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I Belong

Top Five Series I’m Dying to Finish

November 2nd, 2015 Kaitlin Posted in Book Talk Comments Off on Top Five Series I’m Dying to Finish

We all have them – that series that, every year, we await anxiously for the new installment of. We must have it. We crave them, like oxygen.

Here are some of my series that I am absolutely dying to finish, from most to least. Unfortunately, life is unfair, and these final books are so far unreleased.

The Firebird series by Claudia Gray

A Thousand PiecesTen Thousand Skies Above You

I actually met Claudia Gray at an event at the wonderful Mysterious Galaxy indie bookstore last year, and she was oh so funny. When I started her book I was impressed. When I finished her book I was dying for the second. Thankfully I got the second galley at ALA; looking back, I should have waited. Of course that book ends with a huge cliffhanger. The second book wasn’t out at that point – it was still around four months out – and it still isn’t out now. That means I had to read that cliffhanger knowing I wouldn’t see it resolved for a year and four months. Cry for me.

The Trial by Fire series by Josephine Angelini

Trial by FireFirewalker

I read the first book in this series way back when. I thought it was interesting, with intrigue and a cool concept. When I got the second ARC at ALA, I swallowed it up faster than the first. If you’ve read the second installment you know it also ends at a massive cliffhanger, so naturally, I started thinking of possible scenarios in book three, each wilder than the next. I need the third desperately so I can see how it ends up!

The Splintered series by A. G. Howard

SplinteredUnhingedENSNARED

Okay, okay. Technically, the Splintered series is all wrapped up. Ensnared came out already, so the trilogy ended. But this new book coming out, Untamed, follows scenes from the same twisted world that I fell in love with so much, a companion of sorts. It has a beautiful, beautiful cover as well. I know that you all are probably getting sick of me ranting about how much I love this series, but I will say it again: if you have not read it, go do that. Now. This is easily my favorite series of all time. I don’t know what it is – the badass, complex characters, the rich and demented setting, the ethereal tone or constant action . . . it all mixes to become a delectable treat. You’re purchasing a ticket to Wonderland when you buy this novel. Meeting A. G. Howard is on my bucket list.

The Fixer series by Jennifer Barnes

The Fixer

The Fixer I got for review last year. Now, this isn’t the type of book that I usually would have thought would be my cup of tea. But intrigue, suspense, power plays, and so much amazing madness made this a showstopper. The second book isn’t even out yet and I know this series will go down as one of my favorites. The setting of Washington D.C. was so unique and interesting, and Ivy was a character that I just adored.

The Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must DieThe Wicked Will RiseYellow Brick War

When I was a kid, I read all thirteen of the Oz novels. That being said, I love all things Oz, and this series is no exception. When the first book came out, I was very impressed, although I had some problems with the love interest. The second installment was shorter, but it assured my love for the series, and even some of my aforementioned problems were resolved. One thing I loved was that it used not only the classic characters, like Dorothy (she’s evil! What an awesome twist!), but also some of the lesser known ones from the other twelve books. I am so excited to see our heroine Amy Gumm kick butt in book three – although, one complaint about the third book is that the cover isn’t as much fun. The novellas have cooler designs than this new one with a simple yellow brick road. Nevertheless, I’m sure the words will more than make up for that!

**

What are your top five series that you can’t wait to finish? Have you ever experienced such a book hangover, like I have? Let me know in the comments below!

Kaitlin

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Get them while they are HOT! (Updated List with new titles)

July 24th, 2015 Bridget Posted in Book Talk 1 Comment »

Updated List with all the Current Deals!!!!

There are so many amazing deals for books on Amazon right now! I personally haven’t seen books this cheap for a while and there are so many of them. I have been tweeting about the deals as I find them but I thought that I would put together a post where you could find all the deals going on right now! These deals won’t last, some of the ones I tweeted about on Twitter have already gone up so make sure to get all of the ones you want now!

Pre-Order Deals Under $10

Recently Released Titles Under $10

These books are all just over $10 but still a great deal!

These were the prices when I posted this but they can easily change at any time.

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Book Signing: Keegan Allen’s Life.Love.Beauty

February 16th, 2015 Kaitlin Posted in Book Talk Comments Off on Book Signing: Keegan Allen’s Life.Love.Beauty

IMG_2253 (1)Have any of you seen the hit TV show, Pretty Little Liars? Well, Toby is one of the many main characters on PLL, and he is played by Keegan Allen. When my friend Ally and I got the chance to meet him, we jumped on it. Keegan was signing his new book, Life.Love.Beauty.

