Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Splash Into Summer (May 25th to 31st - International)

The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Page Turners. It will take place from May 25th to 31st.

My Giveaway? I'm giving away the book of your choice up to $15 from amazon or the book depository.  So whip out those wishlists and take your pick : )

Here's how it will work:
  1. This is an international giveaway and open to anyone who can have books shipped from The Book Depository.  Check and see if you are listed here.
  2. You do NOT have to be a follower, but it would be much appreciated.
  3. No form this time.  Fill out the form here.
  4. I will use random.org to choose a winner.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.
  5. This contest will end May 31st at 11:59 PM.  I will announce the winner on June 1st.
  6. Good Luck!
Be sure to check-out the other giveaways below:

Mini-Review: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 180 (Ereader)

Except from Goodreads Summary:

Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

My Rating:
Quick Thoughts: Second chances.  Frienship.  Love.  Secrets.  Peaches
This is a story of regrets and secrets.  Focusing on the importance of friendship, there is a bit of romance, a touch of magic, and a hint of darkness.  I don't know why, but I originally thought this book was YA (this is what happens when you don't read the back cover) and I was pleasantly surprised to find a completely different story.  I loved that all the characters were likeable and complicated.  I especially enjoyed the vivid writing that created images that made me smile inside and out.  While the story doesn't sound that special, Sarah Addison Allen has introduced a story with an interesting setting, loveable characters, and well integrated plot.  And isn't that cover gorgeous?

This is my first Sarah Addison Allen book and I definitely want to read more.  Have you read book written by her?  What did you think?  Anyone else read this one?  I'd love to hear thoughs :)


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Genre:  Historical Fiction, WWII
Pages: 344 (Hardback)
Website | Author's Website | Author's Facebook
Chosen because of Blogger Review (I don't remember who...sorry)

From the Front Flap:
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?  That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing.  She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day.  But will love be enough to keep them alive?

My Rating:

My Review

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friday Memes: Book Numbers & Movie Adaptations

Follow Friday Question of the Week:

How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

In school I probably read 1-2 fun books a week.  One listening and one on the ereader or paper.  Now that school is out I'm hoping to go back to normal, which is 1 book listening and 2-3 books in either paperback or ereader.  I'm a fast reader but I'm super busy.  Between law school and a part-time job, I try really hard to have a work-life balance.
Book Blogger Hop

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1Blogger Hop Question of the Week:
"What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Gone with the Wind
I really enjoyed the Harry Potter adaptations even though they were forced to leave a lot of things out.  Those books are huge so I completely understand having to choose which story-lines to focus.  I also think the Twilight adaptations have been great but I might not be a great judge because I read the entire Twilight series after watching the first movie.  My all-time favorite movie adaptation has been Gone with the Wind.  If you haven't seen the movie, you just have too.  Vivian Leigh did a wonderful job.
Water for ElephantsThe Book-to-Movie adaptation that I didn't like would unfortunately be Water for Elephants.  Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie, but it was an amazing book.  The movie did a good job of telling the story, but it didn't capture the magic to me.  I don't want to include any spoilers or anything but I want to give a small example.  In the book, everyone lines up to get paid and I could imagine the faces and dismay on their faces.  In the movies, August just whispers something to someone.  I just felt like the book was more vivid.  Also, the nursing home element was taken out of the movie, which I thought was important to the story.  Anyway, I don't like the movie as an adaptation but still thought it was a good movie as long as I didn't compare it to the book.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I Love...Gone with the Wind

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays.    In the previous weeks I've discussed my favorite authortime period, reading spot,  one of my favorite series, my favorite book institution,  types of characters, and one of my favorite genres.  This week's topic: favorite book.

If you want to play along, feel free to grab the image and link your post in the comments.  I promise I will proide a linky next week.  I know there are a few people that are interested but this week has been crazy.  I will research next week.  Promise.  Here goes.

 Why I Love...Gone with the Wind
Gone With the Wind
Gone with the Wind is my all-time favorite book.  The school I attended in the fifth grade had a program called the accelerated reader program which awarded points for finishing and testing on books.  Each book was assigned a certain amount of points.  Well...Gone with the Wind was worth more than any other book by a long shot.  Being the slacker that I am, I chose to read and test on this book for the points.  Boy did I luck up!

I fell in love with the story and the characters and it was probably my biggest reading accomplishment to date (over 1000 pages).  I love this book for so many reasons.  Let me count the ways.

Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)First, who doesn't love Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara.  Scarlet is selfish, selfish, and more selfish!  But I like her because she's a fighter and a survivor.  I wouldn't call her nice or anything, but no matter what she did, she took care of her family and made sure they ate and had a place to stay.  If you think about it, it would seem a bit out of character considering how much she cared about herself.  However, I think it just goes to show how complicated people are.
Rhett.  Oh Rhett.  Everyone thought he was a scoundrel and he never claimed to be "good" but he was misunderstood and a good person in my eyes.  Plus, I love a guy who knows what he a wants and goes for it.  But he's no pushover.  I die every time he says "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."  Every time.  It is so dramatic and heartbreaking at the same time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA 2011: Best of 2011 (Day 2)

Hi all!  I'm back again to share my "Best of 2011."  Since I don't usually read books as soon as they come out, my list includes books that I enjoyed in 2011 rather than a list of amazing books that came out this year.  So in no particular order, here goes.

  1. Water for Elephants by Sara Guen (Review): I absolutely loved this book.  I had been avoiding it because I didn't want to be disappointed by the hype.  No worries in this department.  I watched the movie recently and fell in love with Rosie all over again.  I enjoyed myself immensely but couldn't hold a candle to the book.
  2. Exposure by Therese Fowler (Review): I really enjoyed this well written book concerning real life issues in parenting, technology, and other "stuff."  As a law student, I could easily envision how something like this could come to pass, while recognizing that sexting is a much bigger and harder problem to solve because of the lasting effects.
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Review): I don't know what took me so long to read this book.  I must hang my head in shame.  I tumbled into this book with no idea how attached I would find myself to the characters.  I'm so attached, that I am afraid to continue with the rest of the trilogy.  I just can't let them go.
  4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Review...coming soon): I'm a sucker for good characters and I love the fire and grit of Lina.  I also love and respect the triumph of the human spirit during tough times.  I just can't get enough of a well-told, stylistically sound review.
Between Shades of GrayThe Hunger GamesExposure: A NovelWater for Elephants: A Novel
Welp...that's my list.  What do you think?  Anything you agree or disagree with?  What's on yours?  A note to my new and old friends alike, I'm pretty busy working during the day time and I have to catch up on visits and comments.  Please don't think that I have forgotten you.  I will be around later on tonight to catch up on Monday and Tuesday posts.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA 2011: Day 1

Hi all!! Waves!!

Today is the kick-off for Armchair BEA - an event for those who, for whatever reason, are not attending BEA this year.  For those of you who are stopping by the first time, sit down and pull up a chair and let me introduce myself.  Return visitor?  Why don't you take a seat as well and rest your weary feet.

Welcome to Reflection of a Bookaholic!  I'm Alexis Villery--a girl whose one true love happens to be books.  Everyone tends to call me Alexis because it is the short version of my real name, which no one calls me but my grandmother.

I have a degree in Marketing.  I am a former teacher (High School English at Davis High School) and currently a 3L in law school.  To balance all the madness, my husband encouraged me to develop a hobby that I could be passionate about so I started Reflections of a Bookaholic.  I'm coming around to my first wedding anniversary in about 3 weeks (whoo hoo!) and I'm interning full time at the District Attorney's office.

Anyways, I'm a fairly eclectic reader and reviewer but I will admit that I read very little YA.  I can be a rather moody reader, and right now I want to read happy endings, or rather, just not unhappy endings.  On my plate right now, I've got some historical fiction and a bit of YA (just a bit).

I'm not sure how I will Armchair BEA.  I will go with the flow and see how it works and hopefully jump with both feet in :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: The Eighth Scroll & Giveaway

The Eighth Scroll by Dr. Laurence B. Brown
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Pages: 354 (Ereader)
Source: Jeff at Gatekeepers Post
The Eighth Scroll Website |  Author's Blog

From Goodreads:
Stirring the flames of age-old controversies, The Eighth Scroll by Laurence B. Brown draws on the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to create an unbelievably dynamic and powerful story. Set in a world that teeters between orthodoxy and heresy, this thriller is packed with intrigue and adventure. When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project hides one of the scrolls because of the heretical message it contains, no one is the wiser until decades later, when a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery spurs the world religions into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which all who seek the hidden scroll are mysteriously silenced, leaving the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll . . . or die trying.

My Rating:

My Review:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday Memes: Quirky Me & Visiting Fictional Worlds

Follow Friday Question of the Week:
It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them.

Well... let's see what I've never told you yet.  Hmmm...

