Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twelve Books for 12/12/12

Hello, lovely readers. I'm sorry that I haven't blogged for such a long time. It's 12/12/12, the last repetitive date for our lives (unless you're immortal) so I compiled a list of twelve great books that you all should read, in no particular order. If you think you should spend today doing something more special than reading, you're crazy! (Or it's finals week. Ugh) Without further rambling, here's the list.

12. Legend by Marie Lu

11. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievater

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

7. Code Name Verity by

6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

What are your twelve suggestions for today?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weirdest Reader

So…I’m probably the worst person to be around if I’m reading. Normally, I’m either really bitchy sarcastic or just silent. But when I’m reading…when I’m reading I seem to forgot that I’m an actual human being. You want me to act civilized? You’re lucky if I’ll set down the book for a minute to listen to what your saying. 
The characters are running away from a bad guy/having a serious conversation/acting adorable/kissing. That’s what’s really important. Obviously.
While reading a book, I also have a habit to forget how to form actual words. I will make half laughing/screeching noises, whale noises, squees, extensive cusses, and many “I knew it”s. For the sake of this post, cusses and “I knew it” don’t count as actual words, even though they do. 
Thankfully, my sister’s learned to ignore me by now or else I’d be in a lot of trouble. If something awkward or awesome happens, I’ll jump, dance, run up and down the stairs, cackle like a maniac, or all of the above. My family probably thinks I’m insane, but whatever.
Because I’m talking about books, guys. BOOKS.
Yeah, so I probably shouldn’t read in a library. Ever.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Reveal: Clockwork Princess

For those of you who don't have a twitter or who were absent from today's exciting hashtag fest, here's the cover of Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess, the last book of The Infernal Devices. To "fight the mist" that covered this image, we had to tweet #ClockworkPrincess. It was a lot of fun and we wound up making #ClockworkPrincess trend worldwide. Now that's dedication for you!

Isn't it beautiful? It's probably my favorite cover from this series. I mean, just look at Tessa. She's so pretty. And her book is glowing. The book is glowing. I wish my books glowed because then I'd always have a light with me.

YA Crush Tourney: Team Tod

Guess whose match begins at 12:00 pm Eastern time tonight. Magnus? Well, yes, but I wasn't really talking about him. I'm talking about Tod, you silly person. Tod, the lovely reaper from Soul Screamers. 

His first match is tonight and will be on for the next 24 hours. Keep watch of Ina's blog and twitter for updates because she's Tod's advocate.

Check out my twitter and my tumblr today and tomorrow for some of my favorite Tod Hudson quotes! 

Get the word out via twitter, blog, facebook, tumblr, a sign taped to your cat, ect. #TeamTod

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that showcases future releases we're looking forward to.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Expected Publication Date: February 5th 2013

No blurb available.

Frankly, I want to see more of Warner. It must make me some kind of sick, twisted person, but I really enjoy his character. There's something so fundamentally wrong with him that just draws my attention to him every time he appears on the page. So yeah, maybe by loving his character, there's something wrong with me too.

Oh yeah, I want to see more of Juliet too. And Adam. And Kenji. Basically, I want to see everyone again!

Sorry for disappearing for a week with just another meme to show for it. I've been extremely sick recently and being on the computer for extended periods of time gives me a really bad headache. I'm such a bad book blogger.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that showcases books we're looking forward to.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: August 7th, 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

OHMYGOD! Just read the blurb. Then you'll understand. Words cannot describe how excited I am for this book. I read all three of the e-novellas within a few hours and I WANT TO GET MY HANDS ON THAT BOOK SO SO SO MUCH. August, why are you a little more than a month away?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. 

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Review: I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. It's best for me to wait a while after reading so my thoughts and feelings settle, but after three days my mind's still a mess when it comes to this book.

Zombie books are fast-paced, action packed, however-many-pages of fun, right? Not in this case. While this book takes place in a zombie apocalypse, there's a startling lack of actual zombies present. It's not page after page of fighting for your life, gory massacres. It's a story about six teenagers trying to stay alive in the apocalypse--one of which that doesn't want to live at all. 

