September 30, 2012

October TBR Pile

Here are the books I hope to read this month:
Venom by Fiona Paul
Reached by Ally Condie
Firelight by Sophia Jordan
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Vampire Diaries: Fury and Dark Reunion by L.J. Smith
The Splinders by Lauren Oliver
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa 

The Non Reluctant Reader Badge of Approval: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carso

The Non Reluctant Reader Badge of Approval Award is a monthly spotlight dished out to whatever book was my favorite of the month.
So, September was just an awesome month of books that contained new books from major authors in the business, such as Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys or Libba Bray's The Diviners to name a couple. It was also a month of highly anticipated sequels such as The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson Betrayal by Gregg Olsen, Entice by Jessica Shirvington, and Glass Heart by Amy Garvey. And there were a few debuts that created some buzz such as Origin by Jessica Khoury. Oh and did I mention there was a new book from a little author named J.K. Rowling? So, umm, yeah, September was a good month for books, bad for our pocketbooks though. Anyway...
And the book of the month is...
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson!
An excerpt from my review:
To put it bluntly, I think Rae Carsoler trying to play with the big boys.n should become queen of everything effect of immediately. She's that god of an author. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns she took us for a wicked wild ride through her amazing world. And compared to The Crown of Embers, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a toddler trying to play with the big boys.
 See my full review and an interview with Rae Carson here.

September 29, 2012

Book Haul (16)

Book Haul is a weekly feature here that showcases all the goodies I got this week!
   So this week I only got two books, but they were both review books I AM SO GOD DAMN EXCITED ABOUT!! Anyway... here is what I got...
For Review:
Reached by Ally Condie + Matched Trilogy Swag
I seriously died when I got this book. I love the trilogy but I will be so sad to see it end. I'm part of this special campaign called 'Silk and Paper', which is going to be a blast!
Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey
I loved the first book in this series, Witch Eyes, and the setting of this book is actually based on where I live, so it hits close to home.
What did you get this week? Let me know in the comments!

September 28, 2012

Announcing the MATCHED and CROSSED by Ally Condie Read-a-Long!

Hello! So, I am part of this awesome promotion for Reached, the third book in the Matched Trilogy, and I had an idea to host a read-a-long before the release of Reached for the first two books in the series, Matched and Crossed. Then I sent an email to my contact at Penguin, the one organizing the campaign (more on the campaign later) and she was very supportive. Then I realized it would be too much work to organize it all myself, so I sent an email out to all the other bloggers participating seeing if they were interested an Enna from Squeaky Books was the first to reply, and she has been super supportive and has made all the lovely graphics for this event. So, here's the deets:
  • Starting October 2nd, each week we will read a portion of Matched, and then later Crossed and then discuss. Every time someone comments on the discussion, they will get an extra entry into a mega awesome giveaway.
  • There are no right or wrong ways to read it! You can read along with us (which will be really fun, because everyone will be reading at the same time), you can read them all in one night and just remember what happened so you can still discuss, you can listen to them on audiobook, you can read along with us on your ereader, ect. WE DON'T CARE HOW YOU READ 'EM, WE JUST REALLY WANT YOU TO REAM 'EM SOMEWAY!
  • If you are an avid fan of both books and want to read them again, feel free to sign-up! I love both books and can't wait to read them again! If you haven't read either yet, sign up! We'll remedy that for sure!
  • Keep it respectful. We understand if you aren't liking the story, the characters, the plot, anything. Voice that. But please do not bash Ally, us, fellow participants, Penguin, or anyone. This is a celebration of Ally's amazing work, so let's try and keep a festive mood about it!
  • After each reading there will be a separate discussion question on each of our blogs. You can get an entry from commenting on my blog and Enna's blog and the other way around!
Here is the schedule:
10/2: Starting Line! 
10/9: Read to Chapter 12 of MATCHED!
10/16: Read to Chapter 22 of MATCHED!
10/23: FINISH MATCHED! (Giveaway Too!)
10/30: Read to Chapter 14 of CROSSED!
11/6: Read to Chapter 35 of CROSSED!
11/12: FINISH CROSSED! (Giveaway Too!)
It's pretty simple!

