Review: The Darkest Edge of Dawn

The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
ISBN: 9781439110041
Published: August 31st 2010 by Pocket
Rating: 5

(From Goodreads:)
Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel to my new favorite five-star series for about a year now, and it was well worth the wait. The Darkest Edge of Dawn lived up to my expectations and continued the story left in The Better Part of Darkness.

Charlie is still probably my favorite literary heroine. She’s sarcastic and just a little obnoxious, she’s a tough as nails, kick @$$ kind of girl. She loves her daughter—I especially liked the part with her and her daughter at the end! That was sweet—and she would do anything for the people she loves. That of course includes her Siren partner, Hank, who she is definitely in love with (like me) but won't admit it (unlike me). crazy girl.  

I like the writing style of Gay's series: the sarcasm mixed with the seriousness of the situations keeps the story easy to read and not too stressful, though it is intense at times.

With action, mystery, love, and betrayal, The Darkest Edge of Dawn is a great sequel, and I will continue to be a faithful reader of Charlie Madigan's adventures.

Content/recommendation: Just as the last book, I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone who can't stomach some violence, is easily offended by language and some sex or sensuality. Ages 18+

Click here to enter a contest at goodreads for a copy of The Darkest Edge of Dawn.

Hehe New layouts make me happy

Check out my new layout. It’s sort of something I took from Blogger and improved… Anyway. It’s cool and colorful. Let me know if you want the codes for it.

colorful preview

Need a little bit of advice

For all you college students or graduates out there... what do (did) you do for breakfast?

because the food in the cafeteria in the morning is horrible... no nutrition whatsoever. I need something that'll keep me going for a while. And I have no access to a kitchen.

Any ideas?


signed, hungry broke college student.

Review: I Hate To Cook Book

I Hate To Cook Book (updated and revised edition) by Peg Bracken, forward by Jo Bracken
Genre: Cooking for the cooking-haters
ISBN: 9780446545921
Published: July 26th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1960)
Rating: 4

The I Hate to Cook Book starts off like this:

Some women, it is said, love to cook.
This book is not for them.

Basically, this book is for me.

The I Hate To Cook Book has tons of great recipes sorted in to simplistic chapters, each focusing on another important aspect of the chore of cooking: how to use leftovers, soups, salads, fancy meals for guests, last minute meals, cooking tips etc.

I loved the recipes in this book, and I actually (almost) want to get into a kitchen and try some of them out (usually I hand cookbooks to my mom and say “here, make this pretty please!!”). This one will stay on my shelf for… well in all honesty, I don’t ever intend to part with it. I mean, if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I’d better learn how to make something edible, right?


The only reason I don’t give it five stars… there aren’t any pictures. And I really need pictures… because I can’t cook. Still, the recipes are easy enough that I’d probably survive just fine. As well as any man I might attempt to feed.

I recommend The I Hate To Cook Book for anyone who… well, hates to cook but is stuck with the job.

Review: Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
Genre: YA Fiction
ISBN: 9780061827532
Published: June 1st 2010 by Balzer + Bray
Rating: 4

Seth hasn’t had such a great love life in the past few weeks. His girlfriend dumped him, he saw his father with another woman, and he’s having some friendship problems with his best friend… add to that the fact that his father wants him to win a golf tournament that he really doesn’t care about, he can’t keep a job, and the most unexpected girl on earth starts having feelings for him. Seth starts an anonymous podcast with music and his opinions called The Love Manifesto  where he talks about what love is, why we want it, and why we’re stupid enough to keep coming back for more… and he finds some pretty interesting things about love, friendship, family, and himself.

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto (and I thought my last name was hard to pronounce) was a fun read. It drew me in right away with the writing style and the witty characters. I loved the characters. Up until the end I wasn’t quite sure I really liked Seth that much, because he was doing some pretty stupid things… but in the end when he got his head back on straight and started making the right choices, I saw that he really wasn’t too bad after all. His best friend Dimitri was hilarious (I think he was my favorite… the description on the back of the book of “smut-minded” is pretty accurate.) and his sister Audrey was my kind of gal. You got to love Audrey. Obnoxious, sarcastic, but sweet on her man in subtle ways, and a very good kisser.

The plot was great: it had drama, mystery, and emotion without getting sappy or melodramatic. It takes the reader on quite a ride, so you don’t quite know who the good guy is, and you feel bad for Seth, but it’s not too depressing either.

Although Luper didn’t quite explain or define “love,” he did show it in the characters actions by the end of the story. Even though I was hoping for something a little deeper, he did end the story well and I was satisfied after finishing.

Good writing, great character, fun plot, awesome ending, (and I love the mp3-player cover!) this one will pull you in and keep you hooked from the first page to the last.

Content/recommendation: Some language and sexual innuendoes. Ages 15+

This review is copyright 2010 to Haley Mathiot and Night Owl Reviews.

