Enter to win a Signed/Personalized copy of Fever by Lauren DeStefano here

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox (17)

Ahh it's here...I did it....I didn't chicken out! My first ever video IMM is up! With all the new changes on the blog I figured I might as well conquer the video IMM as well. I want to send a BIG thank you to Harper Collins for sending me my first package with requested books, it seriously made my week! Below are the books I received. Hope you all enjoyed!

For Review (thanks Harper Collins)
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Leave your comments below with links to your IMMs and I'll be sure to check them out!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Follow Friday (19)

Whooo its Friday (Thursday night) and time for another Follow Friday post! On FF, hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, two blogs are featured along with a book related question. This week's question...

Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

Along with being an incredibly slow reader I am so a 'one book at a time' kind of girl. I've tried to read multiple books at a time, but I end up getting details and names mixed up and its just a complete mess. On top of that, it takes me twice as long to finish one of the books because I'm juggling the other ones at the same time. It just doesn't work for me, but more power to you if you can keep your stories straight!

Insurgent Book Trailer

Now, I don't post trailers too often on my blog (actually I think this my be a first) but this is just too epically amazing not to! It's the trailer for Insurgent by Veronica Roth!! It looks like a movie trailer its so well done. And now I'm counting down the days till its release (and my reunion with Four).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Title: Fighting to Survive
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Published: November 8, 2011 by Tor Books
Rating: Photobucket

Picking up where The First Days ends, Fighting to Survive features the further zombie-killing, civilization-saving adventures of a pair of sexy, kick butt heroines and the men who love them. A hundred or so survivors of the zombie plague have found tenuous safety in the walled off center of a small Texas town. Now the hard work of survival begins—finding enough food; creating safe, weather-resistant shelter; establishing laws; and fighting off both the undead who want to eat them and the living bandits who want to rob and kill them.

My Review:

In Fighting to Survive, the sequel to The First Days, we renter the zombie apocalypse world of a small Texan town called Ashley Oakes. Here we are reunited with the kickass heroines, Katie and Jenni, along with a large group of their fellow survivors. As the second book in the As the World Dies series, the danger and zombies have stepped their game up. The undead are much more persistent and pose a greater threat as the survivors try to fortify their camp and expand the fort into the neighboring hotel and dollar store. This requires a lot of risk, danger, and above all ZOMBIE KILLING!

With more blood, gore, and casualties, this book has definitely taken on a more haunting tone. We see more favorite characters fall to the undead as well as new enemies emerge in the form of bandits. Having twice as many enemies now, the survivors are constantly on edge and that definitely translates over to the reader. There is a constant battle of fear between the zombies and bandits leaving me unsure of who I was more terrified of! As a result, there was clearly an increase in tension and adrenaline while reading this book.

Of course, not all of this story centers around the zombies, and there are some really sweet and touching moments between the emerging couples. If you haven't read the first book, I don't want to give too much away, but the romance has also stepped up in this book! It seemed a little odd at first, reading about developing relationships and bedroom scenes while there are hordes of undead outside, but you remember that these characters are still trying to salvage their humanity while living together in this stressful situation. I know I'd want that added sense of security!

Overall, Fighting to Survive, was an excellent sequel and improved upon an already favorite zombie book of mine. The progression from initial shock to the apocalypse into a working community is great to read and flows wonderfully. The story is definitely on a rise to an adrenaline fueled climax with more twists and turns ahead, so look out for the third book, Siege!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Title: The First Days
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #1
Published: July 5, 2011 by Doherty Tom Associates LLC
Rating: Photobucket

The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde. 

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town.  There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who  have returned in zombie form.

My Review

I'm the first person to admit that I'm a HUGE zombie fan. I have an eccentric fascination with the undead, which is unexpectedly strange because I'm such a girly girl. With that said, I LOVED this book! The first page starts of with zombie gore and goodness and it doesn't end. I love that in a horror book. Down time normally leads to boring and unnecessary details, with the zombies, just cut to the chaos!