Ready to Sign Up?
Perfect! I knew we could win you over! Now... 
So we realize some of you may not have copies of Matched and Crossed and therefor might not be read it! Don't worry, we've got you covered! As long as you sign up to partake, you can enter this giveaway for...
3 Winners Will Take Home...
A paperback of MATCHED!
A Hardcover of CROSSED!
Some awesome Matched Trilogy Swag!
We know what you're thinking... you're thinking HELL YEAH I WANNA WIN THIS STUFF. And because you are sly and cunning you know there is also extra ways for you to win! Here are two:
Grab This Button!
(grab the code below)

<a href=""><img src=""></a>
Tell The World Your Taking Part and Post This On Your Blog!
(Grab the code in the below box)
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I'm participating in the Matched & <i>Crossed </i>read-along! The last book in the series, <i>Reached,</i> comes out November 13th, and I want to make sure I'm totally ready for it. Luckily there's a big read-along happening just for that purpose!<br /><br />
This is a great chance to get caught up on the first two books, and win some awesome prizes! You can even enter to win just by signing up! Check out the host blogs (<a href="">Squeaky Books</a> and <a href="">The Non Reluctant Reader</a>) to find out more!<br /><br />Come read with me!
After you've signed up, and/or done all the things you can for an extra entry, fill out the giveaway form after the page break!

September 27, 2012

Bloggiesta Fall Edition To-Do List

For information on Bloggiesta see here
Bloggiesta Fall 2012 Edition (September 28-30) To-Do List
So I have a ton of stuff to do, and below is all of it! I will be crossing things off as I do them and be posting an update at the end saying what I accomplished.
  • Schedule my Book Haul post
  • Schedule my October TBR Pile post
  • Write my best book of September post
  • Write my League of Strays review
  • Send League of Strays Interview Questions
  • Figure Out my YA Author Paranormal Spooktacular Schedule
  • Write my Torn Wing review (if I finish it in time)
  • Figure out October Blog Schedule
  • Write Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway Hop post
  • Write a Discussion Post
  • Find Guest Posters
  • Update my Policies
  • Write a Book vs TV post for The Vampire Diaries
  • Write a Vampire vs Werewolf Post
  • Plan Thanksgiving Events
  • Plan "Best of 2012" Event
  • Make Contact Lists
  • Update my Blogroll
  • Update my Events bar
  • Schedule Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday posts
  • Schedule Upcoming Waiting on Wednesday Posts
  • Set up a Pinterest for my blog
  • Set up a better Facebook for my blog

Giveaway: Win Three ARCs and Some Swag!

Hi, guys... it's giveaway time here at The Non Reluctant Reader! Last night I was going through all my ARCs and realize - holy crap. I have so many of them I need to get rid of a few. So. Here's the deets:
3 Different People Win 1 of the ARCs below and some Swag!
The ARCs:
The Golden DoorThis Is Not a DrillThe Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)
Enter after the page break!

September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
Today's pick:
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Release Date ~ 3/5/2012
Publisher ~ HarperTeen
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
   Though the first book in this trilogy, Delirium wasn't drop-dead amazing, the second book, Pandemonium was. This trilogy brings new thoughts, ideas, and questions to the dystopian and is like nothing else on the market. Lena wasn't an awesome character at first, but I've loved watching her transform to a bolder, more involved heroine. As for the love triangle that has blossomed, I'm not really sure of my thoughts, but I'm still Team Alex FTW! Though the one thing is, these books all have had really nice covers, except this one is not to expectations. I mean, c'mon, the other ones were so much better! 

September 25, 2012

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
The Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished
10. The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan - This series is pretty long, with 12 books in total, I've read 8 but haven't picked up the rest, and haven read any of the books in this series since I started blogging a year and three quarters ago or so.
9. Personal Demons Trilogy by Lisa Desrochers - I only read the first book in this series a month ago in a rush because I was going to meet Lisa at a signing... I hope to finish the second and third books soon.
8. The Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross - I read the first book in the series a while ago and still haven't read the second even though I have a copy.
7. The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith - I've read the first two books in this series and hope to read the second and third before the fourth season of the TV show premieres on the CW in October.
6. Twilight Graphic Novel Series by Stephanie Meyer - The first graphic novel in this series was okay, but I never really felt compelled to read more.
5. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin - These books are just so long, I have to build up a ton of willpower before I start reading the next one.
4. Cold Kiss Series by Amy Garvey - I've only read half of the first book and really need to pick it back up and read the rest. 
3. Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast by Clete Barrett Smith - This is one of the MG series I really need to pick back up. The author is local, so...
2. Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger - I went through a phase where I really liked these books... I still need to read the newest one though.
1. The Faerie Ring Series by Kiki Hamilton - I loved, loved, loved the first book in this series and have a copy of the second that I NEED TO READ!

