Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (7-31-12)




I'm reading The Raven Boys right now, and it's amazing. When has Maggie Stiefvater written something that's not? Here are a few teasers. It's almost out! September 18th.

The predictions that came out of 300 Fox Way were unspecific, but undeniably true. Her mother had dreamt Blue's broken wrist on the first day of school. Her aunt Jimi predicted Maura's tax return to within ten dollars. Her older cousin Orla always began to hum her favorite song a few minutes before it came on the radio. -page 3 (yeah, yeah I'll try not to post something from every single page...)


There were so many of the clippings she'd noticed before that the journal wouldn't stay book-shaped unless tied shut with leather wrappings. Pages and pages were devoted to these ripped and scissored excerpts, and there was an undeniable tactile pleasure to browsing. Blue ran her fingers over the varied surfaces. Creamy, thick artist paper with spidery serif. Slick utilitarian white stock with an artless modern type. Ragged edged newspaper in a brittle shade of yellow. -page 83


     "Yes," she said. "I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery."
     "You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again.
     Blue blinked. "What?"
-page 218


Okay, I'll stop! I just want to quote every page!! But it'll have to be just this for now...so, did I pick good quotes?

(Taking from an ARC, so these are subject to change...but I hope they don't. ;))


I'm almost done with The Raven Boys, so my review should be up within a few days, keep an eye out!


-Jane

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beta: review

Title: Beta (Beta #1)
Author: Rachel Cohn
Genres: sci-fi, dystopia, clones, chocolate
Source: ARC from Changing Hands
Rating: 3 stars.
Summary: In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.



Besides the cover, the first sentence grabbed me. That's always a good sign, because I tend to drop books within the first 30 pages or so, if it's not getting my interest. Maybe you'll like it too:

It's me she wants to purchase.

Keep in mind this is an ARC I'm quoting from, so of course it's subject to change. But it makes you want to know more, right? At least the urge to turn a page or two more.

I'm not sure how common knowledge this is, but the fleur-de-lis used to be what slaves were branded with in history. I just learned that from reading The Count of Monte Cristo. In Beta, clones are tattooed with that symbol on their right temple, to signify what they are; aka not human. On their other side, they get a species of flower depending on their position they were bought or created for. I think that's pretty creative, and thoughtful...(maybe that's not the nicest word?)

Elysia gets bought on the first page to be a companion. See, if you're a geek like me, the first thing you think of when the words companion, and bought are used together, is Inara. It's not like that. It's just like a playmate, or sibling, or daughter, depending on the family's dynamics you're bought into. It's a high class for a clone to become rather than server, masseuse, or maid/butler. In Elysia's case, she is all three, a playmate for Liesel, a sibling for Ivan, and a daughter for her new mother.

The whole world building and concept are pretty awesome. It's sci-fi filled with innovative technology at every angle, constantly. That's what kept me reading it, because the characters themselves, all of them, I didn't like a single bit. Sad, but true.

MC/love interest- Uh INSTALOVE. I am completely against instalove. Nothing about it is relatable or realistic, and I usually end up grinding my teeth through the whole relationship. So the romance between Elysia and Tahir (think flat Stanley) isn't completely awful, but I am easily admitting I didn't enjoy it one bit. Also, every aspect of their relationship is predictable. Elysia was pretty cool until she met him, all curious and wondering how life is, and I liked her (only her) until the point where she meets Tahir and bam: "Oh my god, I know I don't have a soul or feelings or anything, but I think I'm in love with this random dude, and I need to sleep with him NOW." Isn't that attractive? Not.

Supporting characters? Awful. Maybe because they were supposed to be awful human beings, and treat her like dirt, but I couldn't get past how stupid and spoiled they acted. All similarly too, so not much distinction between them. I think it's good for the mood of the story, but out of place in normal character development.

Also, never having read any of her books before, I'm sorry to say I didn't like the author's writing style. The sentences were awkward at best, and ended up plain weird sometimes. There were a couple of laugh-out-loud moments...but that's it.

The ending: Nearing the ending, maybe the last 40 pages, is where I really enjoyed the story. Exciting and unpredictable events happen, that for once I didn't see coming. Then I hit a lull at the almost-ending, but when the final ending came, last pages and the complete end, it had quite a cool cliffy, and now I just have to keep going in the series. If it weren't for that, I don't think I would have continued to the next book.

I don't usually put a content rating, but I think Beta deserves one: sex, drug abuse, and language. and a LOT of each. Well, maybe not so much language. It was all a little too much for me though, honestly.

