f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: March 2012
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Slide by Jill Hathaway
Expected publication: March 27, 2012 (Balzter + Bray)
Pages: 256
Series or stand-alone: Slide (1) 
Rating: Squee-worthy
Source: ARC from the publisher
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

My Review

 Author Jill Hathaway strikes a mesmerizing balance of mystery and poignant emotional turmoil with her debut offering, Slide.  The story of teenager Sylvia "Vee" Bell, Slide is a murder mystery on the surface, but it's also a story of a broken family trying to piece themselves back together, and it's that aspect that called strongly to me.  Vee's mother died five years before the story starts, and it's that loss that still haunts Vee, her sister, Mattie, and their father, who tells them he loves them in the only ways he can - through the elaborate meals he cooks for them.  Vee and Mattie are both studies in grief, though they both express it in different ways.  I liked Vee right away, but after reading Slide, part of the problem is that I didn't connect with Vee.  

That's not to say that Slide isn't a fantastic story.  Vee may be a diagnosed narcoleptic, but only she knows the truth about herself: when she passes out, she slips into the mind and body of whomever she's last had physical contact with.  All it takes it for the person she touches to be emotionally charged about something, and even them handing her a dollar or brushing against her is enough.  After she "slides" into the body of the person who murdered one of her sister's friends, Vee holds knowledge that no one else does: Sophie did not commit suicide like everyone else thinks. Someone killed her - and Vee's determined to find out who the killer is.  For the first time, she considers her ability not a curse, but a blessing - and a tool to solve the mystery of Sophie's death.  

I was completely engrossed in the mystery aspect of Slide; I will say that Jill Hathaway definitely had me guessing up until the last minute, even throwing in some rather clever red herrings to distract the reader from the identity of the real killer.  That portion of Slide was brilliantly done; however, there were other storylines to the book that I felt got a gloss-over treatment in order to focus (maybe too much) on the mystery playing out.  Vee's strained friendship with her best friend - and maybe love interest - Rollins was well done, and their relationship was my favorite part of Slide, but her blossoming romance with new boy in town Zane was mediocre at best, falling into the overdone "insta love" trap that too many authors step into, rather willingly or unknowingly.  I wanted so much to love them; instead, Zane's potential was badly wasted, and his and Vee's relationship - which goes from zero to sixty in a matter of a few days - felt forced and just tossed into Slide to give it more depth, an attempt that failed.  

Slide is a hard book for me to review - I adored some parts, and wanted to rip out others.  Most of the secondary characters were very sympathetic - I especially felt for Vee's father, once more was revealed about him.  I'll be anxious to learn more about him and about Mattie in the sequel, Imposter.   I did feel like sometimes the choices a few of the characters made didn't make sense, and I'd like to see growth out of Vee and a few others in the sequel/other books.  I also felt like Slide was WAY too short - at 245 pages, I felt like I had barely gotten to know the characters before the book was over, and instead of taking a chance and leaving a few things dangling, Jill Hathaway did what so many authors do, and tried to tie everything up a bit too neatly at the end.  I wish more authors weren't afraid of not a cliffhanger ending per se, but just not having to have every plot arc wrapped into a pretty package as the book ends.  

Overall, Slide is a fun murder mystery that will keep readers guessing, but could have used more depth in a few areas in order to achieve a better balance.  The sequel, Imposter will be out either approximately early next year, and I will read it because even if she's a tough nut to crack, Vee Bell is a fascinating character, and I think this series has a lot of potential. 

Note: A special thanks goes out to the Debut Author Challenge ARC Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour!  

Further Thoughts

What's your take on YA murder mysteries?  Have you read Slide, or will you?   Do you get drawn in to the family aspect of contemporary novels, or could you take it or leave it so to speak?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Belles by Jen Calonita
Expected publication: April 10, 2012 (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Pages: 356
Rating: Squee-worthy
Series or stand-alone: Belles (1)  (YAY!)
Source: ARC from the publisher
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Website | Twitter

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. 

Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.

My Review

Belles by Jen Calonita was a true pleasure to read.  Told in dual narratives from the point of view of North Carolina Southern cousins Isabelle (or Izzie) and Mirabelle (or Mira), this is definitely a light, fun, spring or summer-time read, a story of family secrets, prejudices, overcoming obstacles, and heart-felt romance.  I actually sat on my back porch reading this one, soaking up the sun, and the story of Izzie and Mira.  I was instantly drawn to Izzie, who, although she does grow a bit over the course of Belles, is already a mature, sensible, compassionate, loyal person when the story starts; Izzie has spent the last few years taking care of her Grams, who helped raise her, but is slowly descending into Alzheimer's.  When Izzie's social worker reveals that her Grams, before she lost her facilities, had arranged for Izzie to go live with her uncle and his family a few towns over, Izzie has to leave behind the only life she's ever known, and despite the kindness of her new family, she quickly feels like an outsider in her new life - complete with a mansion, a private school, and a new social ladder to climb.  

Mira, on the other hand, is a bit tougher to categorize.  Mira lives a comfortable life, and Izzie's arrival tilts Mira's world upside down.  Mira is a member of the popular crowd and she dates a handsome football player, but over the course of Belles it is Mira's personal growth that is really admirable and a joy to watch.  Mira has never dared push the bubble she lives in, hasn't ever stood up to her beset friend, mean girl Savannah, or looked past the surface of her relationship with her boyfriend.  As Mira struggles to accept her cousin for who she is, she also strives to come to terms with both the life she has, and going after the life she wants.  