September 22, 2012

Book Haul (15)

Book Haul is a weekly feature here that showcases all the awesome goodies I got this week!
So... all I got this week were two ebooks from netgalley... but both are pretty awesome... so here they are!
From NetGalley:
Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1)The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)
Undeadly by Michele Vail
This one looks awesome! The cover is so cool too!
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
OMG, Julie Kagawa is an amazing author! I seriously cannot wait to dive into it!

September 21, 2012

Announcing The Non Reluctant Reader YA Paranormal Spooktacular!

So... I am pleased to announce the first ever
Non Reluctant Reader YA Paranormal Spooktacular
So what's this event?
Simple! Every day from the 22nd to the 31st of October, The Non Reluctant Reader will host a different YA paranormal/spooky author! There are some great authors lined up, and oh, did I mention each post will be accompanied with a giveaway? So make sure you save the date! OCTOBER 22ND - 31ST.
Who are the authors?
I'm actually going to make this a surprise... you'll have to wait and see!

September 20, 2012

Guest Post: Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf's Bookish Bad Habits

Hey guys! Today I have the lovely Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf here for a guest post!
The topic:
Rachel's Bookish Bad Habits
1. I don't like eBooks, but I have two Kindles.
And I never use the things, either. This seems weird, right? "Uh, why do you have two Kindles if you don't like eBooks?" Let me explain. Kindle 1 (a basic keyboard Kindle): My mother bought it for me as a birthday present because I had complained that I didn't have enough room for all my books on my bookshelves. Getting me a Kindle was not the answer. I tried it out, downloaded some book previews, but I couldn't get myself to purchase anything on it because I like my books to be real, and I want to have them in ten years. Kindle 2 (Kindle Fire): For Christmas I said I wanted one, but I didn't get it because, hey, they're expensive, and I am a greedy child who wants quantity over quality at Christmas time. For awhile I pined for the Fire, but then one night I decided I didn't want it: I'd never really use it, it was expensive, and I could do pretty much everything I could do on it on my laptop as well. So, there was no point. The next day? My mother brings home a Kindle Fire for me. End of story.

2. I almost always have a library fee.
This usually happens for one of two reasons. 1) Because I haven't finished the book yet and I can't renew it, and I'm not getting rid of the book until I finish it. 2) I'm too lazy to return the book on the day its due, so it gets turned in late. Which is ridiculous, because the library is practically in my backyard. (Seriously.) Right now I have over $6.00 in fees. I keep telling myself I'll keep it at zero each time I pay the fee, but it never lasts very long.

3. Having a library in your backyard isn't always a good thing.
You're probably thinking, "Girl, you're crazy. Having a library in your backyard is like having Narnia in your closet--it's awesome." Yes, it is awesome. But here's my problem: I have over 20 books from the library right now, while I have tons of other books to read--ARCs, books I own. And library books have due dates. DUE DATES. What kind of world do we live in that I have to have a book turned in by a certain date?! I have three weeks to read this book, while it sits beside all these others? It's hard. Plus, a good chunk of those library books never get read. I renew them as many times as possible (up to three times, three weeks each time) and then return them unread. And then I check them out again at some point, usually. Don't get me wrong: I still love my library. But oh my gosh, there are so many books!

4. I am a book hoarder.
I LOVE books. The more I own, the better. I love going to places like Goodwill, because I find some great books for dirt cheap. I have two bookshelves, and they're pretty much full--I have books on the tippy-top, where books aren't supposed to go--and I have books in the closet, some stacks of ARCs, and several library books. My aunt once said, "Why don't you just get rid of some?" Why would I do that? My books are my babies! Some people collect coins, records, and dead bodies; I collect books. Plus, have you seen the library in Beauty and the Beast? I want it. I will have it. And while I wait for that to happen, I'm waiting for Hoarders to call me. *Phone rings* "Hello?" "Hi! Would you like to buy--" *Slams phone* *Waits*

5. I abuse my TBR list.
This is basically answered in numbers two, three, and four. But I'll say this: a book comes along that looks good, I get a hold of it, and I read it. In the meantime, certain books have been waiting to be read, and I dumped them for something new that just came along. (Sorry, Cinder, Delirium, What Happened to Goodbye.)

