Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review | Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

Shadow Bound
Rachel Vincent
Unbound #2
Published May 22, 2012
Urban fantasy
Review copy from NetGalley
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
Wow. Shadow Bound was somehow even better than Blood Bound despite having completely different protagonists. If you haven't read these books yet, you really, really should.

King-Sized Review
Blood Bound did not end well for Kori Daniels. After weeks trapped in the Tower syndicate basement, unable to walk the shadows wherever she wants to go, Kori is given a last chance. She must recruit Ian Holt, a Blinder of unparalleled power, to the syndicate. Or else.

Ian has no intention of joining the syndicate. He accepted Jake Tower's invitation for one reason only: to save his brother's life. Unfortunately, as he falls for Kori, that means he'll have to choose between her and his brother.

Shadow Bound was intense. Raw, gritty, and powerful, it showed a side of the syndicates even darker than that in Blood Bound. Criminal organizations with a virtual monopoly on Skilled individuals, the syndicates make old time Chicago look like Disneyland. Putting some pretty spectacular characters aside, one of the best things about this series is its dark underworld and the many different ways its inhabitants react to the choices this world presents them.

With that in mind, Kori might actually be a new favorite character. She has a quick temper, drinks vodka straight from the bottle, punches people when she's angry, and curses like a sailor. She's also unbelievably tough and cares more about her sister than anyone in the world.

The other characters were also stellar (in the sense that they were very well written, because Jake Tower was an evil SOB). Ian complemented Kori well, though his chapters weren't as intense as Kori's. I do wish we had seen a bit more of Liv and Cam, because I loved them in the last book, but I was so absorbed in everything else going on that I almost forgot about them.

Shadow Bound was an amazing book that I highly recommend to any and all urban fantasy fans. So when does the next book come out again?

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Outstanding

PNR or UF?
GARS Score: 1.14 (4/4/4/3) - more UF

In the same aisle
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday | Recent Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted weekly by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish.

This week's topic: the top ten books written in the past ten years I hope are still being (widely) read in 30 years. This requires some thought, because it isn't necessarily the books I've enjoyed most (though I do love all of these), but the ones that reach people the most deeply in ways that will still be relevant 30 years from now. So with that in mind, here goes (books link to Goodreads, titles to my reviews):

Feed by Mira Grant
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Harry Potter: not on the list because a) the first book was written more than ten years ago, and b) I don't hope people will still be reading it in 30 years; I know they will.

What future classics have you read in the past ten years?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post is a new meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer that offers an opportunity to recap the past week, showcase what's coming up on your blog, and share what books you got for the week.

This week I published reviews of Insurgent (Veronica Roth), The Dragon's Path (Daniel Abraham), and Froi of the Exiles (Melina Marchetta). Next week you'll see reviews of Dark Magic (James Swain), Shadow Bound (Rachel Vincent), Where Things Come Back (John Corey Whaley), and The Eternity Code (Eoin Colfer) as well as a discussion post, if everything goes as planned. (It usually doesn't, but that's okay.)

Yesterday I found an amazing used bookstore that was stuffed floor to ceiling with stacks and stacks of books. I managed to limit myself to three by some miracle:

Cold Magic by Kate Elliot
Diplomacy of Wolves by Holly Lisle
Arabian Nights (Signet Classic)

I also got Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent from NetGalley, and I've already read it. It was amazing!

Finally, Anthea Sharp sent me her new book in the Feyland series, The Bright Court. I really liked the first one and can't wait to start the sequel!

In other news, I have finally ordered a new router because mine doesn't work for more that two and a half minutes at a time. I know I've been behind on comments, which makes me sad, but in a week or so I will not have to be really uncomfortable to use my computer and will be able to catch up.

What's new on your shelves this week?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review | Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth
Divergent #2
Published May 1, 2012 by Harper Teen
YA dystopian/adventure
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
Insurgent is just as thrilling and action-packed as Divergent. Fans of the previous book will be quickly drawn in by this spectacular sequel.

