July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by Kristi from The Story Siren where bloggers can share what books they've received and what they're planning on reviewing.

Sorry it's been a while guys.  But here's the books I got last week and two weeks ago.


And here's what I got this week.



And here's the vlog, only if you're desperate to hear my beautiful voice. Ha.
And yes, I'm aware my t-shirt blends in with my skin tone.

Thanks for checking out my IMM, what did YOU get in your mailbox this week? :)

July 22, 2011

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, ARC paperback
Goodreads summary:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

My review:

I don't know where to start.

First, I definitely recommend you re-read Matched before hand, especially if you don't remember much about it. Because Crossed definitely refers back to events that took place in Matched.

I liked it, though I can't help but think why dystopians have become so popular all of the sudden.

And I wish the main character, Cassia, wasn't from the Society! She's so naive about a lot of things and that, to me, just makes her an annoying character. Especially when it is in her point of view.

It's also in Ky's point of view! That surprised me, but I totally loved it because it let you see more of Ky and how his mind works. I think I get him a little bit more, which makes me feel much closer to him as a character. I do wish he wasn't so in love with Cassia though! He should have stuck to his beliefs, but I guess it does make him a better person by letting go.

New characters! Yay! I love new characters because they always bring in a variety of flavors. They all have different stories and different contributions to the book that make it more exciting to read. Favorite new character: Vic. Then Eli. I don't really like Indie, but she kind of reminds me of that female helicopter pilot in Avatar. You know, the one that joins the avatars in the end?

Xander continues to be my favorite character of the series, though don't expect to see much of him, even though he's kind of an important figure in this book. Didn't actually see Xander's bigger role until about half a page before Ally Condie actually states it. I will continue to hope that Xander will win out in the end.

I feel like Cassia does like the Society, in a dark, secret way. It's all she's actually ever known. I think Ky was right near the end, where Cassia liked the idea of there being the Rising more than she liked the idea of being a part of it forever. And he's right. You can't love/miss something you've never had. Which was something I saw in the book through Ky's point of view! How he would pity Cassia for not knowing about certain things, like dancing! But there really wasn't a need for him to pity her at all, because she wasn't effect at all by not having it. That came out really confusing, so I hope you get it.

I liked the writing! There were so many times where I was like "Oh! I know what's going to happen! It's going to be X, then Y, then Z! Ha! I know the end of the book before I even read it!" And then like ten pages later my theory would be destroyed by a new, unexpected detail! It defiantly had me guessing until the end.

Guess I'll just have to see what the third, and final, book brings.


Did I fall in love with the book? No, but I really really enjoyed reading it!
Would I recommend it to others? Yes! Especially if you've read Matched, this will not disappoint!

Rating: 4/5 stars


July 20, 2011

Ally Carter Q&A

Yes, I know this has long been anticipated (probably) and I finally come to you with it!

Ally Carter's Q&A session! Videotaped, by me (which explains why it might be sideways...), with April at my side. After almost a month of toiling and trying to figure out Windows Live Movie Maker, I succeded into cutting up the long (too long for Youtube) video and uploading it onto Youtube.

And then it told me that they wouldn't upload due to unexpected error.

But we got the last couple questions on paper! And here they are:

Q: Will Kat [from Heist Society] and Cammie [from Gallagher Girls] ever meet?
A: I suppose they're from the same world, so I guess it's possible they could meet. Will they ever? No, but it is possible they could make a cameo apperance.

Q: Which series do you like most?
A: Ask your mother which child she more.

Q: Will the books ever be made into movies?
A: Maybe. Always a maybe. Hiest Society is under option at Warner Brothers.

[Update: Mega IMPORTANT movie update at Ally Carter's blog:http://allycarter.com/blog/heist-society-movie-news-0 ]

Q: Have you ever had writer's block? If so, how do you fix it?
A: Being a writer is equivilant to having writer's block. There are two types of writer's block:
1) The 'Oh my gosh I don't actually want to write' block
2) The 'Everything feels wrong' block which can be fixed by distracting oneself.

