December 31, 2010

Anime Addiction: Magic Knight Rayearth

MKROne day, by chance, three young girls were visiting the Tokyo Tower on a school field trip when a bright, blinding light illuminated the sky, and a voice pleaded for help. Next thing they knew, Umi, Fuu and Hikaru had been transported to the world known as Cephiro.

Promptly they were told that there was only one person who could help them return to their home: Princess Emeraude, who was currently being held captive by high priest Zagato. It was the princess voice the one they had heard, her will what brought them to Cephiro - for in Cephiro, everything is ruled by the will of it's pillar, the Princess.

Knowing only this much, the three girls set out on a (reluctant) quest to become the Magic Knights, and quickly become friends - fighting for one's life has that effect on people. Their ultimate goal is to help the princess, even if they are not exactly told how.


Once the girls finally get to Zagato and kill him, it turns out things weren't as they thought. The Princess didn't want him to die - she loved him with all her heart! -she wanted them to kill her, as her love for Zagato was killing the planet. Zagato was just protecting the woman he loved, because he thought it was so unfair she couldn't do anything but pray for the well-being of Cephiro.

Back in Tokyo, Umi, Fuu and Hikaru, struggle to make sense of what happened, of the things they had to do. Gathering in the Tokyo Tower once more, they are mysteriously transported back to Cephiro.

There, they discover that the beautiful planet they had left behind is crumbling, that three other planets are poised to conquer Cephiro and become it's new pillar. They come face to face with Zagato's brother Lantis - the only magical swordsman left in Cephiro (and so damn hot!). They are faced with the consequences of their actions and a desperate search for a new pillar.

But what will happen... if history starts to repeat itself?

Let me tell you something about Magic Knight Rayearth: it opened up my world when I was 13 years old -barely a year younger than Umi, Fuu and Hikaru - because this was a story where there was no black and white, no pure good or pure evil, but everything in between. The princess ultimately does something very selfish, Zagato is not such villain as one would think (though he is, in fact, my second favorite villain of all time).

MKR, completely changed my perception of what a hero was. These girls with their mistakes and their struggles and their unbelievably beautiful swords and powerful magic... they were so vulnerable and unsure, yet so brave.

MKR also has Lantis who is my ultimate anime-crush (he has held that spot for 13 years!) and to this day his voice does things to me.

And, aside from that, is so very entertaining and fun to watch. CLAMP at it's best if you ask me.
Personal Favorite Personal Favorite

Since today is my birthday, and the end of the year, I decided to talk about one of my favorite series of all time, and hope that maybe some of you will check it out.

Happy New Year!

2010 Challenge Wrap-up!

This year, I participated in two challenges: the 100+ Reading Challenge and the 2010 YA Reading Challenge. The books read for the YA challenge are in cursive and have their corresponding number next to the review link. Each month has a different color

Secrets of My Hollywood Life: On Location by Jen Canolita (review) *YA1*
2. To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt (review)
3. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts (review)
4. Runaway by Meg Cabot (ARC) (review) *YA2*
Killer by Sara Shepard (review) *YA3*
6. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (review) *YA4*
The Spy Master's Lady by Joana Bourne (review)
Morning Comes Softly by Debbie Macomber (review)

9. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (review) *YA5*
. Fangtastic by Sienna Mercer (review) *YA6*
11. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier *YA7*
Follow the Stars Home by Luanne Rice (review)
Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs (review) *YA8*
15. The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson (review) *YA9*
16. The Tenderfoot Bride by Cheryl St. John

Virgin River by Robyn Carr (review)
18. Re-Vamped by Sienna Mercer (review) *YA10*
Vampalicious (review) *YA11*
20. Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr (review)

21. The Boy Book by E. Lockhart (review) *YA12*
22. Heartless by Sara Shepard (review) *YA13*

23. In the Cards: Life by Mariah Fredericks (review) *YA14*

Wicked All Day by Liz Carlyle
25. Forget Me Not (From the Life of Willa Havisham) by Coleen Paratore (review)*YA15*
Harbor Nights by Marcia Evanick.
With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke (re-read) (review)
Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins (review)
Blue Eyed-Devil by Lisa Kleypas (re-read) (review)
30. The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler (review) *YA16*
31. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. (review) *YA17*
Girl's Diner's Club by Jessie Elliot *YA18*