This Week at The Life and Lies

I’m all settled into college now! Here’s a picture of my room :) Or at least, my half. I won’t show off the DR (Dear Roommate)’s side, if only for privacy reasons.


See? Already messy moved in, comfortable, and personalized!

I’m going to tell you what I’ve gotten over the past few weeks because I haven’t kept up with this stupid meme at all… (August 9-21)

For Review:

  • Dracula in Love
  • The Darkest Edge of Dawn
  • The Single Girl’s Guide to Dating European Men
  • Finished copy of Brave New Knits


  • The Dead Tossed Waves from ARCSwap
  • The Off Season from PBS
  • Fallout from ARC Swap

Gifts (from my wonderful church family!!)

  • The Shorter Catechism
  • My Utmost for His Highest
  • A Life of Principled Obedience

Winners of Forget You

Here are the winners of Forget You! The question was “tell me something…that you have forgotten.”


I have forgotten how to say the word "however" in Japanese.



"I have forgotten the name of this song.. actually, I don't even remember where I heard it or who sings or whatever..

it goes...

singing ah ah ah

confusing I know.. LOL"

Congrats! your info has been forwarded to the publishers.

Remember that I’ve got one more giveaway: The Island Audiobook giveaway ends September 10.

Back to School reviews

School starts on Monday! There are a few things I’d recommend picking up before the school year starts, either for yourself as a student or for your kid, if you’re a parent.


Master’s Lock Backpack Lock

A backpack is the most important tool a student carries, because in it is everything important they need: textbooks, calculators, pencils, computers, everything. Sometimes the contents of the backpack can add up to over a thousand dollars, especially if you’re a college student. The last thing you need is to have to replace all those books, the graphing calculator, a computer, and all the work that was on it.




The Backpack lock is used mostly to deter thieves, not prevent them. This lock is like a clip that you can clip onto something and lock the whole backpack onto something that can’t be moved (In the picture I have my backpack locked to my computer lock, which is looped around a chair.). That doesn’t mean someone can’t open it and take stuff out, but they can’t just snatch it while it’s sitting on the ground in the library and you’re wrapped up in studying.


You can also (if the zipper is big enough) lock two zippers together to keep it from being opened.

Get the Master’s Lock Backpack Lock for $6.99 here.



Laptop Lock

Many colleges or four-year universities provide laptop locks for sale for a good price: I got mine through my school for about $15. It’s a cool little contraption with a loop on one side and the lock on the other. You loop the plastic coated wire cable around something unmovable (chair, table leg, etc) and put the lock through the loop, then push the lock into the security slot on your laptop (most of them have them DSCN0969built in).
Now lock your backpack to your computer lock and you can get up and leave the library, dorm room, classroom, or lunchroom without fear that someone will come and grab the whole thing… well, they could, hypothetically. but who’s gonna grab a whole chair with them?


I'm loading up the car to go to school! woohoooo!

And the reason I'm telling you this is the blog is gonna be a little slower than normal. So just be ye warned. :)

Happy day.

Review: The Grey GREY Cloud

The Grey Grey Cloud by Manjula Naraynan
Genre: Childrens
ISBN: 9781449085070
Published: February 22 2010 by Authorhouse
Rating: 4

The grey Grey cloud is always scared of thunder and lightning, even when there isn’t any, because he remembers it. He is a crybaby and always cries. But a silver fairy comes and shows him that even the scary thunderstorms are good, because they frighten away the mean witches and goblins and monsters who make mischief. The silver fairy becomes the cloud’s silver lining.

This was a cute book with nice illustrations. I didn’t particularly like the cover, but the pictures on the inside are cute and colorful and whimsical. I liked the idea of the thunderstorms scaring away goblins and lightning “un-doing” the naughty magic that the witches did, although some kids may not be mature enough to handle witches and magic. Know your kid and know what they’re ready for.

Narayan also did The Red RED Car, reviewed here.

Ages 4-6

Summer Reads #2


Summer Reads is a once a month meme in the summer months with short "quickie" reviews. These are perfect fast reads or beach reads.

101 Things I Learned in Fashion School
101 Things I Learned in Culinary School
Rating: 5
Both of these books were very informative. It wasn't just little tips and tricks: they felt like classes or notes. There was a good mix of quotes and straight information, and a drawing to go with each tip. These books are great, and will be the kind of books that sit on my shelf, waiting to give me just the right piece of advice at just the right time.




Of Lights in the Night: Friends and Adventure by Sean Noonan
Genre: Children's fantasy
ISBN: 9781432752897
Published: March 15th 2010 by Outskirts Press
Rating: 4

Beyond the half-sleep lies a land of dreams where anything can happen....
Join Elannah and Sam as the half sleep takes them to their secret Tree-House in the Jungle ... where they meet in their dreams.
This time they're off to see Rodger the Badger, on their flying bikes - up, up into the night sky ... and onto another everlasting fantastical adventure ...