The plot of Belles is, although somewhat predictable at times, no less adorable and uplifting because of it.  Watching both Mira and Izzie try to accept the changes and challenges in their life put a smile on my face by the end of Belles.   There were times that both girls made a few questionable decisions, yet in their situations, I can't say if I would have made a smarter choice or not!  I cheered a lot for Izzie over the course of the story, and definitely for Mira, too.  Belles made me laugh, made me tear up once or twice, and made me fall in love with a few of the secondary characters, like Brayden, Hayden, and Kellen.  (I totally didn't pick up on the rhyming names until the end...HEE.)  I giggled like crazy over a few of the more romantic moments, and sobered up, breathless, over the reveals throughout the book.  

Jen Calonita knows how to write a compelling novel, for sure.  I had a few quibbles with Belles though - and one of them was that several of the characters felt rather flat.  This didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, but it was definitely something that I noticed.  Savannah and some of the other girls were vapid and one-dimensional; Savannah uttered one of the most insipid and insane lines I've ever heard from a literary character (I was so enraged I tweeted about it!)  And there were two or three moments when the point of view would randomly switch to another character's - once to Brayden, once to a teacher, etc.  To me this was definitely something an editor should have caught.  And the big reveal at the end wasn't anything too huge considering there were several clues dropped throughout the novel; however, it did certainly make everything more interesting!

However, Belles was a great read, full of laughter, smile-worthy moments, and a lovely story of a blended family.  Belles touched my heart, and I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel!

Note: A special thank you goes out to Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tours for the chance to read this book! 

Further Thoughts

Do you enjoy stories that shake the foundations of families with one or two well-placed secrets?  Do you anticipate the big reveal, or try to figure it out before the author reveals it?  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox - #18

 { ++ } Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this weekly meme which gives bloggers a chance to highlight the books we bought, checked out, won, or otherwise procured over the last week. And whether I've came into money (brb, laughing forever) or only had the goods to splurge on a book or two, they all deserve some love.

Books Mentioned

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock { Add it on Goodreads } | For review
Tempest by Julie Cross { Add it on Goodreads } | Gifted
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood { Add it on Goodreads }
Across the Universe by Beth Revis { Add it on Goodreads
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins { Add it on Goodreads } | For review
Gilt by Katherine Longshore { Add it on Goodreads
Torn by Amanda Hocking { Add it on Goodreads

Thank you to Harper Collins, the Debut Author Challenge ARC Tours, and to Rhiannon!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Once Upon a Blogger - #3 Arianne from Arianne Cruz!

Because connecting doesn't stop at the "follow" button!

{ ++ } Once Upon a Blogger is a new feature I've started here at Once Upon a Prologue.  Each month (provided there's an ongoing interest!) I will feature one of my fellow bloggers (preferably a follower of mine) in an interview series designed to get to know my followers better, and also to spotlight other book bloggers.  I want to know who my followers are, beyond a name, and I want to put myself out there so y'all can know me better, too.  

{ ++ } This week's feature is Arianne from Arianne Cruz - she reviews movies, books, and the occasional television show (like The Vampire Diaries...bonus points!)  Have a look at her interview, then hop on over to her blog and show her some love!

I'm an actor, a reader, an occasional writer, a singer, a college student, and a businesswoman. If you want to know more, browse my blog or send me a message! I hope you enjoy your stay! :)

Find Arianne online: TwitterBlog

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday - #23: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

{ ++ }  This weekly event/feature is graciously hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. You know that feeling you get when you're browsing upcoming books on Goodreads or Amazon and one strikes your fancy?  Maybe you squee.  Maybe you giggle to yourself.  Maybe you bounce in your seat. We all get excited (I do a combination of all three of the previous choices...) about new books, be it a favorite author you're familiar with, or someone whose work you'll be reading for the first time.  Jill's meme gives us the chance to spotlight what we are anxiously awaiting this week.

I'm Waiting On...

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong? 

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results. 

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough... 

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Expected publication: June 12, 2012
Add it on Goodreads

Why It's Worth Waiting On:  Is this a serious question?  Oh wait, I'm the one asking it.  Okay, honest answer (as opposed to the fangirl answer which is IT'S TIMEY-WIMEY AND ABOUT HOT GUYS AND EM AND WIBBLY-WOBBLY STUFF!) is: Myra is an excellent writer whose characters resonate genuinely, and who knows how to ramp up the action and romance.  Plus, it's about time travel AND IT'S FROM KALEB'S POINT OF VIEW, OMG.  (Sorry, slipped back into fangirl mode for a sec.  HEE.)

{ ++ } What are YOU waiting on this week? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #15: Spring Into Reading

{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!

March  20th: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

{ 1 } Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.  I haven't read many - or any - mermaid type books, but some reason, this one just CALLS to me.  Plus from emailing and talking to Anna on Twitter, she seems fabulous!

{ 2 } Timepiece by Myra McEntire.  Okay, I know no one is surprised to see this one on here...but yes, you're going to have to put up with me fangirling incessantly over another of Myra's books.  I know this one is really a summer read, but I cheated because it's one of my MOST anticipated reads of this year.  : ) If you don't know Myra, go follow her on Twitter, or read Hourglass - just humor me.  It's worth it. 

{ 3 } Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  I bought this one a few weeks ago and am currently DYING to get to it.  Witchy + Historical?  YES PLEASE. Plus, I've read so many great reviews of it!

{ 4 } Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.  I have an ARC of this one I'm going to start this week and I am SO psyched.  It just sounds so incredibly amazing, a bit different and unique. 