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood (review)
34. The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins (review)
35. Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (review) *YA19*
36. Something About You by Julie James (review)
37. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong (review) *YA20*38. The Comeback by Marlene Perez (review) *YA21*
39. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt (Re-read) (Series Review)
A Match Made in Court by Janice Kay Johnson
41. In for a Penny by Rose Lerner (review)
42. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts (review)

43. To Be A Mother (Anthology) by Cheryl St. John and Ruth Axtell Morren
44. Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands
Redneck Cinderella by LuAnn McLane (review)
46. Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier *YA22*(review)
Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas (review)

Heist Society by Ally Carter (review) *YA 23*
49. Married by Mistake by Abbie Gaines
Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez (review) *YA24*
An Unlikely Governess by Karen Ranney
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters *YA25*
53. Family Affairs (Secrets of My Hollywood Life) by Jen Calonita (review) *YA26*
54. Getting Lucky by Carolyn Brown
55. The Blackwood Bride by Jasmine Cresswell
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (review) *YA27*
57. Sheriff Needs a Nanny by Teresa Carpenter (review)

58. Only The Good Spy Young by Ally Carter (review) *YA28*
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Díaz (review) *YA29* - International Book Tours
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas (review)
61. Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCollough *YA30*
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn (review)
Insatiable by Meg Cabot (review)
64. An Heir for the Millionaire by Julia James and Carole Mortimer
A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare (review)
Scarlet Fever by Maureen Johnson (review) *YA31*

67. Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone by J.K. Rowling
Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis (review) *YA 32*
Wanted by Sara Shepard (review) *YA 33*
Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros (review)
71. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (review) *YA 34*
Open Country by Kaki Warner
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins (review)
I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy (review)*YA35*
75. The Marriage Bed by Stephanie Mittman (review)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Tangled by Caroline Mackler (review) *YA36*
Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy (review)
80. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (review) *YA37*
Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt (review)

82. Love and Other Four-Letter Words by Carolyn Mackler (review) *YA38*
83. Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
84. Wed Under Western Skies by Carolyn Davidson, Cheryl St John and Jenna Kernan (review)
85. Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sara McLean (review)
86.Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (review) *YA39*
87. Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy (review)
88. Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy (review)
89. Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine *YA40*
9o. Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin (review) *YA41*
91. Scandalous Again and
92. One Kiss From You by Christina Dodd (review)

93. Christmas on Conrad Street by Marcia Evanick (review)
94. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (review)*YA42*
93. Only by Your Touch by Catherine Anderson (review)
94. Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors (review) *YA43*
95. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (review) *YA44*
96. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

97. Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory (review)
98. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern (review) *YA45*
99. Friday Eve in Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas (review)
100. Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (review)
101. Mountain Wild by Stacey Kane
102. Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter (review)
103. How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier *YA46*
104. Athena the Brain by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (review) *YA47*
105. Belle by Cameron Dokey (review) *YA48*
106. A Wife for Big John by Lauri Robinson (review)
107. The Jewel of Atlantis by Gena Showalter
108. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder (review) *YA49*
109. Jane by April Lindner (review) *YA50*
110. The Nymph King by Gena Showalter

111. The Christmas Brides by Linda Leal Miller (review)
112. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard (review)*YA 51*
113. Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (review) *YA 52*
114. Avalon High by Meg Cabot (review) *YA53*
115. The Search by Nora Roberts (review)
116. Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (review) *YA54*

117. Trouble in Paradise by Jane Green (review)
118. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Hedley (review) *YA55*
119. How's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (review) *YA56*120. 'Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes and Trish Jensen (review)

As of November I had finished the challenge but I kept going just to see how much I could read!I admit there were months where I slacked a little but that's life. Over all I had so much fun doing this.
The Final tally is Books read: 120, YA read: 56.