This was a cute, easy to read story, filled with natural dialogue and great descriptions. There are some awesome drawings in the back done by the author's daughter. Kids ages 6-10 will love this dream-like adventure.


Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Genre: Vampire
ISBN: 9781849014083
Published in Paperback April 29th 2010 by Constable (first published February 16th 2010)
Rating: 4

Abe’s live as a vampire hunter was a fun read (or listen, in my case). It portrayed vampires as the “bad guys—” a nice break from the ‘i’m-not-so-bad’ kind of vampire revolution that went on. I could only listen to so much at one time, but it was enjoyable. The reader was very good, if a little slow.

This one is perfect for summer car rides (but not with kids in the car—there’s some language and, of course, violence) or a CD player on the beach. Ages 15+

…can I just say?

That I love Blogger’s new comment moderation. I really do. It’s… almost like e-mail.

Can you tell I’m up too late blogging about unimportant things? yeah. I do that a lot at my personal blog, for those of you who read it… some weird stuff comes out.

just sayin.


Review: Northern Knits

Northern Knits: Designs inspired by the knitting traditions of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Shetland Isles.
by Lucinda Guy 
ISBN: 9781596681712
Published: April 1 2010 by Interweave Press
Rating: 4

Northern Knits was a beautiful book featuring 20 patterns from Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Shetland. The patterns are mostly sweaters, with a one or two hats, mittens, and scarves thrown in… I think there was one sock pattern. Of course since I mainly knit accessories, I didn’t quite get as much out of this one as I had originally hoped. However, for sweater knitters, Northern Knits has some beautiful patterns, designs, and graphs.

I adore fair isle in general, so I had a great time looking at all the graphs. I don’t often use small (US 2-4) needles that often, but I might make an exception for the Ottilia Twined Mittens… those were pretty. 

So if you like sweaters, small needles, fair isle and graphs, and colorwork, Northern Knits is for you.

Here is the Ravelry page for Northern Knits, where you can view photographs of the projects.


Recommendation: Intermediate/experienced knitters

Charlie…hey charlie!

I just got The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay and I’m psyched. I adored The Better Part of Darkness and I’ve been waiting for this title since the release date of the last one.

So yeah. I just had to say I’M SO EXCITED *gasps for air*

caaalllmmm dooowwwnnn haley.



(and for those of you who don’t understand the title… the character’s name is Charlie.)

Review: Darcy’s Voyage

Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise 
Genre: Historical Romance, P&P remix
ISBN: 9781402241024
Pub Date: September 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks
Rating: 4

In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Elizabeth meets a strange kind man in a carriage when she is eighteen, and they both hold on to the memory of each other for two years. Elizabeth gets a chance to visit her aunt and uncle in America when she is twenty, and Mr. Darcy travels to America on his ship, the Pemberly Promise, to get his sister. But Elizabeth falls ill in the steerage, and Darcy is concerned for her more than he thought he would be, though he can’t explain it. Darcy makes a deal with Elizabeth: Since his room has an extra bed that she could heal in, and he needs a wife on the ship to avoid the young female suitors, he asks Elizabeth to marry him, and promises to annul the marriage when they get back to England.

Elizabeth and Darcy don’t recognize each other for a while, but soon it becomes obvious that they met in the carriage two years ago. It’s also obvious that they enjoy the same things, build each other up, and support each other well… and pretty soon they’re falling in love.

But misunderstandings lead to tragic occurrences, and secrets falling into the wrong hands can prove dangerous. Darcy and Elizabeth don’t know that the other loves them, and serious damage could happen if the wrong information falls into the wrong hands…

Darcy’s Voyage was a fun read. The book used some of the original story line, and most of the characters were accurate and the same in character traits and personalities—except Georgiana, who was far to outgoing—and there were some delightful new characters.

I liked the plot. It was original and creative, but it did have it’s flaws. First, I’d have liked more conflict between Elizabeth and Darcy. Their relationship had a few bumps, but seemed to be just a little to perfect. Second, Darcy’s idea of marrying Elizabeth so she could have his other bed was a little far fetched. A gentleman would have just given up his room, not married her. Still, I did like it and was able to overlook the little things that made my eyebrow quirk up.

The thing that I liked most was the artistic license. This was a great re-telling of the classic characters. It was original and cute and creative. And it was clean! which made my day.

Content/recommendation: no language, no sex, no violence. Ages 14+

Feature: Emma and the Vampires

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?

In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her... A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead.

Emma and the Vampires was published on August 1 by Sourcebooks. Keep your eyes open for my review, and check out Amazon and Goodreads for some other bloggers’ reviews.

Yay! New layout

And this one, I made. Yup! Well, sort of. Because I started with a template in the template designer, and just kind of played with it, made a new logo, uploaded a background image, and made it beautiful.