King-Sized Review
Sometimes the second book in a trilogy falls a little flat. The author treats it as a bridge to the conclusion rather than a story in itself, and the entire book consists only of setup for the ending. I have to admit, I was a little worried about this possibility when I started Insurgent.

It's okay, though. Insurgent is awesome.

Insurgent is so awesome that I read it in one sitting. Not one day (although okay, yes, it was one day), but I literally sat down and did not get up until I finished the book. It is utterly action-packed, with barely enough time to grasp one thing before it moves you right along to the next fight. The pace was simply brilliant; maybe if I'd had time to sit down and think for a few minutes I would have gotten more than a vague idea of what the big reveal was, but as it was, my predictions were always distracted by the next scene.

The story starts off right where Divergent left off, with basically no time spent on recapping. Luckily, Veronica Roth has written a background post for everyone who read Divergent months ago and forgot a lot of the details, and I used this resource a lot in the first few pages. After that I got sucked into the story and forgot about the post, not to mention all of the internet.

Insurgent doesn't really seem like a YA book. Every time someone mentioned that Tris was only sixteen, I thought, "Wait. Really?" The characters in this book have a maturity born of hardship and pain, and don't at all act like teenagers most of the time. In some cases, that might be difficult to believe, but here it never seems fake because of all they've been through. While there is a little bit of drama, it's terribly minor in comparison with everything else that happens, which is something I definitely appreciated.

This is a pretty dark book, though of course it has some great comic relief. Bad things happen. Parts are shocking, though some of it wasn't much of a surprise. I really can't wait to see what Ms. Roth has in store for us next. I'm sure it will be spectacular.

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Excellent

In the same aisle
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi
Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bucket List Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the bookish bucket list giveaway is

She chose Magic Bites (Ilona Andrews) for her prize, which I heartily approve of. Congratulations, Krista!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review | The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

The Dragon's Path
Daniel Abraham
The Dagger and the Coin #1
Published 2011 by Orbit (Hachette)
Epic fantasy
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
In this enthralling start to a new series, Daniel Abraham creates a spectacular range of characters set in a classic fantasy world. Though The Dragon's Path mainly lays groundwork for the rest of the series, it's an excellent beginning and will likely only get better.

King-Sized Review
When I started reading this book, I thought it was just okay. Decent epic fantasy, nothing particularly special. Then somehow I was 300 pages in without really remembering how I got there. The story crept up on me and kidnapped me before I had the chance to protest or even notice.

The Dragon's Path switches viewpoints almost entirely between five main characters. Captain Marcus, once a soldier and now a mercenary, plays the wise and weary warrior. (Bonus points for alliteration.) Cithrin is the determined orphan, ward of a bank, tasked with a mission that should be straightforward but becomes complicated quickly. Geder, son of a provincial nobleman, is more interested in scholarship than swordplay, but must go to war anyway. Dawson, an influential lord, is determined to maintain the prestige of his king and kingdom, whatever the cost. And the Apostate is a mystery.

Some of these characters, most of whom have their own seperate storylines, never actually interact in this book. It's definitely laying the groundwork for the next books, but it's very well done. Even without info dumps, information about the world and its denizens is as clear as it needs to be, though it would be nice to have more detail – I only saw descriptions for a couple of the dozen or so races. There's not a ton that actually happens here, but what does is quite captivating.

Characterization in this book was brilliant. I loved Cithrin, sympathized with Marcus, gradually grew to despise Dawson, and held Geder in utter contempt. Not many authors can write such a broad yet entirely believable range of characters. I'm very much looking forward to more in this series.

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Excellent

In the same aisle
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Non-Bookish Websites

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted weekly by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish.

This week is a different sort of topic: the top ten websites you visit that AREN'T about books. I'm going to skip over things like Gmail and Facebook and news sites because they're not that interesting, but here are some of my favorite non-bookish sites:

1. the most hilarious lists you will ever find anywhere. They even have real facts! Sometimes.

2. xkcd: a funny, non-serial web comic. Sometimes the programming jokes go over my head. But there is lots of hilarious awesomeness.

