Month in Review: September


Despite the craziness that was my September this year, I felt like it was a good month blogwise. I guess now we find out for sure! ;-)

Books Read/Reviewed in September

  1. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien ~ 3.5 stars
  2. The Heaven of Animals by Nancy Tillman ~ 2.5 stars
  3. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris ~ 4.5 stars
  4. Skin Game by Jim Butcher ~ 5 stars
  5. Talon by Julie Kagawa ~ 4.5 stars
  6. Day 21 by Kass Morgan ~ 3.5 stars
  7. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch ~ 5 stars

Top 4 Books in September

  1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
  2. Skin Game by Jim Butcher
  3. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
  4. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Attempted (DNF) in September

  1. Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

Traffic Report

All traffic stats are provided by Google Analytics.

Top 5 Referring Sites/Blogs:

  1. Google (organic) ~ 374
  2. Bing (organic) ~ 24
  3. The Broke and the Bookish ~ 21
  4. bloglovin’ ~ 15
  5. ~ 14

Top 10 Viewed Pages:

  1. Proud Book Nerd ~ 163
  2. DNF: Ghost House ~ 33
  3. Get Scars by Cheryl Rainfield Free! ~ 28
  4. Contact ~ 27
  5. About ~  25
  6. Top Ten Tuesday: Lunch Buddies ~ 22
  7. Review: The Queen of Zombie Hearts ~ 20
    Review: The Fine Art of Pretending ~ 20
  8. (9.) Review: Want to Go Private? ~ 19
  9. (10.) Review: Delirium ~ 17
    Review: Monument 14 ~ 17
    Top Ten Tuesday: NEED to Read More ~ 17

I guess it wasn’t as busy here as I’d felt like it was, but still pretty good. I appreciate all of your support through the last month!

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Review: Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschTitle: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1

About: Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Thoughts: One word: Awesome! I absolutely loved this book! I thought this sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot. I almost didn’t read it, but I am so very glad that I did! Meira is a strong, realistic female lead — yes, this is fantasy. Obviously those parts aren’t the realistic things, but her persona. Very real. She’s telling the story in first person, and you see her self-doubt, her insecurities, her fears. She’s a fighter and a smart girl, but she’s also real. She’s like everyone else with hopes and fears and shortcomings. Very real.

I know he’s not mentioned in the synopsis, but absolute awesome book boyfriend material from this one is Theron. I liked him from the first time we meet him in the book, and just like him more and more as we get to know him. I sure hope we see lots and lots of him in the next book! ;-) Don’t get me wrong, Mather (mentioned above) is pretty cool, too. I just find Theron more to my liking. And while, yes, this sounds like the too-common love triangle, but it’s not. At least I don’t think it is.

This is awesome epic fantasy. There’s a quest, which — of course — ends up being so much more than originally thought. It takes them across the land — and back again. It leads to amazing discoveries and a chance for the heroine to shine. While I was able to see some of the “surprises” — or at least the gist of them — there were some that caught me by surprise. And they were delightful!

The ending is excellent. We have resolution. We have closure. We have a neat, tidy story. But we also have questions that beg for answers. We have unknowns that need discovering of their own. We have a thus-far-hinted overarching bigger issue coming. This story is one small bit of a much bigger picture. I look forward to seeing where this story is going next. I will be eagerly waiting on the as-of-yet-untitled sequel!

5 StarsSource: Received through Around the World Tours for review.

Read It: Snow Like Ashes is scheduled for release around October 14, 2014. You can pre-order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository(These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

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Review: Day 21

Day 21 by Kass MorganTitle: Day 21
Author: Kass Morgan
Series: The Hundred #2

About: No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

It’s been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They’re the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries…or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

My Thoughts: If you’re someone who’s been with Proud Book Nerd for a while, you know that I loved The 100. I was very eagerly anticipating the sequel — and the TV series. Unfortunately, the series I think worked against me in my enjoyment of this book.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both — I’ll try to explain. The books and the TV show are quite different. While the premises and characters (names at least) are the same, there are some key differences between the two. Major plot points (like Clarke’s mom is still alive and on the ship in the show, and the Chancellor is not in a coma on TV but is alive and well) are different from one to the other. And they work between each other. It’s just that the last I was into this series, it was the TV version, so it was hard to reconcile what I was reading in the book to things I remembered according to the TV series, as opposed to the book. Now, I am very glad that the TV show and the novels can stand apart from each other. I think it works well that way. But I think it made it harder for me to get into the book like I had the first. If I had had a chance to reread the first before delving into this, I think I would’ve been much more into the book.

