Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 67

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:

When you receive new books in the mail, do the older ones get moved to  the bottom of your list or do go strictly “by the book” and keep your  list with older books first and then the new ones?

I don’t really have an order – it’s more like whatever I feel like reading. Of course, I usually feel like reading a brand new book that I just got in the mail, especially if I’ve been waiting for it or if it’s a sequel. There’s just something about getting book mail that is exciting and breathtaking. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 66

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:

Do you think you will ever read every book in your TBR stack?

Well, I’d like to think I will, but then I’m sure that another book will come along. It is on my bucket list, though. If you think I’m joking. I assure you that I’m not.

Dualed

Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: February 26, 2013

Two of you exist. Only one will survive.
West Grayer is ready. She’s trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage—life.
But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future?
If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from herself, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

This is a book where you really have to keep an open mind and allow yourself to be drawn into the world in which the book takes place. Chapman does an excellent job of letting the reader see into West’s head – the first person point of view and strong character traits are well-written and captivating, which permit the reader to ignore things that just seem plain wrong in real life. Getting a homework assignment to kill your twin that you’ve lived in the same city with but never met, for instance. And as good of a job as Chapman does, and as much as this book intrigued me and kept me reading eagerly, there were several points within the book where I just couldn’t overlook certain things that were just too unrealistic in the plot.

Be that as it may, her characters were amazing. West has made it onto my all-time favorite heroine list, as has Chord to my all-time favorite hero list. Even though their romance was foreseeable, the stuff that kept them apart was well executed. I loved West’s brother Luc from the very beginning, and he made me cry, especially when he and West talk. I can’t say more about him without giving spoilers away, but suffice it to say that he was a great older brother.

I also liked the conflict within this book, particularly West’s internal one. This book focused a lot on her, which might be what threw me off a couple times while reading it. A lot of dystopia novels focus on the problem in society. In this book, the character first has to struggle with herself, and then her twin. I liked this, because it left a lot open for the future, if Chapman decides to continue West’s story. If she doesn’t, though, this is a great stand-alone novel as well. Even though it introduced a lot of potential problems for future sequels, the way that this one played out made a lot of sense, and it was refreshing to see an author allow herself to focus an entire book on the character rather than everything going on around the character, but still not ignoring the plot. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and despite some shortcomings that I saw, this was still a great book, with a well-executed plot and three dimensional characters. The cover is also awesome. As soon as my cousin showed it to me, I knew I had to read it. I highly recommend this book to teenagers looking for an action/suspense novel.

~Yours Truly

**Note: I do not recommend this book to children under the age of 13 due to some graphic violence and profanity.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 65

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:

Do you blog for a living or for fun?

This is all for fun!! Which is why my posts are not as regular as I’d like them to be. But I do love this blog – it’s just not on the top of my list anymore.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 64

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 a book blogger purist?  Do you only have book related posts or  do you review/post on anything/everything that catches your eye?

I’m basically a purist. Every once in a while I’ll comment on a movie (that was originally a book) or on something that’s been on my mind, but other than that, all my posts are about books.

United We Spy

Title: United We Spy (Book 6 in Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 5, 2013

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

For the last book in a series, Ally Carter has outdone herself. It makes me really, really sad to see this series come to a close, but I’m so, so, SO happy that it did in this way. So many authors have great series with endings that are …. well, blah. But Ally didn’t disappoint. Cammie is as strong a character as ever, even if she has lost her way a little. This has just made her more realistic – no one, not even a spy, can have be perfect. Plus, Bex and Liz were awesome friends and spies in this book. Much more serious, but also better in a different way. They had more of a role, and I think that having a more serious task helped with that. And then, of course, there’s Zach. Mmmm. I can’t really say much more about him. I love him as a character, as a spy, as a guy, and especially as Cammie’s boyfriend. There’s a fangirl in me specifically for him. If this series is ever made into a movie, they are going to have a seriously hard time casting him, and they’re going to have a lot of fans trying to ensure that the right Zach is picked. However, even with the romantic scenes between him and Cammie in this book, I still wanted a little more. I think that it was good, excellent, really, but there were moments when one or the other of them was feeling screwed up, and I just wanted to shake Ally and say, Really? Couldn’t I- I mean they – have this moment be perfect? Other than that, though, their relationship was wonderful. I really liked how it ended, and even though I wished they had more moments alone together, what they had made sense, and was probably more realistic than anything a fan could want. (I mean, a fan would probably just want their life story, about how they grew up and got married, and blah blah blah. That’s pretty much what a lot of fan fic is. Not that I’m complaining. Just saying.).

The action was not lacking either. From the very beginning, they were breaking in and out of places and being all spy-like, and teenage-girl-like, too. Their Operative Reports and Cammie’s lists were present, as always, and made me laugh. A little comedic relief for all the tension that their mission brought them. And everything, up to the very page, was perfect – just the right about of suspense, mystery, anticipation, and emotion to keep me eager for more. Finishing this book in a day was easy. Accepting that it was over afterwards was the hard part. Plus, the cover, keeping with the trend, is amazing. I love it, especially the colors and the graduation gown on the cover. It really wraps up the series in all ways possible.

Ally has climbed into my vault of favorite authors and will remain there for a long, long time to come. I hope that she continues to write more books, and I am looking forward to reading the 3rd book in her Heist Society series, as well as anything else that pops up under her name.

~Yours Truly

**Note: I recommend this book to ages 13 & up due to some violence.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 63

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:

During the holidays there were hundreds of blog hops with giveaways and  prizes.  How did you keep track of if you what, if anything, you won?

I didn’t enter any giveaways this year, so it was easy! Did you win anything this winter?