3. Hyperbole and a Half: the most hilarious blog ever. Funny stories with (intentionally) bad pictures! Read the one about the party. You'll like it. (But don't read it in a public place because everyone will wonder why you're choking to death as you try not to laugh out loud. Trust me.)

4. 9gag: memes. Lots of memes. And pictures. Usually funny.

5. Foodgawker: you want me to explain why I like pictures of food? Please go away and come back when you're no longer a zombie.

6. Pinterest: pictures! I like Pinterest, only it would be better if the weird advertisement pins would go away.

7. Dr. McNinja: a serial web comic with an Irish doctor ninja. Who sometimes rides a dinosaur. Or a rainbow motorcycle. Seriously, doesn't that make you want to read it?

8. Looking for Group: another serial web comic, this time parodying classic fantasy. Apparently also makes fun of World of Warcraft, but I've never played so that's not as funny.

9. Pandora: for when you're too lazy for Spotify. I have about 12 different stations.

10. How Stuff Works: because I'm a nerd and like knowing things. It has a really good explanation of special relativity. If anyone was curious.

So apparently I really like funny things and pictures. Plus music and occasionally learning things. What are your favorite sites?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review | Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Froi of the Exiles
Melina Marchetta
Lumatere Chronicles #2
Published March 13, 2012 by Candlewick
Epic fantasy
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
Froi of the Exiles was an excellent sequel that impressed me much more than Finnikin of the Rock. Definitely worth reading more than once.

King-Sized Review
After being not terribly impressed with Finnikin of the Rock, I wasn't really sure how I'd like Froi of the Exiles. Sure, I (oddly) loved Melina Marchetta's contemporary YA books, but Finnikin fell a bit short for me. I needn't have worried. Froi was amazing. It was full of mystery and suspense and humor and holy crap family issues and all the things I love about books.

Although the Lumaterans have retaken their homeland, Charyn remains a threat. When an opportunity comes to do something about it, Froi leaves the place he's come to think of as home for Charyn, where he discovers a web of secrets and people who aren't what they seem.

Froi was a complicated character. In Finnikin of the Rock, you didn't get much of a sense of who Froi was, and what you did get was not very good. In Froi of the Exiles, with much of the story told from Froi's perspective, it's obvious what a struggle he goes through every day to try to be better than his past and to control his temper. When I started the book, I didn't like Froi at all, but by the time I finished, I was definitely rooting for him.

In fact, all the characters in this book were fascinatingly complex. From astonishingly gifted twins Arjuro and Gargarin, to strange, mercurial Quintana, to bitter Lirah, the characters were wonderfully written and completely credible. I really enjoyed reading their interactions (aka arguments) and seeing their quirks.

The most appealing aspect of this book was its secrets. Mysteries had to be dragged out of it; every time I thought I knew something, new information was revealed that brought into question all of my assumptions. I love not knowing things (read: it drives me crazy and I have to keep reading to learn ALL THE SECRETS), so this book was brilliant. And I can't really tell you anything more because it would ruin ALL THE SECRETS.

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Outstanding

In the same aisle
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Medalon by Jennifer Fallon

Bout of Books

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

I have just now decided to sign up for the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! I like read-a-thons. This one starts today and ends Sunday, and it has the straightforward goal of people reading more than they would in a normal week. My personal goal is going to be to read six or seven books, which may or may not actually happen, and to actually write the reviews when I'm finished. I don't know exactly what I'll be reading yet, except that it will include Tricked (Kevin Hearne) and Railsea (China Miéville). Other than that, I'm winging it. Click the button to sign up yourself!


