Thursday, September 30, 2010

Contest Reminder

Quick Reminder:

My contest for Hush by Eishes Chayil ends tonight at 11:59 Eastern.

Enter HERE

(& remember you really need to enter through the form-not comments- for it to count)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

This book comes out next week, but I might have just heard of it (I know, I know but this constant rain is making me really tired!)...

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game—a mall converted into a “school” run by corporate sponsors. As the students play their way through the levels, they are also creating products and being used for market research by the sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn’t question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anticorporate prank. She follows the clues to uncover the identities of the people behind it and discovers an
anonymous group that calls itself the Unidentified. Intrigued by their counterculture ideas and enigmatic leader, Kid is drawn into the group. But when the Unidentified’s pranks and even Kid’s own identity are co-opted by the sponsors, Kid decides to do something bigger—something that could change the Game forever.

This funny, sharp, and thought-provoking novel heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in teen fiction.

It sounds like it could be a great look at society and consumerism and how everyone's growing up . . . but it also sounds like it could be a whole lot of fun, too! I really want to see how the book works the video game aspect and the schooling together (Taken by Edward Bloor did that a little bit but this sounds like it takes it way, way, way farther).

Check it out some more on Harper's Browse Inside feature or pre-order it on Amazon.

Out October 5, 2010 from Balzer + Bray (and until the 4th it's one of Goodreads Giveaways you can enter--with a Goodreads account).

Review, Interview & Contest ~ Low Red Moon ~ Ivy Devlin

Low Red Moon
Bloomsbury USA
September 14, 2010
256 pages
Buy @ Amazon

Avery wakes up in the woods, covered in blood and and surrounded by her parents destroyed bodies but unable to remember how she--or they got that way. With her safe, secluded life with her parents deep in the woods now but a memory, Avery is forced to live in town with the grandmother she hasn't spoken to in years.

Avery works at going back to school--where she meets the mysterious new boy Ben who seems to have silver eyes--and remembering something, anything that can help the police find who killed her parents. All she can seem to remember is a flash of silver moving inhumanly fast . . . which she knows makes no sense.

As Avery deals with reconnecting with Renee (her grandmother), developers wanting to buy her family's valuable land in the woods, the stories the town has about mysterious wolves in the woods, and Ben, she has to try, too, to figure out what happened to her parents and why she was unharmed.

Low Red Moon reminded me of an almost reverse Little Red Riding Hood (the girl lived in the woods, the parents were killed, she went to live with the grandma, there were possible wolves, etc).

Told in a slightly disjointed style--one thought will be started, then stopped, sometimes finished and sometimes not--that actually fits the plot really well, Low Red Moon grabbed me from the first page. I think a smooth, orderly telling of Avery's tale would not have fit the storyline as well as the way it was told because Avery's own thinking and memory is fragmented.

Another thing I really loved about Low Red Moon was that the paranormal aspect of the story was not the entire story, if that makes sense. In this sense, it reminded me of Blood and Chocolate --at least the parts of it between Vivian and Aidan. The paranormal aspects of the story didn't overrun everything, they were a part of the story, but not the whole story. (I apologise for not being able to explain this better.)


Author Interview:
And now for my interview with Ivy Devlin, her answers are the ones in italics.

Do you have plans to write more YA paranormal books?
I'd like to! (Well, I can tell you [thanks to, Kate, the awesome Bloomsbury publicist who's helped me have all these great tour stop review/giveaway/interviews here] that in early 2012, there's going to be a Low Red Moon sequel!)

What is your writing strategy (do you plot/plan things out?)
I'm a plotter. And a hard-core rewriter--I like to take everything out that doesn't need to be there.

Personal advice to aspiring authors?

What is one random thing about you?
I've never read Twilight or Shiver ( I know I should, but they're so long!)

For those enter the book giveaway: what is something you'd like them to answer?
What's the one word EVERYONE uses in reviews but is never actually used in Low Red Moon?

Contest Time:
thanks to aforementioned lovely person at Bloomsbury I have a copy of Low Red Moon to give away.
Rules: US addresses only; no PO Boxes. Ends October 13, 2010.
For one entry fill out the form with your name/alias & email.
Extra entries: 3 for old followers +1 for new followers; +3 for following me on Twitter @TheBookSpot--I'll follow you back; +1 entry each for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc (up to +3 total--give links, please); + +1 for answering Ivy Devlin's question in the comments :)

Fill out the form below or by opening in a new window/tab

(oh I hope I did my math correctly!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ascendant ~ Diana Peterfreund review

September 28, 2010
400 pages
Buy @ Amazon

After being introduced, in Rampant, to not only the idea that unicorns are real, but that she's magically able (thanks to being a still-virginal, female descendant of Alexander the Great) to hunt them, Astrid Llewelyn in back in Ascendant.