Overall, this book is OKAY. I expected more, and got something kind of completely different. Had potential and seriously the concept is really great, but Beta fell short with the crappy romance, and how that part effected all of the other awesomeness. It tainted the plot. I'm not sure I would recommend it to my friends, but Beta might be worth a shot if you like the genre.

-Jane

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Teaser Tues(Thurs)day (7/26/12)

I wasn't going to post one...but I just couldn't stop laughing when this scene came up, so I have to share it!

"We don't need Police on Demesne!" Mother says, horrified. "But you do have that kind of brute strength. Perhaps it would be nice if you could use that for more gentle purpose. Perhaps you become some kind of builder. An architect for military compounds?"
     Ivan says, "Or perhaps I could be a camouflage fashion designer. Or a strategic campaigns astrologer."
     "You can go to the Base to learn astrology?" I ask, surprised. According to my interface, the Base is where young recruits go to hone their physical endurance, learn military history, and gain weaponry skills. It shows me no correlation between astrology and the military.
     "Ivan's doing sarcasm," Liesel informs me. "He learned it from Astrid."
     I data check this word.




Sarcasm (SAHR-ka-zem): Expressing ridicule that wounds.




     I leap from my chair and run to Mother's side, and grab her seated upper body into a hug. "Don't be wounded, Mother," I say.
     The family roars with laughter. Mother places a kiss on my cheek and then gestures for me to sit back down. I am so confused.

-page 77 from Beta by Rachel Cohn


Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature: review

Author: Robin Brande
Genres: contemporary-ya, religion, puppies, nerdy science stuff
Source: library
Rating: 4 stars!
Summary: Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

So I read this random book because it's my book club's August pick that my friend suggested. I was kind of put off by the odd cover, and in the contemporary-YA section, so I never would have bothered to pick it up if she, Elv, hadn't recommended it. Also, halfway through reading it I realized I've met the author before at some huge signing (though not read any of her books before)....so here is what I thought of Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature.

The first twenty pages or so are kind of confusing and iffy, but once I got past them and met the oh-so-awesome Casey, I couldn't put it down. Science class used to be my favorite class when I took it, and most of this story takes place in science class...safe to say, points for that.

The characters are all immediately likable. You meet Casey talking in a British accent just for fun and making Lord of the Rings references every ten minutes (Okay get this, Mena doesn't know who Aragorn is. *sky falls*); then Ms. Shepherd, the science teacher, who is that awkward nerdy teacher who is addicted to Starbucks and has a blog; and finally, Casey's big sister, Kayla, who is not afraid to share her opinion. At all, to anyone who wants to listen, and those who don't. For most of the characters, there is really good development. It's a short book, but she manages to convey lots of people's personalities in a short amount of time; even minor ones, like Mena's ex-church friends, and her parents, and Casey's mom.

The puppies. Oh man, they are so cute. All twelve of them. You will fall head over heals over those cute puppies, all named different colors...just wait and see, you won't want them to grow up either.

The separation between church and state. Now this is definitely a book for people who are open minded about this debate, and each subject in themselves. I consider myself an agnostic-athiest, and I really love having religious debates-I think they're fun. But that's just me, and not everyone thinks like that. So I'm sure you got that from the summary, just want to say it anyway. The arguments on both sides of Evolution vs Creationism are really good, and Mena is sort of neutral and indecisive at the moment, on who to agree with. Kind of crazy and weird but it's well approached and written well. Doesn't seem biased much either, at which I was surprised.

Anyway, for you people who do like those topics, and is always looking for something new and cool to read, this is totally your book. I started it last night, and had to stop myself from finishing it two hours later only because my eyes started to hurt, and the book might have fallen once or twice on my face as my sleepiness increased. That had nothing to do with the content of the book, that was just me, at two in the morning.

To sum up, it's just one of those books that makes you go wow, that was better than I expected.

Also, if you're into teen books about religion debate and the dangerous effects of what a religion or cult can do to it's followers, check out Godless by Pete Hautman, which was very interesting and pretty awesome. I mean, worshiping a water tower? I wish I'd thought of that first.

Know any other books like this one? Always love a good rec.

Also, enter my giveaway!!! (Top right of the page) :) Right now there is one entry, so your chances are pretty damn good.

-Jane

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!





Welcome! Thanks for stopping by on this blog hop! Last Days of Summer is hosted by Colorimetry and I am a Reader, Not a Writer, so make sure to check out the other blogs participating HERE. :)

Now, I am giving away an ARC again. One winner will receive their choice of ONE of the following:






It's easy, just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter! Sorry, I'm still only shipping to the US, but one of these days I'll have an international one...


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7-25-12)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.


Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel 
September 25th release! (aka, too far away)
Sequel to Dearly, Departed




I just really really really want this book. I mean LOOK at it. And I totally loved the first one, Dearly, Departed, which introduced me to the zombie genre of fiction. Wait, and steampunk. Yeah, I had only heard of zombie and steampunk books before reading this. It combines them! I have recently read a few great reviews about it too, how it is very good. Yep. So anyone have an ARC they'd like to trade? ;) My library doesn't have it on-order yet, even though it comes out in less than two months! :O


Also, I would have posted a Teaser Tuesday yesterday, but all I've been doing this week is rereading The Fellowship of the Rings which I finished this afternoon. Heh. (unless you'd like one of my favorite parts from it?) So once I start another book tomorrow, I might post a Teaser Thursday Special Edition because I love teasers. And you guys seemed to like my previous one. "Lightning bugs on coke!" hahaha...

Happy reading!
-Jane

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Last Guardian: review



Author: Eoin Colfer
Genres: middle-grade/YA criminal mastermind genius, fairies
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 stars!
Summary: Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has somehow reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died—a battle against Artemis—is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?

New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.

I grew up with this series as the books came out. I love them so much. They’re so funny and smart and magical, and I don’t even mind the boy POV, which normally bugs the heck out of me. So, I was so sad when I saw the word LAST in the title, when it was released a while back. It took me two days to read because I didn’t want to end, but I could have read it in one sitting.

The Artemis Fowl books can capture the interest of a wide-age-ranged audience. I started reading them when I was about nine or ten, (my brother when he was younger) and now I just finished the last one as my 18th birthday approaches. The way they are written, are kind of like Disney movies. And listen because that sounds weird at first. They remind me of Disney movies because little kids can enjoy them and get a lot out the reading, but there are also these hidden deeper meanings for older YA readers. The older I got and understood, the more strange little things stood out. Like a character named Kolin Oskopy, and even bigger worldly problems like our ozone layer being burned up; he cleverly inserts them into the storyline…so if you get why I’m using that comparison, that’s good.

It seriously starts with action, and ends with action, with not a slow moment in between, anywhere. We see all the characters doing normal (well, with Artemis involved, relatively speaking) activities, because they don’t know it’s their last adventure with us…um back to my train of thought…oh! Okay. The action starts pretty much when Opal (muahaha, one of my all-time favorite supervillians!!!) destroys the world and all this crazy awful stuff happens to the humans, as well as the Lower Elements, and here we are, back at the Stone Age.

Yeah, the rest you can just figure out by reading the book, but does that make you a little bit interested now?

I always hoped Holly and Artemis would like, be together, but that really isn’t the kind of relationship they have. I love it anyway, and now that Artemis is becoming an older teen (15 in Atlantis Complex?), he is even more awkward than usual. But he is still completely oblivious to girls. So scratch that hope. I mean, they literally have each other’s eye, so I guess that’s an odd piece of the puzzle too.

And Foaly. Ah he makes me laugh with all his awesome gadgety inventions, it’s great. It’s hard to explain why he is so cool, unless you’ve read about him.  Kind of the same situation as Mulch, as well.

This is a weird thing to notice, but a small part of The Last Guardian I didn’t like.
As strange as it sounds, I personally thought Artemis didn’t have enough lines! The story seemed so focused on everything going on, that I was like, wait, where is his smart-ass remark? It was there, but maybe a little less than usual. And I mean he was there, but his dialogue was lacking. Just a squick.

Also the ending. Yes, this book does end. The whole first page to last, (full of action remember) is pretty much just over 24 hours in “story-time”. So it totally speeds through, and I have to admit, that I did cry. And it is super rare that I actually cry in books. It’s not that I’m unemotional, I just avoid all the sad ones.
Like right nearing the last chapter, and the huge amazing climax where your hands are sweating and everything…you know what I mean—I was hating it. Hating it. I can’t say more without spoilers, sorry. But then the end of the last chapter came, and I couldn’t hate it anymore. Still crying, but it was so freaking perfect that I couldn’t hate it anymore! It was a little emotionally confusing for me. Just go with it.

The Last Guardian, or I should say, The Artemis Fowl series, ended wonderfully, and almost generated an “I knew that would have to happen but it’s hard all the same” feeling that will have me in a book slump from series-ending-withdraw for at least a week. Five minutes ago I handed it to my brother to start reading, and I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of it.

-Jane

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (7/19/12)




In my mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren. :)


So these are a few things I revived this week...











I won this Kindle book from Julia Crane, as well as a $20 Amazon gift card! :)




(awful photography by moi)

Bought: 
(*sniff* the last one!)

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 
(I heard this was super duper good.)