The main character Sloane doesn't want to be alive. Her father was abusive and her sister, the one person she loved most in the word, left her. She got swept up with five of her peers who fight so hard to live when all she wants to do is just die. The zombies are right there, just outside of her reach. Death is so close to her but she still can't get there. Sloane was an amazing character. She was just so broken and hopeless, but her misery was so real and justified that as a reader, I couldn't mock her for being melodramatic. I loved her so much and throughout the entire book I kept cheering for her to find a reason to live. 

Every single one of the teenagers in the school is a well-developed individual. No two people are alike and Courtney Summers created such multidimensional, different people that the conflicts that arose from their differences in thoughts and the stress of living in a constant life or death situation were so realistic and horrible. It's heartbreaking because they have to cooperate with each other to survive but their personalities constantly clash with each other. While the other characters thought they'd make it, the constant sense of doom from the zombies and from Sloane's own mind gave the entire book a note of hopelessness. 

As I've said, the there aren't a lot of actual zombies present in this book. This doesn't make this book any less terrifying. We don't read about the characters taking down horde after horde of zombies with matches and kitchen knives. While we didn't actually see the zombies, their prescience was undeniable. The zombies were just looming over the characters throughout the entire book. Every single scene was filled with so much fear and tension because a breech could happen any second. 

I love Courtney Summers' writing. She has this prose that somehow manages to be beautiful but natural at the same time. So while I'm admiring her pretty paragraphs, I'm not scoffing at the fluffiness of it all. The setting is very contained. After all, they are confined in a school. But even in the school, the characters tend to stick together and stay in a few select rooms rather than wander around.

The ending seemed to sneak up on me. I wasn't sure what happened at first and had to reread it a second time to confirm that it was in fact the end of the book. Even now, I'm not sure if I want to cry or smile or just drop it. This is Not a Test is still fresh in my mind and I've read two other books since then. (And not just in the form of nightmares)

Overall, I thought that this was a fantastic read. It's different from your average zombie book, but it's so so so good that even die hard zombie slayer fans should read this. Courtney Summers really seems to be able to understand how people think and how to tackle depression realistically in a non-realistic environment.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

A weekly meme hosted by Tyna's Reviews showcasing the books we received this week and what happened on the blog.

From the library:
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Won from Goodreads:
Drain You by M. Beth Bloom

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (kindle book)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Gilt

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Review: I was lucky enough to live near a bookstore where the Gilt launch party was held. Katherine Longshore was a charming author and she had the cutest gold nail polish ever. I wasn't able to snap any pictures because I forgot my camera, but she told us about her book, did a reading for us, and then answered questions. Katherine Longshore told us that she lived in the UK for a few years, and during her reading she had a slight British accent. Afterward, while answering questions, she had this cute little accent that was a mix between American and British. 

She admitted that she wrote in a more contemporary voice in Gilt than other historical and that people have called her out on it. Later, while reading, I found this to be true, but it didn't take away from the story. If you're new to historical fiction, Gilt might be a good transition book for you. 

Cat and Kitty's friendship sort of sickened me and fascinated me at the same time. Throughout this entire book, I really couldn't figure out why Kitty stayed with Cat and was so loyal. From the first time we meet Cat, we find out she's essentially the "queen bee" of the girls, even when she was as unwanted and poor as everyone else. Cat is spelled out to be so shallow and manipulative, using Kitty to help her practice different emotions to draw out responses from other people. Kitty followed Cat's every whim, and even when she was angry with Cat in her head, it didn't take Kitty very long to get over it and forgive Cat. Kitty was a meek main character, which was a little bit annoying because I didn't like seeing Cat toss her around. Later in the story, and by later I mean near the end, Kitty's character development is really something to watch. It's wonderfully written and a very realistic change. 

Cat on the other was a horrible person, but she was so much fun to read about. Her risky behavior sometimes made me wonder if she had a death wish or if she really was that stupid. Cat didn't have many redeeming qualities, to be perfectly honest, but her manipulations and temper tantrums kept me entertained while she was there. The inevitable end is common knowledge, but it was a very emotionally charged scene.

