Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Asheville trip

So as some of you may or may not know, I took a roadtrip to NC early August.
Day one: I met Sarah Dessen- who is MY FREAKING IDOL.
and then. AND THEN. as if that wasn't cool enough- I got to go to the ASH2NASH tour  stop- was just so much fun! They were all super- sweet and lovely!
But I should note that it's been a month, so my memory is getting hazy.
AND DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND!
So, I only have play-by-play for Sarah's event!
The other ladies will be at DBF! Just know that I loved them all! <3 
You guys will have to forgive my terrible photography skills. I tried. It is just not my forte! 

Anyway- I wanted to post the pictures first in case no one really cared what I had to say. BUT IN CASE YOU DO- I shall break down my mini-vacation for you.
So, as you can imagine, after driving from ATL- I was DETERMINED to have a front row seat. DETERMINED. And so I may or may not have gotten there two hours before the events began. They hadn't even set up yet. But I was okay with that. BECAUSE I WAS TOTALLY FRONT ROW.  (BOTH NIGHTS!- but I'm getting ahead of myself) 
So I'm looking around before the event & I see STEPH PERKINS. And of course, naturally, I tweeted about it. Because um, hello. She wrote ANNA & LOLA. My adoration of her runs deep. AND SHE TWEETED BACK. 
so I got her attention- and waved- but it was madness in there- )and I tried to find her afterwards- but again- MADNESS. It was insanity! but it's ok- I met her the next night! )
Anyway- so Sarah comes out- and does a reading & takes questions and then the signing begins. and I swear it was like people SWARMED before I  even stood up- it was crazy. And I was like ok, well I have a LOT of books anyway, but these girls I'd talked to earlier were like um, you drove from ATL, you can go! And I was like REALLY? BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT.
And Sarah was like yes! come on! And then the flubber-gushing began. Because as I said, SARAH IS MY IDOL. & I spilled my story about how TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER kind of changed my life and how much I love her- and she was like I hope it was worth the trip. I wanted to be like um OF COURSE IT WAS. I MET YOU. But I refrained (mostly!) Anyway- she was very sweet and lovely & signed all of my books. 
That alone, would have been worth the trip.
BUT THAT ISN'T ALL.
The next night I was lucky enough to meet VICTORIA SCHWAB, MYRA McENTIRE, BETH REVIS, & STEPH PERKINS (again)!!!
It is fair to say that I was REALLY excited to meet Victoria. I just- I can't tell you guys how much I loved The Near Witch- it was kind of to the point that I half expected her to call security bc I tweeted her so much telling her how much I loved it and how excited I was to meet her- but she did not! :) She was very sweet- I ran into her before the event started- and she was so sweet- and gave me a hug. And I felt better about being so insanely excited. (I wrote her a fangirl letter. Which is a first for me. SO YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE EXCITEMENT.) 
So, after the event, I was able to talk to Stephanie finally! She was so sweet- and we talked about Lola (which I LOVED!!!!) - And Beth threatened to steal it from me because she wanted to read it. (If this pics of us are awkward- it's because we were talking about Lola! haha) 
And I really loved getting to meet Myra too! She was so sweet- and we talked about DBF mostly! I wanted to tell her that Julie (from Bloggers Heart Books) is the reason I love her so much- but I felt like maybe I'd already been odd enough for one day with all of my tweeting! haha
Then, by the end of the night, I was recognized at the girl who drove all the way from Atlanta- which made me laugh A. LOT.  But it's okay. :)
While it was very chaotic, they were all very sweet! and I was able to get pics with almost all of them- and I'm so excited they are coming to DBF this weekend! Hopefully I will be able to control my fangirling. Maybe.
(But where's the fun in that??!?) 



