Saturday, February 26, 2011

Awarded: One Lovely Blog Award

I'd like to thank Jennifer for choosing me as one of the people to pass this award on to. 

To accept the award one must follow some rules...
1.  Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to their blog.
2.  Post 7 random facts about yourself.
3.  Pass the award on to 15 other blogs.

So once again, thanks to Jennifer @ Just Nooking Around.

Seven random facts about me...
1.  I spent my youngest years living in a town in upstate New York that was so small there wasn't even a hospital, so I was born in a neighboring town.
2.  When I was a little kid I would check out a backpack full of books each week from our town library (I had moved by then to a bigger town with a big library haha).
3.  When I was a kid I went swimming almost every day.
4.  When I was a kid I went rollerskating at least once a week.
5.  Every car I've ever had has been a manual transmission and I think it's weird driving an automatic; I always want to switch gears at different times than the car does.  I prefer to be in control of that decision, but if I had two cars I would get an automatic as my extra car for road trips or if I had to go somewhere in rush hour, since stop-and-go is pretty annoying with a stick shift haha.
6.  I love singing and I've even performed a few times in public and shared a video online!  I used to be in all the school choirs and I did a few plays with singing parts as well.
7.  I love acting and, when I was younger, I was the lead in a bunch of plays.  I haven't done any in years though, I kinda miss it! 

And the award goes to...
1.  Heather @ Paranormal Book Junkie
2.  Amanda @ Letters Written Inside Out
3.  Nancy @ She The Book Geek
4.  Liz @ That's What Liz Read
5.  Theresa @ Just Nook It
6.  Lindsay @ Lindsay Writes
7.  Aimee @ Getting Your Read On
8.  Laura @ Pages of Adventure
9.  Jessi @ Psykhe
10.  Jamie @ The Book Junkie's Bookshelf
11.  Joder @ Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess
12.  Jen @ I Read Banned Books
13.  Selena @ The Enchanted Book
14.  Justine @ A Bookful of Thoughts
15.  Cynthia @ A Blog About Nothing

Friday, February 25, 2011

Frozen/Skinned, by Robin Wasserman

In a distant future Lia Kahn is 17 and life seems pretty great.  Her family has enough credits to buy almost anything, her friends and boyfriend adore her, she has an endless supply of vidlifes to enjoy, tech-enhanced clothing to wear, great parties to go to and one of the coolest zones on the network, complete with a beautiful av.  Unfortunately everything changes when she is involved in a serious car accident.  Even though the vehicles are mostly self-piloted, it doesn't mean they're fail proof as Lia finds out the hard way.  She wakes in a hospital unable to move and eventually finds out her brain has been copied and placed into a mechanical shell so she can continue living, indefinitely, even though her human body is gone.  Slowly she begins her recovery and learns to use her new body.  Wasserman has created an interesting world where these, "mech-heads," or, "skinners," aren't particularly liked by most.  They're resented for their immortality and cursed for their artificial bodies.  Lia has to deal with new discrimination, fading friendships, a boyfriend who is now disgusted by her and on top of everything else she has to figure out how to make her new body work for her... how to feel emotions without the physical responses... how to be her old self even though her old self is technically dead...  It's a beautiful landscape strewn with dilemmas and surprises.  The writing is pleasing and interesting as well.  I found this to be as much of a page-turner as my last read, so that was really nice; I love being completely absorbed into a book when I'm reading.  It was so interesting to try and imagine being alive without breathing, crying, eating or ever being able to die.  The characters were round and full and the kind of people you feel like you actually know as you read.  There were plenty of exciting moments and twists as well, I really look forward to reading the next two books of this trilogy.  I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi, dystopians, suspense, YA in general or action. 

Favorite things: the concept, the writing, the characters, the suspense, the unique perspective and all the emotions the writing pulled out of me.

Criticisms: I felt the main character did a huge turn-around in her opinions for very little reason at one point and that broke my willing suspension of disbelief for a minute.  Other than that, nothing!

