Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
She edged into the light.
Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the ground, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true: No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.
Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.
My Thoughts: I’ve been finding lately that Arthur A. Levine books take some time for me to digest. Once I finish a book such as Plain Kate, and not unlike the Ghost of Ashbury High, it isn’t until later that I realize how beautiful the books were (even though I knew they were both great while I was reading them). Plain Kate was told like an old tale, but with the way it dealt with fear and love I was able to replace the characters with real life people. There are so many people that at one point or another let fear run their lives, or times where they’ve risen above their own wants and needs to help others.
My favorite aspect was the characters. My favorite character was Taggle, he was light-hearted, but had an old soul which made him more than what he appeared to be. He made me laugh, think, and cry. The main character, Katerina had so much strength to her, which is something I always look forward to characters having. Sometimes I get tired of the people in books that are constantly complaining about everything, or breaking down over things I would consider to be insignificant. The interesting part is that Katerina is in a chaotic setting where I would understand if she gave up or broke down, but she didn’t.
Another thing I admired was the way the author wrote Linay. He was the guy that you hated in one scene, and felt sorry for in the next one. Like everyone else in the book, he was neither totally good nor bad. And those are the best characters right? The characters that are most realistic.
One thing I’m glad it didn’t have in the end was romance. Initially, I was expecting one, but some of the best books have friendship and love in general at the forefront instead of some boy. This is one of those rare occasions I’m glad there was no boy trying to steal the main girl’s heart.
Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the self-styled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power—and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus th
Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and surprises, is the conclusion to an epic only Alison Goodman could create.
My Thoughts: Thanks to The Book Smugglers, I really want to read Eon, which is the first book, which automatically makes me want to read the 2nd book once I finish the first novel.
Description: In a world of lies, the truth can be deadly …
Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, Eon is training to become a Dragoneye – a powerful Lord able to command wind and water to protect the land. But Eon also harbours a desperate secret – he is in fact a young woman living a dangerous masquerade that, if discovered, will mean certain death.
Brought to the attention of the Emperor himself and summoned to the opulent court, Eon is thrust into the heart of a lethal struggle for the Imperial throne. In this new, treacherous world of hidden identities and uneasy alliances, Eon comes face-to-face with a vicious enemy who covets the young Dragoneye’s astounding power, and will stop at nothing to make it his own.
Eon is based on the ancient lores of Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. It is a thrilling, timeless novel of deadly politics, sexual intrigue and dazzling swordplay set in a brilliantly envisioned world …
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Description: One minute Sara's bored on vacation in Istanbul. The next, she's unearthed a flying carpet that cleverly drags her to the mysterious Island of the Djinn—or genies. By her side is Amesh, a hot boy she's starting to love but doesn't yet trust. When Amesh learns the secret of invoking djinn, he loses control. He swears he'll call upon only one djinn and make one wish. The plan sounds safe enough. But neither Sara nor Amesh are any match for the formidable monster that that swells before them. It hypnotizes Amesh, compelling him to steal Sara’s flying carpet—the ancient Carpet of Ka—and leave her stranded.
Discovering the Carpet of Ka has sparked a new path for Sara, one that will lead her to battle creatures even deadlier than djinn. In this fight, Sara can save mankind, herself, or the boy she loves. Who will she be forced to sacrifice?
My Thoughts: When I first read the description of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. Aladdin is one of my favorite animated movies, and this book sounded like a cute and more edgy version of it. I have to say that although this was entertaining, the romantic aspect turned me off a little bit. For the life of me I could not understand why Sarah liked Amesh so much, plus their relationship turned too serious too fast.
As far as the main character, at first I found Sarah annoying, childish, and selfish. As I continued reading, I start to find – partly because she matured and partly because I’d gotten used to her – that she was an adequate character. She’s not one of my favorite characters but she has the potential to get better, or grow on me as the series continues.
My favorite character was the carpet and the voice behind it. Everything seemed to get better when it arrived. In fact, the moment it first appeared in the story was the moment I really started finding the book entertaining.
Thanks to the two thirds of the book I really liked, I found myself beginning to turn the rest of the pages very quickly, wanting to know what would happen. The book got better and better as it neared the end, which has now caused me to look forward to the next book in the series.
Release date: September 13th 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Anna is looking forward to her senior year ...more A contemporary romance set in the City of Light, guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna — and readers — have long awaited?
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: December 2nd 2010
Pgs: Hardcover, 384 pages
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.
Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.
