#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – My Favorite Reviews

Day 12

I tried to pick out a few different types of reviews that I’ve written. Each of these below was written with a small flair or an emotional edge. Some are more positive than others, though I enjoyed all of the books below. Take a look for yourself. Which of my reviews do YOU like best?

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Smother by Lindy Zart

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 12

I am thankful for weekends. Having the chance to decompress and spend time with my family is a wonderful feeling.

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – My First Reviews and Thanks

21 my first reviews

#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – #FlashbackFriday – My First Reviews

To say they were rough was an understatement. I posted my first review for The Devil Wears Prada and was really proud of it. Actually, I thought I nailed it on the first try. Thank goodness for awesome commentors, though, because I learned I didn’t give enough detail and reasoning. Sure, I can tell you how I felt about something, but the why and examples are also very important. One thing I need to remind myself frequently is that I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself to write a review. If I don’t have much to say, they I shouldn’t force it; I say my piece and then I’m done. If I have a lot to say, then readers beware! Some of my reviews can end up quite lengthy.

My next reviews definitely improved: Complete by Lindy Zart and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 21

I am thankful for clear, star-filled skies and full moons.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.

D: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series)

D

My apologies for the delayed D and E posts. Came down with some awful cold this weekend. Now for your D post!!

Dead Until Dark CHarris
Dead Until Dark
By: Charlaine Harris
Copyright: 2001
Published by: Berkley Publishing Group
Format of Book: Physical (Good ol’ crinking-pages, hardcover, hold-it-in-your-hands, smells-like-a book)

“Dead Until Dark” is a great mystery/comedy/fantasy blended story about Sookie Stackhouse, a cocktail waitress from Bon Temps, Louisiana. She’s adorable, small, feisty and quite attractive. She has one small flaw… she can read people’s minds. This has been an issue for her throughout her entire life, causing her to be sort of a loner. One can imagine that such a “disability” can hurt the dating world, as well. Enter Bill Compton – tall, mysterious, handsome.. and the greatest part? She can’t hear a single one of his thoughts. Bill also has something of his own to contend with – he’s a vampire. Vamps have just come out into the open. “Dead Until Dark” is the first story in the Sookie Stackhouse series and influence of the HBO hit series “True Blood.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. This was my second time reading “Dead Until Dark” and I loved it even more this time around. Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, Sam Merlotte, and other great characters help round out a rather intriguing storyline. As a huge fan of True Blood, I can attest to the fact that, while the tv show is inspired by the book series, the books are VERY different. Even more important – this book is NOT Twilight. This is an adult’s look into the world of vampires. No one sparkles.

The Final Countdown
Characterization  –  3.5/5 Stars
Between the mysterious characters who we only have a surface skimming to those who we are given an in depth background of, I felt highly satiated as the reader. I felt like I knew Sookie and her lifelong plights. How horrible it must feel to be completely invaded by people’s thoughts each and every day. The level of mystery throughout the book allows for those holes in the story, knowing that at some point they will be filled.

Sookie is an excellent character. She’s outspoken, defends herself, and simply wants to experience love. Enter Bill Compton, most people’s dreamy, undead fantasy. Not mine. He’s very well-developed, but he rubs me the wrong way. I find him to be a bit more controlling that I prefer in a man.

My favorite character of the bunch in this story is Sam Merlotte, the owner of Sookie’s place of work, Merlotte’s. He cares about Sookie, has a secret of his own (who doesn’t?) and is confident (but not cocky.)

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
Where the rest of the countdown thrives, the dialogue isn’t as strong. That’s not to say it’s bad – I am thoroughly entertained by the dialogue throughout the Sookie Stackhouse series. Sookie is filled with bite and her many years of practicing keeping her face from reacting to the thoughts of others comes through in her tongue-in-cheek responses to those who get on her last nerve. She isn’t afraid to stick up for herself, even in a life-or-death situation, which leads to some great moments between her and some of the Big Bads throughout the story.

Plot  –  3/5 Stars
This book has all of my favorites – fantasy, mystery, romance, plot twists, great characters, and real time. There are great plot drivers, such as Sookie’s telepathy, the relationship between Sookie and each of the males in her life, the vampire’s entrance into society (or not), and a whole mess of other things. With so many different storylines, it’s amazing that the story doesn’t get jumbled. Charlaine Harris manages her plot points well, ensuring to close any loose ends that need closing and leaving open those that drive the reader toward the next book in the series.

Visual Imagery  –  2/5 Stars
The imagery in this story is lacking. I love the fast-paced movement of the book, but I am missing those various descriptions to make the visuals easier. I have a foundation of how everything appears, but I am missing the added detail. I can picture a general floorplan of Sookie’s house and Merlotte’s, but I wanted a bit more detail. Having watch True Blood since the beginning of the show, I am not at a loss for visuals, but I would like to read more instead of have the tv show dictate what I see.

Ending  3.5/5 Stars
I enjoyed the ending. After a very action-packed book, I felt fulfilled by the way the story rounded out.

Total: 15/25 Stars

Why read this book?

