Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Intertwined by Gena Showalter (Hardcover first edition/release)

Alright, so I counted recently when I organized my bookshelves and I own something like 14* Gena Showalter books (I still have to read a few of them and that's not counting the one I have to give to someone)....It's really no surprise that I want this one, is it?

Released September 1, Intertwined is her first hardcover book (so far as I know) and it's young adult and it's 448 pages. It's also the start of a series!

Book description from author's site:

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.

With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now, they’re causing him all kinds of trouble.

Like, he’ll blink and suddenly he’s a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he’ll change the future. Or, he’ll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she’s going to die.

He’s so over it. All he wants is peace.

And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, for as long as he’s with her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He’s a loner; she has friends. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it’s too late. . .

Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own and a vampire princess Aden can’t resist. Two romances, both forbidden. . . doomed. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger. . . but not everyone will come out alive. . .
You can't even imagine how much I want this book...How ever am I going to wait until September?!

And the Amazon page says she's published thirteen books so I'm not sure where they get their count because I don't have the fourth Underworld book, past the second Atlantis book or any books after I'm writing this (mid June)

Amazon link for pre-order

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Love is Hell ~ Scott Westerfeld, Melissa Marr, etc review

Love is Hell
Harper Teen
November 25, 2008
272 Pages
Paperback
Amazon

I'm going to try to break this up by each of the five stories in the anthology, but I'm not going to provide much of a summary of each because with 20 page stories there's not much you can say and not say it all.


Laurie Faria Stolarz: "Sleeping with the Spirit"

After moving to a new house, in a new town and starting a new high school, Brenda begins waking up in the morning with unexplained bruises on her arms. Her family attributes her stress to the usual feelings of being the 'new girl' but her friends Raina and Craig have another theory. One that involves the supernatural.

As with Deadly Little Secret, I really enjoyed Laurie Faria Stolarz's writing in this story but there wasn't anything amazing about this story. It was still written, had a definite beginning, middle, and end/resolution but it just sort of...was. It was good and I liked it (and remember it) but if I had to recommend short stories, it wouldn't be on the list.

1.5/2


Scott Westerfeld: "Stupid Perfect World"

Scott Westerfeld sticks with the Uglies type future/alternate universe where everything has been perfected and/or run by machines (It's not the Uglies universe, just similar in that regard). In this world there is Scarcity class where students learn about all the horrible, dreadful things we experienced in the past (hint: not all of them were so dreadful, some were just annoying) and for a project they have to pick one and live with it for two weeks...even if it interferes with their teleporting to Antarctica for class.

This was written really well and ready quickly and easily and I would gladly read more about the characters or the 'world' and Scarcity class as it was a really intriguing concept. This might have been my favorite story in the book (it's a close call with one other).

2/2


Justine Larbalestier: "Thinner Than Water"

"Thinner Than Water" is the tale of Jean and her villages practice of handfasting. A sort of 'practice' marriage, it is a girl's only real chance to get away from their parents and the life they've lived their whole lives up until that point.

Set in what I felt was sort of an indiscriminate time period, it seems to want to focus on Jean's need for independence but the writing didn't really jive for me. Or something. This story was enjoyable but I just didn't love it-and I'm not sure if that's because of the weird time setting (an Amazon review calls the time 'primitive' but there were cars...) or what but it was just that little bit off....

1.5/2


Gabrielle Zevin's "Fan Fictions"

Takes the nobody-can-see-me girl who hides out in the library and has her read The Immortals, a book given to her by the sexy, young librarian. It's a story that pokes fun at all the cliches of both YA fantasies & romances and fan fiction as well. The book brings Paige a hot guy all too ready to talk to her about it, Aaron, but is he all he appears to be?

This story was alright, nothing particularly amazing and honestly, it's the one I have the hardest time remembering-but I think that's because I wasn't terribly satisfied with the ending. It was slightly predictable but I still really liked it as an idea for a story and the characters and I liked it enough to wish it was done better, that says something. I will say that it was the other story that really stuck with the 'Love is Hell' theme most, though.

