Monday, May 26, 2014

Blur by: Steven James

Blur by: Steven James

Edition: E-book
Pages: 368
Publisher: Skyscape
Published: May 27th, 2014

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.

Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?

As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.

Full of mind-bending twists and turns, Blur launches a new trilogy of young adult thrillers from Steven James, a master of suspense.

My Thoughts:
*I was given an E-book copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*

As I began reading this book I found myself trying to piece together all the things that were happening in order to make sense of what happened to Emily.  I later found that it is best to just read the story for what it is because there are so many twists, especially at the end that will have you torn between who committed these crimes regarding high school students.  When I thought I had everything figured out the story would twist again leaving me so confused.  This is a good thing in my opinion because it will keep you entertained all the way til the end of the book.  I do have to admit that some parts in the middle of this book were slow but I felt that this was necessary in order to have the ending develop like it did.  Daniels character was very sweet and kind but at times I felt like he wasn't all the way there.  To me he just felt really empty, if that makes sense, so at times I found him to be boring.  I also liked the whole idea of him trying to figure out what had happened to his fellow schoolmate, even when everyone else didn't look any further into her death.  I found this book to be a little gory in some sections (which was awesome!), especially where Emily was concerned.  I couldn't stop myself from saying, "OMG Emily what are you doing?!!!!"  There were a few things that I did have issues with and wanted to know more about.  For instance, I think that Daniel's friends reacted to relaxed and understanding when he told them about the Blurs.  Also I want to know more about Daniel's mom and the story behind her, I just felt like there wasn't much said about her but every now and then she would make an appearance in the story which I found to be kind of odd.  Like I said before I think that some of the characters just seemed to be "empty", I felt like I couldn't really get a feel for their character because they acted so bland at times.  Ty is the exception though, he was really weird and frightening, but I still wanted to know what his deal is because he is way to creepy to not have an understanding as to why he behaves the way he does.
Overall, I think that this is a really good paranormal YA book that kept me guessing from start to finish.  The whole concept was awesome and very unique compared to a lot of books that are out now.  Before reading this book, I couldn't get a grasp on the title, Blur, but now that I am finished reading it I think that it was the best name that could have described the events that took place in this book.  I am very excited to see what happens in the second book of this trilogy, Fury, because I need to know more!!!  I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read paranormal fiction, or just wants a new take on the YA genre.

Final Verdict: 4 stars

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides

Pages: 249
Edition: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: November 1st, 2005

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides' classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.
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My Review: I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time now, especially since so many people were talking about how good this book was.  I also heard great things about this authors other books (The Marriage Plot and Middlesex) and decided that this should be a good starting point to see what the hype was about.
I am going to start of by saying that this book is very mind boggling.  In no way shape or form is this a light read due to the fact that it is about suicides.  Now, i can say that I wasn't prepared for the content in this book.  The story was very good to the point that I could physically imagine how the Lisbon sister's lived.  It made me feel completely sad for them, for having to live in the circumstances that they did (the overprotecting mother, strict rules, promiscuity, the terrible living conditions, etc.). 
This book is solely about five sisters who commits suicide told by a few neighborhood boys who were completely obsessed with these sisters, and to this day they can't forget the Lisbon girls.  It goes into detail not only of how each sister committed these suicides, but also you get a glimpse of why.  There were quite a few things that I really did enjoy about this book.  For instance I liked how the author captured each sister and made them completely different from the other.  I also liked how he went in depth with how the suicides had occurred, which is something that most books shy away from.

Cons: One of the biggest cons that I have for this book is how i felt that most of the book was just filler.  The first suicide had occurred during the first few pages and it wasn't until the end that I found out what had happen to the other 4 sisters.  I also didn't understand why the neighborhood boys was so obsessed with the girls, even decades after they had died.  It just seemed over the top to me.  Lastly, I would have liked to see a bit more of what the girls were going through so I could get a better idea as to why they would have wanted to kill themselves.  I just didn't think that it was talked about enough for me to have closure at the end of this book.

Although, I had a few qualms with this book I do think that it is really good and very different from anything that I have ever read before.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who can handle dark subjects.  And I do believe that I will reread this book sometime after I recover from this book hangover I currently have!

Final Verdict: 3 Stars

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Read-a-Thon!!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
This is going to be my second time participating in Bout of Books.  The first time I participated was in Bout of Books 9.0 and I didn't read one book in that week.  I think that was do to the fact that my college courses was very overwhelming at the time.  Since I will be graduating college before Bout of Books start I think I have a better shot at completing my goals.

Time devoted to reading:
I will try to read atleast 2 hours a day, and at the very least read 150 pgs a day.  The books listed below have a total of 843 pgs.  I hope to read more than that but I am going to start off slow.

My Goals:
To read atleast 3 books, anything beyond this set amount will be a bonus.  And to write updates through out the week, as well as write a wrap-up at the end of the read-a-thon.  You can also see what I am reading on Goodreads.