Astrid, had dreams of becoming a doctor before her life got turned around by a year of unicorn hunting and training in Rome, killing that Astrid isn't sure she's cut out for. But with the number of potential new hunters dwindling--choosing to give up their eligibility--and the number of unicorns not dwindling, Astrid can't just walk away from everything.

Soon, through a string of events, Astrid finds herself with a new job, in another country, one that doesn't involve sitting in trees every night waiting for unicorns to show so that she can hunt them down. There's more to this new job and the people there than Astrid first suspects, though and at some point she's going to have to deal with it.

While Rampant was more about introducing the idea of killer unicorns, the girls training at the Cloisters, and where the idea of a bunch of virgin girls killing evil unicorns came from, Rampant's more about what that can mean. In Rampant, we know the general backstory, the characters, the setting, the mythos, now we get to know how it affects both the world at large and the psyche of the characters.

This second book does focus a lot more on Astrid specifically and her growth as a character. I really appreciated the way that the characters from the first book were most definitely not forgotten and such an important part of this book, but that the story really did focus on Astrid.

Ascendant was not as fast paced from the start as Rampant likely because it wasn't introducing killer unicorns right off the bat, but it might have been a stronger book overall because it did deal more with internal struggles and character relationships where Rampant had more action/adventure. (The last few lines of Ascendant really sum up what the first book was about and what the second was about, I think.)

I do highly, highly recommend you read Rampant first because it introduces all of the characters and the mythology behind Diana Peterfreund's killer unicorns and the unicorn hunters--and it's an amazing book. Ascendant does a fantastic job of recapping what you need to know from the first book, though--maybe better than about any other series book, I've read. Instead of leaving you with gaps that leave you wondering or summing the entire first book up in the first chapter or two, Ascendant works the relevant information into the parts of the book where it's beneficial to what's happening in the current story at that point.

Both Rampant and Ascendant are very, very much worth reading.


(thank you to the publisher for this book)

Monday, September 27, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

Books I Received this Week:

for possible review:
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Mockingjay (from Library Thing's Early Reviewers--I also won a paperback one with PD but that didn't come yet)

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers from Novels on the Run

review of Ascendant by Diana Peterfeund either today or tomorrow depending on how quickly I can get my migraine under control and how quickly I can get my computer's AC adapter to stop buzzing whenever I plug it into my computer (and can ergo safely charge my computer).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

e-reader question

To anyone with one of the various e-readers out now or a smartphone that lets you read ebooks on it, I have a question: is there one that lets you read the books that the libraries have (they seem to usually be Adobe DRM epub) and Kindle books?

And what are the pros and cons of whatever it is you have/know about? I know that basically whatever dedicated e-reader is not the Kindle works for the library ebooks, but obviously not the Kindle ones. Some of the phones have Kindle apps, but I don't know about apps for the library/Adobe DRM books . . .

So, I'm asking you all :) (I'm likely not really going to buy ebooks, just use it for the free ones, review books, and library ones so I don't especially want to buy one but I'm not one hundred percent sure--hence my asking.

Thanks for any input anyone givess--you can alo email me, if you want, my email's on my profile.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Memento Nora ~ Angie Smibert

There's a new book coming out next spring that's really caught my attention. Memento Nora by Angie Smibert is about a world where people simply take pills to forget about traumatic events. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

Over the past several years it's sort of been around that certain drugs could maybe be given to erase (or lessen) painful or traumatic memories. I never exactly thought that was a great idea--I know that painful memories are obviously going to cause pain (and that's a dumbed down explanation) but it seems like this isn't one of those times where ignorance is bliss . . . having a gap or just not being aware that something that had happened to you had happened would be strange to me.

So, anyhow, I'm really interested in this book and what it could potentially be. It sounds really great and like it maybe comments on society while still being fun. Besides, how many other times do you get to read a book with somewhere called the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic? Probably never.