So there you go.

I like to change my layout every other month or so. Keeps things interesting. :)

If you like it and you want the coding, let me know.


My Reviews

**Please not that some of my older reviews have all the photos missing from them, and some formatting problems. I apologize, I'm working on getting this fixed. I would greatly appreciate it if you come across a review with problems that you let me know. Thanks so much!**

Reviews are in alphabetical order and articles are moved to the end of the title.

In the parentheses: The numerical rating out of 5 possible, and where I received the book (from a supplier, purchased, or borrowed).  For my list of suppliers, go to my "Sources" page.

Updated 6/18/15
Book Reviews
101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle (4, Bostic Communications)
101 Things I Learned in Culinary School (5, Hachette)
101 Things I Learned in Fashion School (5, Hachette)
60 Quick Knits in Cascade 220 (5, Sixth &Spring)
60 Quick Baby Knits in Cascade 220 (4 Sixth &Spring)

Abandon (4, Vine)
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (4, Hachette Audio)
Ada: Legend of a Healer (4.5, Author)
Adventures in Bookbinding (5, Quarry Publishing)
Adventures of the Thundering Whales (DNF, Bostic Communications)
Adventures of Princess the Pony, the (5, Author)
Accidental Genius (4, Bostic Communications)
Across the Endless River (4, FSB)
Acrylic Fusion (5, Quarry)
Android Karenina (5, Quirk Books)
Angels (5,  Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Anything but Typical (4.5, NBCCPL)
Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy (5, FSB Associates)
All I Ever Wanted (FSB Associates)
Alligator Man, the (5, Hachette)
All the Good Men (3.75,  GF)
Along came a Spider (5, Purchased)
Along for the Ride (5, Goodwin Memorial Library)
Amazing Crayon Drawing (4.5, FSB)
Art Lab for Kids (3, Quarry)

Bailey's Day (1, Bostic Communications)
Balanchine's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets (5, purchased)
Basic book of digital photography, the (4.5, FSB )
Beautiful Creatures (2, Hachette)
Beauvallet (5, Sourcebooks)
Better Part of Darkness, the (5, Hachette)
Big Book of Socks, the (4.5, The Taunton Press)
Birthmarked (5, Henry Holt In Group)
Bleeding Violet (4, Pulse It)
Blind Sight (5, Kathy Carlton Willis Communications)
Blood Magic (3, DNF, Vine)
Blood Red Road (5, NBCCPL)
Blue and Gray Christmas, a (2, Pocket Books)
Brave New Knits (5, Rodale Books)
Breakout Novelist, the (4.5, FSB)
Bridge, the (DNF, Bostic Communications)
Brothers of Gwynedd, the (DNF, Sourcebooks)
Buckley’s Story (4.5, Pump Up Your Book)
Bug's Adventure Series (1, Bostic Communications)

Can God be Trusted? (4, Hachette)
Catch in Time, a (3, Night Owl Reviews)
Catch me if you Can (5, GML)
Certain Wolfish Charm, a (3.75, Sourcebooks)
Channel, the (4, Bostic Communications)
Charles Dickens Devotional (5, Publicist)
Chasing Brooklyn (4, International Book Tours)
Cheating Death (5, Hachette Audio) 
Christian Zombie Killer's Handbook, the (DNF, Booksneeze)  
Christmas Carol, a (5, FSB)
Christmas Wedding, the (3, DNF, LittleBrown)
Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the (5, Hachette Audio)
Color by Kristin (5, Sixth &Springs)
Couples Who Pray (4, Booksneeze)
Courtesan’s Scandal, a (3, DNF, Pocket Books)
Cowl Girls (5, Sixth&Spring)
Crescendo (5, ARC Swap)
Crime and Punishment (5, Purchased)
Cuckoo's Calling, the (4.5)
Curse of Captain LaFoote, the (2, Kathy Carlton Willis Communications)
Curtsies and Conspiracies (5, Hachette)

Dancing on Broken Glass (5, Publicist)
Danger is Everywhere (3.5, DNF, Hachette)
Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) (5, FSB)
Darcy’s Voyage (4, Sourcebooks)
Dark Divine, the (3, NBCCPL) 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (5, Publisher)  
Dead Perfect (3.5, NBCCPL)
Dearest Cousin Jane (DNF, Night Owl Reviews)
Diabetic Pastry Chef, the (4, Bostic Communications)
Diary of Pelly D, the (5, NBCCPL)
Distant Melody, a (5, Litfuse Publicity)
Dead Perfect (3.5, NBCCPL)
Donner the Western Dragon (5, Bostic Communications)
Don't Check your Brains at the Door (3, LitFuse)
Dragonfly (4, Bostic Communications)
Dust (DNF, Night Owl Reviews)