{ 5 } Struck by Jennifer Bosworth.  My awesome friend Suz at A Soul Unsung recently reviewed this on her blog and has me TOTALLY jazzed to read Mia's story.  I've been excited for Struck for awhile; now I'm really aflutter!  Plus Jennifer seems SO nice. 

{ 6 } Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.  I'm like the last person that I know who hasn't read this, I think.  I bought it this month and am hoping in April or May to finally get to it!  I think we ALL know how much I loved ANNA.  :D

{ 7 } Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock.  I have an ARC of this one, too, so I'll be reading it next week or so, and I can't wait.  Kathleen is amazing - we've had several Doctor Who chats on Twitter - and I am just so over the moon for the chance to read Hemlock early.  The story itself just calls to me!

{ 8 } Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear.  (I'm totally cheating and picking a few reads off my NetGalley list since there are SO MANY amazing reads coming out.)  I've been fangirling over this one for awhile - between the cover and the synopsis I want to read it NOW NOW NOW. 

{ 9 } Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.  Jennifer is REALLY sweet, and ever since I first read the synopsis for her book, for some unknown reason, I've been so incredibly drawn to it.  I really hope I love Breaking Beautiful. 

{ 10 } Embrace by Jessica Shirvington.  I recently won a giveaway for a copy of this and HOW excited was I?  *holds arms out really wide*  THIS EXCITED.  I think I'm going to love it, and I hope I do!

{ ++ } Your turn now.  What reads are YOU most excited for this spring?  There are many more I could have listed, but like I said...there are too many to choose from.  :D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Croak by Gina Damico
Expected publication: March 20, 2012 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Pages: 311
Rating: Squee-worthy
Series or stand-alone: Croak (1)
Source: E-ARC from the publisher
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rock star crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

My Review

Lex Bartleby is a self-professed "equal opportunity bully," a girl who goes in two short years from being a model daughter to the terror of her high school.  When her parents inform her - after restraining her at the dinner table - that she's being sent to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, all hell breaks loose.  Lex goes, albeit unwillingly, and the real fun begins when she meets Uncle Mort and they travel to the hamlet of Croak, possibly the best kept secret and most unorthodox little town you've never heard of.  Hilarity, misadventures, and even a bit of romance ensue in debut author Gina Damico's Croak.  

I was excited to read this book, but when I started it, I was unsure.  It hit me what was wrong after about two chapters: this book is in 3rd person, and I've read mainly 1st person point of view books recently, so that in and of itself is NO fault of Croak.  And, the further I dug into the story, the cooler the setting is (more on that in a minute).  But by far, the point where I fell, heart and soul, for Croak...was when I met Uncle Mort.  Mort is too cool for words, and I may have squee'ed over him for an inappropriate amount of time.  He's not the only well-fleshed out character in the book - he just happens to be the most awesome one.  

Croak is a fun story, considering it revolves around the topic of death.  Gina Damico keeps the action flowing as well as the jokes.  There were a few moments where I literally laughed out loud - something completely unexpected amidst this story of a town full of Grim Reapers, but you see, Croak is irresistibly good.  Gina does a great job at writing not one but several teen characters - under her pen, they seem real, people you'd want to get to know, despite the scythes they carry.  Croak also brings to life the sleepy town through a vast array of hilarious secondary characters, and Gina even managed to surprise me with the identity of the book's villain.  

My only downsides are really quibbles: I wish several of the characters, mostly the other Grims, had been a bit more fleshed out.  As awesome as they were to Lex, befriending her, I'm hoping we get more back story (and possibly a bit less kissing in the case of Kloo and Ayjay) in the sequel.  Gina is talented enough that I'd hate to see her waste that by not living up to her full potential.  Croak proves that Gina is enough of a risk-taker to keep the reader guessing, so I am highly anticipating Scorch, the sequel. 

Overall Croak was an adorable, fluffier fantasy.  I would compare it to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - it kept reminding me of that series (which I LOVE) because at times, Gina would break from Lex's point of view and make a seemingly random statement that nonetheless was funny and fit right in with the tone of Croak.  There were also some very "punny" moments and names, which I loved.  I spent a lot of time giggling, which I think I mentioned, and there was definitely action and danger, and I loved the softer side of Lex we got to see as Croak goes on.  There is even a tinge of romance, but I won't spoil.  Instead I'll say...read this one yourself!

 Further Thoughts

Have you read Croak?  What did you think?  Are you as psyched for the sequel, Scorch, as I am?  Or have you read a similar book you'd like to recommend me?  Are you a fan of YA paranormal books?  I shelved this one as 'YA urban fantasy,' but it was also a bit of a paranormal romance, too - which is cool because I enjoy both genres.  What about you?

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Once Upon a Prologue's First Birthday!

{ | } SO MY BLOG IS TURNING ONE - TODAY!  I've already put up a giveaway post, (up for grabs: a box of ARCs and as a runner up prize, a book of YOUR choice) but I wanted to take a minute to say a huge, heart-felt "THANK YOU" to everyone for the last year.  I've gained followers (which it still amazes me that anyone want to read this blog!)  It gives me a thrill when I gain a new follower; I never expected a dozen, much less several hundred. 

