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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: The Merchant's Daughter (ARC) by Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant's DaughterThe Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I really wanted to like this story line, something about it just wasn't sitting well with me. The main character Annabel just seemed a tad flat. She was always one sided; she always acted one way, refused to act another way. She is a very rigid character. While I enjoyed reading about her life, and while I hated how her family treated her, she was treated as more of a money-maker rather than a human with feelings. I really disliked how they wanted nothing more to do with her other than money.

I liked the Lord of the story. He was hard to read, tough on the outside, soft on the inside. It seems his transition to thinking differently other than how he originally thought, occurs a lot easier than Annabel's did.

I was aware that this was a more religious centered book when I wanted it for review, but I was able to read objectively. I was surprised to read that the religious aspects were a lot more free thinking than I had expected. I was expecting something more rigid, more this is the only true way. While some people hold those beliefs, it does not ring true for everyone in this story.

And I will admit, I was rooting for Annabel to finally come to her senses and see that love, rather than a nunnery is where she belonged. So I was interested in seeing how she would come to her senses.

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Friday, November 25, 2011 | By: Traci

Black Friday Book Bonanza Hop

This hop is hosted by, Book Savvy Babe, The Bawdy Book Blog, and Alive on the Shelves!

-This Giveaway is US Only
-The Winner will be contacted and have 48 hours to respond, if they do not respond, I will pick another winner!
-The Winner will receive a copy of The Pack (ARC) by Jason Starr.
-Enter using Rafflecopter, and then enter other blogger giveaways by using the links below!

Thursday, November 24, 2011 | By: Traci

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just stopping in to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been MIA for the past few weeks. I haven't been feeling well, pair that with working full time and wanting to do other things, it's been hard to get to reading books. And, I'm also one of those crazy Black Friday shoppers so I'll end up going out tonight shopping so it's hard to pin me down this time of year but I hope to have more book reviews posted soon.

Also as a reminder, stop by tonight or something this weekend for my next giveaway hop, The Black Friday Book Bonanza hop which will go live tonight around Midnight and go through Sunday. There are only about 76 blogs on the hop list, so this is relatively small and would be great to enter to see what you can win! Hope to see you guys there!

Sunday, November 13, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Sleepers by Megg Jensen

Sleepers (The Swarm, #1)Sleepers by Megg Jensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Something about this book just didn't set too well with me. I really wanted to be in love with this book. I really like the idea of it but I suppose I really expected something a lot darker than what I was truly presented with.

I really liked the general idea, and I really like Lianne, the main character. I love her personality, how she's ready to fight for what's right, risk her life to save a friend even if that friend has accepted their fate.

My biggest problems with this book were some scenes were just tossed out there. There was no depth. We were presented with a scene and instead of being fleshed out, it seems rushed. The scene and moment is over at the drop of a hat and then we go to another moment a few paragraphs later where there is no depth. It's explained and then accepted by the characters without a question or thought until much later.

It's not a bad start and I am interested in seeing what happens next!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by Y.S. Lee

A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The beginning of this novel really grabbed my attention. I don't want to give much of the story away, but it's really interesting to see our young character Mary in such a predicament at such a young age. It's very enlightening to see someone come along to save her and to offer her a better chance at life than what was going to happen.

I was expecting to see a bit more of Mary at school or a bit more of The Agency that she was so easily inducted into. It wasn't made out to be such a big deal even though she really was undergoing a lot for her work with the agency. She undergoes some sort of training, training of which we don't see her go through and then she's thrust into her assignment.

Aside from those little issues above, once Mary gets to her assignment, things start to get a little more interesting. However, I just didn't find the story completely riveting. It's surprising to see what's really happening behind the scenes and to see who is really stealing artifacts because it is someone so completely unexpected.

I guess I just expected a lot more from this novel but I did not find this to be a disappointing read. I was just looking for a more fleshier novel.

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Monday, November 7, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Crave by Melissa Darnell (ARC)

CraveCrave by Melissa Darnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is your classic tale of star crossed romance. One that feels so great but really is oh so wrong for many reasons. However, this is a different take I think on forbidden romances. The paranormal twist is nice. We have a group of people that have magical powers and abilities called The Clann that control the use of powers. Tristan is the son of the leader and Savannah comes from a family that was forced to leave the Clann because her mother married a Vampire and had Savannah as the result.