6. I judge a book by its cover.
Don't we all? I can't help looking at a cover and deciding whether or not it looks good, and if I want to read the synopsis. Covers. Are. Everything. If it looks horrible and cheesy, I'm turned off. Of course, sometimes the cover is overlooked and I read the synopsis or book. For instance, Anna and the French Kiss. The cover, along with the title, was like a cheesy Lifetime movie waiting to happen. I WAS SO WRONG. That book was amazing, and I totally call DIBS on Etienne St. Clair. But in the end, I do look at a cover first; it grabs my eye. Covers have gotten me to read Anna Dressed in Blood and Across the Universe. Who knows what's next?

7. A picky reader I am.
I am. If I read a synopsis or review for a book and it doesn't interest me or contains something I don't like, I probably won't pick the book up. For example, Beautiful Disaster. I've heard a lot about this book, and I've decided not to read it. With the feelings it gave people, and the content of the book, it just doesn't seem like my style. So beware, books: I is picky.

8. Just because I started a book doesn't mean I finished it...or that I won't.
There are a lot of books like this. Most recently was Paranormalcy, which I started forever ago, didn't finish, and then just finished. I don't know why this happens. It's probably because 1) a book came along that I had to drop it for, 2) I was in a reading funk and it wasn't doing anything for me, or 3) I had to return it to the darn library. This has happened with several books, and one day I hope to have zero unfinished books, but time shall tell. Examples: Endure, Pushing the Limits, Lost in Time (started twice!).

9. I like free stuff and I cannot lie.
Who doesn't? I like to enter contests because, hey, free stuff! And the reason this is sort of a bad habit is because I haven't read over half of what I've won. (But I will, I promise!) Free stuff is the best stuff, and if you can get it, why not?

10. I CHEAT.
Not always, but I do! I'm horrible, bad, and a cheater! Shame on me! "You cheat on your boyfriends? Homewrecker!" That's what you're thinking. But it's not what I meant. I meant that I cheat in books--by looking ahead. I don't do this on every book, but sometimes I just can't help myself and I look ahead to see what's going to happen, when this character is going to show up, when they'll kiss, etc. Sometimes, I control myself. Sometimes, I can't. Example: Pushing the Limits. Just because I haven't finished it doesn't mean I don't know what's going to happen after where my bookmark is. (This is probably why I haven't finished it. For the most part, I kind of know what's going to happen.) I know, it's bad! Live with it!

I'm Rachel. I'm a reader, writer, tweeter, animal owner, and blogger, and I have bad bookish habits.
Thanks for the awesome guest post Rachel! 

September 19, 2012

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson Blog Tour: Review and Interview

Welcome to my stop on The Crown of Embers Blog Tour!
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Release Date ~ 9/18/2012
Format ~ ARC
Publisher ~ Greewillow 
Source ~ Publisher
Purchase It!
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.
Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.
   To put it bluntly, I think Rae Carson should become queen of everything effect of immediately. She's that god of an author. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns she took us for a wicked wild ride through her amazing world. And compared to The Crown of Embers, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a toddler trying to play with the big boys. Rae Carson has took one of the best books ever and wrote a sequel even better. Plus The Crown of Embers has a sea voyage to a mysterious, magical island. Everything's better with sea voyages and mysterious, magical islands.

    Even though Elisa was a gem of a character in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she becomes a "godstone" of a character in The Crown of Embers. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns she lacked a lot of confidence and in The Crown of Embers she really takes control of the situations. Simply put, she's one badass chick.

   Even though A Girl of Fire and Thorns had a decent romance, The Crown of Embers has a romance that seems as though it's written in the stars. Hector is a great guy, and it was painful to watch himself struggle with the impulse to get romantic with Elisa. I may or may not of found myself yelling "DAMN IT, HECTOR!! WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR HONOR!! THIS IS KILLING ME!!", LOL.

   The end of The Crown of Embers felt like the ending of part one of a two part Doctor Who episode. As you Whovians know, the doctor has took control and though there is still a big problem to be solved, you're confident the Doctor has it all under control. Then the familiar theme song begins and you're like "WOOT WOOT! Oh crap... waiting for the next episode is going to suck!" That's what the ending of The Crown of Embers feels like, just replace every time I said "The Doctor" with "Elisa".

   In other words, The Crown of Embers makes readers wonder if it's humanly possible for a book to get any better.
Cover Comments:
I like this cover much better then the cover for The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The blue is a really nice touch!