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars!

Follow Friday/Blog Hop (Feb. 25th, 2011)

Book Blogger Hop
This is my first time doing this (obviously since I've had my blog for less than a week), but I am excited to participate and I hope to meet new bloggers and get new followers too.

Today's Question:  What's your current favorite television show?  Share some info about it!
My Answer:  This is a tough one, but I'd say The Big Bang Theory is my favorite.  I love the characters, I can relate to the humor and I love anything that can make me laugh.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My New Oberon Cover!

Here is one of my birthday presents (thanks hubby) and it just arrived today!  I am so excited to finally have this Oberon cover for my NookColor.  It's so beautiful and softer and smoother to the touch than I imagined.  It's supple yet sturdy and the tooled leather is amazing to see in person.

Oberon Design is a small company of dedicated artists and the quality of this cover is beyond anything I saw on the market.  It was definitely pricey ($72.00 before tax and shipping), but there is nothing out there that even comes close to this kind of artistry and beauty.  I definitely think it was worth the price (even though I didn't pay for it personally, haha).

This particular design is called, "Roof of Heaven," and I specifically chose it, because it was one of the covers that had a design on both sides and a continuous one at that.  This is the back side and I think it's equally amazing!  Overall, I think this Oberon cover is the best!

The texture of the leather from the deep tooling is visually pleasing as well.  I took a picture at an angle to show how deep the lines are and over time it should develop a darker color and softer texture, so perhaps I'll post an update blog in a year or two to show how it's progressing.  Here is the texture picture:
Last but not least, I wanted to show everyone the charm I chose to go with mine (I knew they would send me a sun one for free, but I really wanted a butterfly instead, so I ordered one).  I'm going to attach the sun charm directly to my NookColor later, but for now, my husband just attached the butterfly to the closure bungee for me.  It's hard to get a good picture of such a small thing since I have a lame camera, but you get the idea.  :)

Anyway, hurray for Oberon Design, because I love my new cover so much!  I definitely recommend it for anyone with an e-reader (they have modified sizes for other kinds of devices).  My only regret is that I can only have one, because a lot of the other designs and colors are so beautiful too!  If I ever get another one I think I'll pick one in red or yellow, because those were my other favorite color options.

Check them out here:  Oberon Design

The Body Finder, by Kimbery Derting

This book happened across my reading list thanks to the reviews of my B&N friends and I'm so glad it did!  The Body Finder is a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, romance and paranormal.  I loved Kimberly Derting's writing, she did a great job of taking me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  The story revolves around the main character, Violet, and her unusual talent for finding creatures that have been killed.  She can hear, see or even taste the unique echo each victim leaves behind and she recognizes the matching imprint on each killer too.  Some people have imprints even if they're no one to fear because of job-related killings or hunting, so she's never sure what she's sensing when she comes across a new imprint on someone.  This makes for an interesting source of fear, not only for the protagonist, but for the reader as well.  Violet keeps her talent a secret from all but a few close people in her life and burying the dead animals she is lured to brings her a sense of calm and quiets the echo.  In the rare case of a human's violent death, however, peace isn't as easy to come by.  When a serial killer starts terrorizing the area, Violet realizes she needs to use her gift to help stop the murders, even if it means danger for herself.  All the while, this story takes on another plot which focuses on the friendship and potential romance between Violet and her next-door-neighbor/best friend, Jay.  I'm not normally a huge fan of romance, but the characters were so believable, and the love story was such a welcome reprieve from the edge-of-your-seat suspense of the main plot, that I enjoyed it thoroughly.  My heart raced as I read of their blossoming romance and it helped create some of the wonderful highs of this journey.  The lows were just as satisfying though, and I only stopped reading to make myself something to eat.  I would recommend this book for any lovers of suspense or anyone looking for a good page-turner. 

Favorite things: the writing style, the suspense, the mystery, the characters, the romance, a strong female protagonist and a beautiful cover.

