Friday, August 31, 2012

Vote! Which review are you looking most forward to?

Since coming back from my month-long trip where I relaxed and visited friends and read only four and a half books the whole time...I come back to my review bookshelf in my room, and realize there are a number of books that are coming out in the next couple weeks/days, so help me decide which one I should read and review first! Or last even!

I will be starting The Dark Unwinding first, because it comes out tomorrow, but after that (and it's not too long) I have choices...so comment below with your vote as to what book(s) YOU want to see reviewed next.


 

State of Wonder: review

Title: State of Wonder
Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: contemporary adult, Amazon, adventure
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: bought
Summary: Award-winning "New York Times"-bestselling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy

The only other book I've read by Ann Patchett is Bel Canto, which is still on my all-time-favorites list. Her beautiful writing sucked me right in to that tragic story and now she did it once again with State of Wonder. I was a little late on reading it; I bought it on her paperback-release tour I believe. And even thought it's a great story, I still like Bel Canto better. I do have a bit to say about it, the goods and bads.

After hearing Ann Patchett talk when she stopped at my bookstore a couple months ago, I was glad to have heard all about State of Wonder before reading it, because she told some cool back stories to characters and events, relating it to her own adventures in the Amazon, and that made the reading much more interesting.

My favorite characters had to be the Bovenders. I think anyone who has met them would agree with me. The tall Australians who acted as the guards for Dr. Swenson; keeping the press out of her business, or distracting whoever came from Vogel to ask about the research progression--yeah they are hilarious. They're the characters with a cool back story, which you can read HERE. It's way near the bottom, but it's a really funny story not to miss, even if you don't plan on reading State of Wonder. The only thing about the couple, Barbara and Jackie, is that I wish they had a bigger part, especially in the second half of the novel. She kind of left you hanging with how they ended up. (I mean, they didn't almost die but some goodbye closure with Marina would have been nice.)

I've read a large handful of reviews that mention how Marina, the protagonist, is sort of annoying and has this dark, rather exaggerated past relating to the abandonment of her father. So I became wary when starting the book, but I soon made my own opinion that although it's more prominent in first half of the story, her past doesn't really overcome the plot in any way not necessary. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Marina isn't my favorite character in the world, and she makes some pretty disagreeable choices, but she does the best she can, for being sent to the Amazon most unwillingly.

Easter really pulled my heartstrings. The little deaf boy had so much expression, and a mysterious past, that he just attaches himself to you. Though, I really didn't like how his story ended, even though it made sense. Also, I totally thought Martin would have a bigger part in relating to Marina, and he kind of randomly disappears at the end. Now that I think of it, the ending to this book is pretty open as a whole. Like, wide open. I'm not sure I like that yet.


Dr. Swenson is in the middle of the Amazonian nowhere because of a research for a possible vaccine for malaria, and also to study that in this tribe, the Lakashi, women can and do have children well into their seventies. Now I'm not interested in anything pharmaceutical or the fertility stats of foreign races, but the way it's set up and that it's the plot of the book, totally had me engrossed in both of the subjects.

The dynamic relationship between Dr. Marina Singh and Dr. Swenson is really well done. It's the kind of awkward relationship where the teacher made a huge impact on the student's life, and now years later the teacher doesn't even remember her at all. I could relate in some sense, and I liked that unusual connection between the main characters, and it made me really not like Dr. Swenson at all. Or maybe I didn't like her in the first place because she isn't the very friendly personality. Her life is devoted to her work, and she loves it and hates it at the same time.


The writing is as pretty as ever, and there are pages of descriptions that I just wanted to write down to remember. She managed to make me feel as if I were in the Amazon along with Marina and co. which in turn made me paranoid of invisible bug bites a lot of the time. It sure was an adventure, and I as much as I love to travel, the Amazon is way down on my list for that reason, the bugs. They invaded the paragraphs everywhere. Saying things like, 'he reached up to swat a sort of long legged cricket out of his hair while talking.' and 'she brushed the back of her neck, careful not to smash the hard shelled creature further into her skin.' *shivers* Small mosquitoes are enough to drive me inside, and those aren't even infected with malaria.

I would definitely recommend State of Wonder to most people I know more easily than I would Bel Canto because this is more of a relatable novel to the average person, and a little less complex and therefore easier to understand. Though, I still love Bel Canto the best.

