Friday, March 8, 2013

And the Liebster Award Goes to....

Hello Bloggers!  Is everyone familiar with the Liebster Award?  To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s an actual award that is given per say, but I figure that if participating will help my fellow bloggers gain exposure, it can’t be a bad thing!

Here are the Rules (which I am totally breaking):

1.  Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2.   Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3.   Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.

4.   Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

First off, I would like to thank the following blogs for nominating me! 

I broke the rules on answering 11 questions.  To be fair to all of my nominators, I answered three of each of their questions (which actually adds up to 12…shhh, don’t tell anybody).  Each of the 3 questions are listed in the order of the blogs above.

Answers to questions:

1.       What is your favorite book genre?  I have to pick just one?  If that’s the case, I choose the all-encompassing Sci-fi genre because it includes Fantasy and Dystopian, which are both my favorites!

2.       Who's your favorite Disney character (if you like Disney)?  Belle from Beauty and the Beast, for sure!  Can anyone guess why?

3.       What animal would you like to be, and why?  I’ve always thought that ducks have it particularly easy.  They are so cute and carefree.  My husband and I have an ongoing joke about this because when we first started dating we went to a park and watched the ducks splashing around in the pond.  After a few moments of silence, we both declared at the same exact time, “I wish I were a duck!”

4.       How did you come up with the name of your blog?  I was trying to think of something original that conveyed my obsession with really awesome books.  I can truly be described as a book addict!

5.       How long does it generally take you to read a book?  If it’s a really good book and I have free time, I can finish it in a couple of days. 

6.       Do you do reviews for every book you read?  I try to.  Since I’m new at this, I’m still getting a feel for which books I want to review on my blog.

7.       What made you decide to start blogging/why do you continue to blog?  I was really looking for a creative outlet and a way to share my love of reading with others.  I also wanted to connect with others who share my passion.

8.       What is the first book you remember reading?  One of my firsts and favorites as a child was The Little Engine That Could.

9.       If you could only read ten books for the rest of your life, what would they be?  They would all be Cassandra Clare books.

10.   How often do you read?  I read daily, whether it’s for school or for pleasure.  Right now I’m having to read a lot for school, unfortunately. 

11.   Are you a morning person or a night owl?  I think I’m becoming more of a night owl than I used to be.

12.   What's the most recent book you read?  Unravel Me, the sequel to Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  Excellent book and one of my favorite series!!!


11 Random Facts about Me

1.       I’m a college student studying English and plan to graduate this December (whoo hoo!).

2.       I love food but I’ve never really outgrown being a picky eater.  Sometimes it’s embarrassing.

3.       I’ve written many short stories and actually published two of them.  I even won a 2nd place prize for one.

4.       My favorite thing in the world, besides reading, is spending time outdoors with my kids.

5.       I have this weird affinity for dimples.  On anyone. If you have dimples you are cute by default.

6.       I like to sew and do very crafty things.  If I had a better camera I’d probably attempt a craft/DIY blog.

7.       My children are everything to me!

8.       I love, love, love anything with peanut butter and chocolate.

9.       Baking is also one of my favorite hobbies.

10.   I really miss Friends, the show.

11.   I traveled to Europe with my mother when I was 14 and saw many cool places including Paris, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Lichtenstein.

Now, instead of nominating 11 blogs who have most likely already been nominated, I’m doing this instead:

Please answer the following question and tell us all about your blog.  Don’t forget to include a link! 

If you could be any character from any story, who would you be?

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Author Spotlight and Book Review: Christina Mobley

Kindle Edition, 252 pages Published July 11th 2012 by Amazon
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads Summary: There are people born in this world with a powerful connection to the earth itself... They have an unbreakable and extraordinary bond. Every seven years, five people are born on the same day, at the exact same time. The elements bind them; earth, fire, wind, water, and spirit. They call them, Elementris. Ava Vangeretta is seventeen years old and different. Unlike most born of the element, she was born alone. She has the power of all five elements. Ava is the first True Elementris to be born in many years. As her eighteenth birthday approaches she is faced with a choice. Give up this rare gift and live the normal life she has always craved or accept it and challenge the current True Elementris in a battle to the death! Ava's past haunts her as she struggles to decide. In her present, the seasons are colliding together, storms are destroying lives, and love is a dangerous curse. The current True Elementris is behind it all and she will do whatever necessary to keep Ava from making it to her eighteenth birthday. Ava's decision threatens the lives of the two people she cares about most. Can you choose between love and friendship? Get ready for the storm...
For a limited time, you can order Elementris on Amazon for only .99₵!!! This is an incredible deal and only available for a limited time!

