March Recap

I read the following books throughout the month of March.  My favorites this month were Where She Went The Peach Keeper, and The Dark and Hollow Places.  I was able finish a few series this month - the Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking, I read the final installment in A.N. Roquelaure's Sleeping Beauty series as well as Carrie Ryan's final book in the Forest of Hands & Teeth series. This month I read a total of 22 books.  Woo me!  That's two more than last month.  *brushes shoulders off*

The Peach KeeperWhere She Went (If I Stay, #2)The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)
Safe HavenTorn (Trylle Trilogy, #2)Entwined
Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3)
The Fall (The Strain, #2)Trapped
Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)A Reliable WifeOther Words for Love
The Magnolia LeagueDie for Me (Revenants, #1)
Where I BelongHaunting VioletCloaked
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (Highland Pleasures, #2)So ShellyBeauty's Release (Sleeping Beauty, #3)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Pages:  208
Genre:  YA/ Teen

**Spoilers - if you have not read If I Stay, the summary/review for this book will contain spoilers.  And just as a side note, go get yourself a copy of If I Stay asap for you are truly missing out.**
If I Stay was one of my favorite reads from 2009.   In it, we met Mia, a very talented cellist who has a terrible car accident and has to make a tough decision between life and death. 

In Where She Went we learn that it's been three years since that fateful accident.  Adam was Mia's boyfriend at the time of the accident and since then there have been a lot of changes.  First and foremost, he and Mia are no longer together (shocker!).  Since their break-up his band has had worldwide success and is at the top of the charts.  All that he knows about Mia is that she left to school in New York and never looked back.  He knows why she stayed... he just doesn't understand where she went...

I can't tell you how much I have looked forward to this book.  I fell in love with Mia in If I Stay, but Where She Went made me fall in love with Adam.  God, he was such a tormented soul.  His separation from Mia was devastating - even though this same devastation caused him to become a very famous rock star.  His voice was so unique, albeit heartbreaking and achingly sorrowful.  I especially loved that we get snippets of the lyrics to Adam's songs at the beginning of each chapter.. they were haunting.

Once again, Ms. Forman has chapters that alternate between the present and the past told entirely through Adam's point-of-view.  Using this technique we get small glimpses of what went wrong... why Mia left and how Adam came to be the broken soul that he is today. 

The writing is raw and strong and is so infused with grief and pain that I felt my heart at my throat the whole time reading it.... you know, that feeling you get when you want to sob but don't actually break down... yea, that one.  Mia and Adam are so imperfect that they are perfect.  I laughed, I cried... I might have even sobbed a little. 

If you've read If I Stay then you know it ended perfectly.  But this sequel will bring you closure.  It will leave you feeling hopeful and all warm and toasty inside - you'll also find a big goofy grin on your face at its closure. I loved it!  It was definitely worth the wait.

My Rating:


I don't know about you guys....

But this makes me very excited!  July can't come soon enough.

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Pages:  352
Genre:  YA/ Paranormal
Violet Willoughby does not believe in ghosts.  She has been forced, from a young age, to help her fraudulent, spiritualist/medium mother con her grieving customers to believe that she can contact the dearly departed.  With the help of Colin, her mother's assistant, her mother has been able to give Violet a semi-decent life, passing her off as more of a lady than the pauper that she really is.  When Violet's mother is invited to the estate of Lord Jasper to once again play the part of medium, Violet is not too thrilled.  For she knows she must play the part, not only to help her mother, but also so that  young, wealthy Xavier takes notice of her.  Although her feelings for Xavier may not be as strong as what she feels for Colin, she knows that Xavier won't be too critical about her past.

But Violet soon realizes her love problems are the least of her worries, since shortly, after their arrival at the estate Violet begins to see the ghost of a dead girl.  Although at first, she refuses to believe it, the dead girl is rather adamant that Violet help her not only protect her sibling but also solve the mystery of her murder.