Guest Review- Small Town Sinners

Hey loves. So this is week 2 in my series of guest posts. (Still accepting posts if you are interested! :) ) 
Cinny is one of my best friends, and while she does not blog, she is the reason I have read some of my favorite books- including THE HUNGER GAMES- and so when she offered to guest post, I knew that it was going to be great! (And I was right of course!)
:::
Small Town Sinners - Melissa Walker 


The story of how Alli and I met each other is a kind of funny one, but one entirely to embarrassing to share. That being said, I consider her one of my dearest friends, and immediately answered her call when she tweeted about guest bloggers. And after scouring the interwebs for a young adult book to read, I finally settled on the first book that caught my attention as I was scouring the Borders.com (may she rest in peace) young adult shelf:
Small Town Sinners- Melissa Walker 
Footloose meets Saved!...with a dash of How To Deal (only watched the movie, never read the Sarah Dressen books it’s based on) thrown on the side. That was my immediate impression of this book as I started readingthree of my favorite movies and not necessarily a bad thing.
Our heroine is Lacey Anne, whose only interest at the beginning of the story is getting her drivers license. Well, that and getting the starring role of 
"Abortion Girlin the churches annual event called Hell House. Lacey Anne, you see, is the typical small town girl. Some call her shy, but I would say she is more reserved than anything. She has been raised in a Christian household (her father is a childs minister) and has eagerly adopted the values and morals of her parents. She has two great friends named Starla Joy and Dean. They have their small quirks, but their friendship is very lifelike.
The plot of the story, which really starts the character development, centers on an event that occurs in Starla Joy
s family. Its this event that makes Lacey Anne realize that life is not as simple as she believes it to be, that things arent necessarily black and white.
Watching Lacey Anne grow throughout the story was
amazing. I found her journey to be very true to life, and she acted appropriately to the circumstances surrounding her. Like most 16 year old girls, she started testing her boundaries with her parents by sneaking out of the house to see her boyfriend, Ty. And as the story progressed, she grew from the obedient and meek girl to one that wasstill obedient, but one that also questioned the things she had been taught and believed to be true. Though they were secondary characters in the story, Starla Joy and Dean also had their own personal struggles, and found personal growth.
Now
Ty. He was actually the one character that fell a little flat for mewhich makes me glad that the story didnt center around his and Lacey Annes romance. Instead, he was a constant gentle nudge for her to be more accepting of the people around her – which is really the important part of the story. I absolutely adored the fact that Lacey Anne was dealing with stuff that every 16 year old girl faces, like getting her first kiss from a really hot guy with an appreciation for polo shirts – not whether or not if she wants to spend eternity with/as a vampire (Im lookin’ at you Stephanie Meyer!*)
I recommend this book. It was very light and easy to read. I started it this evening after I got in from a slightly crappy day of work, and finished it within a few hours. Is it going to stick with me and resonate in my mind for the next several days? No. But it was a nice reminder of what it means to be 16 and testing the ground that we walk on. Solid B.
*I actually like Stephanie Meyer, no disrespect to anyone.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox

Hey guys. Sorry I have been so absent. School is killing my soul! I will try my best to keep posting at least once-twice a week though! :) <3 
Vania- all you! :) haha <3
Bought:
Bitter End- Jennifer Brown
Nightshade- Andrea Cremer
Queen of the Dead- Stacey Kade
Chasing Brooklyn- Lisa Schroeder <3
Ashes, Ashes- Jo Treggiari
A Need So Beautiful- Suzanne Young
Blood Red Road- Moira Young
Stolen- Lucy Christopher 
Prom & Prejudice- Elizabeth Eulberg 
Dangerous Angels- Francesca Lia Block
Fire- Kristin Cashore 
Haven- Kristi Cook
Ascendent- Diana Peterfreund 
Identical- Ellen Hopkins
Stray- Rachel Vincent (Non YA)
Book Thief- Markus Zusak
The Iron Thorn- Caitlin Kittredge 
Plain Kate - Erin Bow
Chime- Franny Billingsley 
Bleeding Violet- Dia Reeves 
Tithe, Valiant, Ironside- Holly Black (box set) 

For review: 
Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi (arc) 
Grimspace- Ann Aguirre (thank you, Ann!) 