My Review:

First of all, I would like to say thank you to Christina Mobley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
In the expanding market of Fantasy and Paranormal fiction, it’s becoming more difficult to find fresh, original stories that stand out from the others. I believe that Christina Mobley has etched out a place for herself in this genre of writing and her first book Elementris is a pleasure to read.
At seventeen-years-old, Ava Vangeretta blames her gift for everything that’s wrong in her life. In fact, it’s the very reason why her own mother abandoned her. Once submerged into her world of magic and mystery, the reader is allowed a glimpse at both the good and bad that comes with the gifts of the element. The good: Ava’s able to perform magic that can help others and conjure up a rain cloud when she needs one. The bad: Learning her magic and accepting her role as True Elementris is a deadly undertaking. I would have to say that Ava’s character is more true to real-life teenagers than most fictional heroines we come across in YA fiction. Though not your cliché, self-sacrificing heroine, she’s very brave in the face of tremendous pressure and danger.
I love strong female characters like the ones in this book. Ava and her Aunt Avalene are both forces to be reckoned with; forces of nature, that is! The dynamic between Ava and her aunt was fun and add a lot to the story. There are some interesting sub-plots going on with Ava’s best friend Brea, as well. This book packs major “girl power”, as even the primary antagonist is a female! I thought this was a fresh approach to this time of book and enjoyed that aspect very much,.
Through the unfolding of Ava’s magic and new knowledge of her role in it, she finds herself falling fast for a mysterious guy named Alec. The relationship between Alec and Ava felt a little forced in the beginning but started to make sense toward the end of the book. I wished that they could have spent more time together in the story so their romance would have more time to develop. Don’t get me wrong, there was definite heat between the two characters! I’m hoping for even more of that in the next book.
I give Elementris 6 out of 10 on the Page-turner Scale. Though it takes a while for the action to build, the last part of the book is full of mystery, excitement, and romance!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coming Soon

Happy Saturday Bloggers! I’m very excited to share a few new ventures I will be undertaking with all of my lovely followers!

First of all, I will be doing my very first Author Spotlight next month on February 22nd featuring Christina Mobley, author of Elementris- book one of The Vangeretta Curse Series. The spotlight will feature information about Mobley and a review of Elementris, along with a synapsis of her soon-to-be-released second entitled Exposure. I’m thrilled to be working with Christina and hope this is the first of many author spotlights to come.

My second piece of news is that I will be adding a children’s page to my blog. As a mother of two youngsters, I’m a huge advocate of children’s literacy and would love to share my ideas and discoveries on ways you can get kids excited about reading. I’ll also highlight some of our favorite children’s books. I hope to get this page up-and-running sometime in the next month.

And finally, I’m pleased to announce that I’m launching my own proofreading business! As an author of several short stories, I know how difficult it can be to find someone qualified to review a manuscript. As an avid reader, I am truly surprised at the number of mistakes I come across in books these days- and I’m not just talking about self-published books here- big name publishers are putting out product that is full of mistakes! I know I’m not the only reader who finds these errors a little off-putting, but I also know that editing and proofreading services aren’t cheap. Many proofreaders out there charge an arm and leg to provide this service, but since I am just starting up, I have made my rates very affordable. My services entail an in-depth proofread with mark-up and a report of findings. At this time I won’t be offering developmental editing services but I hope to in the future.

Here is my website if you would like more information about my proofreading services and want to view my credentials:

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, happy reading! Sara

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Hardcover, 340 pages Published September 14th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing

Seeing the preview for the move Safe Haven was enough to send me on a detour from my Sci-fi/Dystopian reading marathon. I absolutely adore Julianne Hough and cannot wait for the movie to come out next month. I have to admit that while I’m a big fan of movies such as The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks novel. Before reading Safe Haven, I sort of expected the typical formulaic plot and cheesy romance that is standard of some prolific writers. It seems that when authors are churning out one work after another, the uniqueness and quality of work diminishes. However, I don’t believe that is the case with Mr. Sparks- this book was absolutely lovely.

Katie arrives in the coastal town of Southport scared, hungry, and traumatized; her only possessions are the clothes on her back. She’s able to get a job waitressing and rents a broken down cottage in the woods where she hopes to start over. It is through Katie’s retelling of memories that we learn the truth about what happened between her and her abusive husband, Kevin. It’s understandable that because of her past, Katie must guard her identity and her heart no matter what. Avoiding eye contact and keeping a low profile are just some of the defense mechanisms she uses to keep going. A new life and the promise of new love unexpectedly find Katie when she befriends the young daughter of Alex, a widower who runs the local grocery store. The loss of his beloved wife to illness has left Alex the single father of two young children. He runs the small convenience store just down the road from Katie’s cottage and immediately takes note of her guarded, broken demeanor. Having been a military investigator, Alex is familiar and able to recognize the signs of abuse. Though he’s attracted to Katie, he gives her the space she needs and slowly gains her trust. She can see that he’s a loving, kind human being by the way he interacts with his children and his customers. As their relationship blossoms and Katie lets down her guard, we, along with Alex, find that she is not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. She’s funny, kind-hearted, and intelligent in all the ways that matter. I felt like I could relate to Katie as a woman and a human being. When we're hurt by someone we love, our first instinct is to pull walls around our hearts. Learning to trust again is no easy task. Katie becomes a shining example of human perseverance and strength.

