Friday, December 27, 2013

Halee Reads Classical Literature: Pride and Prejudice

Hey guys! So, after a super long hiatus, I'm back! School plus musical rehearsal plus general life craziness had forced me to take a much needed break from blogging. But with the new year arriving (and a brand new laptop I got for Christmas), I've decided to take up blogging again.

In addition to getting back to blogging, I've also been on a bit of classical literature kick...
Lizzie and Darcy from "Lizzie Bennet Diaries"
Recently, I finished Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I'd been working on this book since May (don't hurt me), but Christmas break has given me the chance to finally finish it. Earlier in the year, I'd gotten into the "Lizzie Bennet Diaries" (produced by Hank Green and Bernie Su), and really fell in love with it. So, why not give the original source material a shot.

The one thing that struck me (and what strikes anyone when reading classical British literature) was the language. While at times it was really hard to get through, it was totally worth it. Pride and Prejudice tells a story so much more beautiful than I could ever imagine. The tale of the prideful Mr. Darcy and prejudicial Miss Bennet and the enormous cast of characters in this novel, makes it the best "classical" novel I have ever read. Jane Austen is a masterful storyteller, who knows exactly what she's doing.

I think I'm in the majority when I say that Pride and Prejudice has become one of my favorite books of all time. While some characters could be considered two-dimensional (Kitty and Lydia mainly), Lizzie, Darcy, and Jane feel so fleshed out to me. Those characters are what really make the book come alive for me.


P&P has really set the standard for more of Jane Austen's novels. From the same creators of the "Lizzie Bennet Diaries" comes "Emma Approved", a modern interpretation of Emma by Jane Austen. I'm thinking that I'll probably pick that book up next.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest Post: The Mortal Instruments in a Nutshell

We're big fans of The Mortal Instruments series over here at Confessions of a Book Addict. So, to celebrate the release, a friend of mine, Delaney, wrote a guest post discussing the TMI series.

It seems that everyone is writing their own young adult series, hoping to be the next J.K. Rowling. There will never be a series that will achieve everything Harry Potter has nor will the series ever be dethroned by another young adult set of books. This will not stem the tide of movies based off of young adult novels however. There is one book universe though that stands apart from the pack and is worthy of the discussion and hype surrounding it: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare which by the end of its course will have twelve books and three separate series to its name.

It has everything that constitutes brilliant fantasy and then some. In just one book, a completely immersive reading experience is created. Readers become fluent in its lingo, soon grasp what it means to have the language of Heaven imprinted on one’s skin. The processes, the lore, every piece of information one could ever hope to want or need to enjoy a brand new world of angels and demons is provided step by step in every book. The character development is insane and fast paced. It has to be to keep up with everything else. Speed does not negate quality however.

Yet, the most remarkable aspect of Clare’s work is not her characters or the world she has created, it is her plotlines that stand her apart from the usual fare. Being a rather intelligent reader, it is not easy for me to be surprised whilst reading. I am not easily led astray nor do I miss foreshadowing. The Mortal Instruments provide a unique and challenging experience. The twists and turns of the story are unpredictable. Clare does not have a formula for her work. The plots are never structured the same way, never are they repeated. Every new book is an entirely different creature than the last. Not only are there plots, there are subplots and even smaller plots still, all tightly woven and interconnected that they can hardly be removed or looked at simply on their own. The reading experience is simply incredible.


Her plot structure is not solely admirable. The plots themselves are extraordinarily complicated and intriguing. Her work is not only entertaining, but also provides social commentary. She is the first young adult novelist I have read who has included homosexual themes and not merely in side characters, but in two main characters. I do not believe there is a controversial social convention she has not touched upon at least once. Yet she is not preachy. She has simply included these themes. They’re not awkwardly placed. In fact, without theme, I do believe the story would lose much.

All around there is something in these books for everyone. They are terribly clever and there is no place in Clare’s world for gender roles. Male or female her characters kick ass, literally and metaphorically. These books are a must read. Lingo that harkens the reader to the days of Hogwarts? Intensely written fight scenes? Some pretty saucy and insanely written romance? Count me in.