Day 1
Tricked by Kevin Hearne (338 pp)
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (69 pp)
Total books read: 1
Total pages read: 407

Day 2
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (255 pp)
Railsea by China Miéville (40 pp)
Total books read: 1
Total pages read: 702

Day 3
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (105 pp)
Total books read: 1
Total pages read: 807

Day 4
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (169 pp)
Railsea by China Miéville (40 pp)
Total books read: 2
Total pages read: 1016

Day 5
Railsea by China Miéville (282 pp)
Total books read: 2 
Total pages read: 1298

Day 6
Railsea by China Miéville (86 pp)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (525 pp)
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (228 pp)
Total books read: 5
Total pages read: 2137

Day 7
The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer (352 pp)
Dark Magic by James Swain (39 pp)
Total books read: 6
Total pages read: 2528 (Probably. I'm bad at adding.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sunday Post #3

The Sunday Post is a new meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer that offers an opportunity to recap the past week, showcase what's coming up on your blog, and share what books you got for the week.

This week I had fun taking part in a Bookish Bucket List blog hop and had a guest post from my friend Lindsey, and you can still enter my giveaway for that for another day! I also joined in the Bout of Books read-a-thon, and while I kind of neglected that as far as blogging and chatting went, I did read a lot. I also posted reviews of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Tricked by Kevin Hearne, and Railsea by China Miéville.

On Friday evening, I was lucky enough to go to an author event with Maggie Stiefvater and John Corey Whaley. They were both amazing and really funny, with lots of great stories. I'm a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater but hadn't read Corey's book yet. (Now I have. It's pretty good.) I took a couple of crappy pictures of them and this was the least bad:

Corey is on the left. Maggie is on the right. In case you couldn't tell.

Since I already had signed copies of Shiver and The Scorpio Races from a previous event with Maggie, I picked up Linger and Forever to add to my collection as well as Corey's Where Things Come Back.

Yesterday I went to the library to pick up Insurgent (which I've already finished) and of course ended up with three more books:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libby Bray
Red Glove by Holly Black
Black Heart by Holly Black

So all in all, a pretty exciting week here. What have you gotten this week?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review | Railsea by China Miéville

China Miéville
Published May 15, 2012 by Del Ray (Macmillan)
4 stars
eARC from NetGalley

Bite-Sized Review
After its slow start, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this coming-of-age story set on an ocean of train tracks. This imaginative world brings new life to an old story.

King-Sized Review
Railsea is kind of like Moby Dick if Moby Dick took place on a sea of train tracks with lots of creepy creatures that want to kill you and pirates and also a search for a mythical place. Um. It's probably not that much like Moby Dick, but it does sort of start out looking like it. Sham ap Soorap is the greenest member of the crew of the moletrain the Medes, which hunts the giant moldywarpes. Captain Naphi wants one moldywarpe in particular, the elusive ivory Mocker-Jack. The hunt leads to Sham's stumbling across pictures that change his worldview and have the potential to change the whole world of the railsea.

At first I really didn't think I was going to like this book. It started off very slowly, and while I'm perfectly okay with not having worlds really explained, I didn't feel like I had a sense of what was going on at all. But then around a quarter of the way through I found myself trying to sneak in pages whenever I could, delaying getting of the train to work, and totally caught up in the story. The world is really fascinating, and you do eventually get a good picture of how things work and how it became that way. (On a side note, the ampersands, while annoying, do have a purpose which is explained about halfway through.)

Although this book is classified as YA, it's not as obviously YA as, say, Hex Hall or Saving Francesca. It is something of a coming-of-age story, and part of it is Sham discovering what he wants and what his life will be. However, there's virtually no romance, no high school drama, or any of the other things you'd normally expect from a YA book. It's really hard to categorize this book at all – I listed it as steampunk, but it doesn't really have the same feel as other steampunks I've read. Let's just say it's a coming-of-age scifi, which is probably about as close as you can get.

Sham has no idea what he wants in life, but he does feel vaguely dissatisfied with what he has. Gradually, he grows and finds a purpose, a journey that's quite well-done and believable. The rest of the limited cast doesn't show as much development, for the most part, but they're interesting characters.

This book is about the unknown and exploration, which made for a great story. I kind of felt like I should be listening to the Star Trek intro voiceover while I read it ("These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise..."). Despite my initial reservations, I ended up liking it a lot. While I have Perdido Street Station on my Kindle and have read a few pages, this was my first full China Miéville book, so I guess I'll have to suck it up and read some more of his books now!

