Saturday, November 20, 2010

StarCrossed review

Description: Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so. Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking. But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.

My thoughts: I’ve said this more times than I’d like, but my favorite part about this book is the strong females. In recent reviews, I’ve tried to avoid calling females strong. It’s gotten annoying. Lately, I’ve been finding that I and other bloggers seems to use that term loosely. So after trying to avoid the word for a while, I had to make sure that I really wanted to use it for the ladies of StarCrossed. There’s no doubt in my mind that these characters deserve to be called strong. Literally every woman that was in the book had a grace about them that radiated strength. Of course Digger is the favorite, because I knew her more.

The story is told from Digger’s point of view, so the amount of information you know about her world comes from her. Sometimes she misunderstood things, or didn’t understand connections between people. Many secrets are revealed in book 1, and at first you think you know who is good and who is bad, but then all of a sudden, Digger meets someone new, or runs into another complication, causing parts of the story to change constantly. Then you’re stuck being unsure about everybody.

The side characters were just as important and likeable as the main characters. Bunce does a wonderful job of building the people in StarCrossed, letting us know a little more about them as we go on. That was one of my favorite parts, because in many books, I could be near the end of the story and still know very little about the characters.

The author seems to be very thorough in everything that a lot of writers aren’t. Her explanations of the story’s world were never shallow. I actually think I know more about this book’s politics than our own (US). This book has humor, politics, war, good people who do bad things, and bad people with a heart, etc. And it’s all narrated by Digger, which makes it easier to take all the different aspects in without being confused (for too long at least).

My other favorite thing about this book was that there are things happening in the very beginning that you don’t see or understand until much later. I had a lot of “So that’s what they’ve been up to” moments. And even though all these things are fixed or partly solved by the end of the book, I can’t help but be excited for what Digger does next. I’m anxiously waiting for Liar’s Moon, the 2nd book in the Thief Errant.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010

I'm extremely late in participating in Fall Into Reading Challenge, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I have tooo many books I want to read, but I want to finish 8 more books before the end of the challenge, which is December 20, 2010.
SO here's my list of books I want to finish reading (not in any particular order):
1. The 10 p.m. Question by Kate De Goldi
2. Vixen by Jillian Larkin
3. Matched by Ally Condie
4. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
5. Ash by Malinda Lo
6. Torment by Lauren Kate
7. Furnace: Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith
8. Furnace: Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith
I hope to finish a lot of these books this weekend and Thanksgiving break.

What are you reading on Mondays?

Book(s) read last week:

Technically nothing, but I did just finish StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce early this morning (FINALLY). It was really good!

Currently reading:

The 10 p.m. Question by Kate De Goldi

Upcoming read:

Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In My Mailbox 44

This meme was started by TheStorySiren
I only got one book this week but I'm super excited about this one!!

Looking Forward to...

Description: Wendy Anderson and Hakiam Powell are at opposite ends of the spectrum—the social spectrum, the financial spectrum, the opportunity spectrum, you name it. Wendy lives in an all-white suburb of Philadelphia, where she’s always felt like the only chip in the cookie. Her dad, who fought his way out of the ghetto, doesn’t want her mingling with “those people.” In fact, all Wendy’s life, her father has told her how terrible “those people” are. He even objects to Wendy’s plan to attend a historically black college. But Wendy feels that her race is more than just the color of her skin, and she takes a job tutoring at an inner-city community center to get a more diverse perspective on life.

Hakiam has never lived in one place for more than a couple of years. When he aged out of foster care in Ohio, he hopped a bus to Philly to start over, but now he’s broke, stuck taking care of his cousin’s premature baby for no pay, and finding it harder than ever to stay out of trouble. When he meets Wendy at the tutoring center, he thinks she’s an uppity snob—she can’t possibly understand his life. But as he gets to know her better, he sees a softer side. And eventually—much to the chagrin of Wendy’s father and Hakiam’s cousin—they begin a rocky, but ultimately enlightening, romance.

This edgy story about a star-crossed couple features strong African American characters and sparkles with smart, quirky dialogue and fresh observations on social pressures and black-on-black prejudice.

My Thoughts:
I have yet to read a YA book with main characters who are black (oops I mean African American :) ) in the last year and a half I've been blogging. Plus, it sounds like a nice story.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spells review

Description: Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

My Thoughts: I thought this was a good follow up to Wings. All of the characters have grown. They're becoming more
dimensional, especially Tamani and David. Spells made it even harder to choose between the two lead males. There is also a more inept look into the world of Avalon, and everybody's role in it. This world in Avalon seemed really believable because of one of the problem Pike chooses to deal with in the 2nd novel. It shold that even though there are difference between cultures, there are a lot of similarities.

The one big thing I didn't like was the pacing. It felt like the story was building and building and building, but then when the climax of the story hit, it wasn't as big as I think it should have been. Also, there were certain things about new characters that seemed rushed or too forced. New friendships were formed way too fast for me. These were my main disappointments, but overall it was a good story to continue the series with. I just saw the beautiful cover for Illusions and can't wait for the 3rd book!

