2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Michael has read 1 book toward his goal of 50 books.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Honest Hour (3)

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Honesty Hour. I've been meaning to do this specific one for a while now but for some reason I just kept putting it off. But finally I decided to go ahead and change it up a bit from my original plan. My favorite series is Harry Potter and it comes as no surprise. But there's a lot of things that I feel about it that I just haven't really said. 

So for this week, I'll focus on The Characters. Not all of them but some. The ones that really got to me as I was reading. Now it's not all bad as Honesty Hour isn't just bad stuff despite my previous posts. It's just a way to say my actual feelings about the books and such. So let's begin. WARNING: There may be a few curse words! 

Cho Chang: While I was re-reading the series, I began to notice one thing. Cho Chang acted like such a bitch. The way she treated Harry while they were "dating" and the whole crying over Cedric ordeal even after she was with Harry really pissed me off. I was seriously yelling at her to move the hell on because it happened a long time ago. I don't exactly mean getting over his death but I do mean getting over him being her boyfriend. She was with Harry now and I seriously felt that the only reason she was with him was because he was the last person to be with Cedric. Especially on the part where she asks Harry if Cedric mentioned her before he died. It just makes her vain and inconsiderate to the fact that they were about to die, and eventually did, and all she cares about is that his last words were that he loved her. It's weird because in the movie we see a completely different side of her than in the books. In the movie she's such a sweet girl yet in the book she's a hard ass Quidditch player who can't make up her mind. 

James Potter: Now this one you may be able to argue over but I find no excuse at all. James Potter was a bully. Simple as that. He tortured Severus Snape through his years at Hogwarts and basically stole Lily away from him. And when I say steal I actually mean steal. Severus called Lily a mudblood because of one condition. James was bullying him and embarrassing him in front of everyone. I'm not condoning Snape's words during that moment because he was also wrong but just imagine if James didn't pick on Severus. Imagine if James left him alone and didn't acknowledge him. Snape wouldn't have called Lily a mudblood and they would've still talked to each other. It was clear that Lily loved Snape. He was the first person she had that she shared something with. It would never go away from her heart and her mind. So I do call James a bully because he hated Snape for the simple fact of hating him and he tore love apart. 

Severus Snape: It seems that J.K. Rowling had a theme with many of her characters. They were bullies. I know I just said Severus Snape was bullied at Hogwarts and I do feel bad for him. But what I do not feel bad for is the fact that he in turn bullied Harry. He claims it's because he's James' son but that is no damn excuse to pick on an eleven-year-old when you are a grown man. If he clearly loved Lily like he said he did he would've protected Harry out in the open and not give a damn what anyone said. Okay, maybe not protect because then the plan to kill Voldemort wouldn't work but he would've been a lot nicer to Harry during school. And the fact that EVERYONE and their mothers feel sorry for him during his death pisses me off. Am I glad that he died? No, I'm sad that a character this deep was killed but it had to be done. I'm actually glad that he did die. He deserved everything he got. He wasn't really protecting Harry, he was protecting his memory of Lily. His last words weren't Harry Potter, I believe in you. His last words were, You have your mother's eyes. Snape didn't care for Harry at all and the simple fact that he put him through hell makes me glad that he was punished for it. Even if it was extreme. 

Draco Malfoy: Last but not least is Draco. Another example of the whole feel sorry for the bully type of character. Draco was Harry's enemy from day one and it could not have been clearer. This kid while he still was a child wanted bad things to happen to Harry. He also put him through hell and it seemed as if Harry couldn't escape from it. So why is it that when Draco has to kill Dumbledore that everyone starts feeling bad for him. Oh this poor soul, afraid for his life, forced to do what he didn't want to. He lowered his wand, he was going to join the good side. Bull crap! Draco signed up for it. He became a Death Eater! He knew exactly what was going to happen and had been in on the whole Voldemort / Death Eater ordeal for YEARS! His father was one. So no, I don't feel bad for him that he was almost killed, that he was basically tortured. He signed up for it and now he has to pay for what he deserves. Next time he should think twice about what he really wants before acting!

And that my friends is what I present to you. These four characters really got to me during the series re-read. There's so much more I can go on about other characters but I didn't want you guys to be here all day. But, I would love for you guys to let me know; which characters do you guys see in a different light? Leave your comments down below so we can get discussing. It is possible that I can do more Harry Potter Honesty Hour's along with more characters. Who knows? I just have to look into my heart for what I really feel.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday's Novel Spotlight (37)

Hello all you lovely readers! Today is a day to rejoice for books have just been released into the world. I'm going to start doing this a bit differently. I'll show you all the books that are released today, that I take note of, but only speak about one of them. Today we have two releases. One of them is a sequel while the other is the first debut novel. That book is......

When The Sea Is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen.

