Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

From Goodreads:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
I'm a bit behind on reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. There was quite a bit of buzz right when it came out, and I kinda just ignored it, thinking I wouldn't like it. I put that down to ignorance. I didn't know it was dystopian, and boy do I LOVE dystopian. Not only is it dystopian, but it's awesome! This was one of those books that I got about fifty pages in and just knew I loved it. :)

Some time in the future scientists have developed a "cure" for extreme emotions, which mostly ends the possibility of love, the deliria. They call it a disease, and the government incarcerates or kills those suspected of being "sympathizers". I absolutely loved this concept. Since the technology and way people live was not so different from how we live today, it seemed like a very real thing. At times I could see something like this happening.

The actual cure is something like a lobotomy. There's not a lot of technical speak, but Lena does know they use lasers and cut into people's brains to sever some part. Those who have undergone the cure are calm and civil. They go on with their mundane lives with satisfaction and without disturbances.

Lena has always been a bit different in other people's eyes. Her mother underwent the procedure three times but was never "cured". Before the government could take her away, she committed suicide. This has ostracized Lena from almost anyone that knew her at the time. But Lena is an obedient and unquestioning citizen, until she meets Alex. When she realizes just what her mother had been fighting for, she understands completely and knows she can't just let the cure happen.

I loved the idea that love was a disease and Oliver really makes a strong case for it in the excerpts of "official documents" and pamphlets at the beginning of the chapters. While I can't imagine love being considered a disease, I could see how the rationale could come around eventually. Given that love can induce people to do things they would never do in their wildest dreams, a world without it would be more calm, but it would be a world lacking.

Lena also goes through a huge change throughout the book. She is the ideal citizen at the beginning. She counts down the days till her cure, is inside her home two hours before curfew, and never questions why things are as they are. By the end, she is almost unrecognizable. Sure, she's scared out of her mind and hesitant, but who wouldn't be, doing what she's doing? PLUS, Alex is adorably sweet. All the time. :) :)

I don't want to spoil any of the interesting twists and turns, but, needless to say, if you have any interest in romance or dystopian this book is absolutely for you.

Risk a paper cut? There is no "cure" for the spell Delirium will put you under. Better to just endure. :)

To buy: Amazon

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Published on: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

From Goodreads:
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. 
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.
Oh, just look at that cover. I know a cover can't make me love a book, but, oh, how I wish it could. If only we did completely judge books by their covers... The physical book is just as beautiful, I promise, but don't let the pretty facade fool you. Fury is a great idea in a pretty package, but the contents just can't live up.

Biggest complaint: Two thirds of this book are utterly boring. It's not that absolutely nothing happens, it just happens so slowly. I think it took me five hours to read those two thirds, when it should've taken me two at most. It just couldn't hold my attention for more than a chapter at a time.

Next complaint: I wasn't fond of the narrators. I figure having them narrate had a point; we were supposed to know Em and Chase weren't all bad and feel sorry for them. Em was just so naive that I couldn't believe what she was doing. Where do you get the idea that going and talking to comatose Sasha, whose attempted suicide had absolutely nothing to do with you, will make the furies leave you alone? Maybe talking to your best friend, whose boyfriend you fooled around with behind her back, would help, don't you think? Gah. Chase was better, since he felt more like a real person. He had legitimate insecurities and feelings, and didn't do anything that made me want to scream at him, but he still wasn't a super great person.

Third, and final, complaint: Why didn't we see or hear about the furies more? The book is titled after them, they sound super cool, and they are a catalyst for most of the action. These reasons make me think we should've heard more. Right?

I do have positives, despite what it sounds like. J.D. was absolutely adorable. His quirky clothing, his love for Em (for whatever reason I can't fathom), and wholly good self made parts of this book worth reading. Elizabeth Miles' atmospheric writing is also really good. She made the parts that should be creepy really creepy and made me feel like I was watching a horror movie at times, which was fun. The final third of the book had some interesting action (the fact that there was action made me happy, first of all). I can't actually say what this action is, in case you decide to read the book, but I was finally interested in what was happening.

All in all, I dunno. The ending can't make up for the hours I spend bored out of my mind, and I can't say positively whether I'll read the next book or not. Eh, I'm ambivalent. :(

Risk a paper cut? If you insist on reading this, skim the beginning. The second half might be worth something. Eh. I can't even be witty....