It was a ticketed event, and we were numbers 153-154 of over 500 people that were shuffled to meet him in groups of fifty.

Life.Love.Beauty is a photobook, filled with pictures he took from his childhood until present day. Flipping through it, I was impressed by his work, and I got to see how his style developed from childhood.

Needless to say, most of the 500 people were teenage girls, myself included. A huge amount of people wore Toby shirts or carried signs asking Keegan to marry them, with a checkbox for yes and no. By the end of two hours (Ally and I left early because we had gotten to meet him, but the event was five hours long), his formerly empty table was overflowing with gift baskets, homemade drawings, chocolate, and teddy bears. He went to the bathroom once and they had to physically restrain girls trying to touch him as he made his way back to the table.

I understand their craziness, though Ally and I were less insane and saved the screaming “I love you’s for the other fans. I mean, Keegan Allen from PLL was standing mere feet away from us. He is physically appealing on the show, but in person, well — he is just as hot.

My favorite part of the night was when a girl standing next to us started screaming hysterically that she loved him and that he was a perfect male specimen and very hot. Keegan Allen turns from the book he’s signing, coughs, and says, “Well, that’s embarrassing.”

We waited our turn, and by the time it was our turn to go, the adrenaline had started pumping again. Keegan Allen! 

There was a jar on his table that was full of dollar bills. For every dollar in that jar, he would match it and send the cash off to a charity to help people with MS. If you donated, you got to be in his snapchat story.

IMG_2251It was for a good cause, so Ally and I each donated a dollar. To the left is said picture on his snapchat story. I don’t look the best (from left to right: Ally, me), but I was on Keegan Allen’s snapchat story. Wow.

Our conversation went something like this —

Ally and I (somewhat squealing): Hi!

Keegan: Hi, thanks for coming out.

Ally drops in money.

Keegan: Yes! Thank you girls.

Me: So, 153 people in, are you starting to get tired?

Keegan: Nah, I’m good. Living the good life!

At this point he’s signing our books. We took a picture on my phone and then Keegan got out his.

Keegan: Strike a pose! Perfect. It needs a filter…

Ally and I: Thank you so much for coming out! It was so nice meeting you!

FullSizeRenderKeegan: You too, Ally and Kaitlin! Bye. (He remembered our names from the post-its used to personalize the signings. He probably forgot them about two minutes later, but hey, it was still nice that he took the time to look at our names.)

Overall, he was extremely friendly. He was very gracious and lots of times he’d use his microphone and thank the fans as a whole.

I had so much fun and will not forget the experience! It’s so weird watching PLL now, because his character is totally different than the laid-back, friendly, smiling guy from that night. He’s such a good actor that my brain separates his character from himself now.

If it were me, my cheeks would hurt from all that smiling. :-)

Check out his new photobook!

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Book Talk: E-book or Print?

December 21st, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Book Talk 1 Comment »

I’ve seen this topic discussed many times. Certain people like certain ways of reading — specifically, e-books or paper copies. There are arguments for both causes!

E-books

In an age where electronics are so vital, almost everyone has some device they can read on. For me, I have a Kindle. I have had three previous Nook devices, but unfortunately each of them broke — they’d just stop working one day after a few months. When the third was deceased I renounced the Nook and became a proud Kindle owner. Not only does the battery last forever, I’ve dropped mine a couple of times and owned it for over a year without any problems.

E-book lovers enjoy the cheaper prices of novels. You can be sure that at least a few bestsellers are on sale for a couple books at any given time, and that’s better than a hardbound copy for twenty. But really, it boils down to convenience. With a tap of a button you can have a copy of your most anticipated book. Is there something you pre-ordered? At twelve at night, what should appear on your screen but that beloved latest installment in a series! Of course, you can pre-order from Amazon two day shipping, but you can expect that late in the afternoon.

E-books are light. One hardcover book weighs more than an e-book, which carries seventy or so (depending on the amount of books on your device)! It’s like magic the way they pack so many words onto such a sliver. This can be important when you have a long flight and your book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows with 850 pages.

Finally, let’s not forget that e-books save paper and trees.

Print Copies

Print copies allow nostalgia. At least for me, when I open a book I’ve read, I feel and remember what was happening as I first explored its pages. Sometimes I’ll find a stain in my books from a popsicle I had at the time, and think about that summer when I would always read on the beach. Or, I’ll find a leaf from a tree I used to lean against from reading. Maybe this is only me, maybe I’m crazy. But it’s my opinion that e-books don’t carry memories as well as print copies.