Won:
Amen, L.A.Jeff Gottesfeld & Cherie Bennett (Thank you RandomHouse!!) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Make Me Choose guest post

Hi guys. So, school has started back, which has left me in a bit of a time crunch. So I plan to do a series of guest posts on here to keep things interesting if if perhaps *I* am not all that interesting!. Some may be discussions or reviews. If you are interested, please let me know! :) I would love to have you! :)  
Today is my first guest post by one of my favorite bloggers- Shannon, who runs the BooksDevoured blog- which I LOVE if you guys don't know it. 
::
Don't Make Me Choose

When I first started blogging I thought that Books Devoured would be mostly for reviews of Urban Fiction. That was the genre that I read the most in the year prior to starting my blog. At that time I really thought that blogs needed to have a focus. I had it in my head that I needed to choose what kind of blog I was going to be if I wanted to be successful.  When I look back at the last 8 months of reviews it seems that UF is probably the genre I have reviewed the least.  I started seeing a lot of reviews of Young Adult books when I started connecting with other bloggers and reading their reviews. I had read the Twilight series but that was as far as I had ventured into young adult books.  Since I read so many good things on other blogs about various YA books I had to give the genre a try and I am so glad that I did! Even with my new found love of YA I was still not ready to commit my blog to one specific genre. 


The more I thought about it the more I realized that I can't only read one genre.  I think I am choosing YA and then a book about a spy blows me away and becomes one of my favorite stories of the year. I start to read more adult books and then a book about 2 girls who lie to their parents and live in a house together on their own makes me laugh out loud and reminds me of when I was 16. I can not do it, I can not choose.  I love reading a little bit of everything.  


Don't get me wrong I still love visiting the blogs that stick to one genre too. They are focused and I know I can count on them when I am looking for a recommendation in a certain genre.  For me, I just could not choose one.  I also think it is interesting that this genre hopping tendency of mine matches how I am in other areas of my life.  My favorite movies genre? Action. . . No, Thriller! Or maybe Comedy. See? I can't choose.  I know I am not alone in this, there are tons of other eclectic blogs out there. Even though I don't stick to one genre I think I could branch out even more than I do. Hopefully I can add more classics and a non fiction book or two into my reading list in the future. 

What about you? Do you have a favorite genre that you stick to, or do you genre hop like me?      

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Icredibly BELATED In My Mailbox

(SORRY THIS IS SO SO SO BELATED! I meant to post on Saturday- but got busy!!
I would just like to say (due to this post- and the one that will be coming this weekend- that this is not my fault. I blame Vania. She is trouble! (That is all.)

Chain Reaction- Simone Elkeles
Bright Young Things- Anna Godberson
Rot & Ruin- Jonathan Maberry
Zombies vs.Unicorns - (anthology)
Spirit Bound- Richelle Mead
Beautiful Darkness- K Garcia & M Stohl
Willow- Julia Hoban
Dead Tossed Waves- Carrie Ryan
Hunger- Jackie Morse Kessler
Wolfsbane- Andrea Cremer 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blog Hop & FF

Book Blogger Hop


Q: What's the longest book you've ever read? 
Legacy by Cayla Kluver was really long. and now I'm currently reading Beautiful Creatures by K Garcia & M Stohl- which I think is longer. 

____

If you could write yourself into a book, what book would it be and what role would you play?
- there are so many answers to this question- it's crazy. There are so many books I wish I could live in- to be apart of- to know the characters that I love so much. I'd love to be in The Near Witch & be Lexi's best friend. or in the NIGHTSHADE series- I'd totally be Ren's gf bc Calla is being dumb. I also wouldn't mind being one of the girls in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!
Erm. ok. no more. sorry! haha 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Legacy

