matter what stage in their writerly journey) at Operation Awesome.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Newsletter


InternationalEnter to win an If I Speak True ebook and swag! 
US OnlyEnter to win an If I Speak True paperback or ebook, book tote, and swag! 

KateTiltonsBookBloggers

Blog Tour Schedule
January 27th – Kristalyn Thornock at The Sarcastic Palmtree (Release Day/DVD giveaway)
January 27th – Cassandra at Cassandra Lost in Books (Release Day)
January 27th – Meg at Book Groupies (Release Day)
January 28th – Kaitlin at Reading is My Treasure (Review)
January 28th – Lisa at Dizneeee's World of Books
January 29th – Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Author Interview)
January 29th – Cheyanne at Cheyanne Young (Author interview)
January 30th – Eugenia at Chasm of Books (Author Interview and Review)
January 30th – A. Kerr at Kerrific (Review)
January 31st – Jenna (JL) at Avid Reader Musings (Writing Playlist)
January 31st – Ella Johnson at Mymcbooks Blog (Spotlight/giveaway)
February 1rd -Eugenia at Chasm of Books (Shaver dream cast)
February 3rd – Heather Rosdol at Buried in Books (Review)
February 3rd – Rachel at The NerdHerd Reads (Dreamcast)
February 4th – Penny at One Writer's Journey (Author Interview)
February 4th – Dana at Dana Square (character interview)
February 5th – Beverly at The Wormhole (Author interview and book promo spot)
February 5th – Kaycee at My Crafty Zoo (Deleted scene and recipe)
February 6th – Kimberly Lim at Kim's Reading Lounge (Review)
February 6th – Dianne at Oops! I Read A Book Again (Review)
February 7th – Janie Junebug at Women: We Shall Overcome (Guest Post)
February 7th – Jodie at Books for Company (Lyrics written for If I Speak True)
February 7th - Colleen at Cici's Theories (Plant meanings and their correlations to the characters)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review Copy Cleanup ~ Sign Up Post!


This challenge is perfect for me! This smaller challenge will help me read books towards the 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge. I have a bunch of review copies to read and review in the next few months, so it would be nice to get ahead in them.

Find out more information on this challenge and sign up here!

I'm not going to set a number goal for this challenge. Instead, I just plan to read as many review copies as I can (and post their reviews).

These are my high priority books.
(I won Sound of Letting Go in a giveaway, but since it's still an ARC, I consider it a review copy.)


After I finish all of the above books, I will choose from the following March releases to read.


I'm really looking forward to the books I'm reading for this challenge! They look really good. Hopefully, I won't come across any greatly disappointing ones.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves ~ A Small Haul!

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share what books we have recently added to our physical or virtual shelves.

My last Stacking the Shelves was from January 11th, so here are all the books I've added to my bookshelves since then.

New Books!

Free on Amazon
Untraceable by S.R. Johannes

Bought for Kindle
A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris (Finally, I got this one!)
Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout (I don't usually buy novellas, but it was on sale. Besides, it's JLA. I love her books.)

For Review (Digital)
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern 

Thank you, HarperTeen and Edelweiss!

New Print Books
More Than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappel (I won this one on Twitter the day it released.)

Thank you, Crissa!

Library
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (This is the next book my AP Lit class is reading, and I'm so excited for it!)
More Than This by Patrick Ness (I couldn't help but check this one out. It's so intriguing!)

What's Been Happening

Read/Finished
Witch Fall by Amber Argyle [3 stars]
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard [3.5 stars]
Mind Games by Kiersten White [4 stars]
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor [5 stars]
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry [5 stars]

Currently Reading
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (I'm only on chapter three and it's already bizarre . . . )
More Than This by Patrick Ness (I'm also only on chapter three.)
If I Speak True by Jessica L. Brooks (. . . chapter three again.)

Reading Next
I'll be choosing from my high priority list for the next few weeks. (All the Truth That's in Me has been erased since I took this photo).

On the blog . . . 

I posted reviews for Witch FallHeartbeat, Being Sloane JacobsAnd We Stay, and Avalon.

This past Wednesday, I shared a new book I discovered and why I want to read it so badly. 

This past Thursday, I interviewed Cal from Read Books and Live Green! It is an incredibly entertaining interview and I had so much fun responding to Cal's answers. ☺

I also shared quite a few giveaways: 
That was my week (well, two weeks). How was yours?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blogger Spotlight ~ Cal from Read Books and Live Green


If you want to be interviewed for a Blogger Spotlight, please go here. I'll send you a series of questions as soon as I can.

