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Saturday, February 20, 2016

My Book Haul 2/20/2016

My Book Haul | Alexia's Books and Such
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.

For Review:

While I've never read Meg Cabot, I have several friends who love her books! Decided to give her newest a chance when I was offered an ARC for review. Sounds like a good one, so fingers crossed!

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Remembrance by Meg Cabot

Fifteen years after the release of the first Mediator novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot returns with a deliciously sexy new entry to a fan-favorite series. Suze Simon - all grown up and engaged to her once-ghostly soulmate - faces a vengeful spirit and an old enemy bent on ending Suze's wedded bliss before it begins. (Goodreads)


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Firstlife by Gena Showalter #BookReview

Firstlife by Gena Showalter #BookReviewTitle:  Firstlife
Author:  Gena Showalter
Release Date:  February 23, 2016
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Source:  review copy provided via NetGalley

ONE CHOICE.

TWO REALMS.

NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live - after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…(Goodreads)


My Review:

Ever wonder if there's really an afterlife? If our time here on earth is it, or do we go somewhere else after we die? Firstlife sort of answers those questions, with an interesting premise that hooked me in the first chapter!

According to the story, there are two realms where your spirit can go after death. Troika is the land of light, while Myriad is the land of darkness. Troika is a little stricter than Myriad, but they both have pros and cons. They both also have agents who try to convince humans to sign on with their realm.

Actually, there are three options if you include those humans who don't sign with either realm. They wind up someplace called Many Ends, which sounds straight out of a nightmare!

Didn't care for the prologue, but loved the rest of the story!

Ten, the main character, has been sent to a horrible asylum to be tortured because she refuses to sign with one of the afterlife realms. The treatment dished out to the residents is beyond belief! What's worse is that they're all kids. What kind of parent sends their child to a place like that? Yikes!

Turns out that both Troika and Myriad really want Ten to sign with their realm, so they send agents into the asylum to help make up her mind. They really, really want Ten on their side, so guess that alls fair in love and war.

Really enjoyed this one, as I've never read anything like it! Great characters, an interesting plot, and a well-placed storyline made for a great read! Definitely a great start to an interesting new series, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!








Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep #BookReview

Bitter Bite by Jennifer EstepTitle:  Bitter Bite
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Release Date:  February 23, 2016
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Source:  Review copy provided by publisher via Edelweiss

Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far - my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. 

My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. (Goodreads)


Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Journals: London Calling!

It's not hoarding, it's a collection!

Blank journals are another weakness of mine. Even though I have an entire cabinet full of journals, I can't seem to stop collecting them! Not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but I can't seem to make it out of a bookstore with at least one.

pretty!

While I have several journals with a Paris theme, I've never seen any featuring London. Couldn't resist this one and, best of all, it was on sale! So cool!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Spring/Summer #BookReview

 photo Buzz Bks YA Spring.jpgTitle:  Buzz Books 2016: YA Spring/Summer
Release Date:  January 14, 2016
Publisher:  Publishers Lunch
Source:  netGalley

This fourth edition of Buzz Books: Young Adult provides substantial pre-publication excerpts from 20 forthcoming young adult books. Now everyone can share the same access to the newest YA voices the publishing industry is broadcasting for the spring/summer season.(Goodreads)

My Review:

Buzz Books are one of my favorite ways to discover new-to-me books and authors! 

While I may not read every single word of every single sample, I read enough to know if I'm going to like the story or not. That's the beauty of these samplers - there's something for everyone!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spotlight on TRANSFORM: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You

TRANSFORM: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You


Title: TRANSFORM: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You
Author: Dede Barbanti
Pages: 257
Genre: Self Help/Lifestyle/Health/Weight Loss

Finally, a book that will provide you with the answers that change your body and your life! TRANSFORM really is the Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You. Once weighing over 200 pounds, Fitness and lifestyle expert Dede Barbanti not only gives you the tools to achieve your weight-loss goals, but helps you dig deep to fix the core issues that keep you from lasting success and your true potential.