I've made blogging friends, and while I haven't been lucky enough to meet any of them in real life, I feel like I've started to get to know some truly wonderful, amazing, fun, and supportive people.  I'm still juggling the responsibilities of life with blogging (sometimes I wish my job was my hobby and my blog was an awesome job I got to do every day, though truly, I love my job and I adore blogging, so it all evens out.)  I've hit a few slumps but there have been a few people who've been with me from the beginning, and a few special, awesome followers who have really gone out of their way to welcome me to the blogging community.  I want to give a shout out to ALL of my followers/readers but to these amazing few:

  1. Alison at Alison Can Read (She was one of my first few followers and is extremely nice!)
  2. Rachel at Parajunkee's View (In case you don't know, Rachel is AMAZING.  She and Alison featured me for Follow Friday last fall and it gave my blog a wonderful boost.  Plus Rachel is such a pillar in the blogging community with her well-thought out reviews and Book Blogging 101 posts!)
  3. Mickey at I'm a Book Shark (Mickey is totally fun to talk to, especially over Jodi Picoult novels.  Her blog is a great place to hang out and she's super encouraging!)
  4. Anna at Literary Explorations (Her blog is awesome-sauce, and I always enjoy chatting books with her, or whatnot, and ARC swaps.)
  5. Marie at Ramblings of a Daydreamer (Marie is one of the sweetest and most supportive people I know, and her blog is always a treat to visit)
  6. Mimi at Mimi Valentine (How SWEET is Mimi?  She writes incredibly enthusiastic reviews
  7. Michelle at Oh! For the Love of Books (Michelle invited me to participate in a blog hop in the fall and we've had a lot of fun getting to know each other since then!)
  8. Jessica at Thoughts at One In the Morning (Jessica is such a passionate blogger, fellow writer, and we've hit it off over books and TV shows, like Castle!  HEE)
  9. Caitlyn at The Cait Files (Cait is just plain fantastic!  She's supportive and hosts awesome discussion posts, is fun to chat with on Twitter, and writes amazingly honest reviews, which I LOVE.)
  10. And a special, from the heart and soul, thank you to one of my BEST friends... Suz at A Soul Unsung.  Suz is the reason I started my book blog, and sometimes, the reason I kept mine going.  I admire her SO much for all the hard work she's put in to her blog and am so happy for the recognition she's been getting lately.  Seriously, if you don't follow her, please at least consider stopping by her blog.  Suz is "fantastic...and do you know what?  So was I."  (I went a little Doctor Who there at the end, but S won't mind.  ;))
I've had so many great moments and memories from this past year!  I wish I had the time and space to recap them all, but there's just TOO much... from writing my first review, to receiving my first ARC, to figuring out what the heck this whole "NetGalley" thing was, to reaching various followers milestones, being featured in Follow Friday, participating in blog tours...and through it all, reading some FABULOUS, heart-wrenching, life-changing books.  I can't wait for another wonderful, awesome year, and I hope y'all will be with me for the ride!

Guest Who - #2: Villains We Love to Love with Michelle of Oh! For the Love of Books

{ ++ } Welcome to Guest Who, a new feature here at Once Upon a Prologue, for 2012.  I wanted to get to know my followers and fellow bloggers better, so this idea was born: a guest-post swap!  Each month, I'll feature someone new.  We will write either on the same topic, or one of our own choosing, and it'll give me a chance to see what y'all think about the chosen topic, and have loads of fun!  And of course, discussion is welcome, anytime!

To get involved, send me a email at courageousgrace (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject "Guest Who."  : ) 
{ ++ } Today's Guest Who features Michelle from Oh! For the Love of Books.  Michelle and I both chose to write on the subject of villains...which was especially fun for me considering I ADORE a good villain.  Plus, Michelle is awesome and so fun to work with.  

I love teaching high school English. I hope one day to be a successful writer! I am addicted to whatever catches my fancy!
Find Michelle: Facebook | Goodreads

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Expected publication: March 27, 2012 (Harlequin Teen)
Pages: 304
Series or stand-alone: Goddess Test (2)
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: Squee-worthy
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website
Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

My Review

Picking up six months after the end of The Goddess Test, Aimee Carter's Goddess Interrupted pulls readers effortlessly back into the lives of Kate Winters and Henry, the tormented Hades, God of the Underworld.  Kate returns to Eden Manor and to Henry's realm riddled with understandable nerves and uncertainties.  Though Kate is destined for immortality, and though she knows how she feels about Henry, the normally strong female isn't sure yet what he feels about her.  And it doesn't help that Henry seems to be pulling away from her.  With a mix of action and strong emotional ties to the familiar characters, Aimee Carter does a fabulous job of setting the stage for her second novel.

Diving almost immediately into the heart of the novel, Goddess Interrupted is almost a breathless read.  From the first pages when it becomes clear that trouble is brewing, to the frustrating (in a good way!) cliffhanger, Aimee Carter doesn't let up.  Goddess Interrupted packs several punches, whether it's a new twist in the storyline, or a new layer revealed of Kate, Henry, James, Ava, or even...Persephone.  Henry's first wife has a pivotal role to play in Goddess Interrupted, and Kate's half-sister is definitely a feisty, vivacious character - one I won't soon forget.  She and Kate are fascinating foils for one another; although at first, one would think they have nothing in common over the course of Goddess Interrupted, while their differences become evident, so do their similarities, and I loved the little character studies we got of the two women.  

Goddess Interrupted was a really quick, fun read.  In some ways, because there was so much action happening at every turn, it wasn't quite as emotional for me as The Goddess Test was, while in other ways, it was even MORE heart-wrenching.  This time, with Persephone back, Kate's fears that Henry is still in love with her are never more abundant.  As usual, I wanted to shake Henry, then immediately hug him.  For someone who has lived so long, at times Henry is SO clueless and such a guy.  He and Kate are adorable and just twisty enough to satisfy my tastes when it comes to couples; there's definitely a delicious, yet intense tension between them, and I, for one, will always be a fan of theirs.  