Q: Have you ever done NaNoWriMo [National November Writing Month]?
A: Yes. The first draft for "I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You" was written during NaNoWriMo.

Q: Do you ever switch Kat and Cammie's voice?
A: No, but I was afraid I might, which is why Hiest Society is written in third person.

Q: Would you ever go back to writing adult fiction?
A: Most likely not.

Q: Can we expect a Hiest Society 3?
A: Probably.

UPDATE: The title for Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl #5 book has been released! Coming out March 20, 2012:


You can read more about her newest book at this link: Here

Till next time:

Review: The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

Title: The Ivy
Author: Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Pages: 320
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, hardcover
Goodreads summary:
Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with

the guy she loves to hate ...

the guy she'd love to forget ...

the guy she'd love to love ...

and Matt
the guy she really should love ...

all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

My review:

I didn't really know what to expect from this book when I first picked it up. Sure, I was attracted to it by its cool cover and it's little slogan on the front: "Get In or Get Over It". Since I've been starting to look at random colleges, I know about the 'big' Ivy Leagues. And since the book was written about Harvard, and the authors went to Harvard, I thought it would teach me a little about the school and be interesting.

All I learned was that this book was very confusing. And that college seems to be a lot like high school.

The book mostly follows the social life of female protagonist, Callie Andrews. Written in third person, the book mostly took place in her voice, but it was very confusing to follow along when it wasn't her voice.

It talks a lot about the 'secret societies' and how they work. That I found really interesting. It gives you the typical portryal of the rich and priveleged. Which is sometimes correct and incorrect, based on my experiences. And of course, the love shapes. I'd like to call it a triangle, but I think it was more like pentagon or and odd shaped star.

I really didn't see much of a character development. And some characters were hardly ever seen. The big problem was way in the background, and brought up about every fifty pages or so.

It reminded me a lot like high school because there are all these cliques: JAQ (Jewish American Queens), Preps (those who came out of prep schools) and many more. Also, Callie changed who she was, just to be accepted into these friend groups. Sounds a lot like high school to me, which makes me fear that high school will never end.

Oddly enough though, it made the book seem more realistic, which maybe a reason I'm confused about how I feel towards it. Callie changed to fit in, like many of us do in real life, and in most books the main character figures out she's changed and goes back to being herself, or never changes. Also, the book didn't end on a very happy note (which makes me glad that there's a book two) and well in the real world, life doesn't always end on a happy note either.

So I suppose I'm confused by the book because I've always enjoyed reading about worlds that are possible, yet not and The Ivy was just so realistic. And if that's what the authors intended, then they did a really good job.


Did I fall in love with this book? No.
Will I read its sequel? Probably, to be rid of my confusion.
Do I recommoned it? Sure. Mostly to readers of books such as Gossip Girl, The Clique, etc.

Rating: 3.5/5

July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Wildefire (Wildefire #1) by Karsten Knight

I started Wildefire a couple of days ago when I realized they had it on PulseIt!  If you're a teen, you should definitely check out this awesome community!  (I believe there's an age limit of 19 and under).  Because I'm reading it on my computer, it's taking me a while... but I'm loving it so far!  Hopefully my review will be up in a couple of days.
"In third-period French she awoke halfway through the class to Monsieur Chevalier pounding his fist on her desk and shouting 'Pamplemousse!' over and over again in her face. It was a rude awakening, to say the least."

-Wildefire by Karsten Knight, page 84
Pamplemousse is French for grapefruit I believe.

If you were unawares, this week there's a blog tour for Wildefire!  Everyday, there will be a giveaway for Wildefire (trust me, you don't want to miss these).  Today's stop is at Reading Teen, go check it out!

July 16, 2011

Uncommon Criminals Giveaway Winner!

Thank you everyone for entering the Uncommon Criminals giveaway!  We wish we could give a prize to you all.  Me and Karina will probably hold another giveaway soon in the near future, so stick around!

