May 24, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway!

Welcome to The Irish Banana! Thanks for popping by on this stop along the hop. Let's get right to the giveaway, shall we?

The Prize:

I do so hate starting an awesome series only to be left bereft, hanging, and clammoring for the next book. So, for this summer, I am giving away the entire Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann (yes, that's a total of 3 books!). It is a seriously awesome triology that I cannot recommend enough.

The Rules:

1. Must be a GFC follower of the Irish Banana
2. Must be over 13
3. Must live in the US or Canada that I can mail these books to
4. The winner will be selected at random on June 1, and will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner is chosen.

Ways to Enter:

- Comment to the thread with your GFC name and email address. That's it. No forms, no mess, no hassle.
- Bonus entries for:
     1. Following me on Twitter:
     2. Friending me on Goodreads:
     3. Tweeting about this giveaway (must provide a direct link!)
     4. Post about this giveaway (must provide a direct link!)
     5. Reply to one of my reviews (make sure you tell me which one or provide a link!)

***Each bonus entry must be its own comment - Do not lump all your entries into one comment because they will only be counted as one!***

May 22, 2011

Review: Bite Club by Rachel Caine

Title: Bite Club
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: 5.3.2011
Pages: 340
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Series
Series: Yes; Book #10 (Morganville Vampires)

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...

After 10 books, you either know and adore Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series or you’re one of the crazy few who hasn’t delved into this addictive series. If you’re part of the latter group? What the heck are you waiting for?

Each book is full of fun, engaging plots and bright, colorful characters. This book, though, has a small twist: Instead of seeing the book through Claire’s (our heroine’s) eyes, we get alternating views of life in Morganville from Shane’s eyes. For those who don’t know, Shane is Claire’s boyfriend, fellow housemate, and an all around kick-ass kinda guy. I must say it was nice to have that shift, especially when Shane went down a dark road that had him doing many questionable things. This insight into his inner turmoil is what kept me from climbing into the pages and beating him over the head.

I can’t wait for the next installment of this series due out in November (I already pre-ordered it). The end of this book leaves the reader clamoring for more, but not in a frustrated way. There are a few things I can’t wait for (namely the possibility of a certain wedding) in the next book. Caine is a great storyteller, and she gives a unique spin to her vampires in a world chock full of vampire fiction. I can’t recommend enough that people give this series a shot.

May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

Hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren, I thought this would be a great way to share the reads I got this week by purchasing, trading/swapping, or for review. All links lead to Goodreads. This is several weeks' worth of books since I haven't posted one in a while.

Slow Burn by E.B. Walters (from PageFlipperz)
Skulls by Tim Marquitz (from Book Goggles)

Forever Summer by Alyson Noel (includes Laguna Cove & Cruel Summer)

Die For Me by Amy Plum
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Bite Club by Rachel Caine
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Abandon by Meg Cabot
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Enwtined by Heather Dixon
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

For Review:
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 5.3.2011
Pages: 495
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Yes; Book #1 (Divergent Series)

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance

If you have visited a YA book blog in the last six months, chances are you’ve come across a glowing review (or ten) for Veronica Roth’s debut novel, Divergent. I won’t waste your time: all those rave reviews? Totally spot on.

The dystopian genre is quite hit or miss for me. I have found myself totally put off by worlds I can never assimilate myself into (either with crazy jargon or unrealistic plots, even by dystopian standards), and I have alternately found myself completely immersed in a foreign world that leaves me breathless. Thankfully this book falls in the latter category.

The world Roth creates is an intoxicating. The best way I can describe this book is a blend of The Host by Stephenie Meyers, Matched by Ally Condie, and Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Roll all the best points of those novels into one and you start to tap into the awesomeness that is Divergent.

I could go on and on about the masterful way she creates the perfect setting in Chicago, blending historical locations with her own imagination. Or I could write an essay on the brilliant characters that fill the pages from start to finish. I could also rave about the ingenious, mind-blowing plot for a few hours. But the bottom line is you would be spending time reading this review when you could be buying and reading the book yourself.

This is one of those rare books I cannot urge people to buy for themselves enough. This isn’t a book you want to check out of the library and then give back in 3 weeks. This is one to let take up space on your bookshelf. I also recommend leaving a nice, big spot open next to Divergent for its sequels. Yeah, it’s that good.

May 8, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

{Please click on the RAK button above to be re-directed to our Book Soulmates Store on Amazon. You can find all your favorite titles there and add them to your shopping cart.}

• Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
• Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
• Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy peasy!
This is hosted by

This is my first time signing up, and I'm not exactly sure how to work those google spreadsheets, so here's link to my wishlist:  But I recommend you guys check out all the wishlists. A little kindness goes a long way nowadays.

What's with the Dystopian Obsession?

Miss Remmers over at Miss Remmer's Review recently posted a challenge for bloggers to answer these questions:

  1. Write a post explaining why you think Dystopian fiction is so addicting. Why is everyone reading it? What does it say about our society that we want to read about WORSE societies? Are there any implications dystopian fiction's popularity has on our own society? What say you!!
  2. What is your favorite dystopian novel to date? Why did you like it? How does it stand apart from all the other countlessly recent dystopian novels? Why would you recommend it above all others in this genre?
And since I am a huge fan of dystopians, I had to answer (plus the prize she's offerring is pretty damn awesome).

1. I think people have embraced the dystopian genre because it shows a world more flawed than the one we live in. It makes you, on some level, appreciate what you have and remember that things can always get worse than what you have now. In a twisted way, it's a morale booster.

2. As cliche as it probably is, I think my favorite is the Hunger Games trilogy. I think this series the is eptiome of dystopian novels and it's the one all other dystopians are compared to. Although, I started "Incarceron" and that one is rapidly growing on me.