Hello! If you're looking for Nite Lite Book Reviews, please note that we've moved to www.nitelitebookreviews.com. If you already subscribe to the blog, our feed has been updated so you don't have to do anything. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at our new home!

29 June 2014

Stacked (113)

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren, Stacked is a weekly post where I share with you the books that I've bought, borrowed or received for the week.

Hi, all. I'll be in Sin City by the time you're reading this. Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. I only have a baby book haul this week. I went to the Summer Lovin 2.0 Tour on Tuesday (recap soon) and bought one book - Sarah Ockler's #scandal. I am a big fan of Sarah's and just think that she is also the sweetest person. I always love being able to see her when she goes on tour. I was very restrained and bought only one book even though I wanted all the books. But I will be getting some at ALA this weekend, so that will make up for it.

A little snapshot of my autographed book. I haven't started this yet but hope to soon. I am only bringing my Kindle to Las Vegas to save on space and left this at home.

I hope the weekend is going well and I'll see you guys in a few days!

27 June 2014

ALA Bound

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Hi, everyone. Just a quick post to let you know that I am heading to ALA this weekend. I am really excited to get away for a few days with some bookish friends and just enjoy the time to talk about books. There may be a buffet and a bit of gambling involved, and lots of pool time. Things will be a little quiet around here until I get back. I don't think I am taking a laptop so blogging time will be limited. I'll be back soon and will hopefully have lots to tell you about.

Have a great weekend!

Uncovered (114): The Farm

Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? Uncovered is a weekly post where I show some cover love. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Friday again. I never get sick of Fridays. I hope you are all having a good day so far. Today I am heading out to Las Vegas for the ALA Annual Conference. I am really excited because I am going with a bunch of bookish friends and this is going to be like a mini vacation for me since I'll actually be out of town with nothing to do but relax and talk books. Follow me on Instagram if you'd like to keep up with what I am doing over the weekend. I am sure I'll be taking lots of bookish pics.

So today's cover love goes out to The Farm by Tom Rob Smith. I really liked Smith's Child 44, which is a really creepy and well written suspense novel about a serial killer. This is his newest book which just came out last week. This is another one that I saw at the bookstore the day (I totally troll bookshops for, well books, and for covers to feature on the blog). I like how this is done with a double exposure and the effect that it creates. The grainy image of the farm in the background is creepy and definitely gives this one a slightly ominous air. The figure in the foreground also grabs your attention and you have to wonder who it is and if they're up to good or not. The great, eye catching red-orange shade on the cover also makes this one stand out on the shelves.

I don't have much else to say about this cover except that I like it a lot and need to read it soon. Hope you guys liked today's pick. I will be out of town so you may not see me on the blog for a few days, but I'll be back soon. :)

25 June 2014

Review: One Sweet Ride by Jaci Burton

Author: Jaci Burton
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, Book Depository
Source: Library

Gray Preston was born into money, but he’s built his racing empire on hard work and muscle. And now that Gray has millions of fans, his senator father sends one of his aides, Evelyn Hill, to elicit Gray’s help in garnering votes for the upcoming national election. Gray wants nothing to do with his estranged father’s campaign, but Evelyn can be pretty persuasive. She’s willing to learn about racing, and maybe even get a little dirty.

Evelyn’s number-one goal is politics, which makes working with Gray difficult, because his only passion is fast cars. As she and Gray spend time together, he teaches her about the sport he loves, and she learns a lot about the man behind the wheel. The more she learns, the more she wants him. But any desire that threatens to derail the carefully laid plans for her future is a dangerous one.

With the passion Gray and Evelyn share running hotter than either imagined, one of them is going to have to compromise, or else run the risk of losing more than their hearts.

Let me just start off my saying that this series really has the best covers. Every single one of them is drool-worthy and, even though they usually feature a half naked man on the front, I would not be embarrassed to read them in public. Because really, look at those abs.

Now that I am done drooling over the cover, let's get to the review. One Sweet Ride is the sixth book in Jaci Burton's Play by Play series. I am a fan of the series but admit to being two book behind. This sixth installment has veered away from the Riley family (who were featured in the first 5 books). While I still miss the Riley (and will go back and read the previous books), I went into this with an open mind.

Sadly, I was disappointed with this book. It wasn't bad, but there was nothing in it that really made it stand out either. I think part of my problem was that it took me a long time to warm up to Evelyn. She doesn't have much personality and I was annoyed that she thought she could just waltz into Gray's life and presume to tell him that he really need to re-think his relationship with his father, all for her own agenda. I liked up to her more as the story went on but it was a lukewarm feeling at best.

