Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox Vol. 6

Books & Sensibility is taking part in the In My Mailbox meme started by The Story Siren. Each week bloggers post books that have arrived in their mailbox, picked up from the bookstore or purchased. Here are some books I'm getting ready to read.

We got some AMAZING DEALS this week. All these books were only 6.00 ! We went to the library sale and on the last day they give you a paperbag and you can fill it up for $3.00. We traded most of the books at the used bookstore, but kept some. 

*We had some Patricia Cromwell, James Fray and John Grisham hardbacks we couldn't trade. If you'd like one e-mail us*

Won by Jess

I won these from Reading In Color's  C.O.L.O.R/Better World Books giveaway. Such a wonderful blog, everyone should check it out !

Whale Talk By Chris Crutcher
This book is YA literature at it's best, it deals with tough issues with character you can get invested in.

Feed by M.T Anderson
A sci-fi futuristic book, I read it in high school and sort of liked it. Maybe I'll give it a second chance

Speak by Laura Halse Anderson
A prolific book that I have heard so much about, yet I have not read.


Peace, Love and Baby Ducks
After hearing about the Lauren Myracle controversy with the NBA I decided to try one of her books I saw on sale !


Dreamland by Sarah Dessen This book was sitting in the free pile at the used bookstore. This was my first Sarah Dessen book back in high school

Library Sale

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Downham's You Against Me has been on a lot of book blogs, this is her first book

Dangerous Distractions by Beverly Barton
I've always wanted to read a Sillhoute/Harlequinn type book.

A Voice in The Dark by Jenna Ryan
My first Harlequin !

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
So, one of my English professors said he went to college with McCarthy and he hardly showed up for class.

Gone by Lisa McMann
We got Wake last week, so it seemed only fitting. It was missing it's jacket but, what are you going to do.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I read this in 10th grade and I think it was too complex for me. I wonder how reading it know will affect me.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Love, Love, love, this book.  I actually have a worn out paperback and when I saw 2 hardcovers I had to get them. We may give one away in a follower giveaway . . . 

Memoirs of a Geisha
I don't know why the used bookstores wouldn't take this copy. So, I  will kept it and maybe one day I'll read it.

Richard McKay's Used Book Store

Vampire Knight #1
Got the 3rd one last week and I found the first one in mint condition at the used book store. 

Book Review : Dearly Departed

"Vampires are just zombies with good PR" 
                    - Dearly, Departed

Synopsis :  Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. . . Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. 

Dearly, Departed is my first foray into the world of zombies and steampunk. It tells the story of Nora Dearly a 22nd century girl living in a 19th century Victorian world. The novel starts of slow and picks up quickly. As expected there is a lot of information to take in to fully understand the world. 

It is the kind of novel that takes ideas such as race, class and war and recontextualzes them in a fascinating way and that is one of the strong points of the novel.

There are defined  switching point of views that reminded me of Dan Brown and John Grisham novels. The POVs weave together nicely, but with so many characters knowing one thing while the other knows something else made the moments at the end of the novel confusing.

The zombie aspect of the novel provided were not consistent and given a hand-wave of an explanation. It seemed to rely on reimagingng zombies, while also throwing in a lot of zombie apolcalypese steroptypes.

As with most  teen paranormal books this  does have a smattering of romance, but I liked how it wasn't the central part of the novel. Nora isn't  just dragged into the story, but wants to become apart of it. There was a fair amount of  well written action, suspense and nightmare fueled scenes.

Bram is our second main protagonist. He is a likeable character and comes across as strong and confident without being domineering. He has a well written group of friends who play off him very well.

I liked how the book featured a diverse cast, that did not completely resonate into sterotypes.

Dearly, Departed mixes quite a lot of genres including zombies, steampunk, Victorian and sci-fi and I do wonder if the Victorian aspect of the novel was really necessary  Habel is a fan of New Victorian and I found the future setting did away with the authenticity of the Victorian speech, semantics and culture; which  was d disappointing. I also wish we could have spend more time in Nora's world  instead of being catapulted into a more modern setting. I do however have high hopes for the sequel, Dearly, Beloved.

On a side note I despise the synopsis for this book for focusing so much on the very small relationship aspect of the novel.