What do you have to say about the growing popularity of high fantasy?
BRING IT! The truth is that high fantasy has been popular for a long time; authors such as Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, George R.R. Martin, and David Eddings have dominated the bestseller lists. But the thing that fills me with So. Much. Excitement. is watching this trend filter into the young adult market. YA novels aren't shelved by genre. And as a group, readers of YA are generally open-minded and unintimidated, so they'll read anything. This means that high fantasy is now mainstream, and people who don't usually browse the adult science fiction and fantasy section of their bookstore are finally able to find high fantasy novels and give them a try. 
Is there anything you just have to do before you get into writing mode?
I absolutely, positively, no question about it must TURN OFF THE INTERNET. When I do that, it's amaaazing how much I can get done. 
What's your favorite part of being an author?
I love loving what I do. It's the greatest feeling ever. I spent years dragging myself out of bed to go to dayjobs I couldn't have cared less about. It was exhausting and soul-crushing. I'm grateful for all my previous jobs; paying the bills is a reality of life, and in hard times like these, having a job--any job!--is something worth celebrating. But being able to do what I love AND pay the bills is amazing and wonderful and puts me in the top 1% of luck recipients in the world.
If you could pick any fictional character to add to your books who would it be?
Padmé Amidala from the three Star Wars prequels. Those movies were terrible. But as a character, Padmé had so much unrealized potential. I'd love to put her in my books and give her a chance to finally shine.
If your house was burning down and you could pick one book to save, which would you pick?
I would grab THE TWELVE, which is the sequel to Justin Cronin's THE PASSAGE, because I just started reading it and I neeeed to know what happens next.
What can fans of GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS expect for CROWN OF EMBERS?
More danger, more magic, and a LOT more romance.
Describe CROWN OF EMBERS in three words! GO!
Secret passageways rock.
Thanks for the fantastic interview Rae!
About the author:
I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.
Find Rae on her: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads 
Follow that tour!
9/10 One Page Reviews— This or That
9/11 Pure Imagination— This or That
9/12 Candace's Book Blog— Interview 
9/13 Two Chicks on Books— Character Interview, Hector
9/14 Books with Bite— Interview
9/17 Laura's Review Bookshelf— Interview 
9/18 Short and Sweet Reviews— Guest Post
9/19 The Non Reluctant Reader— Interview
9/20 Book Chic— Interview 
9/21 Good Books and Good Wine— Interview 
9/24 Short and Sweet Reviews— BONUS TRACK! Author Interview

Waiting on Wednesday: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine
Here's my pick:
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Release Date ~ 9/25/12
Publisher ~ Harlequin Teen
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
   Recently I've been feeling the zombie craze! And a zombie novel + Alice in Wonderland sounds too good to be true! The cover of this book is awesome too! Though I know every cover seems to just have a girl in a dress on it, I love how this cover takes the colorful dress from Alice in Wonderland and adds a macabre, darker touch to it. And at the bottom there, "Off with their heads."? Love it! Thankfully this book comes out in a week so we won't have to wait that long!
What book can't you wait to read? Link me to your post in the comments! 

September 18, 2012

The Serpent' Ring Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Hi guys! Welcome to my stop on The Serpent's Ring by H.B. Bolton's Blog Tour! To start thing off, here's a little bit about The Serpent's Ring.
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum ... that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.

Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous bird and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
H.B. is lucky enough to live in Florida, so that means she gets to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter quite often. So the guest post topic is a../
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Through the Eyes of a Passholder
Snow covers the rooftops of Hogsmeade Village, even under the scorching-hot sun. The familiar melody from the Harry Potter movies trickles out from every crevice. The Hogwarts Express and its conductor are on your right. To the left are Zonko’s joke shop and Honeydukes, where you can find interesting toys and candy (respectively including chocolate frogs and every flavor beans). A cart sits in the middle of the cobblestone street, where one can purchase pumpkin juice and butterbeer (which tastes like cream soda). Wander past the Three Broomsticks tavern and stumble into Hog’s Head pub (complete with a live-motion hog’s head). Muggles can purchase a wand over at Ollivanders and attempt to cast spells. You can even drop a letter in the postbox, and it will be delivered with a Hogsmeade postmark. It’s all there, just like in J.K. Rowling’s fantastical books.
Fly through the air on one of the tracks from the Dragon Challenge’s roller-coaster ride. Or try Flight of the Hippogriff; it might be a coaster for the little ones, but don’t be fooled — it’s pretty thrilling. Sing along with the Hogwarts chorus (including oversize toads), or watch the ladies from Beauxbatons flutter and the gents from Durmstrang stomp.
Up the hill sits Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The ride itself is not for the weak, but if you can stomach flying on a broomstick with Harry, then I highly recommend taking the plunge. Otherwise, you can wait in the child-swap area and cool off while watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s important to stroll through the castle and take in every detail: talking portraits, floating candles, and dragon bones hanging from the ceiling.
I live in Orlando, Florida and frequently visit the local theme parks. Being that I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter, I love exploring the shops and ridding the rides at Universal’s newest attraction. I’ve been a few times, and the same tingle travels down to my toes each and every time I see the snow capped rooftops.
For more information, I recommend visiting this official site (it’s pretty amazing)
Thanks a lot H.B.!
Win a Serpent's Ring prize pack that has all of this awesome stuff in it:
The Deets:
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September 17, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Release Date ~ 9/20/201
Format ~ ARC
Publisher ~ Greenwillow
Source ~ Swapped
Purchase It!
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
   High fantasy isn't a genre I've explored too much. It's never been too of a genre for me, as stuff like The Lord of the Rings was something I always stayed away from. But after George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Shadow and Bone by Liegh Bardugo, I was less reluctant to read from this genre. I still won't read Tolkien, but I am more willing to pick up other high fantasy. And when I heard about Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I couldn't wait to read it!

  Elisa was just an amazing main character. I don't think Rae Carson couldn't of created a more refreshing or realistic main character. Elisa was overweight. She know's she's overweight. She has terribly low self-esteem because of it. She's lived in the shadow of her older and more charismatic sister all her life. And yet, god has bestowed upon her a "godstone", something only given to someone once every 100 years and means they are destined for greatness. She has no idea why the godstone has been given to her. I think one of the many joys of this book was reading about her transformation and about her finding herself and her destiny.

   The one thing that I both loved and hated about The Girl of Fire and Thorns was that Rae Carson frankly didn't give a damn about your feelings for a character. She'd build someone up, make you love them, and then kill them. I think she's a twisted, sadistic meanie to do that to us, but I admire that she has the courage and the wit to do that. Only great authors know how to kill of characters you really care about.

   The settings in The Girl of Fire and Thorns were so vivid and lush. With so many different landscapes and kingdoms, it was hard to remember all the names, but it was like looking at a full, palatable painting with a canvas a mile long. It was so easy to imagine the world you were there alongside Elisa every step of the way.

    Never before has a book in this genre been so masterly written or so elegantly done. Rae Carson is a genius of a novelist!
Cover Comments:
I love the gold on this cover and all the hedges/bushes on the outline! The entire cover looks so magical! 
Rae Carson will be visiting The Non Reluctant Reader on Wednesday, 9/19 with an interview as part of THE CROWN OF EMBERS blog tour.

September 16, 2012

Suzanne Selfors - The Sweetest Spell Launch Party Recap

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of going to Suzanne's Selfors launch party for her latest YA novel, The Sweetest Spell hosted by my local indie, Liberty Bay Books.
The Sweetest Spell
I haven't read any of Suzanne Selfors' books yet, but The Sweetest Spell looks amazing and now that I have a signed copy I'm sure I'll do so asap! 
This event started at the same time as my soccer game ended, so when you add on the 30 minute drive to get to the signing, I missed a fair amount of the signing. I knew that, but for most YA events I attend I have to take a ferry ride to Seattle, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to a YA event so close. Because I was late, I didn't get there til the Q/A session, though I was sad I missed the reading I loved hearing Suzanne answer all the questions! She was very honest in her answers and I enjoyed hearing all about her writing habits, life, books, ect.  I sat next to Sarah from Sarah's Random Musings and I also got to meet the lovely Jenna from Making the Grade Reviews who was visiting family in the area all the way from Florida! So that was a real treat! I also got to chat with Suzanne a bunch after her presentation, and told her she was living in the dark ages because she was not on any of the social networking! It was fun to have a bunch of laughs with her and the bloggers! It also happened to be her birthday, so I got to wish her happy birthday! :)
After the event Sarah and I raided Liberty Bay Books' YA ARC selection, and I got lots of awesome goodies! :D
Here are a few pictures of Suzanne at the event (thanks to Sarah for taking them, as my camera broke):

And here's a photo with all of us bloggers with Suzanne:

Jenna, Sarah, Suzanne, me
(See above for links to Jenna and Sarah's blogs)