Cayla Kluver

First and foremost, you should be warned that this book is 496 pages. That could have EASILY been cut to 300-350. While I liked the story, it was just TOO. MUCH.
Too much detail.
Too much repeated explanation.
Too many unnecessary scenes.
So, if you don't like all the extra descriptions, this book is NOT. FOR. YOU.
Now, if you don't mind all of that, I will continue with my review. 
Alera is the princess of her kingdom, and as the oldest daughter she is the heir to the throne, except that actually she is not allowed to hold power, she must find someone to marry that can be King. 
While her father pretends she has a choice, she really does not. There is only one guy that her father approves of- the same guy that Alera pretty much hates- Steldor. 
While I (kind of) understand why Alera didn't like him- I did, which made it hard to sympathize with her. He was a bit conceited with that air of arrogant charm- but he cared about her. 
Alera was very much the stereotypical spoiled princess in the beginning- but I did enjoy watching her come into her own person throughout the novel (which despite being way too long- she did accomplish showing this progression very well!) 
The plot always kept my interest when when I wasn't thrilled with the progression rate. 
This is the first book in a trilogy, and I haven't decided if I'm going to continue with it or not. 
I heard (I don't know if it's true or not) that the author was 14 when she penned this novel- in which I think she should be applauded for her imagination.
The characters were all very unique, which was quite a feat- because there were many many characters in this story! 
Have you guys read it? What did you think?
Let me know. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beauty Queens

Libba Bray

A plane full of beauty queens crash on a deserted island, and Bray explores what happens next in this satirical novel. In BEAUTY QUEENS, we meet a group of girls who were on their way to a pageant when their plane  crashed leaving many dead, and the rest to fight for their lives with little to nothing to survive on, and no knowledge on how to do so. 
At least not at first. 
Throughout the novel, we get to peel the layers back on the characters that distinguished them from each other, who they are and most importantly, who they want to be. 
While I nearly gave up on this book several times (due to time & the fact that the satire is laid on slightly too thick for me), I am still glad I finished it. I really liked being able to see these girls grow, and learn so much from each other (& some pirates- which is just always fun!) 
I was very impressed how she made each character (there were a lot of them) their own unique person and voice. I really liked getting to know them! 
This book has a lot to say about politics & pop culture in general, and while most of it went along with the satire theme, it seemed a little overdone to me. I could have done with a little more subtlety. 
I think part of the problem is that I didn't know it was a satire when I started reading it. I feel like this book was completely marketed wrong- which annoyed me.  So I feel like I'm being too harsh on the book based off this. But anyway, I did like it. (Though it probably doesn't seem like it.)
My favorite character by far is Adrina.  She is sarcastic, witty, and strong willed- but we also see her falter- and pick herself up again. It was really awesome to read. 
Anyway, if you like satires, this is probably a great book for you! And it DOES make some really good (if not slightly scary) points! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

300 follower GIVEAWAY!

NOTE: No review will be posted today! Check back Thursday or Friday for my review of SLEIGHT- by Jennifers Sommersby!!! <3
----
HI guys! Sorry this is a little late going up! 
Been a little crazy around here, but I did not forget!
Thank all of you SO much for supporting me- and this blog. I can't tell you enough how much I love hearing from each and every one of you! I know I'm not terribly great at responding- but it's not because I don't think you are important- I just haven't figured out the best way to respond. Do you guys re-check comment sections for responses? 
Anyway, enough rambling! As promised- this giveway has MULTIPLE PRIZES! Which means multiple winners! YAY! 

-There will 3 swag pack prizes! 
and then: 
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & M Stohl
Love You, Hate You, Miss You- Elizabeth Scott
Stealing Heaven- Elizabeth Scott

AND. THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL RECEIVE: 
The Near Witch- Victoria Schwab (SIGNED) - I really do not think I need to emphasize any more how much I LOVE this book- and how it's pretty much the greatest book I have read in a really long time. RIGHT GUYS? OK. :) Good. :)

Rules:

  • Winner must be 13 years old (Laws and such)
  • Must live in the US.  (Sorry!)
  • Winner has 48 hours (2 days!) to respond to notification, or I will choose another winner! 
  • I am not responsible for SPAM filters or incorrect email addresses given 
  • Winner will be chosen by random.org
  • To enter contest, you MUST fill out the form!
  • Contest ends September 5th!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Far From You

Lisa Schroeder

I really, really loved this book. Just as much as I loved The Day Before- if not more. 
They were VERY DIFFERENT books though.