1/2

Melissa Marr: "Love Struck"

Melissa Marr's tale is one featuring selkies which should almost earn it some points right there...only it doesn't need to because it's really, really enjoyable so it doesn't need extra points. Alaina is at a beach bonfire when a mysterious male with kelp colored hair offers her his jacket. She refuses and feels unsettled enough to leave the gathering, but it's during her walk along the beach when things really get started.

After reading this story people should really have no doubt over Melissa Marr's great writing and storytelling and know it's not just limited to the Wicked Lovely series. This was the one that Perfect World was tied with for my favorite.

2/2



I believe that all adds up to 8/10 and that's a fair rating for the book, so for the collection as a whole:
8/10

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday...er, Saturday

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Info from authors' site:

One night, across four cities, five children disappear. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers appear at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust children to the elite Marlowe School, where their presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using a series of “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, the children are able to soar to suspicious heights at Marlowe. The gifts seem child-like in their simplicity. The governess teaches them to cheat, steal, hide, and lie; ‘harmless’ she calls them, though they are much more. For the vicious over-achiever, reading an unsuspecting mind is simply to cheat. For the reclusive pariah, the gift of stopping time is just another way to hide. And who but an aspiring writer can weave a convincing lie?

Soon, Madame Vileroy’s gifts become darker and more complex. Living in a gray home designed to cultivate and corrupt them, they are enveloped in the side effects of their own addictions. They live cursed lives, making deals with the devil as they claw their way toward their goals….that is until two of them begin to uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. A modern retelling of an ancient dilemma, Another Faust recreates the story of the Faustian bargain. Set in present-day New York, but spanning the centuries, it is a chilling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

I love not only the sound of this novel (does it not sound like it could be a great, complex and even deep--or maybe even just delectable book?), but the cover as well. It's very...Gothic and dark and intriguing looking. Besides all that, I love that it's a brother and sister that wrote the book! I just might have to find a way to pre-order it for the pre-order contest on their blog, too.

Arriving August 25.



edit: uhm, apparently when you're sick and schedule posts...you (meaning me) schedule one for Wed, one for SATURDAY!, and another for Wed...so you get two this week...oops. I don't know?!?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Video Veneris

Can't forget my video post for Friday...

and how awesome is a campaign to get yourself (and book) on The Colbert Report?


(The post)
(Sorry comment replying has been slow-I'm still sick ): )

Before the Storm ~ Diane Chamberlain review

Before the Storm
Mira
June 1, 2008
480 Pages
Paperback
Amazon

Laurel Lockwood is protective of her son, Andy; overprotective, even, it could be argued. Many would find that understandable given that fifteen-year-old Andy is 'special' (I'm quoting the back of the book here) and has already been taken from Laurel once for neglect.

It's her protectiveness that makes her wary when her daughter Maggie, a senior in high school, works to convince her to let Andy attend a church lock-in. Still unsure, Laurell finally gives her consent.

Only to regret it when she receives a call later that night that the lock-in has been moved from the youth center to the church and that the church is now on fire.

Before the Storm tells of the fire inside the church from Andy's point-of-view, the rescue, the later acknowledgement of Andy's heroism, and finally the arson investigation, all while telling the tale of Laurell and her late husband's meeting and relationship and how the family came to be how it is.

As was done in The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes*, each chapter in Before the Storm switches between first person narration of different characters and sometimes different years. Even alternatiing between four or so points of view and different time periods, the story was not hard to follow and I think that it actually made the story much better than if it had all been told by one character in one time.

You learn a lot about all of the characters through the 'solving' of this story and I love that the story was told in this way and wasn't just about the fire and the investigation but was more about the characters (but still not forgetting the events).

I think one of the biggest downsides to reading this was that the summary on the back of the book (and everywhere else, too) tells of events/developments that don't happen until well into the book and the story. I understand that it's a point in the plot and stops the summary from being as vague, maybe, as mine is, but it also makes you read more than 100 pages knowing something that's going to happen but hasn't yet-and I hate that.

So, if you avoid reading summaries anywhere (including that of Secrets She Left Behind the sequel to this), I think you're better off :)

It did cover a lot, though, including some more serious subjects without being preachy or school-y and I appreciated that. While it did all fit, sometimes it felt like there was a bit more than needed to be smushed in and it was getting soap opera-like and almost hurting the characters in a way--I know all people (and thus, characters) have flaws but sometimes it felt like they didn't need to be quite as flawed--or not all of them did. (Maybe it was because the book covered so much time, but it still felt that way to me.)