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Today, I am featuring Cal from Read Books and Live Green! 

First of all, this has got to be one of the funnest interviews I've ever done. It's was so entertaining to read Cal's answers and to respond to them.

About the Blogger

Cal is a a YA book blogger an Read Books and Live Green. She loves reading and being outside. She's also obsessed with her dog. :)

Cal was also one of the Twitter stalkers followers that I tweeted the most in 2013, so I've gotten to know how awesome she is! If you're on Twitter and would like to get to know her yourself, her Twitter handle is @Read_LiveGreen


(I added a few responses to her answers in purple.)

Hi Cal!

HI KAITLIN! I would like to apologize in advance the ramblings that you are sure to find in this interview. I happen to be feeling a bit hyper and have illustrated many thoughts using the art of parentheses (because it is an art) as well as a whole lot of punctuation and capital letters.

It's totally okay. I'm prepared! (Oh, and I like using parentheses too. ☺)

First, describe your blog in three words.

Loud, Biased, Messy (a lot like how I keep my room! Man, I am so good at really convincing people to come visit my blog… aren’t I?)

(But it's different than what most people say!)

What makes your blog worth reading?

Well, I have an extremely charming personality… (Isn’t that enough for you people?) But along with my cheery disposition (be thankful I’m not gloomy) my blog is knock your socks off opinionated, because well, my blog, my opinion, and I want to share it with you all…
Kidding.. Kind of… I would say my blog is worth reading because …. (seriously why am I so bad at selling it?) I love talking about books and well, I’ve learned that many a people who take joy from reading book blogs, generally like books, and since I like books… LETS BE FRIENDS? (Good enough?)
WAIT I’VE GOT MY SELLING POINT! Wait for it……
I love talking to other people about books and normally I am an extremely friendly person who just so happens to be a bundle of joy when talking about books, math, the outdoors, and animals! (Math blog! BAM! New greatest idea!)

:D :D :D

What are you currently reading?

Currently I am rereading my History essay on the Dred Scott case and, if I do say so myself, it’s fascinating! (*boosting ego here! Don’t bash it!*)
But seriously, I happen to be reading a few books at the same time! (Because I’m super duper cool like that!) One of which happens to be The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent and this book… Steampunk+Newton and Darwin among other brilliant scientists that are seen as religious figures=MY BIBLE=I secretly wish that this was my world! (Guess it’s not a secret anymore!)
Also I just finished Dare You To by Katie McGarry… and I am wowed… (Is that a word… It deserves to be!) Personally I think this was 1,000,000,000 times better than Pushing the Limits!

I love Katie McGarry's books! (Yes, wowed is a word.)

What is one of your favorite cover trends? Least favorite?

FAVORITE: Knives on covers… People say this is getting overdone after Graceling… BUT I DON’T CARE I LIKE KNIVES! (No not in that way…but you know.. they are pretty on covers! *shrugs*)
LEAST FAVORITE: Half dressed people on the covers… No I do not really want to see any one’s bra or underwear, and I’m not very comfortable with shirtless guys on covers either… because I have a reputation to maintain and it does not involve people thinking I like erotic romances… Do you get me? (Please say I’m not alone in this???)

Ugh. I don't like half-dressed people on covers either. I try to steer clear of those covers. (No, you're not alone!)

What is one of your biggish bookish pet peeves?

Ohhh… This is a tough one…
People sleeping.. *BAM* Okay when I read about a book if a character mention sleep too many times I notice *eye twitch* and it really bothers me… I don’t know why, but reading about sleepy people bothers me.. Perhaps it’s because I’m a super hyper person (Like bounce off the walls, run laps around the house, jump up and down in the middle of class, hyper) and I just can’t relate to people who love constant sleep...

I am the opposite of you: me being really hyper is rare. I'm very calm. (You sound as hyper as one of my best friends often gets!)

What book do you think would make an amazing movie and why?

LEVIATHAN BY SCOTT WESTERFELD
This book is the reason I can sleep at night… (Only my favorite books can help calm me down when I’m hyper! And if you can’t tell, while writing this I AM SUPER HYPER…..) But Leviathan is the embodiment of everything a book needs to be. (In my opinion…) It has girls dressed up as guys, lots of pretty picture, a slow burn epic romance, and some of the best steampunk elements out there! (Leviathan also caused my steampunk obsession.)
Basically Leviathan would make the perfect movie with the insane action, intrigue, and romance!

