Top Ten Tuesday Goals for 2015

December 30, 2014


Some people believe, settling resolutions/goals aren't worth the effort. This list is goals because I know my struggle to work on them will extend beyond 2015, but you can only be greater when you keep pushing!!!

1.Working Out Regularly Again
I lost over 30 lbs last year, because of a birthday resolution I had with myself. Before I turned 25 I was not happy with how I looked, and realized that I was avoiding mirrors regularly. I decided to do blogilates with Casey Ho, then my got more varied with my workouts as I progressed. As of late I haven't been doing much of anything but I know I can't go back to where I was, so have to get baack to it.  
2.Reading 50 Books or More 
I have only been blogging for a few months now, but have so much I want to read and review, it's crazy. One of the reasons why I started the blog was to cultivate my love of reading and learn more about the book world. I'm looking forward to a great reading year in 2015. 
3.Blogging Regularly
I've been pretty consistent with  blogging reviews, and Top Ten Tuesday. I want to develop more and better content for the blog, and hope to remain as determined as I am now for my blog to continue to be something I'm proud of.
4.Organizing My Priorities
Sometimes I get carried away with all the hobbies I have, but organizing  my workouts, reading, job and social life can only help me do them all more effectively.  
5.Writing MORE
I used to write poetry every single day. I don't know when it stopped but I know it has to start again. There's lots of creativity in me that's begging to get out. Hmm maybe 2015 will see the rise of a poetry blog...
6.Taking Better Care of Myself
I neglect my nails, hair, and fashion pretty often. While I like to tell myself it doesn't matter, I know that when I feel confident with myself I am more productive and less self degrading.
7.Letting Things Go
 I tend to rethink mistakes, decisions and heartbreaks much more than anybody should. It weighs down my spirit and I'm aiming for better in 2015.
8.Appreciating The Wondeful People in My Life
I have unmatched friends, family and a wonderful boyfriend. All of them mean the world to me and I'm grateful for all of the encouragements, laughs and support they offer.
9.Practicing Chess
I recently learned how to play, now have a chess set, but still know little more than the rules. It's a great game that makes you adapt and think more critically. 
10.Saying No When I Need to
I tend to do what is asked of me more often than declining, no matter how busy I am. I want to be more assertive about prioritizing my goals for myself.  I care about your goals too recognize the importance of mine.Let me know in the comments goals your reaching for in 2015!!
10 comments

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

December 18, 2014
TWO STARS
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.


REVIEW:

"You made me real, and I will hurt for you and because of you and be grateful for the pain."

I kept reading this book thinking this will get better as I go along. Then I realized I had read the best this book had to offer, and I was just confused. This book continues to receive plenty of hype and stars all over Goodreads. The only thing that made this book palpable is Noah, and as he got to know Mara, her awfulness rubbed off on him. I liked the paranormal elements because it highlighted all the potential places this plot could have gone. But everything was too convenient and reminded be of a sitcom that was trying to be edgy.

The writing was ok the characters was ok. But there was nothing that engaged me enough to make me believe this is the same book that continues to receive hype. Maybe I'm not the audience this book was trying to reach, but I tried very hard throughout the book to suspend my disbelief until we got answers. I just didn't like the answers given. 

Mara herself seems to wallow about everything, even though she knows something is wrong, she's resentful towards everyone who tries to help her.  Even her wonderful family is just too much,  catering to her needs, covering for her and making sure she has help. How awful!!  There's no real struggle within the book despite the ones Mara creates, everyone's rich, good looking and talented. Mara does everything without consequence, there's even a character who helps with schoolwork. The female characters are also painted very two dimensionally.  Every girl she encounters is considered a slut, for doing simple things like wearing a provocative costume to a costume party, where Mara is also dressed provocatively.
Overall there were interesting parts of this book that were just never developed.  I admit I swooned over Noah,  but he's not enough to make me want to continue the series. Despite wanting to know what happens,  the writing and characters will be better enjoyed by readers who got this book, I however wasn't one of them. 
10 comments