I liked CeeCee Wilkes better mostly because I loved the characters (CeeCee and Jack) but I'm really glad I decided because of it to read this one and have bought Secrets, the sequel already.



8/10

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

Fans of urban fantasy should prepare for a new kind of vampire–one that feeds off of tears instead of blood. Descended from an ancient line of creatures that gain their energy from human tears, Cassandra Gray depends on human sorrow to live. Only Cass has grown tired of living this life and wants to live like a human, especially now that she's met someone worth fighting for.

Why I want this book: After reading vampire books for possibly a decade (or more actually--I seem to remember some elementary school books that were 'horror' books or as close to them as those kid books got), I read both YA and adult vampire books of all gneres. Having said that, it's always amazing to find a book that takes a new approach to the 'vampire book' genre whether through the vampire mythology (like Night Road or Peeps for instance) or the characters. This book definitely sounds like it could start something new with vampires--heck, it takes away the whole blood craving/drive that have driven vampires since Dracula and Carmilla, how can that not be different?

I definitely, definitely hope I get a chance to read this one soon!!


Out September 1, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

In My Mailbox Monday

I keep meaning to do these but then I screw up Sunday & Monday's...now I'm managing it while I'm sick (how unfair is that in the summer?) so go figure...
Having said that, this covers a few weeks actually:

Waiting for You by Susane Colsanti & Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald








from Elizabeth Scott for buying Something Maybe and Love You, Hate Your, Miss You (I think Elizabeth Scotte hereby officially rules at contests & prizes!)













Don't You Forget About Me (Gossip Girl), Just Listen, & Envy (The Luxe) from Jennifer Banash along with Simply Irresistable from the publisher as part of a contest I won at In Bed with Books (if I read it all right, I'm getting the first two in the Elite series, too, so I can read that series, soon!)


How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson
which I won from Mrs Magoo Reads














from the library:
Red by Jordan Summers
Jennifer's Body by Audrey Nixon
Body Movers by Stephanie Bond
California Holiday by Kate Cann
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

In My Mailbox is hosted by Story Siren & Mailbox Monday is at Printed Page
(The layout/formatting of this is being ev0l so I hope it doesn't look too odd)

Ballads of Suburbia ~ Stephanie Kuehnert review

Ballads of Suburbia
MTV Books
July 21, 2009
368 pages
Paperback

After four years, Kara has come back to Oak Park.

It's only a visit with her childhood best friend Stacey and meeting Stacey's young daughter that have finally brought college age Kara back home. Home where her whole life changed during high school.

Kara's an entirely different person now but for three years everything she knew fell apart around her and reformed into something else.

Like I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, Stephanie Kuehnert's second book is far from a happy, fluffy little light read but really, that's what makes it amazing--there might be music all over this book but there's certainly no 'sophomore slump' at play.

Razor blades, Ecstasy, heroin, and whiskey bottles all abound in Ballads for sure but so do pain and truth and friendship and love and reality....and being a teenager. It might be what everyone's reading to say after reading a Sarah Dessen book but then afraid to after reading this or IWBYJR, but for some teens, they're more likely to see themselves in this book. Maybe not exactly, but if you read some lighter contemporary YA book, chances are you don't have that many guys chasing you or as many mishaps. So, maybe you can relate to Kuehnert's characters but with certain events downplayed.

I know while half of my friends would be more at home in a Sarah Dessen or Meg Cabot type world, some I know would identify much better with different characters in Ballads.

Why I'm saying this at all (and I hope I'm making some sense!) is not only because a) some bookstores (and my library) have Joey Ramone and presumably ballads as adult fiction and a few have it as YA and I hope teens will read it but also b) there really are not a lot of YA or YA-ish books that are, grittier ? That's not necessarily the right word but I don't know what is.


Even if you think I made no sense with my 'relating to this type of character here and that one there' talk, know that you really should read Ballads of Suburbia. It's one of those rare first person books that doesn't feel like it's a book written in first person. What I mean is, it feels like you're reading Kara telling her story, not Stephanie Kuehnert telling you Kara telling her story. The story manages to read with the ease of a well written novel, but with the truth (the 'yeah, this stuff really did happen, didn't it?) of a memoir. You can believe that Kara and Stacey and Maya and everyone else are real people.