Recived by as a Galley via Netgalley

Yay ! I finished The Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge ! I read about Casters, Angels and Zombies !

October Paranormal Reading Challenge

Friday, October 28, 2011

Join Us For National Blog Posting Month

We've been blogging for a couple of months here at Books and Sensibility and  decided it was time for a big challenge.  So, we've signed up for  National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo hosted by Blogher.

In the same spirit of NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo challenges bloggers to blog everyday for a month

That's 30 days and 30 post.

We plan to do every thing from features, book reviews, book cover post and maybe try some new stuff

 It will be a challenge, but if we go down, we'll go down kicking and screaming. If you think you can do it you should join us and we can get through it together.

Sign up here, we need more book bloggers representin' !

Bout of Books 2.0 : Spine Poem

So, Bout of Books . . . it started off good and then I took a steep downward fall. I've done very little reading the last few days. However, after I make this post I am picking up Clockwork Angel and finishing it !

For a Bout of Books challenge from Actin' Up With Books you have to make a poem using book spines. I am not the biggest  poetry fan, but here is my try. *snaps fingers rhythmically*

Wake, beautiful creatures !
Before I die
The road, downright dangerous
Looking for Alaska

I now realize I should flip Look For Alaska and Downright Dangerous. Oh, well.

Book Review : The Next Door Boys

"When you're no longer afraid of death, there are a lot of things you're not afraid of anymore"
- Jolene B. Perry, The Next Door Boys 

 I received  Jolene B. Perry's Next Door Boys from NetGalley. I choose it  because the name jumped out at me and the cover art reminded me of a Sarah Dessen novel. Within a few minutes of reading the book, I realized this is a LDS novel. Something I didn't quite expect

As someone not raised Mormon, I don't know much about the Mormon Church except, that my 10th grade English/theatre teacher was a member and of course . . . Napolen Dynamite. With that in mind, there were some concepts I didn't get and traditions I didn't quite understand--like the importance of missions and going to temple.

The story follows Leigh Tressman, a 19 year old girl headed to Birmingham Young University with her brother, Jaron,  after spending a year fighting ovarian cancer. The novel follows Leigh's first year at college, along with the trial and tribulations she goes through in love and life.

Leigh is fiercely independent almost to a fault. She wants so much to not be the sick girl that she doesn't listen to her doctor or family. This struggle plays off most of the plot in the novel.

That said she is a bit of a Mary Sue at times. Every guy loves her and she can do everything. She sings beautifully, is a master sewer and everyone loves her.

There is a religious aesop that doesn't show up until  middle and I felt like that was the best part of the story. It showed many more dynamics of all the characters. I also think this book attempts to do away with sterotypes associated with the LDS church. It was like ; I date guys, I eat fast food, I watch TV and . . . I'm a mormon (you've seen those ads, right?)

Overall, I did like this novel, though I found it a llittle too sacchrine sweet at times. Leigh and her brother have a nauseatingly  kind relationship combined with the other perfect characters. I like the concept and the overall story. I would suggest this to anyone looking for an inspy novel to read.

According to Jolene Perry's website there will be a sequel and I am actually pretty excited

Pros : Good story, interesting supporting characters, inspirational

Cons: Predictable, too saccharine sweet, some slow parts

Thank You Cedar Fort  Publishing for the e-galley !

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday Vol. 6

Each week Books and Sensibility participates in Waiting on Wednesday, a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today we have two books

You are My Only by Beth Kephart

I found this book after reading this blog post where Beth discusses the important impact of book bloggers on authors and this book in particular.  Of course, now the novel is sold out on so looks like I will be waiting on it for a while.

Synopsis: The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax.

Never Enough by Denis Jaden

Denise just released the cover for this book and it really caught my attention. The plot seems like a good contemporary story.

Synopsis: Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special…even if that means betraying her sister

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship—and her sister—before it’s too late?

So, what are you all waiting for, I'm super curious !

Monday, October 24, 2011

If These Books Were Judged By Their Covers : Cover Trends

They say don't judge a book by its cover, but every week Books and Sensibility contributors take a stroll around the local bookstore (okay, the internet) to see what we can find in the world of book covers

Lately there have been two distinct  trends when it comes to YA book covers.