September 15, 2012

Book Haul (14)

Book Haul is a weekly feature here that showcases all the awesome goodies I got this week!
    So I had the best book week this week! Seriously, I haven't got so many books in a long long while! It consisted of Sarah from Sarah's Random Musings raided the local indie bookstore, Liberty Bay Books' YA ARC pile, which was pretty fun. I also spent all of my birthday money there! So anyway, here's what I got this week:

My hamster, Bubbles, inspects this week's haul
For Review:
Possession by Elena Johnson
I'm on a blog tour for this book on November 26th and I can't wait to host that!
The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton
I freaking loved the first book in this series, The Fairy Ring and I cannot wait to read the second! Victorian London with FEY? <3
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I died when I got this book! The first book in the series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was my favorite book of 2011!
Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Cat is a local author and I've been meaning to read her book for a long time! I've heard they're amazing!
Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia 
One of those books I've been meaning to read for ages! I need to read it before the movie comes out next February!
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
I already have the first two books in this series but I haven't read them, but I bought this one just to complete my set!
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
I listened to the first book in the series, Paranormalacy on audio, and I really liked it, so I can't wait to read this one!
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
The character I was representing, Simon, in the YA Crush Tourney got beat by the crush in this book, Patch, so I promised myself I would read it if only to laugh at him. Mwhahaha!
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
I like that this one has a guy main character and the premise sounds amazing!
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Man, this book looks awesome! Steampunk and dystopian? Sign me up! I've read rave reviews too!
Slated by Terri Terry
This one looks really dark and has an awesome cover!
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
This is from the back-cover! "For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner", so umm, you can sign me up now lol!
Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Richelle Mead
I haven't read any of the Vamp Academy books but I have some friends who do so I'll probably pass this along to them!
The Cadet of Todor by Alex Lidell
This is supposed to be a cross of Tamora Pierce and George R.R. Martin, holy crap doesn't it sound amazing?
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Oh my god, this sounds so scary and freaky! Me and Sarah (see above) got in a fight over it. In the end I got it because I gave her Prodigy by Marie Lu (fair trade!).
Fathomless by Jackson Pierce
I haven't read any of Pierce's books but I have all of the fairy tale retelling books, so yay because I have them all now!
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherine M. Valentin
I already have an ARC of this, so I'll give this away! :)
What books did you get this week? Let me know in the comments!

September 14, 2012

BBAW Day Five: BBAW Highlights

Today's Topic: 
Book Blogger Appreciation Week Highlights
  So another Book Blogger Appreciation Week has come to past *plays Green Day's Wake Me Up, When September Ends*, and it's been fun as heck! I've been introduced to a lot of awesome bloggers and books, and I've got to know some bloggers I've known for a while even better, which is always fun. But here are my highlights from the week!
   First things first: I got to know two bloggers I've been following and interacting with for a while a whole lot better! The two bloggers I'm talking about are the lovely Angela from Reading Angel and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books! Both I got to chat with a bit too this week, so those two were a complete blast!
   I was also introduced to my interview swap partner, Sheila from Book's Journey! Sheila has been blogger for 3+ years and it's always nice to get to know the more "veteran" book bloggers!
   And this wasn't really a highlight, but more of an observation, I realized this: I am not very good at scheduling posts to go up at the right time. Though I've never messed up on that before, I messed up twice with scheduling this week! On day one I accidentally posted the day two post instead of the day one post, and on day four I accidentally scheduled my post to go up at 12:00 pm instead of 12:00 am! So what I learned this week is I really need to be more careful when it comes to scheduling!
   As for books I was introduced to, I'm not even going to name a few. I got introduced to so many new books from so many different bloggers, it was insanity! But the bottom line is: my TBR pile just got a whole lot bigger (like it wasn't already huge?).

   This book blogger appreciation week was so much fun. Though there were a few drama queens/kings throughout, it was mostly a drama free week! The only thing better then this would be if all of us book bloggers took a week long retreat in  person. Now that would be awesome!

Hope you all had a AWESOME Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

September 13, 2012

BBAW Day Four: A Book I Think Everyone Should Read

Today's Topic:
One Book I Think Everyone Needs To Read
Though I could give you a list of books I that I think deserve more recognition, but I decided to pick the one that I think deserves it the most:

Envy by Gregg Olsen
Murder is such a dirty word…

New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with Empty Coffin, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.

Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.

Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.

Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.

