Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - February Wrap Up

So January wasn't as good a reading month as I was hoping, and though I did post a review for Allison Pang's A Brush of Darkness, I did not start the book in January.  Therefore I felt I could not count it towards my challenge.  February was a bit more promising, and I'm hoping March will be even better. ^_^

Books Read This Month:

Link up your February reviews at Nicole About Town! And check out the mini-contest there!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (37): Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Books I'd Give a Theme Song To
 (Bear in mind, my music might be a bit more obscure than others, so I'll try to include links to them on Youtube.)

1. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - "My Heart Belongs to You" by Hayley Westenra
Yes, I am SUCH a romantic when it comes to Sam and Grace, and no song could be more romantic in my eyes for them than this Hayley Westenra song. 

2. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey - "You're Still You" by Josh Groban
With the idea of reincarnation, I would imagine that despite the various years and lifetimes together, Alden would think this about Lenzi.

3. Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs - "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
This could apply to Phoebe and Griffin or to Phoebe being the new kid in school and how she'll take whatever the other kids have to dish out.

4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - "I Can't Do This" by Plumb
With all that Melinda went through, I'm sure she was thinking this throughout the novel.

5. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston - "Monster" by Skillet
Considering Henry was always afraid that he would end up like his dad, I think this song would speak highly of how he felt throughout the book.

6. Beastly by Alex Flinn - "When You Say You Love Me" by Josh Groban
I would apply this song to almost all variations of Beauty and the Beast because he is waiting for her to say those words.

7. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - "Seven Seas" by Sarah Brightman
The sea plays such a big role in the behavior of the water horses as well as Puck and Sean.

8. Watership Down by Richard Adams - "Bright Eyes" by Hayley Westenra
I know Simon and Garfunkel sang the original, but I just adore Hayley Westenra's version much more. I couldn't pick a better song for this novel.

9. Dear Bully by various authors - "Perfect" by Pink

10. The Nymph King by Gena Showalter - "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar
With as much as Shay and Valerian get into verbal spars, I'm sure this song applies to them.

Review: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Title:  Oh. My. Gods.
Author:  Tera Lynn Childs
Pages:  264
Genre:  Young Adult Mythology
Publisher:  Speak (Penguin Group)
Summary:  All Phoebe Castro has to do is keep her grades up and have another stellar cross-country season and her dream of attending USC with her friends on a track scholarship is a reality. So it's a complete shock when her mom announces that she's marrying a near-stranger and moving them to Greece. Before Phoebe knows it, she's stuck on a secret island in the Aegean and attending the superexclusive Academy, where her new stepfather is the headmaster and the kids are anything but your average students--they're descendants of the Greek gods, superpowers included. If regular high school wasn't bad enough, this is mortal misery. Phoebe's only chance of reclaiming her old life lies in securing that scholarship. But managing that may be an ungodly challenge, considering she's got a sabotaging stepsister from Hades and a gorgeous guy--what a god!--in her way...

The Quick Dish:  This was a really cute read, and I enjoyed hearing Phoebe's story.  The idea of having descendants of the Greek gods living among us may not be a new concept, but when it's done right I welcome any and all stories like it.  The characters were just so "high school" and I couldn't help laughing consistently as I read.  Phoebe was a character that I hoped would grow while on Serfopoula, and while she did develop some, it is definitely clear that she has even more growing to do.  As for story, it was the "hero's journey" about finding yourself in a more contemporary setting without necessarily having to slay monsters.

One thing I was thrown off by was the initial action that brought Phoebe to Serfopoula, the fact of her mother falling in love with Damien and marrying him within a matter of a week or so.  I've heard of "love at first sight," but I wondered if maybe Cupid had something to do with that.  Truth be told, Phoebe and Griffin's relationship had more development, and this gave a rather impetuous impression to see her mother making a rash decision.  However, since it wasn't explained in the story, I guess the reader will never know for sure beyond that they just "fell in love and wanted to get married."

Overall, if you enjoy Greek mythology in a contemporary setting along with hilarious characters, Oh. My. Gods. is right up your alley.

Book 2                                  Book 1

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers post about the books they have received in the past week whether for review, purchased, or checked out from the library. ^_^

Bought and Swag:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (signed)
Breathless Tour Poster (signed by Andrea Cremer, Marie Lu, Beth Revis, and Jessica Spotswood)
Breathless Tour Lanyard
NASA stickers (courtesy of Kate from Ex Libris ^_^)

The book signing was great and I was able to meet some amazing Houston bloggers.

That's all for my mailbox this week.  What'd you get in your mailbox?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

TGIF (14): Required Reading

TGIF is a weekly meme created and hosted by Ginger of GReads! that recaps the week's posts and has a different question each week.

This week on Denim-Jacket Librarian Dishes:


Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?

My Answer: I think Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was by far one of my most favorite required reading titles, though Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is a very very close second. The only reason it is second is because I started out pushing myself to read it and didn't really start enjoying the book until after halfway through the novel. Plus... Sydney and Atticus are pretty neck and neck for favorite characters. 