-Jane

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

Hosted by I am A Reader, Not A Writer, and Buried in Books.
You can find the complete linky list HERE. :)

Welcome to stop #115 (as of now) of the Back to the Books giveaway hop! I'm guessing most people are going back to school now, or are about to. But there is still time to fit in some last minute FUN reading! (Or just weekend reading too.) So here is what you can enter-to-win here at my blog. :)

I have two ARCs to choose from. One winner will get to choose ONE of the following, and if the entries are piling in, (I especially like the follow-by-email option) then I might choose a second winner for the book left....or it will be the prize for the next hop I participate in.


ARC of The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
OR
ARC of Tempest by Julie Cross (weird cover art, eh?)

The first is unread, and the second has very slight wear, read once or twice. Just an fyi.

It's easy, just enter the Rafflecopter below, and have a fantastic day!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

ReAwakened Excerpt

Good morning! If you saw my post a few weeks back for the cover reveal for ReAwakened, then you're probably excited to see this excerpt. I haven't read the books yet, but according to Ada Adams herself, this scene is when we meet her favorite character, Razor.

Enjoy! :)

Coming Fall 2012



“Meeting Razor” - “ReAwakened
Ada Adams
 
My two-story fall was cushioned by the intruder’s body. He—a vampire, I realized—groaned as I landed on top of him, forcing his body into the muddy ground. I reached for my dagger, but he was quicker. Before I had a chance to pull it out, he slipped out from underneath me, flipping me over so that he was on top. His firm, muscular body pressed tightly against mine as his hands pinned my wrists to either side of my head. His face was covered by shadows, but I could make out a mischievous smirk dancing across perfectly-shaped full lips.
“You’re quite feisty, aren’t you?” he chuckled, bending forward to examine me. Deep, charcoal eyes overflowed with amusement.
He was actually enjoying this.
“I don’t wanna hurt you,” he whispered in a deep, throaty voice. “I’m gonna release you now. Don’t do anything stupid.”
He lifted his arm, removing his right hand from my left wrist. The moment I felt some freedom, I leaped forward, attempting a left hook at his jaw. He blocked my hand, once again pushing it toward the ground.
“I said I wasn’t going to hurt you!” he growled, pinning me even further into the soft, wet earth.
“Yes, but I never said I wouldn’t hurt you,” I snapped.
He brought his face toward mine. “I’d like to see you try,” he whispered.
Challenge accepted.
I raised my head—the only part of my body that wasn't restrained by the stranger’s body—inching my lips closer to his. He tensed for a moment, his eyes searching mine, as if surprised by my sudden change in behavior. Drops of rainwater slid down his chiseled jaw, pausing briefly on his lips before they plummeted onto mine. Then, a slow, smug smile spread across his face. I felt his body relax and he leaned even closer. His breath caressed my skin as his lips drew near.
It was exactly what I needed. Summoning all my strength, I twisted my hips to the side, shooting them up and out, then launching my legs from the ground. Thrown off-balance, my captor groaned and released one of my arms to brace for the fall, giving me the perfect opportunity to reach for my dagger. In one smooth move I darted behind him, placing him in a secure headlock—the blade of my weapon aimed directly at his heart.
“Who are you?” I demanded when I was certain he couldn’t escape my grip.
“I’m a twenty-four-year-old Taurus who enjoys long walks on the beach.” Even though I couldn’t see his face, I could feel his arrogant grin.
“You have ten seconds to explain yourself,” I ordered. “And then I’m really going to hurt you.”
“Oh, come on! Can’t we get back to kissing? You can’t tease a guy like that.”
“Ten, nine…” I pressed the dagger deeper into him, nicking the leather of his jacket.
“Hey! Watch it!”
“Eight…”
“Oh, alright. You’re no fun,” he sighed. “My name is Razor.”
“What kind of a name is that?”
“It’s a nickname.”
“What kind of a nickname is that?”
“Spike, Blade, Fang—all the good, pointy objects were already taken by fictional characters. It was the best I could do.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Timeless Cover Reveal!

Now this is one series I've been meaning to get to, but haven't quite yet. I've heard great things about Remembrance and of course been dazzled by all the pretty covers! Now here is the reveal of the last cover for the trilogy, Timeless:




Check out Michelle Madow's Website HERE.

and enter for a chance to win RemembranceVengeance and some spiffy swag HERE!