December 30, 2010

2011 Movie Madness Challenge!3B+Other+Things%3C%2Fa%3E+have+`ecided+to+create+a+Movie+Madness+Challenge+for+2011.%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0@%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3EYour+Mission%2C+if+you+choose+to+accept+it%2C+is+to+watch+as+many+movies+as+you+can+in+2011%21%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E+%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3EGuidelines%3A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E+%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%C2%B7++Record+each+movie+you+watch.+You+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+review+any+or+all+of++them+but+at+the+end+of+each+much+make+a+post+with+the+list+of+movies+you++have+seen+that+month+and+a+final+tally+of+2011+to+help+keep+track+of+it++all.%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%C2%B7+There+are+four+levels+in+which+you+can+attempt+to+achieve%3A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Col+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cli%3E%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22+style%3D%22font-family%3A+arial%3B+font-size%3A+small%3B%22%3E25+Movies%3A+Movie+Newbie%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fli%3E%0D%0A%3Cli%3E%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22+style%3D%22font-family%3A+arial%3B+font-size%3A+small%3B%22%3E50+Movies%3A+Movie+Fanatic%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fli%3E%0D%0A%3Cli%3E%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22+style%3D%22font-family%3A+arial%3B+font-size%3A+small%3B%22%3E75+Movies%3A+Movie+Critic%3C%2Fspan%3A%3C%2Fli%3E%0D%0A%3Cli%3E%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22+style%3D%22font-family%3A+arial%3B+font-size%3A+small%3B%22%3E100%2B+Movies%3A+Movie+Master%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fli%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fol%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22+style%3D%22font-family%3A+arial%3B+font-size%3A+small%3B%22%3E%C2%B7+Mini+Series+count+but+only+as+ONE+movie%2C+as+do+Television+Series+%28the+entire+series+and+not+just+single+episodes%29%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%C2%B7+The+movies+don%E2%80%99t+need+to+be+new%2C+old+favorites+also+count*%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%C2%B7++We+will+post+a+monthly+update+HERE+where+you+can+also+share+your++progress+in+the+comments+if+you+are+not+a+blogger%2C+and+we+will+show+last++months+leaders+and+what+not.%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%C2%B7+Have+fun+with+this+guys%21%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3E%0D%0A%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%3Cspan+class%3D%22Apple-style-span%22%3ECreate+a+Post%2C+Sign+up+below+%28with+the+link+of+your+post+or+if+you+aren%27t+a+blogger+comment+below%29+and+watching+starts+tomorrow%3C%2Fspan%3E%3C%2Fd

Matched by Ally Condie

The Society knows best, that's what Cassia Reyes has always been taught. The Society will take care of you, make sure you're healthy and happy, and, when you turn 17, they will select a person for you to marry - your Match - when you turn 21 (because it's the most optimum age to have a children).

On the eve of her Match, Cassia is nervous, but when, against the odds, it turns that her match is someone she already knows and loves - her best friend Xander - it seems like her life will be perfect forever more. But there are cracks to the Society that Cassia is just starting to see - her Match banquet is followed by her Grandfather's Last Banquet, his death. In many ways it's her Grandfather's spirit what makes her wonder about things, particularly about her Match. More so when an 'error' shows that Xander might not be her match after all. 

That makes her look more closely at Ky, another guy in her group of friends, with whom she shares an inexplicable connection. Slowly, more cracks begin to show, secrets the Society can keep forever, and Cassia will be pushed to make choices that might change everything...

Okay, so I finally read Matched, mostly because my friend Kylie@The Creative Geek, kept telling me I had to. I liked the book, I didn't love it to pieces, and I almost gave up on it, but decided to keep reading anyway. I was a bit thrown off by the first person-present tense narrative (it flowed better than I expected at the beginning, but I grew a bit tired of it toward the middle of the story). 

A bit reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451 or A Brave New World, I liked the story over all. I liked Cassia and her family the most. I liked to see her journey from the person she is at the beginning (a regular member of the society, happy to follow along and fit in) and where she ends up (a rebel in the making). I even liked Xander and Ky, and the people around them. 

But I felt the plot was stretched a bit, like it went on for a bit too long. Still, I'll probably read Crossed (the sequel, schedule for a November 2011 release).

Books read in December

Here is an update of the 100+ Reading Challenge and the 2010 YA Reading Challenge. The books read for the YA challenge are in cursive and have their corresponding number next to the review link.

111. The Christmas Brides by Linda Leal Miller (review)
112. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard (review)*YA 51*
113. Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (review) *YA 52*
114. Avalon High by Meg Cabot (review) *YA53*
115. The Search by Nora Roberts (review)
116. Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (review) *YA54*
117. Trouble in Paradise by Jane Green (review)

118. How's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (review) *YA55*
119. 'Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes and Trish Jensen (review)
120. Matched by Ally Condie (review) *YA56*

So, that's it for me!!
It was a good year for reading, I think!


List Maniac #14 - Dying to Read in 2011 (Romance)

So, a few days ago I posted my list for most awaited YA reads of 2011, now is time for romance (in various genres). Without further ado, here is my list of the books I'm can't wait to read in the romance front. In no particular order!