Yes! I love your answer (I once answered Leviathan in an interview for a similar question). I absolutely love this Leviathan and the rest of the series!

Why read ______ books? [pick a genre/subgenre to fill in the blank]

YA STEAMPUNK
Recently I’ve heard of a lot of people who dislike steampumk *gasp* It is currently the lowest group for our tour service that people are willing to tour…(which makes me sad!!!!) So I am here with the mission to convince you to read steampunk!
Steampunk is like we rewrote the past as if somewhere along the way we chose a different option and became a different world and society! A lot of times in steampunk they use scientific elements along with several of my idols (i.e. Newton, Darwin, ect..) and they become some of the most powerful people in society. (Like in The Unnaturalists where they are basically equivalent to a god) Or like in Leviathan where it’s the Darwinists vs. Clankers (animals vs. machines) I do believe that there is a lot of good steampunk out there, but there is also a lot of bad stuff too! I get that maybe people started off on the wrong foot with it, and I wish they would give it another chance!
Steampunk is so interesting and creative and just plain old fun! I’m completely mind blown that people downright hate the entire genre!

I think the only steampunk I've ever read was the Leviathan series . . . wait, no. I've also read Masque of the Red Death, which was really interesting! Steampunk is a really cool genre.

Besides reading and blogging, what do you like to do for fun?

The question is what don’t I like to do? (kidding.. I hate many things!) Personally I love playing with my dog all the time. But I’m a huge fan of the outdoors. I love biking and skiing. And I have a strange obsession with hiking and backpacking… (Strange for the reason that what person would think it’s fun carrying a 45 pound pack up a steep incline for miles, but hey, don’t bash it until you try it!) I like to partake in activities like trail crew and volunteering at my local animal shelter.
I also have the current fascination with leaping up and down on my bed, because FUN!!!! Clearly...And MATH, it’s calming……….

I know someone else who finds math calming. Volunteering is one of the things that I like to do for fun, too!

Now, time to gush about a book you love.
Pick one of your favorite books/series and answer the following questions about it.

ONE?! KAITLIN! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME?????
*Grumbles to self*
Well.. since I already fangirled over Leviathan, I’m going to take a different route and go self (I believe soon to become Indie) pub. 

What book is it and who is it by?

The Nature of Grace series by S.R. Johannes

*Goes to Amazon, finds it free, downloads it*

Why do you love it?

This series has a lot of things I love! Grace is an avid supporter of wildlife in the Smoky Mountains (Which is not the mountain range that I am anywhere near… but I totally get her obsession with going and hiking out there!) Plus I love how she stands up for what she believes in! She’s gone through so much and I adore her and the rest of the characters in this series… Plus the romance is AMAZING!

A good romance and an awesome heroine? I like it already!

Why did you pick the book up and read it in the first place?

Well, I saw it in the kindle store and thought “that looks like a great book!” And then later I looked back at it and was like “OMG it’s $.99!!!” Since I am an avid reader of books that are cheap I immediately bought it! AND LOVED IT! So then I went on to buy the second one! AND I LOVED THAT ONE TOO! Now, I am currently desperately waiting for the third one…. SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!

I love finding real gems like that at such a low price.

Who is your favorite character from it and why?

Grace… noooo… Mo… noooo…. Grace…. Noooo…. Morace? (This is now my ship name for them….) I’m picking two because I love them both and I want to squish them together. Mo and Grace are both so strong and somewhat stupid! But I love them for it! (I mean who thinks I shall go into a forest with a killer! YES! LETS ALL DO THAT!) But still they are my ship and I just adore the both of them! (Although if I had to choose one it would be Grace… because I feel a connection to her… she’s a bit like me! Impulsive, slightly insane, extremely loyal, and a lover of nature and animals!)

You found the perfect character for you, huh?

Rate the cover on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = horrible, 10 = absolutely amazing)


Personally I LOVE all of the covers and would give them a 10 (the exception to my people hate on covers) EXCEPT for the novella’s cover which I would give a 2… because you can see all of her makeup and she just isn’t looking too good there!

Yeah . . . I have to agree with you on the novella. 

Thanks for letting me interview you. :)

NO Thank you for interviewing me! I am most likely the most annoying person to interview because I ramble a lot and use excessive punctuation and CAPS LOCK… I apologize…. Thank you all for dealing with me this long! *solemnly walks away*

*Waves goodbye to Cal* This was so much fun.
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