Actually, various contemporary titles have been added to school curriculum, so it's good to see kids reading books for school that they could really enjoy such as The Hunger Games. However, if I had to select just one book for curriculum, it would have to be Dear Bully. There's too much hurt caused by students who aren't aware of the weight of their words and actions. The only condition is that the teachers would use it over a four year period and discuss different letters from each section. I think with enough positive reinforcement of anti-bully teaching, a difference can definitely be made. That is my hope as a librarian and a person.

Blogger Book Tag

(Image from Offbeat Earth)

So I volunteered to be tagged by Jennifer over at Some Like It Paranormal to help her reach her 30 people she needs to tag, and now I've got 10 questions to answer for her.  It's always fun seeing what answers people come up with and also what questions they have to make up on the spur of the moment.  On to the questions!

1. I like it paranormal! lol So tell me your favorite paranormal creature?

Hands, or rather paws down, werewolves.  I just can't get enough of the big, furry brutes.  Out of the 70 or so books on my physical TBR shelf, I believe 1/3 (or more) feature werewolves. lol 

2. Favorite books? I'm horrible with boundaries so feel free to list as many or few as you want!

Oh, boy, you asked for it (in no particular order): Raised by Wolves, The Scorpio Races, Shiver, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Born at Midnight, Shattered Souls, Watership Down, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Unicorn.  And that's just for starters, but the post would be longer than necessary.

3. What book did you just finish reading?

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey, a great paranormal read that takes place in my hometown. ^_^

4. Favorite book boyfriends?

Sam Roth (Wolves of Mercy Falls), Damon (Raised by Wolves), Riley (Intertwined), Sean Kirkpatrick (The Scorpio Races), Alden Thomas (Shattered Souls), Lucas (Shadow Falls)

5. What book was the hardest for you to review and why?

I think it was The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter and mostly because I know I liked the book, but I didn't feel that "holy schnikies, this is such a great book I have to tell everyone" feeling I've had with other books. It was actually my first Good, But Wanted More review.

6. What books have made you cry?

Shiver definitely made me cry because I know how hard it can be to be together with the one you love.

7. What are your favorite parts of blogging?

Meeting fellow bloggers is one of the best parts of blogging, and luckily I live in a state where the blogging community is HUGE and supportive. ^_^ I also love the chance to meet authors and express my appreciation for their hard work... sometimes in the form of baked goods. And I just love talking about books with other bibliophiles (which sounds wrong, but I love that word).

8. The best book you have read that not many other people have read or heard of?

This one is a bit tough because while I don't always read the spotlight titles, the books I do read are usually pretty well-known. I'd have to say it's a toss-up between The Princess's Dragon by Susan Trombley and Ada: Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald. I thoroughly enjoyed both books, but neither title seems to have been reviewed or talked about on other blogs.

9. Where do most want to travel to?

Japan (I've loved Japanese culture and art ever since I started enjoying manga and anime.) and Germany (Although I've already been to Germany, I'm hoping to go again soon to meet some really special people. Namely the future in-laws. ^_^)

10. Do you have any pets?

Sadly, no, but I hope to have a cat one day and a Tamaskan dog (you'll see why I want this breed when you click the link). And hopefully some horses, too.


1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people that you have tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Tagged Victims (Er, Friends)
Carmel @ Rabid Reads
Christy @ The Reader Bee
Louise @ Between The Covers
PoisonRose @ Picked by Poison (Update: Thank you for volunteering, my dear PoisonRose!)
(Anyone else willing to volunteer! Please leave me a note in the comments!)

Your Questions:

1. What genre do you find yourself reading most? The least?
2. Where do you love to read the most?
3. What book could you read over and over without getting tired of it?
4. What are your thoughts on graphic novels? Love 'em, don't love 'em?
5. If you could see any book turned into a film (directly from page to "stage") which book would it be?
6. What do you love most about blogging? (I know, Jennifer asked that, but I'd like to know, too!)
7. Who helped encourage you to become the amazing reader you are today?
8. Has a book (non-cookbook) ever inspired you to bake or cook something?
9. If you could go anywhere, whether real or fictional, where would you go?
10. Say you are the heroine of a fantasy/adventure novel. What animal would you love/want to have as a companion?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going to Be Abducted by Aliens

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Abducted by Aliens (or Blown Over by a Hurricane)
(In no particular order, though this is REALLY a hard choice)

I actually had to divide them into two sections because I have so many books that I haven't read. So I have my list of books I have read and want to save and my books I haven't read and want to save.  Don't worry, it still equals 10 books. ^_~

Books I Have Read

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I only have one copy of this one whereas my beau (who lives in another state) has a copy of Shiver. So in a way, I'm able to have both and read them, too.

2. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
This book has become a bit of a treasure to me after reading it last November. I can't bear to go without it and it's small for a hardcover!

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
As my first book ready by Maria, I cannot leave without this one, especially since it's autographed!

4. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner
If I have to save only one of my werewolf books, I would rather it be an anthology so I can enjoy multiple authors' works.

5. The Last Unicorn (Graphic Novel) by Peter S. Beagle & Peter Gillis
Yes, I had to save one of my graphic novels, and this one is just too pretty not to save.