I liked Gray better, though he, too, was pretty bland. I liked that he was passionate about racing and charitable causes but he didn't illicit any strong feelings in me. I thought that the chemistry between the two was just OK. With a love/hate story I usually expect a lot of tension and sexual energy. I didn't feel that between these two until much later in the book. The sex scenes, while hot, started to get boring after a while. And trust me, I am all for a good love scene and am not one of those people who usually says less sex in books, please. The scenes all just seemed really similar and weren't as exciting or inventive as what I've come to expect from Burton.

Another small thing that annoyed me was that we are introduced to characters that are obviously going to be featured in their own books down the line. I didn't mind the intro so much, but it felt forced and took me out of Gray and Evelyn's story. I wish that these characters had been introduced in a more subtle way.

Jaci Burton is usually hit or miss for me. When it's a hit (Changing The Game), it's a big one, but this one was a miss for me. The stakes didn't feel high enough and I just wasn't as emotionally invested in the relationship as I should have been. No doubt others will enjoy but I am glad that I borrowed a copy. I still plan reading the Riley clan books I missed though and would definitely still give the next books in the series a try.

24 June 2014

Extended Trailer: The Flash

Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that they were making a show about The Flash. However, I didn't realize that it had already gone into production and that there were promos and clips already available. I have never read The Flash so I am not familiar with this character at all. The show is from the producers of Arrow, which makes me a little wary, since I am not a big fan of that show. Granted, I have only seen a few episodes and have been meaning to give it another try. This extended trailer is pretty long and gives you a good idea about the tone of the show. I support all comic book endeavors even if I am not info them because it hopefully just opens doors for more of them. I'll give this one a chance. I am not sure about that running around the tornado thing though. I kept thinking he should just run into the guy controlling the tornado to stop it but I am sure there were other circumstances...

The Flash hits television screens everywhere this fall.

23 June 2014

Manicure Monday (68): The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Manicure Monday is a feature that combines my love of reading and nail polish. Each week I'll show you one of my current reads along with a matching book manicure.

Hello, hello! Happy Monday, all. I hope you guys had a good weekend. Mine was pretty busy but fun. I am gearing up for ALA in Las Vegas this coming weekend. I can't believe it's finally here. I am pretty excited and am looking forward to having a bit of a vacation. It may be quiet over the weekend as a result of my being out of town. I might bring my laptop but I am not sure if I'll get on it at all. We shall see.

Today's manicure is based off of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. This is my book club selection month and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. It's a pretty short read and I am about halfway through. Looking forward to discussing this with my book group.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

To start, I did 2-3 coats of Ulta Cream of Corn on all of my nails except my thumb. It's a milky, slightly yellow creme that matched the cover pretty well. It wasn't a perfect match but it's hard to tell in the pics. 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

To add some visual interest, I created stripes with stamping plate BM-423 by Bundle Monster and Zoya Pepper, a brick red.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I really did not feel like trying to paint the basket on the cover so I went with just the baby. Using acrylic paints, I drew the baby and book along with radiating white lines to mimic the cover. I painted a more defined white "splash" on my ring finger to match the cover. Above is a close up of the baby. Sorry, the refection is pretty strong and it's a little hard to see. I was actually pretty impressed with it though. In person it looks very close to the cover image.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

On my thumb, I just did 2 coats of Zoya Pepper to keep things simple. That was it! This isn't my favorite book manicure. It's fine, but I think it's a little boring and I had a hard time coming up with an interesting design. 

I hope you liked today's manicure. I definitely recommend this book for all you reader and book lovers out there. I hope to finish it up in the next day or two. Happy reading!

22 June 2014

Stacked (112)

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren, Stacked is a weekly post where I share with you the books that I've bought, borrowed or received for the week.

Hello, again. I hope your weekend is going just swimmingly. This weekend is pretty jam packed for me. I am also gearing up to go to ALA in Las Vegas next weekend so I am starting to pack for that. Yeah I am one of those weird people who wants to pack 3 weeks before I actually go on vacation. But I am excited about it. I'll be hanging out with some good friends and getting my book on, so it should be a good time. 

This week's book haul is, again, very small. Just trying to make my way through the stacks of book I already own. If you saw my post from yesterday, you know that I have plenty of books to choose from.

Ahhhh! Super excited that I was approved for an e-galley of The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and I cannot wait to read it. 