Partially, I think, that's because it sticks with Kara's POV, it doesn't switch off to someone else to aid in the storytelling even if just for a minute-you know what she knows. There are 'Ballads' interspersed with the chapters that are written by other characters to fill some things in but the main story is all told by Kara. I think the other part is that there's never anything that's too outrageous, nothing's unbelieveable. There wasn't one event that you had to chalk up to it being fiction.

Most definitely go out and buy this tomorrow-or possibly now! (ooh, I'm still grumpy about my ALA thing not working so I didn't get one there...I miss my Chicago!!)

Thank you to Stephanie Kuehnert for having the contest so I could win the ARC :D
And Amazon's little bio thing says it's her first novel...they were off on Gena Showalter's novel count, too...shame Amazon, shame!


10/10


PhotobucketFamily Portrait-Pink
Iris-Goo Goo Dolls
Polly-Nirvana

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video Veneris

Here's this Friday's Video



My review is coming up Monday and the book's release follows on Tuesday!


(Veneris=Friday)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unwind ~ Neal Shusterman review

Unwind
Simon & Schuster
June 2, 2009
Paperback
352 Pages
Amazon



Imagine retroactive abortions. That's what an unwinding is. Teens unwanted for any reason-wards of the state who don't survive budget cuts or who don't have a special enough skill, juvenile delinquents who've pushed their families too far, kids who's families just don't want them any more, etc-are harvested for their body parts.

All of them.

From eyeballs to entrails, literally.

Of course, just because this is the future and we've perfected medical transplants and 'unwinding' doesn't mean we've perfected making teens go willingly. Quite the contrary.

Unwind follows three runaway Unwinds-Risa, Connor, and Lev-as they struggle to survive in a world out to find them. (If they can make it until they're 18, then they're home free.)

While Unwind can be looked at as being about abortion (stick with me here), I didn't see it very much as a book about yay or nay abortion at all (not that anything's really 'yay' on abortion, mind you.). Unwind, was more about what it means to be alive and to have the fear of having that taken away from you simply because you don't have parents or you don't want an occupation that someone else deems valuable enough...or because you got in a schoolyard fight or five.

(I, actually, saw it as being more of a look at the death penalty if you want to know the truth.)

It's definitely a book that gives you a lot to think about the whole way though but not one that has a definitive point of view and you have to think exactly that to enjoy it.

I really enjoyed the language used in the book, too. Example: "...She sits at the piano; it's a concert Steinway as ebony as the night, and just as long." (pg. 20, hardcover)

There's a whole lot more that happens while they're 'on the run' but I don't want to include too much of that because I think it's much more fun to read the book and discover it as you read than to read it here in a few sentences just so I can tell you how much I liked it. ;-)

I do definitely think you should read Unwind, though-I'm adding it to the list of books I'm going to try to get my brother to read (he doesn't exactly read much :[ )

10/10

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You Are So Undead to Me ~ Stacey Jay review

You Are So Undead to Me
Razorbill*
January 22, 2009
272 Pages
Paperback
Amazon



Megan Berry is a zombie settler, a 'job' passed down to her from her mother. It's her 'job,' when a zombie shows up on her doorstep, to find out what they left unsettled when they died and send them back to their grave to....rest in peace.

Except all Megan wants to do is go to the Homecoming dance which is almost impossible when dirty, rotting zombies randomly show up in front of you--and you're not supposed to let anyone in on your little secret! Could things get any worse?

Well, of course they could. Now someone's started using black magic to raise reanimated corpses that are out for blood and if Megan wants to have any hope of attending Homecoming, she's going to have to solve the mystery.

Because my library's crazy and won't get Zombie Queen of Newberry High this might be the first zombie book I've read (I have others on my TBR list, be assured) and it was a lot of fun. The zombies weren't crazy scary or gross (think more that movie with the dad from Medium in the mall vs 28 Days Later) but they weren't fluffy bunnies either.

The plot of the Homecoming dance being what was at stake (which at first made me agree with some of the other characters in thinking it was insane) fit perfectly with the darkness of the rotting corpses coming after the main character. Fluff meets gore or what have you.

