Oct 31, 2010

Challenge Wrap-Up: The Four Month Challenge, Part 4!

When I signed-up for this challenge, I knew that I won't read books for all categories, but I read even less than I thought I will...
I made total of 145 points

Here's how I did:

5 Point Challenges

Read a chick lit book

  • Dating Can Be Deadly by Wendy Roberts - review
Read a book with a proper name in the title
  • Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley - review
Read a historical fiction book
  • Tempting the Marquess by Sara Lindsey - review
Read a book with a one word title
  • Changeless by Gail Carriger - review
Read a book made into a movie
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - review

10 Point Challenges

Read a hardcover book
  • The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima - review
Read a book about a king or queen
  • The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima - review

15 Point Challenges
Read a book by an author you’ve never read before
  • Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers - review

Read a book with a number in the title
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien - review
Read any book and then post a review
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore - review
Read any book but read it outside
  • Edge by Thomas Blackthorne - review

20 Point Challenges

Read a book in a series AND the one after it
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - review
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - review
Read a book by an author born in July, August, September or October
  • The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima - review

Challenge Wrap-Up: Read Your Name Challenge 2010!

This challenge is hosted by Phantom Inkheart!

For this challenge I chose my first name: Aleksandra!

Here's the list of books I read for this challenge:

  1. A - "Aurelia" by Anne Osterlund - review
  2. L - "Leviathan" by Boris Akunin - review
  3. E - "Eyes Like Stars" by Lisa Mantchev - review
  4. K - "Knock Me for a Loop" by Heidi Betts - review
  5. S - "Salt and Silver" by Anna Katherine - review
  6. A - "Academy 7" by Anne Osterlund - review
  7. N - "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake" by Sarah MacLean - review
  8. D - "Devil May Ride" by Wendy Roberts - review
  9. R - "Random" by Craig Robertson - review
10. A - "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman - review

Oct 25, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? #39

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a World of Books.

This is a great weekly event where everyone can keep track of the books finished last week & the books planning to read this week!
From the books I've started previously, I finished 2 books:
I also started & finished the following books:
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen - my review
  • The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt - my review
  • The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima - my review
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - my review
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - my review
  • Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - my review
What I'll read next?
  • I've started Eldest by Christopher Paolini, so I'll probably continue reading it, although it all depends on my mood, so I'll probably read other books, too!     

Oct 24, 2010

#191 - "Always a Witch" by Carolyn MacCullough (ARC)

Title: Always a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Imprint: Clarion Books
Publication date: August 1st, 2011
Genre: YA fantasy / historical
Pages: 288
Available for Pre-order: Hardcover

Since the gripping conclusion of ONCE A WITCH, Tamsin Greene has been having nightmares. Though she should be enjoying her new boyfriend, Gabriel, or discovering more about her newfound magical "Talents," she's too busy dealing with her sister, Rowena's bride-zilla wedding demands and worrying about the resurgence of her enemy, Alistair Knight. But most of all, Tamsin is haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision. A choice so terrible, that it could destroy her family forever.
When Tamsin discovers that Alistair successfully went back in time to Victorian Era New York, in order to destory the Greene family, she's forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the 19th century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, bustling about as a servant, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the lascivious advances Liam Knight. As times runs out, Tamsin's brash demeanor and sardonic wit place her in the center of the fray as both families square off in a thrilling display of action and magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I liked a lot Once a Witch, but I loved Always a Witch! It was fun, fast-paced, gripping & suspenseful read, that I couldn't put it down! I loved the story, it was really well-developed & of course I loved the characters! If you thought Alistair was bad, wait till you see the Knight family. I especially liked the fact that most of the time I couldn't predict what will happen next... Great book & I'm just glad that I got to read it now & won't have to wait until next year! I highly recommend it!