Happy reading, everyone!

21 June 2014

What Does the Bookworm Say?: Bookshelf Tour

Hi and welcome to a new feature here on Nite Lite called What Does the Bookworm Say? that I am doing with my friends at The Reader's AntidoteBooks Unbound and The Windy Pages. Each week, we will discuss a new bookish topic. This week's topic is a bookshelf tour. I am going to give you a little peek into my bookshelves.

Below is the view of most of my book storage, housed in my living room. I moved about two years ago into a much smaller apartment and struggled with how to fit all of my books into my new place. I also agonized on what color bookshelf to get. I decided to go with white, which I thought would make it look more open, and I think it does. These are just the standard Billy bookcases from Ikea. These shelves are not nearly as organized as they were when I first got them. You can see that I started double stacking books. Also, the bookshelf on the far right is all DVDs in the back with books stacked in front of them.


The first shelf we're going to look at is my mass market paperback and paperback bookcase. When I got these shelves, I was dismayed to find that the pegs for the shelves were too far apart for my liking, leaving me with a lot of wasted space on each shelf. So I used a screwdriver to make new holes. (Note that this is really hard. If you decide to do this, be patient and don't decide you need to do this in the middle of the night. Wait til morning and buy or borrow and electric drill. You'll save time and your hands). Most of these are arranged by series where possible though some are just randomly shoved in there. 

Though the process was not fun, I really like that I have narrow shelves now for these paperbacks. I only did this for the top two shelves because I needed taller shelves for my other paperbacks. You can see them on the bottom there. I actually wish that this was just mass market paperbacks (I have a ton) but then I'd have no place to put my other paperbacks.


Now onto the tall bookcases. The case on the left is all books and they are arrange as follows (from top to bottom) - hardcover lit fic/non-fiction, young adult, comics/graphic novels/picture books, and then art books on the very bottom shelf. My YA collection is quite vast these days and it's sort of spilled over onto the other shelves. 

The bookcase on the right has DVDs all in the back. Those are all in alphabetical order pretty much. But you can see that I've stacked books in front of those shelves now. I am not showing you the piles I have by my window or inside my TV stand. I don't really keep books anywhere else besides my living room. I may keep a couple of books on my nightstand, but not usually. 


A few random close ups. This is my mass market shelf, protected by a little army of Dunny vinyl toys.


Here is my comics shelf. Most of these are things I need to read or are my favorites. Y: The Last Man takes up a large chunk as does Fables. Seeing this reminds me that I need to read more comics. 


Not pictured is my huge bookcase full of knitting/craft books and knitting patterns. I also have a small-ish bookshelf with cookbooks and sewing books in the corner of my kitchen. I had a friend come over last weekend for the first time and the first thing she said to me was "You have a lot of books." Yes, yes I do.

Thanks for taking a virtual tour of my shelves with me. How do you organize your bookshelves? Genre, alpha, color? I've always wanted rainbow shelves but I don't think I'd be able to find anything. :)

Don't forget to check out what The Reader's AntidoteBooks Unbound and The Windy Pages have to say about this topic as well. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, just leave it in the comments below. 

20 June 2014

Uncovered (113): The Girl in the Road

Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? Uncovered is a weekly post where I share with you a cover that I am currently in love with.
Hi, everyone and happy Friday! This week's Uncovered post features The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. I saw this one at Mysterious Galaxy the other day and just fell in love with it. My friend said that I am attracted to it because it has hot pink on the cover, which is probably true, but there's a lot of other stuff I like about this cover as well.

I love how bright and graphic this cover is. There are tons of patterns and textures that may seem random but go together so well. The pink snake is beautiful and I really like how it creates movement and interest on the page. The typography is great, too. The even lettering gives it a slightly off kilter look. I did not know anything about this book when I saw it but it made me want to find out more. If you don't know about this book, here is the synopsis:

Meena, a young woman living in a futuristic Mumbai, wakes up with five snake bites on her chest. She doesn't know how or why, but she must flee India and return to Ethiopia, the place of her birth. Having long heard about The Trail -- an energy-harvesting bridge that spans the Arabian Sea -- she embarks on foot on this forbidden bridge, with its own subculture and rules. What awaits her in Ethiopia is unclear; she's hoping the journey will illuminate it for her.