To buy: Amazon

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

From Goodreads:
"I will tell you . . . a story of magic and love, of daring and death, and one to comfort your heart. It will be the truest story I have ever told. Now listen, and tell me if it is not so." 
After following a hart into the woods bordering her town, Keturah is faced with Death. Lost and hungry after following a stately hart through the forest, Keturah encounters Lord Death, who is ready to take her. Like Scheherazade, Keturah spins a story that she leaves unfinished and extracts from Lord Death a promise that if she finds her true love in a day, she can go free. Thus begins Keturah's search for her one true love and the salvation of her beloved town. But Lord Death is falling in love with her, and as the villagers begin to sense her alliance with this horrifying figure, her life twists and turns on itself. 
I originally was rating this three stars, but upon further contemplation, I've changed my mind to something closer to four stars, and I'm just gonna round, so four stars! Keturah and Lord Death felt very much like a book written by two of my favorite authors (who I apparently can't stop talking about on here) Robin McKinley and Juliet Marillier. It almost wasn't certain elements of the story, but just the feeling I got while reading it. And maybe because it's been a little while since I've read a McKinley or Marillier book, I didn't recognize that feeling till later. Mmmmm, fairy tales. :) :)

The only reason I gave this four stars is because it's not Robin McKinley or Juliet Marillier. I just don't feel like anyone can do this style of story as well as they can. I don't think Martine Leavitt was striving to imitate them or anything, I just can't muster the same feelings about it. Plus, I'd love a teensy bit more romancin'. Can't help that hopeless romantic hiding inside. This is my only detraction from the book. Otherwise, it's near perfect. On with the gushing...

I believe my love of this type of book comes from the simplicity of the writing paired with the magical and complex world. Somehow the authors understand that big, complicated words and labored characterization is unnecessary and distracting.  They let their complicated world speak for itself, rather than putting words in its mouth, if that makes sense.

The reason I even heard of this book is Maggie Stiefvater. She gave it a glowing review on Goodreads and I decided that if she thought it was wonderful, I, who thinks she is wonderful, should give it a try. And she made a point in her review that I will hallelujah and amen till the end of the earth. Keturah is a different kind of "strong female heroine" than those we've heard about in novels recently. She is brave while still unafraid to be in love. All she wants in life is to have a husband she truly loves, a home to call her own, and a child. Sure, she wants to find true love, but is not willing to settle for just anyone. She's just fine on her own till he comes around.

If you're like me, and can't get enough fairy tales, watch Disney movies practically constantly (and know all the words!), and love a simple, beautifully written story, Keturah and Lord Death is absolutely for you. And y'all, the ending is so perfect. It's not a Disney movie, but just works absolutely perfectly, just the way my favorite Juliet Marillier and Robin McKinley books' endings do.

Risk a paper cut? See above rambling. Boy, do I wish this book had been more heralded. :(

To buy: Amazon (Apparently, they're not selling the book on Amazon anymore--only from users--but check out the Kindle version. It's only $4.90!! Also, Barnes & Noble has it for the Nook for $7.95.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop #7

It's Friday again! That means all of the following fun! Here's to hoping I'm not too loopy to answer like a normal person. :)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee each week and is a joint effort between all of us bloggers to get more followers. Plus, each week a different question is asked, and I get to answer it! So here goes:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?
Me. Well, this may not be the smartest answer, but I don't care. I've always loved faeries, not like Tinkerbell, but the fey. I think they'd be fun, and maybe us knowing they exist would help them not bother as much as they allegedly do!

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly par-tay for book bloggers to connect! It's hosted by Crazy for Books (follow that link to get to this week's Blogger Hop post!) and lasts Friday through Monday every week! And we get another exciting question, here goes:

Book Blogger Hop

Q. Non-book related this week! Do you have pets?
ME. Indeed! First, I have the cutest cat in the whole world. And no one can argue with me on that point. He's orange and cuddly, and his name is Emeril. Yes, like the chef. I also have a fat, lazy dachshund named Greta, who sleeps day in and day out. 

