Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #20


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by 
Alison Can Read and Parajunkee where they choose a featured blogger every week along with a question for everybody to answer! It's an awesome way to meet new book bloggers and share the follower love :)



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Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback, etc?
For me, it would sure be ebooks. This is usually how I read my books, its so much easier and I can read them anywhere, even during the two and a half - extremely boring and exhausting - hour ride to and from my grandma's house whenever we go :P 

As for paperback and hardcover copies, they are both the same to me, so I get the book in whatever available format between these two. But one thing that I like about buying actual physical copies, is going to the bookstore and sitting between the shelves. searching and looking- such a nerd, I know! - but I easily forget myself in there since I don't go there as often now ;) Plus, there is something special about reading an actual book that you can hold in your hands with printed words on it, so I guess printed books will never lose their touch and I can't see myself giving up on reading them completely.

***

So that was my answer guys! What about you? Leave me a comment telling me or a link to your own post I'll be sure to check out :)


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Happy Friday!
xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Synopsis:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.










My Review:

   Upon reading this book, I think I will be bound to suffer from some sort of depression... Haha! Kidding :P But seriously, I would call the concept behind this story sick in a brilliant/unique kinda way, well, sick is not the right word at all, maybe devastating, I would say. I'll have to admit though that the story at first kinda creeped me out, I guess I was just shocked by the whole shoe box full of audio tapes and the suicide thing combined but then as the events of the story slowly started to unfold, it became the gripping and enthralling that it was. 

   In Thirteen Reasons Why, we get to listen to Hannah Baker through audio tapes in which she tells her story and her reasons for committing suicide and which were sent by her to 13 people and each one of them were one of the reasons why. 

   The book was written from Clay's point of view and God! going through those tapes, as agonizing as it was, my heart just shattered slowly as his, like seriously, his role was the hardest of all, aside from Hannah of course.  I don't want to give anything away so I will leave it at that. 

   I strictly oppose the idea of suicide - suicide can never be the solution to anything and I wholeheartedly believe that - but I respect Jay Asher for writing this book, for suicide is not a light subject but then this book wouldn't have been the book that it is without Hannah committing suicide which was unfortunate, I liked the girl. And just coming up with those 13 reasons, I am sure required a ton of thinking so it was indeed thoughtful and cogitative like no other.   

   One lesson that I learned through reading this book is to never take anything for granted. You can never be sure that something will last forever or that something will still be available for you whenever you think are ready. Seize the chance and think of the worst consequence that could ever happen and keep it in front of you along with the chance. The way I relate it to this book is mainly through Clay because I guess he had a bigger chance at saving Hannah........


   You know, I had hope until the end of the book that maybe, just maybe Hannah might not kill herself by the end, like she would change her mind or something might have happened that would stop her because that's just pure harsh and heartbreaking. Don't get me wrong I love the path that this story took and everything because it wouldn't have been the story that it is without the whole suicide thing but yeah, the ugly truth.

   Moving on. So the writing was normal but slightly confusing because it would sometimes take me time to know if it was Clay who was talking or was it Hannah who was talking through the audio tapes. But the whole experience felt so real and authentic, almost touchable, like it touched my heart. But I hate the feeling, like if I was in Clay's place, the feeling of being too late, especially with it being permanent as it was, unchangeable. Too late, I profoundly hate and despise those two words together.

   Overall, I found this book to be a read worth-reading. I finished this book in quiet a short time and was left on the verge of crying but this story truly evoked a lot of emotions within me. Heartfelt characters, radiant, thought-provoking and nerve-racking plot, full of emotions and compassion. There was a sense of *idealness* to the storyline and so if it's not already obvious, I really liked this book with no doubt. Recommend it!


"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Phil Donahue

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Series: Stand-alone
Published: October 18th 2007 by Razorbill
Source: Owned
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5


Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Choppy Random Talks: Google canceling GFC??!!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                
\


Rumors have been on and on recently about Google canceling GFC ( Google Friend Connect ) and of course it being rumors, I made a little research about it and never found an official announcement about it and then I came across this website ( Link HERE ) where Nathan, the person behind Life & Everything Else in Between clears things up so check that out if you want to understand everything but basically Google Friend Connect is not closing.