Speaking of romance, since it’s inescapable for the young adult genre, it should be said that Clare writes romance like no one else. Is there a love triangle? Sadly, yes, but at least only super early in the series. I, personally, despise love triangles. They are an abomination. Clare wrote one that I find surprisingly tolerable. Even the things I hate she writes and makes me at least somewhat like it. There is honestly nothing that I hate about these books. Clare has written a truly connectable and captivating story. I do not want it to end yet I frantically anticipate reading its conclusion.
You can catch The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in theaters now.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Torch by Cambria Hebert Book Blast

Torch is the first book in a brand new New Adult series by Cambria Hebert.

Title: Torch (Take It Off #1)
Author: Cambria Hebert
Genre: New Adult
Pages: Kindle edition, 252
Publication: August 13, 2013

Synopsis:
If you can’t take the heat… stay away from the flame.

Katie Parks has been on her own since the age of fifteen. All she’s ever wanted is a place to call her own—a life that is wholly hers that no one can take away. She thought she finally had it, but with the strike of a single match, everything she worked so hard for is reduced to a pile of smoking ash. And she almost is too.

Now she’s being stalked by someone who’s decided it’s her time to die. The only thing standing in the path of her blazing death is sexy firefighter Holt Arkain.

Katie’s body might be safe with Holt… but her heart is another story.

As the danger heats up, sparks fly and the only thing Katie knows for sure is that her whole life is about to go up in flames.

About the Author:
Cambria Hebert is a latte sipping author of the Heven & Hell series, the Death Escorts series, and the Take It Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

13188676Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: Hardcover, 352
Publication: February 4, 2014

Synopsis:
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

OH MY GOD GUYS I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK. I absolutely LOVED the first two books in this series, and I can't wait for the third and final installment. It's going to be so epic. I can't wait to be back in this fantastic world back in Tahereh's writing. I love her writing style. This series is just so fantastic, I can hardly describe it. AND THIS COVER. It's absolutely gorgeous! Definitely my favorite of the series.

What are you waiting on?


COVER REVEALS: The Between Series by Cyndi Tefft

Courtesy of Gabrielle Prendergast of Cover Your Dreams the Between series by Cyndi Tefft has brand new covers. Check them out:

 photo Betweennewcover.jpg

Sometimes death is just the beginning...

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Between is available for purchase here:
Ebook only: Smashwords, Apple, Kobo
Print and ebook: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


  photo HellTransporternewcover.jpg

The Between series continues... 
 Aiden MacRae has been given a new life after being stuck transporting souls to heaven for the last three hundred years. He doesn't know the culture, the times or the slang, but there is one thing he does know: he didn't come forward alone.

The master of hell has other plans for the Scottish Highlander and has sent a transporter of his own to get the deed done. Will Lindsey be able to save him or get caught in the crossfire?

Hell Transporter is available for purchase here:
Print and ebook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Print only: Createspace, My store (signed copy)
Ebook only: Smashwords, Apple, Kobo

 photo EvenInDarknessnewcover.jpg

I thought it was over, that all our troubles were behind us.

We had a fairytale castle wedding surrounded by family and friends. Aiden wore a dress kilt, looking so handsome it made my heart squeeze, and I floated on air in a white version of the ball gown he’d cast for me in Versailles. Flower girl, ring bearer, Scottish ceilidh afterward—check, check, and check. It was perfect.

We were supposed to live happily ever after.

But that was before I walked in to find another woman in his bed, a demon with blood red eyes who’d disguised herself as me in order to get what she wanted most: a child from a heaven transporter.

And it was in that moment—watching my entire world crumble to the ground—that I knew.

This was not over. Not by a long shot.

Even In Darkness is available for purchase here:
Print and ebook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Print only: Createspace
Ebook only: Smashwords, Apple, Kobo


Love these smokin' hot new covers? Share them with everyone!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!



The Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop is hosted by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not a Writer. There are TONS of blogs participating in this giveaway hop (see below to check out the other blogs involved). The giveaway hop starts today, August 20 and ends August 27.

We're giving away two awesome prize packs!

First Prize Pack:

Second Prize Pack:


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: Hardcover- 304
Publication: August 27, 2013

Synopsis:
Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?


I absolutely love stories of perseverance. The tales where you watch the characters grow from a seemingly rock bottom to a beautiful thriving person. I completely cant wait  for this book to come out! Although I am a little iffy on the release date, Goodreads says that it is released on January 28, 2014 and the Barnes and Noble says that its released August 27, 2013, so I guess we shall see! But either way I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!