   Gregg Olsen is just an amazing author! From beginning to end he amazed me! This is so different then the usual YA fare... it's written in the style of true crime and it's so suspenseful throughout!  I loved it!
Read my review!

September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date ~ 2/5/13
Publisher ~ Harper Teen
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.
 So I have a question: was it just me or was reading the first book, Shatter Me an awesome, life-changing experience that you will never forget? Because I for one fell head-over-heals for it. If you can fall head-over-heals for a book that is. The characters, the dialog, the writing style, the setting, it was all so unique and different then the average dystopian fare! I need this book. I'll die without it.

BBAW Day Three: What Blogging Means To Me

What Blogging Means to Me
   I'm going to set the scene for you: it's January 2011, the middle of winter. School's gotten far enough from the start to be boring but not close enough to the end of school for that fever to kick in. In the house of a local middle grade author, house of a writing group for youth, sits 11 year old Benji Kenworthy, still recovering from his last feeble attempt at blogging. That one a blog about my favorite soccer club. I felt like I had to start posting opinions again soon or else I'd die of boredom. And so "Readings of Benji" was born. By April I was hooked. By July I had changed the blog's name to "The Non Reluctant Reader", something I thought better suited to the style of blog I hoped to run.

   Now that you have the back story, I'm going to give you the full scoop of what exactly book blogging means for me. 

  Before I started this blog my friends were super annoyed about me always talking to all the new books coming out. Most of my friends are big readers, but they're not too into following the latest book releases, so there was really no one to talk to about what I was reading. When I found about the book blogging community, paticularily the YA I was beyond excited. I couldn't believe there were THIS many YA book bloggers, and more importantly, this many people to discuss YA books with! It was sort of like heaven combined with the biggest bookstore on earth, which is of course heaven.

  So in short what blogging is for me is an outlet for me to gush, rant, and ramble about books. It's a place for me to share my opinions and receive others. It's a place for me to be enthusiastic about every kind of written word, for the YA audience of course.

September 11, 2012

BBAW Day Two: Interview Swap

Day One: Interview Swap
Hey guys! So it's day one of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and what better way to get to know one another then reading interviews with them! So the person I was fortunate enough to interview is...
When you started blogging, what were your expectations for it?

When I started blogging I really didnt know I was book blogging. I started the blog as an online record for myself. When received my first comment I was kind of freaked out - how did they find me??? Well... once you get into discussing books with others on line... I wanted more! That was when I tried to learn how to book blog and do it well. I just wanted it to be the best I could do.
How do you keep blogging from becoming a "chore"?
I enjoy chatting books so that is always fun. Sure, I have my days where I just can not write a review... I may be tired, or busy... but I seem to always find my way back because I love the community. I also write posts on other topics, like life, working out, etc...
What are some blogs you follow daily?
That's a hard one! I have a sidebar of blogs I like to keep an eye on what they are doing because I enjoy their posts, but it is not an exclusive list, their are others I like to read as well... too many to mention :)
What is the best book you've read in 2012?
The Fault in Our Stars
  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, I actually did not read it, I listened to it on audio and WOW! I highly recommend it.
What do you like to do besides blogging and reading?
I am so glad you asked! I love to stay active and I have a group of friends who I do bike rides with all over Minnesota, my big accomplishment this year was my first century, which is 100 miles in one day. That was a two day ride, between the two days I road 174 miles. I also do mud runs, love to camp and hang out with friends. I am active with our local linrary and a book club I started in 2011 that now has 18 members.
What's your favorite genre?
That's tough! It depends on my mood. I love literature and historical fiction, but I also love a good mystery, dystopian, memoir.... gah.... today I think the answer is dystopian.

If you had to pitch your blog in one sentence, what would it be?
Crazy antics of a book loving, bike riding, mud running, coffee drinking, lover of hanging out, adventure seeker .;)
What one book has influenced you greatly?
To KIll A Mockingbird really moved me and I was mad at myself for taking so long to read it. I recommend it to everyone. Have you read it? You should.
Where do you hope to see your blog by the end of the year?
I have lots of ideas for Book Journey but lack the time to always implement them.... This year I just want to continue for Book Journey to be a place where readers can find honest reviews in a variety of genres as well as a little humor along the way. I plan to continue implementing read-a-longs with books I want to read as well as creating events that bring us as book bloggers more in community together.
Thanks for reading and I hope you've gotten a chance to meet Sheila well enough! Continue to check back each day for more of the Book Blogger Appreciation Week daily topics! :) 
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