As I mentioned above, this story is such a great mix of so many genres – fantasy, mystery, romance, drama, comedy. With all of this, there’s bound to be something in the story that you like. This isn’t your average vampire story – Firstly, no one sparkles. Secondly, there’s SO much more to it than what meets the eye. And finally, it’s for adults. This stands alone from the tv show, as I mentioned before. If you love True Blood, you’ll enjoy these books. If you haven’t seen the show, you can still enjoy Sookie’s adventures into this new world.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

B: Book Beaus and Babes

Today’s post for the A to Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter B! What better way to give homage to the letter B than to name of of my Book Beaus/Boyfriends and Book Babes!?

Book BF 3

The Beaus

Hunter Niall – Sweep Series – by Cate Tiernan
Jacob Black – Twilight Series – by Stephanie Meyer
Eric Northman – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Alcide Herveaux – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Johnnycake Cade – The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Xander – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series – by Michele G. Miller
John Snow – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin
Peeta Mellark – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Remus Lupin – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Sirius Black – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Farid – Inkheart Series – Cornelia Funke
Grayson Lee – Incomplete Series – Lindy Zart
Ryder – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart
Caleb Jacobson – Significance Series – Shelly Crane
Ryan – Writing on the Wall Series – Tracey Ward
Aaron Jamison – Markings – S.B. Roozenboom

Book BF

The Babes

 Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Daenerys Targaryen – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin*
Skye Martin – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook – Michele G. Miller
Honor – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart

Book BF 2

B

A: An Array of Amazing Authors I Admire

As a fun addition to my blog, I have joined in on the fun event that is currently taking place through the month of April. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ I’m very excited. So here goes nothing…

A

A is for An Array of Amazing Authors I Admire. I decided to go back to my collection of books in my personal library at home and inside my Kindle Fire HD to share some Amazing Authors that I Absolutely Adore.

Douglas Adams
Dan Brown
Judy Blume
Suzanne Collins
Bruce Coville
Sharon Creech
Roald Dahl
Cornelia Funke
Charlaine Harris
Thomas Harris
S.E. Hinton
Stieg Larsson
Gregory Maguire
Michele G. Miller
Jodi Piccoult
S.B. Roozenboom
J.K. Rowling
Nicholas Sparks
Cate Tiernan
Lindy Zart

Who are some of your favorite authors?

A to Z Badge

A Little Bit About Me And My Love For Books

A Book Survey (written during my lunchbreak)

1. What book are you reading now?  I am currently reading Dead Until Dark from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. For those who are fans of “True Blood” – this is the book series that the show is based off of. I’ve read all but the final book in the series, and I can tell you that the book series and tv series are very different from one another.

2. What are your favorite books/series? It’s so hard for me to answer this question because I have SO many books that I love. Some of my favorite books include: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, Hannibal series by Thomas Harris, The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G Miller and SOOOOO many more.

3. How did you learn to read? I actually learned to read when I was very little. Reading has always been important in my family. When I was little, I was one of those kids who would read every sign that I went by out loud. Come to think of it, I sometimes still do that. Old habits die hard.

4. What foreign languages do you read? I can read a little bit in French, but that’s a bit rusty. This will be vastly improving as I jump into my Rosetta Stone soon.

5. What’s the funniest book you ever read? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first that comes to mind.

6. What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? I grew up with the Harry Potter series. I guess I’ve always loved the fantasy world, but this series has stuck with me. It was beautiful and tragic and whimsical all at once. Another book that I remember distinctly is Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca. Despite the fact that this turned out to be a hoax, I read this book when I was in 5th grade, perhaps a bit young for some of the heavier issues inside, but it was impactful, nonetheless. One last series that struck a large chord with me was the Hunger Games series; something about children fighting to their deaths due to politics and power just has that type of effect.

7. About how many books do you own? Oh, hundreds… I really should count. Once I get them all in one place. My collection grows all the time.

8. Do you read in bed? I read before going to bed every night. This can pose for some really interesting or terrifying dreams, pending what I’m reading at the time.

9. Do you ever read while walking or driving? Oh yes… I have been known to have my nose stuck in a book on my way from the train in the morning to work.

10. What was the most difficult book to read? My husband and mother-in-law will be really disappointed… but I have been reading IT by Stephen King for the last 3 years… I’m halfway through. I understand what I’m reading and the subject matter doesn’t bother me… it’s very difficult for me to stay focused on most Stephen King’s work. I love action, live for it… but IT contains a LOT of description, filler, back story, etc. One day I will finish..

11. What books do you intend to read but keep putting off? I plan to read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

12. Do you buy new or used books, paperbacks or hardcovers, leather or collector’s? I buy them all. I also buy e-books, as I am finally allowing myself to use a Kindle, though I have strict guidelines for doing so. I’d MUCH rather read the real thing versus the e-version, though.

13. How do you feel about writing in books? Writing in books… I’m not a huge fan of doing this myself, though I have purchased books with writing in them.  To each their own.

14. What were your favorite books as a child? Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is one of my favorite books from when I was little. It breaks my heart every time I read it, but I absolutely love it.

15. Do you ever read the ending first? Absolutely not.

What about you? Tell me some of your answers to these questions. 🙂