Criticisms:  I was able to predict some of the things that were going to happen and I don't like that in a book with elements of mystery.  I'd rather be left guessing until the author decides to reveal it to me.

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars!

Monday, February 21, 2011

100 Book Challenge for 2011!

I had already decided to read at least 100 books this year when I set my goal on Goodreads, so this is convenient.  So far I have already read 19, so I'm definitely ahead of schedule!  I'll list them here in chronological order beginning in January.

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson (4 out of 5 stars)
So B. It, by Sarah Weeks (5 out of 5 stars)
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 stars)
Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 stars)
Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 stars)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon (4 out of 5 stars)
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell (4 out of 5 stars)
It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much Needed Margarita, by Heather B. Armstrong (4 out of 5 stars)
Need (Need #1), by Carrie Jones (3 out of 5 stars)
Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes (4 out of 5 stars)
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1), by Charlaine Harris (4 out of 5 stars)
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (4 out of 5 stars)
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), by Maggie Stiefvater (3 out of 5 stars)
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1), by James Patterson (5 out of 5 stars)
School's Out Forever (Maximum Ride #2), by James Patterson (5 out of 5 stars)
Delirium (Delirium #1), by Lauren Oliver (3 out of 5 stars)
Emily the Strange: The Lost Days (Emily the Strange Novels #1), by Rob Reger (4 out of 5 stars)
Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride #3), by James Patterson (4 out of 5 stars)
Zombies vs. Unicorns, by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (4 out of 5 stars)

I plan on blogging about most of my upcoming books and I can continue this challenge with more in-depth reviews, but I wanted to get caught up on my challenge progress now!

Zombies vs. Unicorns, by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

This idea for this anthology came from an old internet argument about which fantastical creature was better and why.  I love silly internet arguments, I love unicorns and I love anthologies by different authors, so I was definitely in luck here.  Some stories are better than others, but each author took this idea and used their creativity to the fullest it seems.  I really appreciate the surprising perspectives some of them came up with too.  This is a great option if you want a wide variety of writing styles packed into one book.  I'm actually looking for another book similar to this for my NookColor since it was so enjoyable for me.  I read most of the stories in between other reads and I loved being able to take my mind in a completely different direction quickly before returning to a longer novel.

Favorite things: multiple authors, Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfield, Meg Cabot, the humor, unique perspectives, unicorns.

Criticisms: too much sexual innuendo in one of the stories for my tastes, excessive vulgar language in that same story even though this is classified for YA, one of the stories was a little slow, one of the stories was a cliffhanger with no apparent followup and I hate that, zombies.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion!

Welcome to my blog!

Hey anyone and everyone!  My name is Sandra and I've always been an avid reader, but ever since I got a NookColor for Christmas I've been reading more than I have in years! 

I've considered having a blog about a few different things before, but I never knew where to begin.  Now that I'm reading so much, it made it easier to decide and after I decided upon book blogging, this website made it really easy to set up, so here I am!  A fresh addition to the crowded world of blogging.  Hopefully there are a few readers out there with room for another blog to follow in their lives!

Since I'm new around here and if you're reading this, you're new to my blog as well, I think it's best to begin with an introduction.  My name is Sandra and I am 28 (I just read that there are more people that are 28 than any other age right now, weird).  I live in Colorado and I'm married.  My NookColor is my new favorite gadget and I love lots of different genres, but my favorites are: YA, dystopians, fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, psychology-related books and anything that can make me laugh.  Some of my favorite authors are: Douglas Adams, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Cassandra Clare, Neal Stephenson, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lois Lowry. 

I don't plan on blogging about everything I read , but I will definitely make an effort to write when I feel inspired about something!  Okay, apparently I do plan on blogging about everything I read.  I feel that both the good and the bad deserve to be mentioned and I'll try my best to be objective. 

If you like any of my favorite genres or are interested in hearing about something new, please follow my reviews, thanks!