Without further ado, random.org picked entry number 70...

The winner of the signed copy of Uncommon Criminals is... Jessica Woodward!  Congrats Jessica! I just sent you an e-mail, please let me know if you didn't receive it!

July 15, 2011

Mini Reviews: Shift, Blood Red Road, The Demon's Surrender

I clearly have a problem.  We can call this problem, "April takes forever to write reviews and eventually forgets everything that happened in the book".  So I'm just going to write mini reviews that aren't gonna be too in depth and maybe a little random because I have the memory span of a goldfish.  I also have this problem called "April sucks at writing" but we can save that discussion for another time.

Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published May 3rd, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 367 pages
(Summary from Goodreads)

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.
My Review:
Shift is an emotional roller coaster that you may not want to read in public, due to people giving you strange looks when you bust out laughing, blurt out "OMFG", and grin like a loon.  Not that I would know from personal experience, or anything like that.

In Shade, you are introduced to Aura's world where she and everyone born after her are able to see ghosts.  Shift explores more of the mythology of the world, which I loved!  The author does an excellent job with the ghost mythology, this coming from someone who generally doesn't like ghost books.  As much as I love the romance in these books, I hope to find out more of the mythology in Shine.

I just realized that in almost every book review, I talk about boys.  This one is no different.  I think the key to a great love triangle is you don't know who the girl/guy is going to end up with.  And Jeri Smith-Ready definitely knows how to write a great love triangle.  Even though this is the 2nd book in the series, I STILL can't figure out if I like Zachary or Logan more... but I think I'm starting to lean toward Zachary.  Love love love the prom scene ;)  I was a little confused with the introduction of Dylan and Aura making this awkward love quadrilateral.    Although looking back now I can kind of see where the author was going with it, I didn't really know what to think of it while I was reading.  It felt a little out of place and random in the book.

I really liked the usage of heritage and culture in these books.  Aura isn't just randomly Italian, Zachary isn't just randomly Scottish, etc.  The author incorporates history, ancestry, and culture into almost every character.  Personally, I think these give the characters more depth and they are more realistic to read.

4.5 out of 5 stars :)  Highly recommend this series to all readers, no matter what genre you prefer.

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) by Moira Young
Published June 7th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover, 459 pages
From Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
My Review:
One of the first things you notice about this book is the writing and the voice.  Although it takes some effort to tone down your inner editor, the way it is written allows Saba to have a really clear, distinct voice that stands out.  And it really helps you get into the mindset of the world of Blood Red Road.  I can understand how this could be a turn off for people, but I really liked it and thought it made this book unique.  Props to Moira Young for turning off the spell check.

Something that threw me off a little was Saba's relationship with her brother Lugh.  They were really close and Saba was willing to do anything to get Lugh back, but I couldn't really figure out why besides that they're twins.  Although this is a minor issue, it was at the back of my mind for the entire book because the main reason Saba even has this grand adventure is because she's trying to get Lugh back.

I really liked Saba as a character and her growth throughout the novel.  You can definitely see her mature at the end of the book through her relationships with other people.  I liked how she and Jack didn't exactly have instalove, they had issues like normal couples do.  A character I wished there was more of was DeMalo.  I really liked him, and although this doesn't really seem like a love triangle kind of book, I wouldn't mind if DeMalo was part of it. :)  I get vibes that he's gonna be in the next book, so April is happy.

What I appreciate is that Blood Red Road had a resolution, and didn't leave you with a heart in your throat cliffhanger.  Although it could have been an action-packed standalone, I really liked the ending and it probably gave this book rating half a star.