Books I Have Yet to Read

1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
With all that I've heard about this series, I'm not about to leave it behind before I get the chance to read it.

2. Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Since I've already read the first book, Raised by Wolves, I have to know what's going to happen next especially with the release of the third book, Taken by Storm, coming soon this year.

3. Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
It's Greek mythology, I must save at least ONE of those books! Especially sicne I haven't read it yet.

4. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
As the only book involving a librarian on my bookshelf, I have to save this massive one.

5. The Rose Chateau by Rebecca Monaco
I have to save this one because it's the first book my beau has bought for me. Sentimental value plus it is a take on Beauty and the Beast, my favorite fairytale.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers post about the books they have received in the past week whether for review, purchased, or checked out from the library. ^_^
Okay, so I have been as good as I can, but with the book signing Saturday, I just HAD to get a book!


Everneath by Brodi Ashton (signed)
Everneath bookmark
Dead Elvises guitar pick necklace


In His Eyes Anthology (Free from Smashwords for a limited time!)


Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman
(I really love Interlibrary Loan!)

That's all for me this week. What did you get in your mailbox? ^_^

Friday, February 17, 2012

TGIF (13): Book Blogger Pride

TGIF is a weekly meme created and hosted by Ginger of GReads! that recaps the week's posts and has a different question each week.

This week on Denim-Jacket Librarian Dishes:


Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?

My Answer:  I take pride in knowing all of the wonderful bloggers and authors I've been able to meet both online and in person thanks to joining the book blogging community. There's so much to learn and talk about with everyone, I can't help but be proud that I'm part of the community (even though my reviewing isn't as consistent as I'd like it to be).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Title:  Shattered Souls
Author:  Mary Lindsey
Pages:  326
Genre:  Paranormal Young Adult
Publisher:  Philomel Books
Summary:  A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger. Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries. Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

The Dish:  There are only two words I can use to describe Mary Lindsey's debut... completely amazing.  It's always exciting when an author hits the mark the first time with story, characters, and pacing, and Mary Lindsey definitely hit it dead-on.

The story was a concept that hasn't been explored as much as others, and it was refreshing to read such a unique story involving reincarnation.  Lenzi is simply an amazing girl, and I adored her right from the beginning of the book to the very last page.  She really became more than what she originally thought she was capable of in the first chapters while still trying to overcome her persistent doubts.  It was both fascinating and frustrating watching how Alden's attempts to help her overcome the doubts sometimes caused even more doubts, but that is the mind of a teenage girl, even one who has apparently lived many different lives through the centuries.

There were times that I wondered what was going through Lenzi's head when she made decisions that placed herself in danger, but that added to the realism of her character.  She is a teenager, and teenagers don't always make the best of decisions (trust me, I remember being a teen and making bad decisions, too). Given the traits of her past self, that Alden and others like them knew as Rose, which were gradually revealed to Lenzi as well as the reader, her decisions did make sense.  When it came to Alden, I thought she did ultimately make the right decisions.  Oh, Alden... a swoon-worthy boy if ever I did see one, though sometimes he did take his orders a bit too seriously.  It's no wonder that Lenzi became so frustrated with him, but in the end he also made the right decisions for her.

With the story really being about Lenzi coming to know who she is by learning who she was, the pacing had the pages turning at a consistent rate.  It always astounds me how authors find the balance that keeps baiting the reader to keep moving on to read even more.  There were some areas of the story that were left open to a possible sequel, however I'm not sure if one will happen.  Even without a second book, I am impressed and delighted to have found such a wonderful author and storyteller in Mary Lindsey.  I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Bottom line: You must read this book.  If you are a Texas YA blogger, then you MUST read this book.

Book 1

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (35): Books That Broke My Heart a Little

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

For this list, I'm taking it as books in which the story caused feelings of melancholy and tears to be shed, not that I was disappointed. 

Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart a Little
(In no particular order)

1. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Being such a lover of wolves now, I find my reaction towards the end of this novel appropriate even as a child.

2. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
I just finished this one on Sunday, and I was tearing up at several places (which I won't divulge due to spoilers).

3. Beauty by Bill Wallace
I really must learn not to read books that feature animals as the focal point.  But I can't help it!

4. Wolf at the Door by Barbara Corcoran
Even as an adult, this one still tugged at my heartstrings.

5. Beastly by Alex Flinn
If I'm bawling while watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast (which I did when I saw it in the theater a couple of weeks ago), you can bet your boots I was weepy while reading this updated version.

6. Indio by Sherry Garland
Having to watch the main character go through so much from losing family to being made a servant was enough to break my heart.

7. The Goblin and the Empty Chair by Mem Fox, Leo Dillon, and Diane Dillon
Children's stories are still wonderful but can also be so heart-breaking as well.

8. Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson
Again with the animal stories, I bring the tears upon myself, but it's even more heart-wrenching when you can see what's going on in the story as with this graphic novel.

9. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."  Oh, Sydney!

10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
For the main character to have endured what she did, you can't help but feel your heart break a little for her.
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