THE ROTTEN APPLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Most of you know that my husband is a writer. But did you know his newest book was released yesterday?!

THE ROTTEN APPLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!.

If you like 50’s noir crime, then this book is perfect for you. I read it myself and I think it’s awesome! Head over to mentalsweatshop to take a look, and head over to Amazon to pick up a copy!

Advertisements

Cheap Books

This week, my husband and I have been scouring Goodwills and Salvos for books. Why didn’t we think of this before? Why? We have absolutely no idea. Recently, we have gotten almost 20 books, including a box set of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which I have been looking for for a long time! I really don’t know why we have not been looking at thrift shops for books before. We are always on the lookout at yard sales, household sales and bazaars, but those things typically only take place in the summer. We now have two tall bookcases, a short bookcase, a CD tower, three shelves, and four stacks of books that we will someday need to pack up into boxes when we move. Does anyone have a forklift we can borrow?

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

straight from tumblr

Typos. Typos, typos, typos. I have been reading ebooks almost exclusively because I am poor. Also, I have gotten used to getting my books instantly when I buy them.

Anyway. I have found ridiculous typos in almost every single one of the ebooks I have read recently, and it is making me angry. Do these authors just get so excited that they finished their books that they can’t help but publish them before the final edits? That’s what it seems like to me. This has happened so often that I have just started assuming the worst when I start a new ebook.

And that isn’t cool.

So, to all of you authors out there that think you are ready to publish your ebook: take another look.

However, it is worth mentioning that quite a few of these ebooks were actually free downloads. But, I think that authors should still have enough pride in what they do to give it a final look-through.

But, I also want to thank authors for making their ebooks free for poor girls like me.

Oh, Hey June!

Photo by Chuck at Nastyhot.com!

Photo by Chuck at Nastyshot.com!

So, I guess it’s June now. This summer is really sneaking up on me! But, I’m going to do my first ever month wrap up. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t post a whole lot in the month of May. But, I did read. This month has been a little crazy for me between my college graduation, trying to find full time employment, and just general things. But, anyway, here is a Monthly Recap!

Graduation

First things, first. I graduated college. Say what? That’s right ladies and gents, I now have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with  a concentration in Public Mediated Communications and a minor in Psychology. People are always going on and on about how time moves so quickly and you can’t blink and blah, blah, blah. But seriously, where did the last four years go?! It seems like just yesterday that I was buying up every dorm item I could get my hands on and stressing about what kind of roommates I would have. Those four years probably took the most effort out of any other four years of my life, but they were definitely the most rewarding. Some people are all like “I can’t wait to graduate! Get me out of this school!” But, that was totally not me. Although I most definitely do not miss homework and research and all that jazz, I really miss going to class. I was a communications major, so I participated in a lot of awesome debates and generally great discussions with some really passionate people, and I am definitely going to miss it. But, if I get my way (I better), then I will definitely be going back to school and pursuing a Master’s Degree. So, check back in with me in a few years. Here are some of my favorite photos from graduation:

caseygradcollage

Posts This Month

Remember when I told you that I didn’t really post much last month? Well now is where you will really notice.

I posted this review of Matched by Ally Condie. Overall it was an okay book, but it didn’t really live up to all of the hype for me. If you are bored, by all means pick it up! But, if you have a stack of books to read and the one after Matched has you all excited, then read that one.  I gave it 3.5/4 stars.

My only other post for the month of May was basically a post telling you all of the reviews that are coming, but I have yet to get around to. You can see that here. This is a pretty hefty list, but I have reviewed one of them so far! Woo!

Books Read This Month

casebooks

 

Since I didn’t do a good job posting last month, I will spare you my monthly stats… Check back in soon for a review of Fever by Lauren Destefano!

HAPPY JUNE!

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium, #1)

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Pages: 441

Publisher: Harper, 2011

Date Read: March 6-14, 2013

 

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now I would rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

 

Characters: 

Lena- It seems that the pattern in these types of books is for the main character to blindly believe in the system, be proven wrong, and fight to change it. Sadly, this book doesn’t break that mold. However, in light of that, I still liked this book. I liked it better than Matched. Lena is fiesty in a way that Cassia (Matched) is not, and she knows how to play it cool. She has a rule breaker friend, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in…when the time is right. She’s smart.