It's out April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish in hardcover

Amazon page & author website

Giveaway ~ Hush by Eishes Chayil

In case you didn't see it with my review and super long post title last week:

I have a giveaway (at the bottom of the post) going for Hush by Eishes Chayil. It's a great book and you really have nothing to lose by entering, so I hope you will.

Runs through September 30 and open only to US (no PO Boxes because it's being mailed by the publisher).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bleeding Violet ~ Dia Reeves review

Bleeding Violet
Simon Pulse
454 pages
January 5, 2010
Buy @ Amazon

If you loved Harry Potter, you'll love Bleeding Violet. If you only kind of liked Harry Potter, you'll love Bleeding Violet. If you've been looking for something a little more Jack and Coke to Harry Potter's Cherry Coke, then you'll love Bleeding Violet because it's it.

It might even be more absinthe and Coke to Harry Potter's Cherry Coke. (And no, it is not good to use alcoholic drinks in comparing YA books, but I couldn't think of anything more apt.)

After her father dies, 16-year-old Hanna Jarvinen has to live with her aunt. When her aunt tries to send her to a mental institution, though, Hanna hits her over the head with a rolling pin and flees to Portero, Texas to her mother's. Her mother whom she's never met. Hanna's mother definitely doesn't want her to stay, but Hanna wiles her way into a deal that has her staying-at least for a little while . . . staying in a town that may be even weirder than her.

Portero is a town where everyone wears black, fears monsters called 'lures' and has to be protected by the Mortmaine. The strangeness starts on Hanna's first day of high school and only grows from there.

Wearing only purple and still speaking some Finnish, Hanna almost fits in in Portero in a strange way. She's still in constant danger, though. Good thing her new crush Wyatt's a member of the Mortmaine.

Bleeding Violet is a like a perfect young adult fantasy book. It's not children's level but it's not full of sex and explicitness either (though there is actually some). The way that Peeps is a great young adult book that's actually for young adults, Bleeding Violet is a paranormal, horror book actually for young adults and not twelve-year-olds and not thirty-year-olds (though also not not for the latter ...or some of the former, I suppose).

The plot is really well developed because the monster-yness all makes sense and follows so that none of it seems to come out of nowhere (or when it does it's on purpose). The characters are also amazing, amazing. Having a bipolar main characters who is sometimes on medication and sometimes not and in a town like Portero makes for one seriously awesome book. Not in an insensitive way, either. Hanna's not bipolar so that it can be 'ooh, look, she's crazy'...but it makes the story all that it can be with the insanity of the town and the insanity of her mind and the way that you don't always know which is which.

I should probably also mention that Hanna's biracial...though I don't really know why...other than it's interesting having her have her black mother in Texas and her Finnish father who raised her.

Can't wait for more from Dia Reeves (I'm serious--I kept checking on her site to see when she'd have a new book!).

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Replacement ~ Brenna Yovanoff review

Thre Replacement
September 21, 2010
352 pages
Buy @ Amazon

Mackie Doyle is not like the other kids at school. The scent of blood makes his world spin, Steel (touching it, being around it) brings him physical pain, he can't step onto the hallowed ground of the church and his eyes are dark, dark black. That's because Mackie Doyle isn't really the minister's son or Emma's brother, he's the thing that, one night when Emma was four, was switched in the crib for the real Malcolm Doyle.

It's something that everyone knows, but doesn't know that underneath the town of Gentry there is dark underworld of creatures that, every seven years, takes children from the town's residents. Some times and some places have given them names, things like goblins or monsters, but here they have no name.

Malcolm, meanwhile only knows that it's important that he not stand out too much at school--no matter how hard that might be. Being outside, able to smell and touch the earth might comfort him, but he can't let his classmates know just how different he is.

Trying to be a normal teenage boy, with a crush on a girl named Alice, a friend named Roswell who gets that he's weird and puts up with it, a sister named Emma who loves him deeply and unconditionally even knowing is secret, Mackie's world is soon turned upside down when a girl in his class, Tate's, sister dies.

Everyone decides Tate simply in denial because she's not grieving, because she's acting like nothing happened, at all. But Tate insists that what died, what's buried under the tombstone with her sister's name, was not in fact her sister. Tate knows that something happened and because she can see that Mackie is different, she wants help from him--wants to know what he knows. But that would require acknowledgement that he's something other than your average, high school boy and his whole life is built around not doing that.