After seventeen-year-old Felicita's dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg's magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then soemthing shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide where her loyalties lie with the famile she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Story: To start off I'll give my take on the story. Honestly, it sounds like any other vampire novel that is out there. As soon as I read that she becomes fascinated with the vampire I immediately thought that this book wasn't for me. Everyone knows how I feel about vampires and only one book about a vampire do I truly love and it's not about romance at all. While it does sound interesting I think that it could do without the whole vampire ordeal. Why not go for something different? 

Cover: The cover certainly is interesting and it shows nothing to do with vampires. If I were the type of person who bought books based on covers, which I do a lot, I'd certainly be tricked because it looks to be much darker and deeper than vampires. I love the foggy water and the lifeless body resting in on it with the glimpses of the rocks protruding from the fog. It is so eerie and gives me this creepy feeling.

Verdict: Because it is vampires I won't buy it. But I do love the cover. This one is a Pass.

Other Books Released:

(I love the new covers for these books and this one is no different!)

Before you all go, tomorrow is the last day to enter The Hunger Games Epic Giveaway! So be sure to check out the link above and enter if you haven't. First place gets a shirt while second and third get a Mockingjay pin!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Novel Talk (46)

Hello viewers! All 400+ of you! Yes! I have finally reached over 400 followers and the countdown to 500 has begun! I just want to thank everyone for following me and this only means that I now have to start thinking of more ways and things to make my site more interesting.

Anywho today is Monday and once again it's just one of those days where you don't want to do anything but just stare at a screen and watch something mindless. Anywho, since last week I have finished one book and started another.

The Darkening Dream: I finally finished this novel and holy crap was it good! I won't say much because I'll be writing a review shortly and putting it up along with an author interview. This will be a good one, I promise. But the novel was seriously amazing and so refreshing and just different than its brothers and sisters.

Hunger: I just started this earlier this morning. Currently on page 59 of 174 I can say that it is currently interesting and catching my attention. I love books about addiction and self-abuse and just partying with drugs and such but this one seems to fall more on the paranormal side than on the dark addiction side. But still, it is interesting and I might finish it today.

When I do finish Hunger I'll start the second novel Rage which is also a quick read and then I can go to another book.

So for now I bade thee farewell and wish you all Happy Reading! And if you haven't seen it yet; check out The Hunger Games Epic Giveaway for a chance to win a shirt and pins! If you do decide to enter, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cover Reveal: Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

The moment is here! Well at least one of the many moments! As you all know I am in LOVE with Ellen Hopkins. Her novels are amazing and she's seriously up there on my list with J.K. Rowling. I follow every news I can find of her books closely and simply wait until I'm able to read the next novel. Well the moment has come to see the cover for her newest YA novel:

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins!

The novel is a companion to her first adult novel, Triangles, following the lives of the three mother's kids. In Tilt we see the story of Triangles from the point of view of Mikayla, Shane and Harley and see what secrets lie behind the wall.

But this post is about the cove which I absolutely love! Before it was released I had guessed that the next cover would either be blue or green because we hadn't seen one of those yet. Although I went more with the blue this cover is just amazing. I love the yellow and the green mixing in together with a bit of purple which reminds me of the Triangles cover. I love the traces of the word itself in the background and how the balls of color remind me of a photograph of light bulbs. The cover will fit in well with the others in person and Ellen Hopkins said that the real cover is actually holographic which will be EPIC!

I can't wait to read this book but we have to wait all the way into September 11th to be exact. But while we do wait, we'll re-read the other books and await the cover release for her adult novel, Collateral.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Earlier this morning around 3:00 AM, Cinda Williams Chima revealed the cover to the fourth and final novel in the Seven Realms Series. I had the pleasure of viewing it earlier today before going to work, but because work was in the way I wasn't able to put it up for you guys. But finally I'm home and able to do what I want and so I present the cover for The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima!

I knew the cover was going to be red because we had already covered green and blue. Not to mention the word crimson is in the title but it means nothing. It could have been yellow and I would have been surprised.

My initial reaction to the cover was whoa, red! But then the more I got to look at it the more I felt, not disappointed but not very excited. The cover just isn't calling me. Perhaps it could be the quality but I am just not feeling it.

The main object which is the necklace here looks real. You might be wondering what the hell I mean by that but on the first three novels the objects had this sort of mystical look about them, kind of CGI looking where this one feels like an actual object.

The second thing that got me a bit worried was the bottom cover. The first three we have this beautiful scenery with a sort of mist surrounding it. In this one we have a clear image and it freaks me out. It breaks from the tradition of the book not to mention the different colors it has. But now that I'm looking at it, I'm noticing the green tree's which represents book one, the blue river which is book two, and the purple smoke which is book three. But it is still weird seeing an actual scene with different colors.

I'm sure the cover will look amazing in person but for right now I just don't quite like it as I would love to like it. Maybe I'll get used to it and maybe I won't. But as of right now, my favorite cover still stands as The Gray Wolf Throne.

And even if the cover is a bit eh, I'm so excited to see how it is all going to end. So much needs to go down and I'm so excited yet nervous to watch everything unfold. This book can not get here any sooner!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Hunger Games Epic Giveaway!

Welcome to The Hunger Games Epic Giveaway!