This is the Demon's Lexicon. Turn the page
My Thoughts: This book isn’t what I expected when I read the description and even the first chapter when the book was first released. I thought Nick would be another bad boy and his brother would be another good guy. That the sister that came to them for help would like Nick, while his brother would like her. Most of what I expected did happen, but with a twist. The author added enough originality to what I thought would be stereotypical characters and therefore allowed me to enjoy this book and look forward to reading the whole series.
I have to admit that for most of the book -- ignoring a handful of sentimental scenes – I despised Nick and couldn’t understand why anyone would like him. Everything made since at the end, but until then, I wanted to strangle him at times. As far as Nick’s brother Alan, I didn’t like all of his qualities, but I was happy that he was kind and gentle, but also had a back bone. There’s also something distinctly interesting about every character, even the ones you wouldn’t automatically count as important. My favorite part of this book was the importance of love, even Nick who can be extremely savage in his thoughts was an example of how strong love is and can be.
The characters along with the world that the author created were the perfect combination to have me forgetting to do anything but read for those couple of days I needed to finish it. I can’t remember, but I’m sure I ate my meals with one hand that week, and kept the lamp lights on until the early morning.
Now that I’ve read the first book, I know how to prepare for The Demon’s Covenant. I have to make sure I’ve turned in all my research papers and projects before I start it, unless I’m prepared to make up those 1 or 2 days I took to do nothing but read.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
I have to admit that until I saw the full trailer, I thought the movie looked a little bit...stupid. I didn't want that to be the truth, so I've been waiting for proof to show me my first thought was wrong. Fortunately the trailer is proof enough for me. I downloaded the Beastly audiobook for free at audiobookcommunity.com a couple of days ago, so now I can be ready when the movie comes out!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
My Thoughts: I’d been in love with this book for months before I finally got to read it. When I was in school, I would go to the local Barnes & Noble’s and read at least a chapter every two weeks. I felt guilty about that at first but I knew I was going to buy it eventually. I waited so long because I really don’t like hardcovers (or their prices at that point (because I’m a broke college student)), so I was waiting for the paperback to be released. I bought it as soon as the shipment came in.
What caught my interest at first was that the story had two brothers who grew up with the main character. That hit home, because most of my childhood was spent with two brothers. I and those brothers grew up, grew close, and grew apart. I regretted what happened with us and wanted to relive that part of my life again. I wanted to pretend that The Summer I Turned Pretty was our story, and that hopefully it would end differently than my real life.
Even though the two brothers were reason enough to find this book relatable, the similarities between my childhood and Belly’s grew as I continued to read. I remember there was I time where Belly wanted to go somewhere, a place that all the older people go to every summer. Now that she’s older she wants to go to but then she gets there and thinks “I should never have gone along. I could have predicted the whole night, right down to how invisible I’d feel.” Lines like that along with her feeling like the baby in her family/friend group made me adore Belly and this book.
It was also nice to see Belly grow up, and see the transition of her being the “baby” to her being “pretty”. I’m so happy there is a 2nd book, because I really want to know what happens with the characters, especially after a bomb was dropped at the end (not literally). Because of this secret that’s revealed, the characters weren’t acting like they normally acted during past summers. Now that the secret’s out, everyone’s situation has changed, so it will be interesting to see how everybody is in book 2. I’ll buy the next book soon, but I almost want to wait until next summer to start it. Thanks to the feel of this book, it’s just not summer without this book… Was that corny?..hmm. so what.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?
Hardcover, 432 pages
Monday, August 9, 2010
The first 3 winners of the Torment Contest are Kaya, Monica, and Maura!
The reason the other 2 winners haven't been chosen is because I have to choose 3 winners from the UK and 2 winners from anywhere else. Sadly only 1 person from the UK (correctly) entered my contest as far as I can tell. Although I will have to figure out how to solve this problem, there's no need for the other winners to suffer. Congratulations to the three winners!
Also, in the future I will make sure that contest rules are as clear as possible and I will do my best not to have to extend any more contest deadlines.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.
Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.
My Thoughts: First off, I figured I’d love this book because the Wicked Lovely series is one of my favorites. I can now say that besides the 1st book, Radiant Shadows is my favorite. I slipped back into Marr’s written world as soon as I started the first chapter. Despite me initially thinking that this was another side story, I became invested in Ani and Devlin’s story almost as much as Ash and Seth (not quite but almost). It also helped that the book was packed with multiple characters from the dark court like Niall (yum), Irial, and Gabriel. Out of all the courts, the Dark court is my favorite. Plus, Melissa Marr seems to flourish when writing about this court because, well, her writing seems most addictive when she’s dark.