Just to let everybody know, once I reach 100 followers (YES, I'M ALMOST THERE!) I will be hosting a decently big giveaway, so keep your eyes open! I will have both US and international prizes, too! :)

As always, I want to see y'all's hops, so post 'em here! :) Have a lovely weekend all!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

From Goodreads:
At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.
My cynicism towards books EVERYONE loves keeps getting proven wrong. Dang. Somehow I feel like I should be above the opinion of everyone else, and yet everyone else keeps being right. Now I sound like I think I'm superior. I don't think that. I just... Aw, heck. I don't know. I quit. 

I started Jellicoe Road being confused, which seems to be a common sentiment. I read the Prologue and was like, "Oh. Interesting." Then I started reading about these other people who had seemingly no connection to the prologue, other than the road name. Clue #1 that I was in for a confusing read.

Clue #2 was that Taylor didn't know her dad/her mom abandoned her. I've come to learn that if any kind of deal is made out of this, we will be searching for them in some form, which leads to a confused Rachel. Clue #3 was this mysterious trip to Yass with a Cadet that kept being mentioned. Clue #4 was the war between the Jellicoe students, Cadets, and Townies. I don't get war. (This concludes my clue list, I promise.)

It took me a good hundred pages to really get into Jellicoe Road, but when it happened, boy did it hook me. Once I had my bearings, Melina Marchetta certainly took me on a ride. She had me hooked, and I was her slave until I understood everything. Now, I don't give away storylines, because that would utterly ruin the book.

Taylor is an utterly wonderful protagonist. She is exactly what I've come to expect from Melina Marchetta. She's strong-willed and tough, but hurting on the inside, just waiting for someone to unlock that part of her and be willing to listen. She's innately a good person, but rough around the edges and definitely has her flaws. And ohhhhhhhh Jonah. I really didn't think I was going to like him, until we met him. He's definitely my kind of lurveee interest. He's tough and manly, but protective and loving. :) :) :) :) :) He didn't fail to make me smile and/or swoon.

As I've said before, I'm not really a big mystery fan, but this felt different. It didn't have the same danger, I guess, that most mysteries have. There was a distinct urgency to it, like if things weren't figured out quickly, there would be repercussions. This was quite true, but I didn't know it at the time.

Most of what I can say is that Jellicoe Road is absolutely as good as everyone says it is and more. It's funny and poignant, joyful and tragic, magnificent and heart-breaking. If you're a fan of literally anything about books, it is absolutely worth your time.

Risk a paper cut? Jellicoe Road makes you feel more than a ASPCA commercial can, and you know that Sarah McLachlan sure can make you cry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Keturah and Lord Death {7}

It's Tuesday! And we all know what that means!!! TEASER TUESDAY! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading, and it is quite simple.

All you have to do is: 

  1. Pick up whatever book you are currently reading.
  2. Open it up to a random page.
  3. Pick two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. (Be careful not to spoil anything!)
  4. Share those sentences! Be sure to include the book title, author, etc. so your readers can add it to their to be read pile if they're intrigued!
Easy peasy, right?

I am just starting Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt today, so that is what I shall be teasing. I have literally not read a page of it, so I'll be as teased as you! I've wanted to read it forever, and I was meandering through the library yesterday and saw it, so I grabbed it. :)

From page 11 (a.k.a the first page of chapter one!):
"I was sixteen years old the day I was lost in the forest, sixteen the day I met my death."
Yes, yes not two sentences, but interesting, eh? Anyways, I'd love to check out y'all's teasers, so post them here if you'd like me to see them! Have a lovely Tuesday all! :)

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
I have not made it a secret how much I enjoyed The Iron King. It's kind of sad how much of a squeeing fangirl I have become, and I am sorry ahead of time. :) I'll try my best to tone my squealing brains down in type.

Well, I finally found the love triangle that's been mentioned! I could see where it was going to come from in The Iron King, but it wasn't so present. I GOT IT NOW, YOU GUYS. While I really love Puck, Ash has stolen my heart for ever and ever, no contest. I have to get my love for Ash out before I can coherently voice thoughts... Onto the meat and potatoes!

Meghan has really grown from the beginning of The Iron King, and while she was slightly pitiful at the beginning of the book, she ends the book even stronger than before. She has really grown a lot throughout the books, and I really enjoy reading from her point of view now.

I also loved the action! The Iron King had varying degrees of action throughout, but once The Iron Daughter starts its action, it seems to never quit. It made for a very exciting and engaging read.