The Replacement is different than most changeling stories because it's focused mostly on the present, modern characters and not just the folklore--it's actually quite a bit like Wicked Lovely the way there's the modern day characters interacting with the supernatural world that's secretly there. The first half to sixty percent of the book was a little slow reading for me, but then once it got into the conflict/resolution and ending I liked it a lot more.

There was a wide array of supernatural characters introduced and they ranged from creepy to creepy but also kind of sad to really pretty sad and pathetic with a side of creepy. All of them, though, seemed to be very unique and well developed.

I loved the relationship between Mackie and his sister, Emma. She took such great care of him, even though seeing what she did at four could have just freaked her out entirely (four's old enough to do that, I think). I really loved that they had that closeness that drove a lot of both of their actions throughout the story. I think it's also great because so many people have siblings and even if you don't always like them so much, you can understand wanting to protect them and identify with their relationship.

The way his parents acted toward him was interesting--and not as flushed out as his relationship with his sister--but grew throughout the book and helped along different parts of the story. I also appreciate novels that do actually involve teen's parents and don't have them just existing theoretically, I think it makes the whole story more believable and enjoyable.

I really enjoyed Breanna Yovanoff's writing in this story and the world she created was exceptionally well imagined and well written. I look forward to more of her writing and hope you'll read The Replacement.


In My Mailbox Monday

I didn't get any books in the mail this week, but that was kind of good because I had a lot of library books to read--including one that one of the libraries in my system somehow got last week:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (out September 21)

(review later)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hush ~ Eishes Chayil review & contest

Walker Books for Young Readers
368 pages
September 14, 2010

As part of Bloombury's Blog Tours, I was able to review Eishes Chayil's Hush, I also have a contest at the end of the post--so stick around :)

Synopsis: Meaning women of valor in Hebrew, Eishes Chayil is the pen name of a young Chassidic New York woman. Growing up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Gittel and her whole family, really her whole life is part of the very insular Chassidic Jewish community in which she lives.

Their community, where most Chassidim live is governed by very set rules written centuries ago; rules that determine everything from what they can eat to pet ownership to what they can wear. Holiness, humility and being humble are everything to the Chassidim.

Gittel isn't even supposed to tell her friends about the goy (non-Jew) upstairs neighbor Kathy--or the sort-of Kosher candy Kathy gives her.

One person who does know about Kathy is Gittel's best friend Devory. The first half of Hush is interludes of Gittel--and Devory's young lives. Everything from Purim (a holiday they celebrate) to school to some of the things they aren't supposed to exactly do. Each chapter of their young selves in alternated with a chapter of Gittel as she's finishing high school and looking back on the events six years earlier (There's, later, another period that finishes things up.). Events that include Devory's death.

It's not made clear right away how or why Devory died, but it is made clear that no one's talking about it or dealing with it. It's something that's been swept under the rug.

Hush, is Gittel's story of learning how to live with what happened when Devory died even though no one else seems to need to do so--or care to. It's a tale of Gittel bringing more openness and, maybe, someday, understanding to a very closed community.

Review: Hush is a truly gripping and heart wrenching book. It starts off a little slow, but all of the beginning storyline ends up being important later on because it connects the reader with the characters and leads to more understanding of the world in which they live (and how it's different from average US culture) which matters.

Part of why it was slower reading for me was there was a lot of terminology about the Chassidic lifestyle and in the ARC the glossary was 'to come' so I couldn't really look things up (without the internet). Since I believe that is in the print book (I haven't been able to see one to check), I think it will be faster reading for everyone else.

It's made known on page one that Devory is dead--and on the back of the book that she's being abused by a family member. Neither of those things makes reading about her any easier. Sometimes knowing (to an extent) what's to come makes reading about someone's pain less, well, painful, but that wasn't true in this case. Reading about the hurt Devory was experiencing, the true agony you could sometimes tell she must have been in--and at such a tender age--while no one seemed to notice or know enough to do anything, actually caused me some pain. I wanted to be able to do something for her.

Some of the other reviews, on Amazon and blogs, have said more about what happens to Devory, but I'm glad I didn't read them (not that I'm even sure they were up when I read Hush) because I feel it would have taken something away from the real, raw emotion that Hush can evoke in its reader.

A book that looks at abuse and its aftermath both on the victim and those around her (or him) is not necessarily new, but because Hush is set in the Chassidic community and written by someone raised there, it takes on a whole new element. If you don't have a word for something, can that thought, that deed, still exist? And if it can, how do you handle something so ugly happening when all that you are is designed to be pure?

