Friday, April 30, 2010

Video Veneris

Jessica Brody, the fabulous author who started FreeBookFriday.com has a new YA book out, The Karma Club. I'll admit to only kind of noticing it until I watched the trailer and now I have to say it looks pretty darn amazing and very, very like something I should read :)

And to celebrate the release/help spread the word there's a contest...and I get entries for all the unique visitors I get to click this link to her site. And at Jessica Brody's site you can do tons of things (because she really has a great site) like get links to the B&N and Amazon pages for the book (and other sites, too), read the first chapter, check out her not YA books, see the prizes for this contest, join her on Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace....and even more things.



So, clickity clickity click? Because there's a Flip Video Camera prize once a week and that'd be perfect for filming when I go to the space shuttle launch soon.... (And it's a good book to buy because part of the proceeds go to the TheKarmaClub.org-see, I can do other links)

And tomorrow there's a fundraising, red carpet, book launch event in Santa Clarita, CA...info on that's at her site, too ;)


The Karma Club at Amazon because I'm cool like that (though it doesn't get me referal things, just Amazon Associates things if you buy it through there...)

(Also, I have that shirt she's wearing, the white one with the '86' on it..I wonder if that one's losing all the silver things like mine is?)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Incarceron ~ Catherine Fisher review

Incarceron (Incarceron Book #1)
Dial
January 26, 2010
448 Pages
buy @ Amazon


Incarceron is a huge prison built, centuries ago as a sort of utopia for prisoners. Their every need would be cared for away from the rest of society; giving them a world unto themselves. Now, though, the metal structure so vast it really is it's own world is self aware and running some things itself. The prisoners-who are born, live and die there-know only of Incarceron and have created their own societies, their structure more Dystopian than Utopian to be sure.

But, there's one boy Finn who believes in the Outside, who believes he's from the Outside and is determined to find his way there, pointless though everyone says it is. In one of his nefarious Incarceron activities he finds a crystal key and his quest to escape truly begins.

In a world separate form Incarceron, a world living under Protocol is Claudia, the daughter of Incarceron's Warden. Protocol is a world where everything is much more like the 17th than the 21st century, from a lack of electricity to the kind of glass that can be used in electricity, for their own good everyone has been forcibly taken back in time by a royal decree ("We forbid growth and therefore decay. Ambition and therefore despair. Because each is only the warped reflection of the other. Above all, Time is forbidden. From now on nothing will change." King Endor's Decree). Claudia is eager to escape an arranged marriage, succeeding her father, and an end to Protcol, When she finds a key of her own and a way to contact Incarceron the action really gets going.


I am probably one of five people that didn't just love, love, love Incarceron right from page one. I did love the synopsis and the video trailer right away, but the book itself took a while to grab me. Two hundred pages of a while, actually.

I was about to give up on the book because it really wasn't interesting me or holding my attention but I'd already read so much (and heard so many good things about it) that I decided to stick with it. And I'm very glad that I did. Once the book got good for me, it really got good.

I know because I wasn't very interested in the beginning, well, basically half of the book that I missed some hints of things. I would notice things later in the book that I knew were mentioned earlier in the story but I hadn't been reading as closely as I would have if I'd really been enjoying things, so I think if you enjoy it from the start, you really, really do and the less you do, the less you do. (I hope that was a viable explanation!)

The idea of Protocol was really intriguing and very interesting for the story. Because this is a voluntary retreat in time, the recent inventions are still around and known, making this a very interesting mix of past and present without seeming contrived. There was the restriction of the 17th century but still some of the knowledge available now and current developments when they were necessary/useful.

I liked the characters much more when they were interacting with each other and once the story got past the 'set up' point (ie past page 200).

I'll definitely be reading Sapphique the second book in this series and hope that I like it from page one, this time :)


7/10 (though it's more a 5/10 for 1-200 and 9/10 for 201-448)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Robin Benway has a new book coming out--her first book Audrey, Wait! is one of my favorites (I have the ARC and still bought the hardcover because it's so made of awesome) soon.

The Secrets of April, May, & June besides having a fantastical title, also sounds like it has a pretty great plot: (from Amazon)

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.
It's not out until August 3--which I suppose is theoretically not that far away, but it seems like it...and it has that magical 256 pages, too :) Here's the Amazon page so you can preorder it if you want: clicky click (or add it to your wishlist!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Werewolf Weekend

This is a late post, I'm blaming sunburn for addling my brain!

Velvet over at WB32 Reads had an awesome Werewolf Weekend from the 23 through today, the 25th. It might now be over, but there are still tons of awesome posts (both there, at her blog, and linked) for you to check out and, I'm sure, loads of new books you'll discover, too.