One of Julie Kagawa's biggest strengths in this series are her secondary characters, especially Grimalkin. Each character that gets any real time seems to be well-developed and individual. I loved Grimalkin last time, but as tons of other people have said, I was surprised at how much I like Ironhorse. He proved to not just be tough, but a fiercely loyal and trustworthy ally. I'm glad he got to show his true colors. I also feel like the Nevernever is kind of a character in and of itself; this is different from a lot of books, where the setting is just a setting.

I don't want to say much about plot, since I wouldn't want to spoil anything for people, but if you enjoyed The Iron King, you will love The Iron Daughter. I promise!

Risk a paper cut? Fans of faery books or The Iron King will tremble in their boots at how good it is! I would recommend the series to anyone, though.

To buy: Amazon

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads:

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.
I find it suitable to say that in my eyes Ms. Julie Kagawa can do almost no wrong. I am saying this pre-Iron Knight, so we'll see, but reviews have been positive, so I have faith. :) I feel like these books just keep getting better and better, and the characters are just more and more loveable. I don't know how I'm going to ever part from these books, even though I've only been reading them for a couple of months (ACK!)

Like The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen seemed to start into action and just keep on right till the end. I love that Meghan is finally getting to really fight and live up to the potential she's had all along. I keep mentioning it, but Meghan keeps growing! She's now a fully realized woman, making decisions not for herself or her happiness but for the happiness and welfare of others and of things bigger than herself. She has really become a character to admire, especially in her actions at the end of the book.

I don't think I've ever mentioned it, maybe because I didn't realize it, but I love Meghan, Puck, and Ash as a trio. They have such a good chemistry and repartee. Oh! And Grimalkin, though he likes to come in and out of the group, so I guess I don't really count him. Each one of the characters have become so detailed and engaging as the books go on, and I love them all more and more.

Now, I've always been on Team Ash, but The Iron Queen made me a little bit crazy. We really get to see a lot more of Ash's personality and he lets his guard down. It made me love him all the more, and really made me understand why I loved him. He and Puck have the best banter, making for some real laugh out loud moments.

What I especially enjoyed about The Iron Queen was our immersion into the Iron Court. In The Iron King, we see it as something completely foreign and needing eradication. Meghan and crew's experiences there in The Iron Queen change our opinion. It goes from something disgusting and unnatural to something needing protection and love. We realize it's as much part of the Nevernever as the Winter and Summer Courts and must be accepted and nurtured.

I will warn you that you probably will want some tissues for the last couple of chapters. I cried. Bad. If you are at all a cryer, you may need a whole box. I did, and got laughed at for it.

The Iron Queen is an exhilarating, lovely, and emotional read. Many times series get worse the longer they go on, but Julie Kagawa just keeps getting better. I absolutely cannot wait for The Iron Knight!

Risk a paper cut? You guys. Laughing hysterically out loud. WHOLE BOX OF TISSUES.

To buy: Amazon

Friday, August 19, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

From Goodreads:
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
The idea of Possession worked a lot better for me than the actual book. While there were stretches where I found myself enjoying the book, there were also stretches where I was completely and utterly confused or just annoyed. There are positives, but also negatives. Also, the cover is magnificent. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the butterfly encased in an ice cube.

First, my negatives. I'd like to get them over with, so I can point out what I enjoyed. The biggest problem for me was a lack of explanation. The reader is dumped into this completely different world and offered no information about it. We learn as we go along, and this can be okay, but not so much in Possession. Vi mentions and sees so many things the reader is unfamiliar with, and rarely gets much of an explanation, until it was completely necessary.

I also was a fan and not a fan of the relationship between Vi and Jag. The times where they actually liked each other I thought they were cute. But, the relationship became way too intense way too fast. It just wasn't super realistic. I also could not understand how their emotions toward one another changed so quickly either. One moment Vi would be sooooo in love with Jag, the next she'd hate him. I know this happens, but it was constant for them, and didn't feel right. 

Lastly, I just didn't feel much of a connection to Vi. I can't really pinpoint why this was, but it's a fact. That's about all I have to say about that. :)

For the positives, I thought the basic ideas behind the world (at least what I could find out) were interesting. The book definitely went in places I didn't expect, and I liked that. I didn't anticipate that there would be something inherently different about Vi and Jag that made them so special. I just thought it'd be because they didn't like what was going on. I'm always happy when books go to interesting places that I don't expect.