Alex- Ahhhhh, the boyfriend. The boyfriends in these types of books are always the best because they’re so mysterious. You spend most of your time trying to figure this guy out, and in the mean time he sweeps you off your fight feet with his awesomeness. By “you” I mean the main character….right? Anyway, Alex is wonderful and loyal and exciting.

Hana- Hana is Lena’s best friend (she’s the rule breaker I mentioned earlier). And of course, Hana would be the reason that Lena meets Alex. It seems this book has a lot of loyal people in it, because Hana is just as loyal as Alex is to Lena. I guess she just knows how to pick them. At first I didn’t like Hana because she just seemed to purposely get Lena into trouble, but she really grows on you.

Conflict: Love is a disease and therefore should be treated like all other diseases and vaccinated. There you go! How would you cope in a world like that? This book reminded me a ton of Matched, but this one had a little better world building, and there was actually more of a conflict than the one you see on the surface.

Things I Liked: The names. You might think I am superficial when I say that, but so what? It’s true. When I read a book, I don’t like having to mentally battle with the names I am reading and second guessing whether or not I am actually pronouncing them right. For instance: I didn’t know how to properly pronounce Hermione until I saw the first Harry Potter movie. Books these days are all apocalyptic and have funky names that I have difficulty pronouncing, and this one has good names that are also reader-friendly.  I loved the loyalty of the supporting characters to Lena, and I love that she is stubborn and has a sort of steely resolve. And she’s smart, I love that. There is nothing worse than a dumb main character.

Things I Didn’t Like: Honestly, I don’t really remember. I think it took me a little while to read this one because I was busy and it started a little slow. But, once all of the characters are introduced and stuff actually starts happening, I found myself wanting to read it more often. I hated her family, but I was supposed to, so no surprise there. I guess what I disliked most about this book is that I was constantly comparing it to Matched because they are so similar.

Cover Art: Loved it! I love seeing a fresh face on the cover of a book instead of a cutesy model on the front with a barrel of eye makeup on.

Overall: I really liked the story-line, aside from its remarkable similarity to Matched. It’s a good read, and I would recommend it!

Rating: 4 stars

Matched by Ally Condie (Matched, #1)

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Pages: 366

Publisher: Speak

Date Read: February 27, 2013

 

Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices. And when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia is certain he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now she is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one dares follow…between perfection and passion.

Society Matched them, but love set them free. In the society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

 

Characters: 

Cassia- At first, I thought this girl was a robot. The blurb says that she has all of this faith in society, and she freaking does. She reminds me of the main character in Delirium- in the beginning at least. Thankfully, this girls starts to develop a little bit of a brain as the book goes on, but she gets pushed into it by her surroundings- and a little bit of subliminal messaging it seems!

Xander- ROBOT. I guess this is supposed to be the theme in the book, but this one took me a little while to get into because of how plain and ridiculously robotic all of the characters were. Xander is probably my least favorite character out of the bunch, but at least he is astute.

Ky- I thought Ky was interesting in an I’m-not-sure-what-to-think-about-this-guy-because-he’s-weird kind of way. But, that mysterious, selfless weirdness is very endearing and makes you want to know more and more.

Conflict: THE MAN. Well, society. This (if you haven’t noticed) is one of those society-rules-the-world books where everyone is a mindless drone but one person manages to snap out of it with the help of a person outside of the system. I love the premise, this one just took a little while to build up to it. I like the little acts of defiance in here, though. I mean, all of these books build up to big acts with little acts, but the particular ones in this book are nice. I’m a sucker for poetry, and that aspect helped keep me into the book until the good stuff happened.

Things I Liked: Like I just said, I loved the poetry aspect of this one. I also love love love loved Cassia’s grandpa! What a romantic old man. I also like the nature=freedom sort of them in this one.

Things I Didn’t Like: Although this book took awhile to get into, the only thing I really remember disliking is the slowness. Granted, it’s been a little while since I read it and I am a little hazy on the details. You guys should also know that this might happen with the next couple books because…it’s been awhile.