Which will lead me onto my next point, Katherine Longshore is a brilliant writer. While the plot in the book is slow, it isn't so boring that you'll be tempted to put the book down. There are so many other interesting events occurring that you don't really miss the lack of action. Life at court is like tightrope walking. There are so many foreboding things just off the page. Threats to Cat, threats to Kitty. Kitty's life is interesting to read about because she lurks so close to Catherine Howard and is so close to her. Katherine Longshore really knows how to draw emotion out of readers with her words as well as keep them hooked in her world.

I really applaud the author's extensive research because Katherine Tylney was a real courtier at Henry VIII's court who did grow up in the same place as Catherine Howard. She obviously knows her information well and it shows with the ease in her books. She doesn't just toss everything onto us in a huge info dump. I just sort of settled into her story, like wrapping a blanket around my head.

Overall, while Kitty wasn't my favorite main character, Gilt was an great read that kept me entertained from cover to cover.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)

A weekly recap on the blog that features books you've gotten this week hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Did I mention how much I love my local library? Well, if not, I do. I love my library very much. We have a wonderful YA section with new releases coming in every month. Ever since Borders closed, I haven't really been buying many books. We have a great indie bookstore, but their YA section is small enough to fit on one bookshelf. Oh, the horror!

From the Library:

From left to right, top to bottom:
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Dark Eyes by William Richter
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbol
The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Celia Thomson

On the blog
Review: Timepiece

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Timepiece

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results. 

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

Summary from (Goodreads)

Review: Timepiece picks up a little after Hourglass stops. But wait! There's more. Instead of having the lovely sarcastic Emerson Cole narrating this book, you've got Kaleb instead. One of the main things I really loved about Hourglass, other than the time-traveling, was Emerson herself. She was a fabulous narrator, with so much voice and personality that she became a real person in my head. She wasn't there just to tell a story. Emerson made the story. Without her voice...things were weird at first. Before this turns into a gushing review about Hourglass, I'll bring Kaleb back into the picture.

I love Kaleb. I really do. It's harder to be inside of his mind because it was so much fun to observe him from afar in Hourglass. Kaleb is seriously the king of banter. The dialogue in this book is so hilarious. The first line of this book had me in a fit of giggles and it took me forever to just calm down and keep reading. Inside Kaleb's head, you don't have to guess what other people are feeling. He just tells you. With the way it's written, it's very direct and natural, which is good, because Kaleb's used to being an empath. Myra McEntire is a fabulous author. She really understands people and in Kaleb's point of view, while I could tell it was a guy main character, she remembered to make him a person instead of a cardboard cutout of GUY. Oh, what else do I have to say? While I missed Emerson a lot, Kaleb's point of view was fantastic. He was a very interesting (wink wink) character in Hourglass, but with Timepiece he really came to life. Suddenly, you understand him. And it really is sad. Kaleb carries an unimaginable amount of guilt and hurt. He's so real in Timepiece.

Oh, and his love interest. What do I have to say about her? Oh yes, I so called it as soon as I heard Timepiece was from Kaleb's point of view. I. called. it. Honestly, it took me a while to accept Kaleb's blossoming romance with his love interest. It was downright hilarious and fun to watch unravel, but a small part of me had been hoping that Emerson would ditch Michael and marry date Kaleb. What's that I hear? Am I crushing hopes? Sorry, but the sooner you accept this, the more you'll enjoy reading this book. I still ship Kemerson, though. (Sorry, I thought up the couple name in less than a second. I'm not good at these things) Sexy Pirate, meet Tiny Ninja. Y'all should get married. (Not happening.) I really was heartbroken when they didn't get together.

The cast of characters introduced in Hourglass carry on into Timepiece with a flawless transition. Some minor characters became more important and some of the main characters stepped down to let others shine. Myra McEntire has a knack for creating people.

The plot is as confusing as the plot in the first book, maybe even more. Part of the reason it seemed so confusing may be because I skim a little when reading on a ebook reader. The time rips get  more frequent and now everyone with a time related ability gets sucked in. The stakes are upped, which is insane because throughout the entire first book, there's this intense feeling that something is going to happen. That's the same feeling you'll get from Timepiece except for the fact that it's much more foreboding because you have no idea what'll happen next. The characters were running around in a panic and it's so painful to watch because I also had no clue what was going on. The pacing was amazing. The intensity of the story kept me addicted, but at the same time she gave her characters enough rest time for them to be human and grow. The characters weren't there for the sole sake of filling out a role--they made the story.