Anyway, so while some people were worrying and putting up other ways of subscribing on their blogs and stuff. Two of the most popular ways that came up were actually Bloglovin ( which I already have an account on ) and Google+ ( This one I went ahead and created an account on it but I feel like a lost puppy on it and could use some help actually :D ) 

Bloglovin is actually a really cool and easy website to use. I personally like it and I do recommend it, like generally speaking. You could always follow me there just in case ( Link HERE ) and also, its an easy way to keep up with all your favourite blogs and a new way to get people to know about your blog and follow you ;) 

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Friday, June 21, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday #19




Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by 
Alison Can Read and Parajunkee where they choose a featured blogger every week along with a question for everybody to answer! It's an awesome way to meet new book bloggers and share the follower love :)

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Q: Activity: Favorite Literary Quote


I don't have strict favorite quotes but here are some that I can think of right now:
  •  Slammed by Colleen Hoover: 
    “There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man. If you answer no to any of the three questions, run like hell."
    [...]"Does he treat you with respect at all times? That's the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you've found a good man.” 

  • Dare You To by Katie McGarry:
    “I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.

    She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.

    "It's our rain Beth."

    Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.” 

  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington:
    “Hate is...it's too easy," he says. His face calm, calmer than it has any right to be, his eyes not wavering from mine, like he's so completely sure of what he's saying. "Love. Love takes courage.” 
***

So that was my answer guys! What about you? Leave me a comment telling me or a link to your own post I'll be sure to check out :)




Recent Posts:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review: Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
Synopsis:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graces as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away..








  My Review:

   Okay, so I don't know about you guys but personally, I didn't like this story, not even a bit. I continued to read it but gave up on the last chapters. I mean, it was odd, like seriously odd. I did like the idea of some people being gifted with a Grace, like some sort of a gift, like mind reading, fighting, manipulating people's minds but then everything other than that just sucked. The characters were too weird, especially Katsa - the protagonist - she was the weirdest and the less appealing and not to forget her character and actions were sometimes provocative, although, admittedly she sometimes seemed a bit lost. The romance wasn't the least bit interesting, at first I thought it would be but then it was the complete opposite of a love story, it was like she considered him a friend, truly and then she never intended to get married which means never falling in love and then CLICK! they were all over each other, I guess, it was like she couldn't help but falling in love but still, it didn't touch me. In addition, I didn't know where the world-building came from but it was better. And last but not least, the story was written in a third point of view which happens to be a MAJOR turn off for me.

   Overall, personally I don't really recommend reading this book. It was just not my cup of tea and so figures, I am not planning on continuing the series. I started reading this book with somewhat high expectations because of the good reviews but turns out, I don't share it, I was kinda bummed out really. And I am just stating my opinion of it so hope my review wasn't too harsh, sorry if it was ;)

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristen Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Published: October 1st 2008 by Harcourt
Source: Owned
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 1/5

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Choppy Random Talks: Blogging Essentials #1


      So today I wanted to share with you guys some stuff that as a blogger, specifically a book blogger you might need during blogging and these are things that I, as a starter in blogging needed but didn't know at the time unfortunately so I am going to share 3 that I count as basics or essentials and planning on more in the future, don't worry ;) 

***
I. How to leave a link in a blogger comment (aka Anchor Text)?
 
Okay, so what exactly is Anchor Text? Anchor text is the visible text that you click for a link. And it's quite easy actually so in order to leave a link just copy/paste or write ( personally, I memorized it ) this in the comments section and switch the colored parts with your own:


<a href="http://booka-holic.blogspot.com">Book-A-Holic</a>

The red part is for the link that is going to be opened and the blue part is for the name that the link is going to appear in.

Example: After writing the above in the comments section, it will appear like this:


 
II. How to make coloured boxes?

To make a coloured box, similar to this:



All what you have to do is copy/paste the following in the HTML section:

<div style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(255,228,225); border:3px solid #FFE4E1; padding: 5px 8px; text-align: center;">
<div style="text-align: center;">
<span style="font-size: large;"><b>Dotted</b></span></div>
</div>

The green part sets the color of the box from the inside which you can change to your preferred color from this website Cloford. The red part sets the shape of the border which you can also change up to your prefrence, just choose one of the following and type it instead ( Solid - Dashed - Dotted - None - Double - Grove - Ridge - Inset - Outset ). As for the blue part, it sets the color of the border itself, again you can set this color as you prefer from the same website, Cloford.

                   
III. How to schedule a blog post?

By scheduling a post, you write your post ahead in time and set it on a specific date/time and to be posted automatically then. And this really comes in handy when you're on a vacation or such and it's just perfect with blog tours. 



Step 1 :

First, you're going to open post and head over to you Post Settings on the side and click on 'Schedule'

Click to make it bigger.

Step 2: 
Choose 'Set date and time' to set the date and time that you want.

Click to make it bigger.


Step 3: 

Click 'Done' and then click 'Publish' which some people forget to do. So you MUST click Publish as you would normally do when posting a blog post.



And You're Done!