The community doesn't talk about abuse--that it happens or could happen or anything, really. Denial and making it go away is how things are done. Until that's no longer an option. (And this is when the early part of the book involving the community, the rules, the structure, the history really is important.)

The actions and reactions of the characters as their forced to confront something they never even dreamed of having to deal with really adds a lot to the relationships between the characters. Seeing how they interact and deal with each other when they're living a life that instead of being ordered and constructed is shaken, unwound, and no longer governed by the rules they know so well, was really magnificent to read. Not to quote the Real World, but they kind of did stop being polite and started being real and it was written so well.

I don't (and can't) know how much of this is the author drawing on personal experience (in the back she notes that through a friend and acquaintance she experience both the happenings that are major in the book--not to her, but to them). Whether it's autobiographical, fictional or a fusion, the interactions the characters have as they struggle with what abuse and acknowledging that abuse would mean to their faith, is really gripping.

It's hard to call a book on such a painful storyline beautiful, but Hush really is.

It's hard for me to review it without telling you everything that happens (you could read the Amazon synopsis or I think most other reviews--they're giving away more than I'm choosing to) but I think books are more enjoyable when I hold back certain things.

I don't know if Eishes Chayil will publish anything else, but I can safely say I would not at all be disappointed if she chose to, she has a beautiful writing style and really captures a wide array of characters very well. The Chassidic Jewish community was almost completely foreign to me but the characters & their thinking didn't feel entirely that way. Rather than mock the Chasidim, Hush and Chayil explained--not everything was positive, no, but it was honest.

I do hope you'll give this book a read because it really is a story that came from deep within someone, a story that was told because it needed to be told. At times painful, at times funny and at times sweet, this glorious book is one I loved if you couldn't tell already. (And I recommend it for young adult readers and adult readers both.)


Contest: And I'm making it very easy for you to give it a read, too: Thanks to lovely Bloomsbury, I have a copy to give away . . .

Contest Rules:
Open to US mailing addresses only (no PO Boxes, sorry)
+2 entries for old followers of my blog; +1 for new (needs to be 'Google Connect' so I can see)
+1 for adding it to your blog/twitter/facebook (each place, up to +3 total)
Ends September 30, 11: 59 Eastern

thank you very muchly to Bloomsbury for this book

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miami Book Fair Inter'l

Last November I made it down to Miami for Miami Book Fair International . . . a huge gathering of authors, booksellers (of just about every kind), book lovers, and just about everything else book related.

There was a panel by Alex Flinn and Joyce Sweeney and one with Gaby Triana, Danielle Joseph, and Alicia Thompson. (There were other things but I listened to the YA stuff.) ((There will be pictures if my photo card will ever agree to be read.))

And, in what might to blame for my challenge, The Daily Show's Larry Wilmore & John Hodgman also did a talk (which very much overlapped with the second YA one!).

Of course, with hundreds of authors (not just English speaking ones) attending last year and authors/guests like Sebastian Junger (one of the authors with a book in the Daily/Colbert Challenge), Darren Shan, Pat Conroy, and Patti Smith already on the list for this year, there's sure to be someone you'll want to see, meet, listen to, ask a question of, get a book signed by.

It's November 14-21 (the 'Evenings With...' that are like drinks/appetizers; $10 with the author talking--I couldn't make it to any of those, so I don't know exactly are usually the first few days, I will get the exact dates); the Street Fair which is when all of the stuff gets sold and more things happen is Friday-Sunday, mostly $5 (info).

So, mid November in sunny Miami, with fantastic authors and books, what more can you ask for?

(Hoping/planning to have some fun posts coming up to help promote this)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Contest Winner

Sorry I couldn't get this up yesterday, I was very sick.

Using's random number generator with numbers, I now have a winner for the Romeo & Juliet & Vampires contest!! With 32 entries (including the bonus entries), the winner is lucky number 12::

I've sent you an email for you info so I can send it to the publisher who will send you the book--congratulations :)

And to everyone else (and Medeia, too), there is another contest for a new book coming up this Friday, actually so come back for that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Contest Ending Soon

My Romeo & Juliet & Vampires Contest ends in just a few hours (11:59 Eastern). If you haven't yet, don't forget to enter!!!