Aimee Carter sets the stage very, very nicely for the follow up book, and the wait will definitely be torturous.  It's safe to say that there is a LOT going on in Goddess Interrupted, both within Kate and around her.  It was fascinating seeing the lengths she would go to, to save Henry and her friends, proving once again why I love Kate - that she's an amazing character - self-reliant, brave, and strong.  And yet with all this happening, I was slightly disappointed with the storyline with Persephone - not the character herself, because I am actually rather fond of her, but with Henry's actions toward her and feelings.  

If you were a fan of The Goddess Test, I would definitely suggest you read Goddess Interrupted.  Be prepared to laugh, to tear up, and mostly, to be absolutely riveted.  I read this book in one sitting and it will likely be the same for you!

Further Thoughts

Have you read Goddess interrupted?  Are you, like me, twitching for the sequel?!  What's your favorite aspect of the books so far, or your favorite character? 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Discussion Post - #3: Blog Content

Blog Content I (and We) Like (and Dislike)

{ | } This week I thought I'd do something a bit different with my discussion post.  I think what I'm going to do is alternate between literary discussion posts and blog-themed discussion posts.  This is in conjunction with my next "If I Could Write a Letter To Me" which is going to deal with followers; this post, however, is all about what draws - and repels me - to my favorite blogs.  

As always we ALL get to have our say.  I'll point out a few things, then let's discuss in the comments!  These posts are ALL about us talking and getting inside each other's heads (in an academic, non-creepy way, yo').  I respond to ALL comments, so be sure to check back here so we can keep the discussion going!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #14: Top Ten Young Adult Books

{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!

{ ++ } Top X Genre Books (pick the genre you want: Top Ten Historical fiction books, Top Ten Dystopian Books, Top Ten Victorian Novels)

March 13: Top Ten Young Adult Novels

 (To honor the genre I NEVER expected to adore as much as I do now!)

{ 1} The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray.  (Y'all should know by now that I ALWAYS cheat at these things.)  It's three separate books, yes, BUT in my mind it's just one long, amazing story.  Gemma is a fierce, proud, awesome heroine, who I totally admire and respect.  I'd rec this trilogy to anyone as a GREAT example of YA fiction. 

{ 2 } Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  Yes, it has some flaws but I unashamedly will fangirl over this book for...forever.  Lauren's message of love is so inspiring and her writing is absolutely gorgeous. 

{ 3 } Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead.  This series was SO thrilling and emotional, and was one of the books that really helped lure me back to reading YA novels.  I didn't care for the first book in the series, Vampire Academy, but with the second, third, etc the series just got better and better. 

{ 4 } Hourglass by Myra McEntire.  .........If you don't know by now that I adore this book like 1000% and the many reasons WHY...then clearly you haven't been here very often.  ; )

{ 5 } The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.  Again, I have trouble really separating the books because they're ALL good.  This trilogy is always going to be one of my favorites.  The main character is grounded and strong, and ALL the other characters are so well-fleshed out - not to mention the plot is compelling.  Kelley is one of my favorite authors, hands down. 

{ 6 } Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  Gorgeous writing style + amazingly strong and kind heroine + one of the most swoon-worthy boys EVER = a book I thoroughly enjoyed.  I'm already anxiously awaiting the sequel, Unravel Me. 

{ 7 } Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout.  Some would probably choose Half-Blood over Obsidian but...there was just SOMETHING undeniably awesome about Obsidian.  The Covenant novels have Aiden and Seth, who are amazing...but Obsidian has Daemon Black.  I'm pretty sure that all bad-boys-with-a-heart originate from Daemon Black. 

{ 8 } Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I loved Andrea's novels so much because they feature a female alpha werewolf, and a totally different take on pack life, cultures, etc.  I haven't read Bloodrose yet, but oh, do I want to. 

{ 9 } Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  OH MY.  Really, what more can I say other than, please read my review, then please go buy this book. 

{ 10 } Illuminate by Aimee Agresti.  I read this book a few weeks ago and I'm just, I'm STILL thinking about it, wondering what the next book will hold.  Aimee is a debut author and I cannot WAIT to see where she takes her series and her characters.  I'm really loving angel books and Illuminate is amazing.  Just check out my review if you want proof.  : )

And what are YOUR choices for your Top Ten favorite books of the genre you chose?  Be sure to leave me links so I can come by and visit your post! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price
Expected publication: March 13th, 2012 (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Pages: 368
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series or stand-alone: Starters (1)
Rating: Squee-worthy
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

My Review

In Starters, debut author Lissa Price catapults the reader head-first into the dangerous post-Spore Wars world, where for Callie Woodland, every day is a roll of the dice.  Callie and her younger brother, Tyler are on their own other than a single friend, Michael - squatting in abandoned buildings, hoping not to be noticed by Enders (the older generation left untouched by the mysterious War.)  When Tyler gets sicker, Callie makes a desperate decision, to turn herself over to Prime Destinations, and Lissa Price wastes no time fluffing the pages with unnecessary road blocks.  What I loved about Starters was that Lissa brings the action right away, infusing the book with Callie's sense of urgency to save her brother, then throws in the twist of Callie waking up, still in her renter's body.  This is where Starters really takes off, as we see the resourceful Callie trying to make sense of what has happened, along with dealing with black-outs as her renter, Helena, surges to the surface again, and trying to decipher Helena's puzzling messages.  