***

So this was it guys! Just a couple of things but I am planning on doing more stuff in the future but hope those were helpful. Nonetheless, don't forget to leave me comments with your requests or send me an email, telling me if you want to know more about stuff like this ;)

PS: I'm not an expert or anything at all, I'm just sharing this with you upon personal experience.

xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Skeleton Key Guild by MJ Fletcher


Hey guys! So today I am so happy to be part of The Skeleton Key Guild blog tour which if you don't already know I a huge fan of the whole series! And today I will be reviewing Book 4, The Detective Inspectors as well as Book 5, The Skeleton Key Guild. Woot Woot! Hope you guys enjoy it :D

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BOOK 4

The Detective InspectorsSynopsis:
Chloe Masters life is in disarray. Her best friend Edgar Magnus has been kidnapped by her mother. The Detective Inspectors of the HVO have been compromised and appear to be helping in the crime. All but one that is, Declan Hardcastle, a young DI who is more than willing to help Chloe in her quest. But is he looking for more than just friendship?

Her friends are spread far and wide; Jess has begun her apprenticeship in Paris while Slade is working for the Impossible Engineers. Nightshade has returned but is he the same man? Can he truly be trusted?

When Chloe learns Edgar’s location it's a race against time. She needs to stop her mother’s pernicious plans and save Edgar while keeping everyone else she loves alive. But the question becomes... does Chloe plan on getting out alive?






My Review:

      The adventure continues in book 4 of the Doorknob Society Saga. Hidden secrets and exciting events unravel leaving us in a swirl of hot events. Again, I was blown away by the creativeness of this author because the story never lacked of intense incidents, always keeping you at an edge. 

   Despite the plot being eventful and all, I find myself really wanting to reach it's end. I feel it was a lot that I am excited about how it will end and when and to just see Chloe and the others in peace after all that running, fighting and stuff. However, this book, I felt was more of a filler, I mean, even with the really active plot which became the normal thing in this series. So I feel that it was just preparing us for the next and final book which I am super excited to read.

   Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, although, I did enjoy the first 3 books slightly more. Action-packed plot with a whole lot of great stuff going on. I recommend reading it - of course if you read the previous books which I seriously recommend because it was such an enjoyable series!

 
Title: The Detective Inspectors

Author: MJ Fletcher
Source: For Review Purposes ( From blog tour )
Series: The Doorknob Society #4
Release Date: January 11th 2013  

Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating:
3/5

***

BOOK 5


Skeleton Key Guild
Synopsis:
Her parents dead, her sister missing, and those she loves branded traitors to the Old Kind... Chloe Masters is on the run.

To fulfill a parent’s dying wish she will do anything to save the sister she has never met. Can she learn the secrets of the Artifacts before it’s too late? Surrounded by her friends; Slade, Edgar, Jess, Val and the man she loves James Nightshade, Chloe has never had so much to live for... but will her enemies let her
?
















My Review:

   In the final installement of the Doorknob Society saga, Chloe's adventure has finally came to a somewhat happy and peaceful ending which left me with a smile on my face. Nonetheless, I now know that I am gonna miss the whole thing; the characters, Chloe's world and the constant adventures. It was a journey of 5 amazing books, that I honestly enjoyed. In addition, I had a strong connection with Chloe and Nightshade, most of the characters actually and their developement through the five books was clear.

   Overall, it was a nice, peaceful ending to the series and I truly enjoyed it. And I can say nothing except that I really do recommend this series, all of it. MJ Fletcher's vivid imagination will take you to a world like no other. Heartfelt characters, action-packed adventures, something that fantasy readers will definitely enjoy.

Title: Skeleton Key Guild
Author: MJ Fletcher
Source: For Review Purposes ( From blog tour )

Series: The Doorknob Society #5
Release Date: January 11th 2013  

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kobobooks
Rating:
3.5/5



About the Author:
MJ Fletcher is the creator of the comic book series Adam Zero: The Last Man of Earth published by Ronin Studios. He's also been published in Hope: The Hero Initiative and Digital Webbing Presents. The Doorknob Society series is his fist book series and he's thrilled about it. He lives near the beach with his wife, daughter, dog, and a crotchety cat.    

Contact Links
Website | Twitter: @fletch125 |Facebook: doorknobsociety



Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Friday, June 7, 2013

Feature And Follow Friday #18


Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by 
Alison Can Read and Parajunkee where they choose a featured blogger every week along with a question for everybody to answer! It's an awesome way to meet new book bloggers and share the follower love :)

***
Q: Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why?
Actually, I did break up with quite a few but right now I can only think of How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon and that was because I wasn't interested in a completion of the story, I found the first book adequate. Also, Dead Radiance by TG Ayer and Wake by Lisa McMann which were okay but just didn't intrigue me enough to complete as well. And last but not least is The Girl with Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium Trilogy) which I found was both, inappropriate and kinda lame (because mystery novels just aren't my thing).