What are you reading on Mondays?

Read last week:
Nothing, last week was dreadful, and this week looks to be as promising. I have a huge project I've been working on that's taking over my life!... The positive side is that it's a PSA commercial about censoring books.

Currently reading:
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Upcoming read:
The 10 PM Question by Kate De Goldi

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In My Mailbox 43

This meme was started by TheStorySiren

I only recieved one book this week, but I've been looking forward to this book for months!

Halloween Influences

I decided to share some books, movies, and tv shows I like to read and watch around halloween, or anytime I want something thrilling.

Shadow of the Fox was one of my favorite books as a child. I'm pretty sure it's not scary anymore but it used to scare the hec out of me.

Lockdown was one of my favorite books read in 2009. The world the Smith created was so realistic that the week I read it I felt clausterphobic and nervous for a few days, which never happens!

A Circle of Souls is scary in a totally different way. It's a mystery, with main characters who are trying to find the murderer of a little girl. It's frightening because it could happen. I was trying to solve the crime right along with the characters, hoping that justice would be served.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was addicting! I read it while imaging the unconsecrated outside my house.... it was awesome!

The Devouring, which I just reviewed.

The Ghosts of Ashbury High was so clever and real. The scariest part was that it wasn't fantasy, all that happened could really happen, and you *points* and me could be ghosts.

TV shows

The Walking Dead of course: The 1st episode just aired last week.

Hey Arnold - I love the Haunted Train episode (it used to freak me out)

Goosebumps - There was a free episode on iTunes this week.

Are You Afraid Of The Dark - I miss this old show too


Stephen King movies - Cujo, The Shining, The Storm of the Century

The Ring - I saw this back when I needed my Dad to watch scary movies with me. Unfortunetly, he always fell asleep and left me to fend for myself (he didn't literally leave, he just wasn't any help) *shakes head*

28 Days Later - This was the first movie I saw that I could watch the whole way through without needing my Dad to stay awake *stares pointedly at Dad*

Jeepers Creepers 2 - I didn't finish this until this year, I couldn't finish it the first time I saw it, now it's just fun to watch.

The Children of the Corn - I actually thought this was funny, but it's still a movie I like to watch around this time of the year.

Zombieland - Again, this is more funny than scary, but there are a couple of scary ugly zombie scenes.

The Walking Dead: Episode 1

I thought it was a good opening, suspenseful and heartbreaking. At first it reminded me of 28 days later when Rick woke up. I didn’t want it to be a rip off, but I hoped it’d be as scary as 28 days. After a few scenes, it was nothing like the movie. I admit that I had hoped it would have been scarier than it was, but there was good story telling. I want to know what happened to his family, how Morgan and Duane Jones are going to deal with what happened to their wife/mother, and what’s going to happen to the survivors. So many questions! I’m anxious to see what will happen next Sunday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Looking Forward to...

Description: Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie’s worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school--a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own--Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, THE 10 P.M. QUESTION will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.

Worry-prone Frankie keeps his family secret under control--until a bold, inquisitive girl enters his life--in this warm, witty, and captivating YA novel.

Published September 28th 2010 by Candlewick Press

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Devouring review

Description: When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

My Thoughts: I thought this was a cute story to get ready for Halloween with. The first half of the book was the scariest to me because it reminded me of one of those stories that are scary because of the things that aren't seen (in a movie) or told in a book. For example, if a character is scared because they hear a noise, then they're frightened because of the suspense and what that noise COULD mean.

So for the 1st half of the book, I was frightened by what the Vours COULD potentially be, and I loved it. I'd be alone in my house (or just my room) reading, and then I'd hear a weird noise, or see lights from outside and be frightened for a few seconds, wondering where it came from.

The 2nd half of the book wasn't as scary for me. It wasn't bad, and I'm not saying that nothing scary happened, but it wasn't the same. My theory is that as I went on to know more about the Vours and what they could and couldn't do, I was less frightened by them. The unknown is what's scary. Insert [nothing to fear but fear itself quote]. Knowledge takes away a lot of anxiety, which in this case made the 2nd half of the book cute, and laced with positive messages about facing your fears, but not that scary.

Like I said earlier, it didn't make the 2nd part bad, so overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and it made me excited for the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. I'd like to see where the author can take this story, especially since I've begun to get attached to its characters.

Halloween Week

This will be Halloween week for my blog for two reasons. 1. is because Sunday is traditionally regarded as the first day of the week, and I was in a book slump last week (hopefully this week isn't the same).


I plan to review movies and/or tv shows this week:
The Walking Dead
(possibly) 28 days later

I plan to review a scary book:
The Devouring by Simon Holt

I also plan to read and watch (and review) anything else that will be seen as appropriate for Halloween.

And the scariest thing of all, starting today, I.... will be apart of.... NANOWRIMO [insert haunting scream]!

What are you reading on Mondays?,

Read last week:
Nothing, I've been in a reading slump for the past few weeks. :(

Currently Reading:
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Possible Upcoming Reads:
The 10 PM Question by Kate De Goldi
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
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