There's never a dull moment in Starters, as Callie races to halt the plan Helena has developed.  I loved all the suspense that Lissa Price created.  Callie only knows bits and pieces, but it's enough to terrify her, considering Helena is in HER body, and if the plan goes south, it will be Callie who's to blame.  Along with that fear is the added complication of Blake, the grandson of a powerful senator (who may or may not be connected to Helena's plan), and Callie's mixed emotions when it comes to the time she's spending with the charming Blake.  And then there is the looming possibility that Prime Destinations doesn't just want renters - they're looking for teens who are willing to let Enders become owners of their bodies, effectively giving up their lives.  Callie frantically searches to figure out who the real villain is - the Senator, the Old Man, or someone else entirely?  I thought the Old Man (someone who we never TRULY see) was a very ambiguous and awesome Big Bad and I definitely hope we see more of him in the sequel!

I did have a few issues, regrettably with Starters.  For instance, although there are several mentions of the Spore War, we only ever get the barest details.  There's so much that isn't ever explained!  I had so many questions about the War, the dangerous Spores, where they came from, who the countries were that were involved in the War, what led to it all, and so forth.  In Starters, Prime Destinations has the ability to not just "make over" people - they make them flawless.  And it's mentioned that humans have been living longer, or were before the War, so I'm also a little fuzzy on exactly what led to and why the age range is 20 - 60 post-War.  And I was unhappy with some of the decisions the other characters made, as well as that the "romance" between Callie and  Blake felt too fast.  It's explained later in the book, and I was both mad and happy at how it all turned out (yes I'm being vague!)  And I was really disappointed with how Helena's ARC turned out - I felt almost like that was just a convenient manner of dealing with her.  And there was a weird point near the end where I felt like Lissa Price took the plot in a totally unnecessary direction. 

Overall, despite some flaws, Starters has a Dollhouse-esque feel to it, with its notions of slipping effortlessly into someone else's body, and someone else's life.  Heart-pounding at times, Starters is a glossy thrill-ride that skims over the top of deeply moral questions that I hope will be further addressed in Enders, the forthcoming sequel.

Further Thoughts

Have you read Starters?  If so, what did you think?  Do we agree, or disagree?  And given that this is set in a hypothetical future, what do you think about the idea of renting out your body so that an Elder can re-experience being young?  

Note: Starters is included in a box of ARCs I am giving away in my ongoing Blog-o-versary giveaway!  Check it out here!

Friday, March 9, 2012

If I Could Write a Letter To Me - #2: ARCs

{ ++ } Inspired partially by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, partially by the Brad Paisley song (Letter to Me) and mostly by my desire to share some of the knowledge that I've learned in the year since I started blogging, I am introducing a new feature here at Once Upon a Prologue called If I Could Write a Letter to Me.  Each month I'll tackle a different subject in the form of a letter to my younger blogging self - sort of a "things I wish I'd known when I started," and a collection of tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.

If I Could Write a Letter To Me - #2: ARCs: What They Are, Aren't, How To Get Them, and How To Respect Them

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - #13: Cover Story

{ ++ } Hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, this meme features a different theme every week, and hey, it's Tuesday - we've got the rest of the week ahead of us.  We all need a little fun, and who doesn't love the challenge of ranking their top 10 anything...especially when it comes to books?!  I know I do, hence why I thought it'd be fun to participate, and spice things up a little!

March 6: Top Ten Favorite Covers 

{ 1 } Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.  This cover was so stunning.  I did have a few issues with the story itself but it was highly entertaining and swoon-worthy!  I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel.  I really loved the characters and the romance. 

{ 2 } Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins.  I just started this one and it's already really unique.  I definitely am glad I requested an ARC after swooning daily over the cover for like a month. 

{ 3 } The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg.  It's airy and light, and yet the book is actually rather meaningful, watching Brie go through the stages of grief.  Something about this cover just spoke to me and I'm so glad I listened! 

{ 4 } Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  I was enthralled with this book from the moment I saw the cover, and the real beauty of it is, the story is just as gorgeous and haunting as the cover is!  Definitely one of my "best reads" so far of 2012! 

{ 5 } Illuminate by Aimee Agresti.  This one comes out this week I believe and y'all need to preorder or heck, go buy a copy.  IT IS WORTH IT.  I promise.  Aimee's debut novel is gorgeous and amazing in so many ways. 

{ 6 } Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  The cover is unique, not too flashy, but rather stunning.  And the story is fast-paced and breath-taking.  Cinder is a really amazing heroine! 

{ 7 } Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  I know a lot of people were scoffing at this cover, but I thought it was beautiful.  And yes, there IS a reason for the dress, if you pay attention. 

{ 8 } Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.  I finally read this one last year and I really enjoyed the story - the heroine, Nora, and her romance with troubled Patch.  The cover to me is just absolutely stunning! 

{ 9 } Hourglass by Myra McEntire.  BECAUSE LOOK AT IT.  Not enough?  The story is also pretty amazing.  :)

{ 10 } Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  There's just SOMETHING about this one.  It draws me.  I bought a copy of this one and cannot wait to dive into it soon. 

{ ++ } What are your Top Ten covers?!  And do we share any in common?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blog-o-versary Giveaway + 600 Followers Giveaway!