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Good

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog Hop | Lindsey's Bookish Bucket List

The blog hop is back! The Bookish Bucket List Blog Hop is a fun event my friends and I decided to do, listing the top ten things that would be on our bucket lists if we could step into our favorite books for a while. Today I have a guest post for you all from my friend Lindsey! Here is her bookish bucket list:

1. Get a tattoo from JZB in the garage at Barrons Books & Baubles
Fever by Karen Marie Moning

2. Drink Tea with the Mad Hatter
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

3. Help Peter Pan catch his shadow
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

4. Go with Jace Wayland on a demon-powered motorcycle ride
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

5. Receive my letter from Hogwarts
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

6. Help Kate destroy the door to Curran's slut hut
Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews

7. Go see Truth Squad with Remy Starr
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

8. Be the one to give Christian Grey “more”
Fifty Shades by E.L. James

9. Hang out with Nix, Kanderin, and Regin
Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole

10. Wear a sundress to Fangtasia with Sookie Stackhouse
Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

What's your favorite of Lindsey's list? I love the idea of drinking tea with the Mad Hatter in Wonderland! Make sure you check out some more bucket lists, and if you stop by my list, you can still enter the giveaway until Monday!

May 14

May 15
Tiffany @ A Purrfect Read

May 16
Alison & Daphne @ Winged Reviews

May 17
Kayleigh @ K-Books
Guest Post by Renée on A Purrfect Read

May 18
Sonnie @ Lit Girl
Guest Post by Lindsey on Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy

May 19
Guest Post by Wendy on Winged Reviews

May 20
Jen @ At Random

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review | Tricked by Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne
Iron Druid Chronicles #4
Published April 24, 2012 by Random House
Urban fantasy
Review copy from NetGalley
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
In the tradition of the previous three books, Tricked is funny, clever, and exciting, with cameos from a wide range of pantheons and lots of trouble. If you enjoyed the rest of the series, you'll love Tricked.

King-Sized Review
**Warning: spoilers for book 1-3 ahead**
Tricked starts off shortly after the end of Hammered, with Atticus's plan to die so that the other thunder gods, who want revenge after Atticus and company killed Thor, won't hunt him down. The deal with Coyote that it takes to achieve this contradictory goal requires Atticus to do Coyote a favor, an agreement that, naturally, turns out to be much more problematic than our favorite Druid bargained for.

Tricked reminded me of just how much I love the characters in this series. Especially Oberon. His obsession with food, entertainingly literal interpretation of idioms, and general dog-like behavior are entertaining and endearing. I was thrilled to see that he was back after being mostly missing from Hammered.

Tricked stuck to the Iron Druid style of humor and action. I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of Native American mythology, which isn't seen terribly often (though Druids are pretty rare too – double win). There's not much romance here, but I personally find that a nice break from relationship drama in other books. All in all a great addition to the Iron Druid Chronicles.

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Excellent

GARS score: 1.5 (2/4/2/2)
What's a GARS score?

In the same aisle
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review | Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein
Published May 15, 2012 by Hyperion
Historical fiction
eARC from NetGalley
5 stars

It's really hard to review Code Name Verity without giving away many of the things that simultaneously made me want to tear my hair out and keep the book with me forever and ever. It's about a British agent captured in Nazi-occupied France, which is pretty much as much as I can tell you before I'd have to kill you. It's in the super secret spy book pinkie swear.

I can't get this book out of my head. I keep thinking about it: coming up with alternate scenarios – dammit why didn't you do this instead – or just being reminded of the characters at random times. It's one of those books that I want to re-read soon, which is something I hope is easy to understand for anyone else who's read it. It drove me a little crazy while I was reading it; I was busy that day but kept wanting to get back to it no matter what else I was doing. It's the kind of book that stays with you for a long time and makes you want to delve further into its pages, the kind that makes you want more pieces of the story because nothing is ever enough. And if that doesn't make you want to read it, nothing else I say will.