I also liked Jag, in his way. I'm such a sucker for guys who will do just about anything for the girl they love. I don't care that that's a bit of a trend; I will love them to pieces every time.

While I mostly just liked the book, I am anticipating the sequel. Possession ended abruptly, and I really would like to know what's going to happen next! Surrender will be released in June 2012, and I will be waiting. :)


Risk a paper cut? Big fans of dystopia will view it as a must-read, if only because it's dystopian. Possession is a decently enjoyable, if confusing, read for everyone else.

To buy: Amazon

A copy of the book was provided by the publisher through Simon PulseIt for review.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop #6

Ooh guys. I've been doing this for meme six weeks now! It's hard to believe. I feel like I've only been blogging for a couple of weeks, and it's actually been months... Dang. How time flies when you're having fun, eh?

Anyhoo, it's Friday again! Meaning all of the following fun! Here's to hoping I'm not too loopy to answer like a normal person. :)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee each week and is a joint effort between all of us bloggers to get more followers. Plus, each week a different question is asked, and I get to answer it! So here goes:

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?
ME. I loveeeee Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series. The books take place in ancient Ireland, which I find fascinating as it is, but she always has female protagonists, and they're ridiculously strong. I would want to be one of the members of the family at Sevenwaters. They all have lovely (read: exciting and perilous) adventures in the books, and I want to goooo!

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly par-tay for book bloggers to connect! It's hosted by Crazy for Books (follow that link to get to this week's Blogger Hop post!) and lasts Friday through Monday every week! And we get another exciting question, here goes:

Book Blogger Hop

Q. What's the LONGEST book you've ever read?
ME. Definitely Gone With the Wind. At least I'm pretty sure. It's definitely the longest book I've read that I loved. I could be blocking something terrible out... :)  I read it ages ago, but it was awesome.

Well, that's all I have to ramble about today! As always, I'd love to check out your Follow Friday and/or Book Blogger Hops, so leave me links! It does tend to take me a little while to get to them, so I'm sorry if I randomly comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. :) Happy weekend!

Liebster Blog Award - EEP! I've been nominated!

Oh lordly you guys. I was just informed the I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, which highlights up and coming bloggers with under 200 followers. Words do not express how excited I am.  

First and foremost, I have to thank Kristin @ Kristin Can Read.

I am so honored that you would think of me!! :) One of the biggest reasons I love blogging is the wonderfully huge, yet closeknit, community of book bloggers. Everyone is so nice and tries their hardest to help new bloggers along, and I have to thank you all for all of your support.

Anyways, the rules!
  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
  5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!
So, now for my nominations!

So that's all done! Check out these blogs, you guys. They're all either crazy witty or crazy beautiful (or both!) G'day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta {6}

It's Tuesday! And we all know what that means!!! TEASER TUESDAY! EGADS! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading, and it is quite simple.

All you have to do is this:

  1. Pick up whatever book you are currently reading.
  2. Open it up to a random page.
  3. Pick two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. (Be careful not to spoil anything!)
  4. Share those sentences! Be sure to include the book title, author, etc. so your readers can add it to their to be read pile if they're intrigued!
Easy peasy, right?
So after much asking from a friend, I am reading Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road. Anyone and everyone has told me how good it is, so I'm doing it, though I'm not super far, so I haven't formed much of an opinion yet.
From page 203:

"'You want to sell out over a coffee?' Griggs asks him with disgust. 'They've got muffins as well,' I tell them. 'Double chocolate chip. His mum made them.' Griggs gets up and holds a hand out to me. 'Truce.'"

Heh. I found that to be amusing. There is a chance I would sell out over some tasty muffins... Depending on what I'm selling out. :) :)

As always, thanks for checking out my teaser, and I'd love to see yours! Please leave a link here if you'd like me to check it out. I'd love for you to follow my blog, or follow me on Twitter, or be my friend on Goodreads, so we can chat! (I really love to chat, especially about books.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop #5

Friday has come again, my lovely readers. That means it is time for Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop! If my aching brain will hold out, I may answer these questions somewhat intelligently. :)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee each week and is a joint effort between all of us bloggers to get more followers. Plus, each week a different question is asked, and I get to answer it! So here goes:

Q. How have your reading habits changed since you were a teen? Or, if you still are a teen, what new genres are you in love with currently?
ME. Well, I am indeed a teen, though just barely. My reading habits have definitely changed over my teenage years though. I've always read a lot, but in recent years I find I've been reading much more. Not only that, but I read more critically. I used to take what I read at face value, but now I can understand the complexities behind what I'm reading, and it really makes reading a whole lot more fun.