Mariama, a girl from a different time, is on a quest of her own. After witnessing her mother's rape, she joins up with a caravan of strangers heading across Saharan Africa. She meets Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. Yemaya tells Mariama of Ethiopia, where revolution is brewing and life will be better. Mariama hopes against hope that it offers much more than Yemaya ever promised.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates will entwine in ways that are profoundly moving and shocking to the core. Vividly imagined and artfully told, written with stunning clarity and deep emotion, The Girl in the Road is a true tour de force.
Doesn't it sound intriguing? And once you know a bit about it, the snake makes a lot more sense. This one had a blurb by Neil Gaiman on the back, which made me want to read it even more. The image above isn't as bright and beautiful as the original. I took a quick pic at the bookstore to show you.

It's much more vibrant in person and the pink is very pink and the cover is a soft cream. Gorgeous all around. I am going to have to get this on my bookshelf soon.

What do you guys think of this one? Does this cover intrigue you?

19 June 2014

Trailer: True Blood Season 7

The seventh and final season of True Blood premieres on June 22. I am way, way behind on this series even though I finished all of the books. I don't know exactly what's been going on in the show but, from this trailer, it looks like a battle is coming. Even though it's pretty campy, I still enjoy the show and all of the man candy it provides. I am kind of bummed that it won't be on anymore but it had a good run. Now that a bunch of seasons are on Amazon Prime, I may finally catch up.

Is anyone tuning in for the premiere this weekend?

18 June 2014

Review: X-23, Vol. 1: The Killing Dream

Author: Marjorie Liu
Illustrator: Alina Urusov
Publication Date: April 20, 2011
Publisher: Marvel
Genre: Comics/Graphic Novels
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N
Source: Library

X-23 has spent her short life being used by those in power, from the military to the X-Men. But when she is forced to confront a being who can control her life with nothing but a thought, will X-23 finally learn how to fight -- not for others, but herself? Guest-starring NYX!


I went into this not knowing anything about X-23. I picked it up because it was written by Marjorie Liu, a writer whose urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels I really enjoy. I was a big fan of X-Men as a teen but haven't read it in years. I'd heard good things about X-23 though and was excited to dive in.

I am not sure where this volume falls into the X-23 timeline but it's written as a good entry point for those who might be unfamiliar with the character or need a refresher course. X-23 is a killer, born and bred in a lab to be the ultimate killing machine. A genetic clone of the X-Men Wolverine, X-23 has his advanced healing abilities and adamantium claws. She has been trained to kill efficiently and without remorse. By the time we find X-23 in The Killing Dream, she has broken free of the lab and has been with the X-Men for a while. She briefly joined X-Force and was working for them as an assassin, though for the greater good. When this volume starts, her X-Men teammates and friends have just found out that X-23 has been killing for X-Force and most of them are not too happy about it. Some question her morals and whether or not she is safe to be around while others defend her. X-23 is doesn't know if she can reconcile her old self with who she wants to be. Is she just a stone cold killer? Can she be more than just a weapon?

Like I said, this is a good primer for into X-23's world. I got a sense of her character pretty quickly. She is struggling to figure out who she is and is trying to come to terms with the things she has done. She sets out on her own and, of course, comes across some trouble along the way. Luckily she has Gambit along for most of the ride and they play well off of each other. I am not sure I really got the entire Mr. Sinister storyline. I vaguely remember him from the X-books when I was a teen but not that well. He seems to have taken on a larger role than I remembered and has a fearsome reputation. Also, Ms. Sinister's outfit is pretty ridiculous, even for a comic book.

X-23 did not have the most original characterization. Her origin is fascinating and she has a lot of potential to be a really interesting character but, I found her struggle to be pretty standard for any clone or assassin story. This could also be a symptom of the fact that this is volume meant to attract new readers and her character may get more complex as we delve deeper into her world. The artwork was fine, but not particularly memorable. I do remember liking the covers for this run though.

This volume didn't blow my socks off but there's definitely potential here. X-23 is an intriguing character that I think has a lot more depth than this volume shows am looking forward seeing her evolution as the series goes on.

17 June 2014

Ruin and Rising Launch Party Recap

Hi, everyone! Today is the release day for Ruin & Rising by Leigh Barugo, the third book in the Grisha series. I was lucky enough to attend the launch party last night held at The Last Bookstore in downtown LA. Leigh knows how to throw a good party and I was excited to celebrate her new book with her and all of the Grisha fans.

The event did not start until 7:30pm. I met up with Nicole, Michelle and Crystal earlier in the evening and had dinner at one of my favorite Italian places. By the time we made it back to the store, there was a pretty substantial line happening. Eventually someone came around to check our names off a list and gave us color coded wristbands so that they could tell if we were allowed booze or not. Below you can see I have my Ruin & Rising manicure and wristband ready to party!