So what do you think of the cover? Are you a fan of this series?

-Jane

From the Review Pile 8-23-12



From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.


I got the book Outpost a couple weeks ago, the sequel to Enclave which I read last year, and now that she is coming to my bookstore (yay!!), and it's being released soon, I should probably read it.

Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.


But my copy looks like this >>

Which one is better? The above is the final cover I believe, and I am glad. They made it sort of creepier. Not as clean. And the knife was just silly looking...

Outpost is released September 4th! And my review will be up soon after. I left it at home, and I get back from my trip only a couple days before it's released, so I'll get to it as soon as possible.

I'm sort of anxious to read it, because I don't remember much of the first one, just an annoying character called Stalker. So I hope there is some recap.

Right now I am about to read Aguirre's short steampunk story in the Corsets & Clockwork anthology, and it looks good!

Find on Goodreads below! 

Enclave (paperback was released just last week or so!)
Outpost (September 4th)
Corsets & Clockwork (anthology from 13 different authors)


Happy reading!
-Jane

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 8-22-12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme/event/blog hop hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine, so be sure to check back there for more blogs participating each week. :) It allows us to spotlight, or drool over an up-coming release we really can't wait to get our hands on.

My pick this week is:

Release date: December 11th, 2012

I found this only the other day, and went WOW. It's been a while since I've found a good high fantasy read. I think the last one may have been Finnikin of the Rock? Anyway, it looks excellent, or at least promising! Doesn't it? And has a cover full of mystery, the beginning of a series, it looks like. Totally on my wishlist now. And here is the Goodreads summary: 

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


Anybody waiting for it like me? The author is a pen name for Michelle Rowen, who has written other books in another genre, so I think she is changing it for that reason. So, only a few months to wait!

-Jane

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lament: review and cover comparison

Title: Lament: The Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genres: faerie, magic, ya romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: library ebook
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

The first book I've finished on my new Kindle! :)

My review:
Is this her first series/book? Or did Shiver come first? I got the debut vibe going on. This is the last of her books I haven't read yet. I'm going backwards apparently.

I'm a big fan of faerie stories and Lament is a great one to add to my favorites. As far as the writing goes, its not Maggie's usual wowable material, but I can definitely tell it's hers, here and there, like her budding potential I'd just beginning to bloom into amazing writing.

There's a tiny bit of instalove, but it's subtle (no, really) and kind of sweet. I feet it's set to a slightly younger audience than myself, but nevertheless it's a quick good read. 

Music is the main theme, and I really love how music is described, and how intricately it's woven in the story and characters. Luke is especially the one tied into all the old lore...but I still don't know much about him, and I hope he comes back in Ballad.

I will read the rest of the trilogy, but probably not write full length reviews on them, I'll just add to the bottom of this one if there's anything I want to say in particular.

The Covers:
Quite a few of this one, I'll just post all of the covers I can find, and then see which one my favorite is.


The first three are various US editions, the first is neat, the second is my favorite, and the third is just...ugh. Maybe supposed to be artsy fartsy? But it just doesn't do it for me. Not my style.

Next is German it looks like, then Italian, and Spanish. My favorite is still the second US one, the red? But the Italian is pretty cool I guess.

Which one is your favorite?


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nevermore: review

Title: Nevermore (Maximum Ride #8)
Author: James Patterson
Rating: 5 stars!
Genres: apocalyptic, sci-fi, wicked-bird-kid-mutants
Source: borrowed
Summary: 
One last chance...
For Max, Fang, Angel, Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy.
Before it all ends.

Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.


(Wow, apparently it's one of those summaries. That reveals absolutely nothing of the book itself.)


(Just really quick, who is supposed to be on the cover? Max? What's with the white hair? Angel? No, she has blonde curls. Anyone?)

There are a couple minor spoilers for the rest of the Maximum Ride series in this review.

I really had no idea what to expect in the last Maximum Ride book. Now, after a quick stop into Barnes and Noble to read it this morning, I'm still not sure about the ending. (I'm going to say that a lot in here, you'll notice, so I am sorry in advance.)