A really interesting character to keep your eye on is Jo, Katie’s neighbor and newfound friend. Jo and Katie’s interactions tread a thin line between friendship and bothersome/nosy neighbor. Jo’s role in the story goes from minimal to front-and-center, so be ready to be stunned! That’s all I’m saying about that.

A tender, heart-string-pulling romance evolves as Katie and Alex come to terms with their heartaches. The threat of Katie’s ex-husband finding her looms over her head and makes for an intense story. You will definitely be on the edge of your seat as the plot unfolds. For that reason I am giving this book 9 out of 10 on the Page-turner scale.

As stated previously, the film based on this book is due out February 14. I can’t wait to see it, and I will definitely be picking up more novels by Mr. Sparks!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Film to Fiction: What We Can Expect to See on the Big Screen This Year

Along with hope and resolutions, 2013 also brings us more film adaptations of the Young Adult fiction we love. I’ve compiled the following list of movies I’m anticipating this year. Some of them I’ve read, and others I plan on reading before the movie comes out. Feel free to let me know if I’ve missed any good ones!

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: Beautiful Creatures (on my to-read list) February 13, 2013
Nicholas Sparks: Safe Haven (just read-review coming soon!) February 14, 2013
Stephanie Meyer: The Host March 29, 2013
Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones August 23, 2013
Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire November 22, 2013

I’d love to know what everyone thinks of the casts chosen for these films. Also, does it bother you when your favorite books become movie adaptations? (Movie release information and photographs were compiled from

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Pages: 389

Publisher: HarperCollins January 3, 2012

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially those geared towards young adults. I chose this book on my Kindle because it kept popping up as a recommendation, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was not disappointed.

Under the Never Sky takes place in a futuristic world much different than any others I've ever read about. Mankind's existence is under constant threat from electrical storms. To stand a fighting chance, a group of people have built a city called Reverie made up of tunnels that protect them from the elements. To cope with never seeing the light of day, the tunnels have virtual realms in which people can live out their fantasies. They can also explore different time periods and places, virtually speaking. Due to their limited exposure to the elements (and life in general), their life expectancies have greatly expanded.

Our main character, Aria, comes from this technologically advanced world. She has the voice of and angel, genetically engineered by her mother of course. Nothing is left to chance She wears a Smarteye which allows her to take part in virtual existence, as well as communicate with others and organize herself. Think of having your computer or laptop screen appear on your eye and all you would have to do is simply think of something, and it would obey your command! How cool would that be? The Science Fiction nerd in me really appreciated Rossi's invented world.

I also enjoyed reading about the world outside of Aria's: a world full of primitive and savage people, where nature and mankind were in constant battle. If the lightening doesn't kill you, the cannibals or bloodthirsty wolves likely will. This is the only world that Perry, the male protagonist, has ever known. Perry is in fact dreamy. He's gifted and strong, sexy and irresistible.

I loved the dynamic between Aria and Perry when their journey begins. Perry is annoyed by Aria's haughtiness and sense of superiority. Having lived in "the real world" his whole life, he cannot relate to Aria on any level. As their stories begin to unfold, the pair find out they have more in common than they realized. The plot became more and more interesting as Rossi introduced new revelations and mysteries to the story.

After reading this book, I immediately pre-ordered Through the Ever Night, which comes out January 8th. I can hardly wait to find out what happens next! I give this book 8 out of 10 on the page-turner scale. It started a little slow (it takes time to set up imaginary worlds!) but picked up and was an absolutely delicious read.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking Ahead: 2013

Fans of Young Adult Fiction have a lot to look forward to reading this upcoming year. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite series I'm following and the release dates for upcoming installments. Hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas to all!


Through the Ever Night

Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 8, 2013 (Got mine pre-ordered!)


Unravel Me (Shatter Me trilogy)

Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Requiem (Delirium Series)

Lauren Oliver

Release Date: March 5, 2013



Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices Series)

Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Untitled Book #3 (Divergent Series)

Veronica Roth

Release Date: September 26, 2013



These are just to name a few! The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer Series) is also due out sometime this next year.