Secrets of a First Daughter ~ Cassidy Calloway review

Secrets of a First Daughter
208 pages
September 14, 2010
Secrets of a First Daughter

In this sequel to Confessions of a First Daughter, Cassidy Calloway brings back Morgan (Secret Service code name 'Tornado') Abbott, Secret Agent Max Jackson, Morgan's best friend Hannah and the rest of the characters.

With Brittany Whittaker no longer the class President (after stealing Morgan's platform for the speech only to jump on the President, Morgan's mom, during a press conference, sure she was Morgan and be forced out by the school for fear or humiliation and scandal) Morgan is now the class President and she has her boyfriend in her former secret service agent Max Jackson--even if they have to keep their relationship secret.

Things should be going well for her, right? Except she's still clumsy as ever, still has grades that might not even get her out of high school (and two genius parents so every one expects more from her), everyone's on her about where the President's Daughter is going to go to college, Brittany's still causing havoc, and she has to keep things with Max secret.

Add in a Presidential trip to London with Morgan and her usual knack for attracting disaster coming too, to the mix and you have quite a tale.

Secrets of a First Daughter was (like Confessions) another fun, quirky cute and quick read by Cassidy Calloway. Morgan is a really well developed character that has to deal with the typical end of high school things everyone has to deal with (grades, college applications, growing up) but with the increased pressure of being the daughter of the President of the United States and with the press following her around. Though she has stress from things none of the rest of us would have to deal with, she still stays very easy to relate to and it's very enjoyable to read about her.

Her best friend Hannah--who has more of a storyline with a male character from the first book in this story--is a great addition to the novel and works well with Morgan but also adds a quite a bit to the plot, too. I'm really glad that Max was back in this book and continued to have some story of his own and wasn't just the agent that used to protect Morgan/now dated her. He's a really interesting guy and I kind of wished things were longer so that there could be more of him.

I loved the plot of this book (which I can't share too much of or it would be super spoilery). I did like though that it still involved enough politics to make it logical but also involved Morgan's teenage life and friends and school in a way that made it all great for a YA book. It was very well balanced and woven together.

I do agree with reviews written that readers who liked Meg Cabot's All-American Girl books will like these books--but I also think you'll like these if you didn't like those. I never quite liked that book's main character, but I love Morgan. I hope that Cassidy Calloway writes some more even if t's not about Morgan and co.

(thank you to the publisher for the book)

In My Mailbox Monday

For review consideration:
The Shifter (Healing Wars #1) by Janice Hardy (paperback; Aug 31)
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Aug 3)
Ascendant (sequel to Rampant) by Diana Peterfrund (Sept 28) (!!!!)

I hadn't heard about The Shifter before, but after reading about it, it has a really intriguing premise and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I haven't heard much at all bad about I Am Number Four and was already hoping to read it at some point and Ascendant, well, I'm pretty much still 'Squee!!!' over that one :D

Don't forget, my Romeo & Juliet & Vampires contest ends tonight (11:59 Eastern) !! Enter HERE

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Contest Links & Reminder

Sorry for the lack of reviews the past week or so, I've been sick and my schedule posts more or less ran out . . .

Here are some contests you can check out, though:

A contest with author Heather Kuehl to win a $25 Amazon card at Bitten By Books (ends 9/11 @ 11:59 Central time)-- also linked on the first pic

BlogFest 2010 at Bitten By Books here where you can enter to win a Kindle (contest runs until 11:59 Eastern 9/12)-linked on the second pic

then, of course, there's my contest for a copy of Romeo & Juliet & Vampires which ends at 11:59 Eastern on Monday 9/13

& hopefully I'll feel well enough soon to write up all my reviews and you can read them and comment on them and enjoy! Or something along those lines ;)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Video Veneris

On Monday, September 13 (9/8c) Lifetime has a TV movie of David Ebershoff's novel The 19th Wife. To go with that, I have a trailers for the novel and the movie below . . . I haven't read the book yet so I don't know if I'll watch the movie or wait and see if it's on again in a few months and hope I've read the book by then (I didn't know about the movie until just this week).
(movie site)

Don't forget, Monday is also when my contest for Romeo & Juliet & Vampires ends! ENTER HERE

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Disappeared Review

I think my review of Rampant (I won an ARC from a blogger) disappeared into never-never land . . . I know I wrote it and posted it somewhere but it's not here or LibraryThing or goodreads (that I can find).