The backflap summary pretty much says doomsday is here, and Max is going to die. There was a freaking R.I.P. sticker on my copy at the store. (Oh, here it is below) Great way to want to start reading it, right? Well, I read it in one sitting, because from start to finish, it's one horrible disaster after another. People die left and right...and come left and right back alive.


So if you're familiar with James Patterson's writing, you'll get what I mean by "it reads like a fanfic." Also the first four books seem to be a series of their own, with an actual "series arc" going on. Then come the straggling books Max, Fang, and Angel. Where Max and Fang are just horribly out of place and seem to wander randomly through some vague plot, Angel, makes something actually happen. The story progresses. Finally, even if it is tragic. And then we have this end book (which is actually as good as Angel was).

I have to say, JP, what were you thinking, bringing Dylan into the story FIVE BOOKS IN? And expecting us to just say, "Hi! Welcome to the flock! Fang can go away now." Um, I think not?! I still have serious issues with that dude. You cannot, cannot create a love triangle at the end of a series. That's gotta be in some handbook of writing somewhere. Because really, Max and Fang have to be together for all eternity. It's a rule of the universe. It's like gravity! Okay, maybe not. But still.
Fax forever.

Final character opinions:
Angel is still creepy. (Oops, that implies she is alive...) I wish The Gasman was in it more; I think he only had about five lines. I'm going to miss Nudge, the bird-girl forever wishing to be normal. I love Iggy. :D You already know my views on Dylan. Max I would want to be, if I were fictional. Fang. Ah, Fang. Dude, I'm so glad you came back.

And I almost forgot, we find out who the Voice is! Yes, some of you might have almost forgotten about that small annoyance, eh? Well it's back. Although it is said who the Voice is, by that complicated and rather (literally) explosive ending, maybe I didn't find out after all...a lot of things are left up in the air.

So what did I think of the ending? Well there were five times I thought it was going to end, but then another epilogue appeared. And then another. ....so when the end finally came, I was surprised at how okay I was with the world ending and everyone on the planet dying and all of those wonderful happenings. In the pages right before though, I was anxious, confused, freaked out, and a tear might have wanted to well up, though I caught that in time. No, I'm still confused what exactly happened at the very end. Maybe it's supposed to be that way? I honestly didn't see it coming.

Remember, from the beginning of the series, we were warned the world would end.

Now this rather confusing review might just make you go, huh?? But believe me, with the events that went on in Nevermore, that was my thought most of the time too. As a whole though, I am extremely satisfied with the book (and dare I say that happy ending?), and the only reason I didn't buy it right then and there after reading, was that I already have the rest of the series in paperback. ;)

Oh no! It just hit me! That was the LAST MAXIMUM RIDE BOOK! What shall I do now? Just go back and read all the parts with Fang in them.

-Jane

Comment below if you understood the ending, and I am just a complete feather-head today for not quite getting it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop!


I just love giveaways. This one is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer, and The Elliot Review.

To see all the other blogs participating in this hop, click HERE! :)

And just so you know, for most of the duration of this hop (16th-20th), I will be outta communication with the world. I'm going kayaking in the Adirondack wilderness for a week without any cell phone, internet, or  anything, really, besides camping stuff. And I only have room to pack one book! :O Anyhoo no worries, as soon as I get back, I will be able to check my email, respond to posts...etc. :)

It's easy, Rafflecopter below! (US only plz)

So you may have read my review of Beta, and just because I didn't find it absolutely amazing, that doesn't mean that someone else won't! I decided to give away my ARC to someone who may enjoy it more than I did.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jane

Wishlist Wednesday 8-15-12


Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Dani, at Pen to Paper, and it's a meme in which you can post a book that you've had on your wish list for a while, but haven't found the time to actually read yet.

Goodreads Summary: I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more. 

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

(Whoa, are her hands bloody???)


All the good books are Aussie. And then they're not released to the US for about 20 years! Kidding. More like 1-2 years. Still. When I hear about an amazing-sounding book...I don't want to wait. :) The only place I can find to buy it is Fishpond, but still it's almost $20. My wallet says ouch! I can't even find it anywhere used. So I decided unless I miraculously get it as a birthday gift this month, I will have to wait until I go to Australia next March, and buy it there. (For while I'm there, I'm making a list so I can stock up on all the Aussie fiction on my to-read list. I've started saving my money already.)