***
So that was my answer! What about you guys? Leave me a comment down below sharing your thoughts or a link to your own post which I'll be sure to check out :D
Happy Friday!

xoxo, Mariam 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Bound by Prophcey by Melissa Wright

            Hey guys! So today I am participating the blog tour of Bound by Prophecy by Melissa Wright! Hope you enjoy my review and don't forget to enter the giveaway for the chance of winning a signed copy (US) or one of two ebooks (INT) of Bound by Prophecy. Good luck ;)

Bound by Prophecy (Descendants Series, #1)
Synopsis:
Twenty-two-year-old Aern is done watching his brother destroy the only thing that matters. He never wanted to take Morgan’s place among council, never wanted to rule their hidden world. But when the key to the prophecy is found, a young girl named Brianna whom Morgan will destroy, Aern knows he has to take action.
What he really wants, is for things to go back to normal. But now he’s kidnapped a girl, and his brother’s men are after him. His only hope is to join with the Division, but they have plans of their own, and it’s the last thing Aern is willing to do.
Emily just wants her sister back. She doesn't care about the prophecy, or realize what’s at stake. But when she goes after Aern, the truth of the matter uncoils, and Brianna isn't the only one who’s in danger.
Suddenly, they’re at the center of a secret war, and unless they can work together, they’ll both have a sacrifice too big to make.




My Review:

   The premise was interesting enough, I was drawn to Emily and Aren - the two main characters - and as I kept going, stuff got a bit exciting. And I actually found myself liking Emily since her very first appearance, she had this lovable character and I found hers to be genuine. Actually, no, this author nailed it with both Aren as well as Emily, they both felt genuine and I loved their characters. And cool cover too!

   I loved their relationship, it wasn't an instant one but how things developed between them was nice. However, it didn't sound like an actual relationship, like it only had something to do with the prophecy and you could obviously see the attraction between them but their relationship wasn't complete, didn't feel like one so guess we will hae to see how it works in the next book .


   However, the world building at first sounded cheap to me, honestly. You know, with the prophecy and all but then it kinda took an organic path, if that is the right word to use. It was a bit epic but still. One thing though, was that I didn't see the whole point of the prophecy and I didn't get the fact that they weren't all too human but then what exactly are they? So a lot of thing about the world building, the prophecy and such weren't at all clear which I wish they were.

   Frankly, I thanked God that it wasn't from a third point of view or that would have totally ruined it for me but instead it was in Aren's POV! which there was nothing too special about it but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The writing wasn't hard to cope with, it was the type of writing where your eyes could swiftly sweep across the words without finding difficulty in understanding. But I also felt that the story was a bit short for a fantasy novel.


   Overall, it was a fun read, I even finished it in one sitting! It was a bit short so it is the kind of story that you'd read to pass time but in a fun way because I did enjoy reading this book. The two main characters were awesome, ones you'd easily have a connection with. And it was love, sacrifice, betrayal and ambiguity that outlined this story. And I am planning on reading the next book whenever it's out ;)

Title: Bound by Prophecy
Author: Melissa Wright
Series: Descendants #1
Published: April 2013
Source: Blog Tour ( For Review Purposes )
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

***

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


***
About the Author:
Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga and the upcoming Descendants series. Melissa spends her time working on novels, but when not writing she can be found on goodreads and pinterest.





Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: Somone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Goodreads:
When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all.







My Review:

   Tragic! I started this book expecting an inspiring, a bit of a happy story but I TOTALLY wasn't expecting that. As much as it was a thought-provoking story and a stellar book but why so sad  :( This book lost a star in my rating because of the storyline, of how sad and complicated this book was. I was glued to the pages though and I finished it in one day but it was so sad yet so fantastic and the ending was actually pretty good and suprisingly satisfying.

   It was some sort of an emotional punch, like seeing someone suffering, their lives crumbling down like some pieces of bread or having their hearts broken or torn because of.... decisions which were before just choices. To be quite honest this book can get you talking a lot but to cut it short, it was compelling.

   Overall, I couldn't say that I enjoyed this book as much as I can say that ached a lot during my little trip reading it. But Katie Dale is a GENIUS! She managed to put together this really intricate, in-depth story of people's lives - not aliens people! A thought-provoking, poignant, heart-rending story that will keep you glued to the pages, not because you are expecting or even waiting for a happy ending or just a happy moment but because you want to keep up with this distressing and woeful story about.... two girls. Highly recommended!

Title: Someone Else's Life
Author: Katie Dale
Series: Stand-alone
Published: February 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Owned
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

PS: I know that this review was a bit too short but I actually read this book a really long while ago but forget to post its review which I wrote but haven't fully completed it but still here it is.

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam
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