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

December 16, 2014
 

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm overjoyed to be turning 26!!!
On to my Top Ten Books I Read In 2014. However, let's be real I only read 22 books this year so I will only include the ones I absolutely loved. Click the links to check them out on Goodreads.
  1. Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) by Pierce Brown- check out my glowing review for it Here, and if you read it, check out my attempt to describe how good the sequel GoldenSon (Red Rising Trilogy #2) is Here.
  2. The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2) by Rick Yancey- This is the second book in the Infinite Wave series if you read the first you should definitely read the sequel. End of the world, aliens and loss, read this asap. See my review Here.
  3. Never Fade (Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken- I'm sure everyone has heard of the series (which I need to finish). But in case you haven't and you enjoy sci-fi, post apocalyptic, action filled good writing check it out. See my review Here.
  4. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyers- I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I'm usually skeptical of fairytale re-tellings, but this was kept me engage and made me laugh. See my review Here.
  5. World After by Susan Ee- This is the sequel to Angelfall, and I am anticipating the third book in series. You may be hesitant to read books about angels, but I dare you to read it and not be clamoring for more.
  6. Undivided (Unwind Dystology #4) by Neal Shusterman- This is the final book in the Unwind Dystology, its about a world where teenagers can be taken apart piece by piece for the use of others, if their parents decide to have it done on there sixteenth birthday. Definitely check out the series and see my review for Unwholly (Unwind #2) and Undivided.
  7.  I'm including gifs to celebrate my birthday in lieu of more books.
  8. eight
  9. nine
  10. ten

    Definitely let me know of books I should read in 2015, or what you thought of any of the books above.
25 comments

9 Tips For Starting A Book Blog

December 13, 2014

1. Don't Blog For Free Books

There are alot of reasons to start a book blog, getting free books is not one of them. You should not start a book blog, in hopes that your mailbox will soon be full of free Advanced Reader Copies (ARC's). The motivation, time and effort you need to have a successful blog will quickly outweigh your desire for free books. Blog because you enjoy it, if it becomes a chore you'll quickly find ways to avoid it. 


2. Develop a Unique Name, Perspective and Voice 


When your thinking of a name you want it to be personal and unique. Definitely brainstorm your name and a tag line that will help you focus on the type of space you want to create on your blog. For example, In Tori Lex, includes my name and lex means law which I am engaged with because I'm a lawyer. Think about what you want your book blog to be about. Will you be focused on specific genres, indie authors, etc? You want to create original content about things you enjoy. You don't want to plagiarize from others, but it may help to look at successful book blogs and note what works for them. Once you start writing reviews, you'll quickly learn  your writing style, and get better as you write more and more about books. 

3. Get Organized and Be Consistent 

It's easy to get overwhelmed if you don't have a plan about how you want to blog. You want to spend your time efficiently, so you have more time to read. You don't have to work like everyone else, but find a way a method that works for you. You won't get the readers or traffic that you want if you don't have something that is being generated in a way that makes sense. The point is to be clear in your posts and consistent with the posts you have. If you are consistent with your reviews, posts, and engagement that will be noticed and appreciated. 

4. Be Professional 

You want to develop a good reputation by being nice to readers, bloggers, authors and publishers. Everyone will be more likely to engage and work with you, if you give them the benefit of the doubt if your ever offended. People make mistakes and misunderstandings happen, be ready to take some deep breaths and think before you respond in a negative way. Disclose when you have received copies of books in exchange for reviews, and  when posting sponsored posts. The FTC has certain disclosure requirements for bloggers, links to sources explaining them in depth are Here. 

5. Great Content Is Worth The Effort

It's better to have less posts that are quality, think quality over quantity. Don't post without editing.  Read and edit what you write for a post a few times,  do something else, then read and edit again. Sometimes you don't notice mistakes and errors until you take some time away from it. If your grammar and spelling is bad, readers notice. For book bloggers,  your audience consumes books regularly so they know how to digest and process written information quickly. When reading your blog their distracted by grammar and can't focus on the content they will definitely be turned off.

6. Review Policy 

Once you have a book blog, authors will be asking you to review their work. You should think about how you want authors to contact you, and the type of books your willing to accept for review. Developing a policy will help you narrow down the books you want to review and let authors know important information about the kind of books your willing to accept. You have to learn to say No, and it's easier once you've established your limits.

7. Join Sites That Give You Books to Review

There are many different programs to sign up for to receive free e-books and hard copies to review. Don't overwhelm yourself by signing up for everything, but try sites you think will work for you. Here's the list of sites I've found below: 
  • I have not joined and tried to earn money from reviewing at this site,but you can @ OnlineBookClub
  • And of course the many Groups on Goodreads, where authors are looking for reviews. You can also find groups to gain followers and feedback for your blog

8. Read and Review what you Enjoy!!

If your not having fun and you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed. Read what you want, so your hobby continues to be fun. 