I know I'll like Blood Song, because fantasy is my favorite genre. I've seen this compared to Kristin Cashore, Tamora Pierce, and Melina Marchetta's work. Can anybody personally back this up? Is it as good as it looks? I know I have at least a few Aussie followers... ;)

Jane

Monday, August 13, 2012

Team Human: review

Title: Team Human
Authors: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Genres: parody, vampires, laugh out loud
Rating: 4 stars
Source: library
Summary: Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

First, I've seen a lot of people complaining about what this book is about, and how cliche i is. People, it's a parody. So of course it's funny. And sometimes stupid. So there, understand that. I laughed out loud a couple times and smiled a lot while reading. (The vampire) Francis's old fashioned speaking is so over the top, it's ridiculous. (btw I'm watching The Vampire Diaries right now, happenstance, and Stefan totally sounds like that sometimes...just an observation.) Team Human was great overall, seeing every single aspect of a vampire get taken apart, and assembled in a completely different point of view. And yes, it's a tad too much, as parodies are. That's why you can appreciate its funniness. It's not meant to be taken seriously.

There is no way a vampire in a hazmat suit out on a sunny day can be taken seriously.

I didn't really like Mel, the main character. She was biased, prejudiced, and a little off-putting. I am getting the feeling she is supposed to be like that, for the story to work. But Mel has such a strong personality, and I guess it's just overwhelming to read, coming from someone totally not like that. And I didn't agree on her views about Cathy (read: Bella.)

Otherwise, I thought Kit (Mel's love interest raised by vamps) was nice and fun, totally someone I could hang with. And it's so funny how he is naive to human things, traditions, social behavior...Definite laugh factor.

I found myself leaning to Team Vampire, not Human, because I totally related to Cathy. And I am so sorry, I can't believe I'm admitting that, but I would love to study and learn for centuries on end like Cathy wants to. Maybe it's a nerd thing.

The ONLY part of the vampire mythology I did not like, was that vampires can't laugh. Physically CAN'T. How incredibly sad is that? So, for that only reason, would I not become one in here. Not because of the possibility of death or zombification. I need to laugh. I love laughing.

I liked the mystery/sleuth aspect of Team Human, where we figure out what's up with Anna's dad. I did not expect it, and from the back summary, you get a little hint, but I guess it's the subplot. Or equally important second plot. Anyway, it was light, mysterious and enjoyable.

And...I hear there is a possible sequel...I'm a little surprised because it ended pretty well, but I can definitely see how another one could be okay. We shall see, I suppose.

-Jane

Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the Review Pile (8-9-12)


 
From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.


This is my first time participating in this meme. :) I choose to dust off Unraveling from my shelf:


Goodreads summary: Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, Janelle knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her reincarnation, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI-agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.


I got this ARC from a friend of mine about a month or so ago...yep still haven't gotten around to it for some reason. It looks and sounds good, and it's the start of a new series, but I kind of forgot about it! Also, I have a thing for blue covers; I just seriously love them. It might have something to do with my favorite color being blue...so any thoughts? Should I move this up on the to-read list? I don't know anyone personally who has read it, but I've read a few promising reviews.

-Jane

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (8-8-12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking The Spine where we choose a book we are eagerly awaiting to be released and get out hands on. :)

Goodreads summary: Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. 

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. 

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. 

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Release Date: January 22nd, 2013

Why I am waiting for it? 

ISN'T THAT THE COOLEST COVER IN THE WORLD? That's it.

Nah, the summary makes it sound extremely awesome as well, and I have been meaning to read Victoria Schwab's debut, The Near Witch, but this looks cooler, honestly. (and has a cooler cover, did I say that?)
Depending on the reviews closer to release date, I might just have to buy it...

Actually, I think I originally saw a different cover for this book, which made me add it. It was like a curtain with a bunch of keys hanging from the top...but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Maybe it's a different book I'm thinking about?

