Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 56

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:

Halloween Edition: What is your favorite horror novel and why?

I’ll say it one last time, because it’s the end of the month. I don’t like horror. I will hardly ever read horror, and never at nighttime. They are creepy, give me the creeps, and have creep-tastic characters that I then have nightmares about. Not kidding; ask my parents. I am seriously the wimpiest 18 year old ever.

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Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 55

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:

Halloween Edition: Norman Bates VS Hannibal Lecter: Which one of these famous book murderers is scarier? (Optional Question: Who is your favorite book villain?)

Honestly, I have only a vague idea of who these people are, so I’m answering the optional question! And even that’s kind of difficult. I could say Voldemort, because honestly, he’s becoming a classic. However, I don’t really like villains. Either they creep me out, or make me angry, or both. And I can’t even really come up with anyone off the top of my head who does this REALLY well to classify as a “great villain,” at least in my mind, except for him. And maybe Sebastian, from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments.

Untraceable

Title: Untraceable (Book 1 in Nature of Grace)
Author: S. R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman and Stott
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Netgalley Ebook

16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.
When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.
One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

There are no words. I was hanging on to every word that my eyes could consume by the time I was halfway through. Was the beginning a little boring? Sure. But from page 100 on in? Completely, utterly, and irreversibly captivating. A sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, screaming-when-it-ends wonderful! Johannes covers a range of emotions I didn’t think I could experience while reading a book, and I’ve had some pretty dang interesting experiences with books in the fourteen years I’ve been able to read (I’m eighteen- do the math). I was crying with and for Grace, shocked and horrified and delighted, all at the same time. I was heart-broken and scared and anxious, in love and confused, betrayed and vulnerable. I’m probably not even describing this the way it should be, but it’s the best I can do. When this book ended, I literally jumped up from my computer and threw a fit, screaming with excitement and frustration, while trying not to draw strange looks from my dorm hallmates. I’m just glad at this point that I don’t have a roommate. I could go on about how I feel about this book, but I’m going to try to move on (I probably won’t succeed).

From the very first page, I loved Grace. I wanted to know how she got herself in this situation, how she would manage to survive and get herself out of it. She is strong, independent, and irresistible. Her character has a charisma that lures the reader in, much like Grace’s flyfishing hobby catches fish – so that you are unaware of the power she has over you until you are panting along as she races through the woods. It is impossible to not catch her enthusiasm and frustration for her father’s case. Her determination is contagious, and incurable to the very end, where, if possible, the reader is so enraptured by this tale that he or she MUST have the second book. The urge is so overwhelming to read more, I turned the computer file inside out looking for more to read.

And yes, I said he or she. I don’t think this book is exclusive, meaning that I think both boys and girls can enjoy it. The romantic parts may be a bit much for a guy, but I think they can skip over those parts. Or they can man up and stick it out; either way, the action, nature, intrigue, and overall mysterious tone of the novel can hook either gender, in my opinion.

The other characters were wonderful, too. Even though Grace really made the story, it wouldn’t have been the same without a great ensemble. I really liked Wyn for most of the book, but only as a friend. Their past frustrated me, and I wish that Grace had been a little more straightforward with him, but their relationship made most of the book possible. The townspeople, none of which I really liked in the first place (as people, not as characters) still managed to surprise me. The secrets that Grace uncovered were nothing short of astonishing, and I love her for it while I am still trying to wrap my head around the entire thing. Grace and her mother also had a tough time of it, and even though I sided with Grace in all of their arguments (1. she’s the main character; 2. I’m a teenage girl – of course I’m going to side with her over her mother), I loved how their relationship worked out. Lastly, Mo. Again, what words can describe him? First of all, I loved him. I liked him so much better than Wyn for a romantic relationship with Grace. Secondly, I never doubted him – which was really one of the only problems I had with this book, because I had predicted part (but not all) of that mystery – but still loved how the plot twisted with his involvement. And then, with the end? All I can say, because I know I’ll give too much away, is that I CANNOT WAIT to read the second book. As in, I’m going to be searching for it immediately after posting this, even though I have a reading priority list. Yeah, he’s that good for the story.

So basically, this has just topped the charts for my “Favorite Books of All Time” lists, at least for now. It’s possible that it may move down – it’s always changing – but I doubt that it will ever move off (because that’s how my “Favorite” lists work – they just grow extensively longer, and never kick anyone off). I HIGHLY recommend this book. As in, if I did a rating scale, this book would have broken it. My review can’t do it justice, no one’s can. You just have to read it and see for yourself!

~Yours Truly

**Note: Due to some language and violence, I don’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 14, more for the violence than the language.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 54

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:

Halloween Edition: What scary book would you like turned into a feature film?

None, because I’m a baby like that, and don’t like scary books OR movies OR (mostly) TV shows. Go ahead. Laugh. It’s okay. I’ve made my peace. (But not because I’m going to die!)

Reaper’s Novice

Title: Reaper’s Novice (Book 1 Soul Collector)
Author: Cecilia Robert
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: February 25, 2013 (Paperback); January 8, 2013 (Kindle)
Netgalley E-ARC

17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents,  good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.
Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to the test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance.  It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice:  save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.

This novel is super-intense. I started and finished it within 24 hours, and am still wishing that there was more in this first volume. Ana is a great main character, with hopes, dreams, and fears all bundled up inside her. I love her family, and her friends, and the new people she meets along the way. Zig is an odd person, and I didn’t expect to like him, but even though he occasionally puts his foot in his mouth, I really do like him. He makes a great friend for Ana, and from what just this first book brings, she needs one. As for certain other characters, like Ernest, I’m still deciding. For now, I am about 90% against him, but who knows what the rest of the story will bring?

The idea behind the plot was great. However, I think the writing still needs some improvement. There were times when I just felt really confused as to what was going on, how we got from here to there, which forced me to have to backtrack and reread. Even with this drawback, though, I was really captured by the storyline. I loved Reiner, Rolf, and Lea, and almost cried near the end of the book for what they all went through. But Ana and Rolf’s story really breaks my heart, as does Lea’s and Rein’s. I did think that there could have been a clearer backstory to their friendship, their memories. Some of the memories that Ana talks about or remembers are kind of haphazard, as though the author just wanted to get them down on the page but never went back to make it flow into the story.

I loved Ana, and the plot twist of what her actual purpose is, though. That intrigue and mystery is what kept me reading, scrolling through the pages, eager for any new scrap of information that she could find out. This is the real reason why I want to read the sequel, and why it had better come out soon! The ending totally left me hanging as to how Ana and Zig were going to continue, especially with the new character that was introduced, and I just NEED to know how this finishes! Oh, and the cover is beautiful. I like the alternate cover (not pictured here) as well. They both used pretty colors and great cover models for the shots they took. Plus, the mist effects drawn on are gorgeous. So, even though it was not the best book I’ve ever read, it was still pretty good, and I would definitely recommend it to any teenager who likes suspense and mystery fantasies. Can’t wait for the sequel!

~Yours Truly

**Note: Due to some profanity, I only recommend this book to ages 13 & older.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 53

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:

Halloween Edition: What book gave you goosebumps?

I generally don’t read scary stories, but Skeleton Creek is freaky, and when I was little, sometimes The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys stories could be creepy, too. However, I highly recommend the latter series, and only suggest the former be read if you enjoy scary stuff (like, pure scary: no romance, no criminal grotesqueness. Pure. Scary.)