In The First Days we are introduced to two main characters, Katie, a mistreated housewife, and Jenni, a strong woman with a take charge attitude. Their POVs interchange throughout the novel, showing the zombie apocalypse through two very different perspectives. While thrown together during the most dire circumstances, the two women become quick allies and fast friends ready to face the hoards of undead together. I love the relationship that develops between these women. There is a fierce bond and a complexity of emotions between Katie and Jenni that really brings a sense of realism to the book. It adds that humane edge to what is normally a 'kill or be killed' storyline. 

The storyline is extremely fast paced, as would be expected during a zombie apocalypse, with so many crazy situations that your heart will be continuously racing. There certainly isn't a lack of zombies! Frater also introduces us to a large number of secondary characters who she isn't afraid to sacrifice to the zombies- another fact that I actually enjoy. I hate when everyone survives (as awful as that sounds!) it just isn't possible with zombies. Someone has to be dinner! Of course there are other characters we are introduced to that you can't help falling in love with (i.e. Travis and Juan!) who you definitely don't want to become zombie bait which is another well written part of this book. 

What is so incredible about this book though is the world building, or in this case, destruction. Frater successfully conveys a world gone mad feeling in The First Days. With zombies running amok, there has to be a sense of desperation underlying every line in the book. You really feel that while reading, which makes the book so much more enjoyable. I highly recommend this book to any zombie lover or adrenaline junky who is looking for a fast paced, end-of-the-world book with a splash of romance!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Follow Friday (18)

Hey everyone, its the first Follow Friday post after my blog's huge makeover. For all of you who haven't seen it yet, hope you like the new look!
This week's question is...

What is the longest book you've read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

The longest book I've read would probably be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. What's funny is that even though this book is epically long, it took me no time to finish it! I literally devoured those pages.

My favorite 600+ page books would most definitely be the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. With those books I never wanted the story to end! (The first three books are all under 600 pages).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 734 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  896 pages
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 652 pages
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 759 pages

What super long books have you all read? Send me a link and I'll check out your posts!

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Title: Hallowed
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published: January 17, 2012 by Harper Teen
Rating: Photobucket

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

My Review

Can a love triangle get any more complicated?! Hallowed really steps up the romance in this series, with Clara stuck between Tucker, her human boyfriend, and Christian, the angel she's fated to be with. What a choice! I honestly loved that Clara is so torn in this book. She isn't really leading any one guy on because she has true feelings for both. Originally I loved Tucker, but Christian kind of snuck up on me in this book. It's definitely a huge compliment to the author, who was able to create such different but equally attractive characters that not only tears the MC in two, but the reader as well!

The actual storyline for this book was pretty slow. Without giving too much away, there is a lot of waiting going on, although it is incredibly sad. Clara's new vision, which takes place at someone's funeral, literally broke my heart, and towards the end of this book I was an emotional wreck, but the lead up to it was a little dull at times. Even the Black Wing in this book was a little soft for me. There were a few 'action' scenes but they definitely didn't compare to the ending of Unearthly. These were a bit more subdued and were mainly used for developing the backstory. 

For me, Hallowed was more of a bridge book for the Unearthly series leading up to a (hopefully) epic third book. There is a lot revealed about Clara and her family in Hallowed that definitely stirs up the storyline and raises the danger to a whole new level for the third book. I honestly think my jaw dropped during the majority of Clara's revelations! We're introduced to some new people in Hallowed that add great character to the book and see some old ones in a  new light. Overall, Hallowed has definitely opened the door to amazing conclusion for this series. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Blog Design!

Hey everyone, so in case you haven't noticed, my blog underwent a major makeover! Thanks to the fabulous Leah at LC's Adventures in Libraryland I've got a whole new look. I want to give a very special thank you to Leah, who put in a tremendous amount of time and energy into making a whole new design for Lost Amongst the Shelves. She's incredibly sweet and talented! I basically told her everything I was looking for (including my puppy Jack who is in the header) and she customized it all- background, header, menu bar, buttons. I'm still completely blown away with how much I LOVE it!


I highly recommend Leah's services- she's professional, considerate and completed this entire design in less than two weeks! Her prices are reasonable and include so much creativity. I hope you all love the look as much as I do and consider Leah as prime designer for your own blogs!