Happy reading!
Jane

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 8-7-12


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




I am greatly enjoying this book! It came out a few weeks ago now, but I just got it from my library the other day. Finally! It's fun and silly so far; here are a couple teasers:


    Also, vampires don't eat food. You never get to eat chocolate again. Ever.
    I'd rather die.
   All the vampire wannabes and vamposeurs mystify me. Who would choose the possibility of immortality over chocolate? -page 33


   Actually, it was kind of interesting. And good old Frankie was able to chime in to talk about the horse-drawn wagons that used to collect the waste and how much worse the city smelled back then. I also learned that the Romans had a goddess of sewers: Cloacina. Which had me wondering if there was a goddess of farts, or of splinters, or of witty retorts. 
   Why yes, inventing goddesses did keep me occupied for the rest of the class. -page (oops lost it. around 60)





Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Iron King: review

Title: The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Rating: 4 stars!
Source: bought
Genres: faerie, romance, technology taking over the world...
Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Your first thought: "She hasn't read this series yet??" Because apparently I'm one of the last to do so. Kind of as if I said I hadn't gotten around to The Mortal Instruments series yet. Which, thank the gods, I have. That comparison is to show that it's That kind of popular series.

I have heard a LOT about The Iron Fey books. But I hadn't gotten around to reading The Iron King until I found a used copy at my bookstore. Looking at the cover, I vaguely realized that I had tried to read it a few years ago from the library, but put it down right away in disinterest. (Shame on me, giving it 15 pages...) The reason I picked it up again is because of all the hype concerning Kagawa's latest book, The Immortal Rules. People kept saying she reformed the vampire genre just like her faerie series to the fey genre, so I thought, I'd better give The Iron Fey series a try because The Immortal Rules was mindblowingly-crazy-cool.

This was not love at first sight. I dragged halfheartedly through the entire first half of the story. I have read a lot of faerie fiction before, and it's one of my favorite genres out there, and this just seemed ordinary in the "okay, another faerie book, this is pretty good" kind of way. The beginning has lots of world building, and although it is well written and exciting, I felt overwhelmed alonside Meghan, like Alice falling into the rabbit hole, complete with the Cheshire Cat (Grim, the Cait Sith,) an plenty of other creepy otherworldly creatures. (Freaky computer-part bug-like gremlin thingys.)

But my feelings took a reciprocal turn for the best when the actual Iron King, Machina, came into the story. As soon as Meghan, Puck, Ash and Grim start off on their adventure away from the Seelie Court, things get really interesting, and the whole concept of the Iron Court is utterly fascinating and really well thought up! It is definitely a new turn on the genre, and I now agree with those comments I read before.

My opinion on Meghan herself is still wavering, but I don't really connect with her on anything. She is sort of wimpy and falls into Ash's arms at every moment, and acts like she hasn't ever read a fairytale before. Maybe it's her naivety to the world, as she is poor and sheltered, unpopular at school, and has Puck for a best and only friend. But she grew on me a little. Just a little. I hope to like her more in the second one.

Okay, and I know I have to join the debate here. Team Puck, or Ash? For the first book, I think I'm supposed to be Team Ash, because Puck keeps getting knocked out and disappearing, and Ash is, well pretty swoon worthy. So I'm sticking with him for now. This attachment may or may not be motivated by my obsession with the ice boy from X-Men...

For a while, I wasn't sure I would continue the series, but by the end, I became totally hooked and will definitely keep reading them. The Iron Daughter is next I believe. Maybe it's good I waited so long. All four books are already out! No waiting!

(And I still love The Immortal Rules better. :) Click << to see my review!) 

Happy reading!

Jane

PS. If you like faerie books, here are links to a couple of my favorite series:

Wings (More middle-grade, but Tamani is so wonderful.)
Wondrous Strange (Takes the 'based on Shakespeare' concept to the next level.)
Eyes Like Stars (Almost magical realism, in a strange otherworldly way.)
Artemis Fowl (Um. Yeah, not really the same, but faeries are a plenty!)

I'm going to start Maggie Stiefvater's faerie trilogy soon, so I hope to add that to the list when I'm done!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Raven Boys: review

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genres: magic, quests
Rating: 5 shining stars that are like exploding into supernovae.
Summary: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


This is going to be a hard book to review. I have to be able to convey how much I loved this book, and not sound silly or ramble on for five pages about it. I will try to keep my thoughts organized...

(and excuse the minor formatting issues at the moment.)

First:
Right now, I wish I could go back to all the great books I've read this year, and rate them down to four stars, so I can express how much this book deserves all five stars I am giving it. It's her best book yet.

In the beginning I got the feeling there's something bigger going on in the town of Henrietta, Virgina. Random people are introduced who seem to know something or other about normalness of supernatural events, and the dates of forgotten dead-people holidays...it's part paranormal, but more magical. The witchcraft without the corniness; the out-of-ordinary making complete sense. That is my first impression.