Now, since I am still a teenager, I'm going to answer the other part of the question. :) I really love dystopian, which everyone knows is kind of the trend right now. I hate that it's a big trend, though it is bringing the spotlight to a lot of books that wouldn't get mentioned otherwise, but I've always had a bit of a taste for the morbid and terrible. Dystopian novels really fuel that love. Many envisage the worst of humanity's potential, and I just eat it up like cupcakes. While they do show us how terrible we have the potential to become, they also show how great we can be. The strength of the characters that rise up out of the ashes of humanity is a sight to behold, and why I can never get enough.

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly par-tay for book bloggers to connect! It's hosted by Crazy for Books (follow that link to get to this week's Blogger Hop post!) and lasts Friday through Monday every week! And we get another exciting question, here goes:
Book Blogger Hop
Q. Let's talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you'd like!) titles in your collection that have the most interesting titles. If you can't find one, feel free to find one on the internet.
ME. Well... My odd title really isn't that odd, rather just a bit misleading. I own a book titled The Fatal Shore. You hear that, and think of someone going on an expedition who makes a landing in some unknown place, and bad things start to happen. Well, that's what I think of. But, this book is actually a history of Australia. Nonfiction. And, while that sounds kind of awful, it's actually quite good! Maybe not as exciting as something terrorizing colonists, but quite informative. :) I bought it to skim for a paper senior year, and found that I really enjoyed reading it. Whoda thunk?   

Well, that's all I have to ramble about today! As always, I'd love to check out your Follow Friday and/or Book Blogger Hops, so leave me links! It does tend to take me a little while to get to them, so I'm sorry if I randomly comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. :) Happy weekend!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa {5}

It's Tuesday! And we all know what that means!!! TEASER TUESDAY! EGADS! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading, and it is quite simple.

All you have to do is this:

  1. Pick up whatever book you are currently reading.
  2. Open it up to a random page.
  3. Pick two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. (Be careful not to spoil anything!)
  4. Share those sentences! Be sure to include the book title, author, etc. so your readers can add it to their to be read pile if they're intrigued!
Easy peasy, right?

I am now reading The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa. I LOVED the other two books, so am excited to finally be getting started on it! Anyways, here's the teaser!

From page 35:

"'...but they won't bother you if you're not afraid.' 'Too late,' I muttered, and felt his silent chuckle. Turning, I glowered at him and he stared back innocently. 'Just so you know,' I growled, poking his chest. 'I am going to kill you later for bringing me here.' 'I look forward to it.'"

Hehehe. Ash. :) :) :) :)

As always, thanks for checking out my teaser, and I'd love to see yours! Please leave a link here if you'd like me to check it out. I'd love for you to follow my blog, or follow me on Twitter, or be my friend on Goodreads, so we can chat! (I really love to chat, especially about books.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Published on: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Source: Publisher provided egalley from Netgalley

Guys, I am not a mystery fan. But, when I read the synopsis for The Poisoned House on Netgalley, it sounded very interesting, and I figured I'd give it a try. I was so pleasantly surprised.

Abigail Tamper is the lowliest of the low in stately Greave Hall. As the scullery maid, she is subject to the wrath of the cruel housekeeper Mrs. Cotton. The master of the house, Lord Greave, is rapidly sinking into madness, and her one protector, Samuel Greave, Lord Greave's son, is away fighting in Crimea. When the manor is plagued by strange happenings, Abi chocks it up to the other servants attempting to frighten Mrs. Cotton, but Abi soon finds out the one responsible is none other than the ghost of her recently deceased mother, who has a message for her. Susan Tamper was murdered, and her murderer is still in the house. It is up to Abi to unravel the mystery before the murderer strikes again. And this time, it could be her.

As I've said, mysteries and I do not have a happy past. Mostly, I'm a wimp, and get freaked out easily, so when I tried to read mysteries before I got to scared to finish. Nowadays, I find myself able to predict who the bad guy is too early for them to be fun, so I just don't try. I only gave The Poisoned House a chance because I felt like I was due for another try, and it sounded good. It gives me hope for my future with mystery books!