9. Network!!!  Social Media is Your Friend


Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Google+, Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, Linky, and email subscription are all ways to connect with and find more readers for your blog. It may seem like overkill to join them all but you want your readers to be able to follow you on the platform their most comfortable with. There's a wonderful community of book bloggers and once you start to get involved you can find more friends and readers.

I hope these tips will be useful for new bloggers out there like myself.  I want to share what resources I've found because it can seem like a whole new world when your just starting out book blogging. You can find useful Resources for Book Bloggers, under my header. If you have anything that would be useful for new bloggers and you would like me to share it, leave it in the comments or email me at Audacioustori@gmail.com. 
12 comments

Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2) by Pierce Brown

December 10, 2014
Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy#2) by Pierce Brown, Book Review

FIVE STARS
Check it out on Goodreads Here!!!

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

REVIEW: 

Here Be Lions "Hic sunt leones." 
Mr. Brown just carved out pieces of me while reading, reeling I left many of my thoughts between his words. Darrow fresh from the Institute is thrown in the lions den, where he quickly learns the depravity of those who rule. Surrounded with liars, friends, lovers, allies and enemies, some of his closest friends playing opposite roles simultaneously. Every move toward progress with his mission, seems like a move back. With blood on his hands, he must fly up. Only at the top can he make strides for Eo, so that her dream will go way beyond Persephone on the HC.

"How could such a frail girl as she have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up. " 

But as he ascends, his enemy's aren't as bold or honorable as the students who with standards showed their intentions to conquer. Now they comfort his pain, they stay by his bedside, offering kindness while they plan his demise. "Rise so high, in mud you lie." Darrow thinks that he has shielded himself, hardened himself enough so that even if he shatters he will be numbed. But what's to come is enough to traumatize, enough to cause you to throw your book (or kindle), taking deep breaths while you wipe the tears from your eyes.
I'm warning you when you read this be prepared to feel, because Mr. Brown is a genius, that is a fact. you'll find yourself wondering how you can digest being taken in by the glory, sure that the violence of winning is different from senseless violence inflicted on the helpless. But if for no other reason you should READ THIS, because the ending is unmatched. My heart wasn't ready to be flogged with razors, my eyes unprepared, my mind unstable. Every assurance Darrow is granted comes at a price. And as he works to break the chains, he's still learning what his are. He goes to war within himself and with the Society, against the confines so that he can prove their should be none.
"Modern war is fearing the air, the shadows, fearing the silence. Death will come and I won't even see it."
Once again I was caught up in the lore, glory and suspense the author created. War is done despite the costs, chasing power beyond reason or regret. Darrow's war continues endless, unflinching from the consequences, while he embraces the pieces hes left with to drive forward. If you haven't definitely read  the first book in series Red Rising, equally as awesome and engaging, see my review Here.

**This ARC was provided to me by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Reviews in Series
Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) by Pierce Brown
Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy #3) by Pierce Brown
6 comments

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

December 9, 2014


Top Ten Tuesday, InToriLex
This will be hard and not a full list because I honestly didn't read as much as I wanted too this year. I've read more in November and December of this year, because I wanted to make progress in my TBR pile and have more content for my book blog (started in Nov). So the list below is more ALL of the new-to me authors read in 2014 worth reading. Click the links below to check them out on Goodeads.


  1. Amy Plum- After the End- This book is the first in a series, and definitely has some unconventional elements involving magic, action and a not super sappy love interest.
  2. Marissa Meyer- Cinder- The  Lunar Chronicles has gotten nothing but praise, but if you haven't checked this out you definitely should, full of future tech, awesome story telling and and its a Cinderella retelling.
  3. V.E. Schwab- Vicious- I expect alot more of great novels from her, but Vicious is in a league of its own and it is more imaginative and engaging than alot of other Adult books.  it involves superheroes, violence, geniuses and humor.
  4. Jordana Frankel- The Ward- This book has a imaginative future of New York covered in water, inequality and shady people, definitely give this a whirl if you like bad ass heroines.
  5. Cristin Terrill- All of Our Yesterdays- Time Traveling can be confusing, but i was definitely more intrigued  by the twisting story line in this thriller involving lots of action, love and mystery.
  6. Pierce Brown- Red Rising- Im currently reading the sequel and it is AWESOME!! I have a rambling, mind blown review, but to experience it is the only way you'll know what you've been missing out on. 
  7. -10 Take  Groot as my Filler 
That's it. Im hoping to Read 50 books or more in 2015 so this will probably be alot harder then. Let me know if you read any of the above authors, or have suggestions of authors to check out in 2015.
16 comments

Friday 56: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

December 5, 2014
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Book Cover
Hosted By 
Freda's Voice  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.