Still, I found Day 21 by Kass Morgan hard to put down. I wanted to see where things were going, how various scenarios were going to play out. Plus, I was excited to find out what’s going on with Glass and Luke, who are absent from the TV show.

Will I read this again? Quite possibly — especially once the series is completed (unless this ends up being one of those that goes on and on forever LOL). And I DEFINITELY will continue the series. Fortunately, the wait for Book 3, Homecoming, will be much shorter. It appears that’s scheduled for release in February! :)

3.5 StarsSource: Sent by FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

Read It: You can order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository(These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Reading

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List

This kinda feels like cheating to me. I mean, I have a LOOOOOONG TBR list. Most of my near-future reading is already determined, simply by what I’ve agreed to review. And, no, there isn’t necessarily a fall theme or even a slew of books that are new this fall or anything like that. But, still, if I’m honest, I’ll admit there are books I’m looking forward to more than others. And there are some I’m hoping to get read in the next few weeks. So, I’ll try to make this about more than just what I’m supposed to be reviewing soon! ;-)

As always, these are in no special order.

  1. Black Knight (Witch World #2) by Christopher Pike ~ I LOVED Witch World. I managed to snag this from Edelweiss awhile ago, and cannot wait to get this one read!
  2. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater ~ I’ve enjoyed this series very much thus far.
  3. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie ~ I finally have the book in my possession. I gotta see how it all ends!
  4. Endure (Need #4) by Carrie Jones ~ I’ve finally managed to nab this from the library — turns out I had to request it specifically because it isn’t actually owned by my town’s library.
  5. When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears (The Goblin Wars #3) by Kersten Hamilton ~ I refuse to disclose how many times I’ve checked this out from the library … I WILL read it this time! ;)
  6. Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins ~ Does this one even need an explanation?
  7. Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry ~ Just put a request in at the library for this one, too. Hope I get it soon! ;)
  8. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas ~ I’ve enjoyed everything of hers I’ve read so far. I’m always looking forward to another book from her!
  9. Day 21 (The 100 #2) by Kass Morgan ~ Sure, it’s on my currently reading list on Goodreads at the moment, but I haven’t actually started it yet. It’s been a long year waiting for this one!
  10. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin ~ Yes, yes. I know. I know. I’m watching the show. I really want to read this series. Hopefully (now that Dresden is all caught up) I can finally get started this fall!

I meant to make this pretty with covers and everything, but kinda forgot! :oops: I’ll try again next week! ;)

So, how about you? What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

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It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Monday! What Are You Reading?Another dull week. But, hey! Gotta keep “good” habits going, right? ;)

Last Week’s Review:

Talon by Julie KagawaYes, one. Like I said, another dull week. Just click the cover to find the review. :)

Other post:

Top Ten TuesdayI just always figured to keep Monday posts off this list. No need to be redundant. ;) Again, click the button to find the post.

What I’m Reading Now:

Day 21 ~ Excited about this one! | Crash the Chatterbox ~ Second-to-last week of the study, so I’m almost done! WOOHOO! | Dangerous Women ~ My goal is to finish this by the next due date at the library, which is fast-approaching. | Beyond the Bake Sale ~ I think I’m gonna have to start over.

On Deck this Week:

A bit ambitious? Yes, I’ll admit it. But, hey, I’ll do my best! ;)

So, how about you? What’s your week in books look like?

If you’re here as part of this meme, please make sure to let me know — especially if you’re new. I’d love to return the visit. (Oh, and be careful. My comments have been a bit wonky. If your comment doesn’t appear right away, please shoot me an email so I can make sure it’s not in spam!)

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Review: Talon

Talon by Julie KagawaTitle: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #1

About: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey; and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him; and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

My Thoughts: By the time I finished reading, I so wanted to give Talon by Julie Kagawa five stars. I really wanted to, because it was very good — especially by the end. But, there were a few things I felt required a lower rating. Not that 4.5 stars is all that low … it was good enough that I could forgive most shortcomings.

So, what didn’t I like? Well, let me think on that …

1. HUGE cliffhanger ending — on two fronts. We all know it’ll be roughly a year of waiting until the next one. I hate that. For one, I don’t like when books leave me hanging like this — well, unless I can get my hands on the next one in the very near future. Plus, by the time the next one comes out, I’ll have read close to 100 other books. This one most likely won’t be remembered well enough for me to fully enjoy the next — at least that’s normally how that happens for me. That’s not such a big deal when it’s not such a cliffhanger ending! ;)

2. Very predictable. Fortunately, the action and excitement are enough to make me (mostly) forgive the highly predictable events — betrayal? Check! (And I’ll give you ONE guess by whom!) Surprising rescue(s)? Check! (Again, pretty easy to guess who’s involved.) — and really enjoy the book. Predictable love triangle, if one can call it that. Very few surprises, if any. I honestly can’t think of anything — except maybe the very last thing in the Epilogue — that was all that surprising.