Review: 
Beta by Rachel Cohn 
(Beta's summary strangely reminds me of the last Lemony Snicket book. Just me?)

Other sources: 
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
(*jumps up and down*)


For all my new friends from the blog hop last week, what'd you get? Anything interesting?


Live long and prosper, peoplez.

Jane


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Three in one! Cover comparison, Waiting on Wednesday, and Wishlist Wednesday!

Hello!

It's Wednesday!


      Awkward empty space.

PART 1: (for the fans)

I'd like to combine the two memes I know about. Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine, and Wishlist Wednesday over at Pen to Paper. :)

Ever since I finished Blood Red Road by Moria Young last year, I was excited there was going to be another book. The story is unique, exciting, and has a distinct physical appearance that sets it apart. The whole story doesn't have any quotations for dialogue which I found annoying at first, then extremely cool. :D

Now it's sequel, Rebel Heart, comes out October 30th. I've been looking everywhere for some sort of way to get my hands on it...but ARCs seem to be nonexistent. *gasp* I just REALLY want to read this book.

Blood Red Road is a hidden treasure in the dystopian genre right now, but for the few who have read it, here is the summary for Rebel Heart if you haven't seen it already: Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV's Hollywood Crush blog called "better than "The Hunger Games.""It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba's world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh's freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road," a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of"danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.


PART 2: (For the not-yet fans.)

So is Blood Red Road the kind of book you'll like? Well if you like books with a strong female lead, lots of dusty adventures and pirate ships, and of course (from the cover above^^) a lovable love interest...then of course this is the book for you!

A Goodreads summary for ya: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
PART 3ish (for, well, everyone.)

Oh and while I'm talking about these books....cover comparison time!

The original cover for Blood Red Road:

It wasn't actually the cover that made me read the book, but a friend's recommendation. I think it's pretty cool, and really fits the storyline, because it takes place in the deserty nowhere. The title is unmistakably huge and rustic, and you see a glimpse of Saba walking away...






(Oh, now is a good opportunity to add Blood Red Road on Goodreads! Click HERE. (As well as other links on this post.)

:)






And the paperback/new cover to match the second book:

This one looks more mainstream, but you do get a better picture of how "don't mess with me" Saba is, and the colors are vibrant and super eye catching...AND the font is super-cool...and it matches the second one now.





So I'm going to have to say even though the original is great, they did a pretty good job changing it, though I wonder why they didn't keep the same old theme for Rebel Heart? Oh well!

What do you think? :)




Oops, just found this cover too, but I'm not sure which edition it is:



I'm sorry, but WHAT. THE. HELL?


This doesn't even fit the book, and it's super random and...well I just can't look at it. It pains me to even include it on here, no offense to the people who came up with this.

*cringe*



Oh and hey, it might be a movie someday! lol http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1933550/




-Jane

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Look what's in my mailbox today!!!



Tadaaaa! I bought it. It killed every moral in my soul, but now I can go on my long trips without that second suitcase of books. :P

I've been a complete hater-of-all-things-e-booky for pretty much forever. I love smelling books, holding them, feeling the spine, and turning the pages...just everything. But I travel SO much. And I know ebook review copies are more common than paper ones (also, Les Mis is just to heavy to hold!)...so this is what happened. I caved.

I do have an iPad, but the LCD screen just gives me a headache after staring at it for like half an hour. I mean, e-ink looks like actual paper! Technology these days... :)

I will NEVER stop buying paper books, and of course smelling them. This is just another option.

Now I'm going to go update my review policy. ;)

(And then figure out how to use this thing.)

-Jane

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eternally Yours: review

Title: Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved #3)
Author: Cate Tiernan
Genres: magical, laugh-out-loud (because that's so a genre)
Source: an ARC from Changing Hands
Rating: Five stars!!!
Summary: After 450 years of living, Nastasya Crowe should have more of a handle on this whole immortal thing.... After a deadly confrontation at the end of Darkness Falls, the second Immortal Beloved novel, Nastasya Crowe is, as she would put it, so over the drama. She fights back against the dark immortals with her own brand of kick-butt magick...but can she fight against true love? In the satisfying finale to the Immortal Beloved trilogy, ex-party-girl immortal Nastasya ends a 450-year-old feud and learns what "eternally yours" really means. Laced with historical flashbacks and laugh-out-loud dialogue, the Immortal Beloved trilogy is a fascinating and unique take on what it would mean to live forever.


*Minor spoilers for Immortal Beloved and Darkness Falls* (So, go catch up really quick and read them!)

I want to start with Reyn. He is so cool. And deserves to be the start of my review.