Savannah is always kept in the dark. While we read a lot of stories where teens are kept from knowing their magical heritage, you would think it gets boring. I don't think this story was boring or overly done. I think the author went about it in a great way, portraying all the ways a concerned family might work to keep their beloved child safe.

I really like how magic is portrayed. There are rules and while people in the story use magic, they don't overly use it. Sometimes their uses are more practical helping accomplish a household task, other times it's used for protection or training. My favorite aspect of magic we see in this book has to been dream connecting. It's quite fascinating really.

Also, I'm really rooting for these two. This is kind of like a modern take on Romeo and Juliet except it has a paranormal twist rather than the usual boy and girl can't date. I am really excited to read the next.

Thanks for NetGalley for allowing me to review this book!

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Friday, November 4, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first started reading this series, I really wasn't sure how much I would like it. It was definitely outside of the normal vampire fiction that I was reading, but slowly, I'm really starting to get into this novel.

At first, I found Rose to be a really unlikable character. She was annoying, rude, crass and very hot headed. Thankfully, in this novel, Rose is starting to develop into a likable character. She's starting to grow, learn more things about life and herself, and finally, she's starting to stand up for herself.

I think my biggest issue so far with these novels has been the idea that these protectors of the vampire families have nothing to do but to care for and protect someone else. I'm really happy to see that this idea is starting to fall through for Rose and she's starting to think about herself. I'm also happy to see other ideas in the Vampire Academy world are beginning to change but I won't go into that here. That's something that really needs to be read yourself as a reader to fully understand and appreciate.

With all of that being said, I found this novel to really be heartbreaking. Rose is a character that doesn't have much. Sure, she has friends, but that is about all she has going for her. She's slowly starting to gain respect, but respect isn't everything. Her mother is off fighting, barely around to see her. She doesn't call and she certainly doesn't show a lot of love or give her any attention. There is not father in the picture, so naturally, certain plot aspects of this novel were heartbreaking. It was painful to see Rose finally gain something that she felt to be precious only to have it taken away in the worst way possible.

All in all, I feel that this is the best of the books I have read so far and the ending of this is really setting up the next book for a great adventure with more information unfolding about this very strange world that I can only assume we still have not learned everything about.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | By: Traci

Spooktacular Blog Hop Winner! and News

And the winner of the Spooktacular Blog Hop is lucky # 55, Bethany B! Bethany has been notified. Congrats! Please remember to stop by later this month for the Black Friday blog hop where I will be giving away another ARC donated graciously by a friend. Also, I just noticed that I'm at 100 followers. If you've stopped by the contest page, you may have noticed that I put up a note saying that once I reached 150 followers, I'm going to hold a follower appreciation giveaway. So, tell your friends to follow us via GFC and watch the numbers rise. Once I do, I'll be giving away a box of book goodies!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've never been one for large fantasy books. In fact, I really just started reading longer fantasy books when I joined the bookclub on LJ. I'm glad I decided to read this book this time around because it was really, really good.

The beginning for me was a bit slow. It was sort of hard to get into because the story slowly unfolded. Don't get me wrong, I like suspense, I like building up to things, but it took a long time for us to really get the story. I think that is what made the beginning so slow. We really weren't sure what was going on. It took quite awhile for the story of Kvothe to build and that made it painfully slow. However, when the story finally unfolded, it really took off and I am so glad I read it.

I think what made this book so great to read was, it felt like speaking to an old friend. The story telling from Kvothe to Chronicler was smooth, it transitioned well and it wasn't boring. I really liked the short story breaks where Kvothe paused to do something, or to gather his thoughts. It really made it feel like we were sitting in a room with someone while they were talking and telling us stories. Kvothe kind of feels like an old friend that you're sitting and catching up with.

Also, the story, once we start digging into the past of Kvothe, is really, really interesting. I liked his university days and I liked hearing about him learning magic. I think this book took a completely different turn when it came to magic. Other books dive in and just show someone using it. Rothfuss dug as far as to actually show us how he used it, not to mention the mechanics behind the things used to conjure and use magic.

If you're in the mood for a long fantasy read, this is definitely a great one to get into. It will not disappoint!

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