Alice lost her mom, and then had to watch idly as her dad remarried and started a new family that she has never felt apart of. 
And now there's a new baby.

Alice (or Ali- but I'd probably misspell it if I called her that) finds herself trapped alone in a snowstorm, and learns so much about what it means to live, and what it means to love, and to move on.
I just, can't gush enough about how much I loved this story.
I am awed every time I read her stories at her ability to capture scenes and emotions with so little words. She makes writing verse seem so effortless, and the way she plays with words is beautiful, and I just get entranced every time.
He is
better than warm fall colors,
better than beautiful music,
better than doughnuts and coffee

At that moment,
I couldn't think of one single thing
better
than Blaze.

Blaze is the boyfriend. Who happens to play in a band. And is really freaking awesome boyfriend. I love him. :) 
He said,
"Like a tree misses it's leaves
as it stands bare and naked
in the dead of winter."

Yeah. He's that kind of awesome. <3  
This book is that kind of awesome. <3
Read it. <3 
XO! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

IMM


Won:
Shift- Jeri Smith Ready
Heavenly- Jennifer Laurens

Bought:
The Near Witch- Victoria Schwab - LOVE LOVE LOVE!
The Missing- Shiloh Walker

-Keep a look out for a post this week about my trip to NC! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crush Control

Jennifer Jabaley 
So I had the lovely chance to meet Jennifer this summer at the release signing for this wonderful story. She was so sweet -- I was so excited to be able to read this book after listening to the excerpt of the book!
It did not disappoint! 
(I thought this pic was so cute- had to share! :) )

Now onto this story. 
That is SO. FREAKING. ADORABLE! 
I loved it. SO much! 
It was the perfect read for me right now!
I wanted a quick, light read- but I got so much more!!
Willow moved back to Georgia with her mom to start a new life. She's determined to be exciting, to be fun, to be spontaneous so that she can change the way her childhood best friend sees her.
So when she tells someone that her mom used to have a hypnotist show in Vegas, things swirl out of control. Her best intentions backfire- big time. 

I really loved Willow. She was really awesome (way cooler than she ever gave herself credit for!) I was really rooting for her happiness.
And of course the boys!
Max and Quinton were both pretty awesome in their own way. (Although I am totally and completely happy with the outcome!!!!) 
Although, as much as I loved them- I think  my favorite character in the book was Willow's friend- Georgia. (Yes, Georgia in Georgia. I laughed too! :) ) She was hilarious and never seemed to be fazed by all the crazy things Willow got herself into. Which was A LOT! 
I really can't gush enough about this story.
It was funny, sweet, romantic, with the perfect amount of heart! 
It was the perfect summer read!
You guys should definitely read it! <3 
I loved it so much!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview with Victoria Schwab

Hey darlings! So, yesterday I reviewed THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab, and absolutely loved it! So I wanted to do an interview with the lovely author that I now love so much! :) 
-_-_-_-

ME: Hi Victoria! Thanks so much for doing this interview!

VS: Hi Allison!! 

ME:  As you know, I loved this story SO much! I loved the idea of the  small village where everyone knew everyone, and it was almost like a  knitted family.I grew up in a small town, and I always loved that  feeling of knowing that there was that kind of support.  Did you grow  up in a small town, too?

VS: I actually grew up in both San Jose, CA, and Nashville, TN, two very different places, but neither one terribly small-town-ish. But I've always been fascinated by the dynamics of small town, that familiar feel as well as the way word travels, and it seemed only fitting for a fairytale, especially this one to be set in such a contained environment. 

ME: Were you afraid of witches when you were little? Did your town have  a witches tale that inspired that fear?