All right, I guess i should describe Nastasya's (questionable/weird/love-hate) relationship with Reyn as "lust at first sight", which is now, to her surprise and confusion, turning into actually something serious. In this conclusion to the trilogy, the romance you've been waiting for is finally here! *dances* Though, Nastasya is pretty stupid when it comes to this serious stuff. At least she recognizes it, but still, you remember why she is staying at River's Edge in the first place, and I felt like smacking her sometimes. Often. Reyn on the other hand, is being the adult there, and falls for Nastasya quite faster and harder than she does for him. Going more for love than lust. Wow, that's a spin on YA lit, right? Major kudos.


~

As the last book of series go, lots of my questions are answered and everything is tied up nicely. Here are a few points I liked:

Aha! I was right, Immortals can only be killed by beheading. In the other books, it was hinted as the only way, and encouraged? But here it is said directly, which I liked.

You get to know more of Nasty’s "friends" stories, which helps round off the personality of River’s Edge as a whole. Nastasya isn't the only screw up there, she is just the most recent one. And the loudest, as usual. I really liked meeting all River's brothers, imagining them as scary, powerful, nice-looking Italian dudes-oh wait, that's just how Nastasya describes the four. I concur.

Dray and Merriweather aren't in here as much as I'd have liked, but Cate Tiernan did give them both nice endings, in their own way. I do wish they had more, um, screen time? in Nasasya's story.
  
Tea. It's like a small motif. Got a broken arm? Have a cuppa! Your friend is missing and you think you ruined one of the most important spells of the week? Mint or chamomile? I'm a total tea person, so Nastasya's annoyance with it makes me laugh every time.

The parts that are sappy/uncharacteristic/cliché are recognized by Nastasya in the kind of Deadpool manner. I just realized why sometimes her inner-dialogue remarks are so funny; it's because she is usually (okay maybe half the time) breaking the fourth wall. I think it’s more noticeable in this book, than the previous two. For those non-nerds out there, click on Deadpool's name above and you'll be taken to a magical land called Wikipedia. But anyway, I just wanted to point that out, because there are so many laugh-out-loud lines in here I wanted to list them all on Teaser Tuesday. But alas, you'll just have to read Eternally Yours to read them. (November 6th isn't that far away, I promise!)


As you've probably noticed, Nastasya is a pretty strong character. She has a witty retort to every single thing thrown at her, and has a sarcastic remark about everything else, even when it's not wanted. Usually when it's not wanted. But have you noticed (like I just did in the middle of this book) that she is sort of a wimp otherwise? Like physically? Nastasya is a five-foot-two (wow I just thought of a song there...) uh, yes 5' 2", whitish blonde, Scandinavian, material girl who doesn't think too highly of herself. Her dialogue is her front and shield obviously, but finally in Eternally Yours Nastasya gets some sword lessons from Reyn, which you really can't help but laugh at, because she totally sucks at it. But: character growth!

Unlike this entire trilogy, where there isn't really any action, there is quite an action packed ending! That's all I'll say. Also, these books could read as contemporary, just laced with a little magick, which I find interesting. Because the fantasy part really isn't fleshed out as much as most are. Totally okay, just unusual. One last thing, I hope Tiernan writes another series in this same world.

~

And I'll admit. It's taken me so long to get through Eternally Yours, almost a week and a half, partly because of my busy schedule, but also because (subconsciously!) I kept reading a little, and setting it down because I realized after I finish it, there is no more...and I'll be in that end-of-series depression mode. :P No one likes that end-of-series depression mode.

Good news: I'm in that end-of-series bittersweet mode now. :) I, like, hugged the book when I finished the last page. Don't worry, it's one of my favorite series-endings!

I don't know that many people who have read the Immortal Beloved books, but if you have, what do you think of them? Excited for the third and last? :)

-Jane

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Liebster Award!


To quote Ramblings of A Book-A-Holic (because I'm original like that) : "This award is given to bloggers who are up and coming and who have less than 200 followers." Hey! That's me! So cool. Anyway I just got nominated by Reading in Paradise, thank you. :)


So the rules are: 

  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and 11 questions for the people you tag.
  3. Tag 11 more bloggers.
  4. Tell them you've tagged them.
  5. No tag backs!
Alright, these are the questions from Reading in Paradise that I will now answer...




  • Do you remember the first book you ever read?
    No, but I was told it was Prisoner of Azkaban (HP3), because my mom wouldn't read it fast enough for me. Apparently I was an impatient little kid.

  • Did you enjoy reading as a child?
    I despised it until about age seven or so, but I can't remember what changed my mind; might have been my English teacher at the time. Since then, I haven't gone a day (voluntarily) without reading!