(TONS of giveaways, too!)

I really didn't know there were that many werewolf books--I certainly have some books to add to my already massive TBR list!!!

I've just bought Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis so I hope to finish that one soon &, of course, I have Shiver but now I have Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel (that I'd heard about but forgotten about), Karen MacInerney's series, and the Kelley Armstrong books that are werewolf having to add.


And if you're thinking of some TV to watch with werewolves while you wait on your books to arrive, there's always Buffy (!!!!), Being Human (the BBC version or the US one that's coming this summer)--both of which have vampires and werewolves. Or if you want a quick fix to decide whether you like werewolves or not, there's movies like, well, the Twilight ones but also Blood and Chocolate, Teen Wolf, Van Helsing, Underworld movies, American Werewolf in Paris... and let's not forget the Twilight series and the one I suggest Blood and Chocolate.

(Links to be added when I'm sure this thunderstorm's passed.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

The Replacement by Breanna Yovanoff

Out September 16 from Razorbill


And via Goodreads, here's the summary: Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

I still need to either reread or finish The Stolen Child(it's really bad-me, not the book- but I read it years ago when it first came out and I think I read it from the library and maybe didn't have time to finish it? But I might also have the wrong book because I swear I read it from a library in the town I used to live in and if it came out in 2006, then I lived here, so...) Whichever changeling book I'm thinking about got me really interested in the subject and then The Waters & the Wild got me more interested so I love the idea of this longer length (352 pages-and hopefully not 15 pt font) YA take on the topic.

And with a cover completely befitting of a blockbuster horror movie, how could it be better? (Well maybe it could be coming out sooner, or I could have a ARC but other than that, I don't know.) Oooh, there looks to be going to be a book two-that's pretty awesome (and yay passive sentence!


Amazon link-ola & the author's site


(it's a teaser trailer--just quotes really-and the cover's creepy image. But Maggie Stiefvater's quote's great)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Undead Much ~ Stacey Jay review

Undead Much (Megan Berry #2)
January 21, 2010
Razorbill
304 Pages
Buy from Amazon


Zombie Settler Megan Berry is back with more crazy, not normal (even for those used to dealing with zombies) adventures. [Hover over to see what happened in You Are So Undead to Me]

Megan's so busy with her training (and his) that she and Ethan barely have any time together, but during a rare moment together in his car, they're enjoying some quality alone time when an Undead interrupts. Cliff, who already knows just who Megan is, just felt like going for a walk so it's Megan's duty to take him back to his grave and Settle him (interrupting her date, of course). And so begins a weird chain of events that not only brings out more not-of-the-norm Undead, but also finds Megan accused of some pretty heinous crimes and struggling to clean her name.


Undead Much was really a great sequel to You Are So Undead to Me. The characters were consistent from the last book but also more developed and grew from where they were in the first story and the zombie mythology was also consistent (but built on).

I really liked that the back story from the first book wasn't just laid out in the first few pages as a point by point reminder, but built into the first few chapters so that if you'd read the first book (but forgotten some things) you were reminded with it still being a part of the story that you could enjoy if you didn't read the first book (which you should!). This book definitely measures up to the first and left me really, really wanting to read a third (and probably fourth, etc). (And not only because of the cliffhanger ending.)

The end ending was really unexpected and great but the ending, while being really good, wasn't amazing so that's why the 8.

It was definitely appreciated that this book worked so well with the last book an didn't just change everything completely, but also came up with new things so that it was as great as it was. This was probably the best way to do a sequel/series.


8/10


(and on a note book content related note, I like to shoes the model has on on the cover...and both of the Undead book covers)

((aka 2nd parenthesis, I still can't get Blogger's 'add a picture' thing to work for me...but I'm trying, so if anyone knows how to do text wrap on images added with html, I'd be appreciative))

Monday, April 19, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

I won the Grand Prize for that awesome, amazing contest Lindsey Leavtt was having!! And I got my part from her in the mail this week...

I received a box with: (and I'm copying this off the contest post linked above)

--$25 Chevron gift card to use in case your floating bubble is in the shop (and if you can’t drive, you can buy lots and lots of candy. I mean, HEALTY SNACKS)
--signed copy of PRINCESS FOR HIRE
--10 signed bookmarks to share with your friends
--a tiara (um, not real. But tis shiny!)
--Princess bubbles
--Princess mirror cling
--Princess wand
--candy necklace


I wasn't feeling super princessy this week (I've been kind of sick--which is why the no reviews, sorry, it was either reviews from me while sick and migraine-having that made no sense or none now/wait till they made some sense) but I am all ready now to command people or something when I do feel Princess-y!