VS: No! In fact, witches are probably my favorite supernatural sect, in part because they handle magic, and in part because they are such a versatile group. Witches can be elemental, as the ones in NW, or coven-based, dark or light, etc. Just look at pop culture, and the spectrum of witches, the very notion of what constitutes a witch, is vast. I love that. I wish I could have grown up with the kind of witchlore Lexi and Wren did. 

ME:  Have you always wanted to be a writer or was it something that kind  of came up later?

VS: I always wanted to write, but it took me a long time to figure out the form it would take. I started out writing poetry, and then in college I dabbled in screenplays and short fiction, before finally trying my hand at full-length. But none of my family were surprised I ended up as a novelist!
ME: If you could tell your 16 year old self something now, what would it be?

VS: Bad writing is still writing and eventually it will lead to better writing. Also, be patient. Seriously. You don't have to do everything by the time you turn 18. The world won't be less impressed if it takes you a little longer. 

 ME: Any advice for aspiring authors?

VS: Be brave. So many aspiring authors get in their own way because they're afraid. Afraid of being judged, mostly. I just did a post on this, but you have to get to the point where your WANT outweighs your FEAR. Fear gets you nowhere. 

ME: If you could have one magical power, what would it be?

VS: The ability to manipulate time, to speed it up, to slow it down, to pause it. Heck, maybe even to use it in a non-linear way.

ME: And last but not least, If you could meet one fictional (YA) character, who would it be and why?

VS: I want to meet Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor) only because he sounds soooooo pretty. I want to see him myself. 

THANKS AGAIN! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

VS: My pleasure!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Near Witch

Victoria Schwab

I have done nothing but gush over this story since the moment I finished reading it. (Ok, FINE. Since, really, about 20 pages in. If you must know!) 
But it is so hard to write a review of book that leaves you speechless.
The one word that comes to mind is *MAGICAL*- And that's not even because of the fact that it deals with witches. Victoria's writing is just.. magnificent, awe-inspiring, amazing, wonderful, breath-taking and so much more.
The story sweeps you up, and never lets you go. Just like the wind. <3
Lexi was a character I won't soon forget. She was fierce, loyal, and she lived her life with her whole heart- at all times. And she loved her family. She always knew what she wanted- even when it wasn't the popular opinion.  She was seriously just amazing. I loved her so much, and I became so attached to her. 
I want her to be my new best friend. 
I don't want to say too much about this story, because I would hate to spoil a single moment of it, but what you need to know is that Lexi lives in a small village where no one is a stranger. And then suddenly, there's a stranger in town, and kids start to go missing. And all Lexie can think about is that she has to figure it out before her little sister, Wren, is the next victim.
And this story is just... Guys, I can't even tell you.
It was probably one of the top five best books I have ever read. I'm in total awe. And if there was ever a book I wanted to marry, it would be this book. 
And then there's the boy. and the boy is freaking.. I don't even... He is just THE BOY. You know? The boy that may not be perfect, but he's exactly perfect for you? HIM. He's that boy. And I loved him SO freaking much. (As if that was even necessary to reach my level of obsession I have with this book.) 
Really, all you need to know is that THIS is the book that other books should aspire to be like.
Amazing protagonist? Check.
Amazing love interest? Check.
Amazing writing? Check.
Perfect pace? Check.
Interesting plot? DOUBLE CHECK! 
All I can say is:
 READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!
You will NOT regret it! <3 

Also: an interview with the author will be up tomorrow! :) Come back for that! :) 
And next week, prepare for a total gush fest of my meeting her! 
EEP! SO. FREAKING. EXCITED PEOPLE! <3 
I swear she's going to like run from me I harass her so much on twitter.
BUT IT'S WITH LOVE. 

FTC GUIDELINES

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I'd like everyone to know that the books featured / discussed on my blog were either provided by the publisher/ author for free OR were purchased by me. The book's price DOES NOT influence my opinion of the book/author. Thank you!

AWARD! :)