  • Why did you choose to blog about the books you read?
    Mostly because I needed to keep up my habit of writing daily (for that novel I'm still working on,) and I love gushing and rambling on and on to my friends about the books I'm constantly buried in. And this is a great option of blogging, because you get to *choose* whether you as the listener want to listen to my opinions (my friends on the other hand, don't usually have a choice in the matter.) Oh, and because I get to meet other bookish people like myself!

  • What's your favorite book series?
    The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody. I know of exactly zero people who have ever heard of them (or her), besides the few people I recommended them to. It's Aussie dystopian before people knew what that genre even was. She started writing the series in the 1980s in high school, and the last book (8) is coming to the US this year, or maybe next year. It's just epic. But I really like the fact that it's so secretive/unheard of. 
    *brainwash*

  • What's your favorite part of a book?
    Oh that's hard...either the HOLY CRAP I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING part, or when the first line in the book is one you just want to repeat over and over in your head.

  • Do you wish you were part of every book you read?
    Definitely some, like City of Bones because then I could just stare all day at Jace, or maybe Maximum Ride, because then I might get bird-wings and be all cool taking over the world; but some I would not like to be part of at all, like The Book Thief, or The Hunger Games...as much as people praise them, like myself, those are places/times I'd rather read about after and learn lessons, and not have to be directly part of those goings ons. I hope I answered that question correctly?

  • If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?
    Myself. But a fabulously famous travel writer/author as my footnote.

  • Who is your role model?
    Aw crap, I always suck at this question. Hm.....my mom I suppose. She's just awesome. Oh, and Captain Malcolm Reynolds, who aims to misbehave. He would help with my take-over-the-world plan.

  • What is your favorite type of music?
    Tied between: Classical (Beethoven), classic rock (Queen!), and indie rock (Marina and the Diamonds)

  • If you had to choose, would you live in a different country?
    Yes! In fact, I'm planning my walkabout (OE) right now, for a few months around Aussie and Europe. As long as I have Internet to keep connected to my fellow bloggers and followers. :)
    If I were to live permanently in another country, it would have to be France, or Switzerland. Or Germany. Or Hungary. Oh goodness I don't think I can pick only one.
    Right, the question was probably a yes or no thing.
    Yes, I would.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
    Finally finishing my novel-in-progress, and traveling the globe. :)


    That was fun. :) Now it's my turn to tag!!!


    (I found you all at the Book Blog Directory!)

                                                    And my questions for all of you:

    1. What is you current Obsessed-With book right now? Either new-release or old reread?
    2. How long have you been blogging?
    3. Are you a TV watcher, or one who adamantly wards off those stupid television programs and sticks only to books as a pastime? (But actually stays up in the night on Netflix geeking out?)
    4. What are your opinions on the e-reading explosion of technology?
    5. Have you ever traveled out of the country?
    6. What's the strangest book you've ever read? (because of writing style, random plot, etc)
    7. Favorite author?
    8. Fast or slow reader?
    9. Have you ever been to an author signing/event before? If so, who is the first author you've ever met?
    10. How do you usually acquire your books? Indie bookstores, B&N, e-format, Amazon...etc...
    11. Do you write besides blogging? Like poetry or a novel? Or just write because of blogging? 

    Thanks again!  :)

    Happy reading,

    -Jane



    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Teaser Tuesday 7-10-12

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Stop by there, to see other blogs participating as well! :)




    My teaser: "My cheeks started to heat as the silence swelled to fill the room. I was skin-tinglingly aware of Reyn, sitting silently next to Brynne, and Daisuke, who was studying by himself in the corner. Defeat was imminent: Searching my brain for facts about marigolds was like running around trying to catch lightning bugs. Turbo-charged lightning bugs. On coke." -Page 15 of Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan


    I would post another one, but I'm only this far in the book! But it's pretty great so far! Love Reyn. Sad this is the last book in the trilogy...


    Comment below, and I'll come take a look at your teasers too!


    -Jane

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    For Darkness Shows the Stars: review

    Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
    Author: Diana Peterfreund
    Genres: dystopia, retelling
    Summary: It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

    Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

    But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.



    Wow. I can't say it enough times, but it's SO much harder to write about why you love a book, than to rant for pages on a book you hated...I'll keep this shortish and simple, because I want to go back and read it all over again.

    For Darkness Shows the Stars is a retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. I read Persuasion a few years ago, and due to a crappy copy and many other things going on at the time, I had little to no interest for it, and declared it my least favorite Austen novel. But my best friend was absolutely in love with it, so here we are with a captivating looking retelling, and I told myself, "Hey give it another try, after all, you are in love with alll her other books." (Austen's that is, hence my name.) Anyway, long story short, last week I reread Persuasion with a beautiful copy (reinforced paperback, special edition Penguin, I believe? Thanks, Mal!) and in two days my whole opinion on the story changed! It's as awesome as her other five books.