Rom1Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (January 18th)
I don't think I've read the books that sort of lead to this one, but I'm so calling it irresistible - just look at the cover!! - okay, I know that might sound superficial, but Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one heck of an author, and I'm sure I'll get around reading the predecessors - I don't believe this is a sequel, more like loosely connected to other two books - and I'll like them just fine.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn (March 31st)
At last the first book on the Smithe-Smith girls. The Smithe-Smith girls -and their annual musicale - are a running gag through out the Bridgerton books (and some others) by this author. They are said to be an endless crop of cousins who are exceptionally bad at playing musical instruments. That's pretty much all I know about them so far, but I don't care. I've waited for this, for finally getting some insight as to these girls. I'm putting the UK cover because there is no US one yet.

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson (April 26th)
I think this one is another Hockey book. Rachel Gibson has written three so far, revolving around this hockey team in Seattle. I'm doing a poor job at describing it, but those two first books were two of the most awesome contemporaries I've ever read. The third wasn't so good, but it wasn't bad either. I have yet to read the fourth, but I'll do that soon. Of this one, I love the cover, it sort of makes me happy.

AbandonedWedding of the Season (December 28th) and Scandal of the Year (January 25th) by Laura Lee Guhrke
For me, Laura Lee Guhrke is the Wes Baker (The Truth About Forever) of Historical Romance: she's quiet but amazing. Not as popular as some other authors, she writes truly terrific stories. Her latest series was about 'Girl-Bachelors' (working women in the last few years of the Nineteenth century) and I adored it. Wedding of the Season launches a new series, also set at the turn of the century, it technically comes out in a few days but it's grouped with the January releases, so I'm putting it here.

Rom2Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (March 29th)
Well, this is a bit of a stretch for me. I have been on and off the Black Dagger Brotherhood wagon often enough. I loved the first 3 books, the next ones not so much. But I'm so reading this one, mostly because the dynamics change a little - the protagonist is Payne the long, lost sister of Vishous, her hero is a mortal man (I want to see how Ward pulls that off), and I'm crossing my fingers so this book isn't overly ridiculous and that I can enjoy it.

Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt (January 25th)
I admit I wasn't crazy about the first book of the Maiden Lane series, but I like Elizabeth's style and writing over all. I did like Lady Hero who is the heroine of this book. Hoyt has written some books that I've truly adored, so I'm crossing my fingers so I like this one too. At her best, Elizabeth Hoyt writes superb books.

Rom3The Chase by Erin McCarthy (April 5th)
Another installment to the Fast Track series about race-car drivers and the women who love them. I discovered this series just this year but it was so easy to like McCarthy's stories. Some of the books I've liked better than others but that's what I expect with a series, anyway. And I do hope this one is good.

A Lot Like Love by Julie James (March 1st)
I've been following her books for a while, she writes these sassy, contemporary stories about men and women who actually work, mostly in the legal field. The stories are totally PG - 13, but very romantic at the same time.

Overbite by Meg Cabot (July 5th)
This is the sequel to Insatiable, and I so want to read it. Alaric was one of the funniest characters I read this year. And Meena was so cute. Plus, Insatiable had a really TV-like narrative that I enjoyed so much. I'm not one for vampire books, but I definitely dig the brand of Vampire book, Meg Cabot puts forth.

So, those are my most awaited reads for 2011. What about yours? I'm always open to suggestions!


December 29, 2010

List Maniac #13 - Dying to read in 2011 (YA)

We all have our go-to authors, and books we just can't wait to get our paws on, this is my list of such books in the YA front.

Awaiting1The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (March 8th)
This is definitely my most awaited book. I'm a long time fan of Melina Marchetta (like I have said countless times!!!) and I can't wait to get myself re-acquainted with Tom Mackee (from the Saving Francesca fame). All the reviews I've read so far have called it brilliant and, when it comes to Marchetta, I don't doubt it. For me, few people write contemporary like her, with such urban, authentic feel. And yes, I'm putting the Australian cover because the US one sucks.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (May 10th)
I'm a Sarah Dessen fan girl, have been for years. I trust her when it comes to the books she writes. I may not loved them all, but I never feel like it's time/money wasted when I read her stories. The summary for this one is rather vague, but again, I trust Dessen to deliver. And her covers are so cute.

Lost in Time (Blue Bloods 6) by Melissa de la Cruz (October)
We don't know much about it yet, but Misguided Angel was surprisingly good - the non-Schuyler parts. And I can't wait to read more about the adventures of Mimi and Oliver and of the Chen sisters and the Lennox brothers (whom I want to marry each other and have super Venator babies), and just what comes next for the Blue Bloods.