3. Various characters at various points through the book. Most of them redeemed themselves at one point or another. Only a small handful worth remembering: Ember, Garrett, Riley/Cobalt, Dante, Scary Talon Lady. If I think hard, I can remember some of the friends, but not without focused effort on my part.

Now, with all of that laid out on the table, let’s make it clear that I did thoroughly enjoy this book. If I didn’t have a crazy schedule this past week, I would’ve finished this book in a matter of a day or two. I found myself sucked in pretty quickly and wanting to find out how everyone meets and ends up working together, as the synopsis I read talked about how one “teen dragon” comes together with a “young soldier” and a “rogue dragon” to start a revolution. I wanted to see how that all worked together.

Speaking of the characters. Garrett is my favorite. Love him — and, yes, total book boyfriend! ;) I felt his account the most real, the most intriguing, and the least obnoxious. Ember would be my second favorite. While at first she comes across as a petulant, pain-in-the-butt child, she grew on me quickly. By the end of the book, I was totally rooting for her (and wanting her paired with Garrett, despite the human/dragon thing). Riley/Cobalt … let me say he sounds so beautiful when his dragon (Cobalt) is described. I can picture him, and just love it. I wanted to like him from the start, but quickly just couldn’t. Especially not toward the end, when he all but pushes Ember to act on an obvious “animal” attraction — their dragons being drawn to each other. Dante is a tough one. I started out liking him, but it’s clear he’s going to be a problem pretty early. Everything to do with him is probably the most predictable parts of the book. Any observant reader could see his issues coming a mile away. And Ember’s insistence that he’s still on her side? Yeah, I wanted to shake some sense into her. I get that she didn’t want to believe the truth, but I still wanted to see her get wise.

So, will I read this again? I just might. I definitely will make sure to read the series (so far looking to be at least five books long) — or at least the next book, Rogue. Although, honestly, barring a just downright awful next book (which I just don’t think is possible), I fully expect to follow the series. I have not yet read The Iron Fey, but it might be moving higher up the TBR list now! I’m guessing fans of that will enjoy this, but I’ve no idea. I can say that dragons is what piqued my interest, and it’s what’ll keep me coming back for more!

4.5 StarsSource: Received through Around the World Tours for review.

Read It: Talon is scheduled for release around October 28, 2014. You can pre-order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository(These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)

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Top Ten Tuesday: NEED to Read More

Top Ten TuesdayI skipped last week. Didn’t have time to post much of anything last week. This week’s topic is one I want to write enough to make the time for it! ;)

Top Ten Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From but NEED to Read More

I know there are quite a few on this list. Of course, no one pops into mind as of yet, but I know there are a bunch. Thank God for Goodreads, which can help me figure it out! ;) As always, these are listed in no special order.

  1. Laurie Halse Anderson: I’ve only read Speak. I have been wanting to read much more of hers, just haven’t found the time. Wintergirls is the first that comes to mind. Maybe eventually …
  2. Jay Asher: I read The Future of Us and loved it. I have Thirteen Reasons Why sitting on my shelf. GOTTA READ IT!
  3. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: I LOVED Raised by Wolves. Haven’t gotten around to continuing the series. Nor to reading anything else she’s written.
  4. Jennifer Brown: Ever since reading Bitter End, I’ve wanted to read other books she’s written. Hate List comes to mind, but I know there’s more.
  5. Patrick W. Carr: I loved A Cast of Stones. I want to finish out the series, but haven’t yet. It hasn’t been for lack of trying.
  6. Cassandra Clare: I know, I know. What the heck? ;) I read Clockwork Angel and LOVED it. I have the other two on my shelf, waiting. And, yes, I have most of Mortal Instruments waiting to be read. (I think all but the last.)
  7. Elizabeth Haynes: Into the Darkest Corner was fantastic. I must read more of her books!
  8. Giles Kristian: Loved Blood Eye. Definitely want to continue the series.
  9. Donita K. Paul: I read Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball a long time ago. But I know she has a series about dragons or something along those lines. MUST check them out!
  10. Travis Thrasher: An awesome, very underrated author. I absolutely loved Solitary, and have the others around for reading — eventually.

I could’ve gone on and on and on … for miles with this list! There are just SO MANY!

So, how about you? Who do you NEED to read more from?

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