Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 52

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Billy from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

What weekly memes do you follow on a regular basis?

I do the book blogger hop, but I also try (and have failed recently) to do Teaser Tuesdays on my blog. On other blogs, I generally follow Teaser Tuesdays, as well as some Waiting on Wednesdays/Future Favorites.

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Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 51

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Billy from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

What is your favorite genre?  List two of your favorite books in that genre.

Definitely fantasy. Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter are two of my favorites.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 50

I’ve reached 50 Blogger Hop Posts!!! This is amazing – it’s the first milemarker ABCbooknerd has reached (other than the two blogoversaries that I’ve forgotten to celebrate, haha)! The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Billy from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

Are you in a book club? How does your book club choose books? How far in advance do you choose?

I am not in a book club. Sometimes I wish I was, just so that I had a deadline or something to read a book. But Netgalley’s good, too, since I can only read those books for so long. There’s a couple books from there coming out for review soon, so keep an eye out!

The Deepest Night

Title: The Deepest Night (Book 2 in The Sweetest Dark)
Author: Shana Abe
Publisher: Bantam – Random House Publishing
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Netgalley E-ARC

It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.
As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.
Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.
With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.

This was an excellent book. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the first one, but I plan on remedying that soon. At the same time, though, I am almost glad that I read this book first, because I’m not sure how I would have felt about the whole Jesse/Armand thing if I had seen more of Jesse through the first book. In only having read the second book, I have an unprejudiced view of Armand, and I absolutely adore him because he absolutely adores Lora. The scene with Chloe in his bedroom? Literally about the best thing anyone could EVER say to their sweetheart. Not only was it cute and romantic, but it was heartfelt and those words were the embodiment of his emotions towards her. Which, of course, made for a whole lot of tension and confusion throughout the book, but also absolute happiness when I read the ending.

Lora was a fun character to read, too. I loved her sarcasm, her witty humor, and her deep feelings – not necessarily lovey-dovey feelings, but fierce feelings that mirror her dragon self. She feels everything to her core, and that was obvious through the writing. The style and voice really made me feel like I got to know Lora – I was confused when she was, angry when she was, relieved when she was. There were points where all I wanted was for her to scream or breathe fire because of the strength of her emotions.

The idea of the dragons was also an interesting topic for the author to explore. I haven’t read a dragon story in a while, and I loved her way of pulling the lore together – the treasure, the songs that they hear, their relationship to the stars, and especially the shape-shifting. It was unique, and makes me want to go to the beginning to see how Lora’s story begins, as well as to urge the author to make the series at least a trilogy. Another great thing about the book in general, though, was that it wasn’t necessary to have read the first book to read and understand the second book. Would I have liked more of a backstory on Lora’s origins, yes, but at the same time going into that much detail in the second book would have ruined it and been unnecessary for those who have already read the first. Also, I find it more of an incentive to read the first book when there is information missing that I want to know.

One last point: I loved the cover art – I thought it was beautiful, and the title that goes along with it is just perfectly gorgeous and embodies the spirit of the book. Anyone looking for a magical read will thoroughly enjoy this book. Happy Reading!

~Yours Truly

**Note: due to some sexual references and nudity I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 49

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Billy from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

What got you started as a blogger? Everyone has a story/reason, what’s yours?

One of my best friends from high school is book blogger, and I’ve always had a love of reading. We actually first bonded over our love of books, and she suggested that I start my own book blog. So I did. It’s a really simple story, but I’ve loved every second I’ve been on WordPress (except, you know, when it decides that it knows better than me and won’t do what I want it to)!

Since You Asked…

Title: Since You Asked…
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Netgalley E-book

No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway.
Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school’s newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine’s Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family’s traditional Korean values? In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what’s considered “normal” in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one’s individuality…or being driven insane.

This was a surprisingly good book. It took a little while for me to get really into it, but after a few chapters, I started to really like Holly as a character and as a narrator. It was certainly a different book than I’m used to reviewing, if only because of the format, but I still enjoyed it. Holly’s voice was very strong, and I liked having a main character with nationality issues. The characters in the book are very diverse, and the names were consistent with the diversity – Korean and Chinese traditions, stereotypes, etc. Even though I risk coming across as a sucker for stereotypes, I think that in Holly’s world, it would really suck to be her.

However, she has great friends. David and Holly have a great relationship, and David is sweet, even though he doesn’t like to come across that way. I wish there was something romantic going on, and maybe during their junior year, in a sequel…? However, at the same time that I wish there was romance, I’m glad that there wasn’t any, too. I think that it was refreshing to have a character with supposedly zero prospects of a high school relationship, especially since she was so anti-high school sweetheart anyway. Having a boyfriend would have turned her into a hypocrite. Her girlfriends Liz and Carrie were great, too. I loved their personalities, and Holly’s theories about them (like how Liz is probably a trained spy. Or part of the Persian mafia). They really brought life to the story, and they grounded Holly, too.

Even though I liked the plot in general, I didn’t like how some of the things that happened were never mentioned again. I just felt that there was something missing about certain things. Like Matthew’s little sister never came up again, or the ending that kind of just ended abruptly. I hope that there is a second book, so that the story itself doesn’t actually just end like that. Other than that, though, the books was really good. I would definitely recommend it to any teenager looking for a funny, not-so-serious read, as indicated by the cover. It would be a great summer book, for those of you not already back to school!

~Yours Truly

**I don’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13 due to some obscenity.