Cover Art: I like the cover art, and the only thing that really made me start questioning whether I actually liked it was that stupid commercial that  I saw for this series. Something about that commercial, I just really hated.

Overall: All in all, I liked the book when I finished it, and I ordered the second one! However, a friend of mine was reading the book and she was NOT into it. I hope that doesn’t jade me going in, but I have a feeling it already has.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Feeling The Love

I just wanted to thank you guys for showing my blog so much love these past few days. I guess people like to read your blog a little more when you actually post on it! I like interacting with my new blog friends, and making even more blog friends! I have learned that the book blogging community is a close-knit one, and it is my pleasure to be a part of it.

Also, I have finally found/created a theme that I really like and that seems to fit with the type of blog I have.

What do you guys think? Do you love this new theme as much as I do?

As I have also mentioned (I think), I am just about to dive in to Clockwork Princess. I was hoping to do that tonight, but I had to work until just a little bit ago and I am pretty sleepy as I type this. But, tomorrow is a new day- a day off even!- and it will be filled with books and Doctor Who. I kinda hope it rains just so I won’t feel guilty for staying in! 😉

Review: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 563

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps , and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Characters:

Ethan- When I first started reading this book, I though it was going to be from the point of view of Lena, not Ethan. So, when I finally figured out that it was a boy’s head I was in, I was a little excited. Not only do I hardly ever read books told from the point of view of a male, but I hardly ever read supernatural books from the point of view of the non-supernatural. So, I was pretty pumped for this! Reading from Ethan’s POV was nice since he knows the area. However, I was a little worried for a second that he was going to start talking with a deep Southern accent. I was worried that it was going to be like reading Huckleberry Finn in high school- I had to read most of that one out loud to myself so that I could understand the dialect. But, I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and they even gave an explanation as to why he doesn’t speak that way- his parents were both professors and were always correcting him when he dropped a “g.” I love that. Ethan is a gentleman and he isn’t an idiot, and he loves genuinely. And he is most of he reason that I liked this book.

Lena- I think that everyone has a certain section of the supernatural genre that they like the most- mine is witches. I love reading about witches. Maybe it stems from my deep connection with Hermione from Harry Potter, who knows, I just love reading about witches. Lena is pretty much a witch. Her formal title is Caster, but she is pretty much a witch. I liked that Lena was one of those characters that doesn’t try to fit in. She isn’t really defiant or angsty about it, she just does not change herself to suit others. I LOVE THAT. Too often I read books where the main character moves to a new school and spends most of her time trying really hard to fit in, or to not fit in. Lena just takes her own road. She is sometimes a little too moody for me, but if you read the book you will realize that she kind of has an excuse for all of her moodiness.

Amma- Amma is Ethan’s sort of live-in nanny/housekeeper. She has been around his whole life, and for most of his father’s, too. She seems to act as the mother figure for Ethan since his mother passed away, but I really like that she doesn’t try to be anything like his mother. She just keeps on being Amma- just a little bit stricter. But, Amma has some secrets. It’s nice when all of the secrets don’t fall to one main character, I think it makes the story a lot richer when you find out little secrets along the way that might change the way you feel about some of the characters. Amma is one of those people. At first she is just Amma, and then I was like “Oh, Amma is up to something!” and then I was mad at Amma for butting in, and then I was back to loving Amma. She’s a strong lady, and books need strong ladies.

Macon- Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood is the mysterious owner of Ravenwood Manor, which is believed to be cursed. Macon is also Lena’s uncle. He is also the one person in the world that Lena loves most, and for that reason, we have to love him. Because honestly, that guy is creeeeeepy for most of this book. You don’t know if he is some crazy magic man, or if he is just eccentric, and it takes a while to figure it out. However, I love when books have creepy parts every so often. If an author can creep you out or make you nervous, or give you butterflies just with words- then you’re reading the right book. Every book should do this to you at some point (hopefully several).

These are the main characters, but there are a couple important almost main characters but not quite minor characters:

Link- Wesley Jefferson Lincoln is Ethan’s best friend. His mother is the head of the DAR, and one of the biggest Lena haters in town. But, what I love about Link is his fierce loyalty. Every person deserves a friend as loyal as Link. Link is also really goofy and most of the time really annoying, but we can’t have everything!