And speaking of the fluffy (which wasn't really) and the plot, things were developed nicely. As Megan tried to figure things out, so did the reader. I enjoyed that the book didn't switch between a lot of perspectives as some do so you didn't have tons of information Megan didn't-that really made reading along more enjoyable.

I did read something that said this was like Joss Whedon or Buffy meets something and I didn't quite see that in the actual writing or humor (though there was some and I appreciated that). I could however see it with some of the characters and the storyline: Monica, Megan and Jess were like Cordelia, Buffy & Willow at times-though sometimes they switched around-and the whole idea of a character saving everyone from some supernatural creature but keeping it secret was similar.

Ethan-and maybe the teen male characters together-were probably the letdown of the book for me. They weren't annoying or stupid but they weren't exactly anything else special either. They were okay characters but they weren't fabulous. I liked the female characters a good bit more. Hopefully in the next book in this series I will like all of the characters equally (and a lot).

8/10


*this is the second Razorbill book I've seen where the pages are the slightest bit wider than the cover...What's up with that?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Girl She Used to Be ~ David Cristofano review

The Girl She Used to Be
Grand Central Publishing
March 19, 2009
256 Pages
Hardcover
Amazon



After twenty years in the Witness Protection program--first it was she and her parents when she was six but they've since been murdered-Melody Grace McCartney barely knows herself. It's to the point where she gets new identities almost just because she's bored and feels like it. Of course the marshalls don't know that, though, they believe her when she calls and says she's been threatened.

It's because of such a call that they're relocating her again. Covert SUVs, remote hotel rooms, it's all a part of the gig.

The kidnapping isn't.

Jonathon, the son of the man she's been running from her whole life has tracked her down. Only it might not be what she thinks. Instead of her worst nightmare, it might just be the answer to all her prayers.

I'm posting both covers of this novel (I don't actually know what the first one's for-if it's for an international version or arc or what) because the top cover is the one I saw several months before the book came out when I only had the vagues idea what the book was about. As it's so different from the second cover, that was on the book I read, I'm including it because it might have been a fair part of why I feel how I do about the book.

I didn't read much (at all) of the summary of this book when I actually got it so I knew the gist of the woman who'd been in Witness Protection her whole life and got kidnapped but I think that might have been it. In some ways I'm glad because I think my abbreviated summary reading was more interesting than the actual summary. This book is presented as general fiction/lit....or maybe even a mystery sometimes but....well it was almost fluffy at times.

I'm sure you think I'm crazy because of the WITSEC stuff and the mob and everything, but it was. I don't know if it's because it's written by a man-I'm serious-but I'm kind of curious about whether or not this would almost have been marketed as a slight romance if it had been written by a woman. Not a romance section romance but one of the general fiction section of the bookstore books that features a good bit of romance.

There's not sex or anything explicit-that I remember-but this book really reminds me of a mix of a little bit of the Sopranos or something Mob-y and Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter (the whole premise of two characters on the run, one a sort of agent and one the normal girl).

I guess this is back again to why I'm posting the two covers, The Girl She Used to Be was quite a bit lighter than I expected it to be, possibly given the subject matter but definitely given the cover I'd had in my mind for so long so I really don't know if someone going in expecting it ot be a bit of a lighter read would enjoy it more than I did? (I'm still not sure the cover that it has fits....it looks more like Melody's on some sort of quest for personal discovery with the long, open road in front of her and that's not what I got from this book--maybe that she was looking for it in general but not that this book was about her really finding it).

I'd still recommend the book, I just wouldn't put it at the tippy top of your to read list...but it would be fun for summer and if the author writes more, I'll check it out.

7/10

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Beautiful by Amy Lynn Reed

When thirteen-year-old Cassie moves to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. She chooses some dangerous new friends and is quickly caught up in their fast-paced world of drugs, sex, secrets, and cruelty. Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. She embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, starts sleeping with an older boy, and gets pulled into a twisted friendship triangle that is tinged with violence and abuse. Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral, and there's no turning back.