I was rather surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this story.  Foremost, the historical aspect of it was what grasped my attention.  I love stories (especially YA) that have a historical setting and Ms. Harvey accurately depicted London in the late nineteenth century.  Secondly I love a good ghost story... and Haunting Violet was definitely that.  The parts where Violet encounters a ghost were spine-tingling.  I loved the atmospheric changes like a dramatic change in the wind, or water slowly creeping around her feet, or when she would walk into a room how all the ghosts would suddenly stop and stare at her... it was downright creepy.  

All in all, I thought Finding Violet had a lot of my favorite things all wrapped up to make it the perfect package.  The mystery, romance, historical setting and paranormal aspects really held my attention.  Not to mention there were a few twists and turns in there that I did not see coming.  It was fun and fast-paced, had great characters, a mystery to be solved and ghosts.... I honestly couldn't ask for more.  

My Rating:

Manic Monday Recaps (Week 3/28/11)

Hello friends!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekends.  I had a great relaxing one.  We stayed home and I was able to actually get some reading done ... on the weekend!  That rarely happens.  I have been sick for what feels like forever... which is really 3 weeks (or forever) so I convinced the hubster and the kidsters that mommy needed to relax in order to finally get rid of this cold.  So I stayed more or less in bed all weekend long... le sigh.  It was wonderful.  Hopefully I'll be back to snuff when it comes to the blog since I'm sure you've been able to tell I've been slacking off on.  I hate to do anything when I'm sick! 

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Here's what I read the past two weeks (since I skipped last week's post):
- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
- Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
- Beauty's Release by A.N. Roquelaure
- The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
- Hereafter by Tara Hudson
- The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
- The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
- Trapped by Michael Northrop
- Torn by Amanda Hocking
- Ascend by Amanda Hocking

I reviewed the following over the past two weeks:
- Enclave by Ann Aguirre [review]
- So Shelly by Ty Roth [review]
- Tighter by Adele Griffin [review]
- Cloaked by Alex Flinn [review]

Have a great week friends.  Happy Reading!  


GIVEAWAY: The Dark and Hollow Places plus extra goodies

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.  

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. 

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? 

GIVEAWAY:  One hardcover edition of The Dark and Hollow Places (not autographed) but I'll also add some very cool "autographed" swag. 

This is a followers only giveaway.  So you must be following the blog in order to qualify.  

Extra entries for those who also follow via:  Twitter, sidebar the contest, Facebook, have my spiffy All About {n} button on their blog, etc. Yes, stalkers are welcome.  :)   Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open internationally! Winners will be drawn Friday, April 15


Carrie Ryan!! eek!!

I am a big Carrie Ryan fan. I've been for years now. I actually discovered The Forest of Hands and Teeth earlier than most and after I read it I knew just how big it was going to be.  Needless to say, many moons and two sequels later, I am one of Carrie Ryan's fangirls.  So obviously I was absolutely thrilled when I found out she would be in town to kick off her tour for her latest and final installment in her Forest series - The Dark and Hollow Places.  

Here are some of the pictures I took for your viewing pleasure:

Here you'll see Carrie speaking about how she became a "New York Times Best-Selling Author." She gave us a lot of information on why she chose to write about zombies, her ten-year plan, tips, quirks and more zombie awesomeness...  Love it!  After reading us a quick entry out of her  new book she agreed to sign all of our books and take pictures and just pretty much hang out with us.  She was awesome!  (duh)


This picture is hilarious!  That there is my spankin' new, shiny and oh so gorgeous All About {n} business card.  It just so happened that I received them in the mail that afternoon and was so excited when she wanted my blog information.  That's Carrie showing her excitement over my spectacular business card. :)

And there you have it folks, from one fangirl to another, Carrie Ryan and her books are amazing.  I was so happy to have met her (squees!!).  Now I must leave you so that I may finish off The Dark and Hollow Places (which I started reading late last night and am now a few pages before its conclusion).  Toodles.
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