#190 - "Once a Witch" by Carolyn MacCullough

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search - and the stranger - will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.
My rating: 4 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed Once a Witch a lot! It was fast-paced, with well-developed & engaging story & lovable characters. I liked the banter between Tamsin & Gabriel and a little spoiler, I loved Tamsin's Talent! I've always thought that kind of power would be great! Really fun book & I recommend it a lot! I'm looking forward to reading the sequel!


#189 - "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld


Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My rating: 5 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
I finally read Uglies & I loved it! I liked the characters & the story, I liked the society & the world the author created & I'm looking forward to reading the sequel Pretties. I highly recommend it!

#188 - "The Exiled Queen" by Cinda Williams Chima


You can't always run from danger...

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden's Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn't mean danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery-but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa
ana'Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction. 

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved The Demon King & I hoped that I'll love this one too and I did! I would say that I loved it more, but it's just that they don't feel like 2 books, but like one long book, so I love them both equally! I just don't know how I'll wait until next year for the sequel... I want it now! :) Anyway, I absolutely love the series! I loved the story, I loved all the characters. I like how Cinda Williams Chima can make you like all the characters - the bad ones & the good ones. Everything was just really great, I just couldn't put it down & as I said, I want more! This one is now one of my favorites & I highly recommend it!


    #187 - "The Sevenfold Spell" by Tia Nevitt

    Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?

    Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.
    Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

    Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?
    My rating: 4 of 5
    My thoughts on the book:
    This is adult retelling of Sleeping Beauty! It was really fun, with interesting twist on the story. We follow Talia's life & how the curse on the princess influenced on her life! I have to admit that the first part of the story was ok & I liked it, but I wasn't too crazy about it, but after that, when some of the events start to unravel, it was just so much fun & funny, actually hilarious & I loved it! Of course, I than knew why the story at the beginning developed like it did. In the end, the book was sweet & I was happy with the ending! If you like retellings, I highly recommend it!


    #186 - "Unholy Magic" by Stacia Kane

    For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.
    Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
    My rating: 4.5 of 5
    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed this one as much as Unholy Ghosts. The story continues a few months after Unholy Ghosts. I don't know what to say about the book without including spoilers, except that it's really great series & I'll definitely read City of Ghosts soon because I want to know what will happen next! I also want to mention that Lex annoyed me in the previous book, he didn't anymore, but I don't really like him! We learn more about Chess & about Terrible & you can't help but love them both! I highly recommend it!

    #185 - "Persuasion" by Jane Austen

    Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances. Persuasion celebrates romantic constancy in an era of turbulent change. Written as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future.
    My rating: 5 of 5
    My thoughts on the book:
    Finally I read Persuasion. I've picked it up so many times through the years, but never read more than a few pages before I've put it aside each time because I wasn't in the mood... This time I read it & I loved it! I actually love it as much as Pride and Prejudice! It was really fast read, fun & sweet & although I already knew the story (who hasn't seen the movies) I still couldn't put it down! Now it's one of my favorites & I highly recommend it!


    #184 - "Unlucky" by Jana DeLeon

    Everyone in Royal Flush, Louisiana, knows Mallory Devereaux is a walking disaster. At least now she's found a way to take advantage of her chronic bad luck: by "cooling" cards on her uncle's casino boat. As long as the crooks invited to his special poker tournament don't win their money back, she'll get a cut of the profit.
    But Mal isn't the only one working some major mojo. There's a dark-eyed dealer sending her looks steamier than the bayou in August. Turns out he's an undercover agent named Jake Randoll, and for a Yank, he's pretty darn smart. Smart enough to enlist her help to catch a money launderer. As they race to untangle a web of decades-old lies and secrets amid a gathering of criminals, Mallory can't help hoping her luck's about to change...

    My rating: 3.5 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed this book a lot! I liked all the characters, they were fun. I liked the chemistry between Mal & Jake & there were a lot of hilarious situations! Really fun book with a twist at the end & I recommend it!


    Oct 20, 2010

    WWW Wednesdays #23

    To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?
    This weekly meme is being hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!
    What are you currently reading?
    What did you recently finish reading?