    First, I want to say I love love the title, even though long titles generally annoy me, while I'm typing. It's an absolute perfect fit for the story. And the cover is what made me pick it up, like usual.

    If you read For Darkness Shows the Stars without knowing the story and outcome of Persuasion, then it's probably going to be a lot more stressful and frustrating (in the good way) regarding Elliot and Kai, because of how well Diana Peterfreund rewrites the original. But me knowing exactly who was which character, and the background of the two 'star-crossed lovers', I was glad I knew how it would end (don't start assuming things here...), because I can see how tormenting the suspense of the book, mainly when Kai and Elliot are around each other, can be to the reader. Don't worry, you'll love the torment, and it will make you zip through it, needing to know what happens next!

    This story is dystopian, a classic retelling of dystopian, how cool is that? This dystopian, however, is the unusual kind. The focus is still slightly on the revolutionary side, but you really only see the outskirts and after effects of the apocalypse; no collapsed cities or remnants of old technology. The closest I can relate this to, is my all-time favorite book series, Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody. The story is told in an isolated little world, and its inhabitants aren't sure what's left of the planet other than their piece of land left. It's called the White (or Great White) in Obernewtyn, where machines took over and we kind of lost out humanity, and now technology is heresy against the church. In For Darkness Shows the Stars, the Reduction had the same kind of thing happen, only with genetic enhancing for people, food, and animals, besides the strange technology. The Luddites (in Obernewtyn they worship their creator, Lud.) are the people who stuck with God through all these new enhancements, and their belief that he would punish you if you messed with how he made things to be, you would be punished. And that's when the Reduction came, and produced the 'punished' Reduced: simple minded people born, that the Luddites took a hold of, and they are used as servants etc. working class. It's kind of complicated, but that's what fascinated me most about the book.

    Ro is the Reduced we meet in the very beginning, Elliot and Kai's friend from childhood. She is so sweet, like a child, dancing and playing and being nice to everything. And I think she is quite smart for being Reduced. You'll find she attaches herself to you, similarly to how Rue does from The Hunger Games, because even though Ro isn't in it much, she is a key to the story.

    Elliot and Kai's relationship/past is explained through a series letters between the two scattered between the chapters, and it is really well done in the sense that they are funny when they're six years old, and more developed and slightly more series as they near thirteen, fourteen years old. If you didn't have the letters (very Jane Austen style!) lots of the current happenings in the book wouldn't make much sense. Because of these letters, the story isn't about how they are going all 'in-love-giggly-hormone-crazy' like ya books are normally, but it's them trying to avoid each other because of some interesting decisions made years ago by the both. It's kind of hard to explain without giving lots away, but safe to say, there isn't much actual romance, than just awkward meetings, and glances.

    There isn't really a good description of Kai, other than strange dark eyes and tallness, that I can remember, but here is a physical description of Elliot, which I found helped me a lot: "Elliot's features which had been harsh and solemn even when she was younger, hadn't softened with age. Her dark brows were thick slashes over the deep-set, almond-shaped eyes she'd inherited from the Boatwright side of the family. The round snub nose came courtesy of her grandfather as well, and the skin that turned brown in the sun, then sallow in the winter months. She'd also gotten his full lips, though, and her black hair took on ruddy highlights every summer." -page 65 of For Darkness Shows the Stars ARC

    Overall the writing is great. I could tell Diana Peterfreund isn't a new writer (which is a nice break) but this is the first of her books I've personally read and heard about. I will definitely be looking up her Rampant books to read soon. Even though my first thought is, "Unicorn killers, really??" :)

    I highly recommend For Darkness Shows the Stars to all my friends. Five stars no doubt; one of the best books I've read this year.

    -Jane


    Ruins: review

    Title: Ruins (Pathfinder #2)
    Author: Orson Scott Card
    Genres: sci-fi, time-travel, adventure
    Summary: From the internationally bestselling author who brought us Ender's Game, a brand-new series that instantly draws readers into the dystopian world of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people's pasts. Rigg's only confidant is his father, whose sudden death leaves Rigg completely alone, aside from a sister he's never met. But a chance encounter with Umbo, another teen with a special talent, reveals a startling new aspect to Rigg's abilities, compelling him to reevaluate everything he's ever known. Rigg and Umbo join forces and embark on a quest to find Rigg's sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Because although the pair can change the past, the future is anything but certain?