{ ++ } YOU GUYS.  I am so so overwhelmed with joy right now!  My blog is about to turn 1 year old!  I'm celebrating a little early to give the giveaway time to end to get these books out to everyone.  I NEVER EVER would have thought I'd still be blogging one year in, or that I'd have even one follower, let alone so many, or that I would have made friends with other wonderful bloggers like y'all.  I'm having trouble expressing my FEELINGS, so I made a video to show you guys my appreciation, and since this IS a giveaway...what you can win!

I am SO THRILLED to be at this point with my blog.  You guys mean the world to me.  Whether you visit my blog once or more - hopefully more, I don't bite! - you are awesome.  And if I'm not following you back leave me a link in your comment on my reviews, etc and I will try my darndest to come visit your blog!

( Disclaimer: sometimes I ramble about books.


And books. )

ARCS up for grabs:

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
The Selection by Keira Cass
Pure by Jennifer Armentrout
Starters by Lissa Price
Grace Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

{ ++ } Here are the details...

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner wins the box of books mentioned in the video.  Most of them are ARCs.  
  • The runner up wins a book of their choice from The Book Depository!
  • The giveaway is open US AND International. 
  • I love you for entering.  Tweet it, spread the word, and hang around to check out my upcoming reviews, discussion posts, etc.  It's going to be a GREAT year at Once Upon a Prologue!

Review: Life is But a Dream by Brian James

Life is But a Dream by Brian James
Pages: 234
Expected publication: March 27, 2012 (Feiwel and Friends)
Series or stand-alone: stand-alone
Rating: Squee-worthy
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Blog | Twitter

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

My Review

I was excited to read Life is But a Dream because of the unique setting and subject matter, yet I was somewhat hesitant, as well: a love story that takes place in an insane asylum?  Behind the name "Wellness Center," that's essentially where Sabrina and Alec are during the vast majority of Life is But a Dream; however, once I actually started reading, Brian James, between his writing style, and his strong, well-developed characters, lured me fully into the story.  Despite the fact that Sabrina, our heroine, is a diagnosed schizophrenic, the writing style is very clear and easy to follow, which was unexpected.  Having previously read and enjoyed Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me, I was extremely curious as to if I would be able to not only follow, but enjoy, Sabrina's point of view.  I found her to be heart-achingly real.  Her narrative was vivid, imaginative, and unorthodox - all she wanted was to be herself, and she couldn't understand why everyone was so insistent that she change. 

When Sabrina meets Alec, everything is different.  He's the first person in too long who looks at her and doesn't see anything wrong.  In fact, Alec encourages her to hold tightly to her perspective on the world.  From the summary, I was worried that Alec might be a danger to Sabrina; instead, in some ways, he is actually good for her.  Alec and Sabrina were a really fascinating part of Life is But a Dream.  Their relationship almost came across as insta-love, except it was somehow deeper than that.  It was clear that they really did care a great deal for one another, each in their own ways.

Interspersed with childhood memories and the events that led up to Sabrina's stay at the Wellness Center, Life is But a Dream spins the tale of Sabrina's struggle to reconcile her view of the world with the world's view of her.  While others around her gave up their childhood fantasies, Sabrina stubbornly holds on.  It was both fascinating and heart-rending, watching her slowly begin to question everything she had ever believed in: was she right or wrong?  Should she listen to Alec, or to her therapists? 

I really enjoyed Life is But a Dream, largely due to the fact that Sabrina was entirely relatable; although the reader knows she is a schizophrenic, Sabrina doesn't - shes just lost and confused.  Seeing her come to terms with the fact that she does need help, that the medicine prescribed to her isn't meant to harm her, was done so carefully and realistically by Brian James that it felt absolutely real.  I could sympathize with Sabrina, even as my heart ached for her, and I wanted her to see what I saw: that she needed help.

The latter half of Life is But a Dream didn't play out as I expected - it was much better.  I really expected the story to end tragically; instead, I actually was able to breathe a sigh of relief with the hopeful ending.   The pacing matches to the story being told - the urgency builds nicely as the climax approaches.  Life is But a Dream is a strong story that readers won't soon forget, as it questions what it means to be normal, and the risk of conforming.


In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox - #17

 { ++ } Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this weekly meme which gives bloggers a chance to highlight the books we bought, checked out, won, or otherwise procured over the last week. And whether I've came into money (brb, laughing forever) or only had the goods to splurge on a book or two, they all deserve some love.

Books Mentioned

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore | { Add it on Goodreads }
Night Swim by Jessica Keener | { Add it on Goodreads }
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughten | { Add it on Goodreads }
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver | { Add it on Goodreads }

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing, Jessica Keener, Suz at A Soul Unsung, Kaitlyn and Jenny at Books to the Sky, and Marie at Ramblings of a Daydreamer

{ | } Now y'all get to show me what YOU got in your mailboxes.  And as always...happy reading!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Once Upon a Blogger - #2: Michelle from Oh! For the Love of Books

Because connecting doesn't stop at the "follow" button

{ ++ } Once Upon a Blogger is a new feature I've started here at Once Upon a Prologue.  Each month (provided there's an ongoing interest!) I will feature one of my fellow bloggers (preferably a follower of mine) in an interview series designed to get to know my followers better, and also to spotlight other book bloggers.  I want to know who my followers are, beyond a name, and I want to put myself out there so y'all can know me better, too. 

{ ++ } This month's feature is Michelle From Oh!  For the Love of Books.  Michelle is an AWESOME blogging buddy - she invited me to join my first ever blog hop last year, and always posts thoughtful reviews and such at her blog.  She's really passionate, so check out her answers, then go show her blog some love!