Print copies are prettier. My Kindle doesn’t have color, but even if it did, can it show the shiny beauty of a holographic cover? No. Can it capture the shine of sunlight on a rich green color? No. We have a room at my house entirely for books, bookshelves covering all sides of the room with a comfy chair and table to sit on while you enjoy a novel. We call it the library. I have a certain amount of pleasure each time I set a new book among others. It gives me so much joy to organize and reorganize the shelves. Seeing all those colors and all of my old favorites makes me happy.

Paper books you can share with friends and borrow out. E-books, not so much, unless you want to entrust them with your pricy device and all of the books you have collected on it. If you have a Nook there is a sharing system, but I doubt all of your friends have a Nook to use for that.

Buying print copies supports bookstores. Since e-books it’s been harder and harder to sell print copies and many, including beloved Borders, went out of business. My local Barnes and Noble just got kicked out of the mall- now I have to drive half an hour to parade among the shelves of a bookstore. I hate to think that any more book buisnesses will leave me when I appreciate them so much.

Print copies you can get signed. I love book signings but I can’t ask an author to sign my Kindle, can I? (I could but I don’t want to do that…)

What’s the Verdict?

My favorite way to read is print. Books are books, and I certainly won’t turn down a nice book because it’s an e-book. I enjoy a book no matter how I read it, and e-books do make it more convenient. I get my review books in e-book format and I love them all the same. I am a supporter of e-books as well as printed copies.  I’m a supporter of books in general! However, given the choice, print would be the way to go.

What’s your opinion of how to read? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Talk: 3 More Books That Deserve More Recognition

November 15th, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Book Talk Comments Off on Book Talk: 3 More Books That Deserve More Recognition

Awhile back I created a video titled 3 Books That Deserve More Recognition. Well, now I have three more! These books are wonderful, but if I ask someone if they have read them, they’ll reply “Which one?”

With this post I hope to sway at least one reader towards one of these books. These are all fantasy, but certain ones are more mature and the other focuses on humor and staying within the mindset of a teenage girl.

1. The Secret Circle Series by L. J. Smith

The Secret Circle The Initiation and The Captive Part IThe Secret Circle The Captive Part II and The PowerThe Secret Circle The DivideThe Secret Circle The HuntThe Secret Circle The Temptation

L. J. Smith is a popular author, it’s true. But most of the fame goes to The Vampire Diaries, a book that was also transformed into a popular television show. I found that series boring, and frankly, confusing. I stopped reading after three or four books in, however, The Secret Circle surprised and impressed me. There is something about it that makes me reread the series again and again, so by now my copies have been beat through something like six rereads! They tried to turn this one into a TV show, too, but the ratings began to lower and the cost of filming was too high so they ended it. I was actually a fan of that one, and the casting was pretty good. Don’t be turned off by the cover!

I can’t place my finger on the allure I have for these books. Maybe it’s the writing style, a hauntingly beautiful sort of prose that lets you imagine exactly what the author’s describing. Maybe it’s that I am a sucker for the kind of witchcraft that includes herbs and nature and that sort of thing. Maybe it’s the way that although there isn’t a ton of action, you can read for hours without being bored. Or, possibly, it’s the connection you feel with the main character and the way that all the other side ones that distinct, intriguing personalities. Either way, I love it.

2. The Incarceron Series by Catherine Fisher

incarceronSapphique

This book is about a prison that is alive. How cool is that? In a world where ideas for books are running out, this novel stands out. This is probably the most adult of the books. It deals with more sensitive subjects through the eyes of someone who has seen death and pain and has learned to do harsh things to get by. It is interesting, and I could relate the writing style to something between Cassandra Clare and Jennifer Nielsen. Incarceron captured my attention quickly. There was a plot that had many ups, downs, and twists. The complexity of the series was vast and the message powerful, with something raw and untamed shining through the pages. The tone was dark and I enjoyed it.

3. The Oh. My. Gods. Series by Tera Lynn Childs

Oh. My. Gods.Goddess Boot CampGoddess In Time

This series is for lovers of Percy Jackson. It has around the same premise of the Greek gods existing and having children and whatnot, with a different play on the idea. It is definitely for the YA genre, that’s for sure. It’s funny and enjoyable, with a cute romance and major plot twist at the end that was sort of predictable but still lots of fun. The second book was just as good, with more emphasis on the powers and struggles of being a descendant of a Greek god.

Teenage girls will eat this up. I could relate to the main character really well. Though I’ve read Forgive My Fins and some of her other series, this one is by far my favorite, though it doesn’t seem as popular. There is also a novella that was created that centers in on some of the questions that weren’t answered in the Goddess Boot Camp book (the second and last in the series). Personally, I found this a lot of fun and great for a summer day at the beach!

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