TBR Pile;

# of Pages read: 213
Book(s): Eleanor & Park

# of Pages read: 152
Book(s): Eleanor & Park (Finished), The Virgin Suicides

# of Pages read: 68
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides

# of Pages read: 0
Books(s): - - -

# of Pages read: 63
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides

# of Pages read: 0
Book(s): - - -

# of Pages read: 160 
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides (finished), and Edge of Shadows
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Bout of Books 10 read-a-thon Wrap-up!!
I was hoping to get through 3 full books during this read-a-thon but instead I got through 2.5 books, which is better than the last Bout of Books read-a-thon I participated in.  Next time though, I will keep track of how many pages I read through out the week way better than how I did it this time.  On Sunday I completely did not write down how many pages I read that day, which made me have to guess the amount.  Overall I feel like this read-a-thon was a success for me even though I didn't read every day, finish 3 books, or even read for 2 hours each day.  I am happy with my results and hope to set the bar higher on the next read-a-thon.

Books read:
  • Eleanor & Park (325 pgs)
  • The Virgin Suicides (249 pgs)
  • Edge of Shadows (138 pgs read out of 276)
Total pages read: 712

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stacking The Shelves #1 | May Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books that you have recently acquired, whether they are books you bought, borrowed, or got for review!

I am so excited to start my first Stacking The Shelves post!!!!!!!!!
This post is going to be packed with a lot of books that I have gathered over the last few weeks (It's a lot).


The Bachman Books by: Richard Bachman (a.ka. Stephen King)
Winter's Tale by: Mark Helprin
The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Euginides
The Final Empire by: Brandon Sanderson


Chibi Vampire vol. 2 by: Yuna Kagesaki
Chibi Vampire vol. 3 by: Yuna Kagesaki
Half Bad by: Sally Green
Horde by: Ann Aquirre
Never Fade by: Alexandra Bracken
Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park by: Rainbow Rowell
Fire & Flood by: Victoria Scott


Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline

For Review:

Blur by: Steven James (Netgalley)

What books did you get?

Chibi Vampire Vol. 2 By: Yuna Kagesaki

Chibi Vampire by: Yuna Kagesaki
(Volume 2)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 176
Published: April 8th, 2006
Publisher: Tokyopop

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Kenta sees Karin at work and school, each day serving as a reminder that something about the girl with the oft-bloody nose just isn't right! He's suspicious...and he's not exactly subtle about it. Fearing that he might discover her secret, Karin decides to kill this potential problem--with kindness! She goes out of her way to do all kinds of nice things for him. But when Kenta catches her "feeding" yet again, the gig may be up. So what's a vampire girl to do? Why, take the boy home to meet her parents, of course!

My Review: In my opinion the second volume of this series is so much better than the first volume.  I am not sure if it is because I have gotten use to reading Manga now, or if it is because there is a little more going on in this book.  In this volume Karin struggles to stay away from Kenta (the new boy in her school and the boy who makes her blood react strangely) but he keeps popping up every where.  The importance of staying away from Kenta, is making sure that her "secret" stays a secret.  But this isn't an easy thing to do since he already seen her expel a lot of blood and is really curious as to why she is acting so weird.  With the help of Anju (Karin's little sister), Kenta finds out what he has always wondered...
I thought that this book was so good and had plenty of funny moments.  I just can't get over the cuteness of this manga.  I can't really say much else, except for that I really liked it which I'm sure I have already said.  This manga is very light and sweet, with a few slow moments as well.  Nothing in this manga happens at a fast pace, but I am ok with.  The slow pace doesn't take away from the story line one bit.  I highly recommend this if you want a good light read.

Final Verdict: 5 stars

Chibi Vampire Vol. 1 by: Yuna Kagesaki

Chibi Vampire by: Yuna Kagesaki
(Volume 1)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 176
Published: April 11th, 2006
Publisher: Tokyopop

Purchase: Amazon  |  Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Karin is a cute little girl who also happens to be a vampire... with a twist. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding from her nose - we're talking gushers! In other words, she's a vamp with blood to spare, so rather than stealing blood from humans she actually gives her blood to them.

My Review: I'm going to start by saying that this is my second time reading a Manga, so it took me a little while to get into it since the style is completely different from that of a novel. Since I am obsessed with anything that has to do with vampires I thought that this would be a good Manga series to start with (I wanted to start being more diverse in the things that I read), especially since the series isn't as long as most Manga series are.  I thought that this was a wonderful take on vampires...seriously, a vampire who doesn't take blood from people but instead gives them blood! Yes, I definitely had to see what that was all about.  The first volume goes into some background information on Karin's information and about her personal story.  What makes her so different from her family is that while she is a vampire in reverse, the members of her family are actually "real" vampires.  I really enjoyed the different characters especially Karin because she is clearly a hot mess in every way.  I mean nothing goes right for her.  Her brother Ren is quite the character as well, being such a ladies man that is drawn in by other peoples stress (weird I know, but that is what makes this manga so good).  Throughout this story you get to understand Karin a little bit, also as she learns about herself.  After all there hasn't been anyone who is a vampire in reverse.  So you get to see why Karin expels so much blood, and what characteristic in certain people causes this reaction.  Overall, I really did enjoy this manga because it was so different from the books that I typically read.  I would suggestion Chibi Vampire vol. 1 to anyone who wants a light read in-between heavier books.

Final Verdict: 4 stars