I found the Victorian era was portrayed pretty accurately (as far as I could tell, anyways) in the book. The protocol of the time was strict, with servants allowed only in certain parts of the house at certain times, not allowed to speak to the lords and ladies without being spoken to first, and generally being treated as invisible. The era being accurate lends a lot of enjoyability for me to the novel. When glaring mistakes are present, I find myself distracted from the story and obsessing about the tiniest things, wondering if they're correct. Instead, The Poisoned House's world felt vivid and like I could really be there.

Abi was also a very good narrator for me. She was a strong and smart girl, but hindered by her position and had some stupid moments, like we all do. In one particular instance I could tell what was about to happen, and I felt like I was watching a horror movie, wanting to scream at the book, "WHY??????? DON'T YOU KNOW HE'S COMING FOR YOU, DUMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY." Abi was real in that she wanted so badly to believe one thing that when the truth was screaming in her face (just like me) she tried her best to ignore it.

The secondary characters were also quite vivid. Each of the other servants had their distinct personalities and place in the house. Sometimes I didn't get Lizzy, and she made me want to yell at her, but every other character worked quite well. I especially liked the ending for Adam (read and you'll see!) It made me smile. :) My one detraction was that I suspected our bad guy for a while before he/she was revealed, though I couldn't guess for certain until one revelation (though I kinda expected that too...)

Oh, and the framing!! I love historical fiction, and historical fiction that has a fun frame makes me do a spastic happy dance. The opening was awesome, and got me curious, but I especially loved the ending. I felt like it was a perfect close. It gave the reader a hint of insight into how our characters fared after the story. :) :)

Four out of five stars. 

Risk a paper cut? The Poisoned House is, in my humble opinion, a mystery for people who don't like mysteries. Any lover of good fiction will appreciate the well-written period and characters. While those who love mysteries will be happy, they may figure out the mystery before our heroine.

To buy: Amazon

Sunday, August 7, 2011


And we have a winner! I am so utterly excited to announce the winner of my very first giveaway. As I've said before, the winner is receiving a brand new, hardcover copy of Cassandra Clare's The Clockwork Angel, so they can get ready for the December release of The Clockwork Prince!

I am pleased to say that the winner is...

Amanda Welling!!

Congrats Amanda! I have emailed you, and as soon as you respond, I will be mailing out the book!

This giveaway is just the first of many to come. I have some exciting ideas in the works, so stay tuned!! Have a lovely week everyone! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

From Goodreads:
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
Sisters Red is a very original and interesting take on Little Red Riding Hood. Everyone knows that story, but Jackson Pearce was able to refresh a familiar story with new life, injecting it with modern sensibilities. The thing I loved most in the book was the relationships between the characters. The bonds between Rosie and Scarlett, Scarlett and Silas, and Silas and Rosie are so strong and genuine.

I liked the mechanisms behind becoming a Fenris. It wasn't completely based on being bitten, and was really rather complicated. The men who become the actual wolves are completely despicable, and I like having a villain who is really just a villain. Many times I read books where it's that the antagonist is really just "misunderstood" and has issues, which makes them lose some of their villain credibility. Fenris are just evil. They lure girls away to eat them, and that's that. Pure, classic bad guy. :)

As for the characters, I liked Rosie and Silas well enough, but I really loved Scarlett. That is a kick-butt kind of girl. Really, she's all kinds of things I'd love to be: disciplined, tough, independent, and witty to name a few. Plus she can whip out an axe and beat the heck out of a wolf. Cool, eh? The girls in Sisters Red are not the cower behind a man kind.

I liked the alternating narration a lot. Sometimes I really notice the difference in narration, sometimes I don't. In Sisters Red, the changing views is very noticeable, which is a good thing. The reader can easily distinguish between Scarlett and Rosie, which means they have distinctive tones and differing views on the situation. The separate views gives more depth the story, so the reader is not biased towards just one view of the events. Yay for unbiased reading!

I did feel like some of the story was predictable. Part of this is that it's based off a familiar fairy tale, so we know certain elements. But, I expected the big twist very early on. It only made sense, though I had hoped it wasn't true. Also, at times Rosie was rather annoying. She was cutesy, but the cutesy led into pestery (not a real word, I know, but it fits) and I didn't really want to hear about how beautiful Silas was every time she saw him. This was only occasional, but stuck out.