Ridley- Ridley is Lena’s cousin, but she is a Dark Caster. She has the power of persuasion (she is a Siren) and she isn’t afraid to use it. Unfortunately, people with that power usually aren’t the most trustworthy.

Conflict: This book is pretty long, so naturally there is a lot of conflict. The initial conflict is just Ethan trying to figure out who Lena is and why she seems to be so important to him, and her being difficult and not letting him in. But a lot of the conflict surrounds Lena’s condition and how everyone in town is reacting to her. A lot of this makes you angry, because people can be really mean. I don’t mean insults mean, but we-hate-everything-that-isn’t-us mean. There are a lot of Caster issues, and an equal number of Mortal issues that plague these two.

Things I Liked: I was a big fan of the characters. I loved that they were imperfect, but believable. They have strong qualities, and weak qualities, but they aren’t shallow characters. You get to know these guys. I loved that parts of this gave me butterflies. I loved that it was told from a boy’s POV, and that that boy was smart. I also liked how intricate the conflict was, and that there were many unsuspecting people involved, and that those people were selfless and concerned.

Things I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like that the book took a little while to pick up. After reading the second one, I think it might be a recurring thing in this series. However, once they pick up, you’re hooked. I think that things are a little slow to start because there is so much that needs to be set up ahead of time for the conflict to be as intricate as it is. But, I’m alright with that.

Overall: Usually when I read a book and look back, I don’t like it quite as much as I did right after I finished it. This book was the opposite for me. As I am writing this review, I am remembering things that I really liked about it and I am not lingering on the stuff I didn’t like. It was a solid book and a great start to a series.

Cover Art: I usually like to get the original cover of the book, but this time I happened to pick up the movie-cover copy. I’m not always a big fan of the movie covers, but I think I like the mover cover better than the original cover for this book. It is more exciting, but I think only because the other is so plain.

Rating: 4 stars

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Have any of you read this book? When I initially previewed it on Amazon, I was excited to read it and immediately added it to my Wish List. Then, around a month or so ago, I finally got around to ordering it. When it got here, I cracked it open, started reading, read two chapters, and put it down and I have not picked it up since. I am not usually the type to put a book down before I have at least gotten a quarter of the way through it, but this one just seems to predictable and did not catch my interest. I am disappointed, I really hoped it was going to be a good book. However, I know I will pick it up and attempt to read it again someday.

Have you had this experience before? If yes, what books? Has anyone read this particular book and can offer me any insight?

Review: Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

Title: Forever

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 386

Date Read: February 13-17, 2013

then.

When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

now.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

forever.

Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment–a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

Characters: Honestly, there are no new characters! The same characters as the last one.

Conflict: Remember how Tom Culpepper was always trying to kill the wolves? Well, yeah, he is actually going to do it this time. Like, really do it. This time it is organized, and Grace and Sam have exchanged places. WHOA.

Things I Liked: I liked that Sam and Grace were in different places. I fell in love with Sam when he described the books on the shelf in the bookstore, and it was nice to hear more things from his point of view. It was also nice to hear from a less calculated and obviously more animalistic Grace. Stiefvater really is a good writer, and I just like the way her words flow, but it’s always nice to toss up the characters and their roles every so often.

Things I Didn’t Like: Sometimes Cole doesn’t quite seem real. The stuff he feels and says aren’t like the personalities of any other characters I have ever read before, and I can’t always understand the feeling behind was he says. I don’t think this is always a bad thing, because it is nice to be introduced to different types of characters, but Cole just didn’t seem completely cohesive or believable to me.

Overall: I did like the book, I liked how heartfelt the ending was, and how emotionally invested the characters, and even some minor characters, were in the problem. Obviously it was a life-or-death kind of thing, but I enjoyed reading it.

Cover Art: I have said this about the previous covers, but I love this one too. The covers for this trilogy are simple, but telling and I love the elegance of it. I also really like that the color of the ink is the same as the color on the cover, but again, this is nothing I have not expressed before.

Rating: 4 stars