This is not your traditional weight-loss book. Most diet books focus on the outside by changing your eating and exercise routines,but they fail to find the root cause of your bad habits: what, why, and where they all started. These band-aid treatments never treat the problem, only the symptom, and most people find themselves back at square one, frustrated and defeated. Dede's no-holds-barred approach gets your booty into gear by tackling the real issues of your weight loss merry-go-round; so you can stop the madness and unlock the perfect you.

You can continue reading all of those other diet and lifestyle books that ultimately keep you repeating the same old story and never seems to get you anywhere, or you can get real with yourself and finally bring about the changes that you have always wanted...permanently! (book blurb)


Saturday, February 6, 2016

My Book Haul 2/6/16

My Book Haul | Alexia's Books and Such
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.

For Review:

This was a surprise in my mailbox. Book surprises are always nice, but this is book 3 in a trilogy and I haven't read the first two. Wonder if it will stand on it's own?

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Daughter of Blood by Helen Lowe

Malian of Night and Kalan, her trusted ally, are returning to the Wall of Night - but already it may be too late. The Wall is dangerously weakened, the Nine Houses of the Derai fractured by rivalry and hate. And now, the Darkswarm is rising . . .


Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa #BookReview

 photo Iron Warrior.jpg Title:  The Iron Warrior
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Release Date:  October 27, 2015
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Source:  review copy received from Amazon Vine

The Iron Prince - my nephew - betrayed us all. He killed me. Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. 


Although humankind's glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter - a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady's Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan's nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan's enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore. (Goodreads)


My Review:

The Iron Warrior is the final book in Julie Kagawa's Call of the Forgotten series, featuring Ethan Chase (the Iron Queen's brother). And what a finale! Totally worth the wait!

The story picks up shortly after book 2, with Ethan waking up in his sister's castle. After being in a coma for almost a month, Ethan is anxious to find out what happened after his nephew stabbed him.

Unfortunately, Keirran's plan worked and humans had a brief glimpse of Faery when the Veil fell. Needless to say, things will never be the same.

The Forgotten, with Keirran leading their army, are gaining strength. In response, the other faery courts are chomping at the bit to declare war and go after Keirran for his betrayal. It's hard to disown a family member, but no one can deny what happened. Poor Meghan and Ash!

Ethan is reunited with his girlfriend Kenzie, and they decide that they need to help Keirran try to find his way back to the light. A fools errand? Maybe, but they have to try.

Really enjoyed this story! Several of my favorite characters have return appearances and, while I wish that Grimalkin had a larger role (love that sassy cat), I know this is Ethan's story. Luckily, he more or less holds his own.

Great writing, well paced plot, and an ending that will have you in tears and then smiling, then in tears again! What a finale to a great series! Now if only the author would give Puck his own series...



Series reviews:
The Lost Prince (book 1)
The Iron Traitor (book 2)








Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January 2016 Wrap Up

January 2016 Wrap Up
My month in review. Let's see how I did!

Books read

In order to meet my Goodreads goal of 100 books, I need to read 8.33 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read 6 books this month so I'm behind already. But on the bright side, that's more books than I've been reading so I'm on the right track!

  1. The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa
  2. Pawn's Gambit by Timothy Zahn
  3. Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster
  4. Knight's Fall by Angela Henry
  5. Firstlife by Gena Showalter
  6. Buzz Books YA Spring/Summer 2016

January Reviews

Pawn's Gambit by Timothy Zahn
Knight's Fall by Angela Henry

On the Blog 

Took part in the Winter mini-Bloggiesta in the middle of the month. While I didn't complete all of my goals, got a good start.

Also took part in the January Review-a-Thon in order to catch up on some of my outstanding book reviews. Despite my best efforts, I always seem to fall behind with my reviews.


Overall

It's been a long process, but I'm slowly climbing out of my blogging rut. Inspired by Emily's Bloggiesta mini-challenge, I've started a bullet journal and hoping that it will help. Going to keep a monthly TBR list as well as a reading challenge list. Maybe having them right in front of me will work better than tracking them online.

I'm also going to be taking part in the Month of Letters Challenge in February. I've tried this challenge before and usually run out of steam pretty fast, but I'm determined to write/mail something every day this time! The rules say that postcards are okay, so that should make things easier. Even joined a pen pal group on Facebook, but shoot me an email at alexia561(at)yahoo(dot)com if you'd like a postcard!








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