Maybe there's a cookie monster of reviews (or whatever's relevant but fun still)?

Waiting On Wednesday

Empty by Suzanne Weyn

Suzanne Weyn is the author of The Bar Code Tattoo, Distant
Waves: A Novel of the Titanic, and Reincarnation among others--and those three are all on my TBR list now very close behind her upcoing novel Empty.

is a dystopian novel which is nothing very new this year, but what is new about it is that it is a dystopia that is easier to see happening than most. Set in a world that has run out of fossil fuels, Empty explores what happens when our world truly becomes local.

It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

With our use of oil in the news and such a political topic as of late, I think this could, potentially, be a very interesting topic for a novel. It has potential to be a great book that really does show how much we depend on things that we really do take for granted and how different life could be without one thing. The idea of 'what if' is why dystopian novels can be so much fun (and also, sometimes, more than a little scary) to read and I do hope that this is one I will end up enjoying because it sounds so possibly great.

Suzanne Weyn's Empty is out on the 1st October, 2010 from Scholastic.

What books are you waiting on this week? Link me your posts or leave me titles in the comments :) I love finding out about new books!

Reading Challenge

The Daily Show & Colbert Report Reading Challenge now has a Goodreads group

it's something you can join if you're doing the Reading Challenge to see all of the books, easily, in one place or for any of the other fun Goodreads-ness . . . or if you're not signing up for the Challenge (will someone?) you can still join!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (Tuesday)

Books received this past week:

for book tours:

Cate of the Lost Colony
(ARC) by Lisa Klein (review, etc. in October)
Low Red Moon (ARC) by Ivy Devlin (review, etc. later in Sept)
Hush(ARC) by Eishes Chayil (review, etc. Friday, September 17)

for possible review:

What Happened on Fox Street
by Tricia Springstubb, Heather Ross illustrator

Hearts at Stake ~ Alyxandra Harvey review

Hearts at Stake
Walker Books for Young Readers
256 pages
December 22, 2009
Amazon info/buy page

Solange's life is miserable not only because she's the only girl in a family with seven overprotective brothers, but she's also the only girl (in nearly 800 years) in her family of vampires.

And her sixteenth birthday when she'll turn from a mortal to a vampire is coming up. Along with the stress she would otherwise feel with that transition coming up, there's a legend attached to Solange that she will be queen and pheromones she's emitting that are attracting ever male vampire anywhere to her.

The lovesick, often cheesy males are a problem, but the attention they're likely to attract from vampire hunters could be even more of a problem.

All of this is not to forget that the current queen hates Solange for the threat she presents--no matter Solange doesn't want to be queen at all.

Solange's brothers are being even more overprotective than usual, but at least Solange has her best friend Lucy to help keep her sane. Lucy and her family aren't vampires but they know about Solange's family and Lucy looks more like a vampire than Solange usually (with a her red velvet dresses, etc).

Soon, with Lucy staying at Solange's home while her parents are on a retreat danger threatens and it's up to the girls, the brothers and a few others to save Solange!

This was a massively enjoyable book and I am so, so glad it is a series. I loved that there girls in this book were strong characters and weren't easily pushed around. There were vampire hunters like in some other teen vampire books and the danger that comes with them but a lot of the story was focused on Solange and Lucy (and some boys for them!) and their friendship and relationships. The family relationships were strong, too and also an integral part of the story.

This was not simply a love story that focused only on two characters and the progression of their romantic relationship, but instead had romantic relationships woven into the plot. (There was a romantic relationship that I'm almost desperately hoping shows up in one of the later books in the series, too so I would say the method worked.)

The hierarchy of the vampire culture in The Drake Chronicles first book was set up very well and I'm really looking forward to seeing how new characters are pulled into this world (the second book of the series, at least, involves some different characters).

There was enough similarity in the vampire lore to make reading Hearts at Stake fun and enjoyable but enough that was unique to make it still very interesting and worthwhile.

I loved that so many characters were used in this book--but not in a superfluous way. They added to the story and were brought back later to be involved in some other way.

I'm really looking forward to reading the second book in this series (and the others as well.) This was a great change of pace from the other teen vampire books that are so focused on the romance between two characters, having both the familial relationship and the friendship between Lucy and Solange was great.


Book 1: Hearts at Stake
Book 2: Blood Feud (out now-review soon I hope)
Book 3: Out for Blood (out December 21, 2010)
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