& I bought Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles from Amazon







Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
I'm pretty much always up for a book about the Salem Witch Trials (or that time period/era/people involved) and have been wanting to read a YA book on the subject since I read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (my review) last summer.

Goodreads summary:
Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.

When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?

coming on June 29/July 1 from Balzer + Bray or HaperTeen (depending on where you look-both are part of Harper, though)

Amazon page for Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill

Monday, April 12, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

This is last week's 'IMMM' along with this week's because I wasn't in town last week and decided I just decided to combine the two weeks...


for review:



















Butterfly by Sony Hartnett (from Goodreads' First Reads) ~August 24, 2010 & Crispin: The End of Time by Avi (third Crispin book) ~ June 15, 2010

(I have a different cover of Butterfly but I was having a hard time finding that one and being sure if it was the final cover so I'm posting the cover that seems to be the UK/Australian one--and the Kindle one, as well.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Waiting On & Video Veneris

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (link & info at bottom)

This is combining my Waiting on Wednesday and my Video Veneris because I was out of town for Easter and didn't get posts done this week. (And this is an Amazon video so I have a link but can't figure out the posting the video here...)

I loved the sound of Andrea Cremer's Nightshade when I first found it (either on Amazon or Goodreads) and then this week I saw the cover and it's just gorgeous-o.

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all. (from the author's website)
It's an at least three book series and the Nightshade website is here

And here's the page with the Amazon trailer: watch (it's also currently on the book page).

It's not out until all the way in October (the 19th to be exact) which is over 6 months away...but that just makes it perfect timing for a birthday present for me (almost to the day, actually) not that I'll object if I somehow get to read it early--I might even make myself some cupcakes or something :)

Nightshade's Amazon page
Nightshade
Andrea Cremer
Philomel
528 pages
October 19, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Splendor Falls ~ Rosemary Clement Moore review

The Splendor Falls
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
528 Pages
September 8, 2009
buy from Amazon

Sylvie has dedicated her life to ballet and it paid off, too. At seventeen she was the youngest ever principal ballerina for her dance company until a tragic accident left her leg and her spirit crushed. Now, with her mother remarried to a psychiatrist Sylvie can't stand and getting caught drunk at the reception, she's being sent off to her father's extended family in Alabama. The family she only ever saw at her father's funeral.

Sylvie not only doesn't know anything about these family members, has some preconceived notions about Alabama, but hates that her stepfather seems to be sending her for a summer of 'rehab' so she's not going into things with a good attitude.

Once she gets there, there's the town's golden boy Shawn, the British boy Rhys staying at her father's cousin's home (it's being made into an inn) while researching the area, neither of which she can stop thinking about. Add in some supernatural sights that have Sylvie wondering if she's losing her mind as well as her dance career with the Southern heat and history and it's a great mix of plot, the supernatural, family/coming of age dynamics and some really well developed characters.


Splendor Falls definitely made me want to visit this made up old town with all its history, to see it for myself--it felt really real. And I loved that Sylvie had the background as a dancer, it wasn't just that she'd been this magnificent ballerina and now she wasn't and ooh she's in a bad mood, it actually really factored into things (from her strength for walking, to what she felt about eating some things, to her discipline in general, etc); I liked that she was so well thought out and not a cookie cutter teen girl.

The mixture of the past and the past family relationships along with the family dynamics in the present was really interesting too. Not only did it show how we always have things within our families to deal with that aren't unique to the now but it brought everything together.

Without saying too much, I thought the supernatural elements that were used in this book were really good and fit well with the story. They probably weren't the first time they were used (though some, I believe were), but tied all together, they were really unique and made for a fantastic story. Things were also given much more depth and meaning--history and explanation (that worked) than in a lot of books.

I've wanted to read Rosemary Clement-Moore's Maggie Quinn series for a while (the two libraries by me have the first book overdue by a year & two, respectively so I've just sort of let it go) but now I really want to give them a shot..


9/10

Monday, April 5, 2010

How High the Moon ~ Sandra Kring review

How High the Moon
Bantam
368 Pages
April 6, 2010 (tomorrow!)
Buy from Amazon
(and Target has it as a 'Target Breakout Book selection' so it should be in Targets too)


How High the Moon is about a little girl so lovable, so endearing right from the word go, that you think there has to be some fault to the book given that a large part of why 'Teaspoon' is how she is, is because she's been abandoned by her mother. But, of course, little girls aren't left by their mothers through any fault of their own and that's why How High the Moon is so brilliant--and why Teaspoon is so brilliant.