    What do you think you’ll read next?


    "Waiting On" Wednesday #32: Rules of an Engagement, The Lady Most Likely, Passions of a Wicked Earl, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord & One Night in Scotland!

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    So, this week my-can't-wait-to-read choices are all historical romances:

    Rules of an Engagement
    Suzanne Enoch

    Publication date:
    October 26, 2010

    For proper young ladies, good behavior has always been the rule.

    Captain Bradshaw Carroway loves the seafaring life - though he'd rather be battling brigands than his current assignment of ferrying a boatload of spoiled aristocrats. One passenger, however, has caught his eye: a bewitching young minx who definitely distracts him from the rules of shipboard decorum . . .


    Some rules, of course, are meant to be broken.

    Miss Zephyr Ponsley has traveled the world, but she's completely innocent in the ways of love. She's never learned to dance or flirt. But scientific observation has taught her that the laws of attraction have no rules, and that no adventure, on land or sea, is more dangerous - or delicious - than passion! 


    The Lady Most Likely...
    Julia Quinn, Eloisa James & Connie Brockway 

    Publication date:
    December 28, 2010

    Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, needs a wife - so his sister hands him a list of the very best young ladies on the market. And then, because he refuses to tear himself away from the stables where he trains Arabian racehorses, she invites all those ladies to a house party, along with some other bachelors, of course. So who will Hugh choose? The Botticelli-esque, enchanting Gwendolyn?  The outspoken, delightful Katherine? If he doesn't work fast, he'll lose those ladies to his closest friends, and then where will he look for a wife? Perhaps, just perhaps, toward a lady who's not on a market at all, and would require a great deal of persuading...

    Passions of a Wicked Earl
    Lorraine Heath

    Publication date:
    October 26, 2010

    Known throughout for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, the eighth Earl of Westcliffe, cannot forgive an unpardonable affront to his honor. Discovering his young bride in the arms of his brother was a staggering blow - so he banished the beautiful deceiver to the country and devoted himself to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.

    Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now, years later, she has blossomed magnificently and has returned to London with one goal in mind: the seduction of her notorious husband. Unskilled in the sensual arts, she burns nonetheless for the kisses too long denied her. And she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed. 

    Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord
    Sarah MacLean

    Publication date:
    October 26, 2010

    Since being named 'London's Lord to Land' by a popular ladies' magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps - only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he's ever met!
    The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though she is used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father's recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother's birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.
    But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless and foolish.like falling madly, passionately in love. 

    One Night in Scotland
    Karen Hawkins

    Publication date:
    November 23, 2010

    New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins begins a sparkling new series with this thrilling tale of a desperate beauty on an urgent quest, a dark earl scarred by his beastly past - and the ancient treasure that binds their fates.

    A mysterious abductor . . .  

    Someone is holding her brother prisoner in exchange for a gold-and-onyx box covered in mysterious runes, so Mary Hurst boldly sets out from the family vicarage to find the priceless artifact. But the man who possesses it, Angus Hay, the Earl of Erroll, is less than sympathetic to her plight.

    A forbidding stranger . . .  

    Himself a prisoner of his dark past, Angus refuses to yield the box - or allow Mary to leave! Suspicious of the alluring lass's mission, he vows to wrest a confession from her, but unearths a fiery temper and a will as strong as his own.

    An unbreakable curse . . .  

    Passion flares between them, but now there is more at stake: an unknown enemy is hunting down the precious box, and will stop at nothing. Risking all for love, Angus must solve the mystery behind the runes . . . and trust the only woman who can awaken his forgotten heart.

    Oct 19, 2010

    Teaser Tuesdays #30

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    "A spot of red liquid flew from the drain and landed on the mirror. Her insides twisted as one drop became two, became three, and blood burbled up from the drain, viscous bright blood filled with squirming bodies, rising in the sink." 

    Unholy Magic
    (Book 2 in the Downside Ghosts series)
    Stacia Kane   

    "Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement."

    Jane Austen