I love teaching high school English. I hope one day to be a successful writer! I am addicted to whatever catches my fancy!

Find Michelle online: Facebook | Goodreads

{ ++ } Why did you start your book blog?

My first intentions were not to have a book blog. To be honest my friend started a blog and I was like: Hey! I want to do that!” It took me a few months and some blog surfing to realize that there was a whole world of book blogs out there. And I again said: “Hey! I want to do that!”  I love reading and it gave me a purpose to having a blog.

{ ++ } If you can accomplish one thing with your blog, what would it be? 

I really want to make a name for myself among book bloggers and readers. I like the idea that though someone may not agree with me, they think my opinion is honest and logical.

{ ++ } Do you have a “comfort zone” genre, or do you read a bit of everything?  If you have that comfort zone, do you tend to push yourself out of it from time to time, or does it take others recommending a book to you to do that?

 I am a paranormal YA junkee. Straight up. I will step out of my comfort zone if I get a recommendation from a book friend. A book friend is someone that I have built a reading relationship with.  I trust these people so when they do say I should read something, I know it is good. Also I’m a fictional floozy - if the book has a hottie - I'm extra happy at the end of a good book.

{ ++ } What is the one book or series that means the most to you, and why?

The Vampire Academy series is one that I loved. I loved Rose from the very beginning. I wanted to be here. I found myself in some of her qualities. But I loved the world that Mead created as well. It was a new twist for vampires - as a society. And through Rose and the world, I “cared” for the other characters. I cried for all of them. I laughed a lot. I was happy how it ended.

{ ++ } Is there something you thought was true about book blogging that you’ve since found out isn’t?

That keeping up with it would be easy. SO NOT EASY!

{ ++ } What do you think the book blogging community needs more – or less – of?

I am going to be Switzerland. There are so many different blogs out there based on genre, level, style - I mean there is something for everyone! I think you just need to decide what you are looking for and google it or blog hop!

{ ++ } What is your favorite memory so far of book blogging?

When I got my first follower. I was like: "Wow someone thinks I have something to say! Awesome!”

{ ++ } If you could only read one genre for the foreseeable future, what would it be and why? 

Paranormal. I like the freaky.

{ ++ } Tell me your favorite book quote, be it one that makes you laugh, inspires you, etc.

 “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”

― Arthur Miller, The Crucible  - I think it hits home because I don’t think people understand how important your name is - how it identifies you.

{ ++ } Is there any certain book character you consider your favorite, or perhaps one who you felt a kinship with, someone who inspires you every time you think of them?

 John Proctor from The Crucible is probably my favorite character. I’m an English teacher and I use this play every year and every year I admire John Proctor for dying at the end and I understand that he made a mistake. I love that he fights for his wife and his friends. Some honroable mentions: Rose from The Vampire Academy series, Tris and Four from Divergent, and Will from The Infernal Devices.

{ ++ } Is there any book you reread every so often, just because?  Or a series that is your “go-to” rec when a friend is wanting something new/different to read?

I am in the process of rereading The Vampire Academy series and it is typically what I recommend to my students.  Another “go-to” is Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Have you read it? You should. Go.

{ ++ } Talk about any author/s who have really gotten hold of your heart, changed the way you thought about reading…really made a lasting impression on you. 
NEAL SHUSTERMAN! I have read four of his books and they always start a bit slow for me and then page 30, I’m sucked in and I will not stop reading. His novel, Unwind, the end, OMG, it’s redic. awesome. I was with a friend as I read the end and she told me I was acting like a guppy because my face kept falling open.

This or That

{ ++ } Dance in the snow or in the rain?  It’s hard to dance in snow - so I pick rain
{ ++ } E-book or real book? Real book - I like to cuddle with them.
{ ++ } Staying up late or sleeping in? I like to go to bed early and I like to get up early. I get stuff done.
{ ++ } Summer or Winter? Summer - b/c I don’t have to work :)

Odds & Ends

{ ++ } You’re stranded on a deserted island.  You can have one book, one CD/album and one item of luxury (ie soap, chocolate, etc).  What three do you choose? Can I bring my NOOK? Oh! Wait no charger - um,  What about Box’s sets? No? OK! UM?!  Unwind, Adele’s recent CD, and shampoo.
{ ++ } Favorite pastime outside of reading? I actually am an aspiring writer so I do a lot of that. I really enjoy the release but I also love to hang out with my collie (Lady Fergilious) and Italian Mastiff (Mia). They are pretty funny and they also relax me from a long day.
{ ++ } Your top 5 favorite movies, in no certain order? Dirty Dancing, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Pretty Woman (Take care of you!), The Crucible with Daniel Day Lewis (sigh), and White Christmas with Bing Crosby.
{ ++ } The song that’s currently stuck in your head? God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton  (Molli's note: I also love this song!)
{ ++ } Summarize your book blog, Tweet style (140 characters or less!) - Well, you’re going to see my sense of humor - mostly directed at myself. I post about YA, paranormal, and my expereinces as a writer.
{ ++ } Name one book you’re “saving for a rainy day.”  Cinder.  (Molli's note: this is such a fast-paced GOOD book, I could see it being perfect to read on a rainy day, or just to save up for that day/night you're wanting something sci-fi/awesome.)

{ ++ } Thanks Michelle!  I loved having you on the blog today.  Everyone be sure to check out Oh! For the Love of books. And if YOU want to be a part of Once Upon a Blogger, simply send me an email at courageousgrace (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know!