Quality: Outstanding
Enjoyability: Outstanding

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blog Hop | Bookish Bucket List + Giveaway!

The Bookish Bucket List Blog Hop is a fun event my friends and I decided to do, listing the top ten things that would be on our bucket lists if we could step into our favorite books for a while. I get to start off the hop (so you don't have anything to compare my post to yet, ha), and this is what I came up with:

1. Play Quidditch at Hogwarts

"The Chasers throw the Quaffle and put it through the hoops to score," Harry recited. "So – that's sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn't it?"

"What's basketball?" said Wood curiously.
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

2. Impress a green dragon

No greater tribute could man be paid than the trust and companionship of the winged beasts of Pern. For the loyalty that dragonkind gave the chosen one of mankind was unswerving and complete from the moment of Impression.
-Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

3. Learn to make Sunshine's cinnamon rolls

"I have to get up at four A.M. to start the cinnamon rolls – cinnamon rolls as big as your head, it's a Charlie's specialty – but I don't mind. I love working with yeast and flour and sugar and I love the smell of bread baking."
-Sunshine by Robin McKinley

4. Listen to Kvothe play at the Eolian

There were a lot of places  you could go in Imre to listen to music. In fact, nearly every inn, tavern, and boarding house had some manner of musician strumming, singing, or piping in the background. But the Eolian was different. It hosted the best musicians in the city. If you knew good music from bad, you knew the Eolian had the best.
-The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

5. Tesseract

"Well, the fifth dimension's a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions and you can travel through space without having to go the long way around. In other words, to put it into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points."
-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

6. Go to Narnia (and not get turned into a statue)

"This is the land of Narnia," said the Faun, "where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea."
-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

7. Eat pizza at Piscary's (though preferably without actually encountering the undead owner)

Ivy and I immediately picked our slices up. The smell of cheese was strong, but not enough to hide the odor of spice and tomatoes. I took a bite. My eyes closed in bliss. There was just enough tomato sauce to carry the cheese. Just enough cheese to carry the toppings. I didn't care if it had Brimstone in it, it was so good. "Oh, burn me at the stake now." I moaned, chewing. "This is absolutely wonderful."

8. Shop at Barrons' Books and Baubles

I stepped inside and stopped, blinking in astonishment. From the exterior I'd expected a charming little book and curio shop with the inner dimensions of a university Starbucks. What I got was a cavernous interior that housed a display of books that made the library Disney's Beast gave to Beauty on their wedding day look understocked.
-Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

9. Spend the summer at Camp Half-Blood

The landscape was dotted with buildings that looked like ancient Greek architecture – an open-air pavilion, an amphitheater, a circular arena – except that they all looked brand new, their white marble columns sparkling in the sun. In a nearby sandpit, a dozen high school-age kids and satyrs played volleyball. Canoes glided across a small lake. Kids in bright orange T-shirts like Grover's were chasing each other around a cluster of cabins nestled in the woods. Some shot targets at an archery range. Others rode horses down a wooded trail, and, unless I was hallucinating, some of their horses had wings.
-The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

10. Attempt to give Grendel a bath

Derek nodded at the vehicle. "Who is that?"

"Your replacement."

"You replaced me with a shaved poodle?"

"He's got mad skills."

Derek's eyebrows crept up.

"He can vomit and urinate at the same time and he doesn't make fun of my car."
-Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

And with that, it's time for a giveaway! The winner can choose any book from those on the list (or another book in the same series if you prefer). To enter, just leave a comment with one thing that would be on your bookish bucket list! Contest is open internationally, and all entrants must be over 13.

Be sure to stop by the rest of the blogs on the hop later this week!

May 15
Tiffany @ A Purrfect Read

May 16
Alison & Daphne @ Winged Reviews

May 17
Kayleigh @ K-Books
Guest Post by Renée on A Purrfect Read

May 18
Sonnie @ Lit Girl
Guest Post by Lindsey on Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy

May 19
Guest Post by Wendy on Winged Reviews

May 20
Jen @ At Random