4 out of 5 stars.  Although it didn't exactly live up to my expectations, I still thoroughly enjoyed Blood Red Road and anticipate any upcoming books in this series :)

The Demon's Surrender (The Demon's Lexicon #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published June 14th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover, 400 pages
From Goodreads:

The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin’s world. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Thrown out of the Market she loves, Sin is thrown together with brothers Nick and Alan—whom she’s always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and is being tortured so that the magicians can get to Nick. As Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light—but she and Mae are locked in a fierce rivalry over who will inherit the leadership of the Goblin Market, and a decisive battle with the Aventurine Circle is looming. Mae’s brother, Jamie, is holed up with the magicians, his loyalties in question. And Nick—well, who knows what a demon might do to save his brother? How far will Nick go to save Alan—and what will it cost them all?
My Review:
Honestly?  I don't think there was a possibility of me NOT liking this book.  Simply because I am completely in love with these characters and the author's writing.  The Demon's Surrender is from Sin's perspective, and I really came to love her despite her not being a prominent character in the previous books.  She was wholly devoted to her family and the Market.  And I liked how she grew to love Alan, despite how they felt each other before.  Somewhat random, but I really admire Sin and Mae, and pretty much every female in this series for their strength and refusal to let people walk all over them.

Because I am such a shallow person, we cannot leave this review without mentioning Alan and Nick.  Gotta love those Ryves boys.  From page one of The Demon's Lexicon, I was in love with Nick even though I describe him as a demonic sociopath frequently.  Demon's Covenant being from Mae's perspective, I was pretty smitten with Nick still.  Not gonna lie, the demon mark (hickey of death) scene was hot.  But in Demon's Surrender you get a closer look at Alan, and I fell in love with Alan.  He has the whole broken boy thing going on which makes me want to give a hug.  It's official.  Alan makes it onto the list.  Alan Ryves for life.  And Nick too.  Because there is no such thing as teams in this book, for me at least.

As usual, SRB gets all plot twisty, but I'm not gonna give anything away ;)  But I seriously love the title The Demon's Surrender, it fits this book perfectly.  I'm seriously getting teary eyed knowing this is the last book, but I am so glad that I picked up this series last year.  Will forever be one of my favorites.

5 out of 5 stars :) A perfect ending to a freaking amazing series that will never leave me.  I'd highly recommend this series to anyone, including my grandma, my goldfish, my biology teacher, etc.

July 10, 2011

Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Updates!

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon


Hi guys! I (April) am participating in another read-a-thon, the Once Upon a Read-a-thon!  It's hosted by Reading Angel and lasts from July 11th to 13th (yeah I know, this post is late notice).  If you're interested you can sign up by clicking the button above or click HERE.

Now that summer school is over, I'll have more time to read! So here's a list of books I've had FOREVER and I plan on reading:

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Vampire Beach by Alex Duval
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Emerald by M.L. Hamilton
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni
Die For Me by Amy Plum
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

I'll be crossing off books as I read them, and updating on my twitter @ramen_addict and this blog :)

Day 1:

So I actually didn't get much reading done today... but I managed to start Vampire Beach and Little Brother.  For some reason I'm kind of in a reading slump and decided to put them down and come back to them later.  And then at like 9 PM I decided to read First Grave on the Right and I was hooked!  Yes it's an adult book, but I loved all the snarky dialogue and especially the main character, Charley.  I'll definitely be picking up the 2nd book :) I'd probably recommend this book for people over 18 because of language, sexual content, all that jazz.  But that would be hypocritical of me since I'm 16... so I'll just recommend it for older teens :)

Day 2:

I finished Vampire Beach, which contains the first two books in the series, Bloodlust and Initiation.  It was an alright book, I wasn't amazed or anything.  I may read the 3rd book in the series if I come across it, but unless it has an interesting plot line, most likely not.

I'm not very good at this readathon thing, I'm only reading a book a day :(

Day 3:

So, I'm not very good at keeping on task... I decided to read Uncommon Criminals even though it's not on my list of books to read.  Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of Heist Society, but I thought Uncommon Criminals was a huge improvement :) I loved all the plot twists and there was more interaction between Kat and Hale.  Hale... <3 I was much more impressed with the heists in this book compared with the last book as well.