I know a few other people have posted this for the WoW's but I really want to read it, too. I moved a lot-and to quite a few different schools and I'm really interested in reading a book about a girl who moves to a new school and decides to re-invent herself. I'd love to see how the author approaches the subject and whether it's realistic based on my experiences...or not. (Not that I don't think it could be enjoyable either way, though-but I would be interested to find out.)

And I'd probably have a different point of view with some parts of this book than most others (who haven't had the opportunity to start out at new schools/thought about trying to be someone new/different after moving somewhere new/different) so I'd love to review it!!


Released: October 06, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Winner, Winner!

I blame the movie 21 and the Lady Gaga song (whichever one it is) for sticking the phrase 'chicken dinner' in my head whenever 'winner, winner' is written or spooken!

Strange phrase association aside, it pleases me to announce the winner of my first contest...

The winner of Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling after a trip to random.org is:


Paradox!!

Congratulations! I'm sending you an email :)



There will, hopefully be another contest coming soonish....and remember authors and publishers can also use my blog for hosting contests so I don't have to buyall the books ;-)

Eyes Like Stars ~ Lisa Mantchev review

Eyes Like Stars
Feiwel & Friends
368 pages
July 7, 2009
Hardcover
Amazon

A truly great fantasy book not only transports you to some other world, it leaves you wondering how a person (the author) could possibly come up with all of that--and execute it so well. Eyes Like Stars was an example of this, possibly the best example of a book where I actually stopped and thought about how unique it was and how amazed I was with Lisa Mantchev since, probably, Harry Potter. I know a part of it was that it wasn't the vampire, faery, or witch fantasy book that can be unique but still has the characters we've seen.

Eyes Like Stars does have a few faeries, but they're characters from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' The rest of the characters are (save I think five) are all also characters from famous plays from Ophelia to Nate, the pirate from the 'Little Mermaid.'

While the saying might be that all the world's a stage, in Eyes, the stage is all of the world for the characters of the Théâtre Illuminata-they come when their call notices are posted on the board, they perform their scenes without need of rehearsal or script. They are the characters.

The only one not playing a role (or in charge of scenery, costumes or props) is Bertie: Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, the parentless girl left to grow up at the Theatre. The theatre and the characters are all she knows, but she's not an actress. She has no role.

Is she about to lose it all?

While I did love, love this book and love Lisa Mantchev for the contest that allowed me to win an ARC...there was a itty bitty something that kept it from being a 10/10, perfect book. I still am not sure I've exactly put my finger on it, but in her review Lenore mentioned a lack of emotional anchor because of the large amount of characters. I really, really am not sure if that was it (I half think it is because I can't come up with a single other thing and in the beginning it would make sense) but I half don't think it is because of some events at the end.

I do realise that I'm not giving the best review here by saying that 'something' is missing from the book, but I don't want to just say how amazing and stupendoous it is and then say 9/10 with no explanation :)

I loved the writing of this book and the characters that were chosen to be in it. I probably should mention that while not knowing Shakespeare and plays (Midsummer, Ophelia, Macbeth, Hamlet, Little Mermaid, and a few others specifically) doesn't mean you can't absolutely enjoy the book, there are little things in the narrative that you'll get if you do know them.

I definitely recommend you go and buy the book-it's got and amazing cover, too...I can't wait to see what happens when the second book comes out--and I sure hope I manage to snag one of those ARCs, too!!

9/10

Saturday, July 4, 2009

ALA?

Contest winner announcement coming, probably, on Monday and a review tomorrow Monday, too, but for now...

Someone needs to advise me on ALA in Chicago and the book/ARC getting potential and such (of just going to the exhibits) so I can decide if I really should work out going :)


(of course I'll probably just make myself really want to go and then it won't work out--because it's only a small possiblity of me going anyhow...but I need to make informed decisions!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Reminder

My contest closes tonight at midnight Eastern!!
(though, if I mess up and fall asleep before then-it'll be the morning. There'll be a 'Contest Closed' comment added when it is closed.)


CONTEST for Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vibes ~ Amy Kathleen Ryan review

Vibes
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
October 6, 2008
256 Pages
Hardcover*
Amazon



Kristi Carmichael hates just about everything-her crazy, eccentric, hippie school, her mother, even her friend. But she also has a secret that helps alienate her from all those she can't stand, she can hear what others are thinking, she can read minds.