Earl to Enchant, an (1, DNF, Sourcebooks)"
Emerald Atlas, the (4, DNF, Night Owl Reviews)
Elemental Journal, the (4, Thomas Nelson)
Elf of Luxembourg (3, Pump Up Your Book)
Espressologist, the (1, Henry Holt In Group)
Eternal Hourglass, the [Magickeepers series] (4, SB)
Etiquette and Espionage (5, Hachette)
Eve (4, Vine)  
Every Other Day (3, Vine)
Every Step You Take (3, DNF, Vine)

Fade to Black (5, Hachette)
Fashion File (4, Hachette)
Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters (4.5, Sixth&Spring)
Fire Lord’s Lover, the (4, Sourcebooks)
First Timer's Cookbook, the (5, Media Guests)
Four Letter Words (5, LitFuse)
From Darkness to Light (3.5, Bostic Communications)

Gateway to Dreamworld (3.5, Author)
Ghosts, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth's piano, the (4.5, Pump Up Your Book)
Gift of an ordinary day, the (2, Hachette Audio)
Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet (4.5, Interweave Press)
Gifts from the Heart (5, Bostic Communications)
Girl Meets Boy (2)
Girl On Top (3, Hachette)
Girl With All The Gifts, the (5, Hachette Audio)
Glorious (3.5, DNF, Author)
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future (4.5, Hachette)
Grey GREY Cloud, the (4, Bostic Communications)
Guilt (5, Vine)
Guilt Gene, the  (4.5 Bostic Communications)
Guilty Wives (4, Hachette)
Gun Machine (5, Hachette)
Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig (5, Author)

Happy Birthday to Me (4, Author)
Hating Heidi Foster (2)
Hattitude (4, Sixth &Springs)
Healing Code, the (4, Hachette)
Healing is a Choice (5, Booksneeze)
Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a day (4.5, FSB Associates)
Help for Writers (5, Hachette)
Hearing from God Each Morning (4.5, Hachette)
Heights, the (4, DNF, Henry Holt In Group)
Hex Hall (4, New Bern Craven County Public Library, ARC for Review)
Hiking Through (Pump Up Your Book)
His Last Duchess (DNF, Sourcebooks)
Hollywood Said No! (DNF, Hachette Audio)
Host, the (3.5, Hachette)
Hourglass (5, Vine)
Hour of Dust and Ashes, the (5, Hachette)
How Sweet It Is (3.5, Hachette)
How to be Famous  (1, Hachette)
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (4, Simon and Schuster)
How to Knit a Wild Bikini (3.5, Paperbackswap)
How to Roast a Lamb (4.5, Hachette)
How To Survive Your Freshman Year (3.75, The Candence Group)
How To Train Your Dragon - series review - part 1 (5, Hachette)

I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets (5, won)
Icons (DNF, 3.5)
I Hate To Cook Book, the (4, Hachette)
I Hate You, Kelly Donahue! (4,
I Heart You, You Haunt Me (3, Pulse It)
I Knew You'd Be Lovely (3, Vine)
Imortalis: Carpe Noctem (4, Pump Up Your Book)
In Plain Sight (4.5, Author)
Iron Hearted Violet (5)
Island, the (DNF, Hachette Audio)
Is there a monster over there? (5, Bostic Communications)
It Happened One Night (3.5 Hachette Pocketbooks)
It's Not Summer Without You (4, purchased)

Jack’s Dreams Come to Life (4.5 Bostic Communications)
Jane Austen Devotional (5, Publicist)
Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me (4, Hachette Pocketbooks)
Jeff, One Lonely Guy (4, Vine)
Jekel Loves Hyde (4, New Bern Craven County Public Library, ARC for Review)
Jason Experiment, the [Replication] (5, Zondervan)
Jolly Good Fellow, a (3.75, Pump Up Your Book)
Jungle Warfare (3, Booksneeze)
Just One Of The Guys (5)

Kiss Crush Collide (0, Vine)
Knit Local (4, Sixth&Spring)
Knit Noro (3, Sixth&Spring) 
Knit Noro Accessories (5, Sixth&Spring)
Knit One, Bead Too (5, Storey Publishing)
Knit Socks! (3, Storey Publishing)
Knitting At Home (5, Sixth&Spring)
Knitting Beyond the Edge (5, SoHo Publicist)
Knitting Mochimochi (4, Crown Publishing Group [Randomhouse])
Knitting Never Felt Better (5, Publisher)
Knitting with Gigi (4, Martingale &Company)
Knitting with the Color Guys (4, Sixth&Spring)
Knitting Workshops (5, Sixth&Spring)
Know your Beholder (3, DNF, Hachette)