Again, Leah, I LOVE IT! Thank you so much!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In My Mailbox (16)

It's been a LONG time since I've done an IMM. That's because my TBR pile is enormous and I can't add any more books! But of course I had to pick up just one book this week or I wouldn't be a book lover. So here it is...

Annnnd that's it for me. I've heard this book is incredible so I'm hoping to get to it sometime soon, although like I said my reading pile is gigantic! Ohhh and I'll be showcasing a new blog design soon! I can't wait for you all to see how Leah from LC's Adventures in Libraryland redesigned my blog. It's going to be absolutely gorgeous!

Leave you IMM links and I'll be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
release date: September 2012

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

This book sounds hilariously funny. I keep saying I'd like to read more time travel books and this one especially sounds like it'll be a hit. Plus its a book set in Italy, which means foreign boys with accents! One of my biggest weaknesses in books.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
 This week's top ten list bloggers get to choose a genre and list their top ten books for that particular genre. 

Top Ten Zombie Books!

1. Hallowland by Amanda Hocking- Absolutely one of my favorites. This book captures the real sense of death and destruction. Also, the heroine is totally kickass and awesome!
2. The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan- While the first book was a little slow for me, books 2 and 3 really bring on the zombie. And I love me some Elias and Catcher =)

3. Dearly Departed by Lia Habel- Although these aren't your typical zombies (they're good guys!) I loved it all the same. It's really cool seeing a zombie romance. Who knew the undead really had manners?

4. The Enemy by Charlie Higgins- This book is pretty twisted. Its all about kids trying to survive in London after all the adults go crazy and start killing everyone. 

5. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks- A must read for any zombie fan! It will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to survive. One of my favorites!

6. Resident Evil series by S.D. Perry- I love the Resident evil video games and movies, so when I saw they were made into books too I picked up the entire series. My love for RE may have made me partial to this series, but there's some great zombie killing in these books. 

7. The Cell by Stephen King- The first Stephen King book I've read and its great. Cell phone waves turn people into mindless drones who kill and destroy everything. It's pretty scary and will make you want to put down that phone. 

8. World War Z by Max Brooks- Another Brooks book with some insanely good zombie stories. It's being made into a movie too, so you know it had to have been great. 

9. As the World Dies trilogy by Rhiannon Frater- OK, so I'm cheating on this one, because I own the books but haven't read them yet. BUT I've only heard amazing reviews for them so I'm adding them to the list. I've got to start them soon!
10. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman- This is another series I technically haven't read, but am in LOVE with the show on AMC. I know the story lines don't match up exactly, but if it has to do with zombies and created my new favorite show, then the comics have to be incredible. 

Ok so there are a ton more zombie books out there, but these are some of my favorites. PLEASE leave suggestions of more zombie books that you think I'd love! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 

I really loved the concept of this book. I've recently become obsessed with books incorporating mythology into the plots, and Everneath has a strong modernized twist to the tales of the underworld. The everlings and Tunnels are especially creepy and were some of my favorite parts of this book! I would have loved seeing more development in this area of the story though. Perhaps more clue solving or a stronger presence of everlings to amp up the creepy factor. 

It seemed that for most of the book unfortunately, we're left with Nikki's depressing musings of her old life while she tried resolving the damage she caused by leaving for the underworld  with Cole the first time. I understand Nikki had some some seriously sad situations to deal with, but I started to feel depressed myself because of Nikki! Therefore the first half of this book was very difficult to get past as Nikki was not the happiest or easiest of characters to read. As a result, the first half of this book was incredibly slow. 

What does save this story are the awesome characters (outside of Nikki). Jack is the stellar good guy who is quite rare nowadays in YA books. He's the perfect boyfriend and a complete gentleman without appearing boring. The boy seriously melted my heart. And Cole. Oh, Cole. He was a character that was hard to hate. Even though he's ridiculously evil and manipulative, there is an inert complexity about him that Ashton did an amazing job creating. He really does care about Nikki, despite being so bad, and doesn't want to see her hurt. At times I really felt bad for the guy despite his twisted ways. 