Awaiting2Abandon by Meg Cabot (April 26th)
One, it's Meg Cabot, than in and of itself merits being put on this list. but also is a re-telling of one of my favorite myths - Persephone and Hades -and I have been waiting for it for years (I think I first heard about it about 2 years ago). I've loved the stuff Meg has been writing lately - like the Airhead series or Insatiable - so I'm so looking forward to it.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson (April 26th)
I openly admit it killed me not knowing what the hell was in that last envelope during 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I want to know! and Maureen Johnson better not cheat me out of it (or if she does it, she better do it in a bloody-brilliant way), because I need to know and I will spam her twitter forever if she pulls another Scarlet Fever on me.

Supernaturally by Kiesten White (September)
Paranormalcy was such a great kick off of this series, and even though it was sort of self contained, I'm really looking forward to see what happens next in the over-all arc, and with Evie and Lend. I think this is the sequel I'm most looking forward to.

Awaiting3The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (April 12th)
Okay, so I read Darkest Powers, and I sort of loved Derek - and Chloe, though mostly Derek (maybe I love him so much because Chloe does *g*) - and even though I know they will not be the focus of this new series, I'm still happy to go back to their over all world and learn more about this other group of teens. Plus, I hear Chloe and the gang might show up sometime.

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (March 1st)
Though I liked Hex Hall a lot, I had to admit I felt a bit like I was left hanging with that ending, so I totally want to know what happens next, learn more about Sophie - her father, her powers -and about whatever evil is out to get her.

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace (May 8th)
Amanda Grace is a pen name for Mandy Hubbard, and I recently read You Wish (and loved it) so I decided to check out this one as well. It has a darker subject matter - that of an abusive relationship - but I like Hubbard's tone and writing style, and I hope it translates.

Gallagher Girls book 5 - though I think this won't come out until 2012, I'm not really sure. But hell! After Only the Good Spy Young, I'm can't wait to read this one!! What will happen to Cammie? to Mr. Solomon? to the Gallagher Girls as a whole?!!

So those are my YA books! I'll be posting the Romance novels I'm dying to read, soon.

December 28, 2010

Trouble in Paradise by Jennifer Greene

TroubleGriff Anderson wasn't Susan's ideal man - he was 11 years older, and father to 3 children (2 boys 10 an 17, and a girl 14) - but, after one somewhat blotched date, they fell into bed together and fell in love. After just a few months of knowing each other, they decided to get married.

The first few weeks of their marriage are filled with honeymoon-ish bliss, as they put together their new house. But then a crisis forces Griff and Susan to forget their plain of slowly introduce Susan to the kids' lives, and they have to bring them to live with them.

Tom isn't much of a problem, he likes Susan and it's all good, except when Susan tries to mediate between Tom and Griff, much to her husband's annoyance. Barbara wears too much make up and is constantly testing her boundaries, and hating Susan just because her neglectful mother hates her. Tiger, the youngest, is sweet but demanding, taking up most of Susan's time.

Susan struggles to find balance between wife and step-mother, and tries to figure out her place in Griff's family...

Okay, I'm going to be as gentle as possible and start by saying that Trouble in Paradise is a book of it's time. I believe Jennifer Green first wrote it during the early 80's, and it shows, even though the author tried to give it an updating, it's just a bit staid in this day and age.

I had big issues with both Griff and Susan. Susan has a martyr's spirit, that might have sounded more true 20 years ago. Due to personal beliefs, I found her I need to be the perfect mother/perfect wife/perfect business owner more than annoying. Griff always wanted to 'have a talk' with Susan but mostly they ended up having sex. And it was one of those books where I went "What, no grovel?"

That being said, it's not bad a story, but it has to be your type of story. I have to say the summary provided is a bit misleading - I expected something very different from it - but over all, there were parts that were quite compelling.

2011 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Well, since I'm doing the Historical Challenge, I decided to enter this one as well. This challenge is hosted by the Romance Book Maven. And I'm very excited for it

The goal is to read at least 10 contemporaries between Jan 1 and Dec 31 (My birthday!!) of 2011.  By Contemporary it means, straight contemporary without paranormal, fantasy or time-travel elements. (

Since the challenges can cross-over, I'm going to set up a page for all the books I read in 2011 and just mark there which books belong to each challenge. But I will also try to make a list of the titles here, much like I'll be doing for the Historical Romance Challenge and the Aussie YA Challenge in their respective posts.