Language of Secrets, the (5, Doubleday)
Last Song, the (5, Hachette Audio)
Last to Die (4, Hachette)
Last Wish, the (4.5, Hachette Audio)
Latin Grill (5, FSB)
Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun (3.5, Hachette)
Life of Glass, the (4, Bloody Bad Borrow-my-book tour)
Life’s Captivity (4,  Bostic Communications)
Light, the dark, and Ember Between, the (5, Pump Up Your Book)
Lips Touch: Three Times (5, Night Owl Reviews)
Little Green Dresses (3.75, Taunton Press)
Little Red Book of Wisdom, the (5, Booksneeze)
Live For Your Listening Pleasure (4, Hachette Audio)
Lockdown (escape from furnace 1) (4.5 Henry Holt In Group)
Lone Star Legend (2.5, DNF Hachette)
Lonely Digger, the (4, Bostic Communications)
Lost Voices (4, Vine)
Love Revolution, the (4, Hachette)
Love You to Death (2.5, Hachette)
Lovely Bones, the (1, Hachette Audio, paperback purchased)
Lucifer Rising (DNF, Bostic Communications)

Magickeepers series (4, Sourcebooks)
Magic Under Glass (5, Won)
Magic Warble, the (4.5, Pump Up Your Book)
Make That a Table for Seven (4.5, Bostic Communications)
Making of a Duchess, the (3, Sourcebooks)
Man in 3B, the (DNF)
Mayo Clinic Diet, the (5, FSB)
Mechanical, the (5, Hachette)
Meowmorphosis, the (2, Amazon Vine)
Mistress (NDF, Hachette Audio)
Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering (5, Quarry)
Moonstone (3, Bell Bridge Books)
Mostly Mittens (4.5, Martingale &Company)
Mudhogs, the (5, Bostic Communications)
Musical Chairs (4, Author)
Murder of King Tut, the (4.5, Hachette Audio)
My Heart and Soul (4, Pump Up Your Book)
My One and Only (1, DNF, Vine)
My Unfair Lady (4, Sourcebooks)

New England Knits (5, Interweave Press)
Nine Dragons (4, Hachette Audio)
No Hope for Gomez (4, Pump Up Your Book)
Northern Knits (4, Interweave Press)

Oblivion (DNF, Hachette)
Of Lights in the Night (4, Bostic Communications)
Once Dead, Twice Shy (4, Night Owl Reviews)
One Scream Away (4, Hachette)
Over the Holidays (2, Pocket Books)

Parasite (4, Series review; Hachette Audio)
Party for Two (4, Bostic Communications)
Perfect Chemistry (3, Purchased)
Peanut Collection, the [Guest Review] (Hachette)
Picture the Dead (4, Sourcebooks)
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink (3, Vine)
Playing Hurt (4, LitFuse)
Poetry Speaks Who I Am (5, Sourcebooks)
Pointe Shoes: Tips and Tricks (5, Purchased)
Possession (Vine)
Possibility of Everything, the (5, Pump Up Your Book)
Postmistress, the (DNF, Bloody Bad Borrow My ARC Tour)
Pride and Prejudice (5, Librivox)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (5, FSB)
Primary Victim (4.5, Author)
Prophet, the (5, Hachette)
Prudence (The Custard Protocol, 1) (5, Hachette)
Pyramid of Souls [Magickeepers series] (4, sourcebooks)

Quilter’s Diary, a (5, Martingale &Company)
Quilts in the Attic (4, Quarry)
Quilted Devotions (5, Martingale &Company)
Quip Factory (3.5, Bostic Communications)

Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream (5, purchased)
Rags and Bones (4.5, Hachette Audio)
Recipes for a Beautiful Life (3.5, Bostic Communications)
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (4, Sourcebooks)
Red RED car, the (4, Bostic Communications)
Red Knight, the (DNF, 4)
Replication: The Jason Experiment (5, Zondervan)
Right Hand, the (5, Hachette)
Rook, the (Little Brown)
Ruby Red (4, NBCCPL)
Running on the Cracks (3, Henry Holt In Group)