The store was jam packed and we did not manage to grab seats in time. Instead, we wandered around the store checking out the party decorations and snacks. 


There was a lot of fun stuff going on, including a photo booth and a manicure station. I was pretty excited about the manicure station. I didn't do it because I already had my nails done but I am interested in seeing what manicures everyone else got.



After some mingling and snacking it was time for the main event. Leigh got up on stage and thanked everyone for being there. She said that she has started off all of her other launch parties by reading something embarrassing from her childhood. This time around, she had found a journal from when she was 10, which she read aloud parts of to us. I can't really paraphrase what was in the journal but trust me, she had us all in stitches. 


Leigh then talked a little bit about the film Labyrinth, which was one of her favorite movies as a teen.   I can't really summarize this part very well but she showed us some great footage of the ballroom scene and how it relates to her writing. She also touched on the subject of reading YA and pointed out that there is a lot of amazing writing going on in YA and that's why people read it. 


Leigh then read the first page from Ruin and Rising. She didn't want to be spoiler-y so she had a limited selection to choose from. Next up were some questions.

Who were Nikolai and the Apparat inspired by? 

Nikolai is a bit Han Solo and a bit Lando Calrissian. She also mentioned a character from a book series but I am blanking on the name. Sorry about that. If you remember, leave a comment telling me below.

Who was Mal inspired by?

Leigh had a friend when she was younger and they had a really close friendship. Mal is sort of inspired by that relationship of deep friendship though he is no inspired by any one person, since Leigh has never met anyone like Mal.


Then it was finally time for book signing! Luckily we had been standing pretty close to the stage and managed to get in the signing line near the front. The line was still going strong when we left so I am glad that we got in it early.


Leigh was sweet and gracious as always. I showed her my R&R nails like a fangirl. We even managed to finally snag some brownies after looking for them all night. Overall I'd say the night was a huge success! 

Much thanks to Leigh and everyone who organized the party and also to my blogging buddies for the great company. If you missed Leigh this time around, she will be at the Fierce Reads tour in B&N The Grove on July 23. I will be in San Diego for Comic Con already by that date but it should be a great event. 

16 June 2014

Manicure Monday (67): Ruin and Rising

Manicure Monday at Nite Lite 

Manicure Monday is a feature that combines my love or reading and nail polish. Each week I'll showcase one of my current reads along with a matching book manicure.

Hello and happy Monday, everyone. Today's manicure is for the newly released Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. While this technically does not come out until tomorrow, I heard that some B&N had them out early. I went in search of it over the weekend and happily was able to find it at my local store. I decided to do this manicure today because I am going to the launch party for Ruin and Rising tonight, which is being held in downtown LA at The Last Bookstore. It should be a really good time and I hope to see some of you there.

Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I love the covers to this entire series. They are so striking and work well individually but also make a nice set when seen together. The cover to Ruin and Rising is much darker and more ominous looking than the last two covers. Looking at this cover, I knew that I wanted to do a gradient as part of this manicure. Using three shades of Zoya polish in Sooki, Rekha and Paris, I created a gradient on three of my fingers. I arranged it so the darkest color was at the base of my nails. Then I wanted to create a splatter effect to mimic the center part of the cover where there are faint splatters of gold on the red. I had a really hard time finding a gold that was as orange as the one from this cover. However, after much digging I was able to find a good match in Wet N Wild The Gold and the Beautiful (yes, nail polish companies do love pun-y names). I made the splatter by dipping a small mixing straw into the polish and blowing it onto the nails.

Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The grey I used was actually a polish that was given out as a promo product when Shadow & Bone was first released. So far, there has been a polish for each book. Shadow & Bone's polish was a matte grey creme. I used two coats of the Grisha Grey on my thumb and ring finger. I used black acrylic paint to paint the stripes on my ring finger. 

Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo

For my thumb, I decided to pull an element from the central tower on the R&R cover. I painted the turrets with black acrylic paint and dotted on red polish to match the tower.

Bonus pic of my right hand, which I usually don't show because it's often the same as my left and it's sort of annoying to take pics of your non-dominant hand. However, I did my read hand a little differently this time so I thought it would be fun to show it.

Ruin and Rising

Ruin And Rising by Leigh Bardugo

And there you have it - nails ready for a Grisha party. Hope you guys liked today's manicure. If you're at the launch tomorrow and see me, please come say hello. :)