I always love the full spectrum of emotions she writes about in every novel, but I especially like her description of balance and equality, or shadow and light (or radiance), and order and disorder. Thanks to the examples of balance, I have stopped calling this book and book 2 “side” stories. Each book has had its side and angle of one huge story.
This world was so fascinating; it drew my imagination in and left me with Radiant Shadows redraw. With no new book out for a while, I’m stuck wishing I had a steed and was a part of Niall’s hounds, riding across the earth like shadows. No wonder Wicked Lovely’s shadows shine so radiantly.
I’ve pondered this question several times throughout the years, but it wasn’t until I read part of the Demon’s Lexicon that I started to become concerned about what I’m attracted to in books.
Let me start from the beginning. A couple of months ago (some time during the school year) I participated in a chat on twitter with a whole bunch of YA authors. This was the first time I was able to ask people like Cassandra Clare and Holly Black questions. It was great! It was so fun that I decided to be a part of the after party chat held at the Mundie moms website. This after-party chat was more for authors to talk to each other. Non authors would also make comments, but unless it was something really significant or someone was saying goodbye, we were more like the audience.
Among the many (funny and interesting) things that were discussed, one thing that all the authors would talk about were their favorite guy characters from different books, like Jace from TMI, or Po from Graceling. One character that was discussed over and over again was Nick from The Demon’s Lexicon. When fighting over fictional hunks, many people, author and non-authors alike would choose Nick. At that time I had only read the first chapter of The Demon’s Lexicon online and didn’t know much about him.
Once I did get the book, I was immediately ready to see what people were talking about. I don’t want to give any spoilers but until the last part of the book, I couldn’t understand why he was so positively appealing. In most cases, since the book was told from his point of view I was able to quickly determine that I didn’t like his attitude. It seemed like he didn’t like anything or anybody. Now I admit that once a secret was revealed near the end of the book, everything made sense and I ended up liking Nick, but before that point I became concerned about the kind of male characters I or other readers are attracted to. The truth is if the author had taken away a couple of pages that revealed his nature, I would have liked Nick from the beginning. That’s when I wondered, why do I, and other readers like the fictional characters that we do?
Why are bad guys appealing, especially over the “good guy”? I’ve found that in many books with love triangles, a girl finds the bad boy more appealing and unique, (even if he treats her like dirt at first) but sees the good guy (who is normally an old or best friend) as a representation of security and dependability. (even if it’s just his nature to be dependable).
But how much of this attraction to character is based on what they represent instead of who they really are? Do girls like bad boys or do they like adventure. Are we attracted by the chip on a character’s shoulder or are new and strange behaviors appealing? I personally love dark characters (not like suicidal or anything…just..dark) but rarely do I find myself having a literary crush on a guy who hasn’t realized yet that life isn’t fair and that not everyone is going to bow down to them because their gorgeous or deadly. And if I do like those kind of guys, I’m hoping that I’ll be more careful with how I assess a character. I can’t fathom how many more YA books I’ll read in the future, but I know I’ll fall for multiple good and bad guys as time goes on. I’ll just have to make sure my intrigue isn’t unhealthy. I wouldn’t want my attraction to literary bad boys to switch over to real life, because real life is full of more than just happy endings and people that will change their ways because they’re in love with me.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of fighting the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her--an assassin who has already killed her once.
While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting extracurriculars, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to destroy Ellie's soul forever, ending her rebirth cycle. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives--including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives for some time in New England, and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the shogun to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.
My Thoughts: When I first saw the cover of this book I was extremely excited. I was thinking, a book about a Samurai!! I’ve always been intrigued by stories that deal with warriors.
Although Heart of a Samurai didn’t deal with the Samurai aspect as much as I’d hope for, it concentrated on something better. Going after what you want and believing in yourself even when no one else does. Seeing the main character struggle for so long to go after a goal, as well as see the results (whether good or bad) was a huge encouragement to me. There’s always something happening in people’s lives where a person may believe in something that nobody else supports. But sometimes we have to support ourselves.
Heart of a Samurai included a lot of things that actually happened to the real life Manjiro. Because it included so much of his real life while still being a fictional book, it was easier to learn more about him than if I’d read his biography (without reading this book).