Sanctuary (3.8, Bostic Communications)
Sapphire Blue (NBCCPL)
Sasha Kagan collection (3, Taunton)  
School of Possibilities, the (DNF, Sourcebooks)
Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, the (4, Mark Goldman [publicist] )
Secret Me Book (4, Sourcebooks)
Secret of Ella and Micha (DNF)
Secret of Joy, the (5, Hachette Pocketbooks)
Searching for Tina Turner (DNF, Hachette )
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto (4, Night Owl Reviews)
Seven  (3, Hachette)
Sewing Workshop, the (4, SoHo Publishing)
Sew Red
Shadow Blade (3, DNF, Hachette) 
Shatter Me (5, Vine)
Sherlock Holmes Devotional, the (1, NDF. Netgalley)
Simbiont (4, series review; Hachette Audio)
Simple Times (4, Hachette)
Sing Me To Sleep (3, International Book Tours)
Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men, the (4, Author)
Slave (5, Amazon Vine)
Snow White and the Huntsman (3, Hachette)
Sock Club (Martingale &Company)
Soddit, the (Hachette)
Sons of Thunder (DNF, Litfuse Publicity)
Soul Catcher (4, Won)
Spells (4.5, Bloody Bad borrow my book tour)
Spring for Susannah (3, LitFuse)
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (4, Hachette Audio)
Start Here (5, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Staring Into the Sun (3, Bostic Communications)
Steampunk! (4, Vine)
Stepmonster (3, FSB)
Stitch Style: Mittens (4, Martingale &Company)
Stitchionary Volume 1 (5, Sixth&Spring)
Stitchonary Volume 6 (4, Sixth&Spring)
Stolen Ones, the (4, Hachette)
Stop It! (4, Bostic Communications)
Story, the (4, Zondervan)
Strange Neighbors (DNF, Sourcebooks)
Stressed in Scottsdale (DNF, Bostic Communications)
Strictly Sundays (3, Bostic Communications)
Sugarless Plum, the (5, FSB)
Sundays at Tiffany’s (5, Purchased)
Summer Fit (Media Guests)
Summer I Turned Pretty, the (4.5 Pulse It)
SuperStress Solution, the (4.5, FSB) 
Sweater Chop Shop, the (3, Storey Publishing)

Tall, Dark, and Wolfish (3.75, Sourcebooks)
Terror by Night (5, Kathy Carlton Willis Communications)
They Almost Always Come Home (Kathy Carlton Willis Communications)
This Is How It Ends (3, Hachette)
This Is How You Die (4, Hachette Audio)
This Little Prayer of Mine (5, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Thumbing Through Thoreau (5, Pump Up Your Book)
Tiger's Curse (5, Purchased)
To Conquer Mr. Darcy (2, DNF, Sourcebooks)
Touch (5, Hachette)
Touch of the Master's Hand, the (5, Media Guests)
Totally Toned Arms (5, Hachette)
Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method (4.5, Hachette)
Triangle of Deception (4, Bostic Communications)
Triangles (5, Vine)
Truth and Fear (5, Hachette Audio)
Turning, the (4, SB)
Tyger Tyger (5, Author)

Uncertain Magic (5, SB)
Unspent Time (4.5, Author)
Until There Was You (5)
Unveiling Motion and Emotion (5, Author)

Vampyre Blood: Eight Pints of Trouble (4, Pump Up Your Book)
Voices Under Berlin (2, Pump Up Your Book)

Waistcoats and Weaponry (5, Hachette Audio)
Wanderlove (5, Vine)
Watch that Ends the Night, the (Unknown source)
Warm Knits, Cool Gifts (4.5, Crown Publishing Group [Randomhouse])
Web of Secrets (DNF, Author Marketing Experts)
We Hear the Dead (5, Sourcebooks)
Wildwing (5, Night Owl Reviews)
Wings (3.5, New Bern Craven County Public Library, ARC for review)
What In God's Name (4, Vine)
What the Dog Saw (Hachette Audio)
When Did You See Her Last (DNF, Hachette)
Whisperer, the (Little Brown)
Who Could That Be At This Hour (4, Hachette)
Wolfhound Century (5, Hachette)
Wolf Next Door, the (4, Sourcebooks)

Yarn Bombing (4, Arsenal Pulp Press)
Yellow Hummer, the (3.75, Bostic Communications)
You (3.5)
Young Bess (DNF, Sourcebooks) 

Zom-B (DNF, Hachette)   

Music Reviews
At Your Request (purchased)
The Silver Key (Bostic Communications)
Bloodlines (Album) by Travis Oberg (Oberg)
Somebody’s Baby by Jon Foreman (AM Music Blog, donated by Foreman)
Josu Gallastegui (purchased)
Mat Kearney (One2One)
Faint Not (Noisetrade) by Jenny and Tyler

Author/Series Reviews
Dorothy Howell series
1-800-WHERE-R-U by Meg Cabot
Brian D. McClure series
How To Train Your Dragon (part 1)
Parasitology (1 and 2)
The Custard Protocol (book 1)
The Witcher (Book 1)

Product Reviews
Eggspress (Bostic Communications)
The Marshal Plan (R) (FSB)
Masters Lock Backpack Lock (Masters Lock)
Computer Lock  (purchased)
Lands End Backpack (purchased)
CSN Bookshelves (CSN Stores)
Chunky Bling ring (Chunky Bling)
Canvas Prints by Build A Sign (Build A Sign)
Wilson Tennis Capri pants (Wilson) 
MyMemories Suite (My Memories)  

DNF—Did Not Finish. I did not/ could not finish this book
Author—The author of the book sent me the book for review
Purchased—I bought the book, either full priced at a book store, a thrift store, or at a discounted price somewhere else.
Won—I won this book from a contest/giveaway of some sort and did not buy it.