And she can hear all the horrible things they think about how gross and ugly and fat she is. Including the hot, popular Gusty Peterson.

This book did. not. work, for me. (or apparently the Amazon description person: "this YA novel is completely on the mark.") While it didn't bother that Kristi could read minds and it wasn't treated as some mental defect that needed treatment or counseling or whatever (it's a fiction book, I can deal with things being fantasy even in non-fantasy books), the book didn't work for me.

By page 50 I not only had the book figured out, I was ready to give it up entirely because of how dumb I found where it was going. (By page 7o-something I'd taken to just skimming the pages until the ending.)

Kristi had 'practical jokes' she liked to play on people so that she could then help them and hear their thoughts of gratitude but they weren't funny or cute...they were rather cruel, actually.

Obviously, Kristi was supposed to 'reform' by the end of the book (learn from herself and all that), see how she wasn't actually observant at all, but I didn't feel she actually grew much at all.

I saw her friends Jacob and Mallory remind me slightly of Ted and Hollywood from Absolutely Maybe (only this time I don't like them much).

The mind reading was supposed to be used as a tool-I think for Kristi's devolpment and for her to deal with her father's leaving, her mother'd drinking, her best friend's abandonmnet, etc but like I said, I had this book figured out by page 50, didn't like the character, and didn't like the ending either.


***
Spoiler-ish

It was said several times how her best friend Hildie had quit being her best friend but I didn't really think it was explained well. I know they said she 'got hot' or whatever and the boys started following her but, well, it just seemed strange that that was that and it bothered Kristi as much as it did (the friendship portrayed didn't seem like it would just end for no reason and if it did, Kristi doesn't deal with it in the book)... It didn't seem to all add up for me. (But maybe that's part of the characters not working for me.)

END
****


2/10






*paperback out January, 2010

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Sells Like Teen Spirit:Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis by Ryan Moore (nonfiction)
Here's a short part of the summary from one of the book listing pages:

In Sells Like Teen Spirit, Ryan Moore tells the story of how music and youth culture have changed along with the economic, political, and cultural transformations of American society in the last four decades. By attending concerts, hanging out in dance clubs and after-hour bars, and examining the do-it-yourself music scene, Moore gives a riveting, first-hand account of the sights, sounds, and smells of "teen spirit."Moore traces the histories of punk, hardcore, heavy metal, glam, thrash, alternative rock, grunge, and riot grrrl music, and relates them to wider social changes that have taken place.

It's images and writings on different bands (from Nirvana to Sleater Kinney and on) and is a more positive outlook on the impact music (even punk music, shock*gasp*shock!!) has on the lives of teens. And it sounds like it's going to include the way music has been influencing society and government (and the reverse)-and not only the negative ways that are so publicised.

The paperback of this is $24 and the hardcover is $74 but I'm going to have to hope that either they super decrease the price or someone has some contests or something. (Hey, I didn't take a magazine writing class at Columbia College-summer school- and write about politics and music for no reason! This subject interests me.)

It's not out until December 2009 and Ryan Moore* is the author.

(*I just looked and he's a professor near where I live now...hmmm.)



Now for Part II--not exactly a new book, but one I'm anticipating coming out just the same:

Almost Home by Jessica Blank (paperback release)

Unless I'm wrong, Stephanie Kuehnert listed this as one of her favoirte books somewhere(s) and since I love her books...Almost Home by Jessica Blank is coming out in paperback July 14 and since I haven't read it yet, this seems like the perfect opportunity :)


Book Description:


Why would anyone choose to live on the streets?

There is Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her priveleged home, harboring a secret she's too ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty is a sensitive gay teen who winds up alone when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count. There's Scabius, a
delusional punk from Utah who takes the "me against the world" motto to dangerous extremes. And Critter is a heroin dealer with movie star looks and a vulnerable heart. Laura should be home studying, but she can't face another one of her mom's boyfriends.

And then there's Tracy, the damaged thread that ties them all together, irrevocably changing each life she touches.

This unlikely band of characters form their own dysfunctional family, complete with love and belonging, abuse and betrayal. Each will make their way home, wherever it may be.

Here's the Amazon link to buy (and B&N will have their 10% off or whatever which is good for paperbacks in store).
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