Pretty Girl In Pretty Dress

Nothing says whimsical , possibly paranormal and love story quite like Pretty Girl In Pretty Dress. These covers have dresses that would make any Disney princess envious. 

Bonus if there is a flowery flourish, double bonus if the heroine is never described in the cover dress.

Girl Passed Out On The Ground

Want to show that your heroine might be innocent, helpless and wating for her happily ever after ? Nothing says it better like Girl Passed Out On The Ground.

If you can't decide which one to go with, just mix it together to create Passed Out Girl In A Pretty Dress.

Do you have any favorites ? Which cover trend do you prefer ? Did we I miss any ?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon Updates

Update: So, it;s the end of the Bout of books. I didn't quite accomplish what I wanted, but I am happy where I am. I didn't want to just speed read books, I want to take time to enjoy them. I'm glad I finished City of Glass, I didn't think I was ever going to get to it. This was an experience and I am ready for my next reading challenge !

My Goals : 

Devilish by Maureen Johnson
The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry


Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Extras by Scott Westerfeld

All my updates will be in this post !

Number of books I’ve read today: 2
Total number of books I’ve read: finished Devilish and The Next Door Books. Started City of Glass
Today #insixwords: Audiobook actors affect male voices badly
Number of books I’ve read today: 2
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: I read better with some caffeine
Books: Finished City of Glass, Started Clockwork Angel
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: Not my best day, slacked off.
Books: Clockwork Angel
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: at least I finished a review
Books: Clockwork Angel
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: ugh, disappointed--really slacked off today
Books: Clockwork Angel
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: Didn't quite complete challenge, next time . . .  

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon

So, I am participating in Bout of Books, a read-a-thon hosted at  On A Book Bender.

That means cutting back on internet time and waking up early to read.

If you want to join, you can find the sign up here, it's open until Oct.28th.

I will be sure to update everyday with my progress on the blog and on Twitter. Because I am participating in a contemp challenge next month my goal is to finish a lot of the non-contemp books I have.

My goal is to finish these books I've started :
The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry
Devilish by Maureen Johnson

Books to Read :
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Extras by Scott Westerfeld

It seems ambitious, but I'll do my best. I'll post my first update tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In My Mailbox Vol.5

Books and Sensibility is taking part in the In My Mailbox meme started by The Story Siren. Each week bloggers post books that have arrived in their mailbox, picked up from the bookstore or purchased. Here are some books We are getting ready to read.

McKay's Used Bookstore

Clockwork Angel By Cassandra Clare
We grabbed this one for only 1.75 after using store credit.

Library Book Sale
Wake By Lisa Mcmann 
In nearly perfect condition and only .50 cents !

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
I know, deja vu but it was only 50 cents and in better quality than the one Kat found last week

The Stand By Stephen King
I already purchased this one used but I like this cover much better.

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Kat wrote a post about  this book and realized how long it has been since she read it.

Vampire Knight Vol#3
Allison Can Read (check her out !) suggested this when Kat asked for manga recs. She bought Vol. 3 for .50 cents Hopefully she can find volume 1 and 2 somewhere.

Ironman by Chris Crutcher
Love his writing and I need books for Kathy Coleman's ( I Read, I Write, I Review) Keeping it Real Challenge.

Beautiful Chaos
Pre-order, FTW

The Night Circus
We've had our eye on this book since the WSJ article.

We got free shipping when we ordered these together. Both  new hardcover books for just 26.00 and they came so quickly.

Jess' Library Haul

I stopped by a new library over where I volunteer and found these

The Luxe
I like historical fiction so I want to give this a try.

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky
My aunt's goddaughter wrote this book. Heidi Durrow is an amazing person and I've been meaning to read this. This copy will tide me till I can buy it.

I don't know why I picked this up, I just kept seeing it on book blogs.

Kat's Libray Haul

City of Glass (AUDIO BOOK) by Cassandra Clare
Making my way through TMI and thought this would be a nice change. I'm getting into audiobooks

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
More books for the contemp challenge.

Want to Go Private by Sara Derer Littman
Saw this on WoW and saw it on the new release shelf in the library

Audio Books

Eve by Anna Carey
Got my free sample from

So, 16 books for under $33 ? That's a pretty good deal. You don't have to have a lot of money to get some good books !


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