What I dramatic entrance I must say.... Anywho!

I've been feeling as if I needed to do another giveaway and Hot Topic just launched their The Hunger Games line where we'll be able to get ready for the movie. I have already bought my stuff but now I think it's time to share the wealth and joy with you guys!

I have decided to give three lucky people some awesome gifts. One person will be able to get one of the shirts down below. As you can see the girls get the one on the left and the guys the one on the right. Having had help from friends to choose the best ones, it's safe to say that you guys will like it as well. 

Two lucky others will receive the pin down below, the one and only that represents the revolution. It will add a nice little touch to whatever you are wearing when you go check out the movie on March 23rd.

And now I know you'll all eager to join the giveaway but before you do there are some rules!

  1. You must be a follower to join this giveaway.
I know that I don't really do this and a lot of you people hate it but I realized that I'm spending a couple of bucks here and would really like it to get some followers. I know it's like I'm buying you guys but if the prices were any lower I wouldn't do it.
  1. Starting from one again, you must be a follower to join this giveaway. Names will be checked!
  2. Contest starts today; 09 February, 2012 and will end 29 February, 2012. Winner announced 01 March, 2012.
  3. U.S. only. This one will be a U.S. only contest because prices are already high and I'm afraid if they go higher it'll make me broke.
  4. Names will be chosen at random using random.org.
  5. The pins will be awarded to one boy and one girl. Like tributes.
  6. If you post about this giveaway in your blog you will get an extra entry. That means you'll name will be in the drawing twice. Again like a tribute, just no death. 
  7. Above all have fun and just relax. Remember this is a time to win something so just enter and remember to check back on the day. I'll of course put up a post with the winners and email the winners as well. 
I hope this isn't asking for much really but I'm just so excited and need to share with you guys. But now that I've babbled on for too much I think it's time to give you guys what you need. Fill Out This Form and you'll be all set. I wish you all luck and may the odds be ever in your favor

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday's Novel Spotlight (36)

I feel as if today is an important day. But what day it is and why it's important I can't remember! Something to do with books and today being released. Seriously can't remember but whatever. While I'm here let me introduce you to this book that was released today. The book is called......

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. It's Book 1 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles and the cover is certainly.... interesting. I don't know what to think of it but it throws it up in the air for anything.

Blessed with a gift...cursed with a secret.

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.

While it does sound interesting, it doesn't sound exactly like something I would read. But I still want to hear about it. If you have read it or would like to just leave a comment down below. I hope you're all having a good day and remember; Readings keeps Pandas safe from extinction! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

FREE Two Days Only: A Vampire Novel with Actual Bite!

As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.

The Darkening Dream is a chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, that has received rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and is FREE for two days only on Amazon Kindle (February 7th to 8th)! Download your FREE copy here: http://amzn.to/yTvZPG

Long-time readers of dark historical fantasy (Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz) will appreciate the weaving together of mythology, occult, and religion, while younger readers and fans of HBO dramas (True Blood, Carnivàle) or urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) will be drawn to the twisted imagination, graphic action, and romantic tension.

About The Darkening Dream

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul.

The Reviews Are In

"A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews

"Mr. Gavin has brought something refreshingly new to a genre now suffused with poorly-concealed bodice-rippers which have more in common with Fabio than Bram Stoker: depth. His big baddies are scary, not romantic interests, and the added religious lore is complex and engaging. Don't expect another Twilight -- the story can get downright creepy, so be prepared for a return to the old horror sensibilities of supernatural fiction." ~Amazon Review

"With Mr. Gavin's video-game pedigree, I was expecting something aimed squarely at the 18-25 year old fanboy contingent; what I got in The Darkening Dream was something wholly unexpected: A period novel with a female protagonist, a crash-course on Judaism in the colonial years, and multi-layered series of plot arcs featuring a crazy cast of natural and supernatural characters populating 18th Century Colonial America." ~Amazon Review

"…A perfect blend of mystery, magic and myth. A grown-up Grimm's fairy tale...emphasis on grim."  ~Amazon Review

Read the first two sample chapters here >> http://bit.ly/xXVxXS

Get your FREE copy of The Darkening Dream for two days only on Amazon here. http://amzn.to/yTvZPG

No eReader or Kindle? No problem. Get free apps for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone.

Cover links can be found at:


Monday's Novel Talk (45)

Hey everyone! It's February! That's just crazy how this year is already going by fast. But life goes on and I keep reading. So recently I did an awesome giveaway which ended already and the winner was revealed. I'm thinking on doing another giveaway this time giving away a The Hunger Games shirt from Hot Topic. I'm still finding out the details on how I should do this.

Anyway, this post will be short since I'm just giving an update on what I'm reading.

Currently it's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm on page 284 of 652. It's part of my Reread Harry Potter Challenge and it's going great. After this is DH and then the three side-books and I'll be on to newer things!

Like I said this will be a short post and I'm about to go read some and hopefully finish this book very soon. I hope you are all well and I'll see you all tomorrow!
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