"Sure." He looked up at her, smiling gently. "I thought maybe so. Your trip did sound a little bit too...interesting to be true."
I chose this book because this is considered YA dystopian canon in a lot of circles. This should be right up my ally and has many great reviews, which you can check out on Goodreads HERE. However I tried to read this and something just did not connect.  I ended up very disappointed after reading only 33% of the book, and did not finish. May people love this author and this series so I'm at a loss as to why I couldn't get on board. Have you read this or any other Scott Westerfeld, let me know in the comments.
12 comments

Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J. Anderson

December 2, 2014
Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson
Three out of Five Stars Check it Out on Goodreads Here!!

SYNOPSIS: 

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.


REVIEW: 

"Regenerative Feedback: The increase in signal strength that occurs when part of the output energy returns to the input signal and reinforces it." 
I enjoyed this, even though it left me feeling mixed emotions. This was alot different than the first one, and dealt with Tori (yay a mc with my name) who was unsure of herself, but was determined to find a way to survive. While Ms. Anderson is a great story teller, the writing itself didn't grip, as I would have liked. For example I like to find interesting quotes or dialogue which I connected with, but I just couldn't pull any from this story. The quote above is from the beginning of a chapter. Even though on paper it' what I like  YA, involves aliens, has decent writing and is sci-fi I somehow just didn't get it.

Confused Brittany Spears
Don't get me wrong this wasn't all bad it had great scifi elements, intrigue  and action. To me the book just didn't flow well, things that happened seemed to happen in a jumble and became less anti-climatic than they should have been. I probably won't be reading the next in series if there is one on the horizon. What redeeming quality this novel did have was Tori, she was a main character who broke stereotypes and was not overly obsessed with falling in love. This book was about her survival when faced with constantly changing circumstances. She was rightly not focused on getting lost in someones eyes, but she also never really faced a obstacle where another character wasn't conveniently able to offer her help.

Other reviews liked the change of perspective which didn't involve Allison reflecting on the colors and tastes of letters and numbers, but I thought that was an engaging part of the first book, Ultraviolet. Overall I just wanted this book to do a better job developing a emotional connection with readers, there was scenes where I know I was supposed to feel something but instead felt like I should hurry up and finish the book. 
0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday @ In Tori Lex

Hosted By: The Broke and Bookish 
This list I didn't want to repeat anything on my previous Top Ten Tuesday posts before so I really had to sort through my TBR pile, I also didn't want to do any 2015 Debuts, or focus on books out next year because future lists have that covered.  because I will be doing that Top Ten in January.  Click the links to check out the books on Goodreads!! Let me know if you read any of these books in the comments!!! In no particular order: 

  1. Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie- This book has been winning all the sci-fi awards, so I'm very intrigued, its an Adult book and I am trying to read more Adult in 2015.
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab- I love this author, and really am looking to see where this trilogy goes. 
  3. Half Bad by Sally Green - This book has been getting alot of good reviews and involves witches, which I know little to nothing about. 
  4. Stitching snow by R. C. Lewis- This is fantasy, but involving space and also has been on my radar for a while. Also a fairy retelling which I'm reading more of since reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. 
  5. Only Ever Yours by Louise O' Neill- dystopian where women are treated as pleasure servants, YES YES and YES. I like to read about horrible worlds with messed up consequences for women, not because I agree with it but because it genuinely interests me.
  6. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano- I enjoyed the first book in her chemical garden trilogy. But this has been getting great reviews, and I'm sure she'd gotten better as an author. It's sci-fi and dystopian ofcourse I'm in. 
  7. The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price- a reminded future, with great reviews. An adult book I'm also looking forward to.
  8. Annihilation by - This has been everywhere and exploring the horror of Area should be right up my alley. Also adult. 
  9. The Child Theif- Peter Pan Fantasy for adults, looking forward to going to NeverLand Again.  
  10. Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight, Michelle Burford- Definitely something I want to know more about. Memoirs are the only non-fiction I read, so looking forward to learning more about what happened.

Special announcement:  I will be contributing Book Reviews to Kindred Dreamheart on Tuesdays bi-weekly, You can check my out intro post Here, and the blog isn't just about books but also focuses on fashion. 

5 comments
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