The POV:
It's third person omniscient. I can tell you now that I absolutely despise that kind of pov the most, when I am reading books. Those I end up dropping. But in here, it was freaking fantastically done. I am SO glad it's written the style it is. I got to see into everybody's head, including the, er, "villain"'s as well. I really loved it.

The Romance:
Maggie Stiefvater really hits the romance spot on in The Raven Boys.

When Gansey is introduced, I got completely excited that he was Blue's love interest. I like him better than Sam from Shiver, or even Sean from The Scorpio Races. Then partway through the book (they don't meet for a while) I thought maybe he isn't, and then I got a bad feeling on how this might all end...well my mind was all over the place.

See, Maggie plays it like, (1) you are confused where the romance is going to go, (1) you kind of enjoy not knowing for once, and (3) you know exactly how it's going to end up. At least, thats my understanding while reading, and all at once. By the end I think I finally figured it out.

At first it may seem like there is a triangle forming, but if you've read her other books, then (well I haven't read her Faerie series yet.) you find the pattern of no love triangles. This gives me hope for the series. Because you know what the romance is in here? Real life. There isn't a 'love triangle'. Goodness that's such a fictional thing to say. Really, in real life, relationships are complicated, ever-changing, and unclear. Not Team This or That.

It's too early, and not quite safe to say there is not going to be a love triangle type of thing going on for the other three eventual books, but whatever it turns out to be, I know it will be good, and special.

The Main Characters:
These include Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. All of which are unique, rememberable, and completely fleshed out. There isn't just one main character. The five of them are equally important and I can't imagine any of them going away.
Blue reminded me of me. Really! She makes a lot of her own clothes, is splendidly odd, has a cool ability (well I just haven't grown into mine yet...) and really strives to be eccentric. Blue doesn't want to fit in, and likes to be a part of something different. That is why I like her.

The raven boys aren't likable in the usual fashion, but they have wonderful quirks and strange habits. I mean Noah introduces himself by saying, "I've been dead for seven years." How is that not a perfect way to become attached to someone? And Ronan is some creep you wouldn't want to meet on the street at first glance, but he has a baby raven pet dubbed Chainsaw. Endearing, right? Totally. Adam is the most real character, regarding to dealing with every-day problems, but he still manages to fit in with this bunch of people.

Gansey...(gets his own bold point):
Gansey is unconsciously condescending, but aware that he is privileged. Ever striving to be a better person, but ultimately falling short of understanding that gap between the him and the normal population. And I totally fell for him. Gansey's enthusiasm for his quest to find Glendower is energetic and powerful. The excitement is contagious; I could just picture the light in his eyes every time he talked about the legend.

The Supporting Characters:

Blue's family is hilarious. She lives with her mom, Maura, and a bunch of "half aunts"

Calla, Neeve, Persephone, and Orla. This is one household in which I would love to live. I immediately liked Persephone the best, because of how she is introduced and described, and I didn't like Neeve in the way you're not really supposed to like her.



The Plot...

...is richly complicated. And substantial. The story moves well and there isn't a single lagging moment. There are subplots that tie in nicely, and not just as filler. Many questions are answered, but plenty more are brought up. It's kind of hard to say more than that.

The Writing:
Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors of all time. It's not just because her stories are so creative and fun, but because her writing is so beautiful to read. She really has a knack to getting inside my head and saying things exactly as they make sense to me. And saying that, or typing that, (out loud) makes my statement sound superficial and weird, but I just read it and see she manages to understand what the reader wants to read.



The Ending:
I had to keep reminding myself (as certain events happened) that this is the first in a four book series. So that reminder was a nice delight every time I thought, "Oh no, I'm getting closer to the end of the book!! How do I back up!!?" The ending is surprising and unexpectedly satisfying, although, I now await the next Raven Boys book equally as much as the last Divergent book...maybe even a little more.

I am so tempted to do a giveaway of a pre-ordered copy because you ALL need to read this the day it hits the shelves. Thoughts?

Excelsior!
-Jane

(Oh hey, this is the first post of my birthday month! What a great way to start the countdown till my 18th birthday...perhaps that will be why I do the giveaway...yes, I will get on that now.)