Ten-year-old Isabella 'Teaspoon' Marlene has been raised by her mother's boyfriend for the last five years ever since her mother ran off to chase her dream of becoming a star. Now, Teaspoon (from whose point of view the story is told)is in danger of not passing fifth grade and full of afflictions like saying ain't, singing all of the time-she wants to be a star, too-and getting in fist fights. Her teacher, sure her troubles are the result of a 'lack of feminine influence' in her life sign her up for the Sunshine Sisters program that pairs upstanding teen girls with more troubled younger girls.

And that's how the second character, Mill Town's Sweetheart, Brenda Bloom is brought in--as Teaspoon's Big Sister. Then, of course, there's the question of whether her mother's going to stay gone.


I haven't read any of Sandra Kring's books before, though I have seen them, loved the covers and thought about it, so I'm pretty much overjoyed to have gotten this book from Goodreads First Reads. Set in 1955 and told by a ten-year-old, I was a little worried about this to be honest (it sounded cute but then I wasn't completely sure)--but then I loved it.

There was an amazing assortment of characters (Teaspoon, Teddy, Brenda, Charlie, The Jacksons, and quite a few more) that all had their own purpose within the story and progressed things. I'll admit to having some trouble keeping some of the Jackson kids straight because there were quite a few with same letter names, but that's about all. And all of the characters seemed to fit within the period but were also entertaining and fun to read about in a modern book.

And I thought the story being told from Teaspoon's view was done really well. It didn't feel juvenile even though it was being told by a child, or too young for teens or adults to enjoy but it also didn't feel too grown up to fit with her. There was that childhood innocence and naivete that kept her lovable and cute and endearing but also brought back memories of when you were ten and didn't quite know what all the adults were talking about. It also worked well to have the kids overhearing conversations because elements of the plot were brought in that there was no other reason for her to know about, but that the reader could then know about.

The relationships between Teddy and Teaspoon, Charlie and Teaspoon, and Brenda and Teaspoon were all strong in their own right and developed well and allowed you to care about all of the characters. And her relationship with her mother (or what she's keeping in her head, too) was also...I want to say bittersweet.

And a good bit of it's set in this fantastic movie theatre with stars on the ceiling...and now I want to have a movie theatre like that.

It wasn't the least predictable book ever (but it didn't need to be) but there were also some parts that were really, really not predictable and it really has a whallop of an ending. One part of the ending of this book made me cry, actually.

I think How High the Moon is a book the sort of book that a lot of other books are trying to be, one with characters you can really love, a story you won't forget, and a great conclusion. I know I'm recommending this to a lot of people (and not just on here).
Though this is not a YA book, I see very little if not nothing at all stopping YA readers from reading it.

10/10


thank you to Goodreads First Reads program for this book


And I've corrected the character name now, I have no idea what I was thinking!!!!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pretty Dead ~ Francesca Lia Block review

Pretty Dead
HarperTeen
September 22, 2009
208 pages
Amazon
(paperback out at end of August, too)


It's hard to summarize Pretty Dead too much because not only is it short (208 pages) but much of what's in the summaries published on a lot of book sites, doesn't happen until the story really gets going. I mostly went into reading it knowing two things: Francesca Lia Block wrote a vampire book and my friend who's favorite writer is Block basically got the book in the mail and sat down and read it until she was done (and adored it).

If you'd like a little more info (but not as much as Amazon has): Charlotte Emerson is tall, gorgeous and lives by herself in a mansion full of designer clothes, artifacts and furniture that nearly anyone would envy. In fact, that's her problem, that everyone envies her.

She's been around nearly a century but she's incredibly lonely. She might have what any girl would want, but it also stops 'any girl' from ever being her friend, too.

Except for one.

Now, though Charlotte has to deal the loss of that one friend, the sudden feelings she has for a certain boy--feelings she hasn't had in years, and the changes she's experiencing (the tear in her nails, the blood suddently rushing to her cheeks again).

Somethings happening to Charlotte, but what?


Told in flashbacks that fill you in on Charlotte's one friendship and her life as a human and then the present where sophisticated, well dressed Charlotte's life just might be coming undone, Pretty Dead is super enjoyable.

I can't think of anything to compare Pretty Dead to and though I want to say Charlotte might have been friends with someone from Buffy, I think that's actually wrong and some part of her and her life just reminds me of Drusilla (minus that craziness)...I might be super wrong on that, though, so don't let it put you off and just read the book?

It does jump around a bit and a few times it was hard to figure out just what or who was being talked about (or doing the talking), so that's all I'd take off from the book for.

9/10
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