Review: Hex Hall

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Genre: YA paranormal
ISBN: 9781423121305
Published: March 2nd 2010 by Hyperion Book CH

Rating: 4

(From Goodreads)

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Hex Hall was funny, cute, and exciting. Sophie had a witty, slightly sarcastic interior monologue and it made it fun to read, even though the writing itself wasn’t good per se.

A very good aspect of Hex Hall was the mystery side. I had no idea who the “bad guy” was (there turned out to be more than one!) until the very end, and I had no idea what was going to happen.

My only complaint was the ending: it wasn’t very good. It left unanswered questions, and there was no closure. It just… ended. Like the ending of a chapter, it felt like there should have been at least one more paragraph. One more paragraph to make you feel like Sophie was confident and knew what she was doing, and that everything was going to turn out right. But… it ended slightly lame.

Except the ending (as in the very last two pages) Hex Hall was a light funny cute read, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Content/Recommendation: Clean, some small descriptions of violence. Ages 12-18

Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey 
Genre: YA Paranormal romance
ISBN: 9780547259406
Pub date: January 18th 2010 by Graphia (first published in hardback on February 1st 2009)
Rating: 5
Jessica was sure she was just your average teenager… until an ultra-hot European foreign exchange student shows up at school, stalks her, and then follows her home, insisting that they are both vampire royalty and must be married when she turns eighteen to ensure peace between their families… and Jessica is sure that Lucius, no matter how attractive, is absolutely insane. She manages to free herself of his grip… and then realizes that he’s all she ever wanted in the first place. But getting him back before he destroys her –or himself—will be quite a challenge. But Jessica is up to it. She has to be.
I absolutely loved Jessica’s Guide. It was funny, romantic, and entertaining the whole way through. I don’t know why I put off reading it so long.
The plot had great pacing, great twists, and great conflict. At one point I was tempted to flip to the end of the book just to make sure it all worked out at the end… because I wasn’t sure I could handle it if it didn’t.
I loved how Jessica’s and Lucius’s relationship wasn’t perfect. I saw this in Fantaskey’s other novel, Jekel Loves Hyde. Like Jill and Tristen, Jessica and Lucius certainly had their ups and downs… may I say more of the latter than the first. I despise happyland syndrome in romances… and was pleased to find none whatsoever in Jessica’s Guide. Their romance was destiny and fate, the only question was how they’d get there in the end. And it was quite a rollercoaster. Their love was based on character more than actions, something that is sometimes hard to write well, and many authors fail miserably, but Fantaskey did a great job. For both Jessica and Lucius, there can never be anyone else.
The characters were great. I officially adore Lucius… passionate and mysterious and infuriating…we need more heroes like him… and Jessica was the kind of girl who would work hard for what she wanted, and sacrifice anything. I think we need more heroines like her, too! Jessica’s parents were both annoying and funny… I especially loved her mom.
The writing was fluid and descriptive, and easy to read. I demolished this one in about four hours.
Heart-pounding plot, characters to die for, and an epic romance, this one begs many re-reads.
summerreads_thumb[3] Content/recommendation: some language, no sex. Ages 14+. This one is a perfect summer-read… or anytime read, really.

WOW college.

I just realized that I leave for college in 2 weeks.

Holy Cow.

so. while I'm freaking out and posting about it, I might as well say that I'm not gonna be doing a ton of reviews while I'm in school. And when I am reading YA Lit, it'll be what I want to read, not what's on my list. Because honestly, if you're not reading what you're in the mood to read, why are you reading?

so there's that.

2 weeks oh my gosh. I'll be up near Asheville NC at Western Carolina. Crazy.

Review: Gifted

Gifted: lovely little things to knit and crochet by Mags Kandis 
Genre: Knitting, Crocheting, crafting
ISBN: 9781596681781
Pub date: July 27th 2010 by Interweave Press
Rating: 4.5

Gifted was right up my alley. I love making things that don’t take too much time, energy, or money, but are still sweet and heartfelt and usable gifts. So Gifted was totally my thing!

There are two sections to the book: Gifts for the Body and Gifts for the Soul. Gifts for the Body focuses on wearable things like hats, scarves, a pair of mittens, a baby jacket, socks etc. Gifts for the Soul are other things like tea pot cozies, knitting needle holders, knit felted hearts… and then there’s a few sewing patterns and recipes thrown in. And who doesn’t love sachets or Mexican hot chocolate or Ginger syrup?

Gifted is the perfect book to have if you wait until the last minute to knit up a gift for a special occasion, or if you have forty-five minutes to knit up a random gift for someone and you’re not quite sure what to make.

Recommendation: beginner through advanced knitters who like accessories and quick knits with larger needles (US 5-15).

Here’s a preview provided by the publisher (Interweave)

Lovely Little Things to Knit + Crochet


Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.