Sisters Red is an intriguing addition to the ever-growing canon of fairy tale retellings, but unlike many others, is worthy of the connection to the original story.

Four out of five stars.

Risk a paper cut? The Fenris think its a roaring good time, and you will too.

To buy: Amazon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop Numbah Fo.

Yes, I'm quite white you guys. You can tell. Anyhoo! It's Friday again! (Or close enough to being Friday to post this.) You know what that means! Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop time!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee each week and is a joint effort between all of us bloggers to get more followers. Plus, each week a different question is asked, and I get to answer it! So here goes:

Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?). 
Me: There are a whole lot of books I could talk about for this, but y'all, I'm going to have to talk about Robin McKinley again. As I've said in a previous week's answer, Robin McKinley was the first author I loved so much I had to read everything she wrote. The first book I read of hers was her most known, The Hero and the Crown, and it won the Newbery Medal in 1985. This is the book that made me love fantasy. It was also the first book I remember reading where the ending wasn't completely perfect, and it made me realize that not all books end happily, because life doesn't always end happily. It kinda blew my mind, and I kind of hated the not so perfect ending for a while, until I realized just how perfect it really was. I have reread The Hero and the Crown several times since that first reading, and I love it more and more each time. 

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly par-tay for book bloggers to connect! It's hosted by Crazy for Books (follow that link to get to this week's Blogger Hop post!) and lasts Friday through Monday every week! And we get another exciting question, here goes:

Q. What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?

Me: There are a ton, but I think I want Crossed by Ally Condie the most. This is odd, because I did enjoy Matched a lot, but not as much as I've enjoyed other books recently. Yet I'm just dying for Crossed. Oh well! :)

Well, that's the Following and Hopping fun for the week! I'd love to see anyone else's posts, so please link to them in the comments! Have a lovely weekend all! :)

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Published on: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher provided egalley from Netgalley

From Goodreads:
Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.
I had a hard time getting into Misfit, but I trudged through, and once I got a little bit into it, the book got quite interesting. I think my original problems stemmed from the book being written in third person present tense. It reads like, "Jael sees her father's face," which just feels so unbelievably awkward to me. It also seemed to create a distance from the protagonist; we know everything she thinks, but it's not worded like she's telling us, but some other random person hanging around who happens to know all. But once I got over the writing, the story of Misfit hooked me.

I liked the different approach to demons, especially the fact that the author doesn't even delve into angels, which is obviously the more glamorous of the two. I also liked that the demons of today are actually the fallen gods of former civilizations. That connection to history makes the demons seem more plausible in today's world.

I also found most of the characters to be interesting. I am dying to know exactly how Dagon ended up where he was. I also felt like he was a very good character; a fallen god, resorting to being a baker in Hell, but very caring and nurturing towards his niece. Plus he always had sage-like advice. :) I didn't connect so much with Jael, but found myself not caring about that so much. I liked Jael's parent's relationship a lot, and felt like her mother, Astarte, was really the heart of the story. The flashbacks depicting Jael's parents were actually my favorite parts of the whole book.

I found the story to be compelling and the plot moved along. I never found myself getting bored with what was happening in the book or wondering when something exciting was going to happen, which is always a good thing. That comes from the interspersing of action-packed flashbacks, rather than the straight telling of just what was happening to Jael, and it worked quite well for me.

My biggest complaint from Misfit is the third person present tense. I have never been a fan of present tense in novels, but at least when it's in first person I can relate to the protagonist. I found myself not really caring about what happened to Jael except in how that would affect her family and friends. (Bad, I know.)

Oh! Almost forgot. I LOVED Jael's demon powers. I love love love how she has to communicate with elements, rather than just manipulate them to her will. I think it's unique and betrays the author's respect for the earth (No, I am not a hippie, but I can appreciate someone who cares.)

Misfit is a book I didn't expect to like, but found myself entranced by the engaging secondary characters and unique mythology.  

*Warning* There is a decent amount of cussing and some lewd content, and I wouldn't recommend the book for younger YA readers.

Three out of five stars.

Risk a paper cut? Anyone interested in demons and mythology would be delighted by the mix of the two into an interesting and unique novel.

To buy: Amazon