    I started to read Ruins less than a day after I finished Pathfinder. Now, that’s 672 pages of time travel, followed by 544 more pages of time travel. These books are quite heavy, and require paying lots of attention.

    I didn’t quite pay enough attention. The time abilities are so complicated, and since OSC said he made sure to defy all normal rules of time travel in fiction/theory, well, my small knowledge in the matter became null. For the most part I got what was going on, but if I had to explain it to someone, I don’t think I would be able to remember most of the semantics. (So that’s a good excuse for you to read it, right?)

    There are more religious…views? values? in Ruins. Maybe not more, but more prominent, I noticed more. At least that’s how I interpreted it. An example is when he explained how there were only a few thousand years of human history on Earth. And the fact that there is only one main character that’s a girl doesn’t do well in my opinion either. Parem is the princess, and a stinking spoiled one at that. She is written to be very weak and dependent on her companions; when walking, she is unused to the exercise and tends to complain and get carried a lot. Oh, but all four boys in the party are all amazing and strong. Yeah, not so cool. A few other minor things, but I’m not going to dwell.
    I don’t mean offence, please. Just as a non-religion person and feminist, I couldn’t just ignore it.

    Something I missed from Pathfinder: At the beginning of each chapter of Pathfinder (and Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow for that matter), there is that other-fontly mysterious point of view that lasts from a paragraph to a page and a half. I really liked those. It kept me reading onto the next chapter, and trying to figure out how it related to the main story. Ruins didn’t have it! But, I got over it eventually.

    More technology is introduced, including more information on the starships and expendables. It’s fun to see how Rigg and co. react to the strange words and seeing what simple objects fascinate them. We also meet more fascinating colonies in other Wallfolds…not all that friendly!

    Okay…geek moment here…slight spoiler, but it’s not that bad. There are MICE in here.  Does that mean anything to any other geeks out there? That’s right, they are the masterminds! Not the only ones, but basically they become a huge part of the story, and are super smart and control the world. Ah, thanks for that little Douglas Adams tribute there, Card. I really appreciate that!

    I also really like the way philosophical/ethical questions pop in Rigg’s decisions all the time. It makes the story that more thought provoking and exciting.  Especially concerning the facemasks; don’t worry, you learn about those in the first chapter.

    So even though I had to reread a few passages when some timeslicing/jumping/whatever went on, you get used to all the technobabble soon enough.

    I am curious how many books plan to be in the series.

    Four stars!

    -Jane



    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Stacking the Shelves #1


    HERE is the link to Tynga's Reviews, the one who started this cool meme. :)

    All right, it's been a busy book week for me (usually i limit myself to paperback, but not this time...), and if I hadn't so much credit at my favorite indie bookstore, then I'd probably have used up my last paycheck from Thursday already. There are just so many good books coming out right now, thats the problem! But I'm not complaining, it's awesome.
    So here are some additions to my room. (I say room, not shelf, because I'm currently out of space, so they are in a stack on my dresser, rather precariously.)

    Review:

      




    Bought:

      


    Won:


     


    As a part of the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop, I won these two from Mystifying Paranormal Reviews!

    (Reading For Darkness Shows the Stars now, and already read Anna Dressed in Blood)

    I cannot wait to get to the rest!!! :)



    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    ReAwakened cover reveal!

    I am very glad to be a part of this cover reveal for the second book in the Angel Creek series by Ada Adams! The first in the series is ReVamped, which came out this spring, and looks pretty awesome, so check it out!

    Here is the wonderfully cool cover (and summary) for ReVamped:

    A simple mission turned deadly.

    Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

    When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.




    And now HERE is what you really clicked on this post for! (but still keep reading!)


    Ta daaa!

    Coming Fall 2012!

    Ada Adams will be doing an hour-long, live tweet-chat about anything related to the Angel Creek series and her writing! Without spoilers, don't worry. It will be on July 5th at 5pm EST. Just click on her profile, and join in the conversation: @Ada_Adams


    For some other cool linkies all relating to Ada and her characters...



    ReVamped website: http://www.revampedbook.com/

    ReVamped Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/revampedbook


    Ada Adam's Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Ada_Adams



    Cover Designer: Juliana Kolesova @ www.julianakolesova.com (very spiffy covers btw!)

    “ReAwakened” Theme: Blood (hence the cover color).



    And there will soon be a ReAwakened blog-tour hosted by Words, Pages, and Books & Escaping One Book @ a Time,  so make sure to follow them so you don't miss out! @xjessirae

    ~~~

    Oh! pssst...if you comment on this post, something awesome might come to you. ;)

    Happy reading!

    Jane