Beastmode.  Read 2 books in a day, fail. But glad I broke out of my a book a day thing I had going on.  I really enjoyed Die For Me though :) I like the idea of the revenants, because I don't think I've read them in a book before. But despite how much I liked it... I couldn't deny the Twilight-ness of it all.  Which isn't supposed to be a bad thing.  I know Twilight gets a lot of bashing, but personally I don't think there's anything wrong with Twilight.  Yes, you can argue it's not the best book in the world, but trust me, I've read worse.  Okay, rant over.  But seriously, I like the revenants idea and all the characters, so I will definitely be reading the next book in the series :)

July 7, 2011

July R.A.K.

Hi guys, I decided to join in the fun and start RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) this month!  It's a way for people to gift books to others and hopefully you may get some books of your own :)  I'm gonna try to send at least 2 or 3 books this month.  It will probably end up being more knowing me :P  You can check out my wishlist and if you want me to look at yours, feel free to leave a comment!  I can't promise I'll send you a book, but I'll try to keep it in mind for the future :)

RAK is hosted by the awesome Isalys and Vanessa at Book Soulmates and you can check out the July sign up post and rules HERE.  Here is the rules recap from their post.

  • Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!  Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)
Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy breezy!!

Sign up for July {HERE}
See who else is participating in July {HERE

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact via the following:
Vanessa at twerd413[at]gmail[dot]com or @booksoulmates
Isalys at booksoulmates[at]gmail[dot]com or @isabooksoulmates
(Twitter is 
the fastest method though.)

  1. When talking about RAK on Twitter, please use the hastag (#RAK). It makes it much easier to keep track of the conversations, answer questions and/or tweet back! =)
  2. When submitting your wish list, please make sure that it is set to PUBLIC viewing. Some people have run into trouble with wish lists that were set to private. We want to be sure that no one is left out of getting great RAKs.
  3. Some of you seem to have gotten frustrated because you can't get your links to appear active.  This is a very easy fix :)  Just make sure that when you enter your link, do NOT hit the Enter key.  Instead, hit the TAB key which will send you to the next field on the form.  Additional spaces entered after the link will leave the link inactive.  However, if this does happen to you...no worries, we'll fix it for you :)

If this interests you, you should check it out!  Fun way to spread the book love :)

July 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by Kristi from The Story Siren where bloggers can share what books they've received and what they're planning on reviewing.

So, originally, I wasn't going to post another video... since I kinda suck at those.  But then my internet went all haywire, so I decided to kill some time with another vlog. 

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (which we're giving away! HERE)

Die For Me by Amy Plum (from Lexie @Poisoned Rationality)
Blood Red Road by Moira Young (from Ezmirelda @Dreamz of a YA Writer)
The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan (from Helen @Helen Corcoron)

Sorry about my inaudible voice.  You can turn up the volume, or just ignore the video and look at the books I got :)

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what to think, or if you want me to check out your IMM!

Overview: June

I figured this would a nice thing to start, like a general overview of each month and a nice place to post reminders and maybe even what to expect in July!

So, let's start with some stats!

In the month of June 2011 (from June 2nd- July 1st) we got a grand total of 806 pageviews!

Here are the top five countries that visited Book Away:

1) United States
2) Canada
3) Germany
4) Australia
5) Netherlands

All this international viewing makes me want to have an international giveaway! Only, sadly we lack funds for it right now...soon though! Soon our international visitors!

Other countries that have visited us include (in no particular order):

New Zeland
United Kingdom

In early June we held our first giveaway, announced the winners and passed our 100 GFC mark!

And near the end of June we saw Ally Carter (still working on that video/audio) and started our next giveaway which ends 15th of July:


Until we post another giveaway, don't forget to always look at the sidebar, where we have posted other blogs' giveaways!

We had a total of 20 posts, which is the most we've ever done!

Coming up in July:

Author visit with Maggie Stiefvater, and possibly a international giveaway. Though I make no promises.

Keep visiting to stay updated! And thanks to everyone who follows us! As always, please comment! We much appreciate them. :D