  1. I have a very expressive face.  I can't control my eyebrows; they are always moving depending on what is going on.  This is a problem right now as I am interning at the DA's office.  Court has been interesting. 
  2. I don't sleep.  It's not insomnia.  I just sleep every other day or so.  About 5-6 hours each time.  This is great during finals and horrible during certain times like...my honeymoon.  I had so much time on my hands.  We were also on a cruise so no phone and no internet.  There is such a thing as having too much time.  But I get around to a lot of blogs.  Which brings me to another quirk...
  3. I fall asleep in cars no matter how long the trip.  Going to the grocery store...I'm sleep.  It really bugs my husband. I don't have this problem when I drive myself.  
  4. I'm allergic to some types of tomato sauces (but not tomatoes) so I can't eat pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, or the like unless I make it myself.  My face swells up REALLY BIG.
  5. I have a mild case of OCD.  I'm usually able to manage it.  One thing I can't do?  Scroll down the page of my own blog.  If the columns don't match up, I have a panic attack and I have to fix it.  It takes hours to fix it, because I have to keep looking at it which keeps sending me into fits.  So I just don't scroll down that far.
Blogger Hop Question of the Week:
Book Blogger Hop"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?" 

Okay I'm just going to be honest.  I read books because I like to read about places and people that I wouldn't dare go in real life for fear of bodily injury, emotional, or psychological pain.

Sideways Stories from Wayside SchoolBut I would like to visit Wayside School from Wayside Stories for a day.  I mean who wouldn't want to go to a class that's on the thirtieth floor?  Since Allison is the only person who isn't wacky, I would get to be kind of crazy too. Legitimately.  I would get to have Miss Zarves as a teacher (wait there is no Miss Zarves).  I would choose to sit next to Virginia who hasn't been to the bathroom in 32 years.  I wish I could do that.  But I would only stay for one day because I wouldn't want Mrs. Gorf to turn me into a apple.  But wait she's gone now so nevermind.  

I loved this series as a kid and can still read them over and over again as an adult.

Waves!! Welcome to my little spot on the web.  If you are visiting for the first time, I would love to hear from you.  If you have time, leave a comment and I can return the visit.
  • If you have a moment to spare, stop by my Why I Love Wednesday post and tell me your favorite author.  For some reason I don't have one and I feel like a weird person or something. How did you pick your favorite author?
  • How do you decide whether to continue a series or not?  I read two popular series.  I don't feel inclined to continue the series of the book I LOVED ("awesome"), but I want to continue with a series of a book that I thought was just "meh."  Does that happen to you?  Or am I just weird again.  Check out the post and tell me what you think.
  • So I had my very first guest blogger on the site this week and I was really excited.  Check out the post here and visit Jade here.  She is really awesome.  I LOVE her!  Do you have guest bloggers on your blog?  Do you spotlight as guests on other blogs?  How does that go?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I Love Wednesdays...Who is Your Favorite Author?

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays.    In the previous weeks I've discussed my favorite time period, reading spot,  one of my favorite series, my favorite book institution,  types of characters, and one of my favorite genres.  This week's topic: favorite author.

If you want to play along, feel free to grab the image and link your post in the comments.  One of these days I will start to provide a linky if more people join up.  Until then, this way is simpler.  Here goes.

Why I Love...???
So here's the thing.  This has been on my list for a topic for sometime, but I have skirted away from this question week after week.  Why?  I don't think I have a favorite author.  I know that's crazy.  Everyone has a favorite author right?  There are authors that I enjoy but usually it isn't because of amazing writing style or anything.

I enjoy Linda Howard because I know what to expect.  I know what will happen and what tends to be outside of her boundaries and I like that.  I enjoy Janet Evanovich but I only read her Stephanie Plum series and nothing else.  I enjoyed Stephanie Meyer's Twilight but didn't even consider reading The Host.  I enjoy reading Nora Roberts but never read any books under her J.D. Robb pseudonym.  In fact when I was younger *cough* twenty-two *cough* I usually didn't even pay attention to the author's name.  I realized later that it was very embarrassing that I never knew the author of books I was raving about.  I started to catalog this extra piece of information.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflections: What Are Non-Bloggers Reading?

I absolutely love blogging and I especially enjoy this new-found super friendly book blogging community.  But I've noticed a lot of repetition.  Many people are reading and reviewing the same book.  So many people praise some books and series and I can't help but want to read them too.  But I start to wonder about the "other" readers.  Before I started Reflections of a Bookaholic, I used Amazon as my book researching tool.  I browsed bookstores and picked books that I liked.  If someone recommended a book to me, I would likely read it.  I ignored the NY Times Bestseller lists because I feel that I am a special reader.  Unfortunately, the mass does not impress me (I hope I don't sound condescending because I don't mean it that way).

So I've found myself in B&N a lot lately because I often study there because I love the smell of books.  So I looked around on one particular day and wrote down what "other" readers were reading.*

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

Smooth Talking StrangerYou would expect a woman to be reading this one, but that wasn't the case here.  An older male dressed in slacks and a button down seemed to find this one interesting.

Anyone ever read this one?  I haven't and I love Lisa Kleypas.  I kept glancing at this one because I couldn't see the title.  I hope that the lady reading this didn't think I was weird.

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