Anyway! Let the reading begin!!
1. Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson 
2. My One and Only by Kristan Higgins
3. Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson
4. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
6. Something Blue by Emily Giffin
7. She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot 
8. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
9. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot
10. A Lot Like Love by Julie James

This challenge is DONE as of June 6th, 2011


December 27, 2010

100+ Reading Challenge (2011)

This year the 100+ Challenge will be hosted by My Over Stuffed Bookshelf, and I'm participating, again. Only that this time I'm including everything I read, even re-reads, to see how it turns out. I'm curious to know just how much I re-read.

DETAILS:n (as shown in My Over Stuffed Bookshelf)
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Posting on GoodReads or wherever you post your reviews is good enough.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2011. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.

I'm going to be setting up a page for books read in 2011, but also do monthly updates which I'll be linking to in this page. I hope to really out-do myself this year (I'm also doing that challenge).

And Let the Reading Begin!


2011 Out-do Yourself Challenge

Out-Do Challenge
  • Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011(books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2011 than you did in 2010. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
  • Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.
Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

I think I'm going to try for Breaking a Sweat. I'm going to be setting up a Page for books read in 2011, but also do monthly updates saying how many books I've read and where I stand in relation to the previous year.


List Maniac #12 - Favorite Books of 2010

Okay, here is my second list!! (there are two more coming!) and this time I'm talking about the books I loved during this year - it doesn't necessarily mean they were published this year, just that I discovered them during 2010. So, here we go with the books I loved the most out of the ones I read in 2010 (In no particular order):

Faves 1Jane by April Lindner - Basically, a re-telling of Jane Eyre, Jane was fast paced and approachable. I liked the way Ms Lindner handled the modernization of this well known/well loved story. She made 'Rochester' a rock star (which was just so hot) and Jane a nanny rather than a governess, but the core of their relationship was still there and I loved it for it. Also, in an odd way, it introduced me to Bruce Springsteen's song Cover Me, which I totally love.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot - Oh, there is a reason why Meg Cabot is in my all-time favorite list, and that's because her writing is so funny, so entertaining and yet is so far from being dumb. There is heart and soul to all her heroines, and Meena Harper wasn't the exception. This twist on Dracula was witty and so damn funny. I think Alaric Wulf is one of my favorite vampire hunters ever (he's in good company with Buffy!).

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard - I kept thinking about this book for a long time after I read it. There was something in Kayla that I instantly connected with. I loved her honesty and her loyalty and her wishes! Because as far fetched as they were, they rang so completely true. Plus, I loved the hot pink and cupcake cover.

Faves 2
Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas - When I got this book I promptly wrote in my twitter: Spending the day in bed with Leo Hathaway. And that's all I have to say about it.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - Evie, you're my home girl. Sassy and kick butt, Evie is a such a normal teenager for someone who spends her days hunting for supernaturals of all kinds. Her own origins are surrounded by mystery, but that doesn't keep her from making the best of her circumstances, making friends with a mermaid and finding love.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George - I don't know what it was about this book that captivated me so much, but it did. Maybe because it had that fairy-tale feeling that I love, maybe because it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood tales. I don't know, but I was charmed by this fairly simple story of good and evil, magic and love.

Faves 3
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins - I'm the first one to admit I have a love-hate relationship with Higgins, sometimes I lover her books, sometimes I wonder what kind of twisted childhood she had because I hate ALL the mothers she writes. But I loved All I Ever Wanted, such a nice story about regular people living regular lives and falling in love. I would love to see more stories like this more often.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern - This book was a complete, but completely pleasant surprise to me. I loved Jessie from page one, I loved her interactions with her family and the way she digs into herself to find the courage to be friends with openly nerd-y people (no matter what age you are, that ALWAYS takes a brand of courage that not everyone has). I loved that she got along with her brother and with her parents (I loved that her parents weren't standard-issue-clueless YA parents). It was one of those books that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again.

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter - Oh. My. Oz. This book rocked my socks off. I have liked the Gallagher Girls since the beginning, I began to love them with book three (Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover), but this book (book 4) made a fan girl out of me. Things are starting to happen, starting to make sense, starting to get completely out of control! But Cammie goes forward, as only a Gallagher Girl can - with the help of her sisterhood - and tries to make sense of the danger she's in. I loved every page of it!

Special mentions go to Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams because Persephone is my Goddess Girl Gal Pal, and to The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong, because I totally loved the series as a whole and I love Derek.

SpecialSo, that's me, what about you?