Along with the character developments, the ending of the book was all right. Again, I wish it hadn't taken so long before the story got good. If the first half matched the second half of this book then I think I would have enjoyed it more. I will say that the ending did leave a crack in my heart and I'm intrigued to see where this story is headed. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness. 

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary. 

I love it when a sequel can raise the bar for a series. Not only can you see the author's develop their talent, but you can truly appreciate the progression in a story. This is the case for Fever, the second installment in the Chemical Garden series. 

We start right where Wither leaves off, with Rhine and Gabriel escaping from the haunting mansion into a world just as hideous as the one they left behind. Where Wither is calm and creepy, Fever is full out adrenaline and fear. Every page of this book captures the dangers and frenzy that has over taken society. From degrading prostitution rings set up at a run down carnival to constantly escaping the evil Vaughn's clutches and trying to track down Rhine's twin brother, Rowan, you are never left with a moment to catch your breath! There truly is never a calm moment for Rhine or Gabriel in this book!

Although the plot has been amped up with a shot of pure adrenaline, the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel has hit a sort of plateau. There is definitely a new dimension to their connection, where it almost seems that Gabriel resents Rhine for bringing him into this chaotic new world. This romance between the two isn't forbidden now that their out of the mansion, so the electricity we saw in Wither has simmered a bit. There was definitely some sweet and tender moments between Rhine and Gabriel, but it often had to do with one of them caring for the other while sick. 

Other than that missing spark between Rhine and Gabriel, this book was non stop action. While these characters are constantly running from Vaughn, the reader really feels that sense of desperation. Now that the characters are outside of the mansion walls the risks are even greater and each new character encountered is a possibly new enemy that'll constantly leave you questioning everyone's safety! With so many close calls and heart breaking moments, Fever will be sure to give your emotions a beating! Be prepared to fall even harder for this captivating and eerie series and continue the unknowing countdown to Rhine's 20th birthday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Follow Friday (17)

It's been almost 3 weeks that I've been MIA from blogging, but I finally got a new computer so I'm back and just in time for another Follow Friday! This meme, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee, features two blogs and a book related question to promote/expand blogs. This week's question is...

Have you ever looked at a book's cover and thought, this is going to be horrible? But instead was pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.

However, after reading the book, and learning the significance of the pin, the simplicity of the cover fits so well. There is so much political upheaval, death, violence, loss of innocence and struggle for survival that a busy cover would just detract from the story. 

What was your answer for this FF? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come check it out!

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

In the thrilling sequel to Lauren Oliver's hit (Delirium), readers are taken to a whole new loveless world. Life is much riskier for Lena, who is now living outside the borders with a group of rebels without Alex. There are new characters and dangers that sends this book over the edge with craziness. With nothing left in this world to lose, Lena throws herself into the uprising, working behind the lines as a cured. Here we see a stronger and much more independent side of Lena which showcases her development into a much more likable and admirable character. There is much more adrenaline and danger woven into this story with such an edge that you won't be disappointed. If you fell in love with Delirium, you'll surely become obsessive with Pandemonium. 

Everything about this book is amped up to the tenth degree. Oliver has expertly brought in elements of danger, survival, and suspense that will have any reader tense with worry. She has created such a fantastically real and vivid sense of peril for Lena and her new family outside the borders that will leave you feeling insanely anxious. Where Delirium, focused on Lena's everyday life, Pandemonium flips that world upside down. 

There is also an incredible development of forbidden love in this book. Never did I think I could fall for someone over Alex from Delirium, but Oliver was able to once again make my knees weak with Julian. Lena and Julian worked so well together romantically, which seems impossible because Alex is just as perfect! This is seriously the first time where I can honestly feel the pull of both love interests, the same as Lena. 

Pandemonium is the perfect sequel to Delirium and will leave you desperate for the third installment. We are once again left with the ultimate cliffhanger (it seems Oliver is an expert at these!) that will destroy your heart. I can't count the number of times my breath caught from reading this book. It really struck a cord with me and can't recommend this book enough!