You get a little more insight on the evil Jack  but even then, you're not sure if it's the truth or if he's lying. He's a fabulously constructed antagonist because while you know his plans, you don't quite understand his motives. The edge of mystery that surrounds him made me wish to see him more often and wish he'd never show up at all at the same time.

If you haven't read the first book yet, then I don't suggest you pick this one up until you've read Hourglass. Some second books in series can be read without the first, but Timepiece is not that kind of book. Most of the quirks and science to time travel, as well as some important character-building events from the first book are needed to fully understand the story Myra's constructed for us.

Overall, I think this was a great sequel to a gripping series. I just can't wait for what happens next in Infinityglass. 

Rating: 4/5 stars

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Like a Caveman

Pardon the dust and cobwebs settling on my blog. Life's been a bit hectic for me lately and some personal real life things have gotten in the way of my internet life. Tomorrow's my last day of school before summer break, so expect to see me more often. ;D I'll have a lot of free time to read and write reviews.

I don't really have that much time right now, but I thought I'd like to share with you a few of the books I've read recently. Because I'm lazy and in a writerly burnout, I'll only use three words to describe each book. The words may be emotions the book made me feel, (non-spoiler) events in the book, or some kind of summary or theme I felt was there. The words probably won't have anything to do with each other so don't try to piece together anything from putting them all together. I'm not clever enough to do something like that. Basically, I'll revert into Caveman Julie. Three words. Three books. This'll be fun! You can quit out of this window now, because I'm sure it'll make no sense to anyone but me. But hey, it's okay to have inside jokes with yourself, right?

Keep in mind that I may or may not write actual reviews about these books in the future.

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Kaleb. Birds. WHY!?

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Bitch, please. Tears.

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

Lola. Latin Roots.
So after reading over this post, I've decided to explain my caveman musings. Mostly because I make a way too ADD a caveman.

TIMEPIECE: This isn't a spoiler because it's already been leaked a long time ago. Kaleb's the narrator in this book. Birds...well...technically this is spoiler information, even if it's unimportant. So I'll put it in white and just highlight it if you really want to see it. It doesn't really matter either way but I don't want to ruin your day. The town they're is obsessed with birds. Yeah, I went there. The last one is spoiler info, so I can't tell you about it until you've read the book. If you've read the book, email me. We need to talk.

GILT: Cat is so mean to the main character. I never really understood why they were friends. This is about King Henry VIII's 5th wife, Catherine Howard. We all know how the story ends, right? That's what the tears are for.

THE STORY OF US: This is where the ADD comes in. The main character's name is Cricket (she's a girl), which reminds me of another Cricket from another story. The sweet, shy guy Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. That Cricket's my future husband. This one character in this book smokes a lot of weed, which reminded me of the Latin Roots we learned earlier in the spring. Pot = Power. 

Finals have messed with my mind, thank you very much. I'll spend the summer recharging. Love me? Please don't judge me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publication Date: June 14th, 2012

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
(Summary from Goodreads)

Despite the insane amount of Dystopian and paranormal I've been reading these days, I'm on a contemporary rampage. I've been devouring real life stories, living voraciously through characters that have way more interesting realistic lives than I do. My life next door sounds like an amazing story. For one, I'm a huge sucker for the boy-next-door stories, and this one promises family inclusion. One thing a lot of YA books are missing nowadays are strong families and good parents. This story promises it all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Review: Sometimes there are books you love so much, it's difficult to vocalize what you liked about the book. When I first heard Julie Kagawa was writing a vampire book, I jumped on it. I'm not sick of the vampire trend as long as the vampires aren't sparkly fairy princesses. I've been a Julie Kagawa fan from the beginning--and not just because we share the same first name. With a series as long as The Iron Fey, she must have been used to Meghan's voice. The total 180 she did with Allie's voice shocked me, and so did the comfort she had with the character. Was this even the same author?

Why yes, yes it was.

One of the many things I liked about this story is the portrayal of vampires. They were hunters, plain and simple, and didn't do that nasty animal blood thing that's oh so popular in the YA market. Nope, vampires had to drink blood or else they'd go insane...and still have to drink blood.

The story starts out with Allie and her gang of Unregistered. The world building is fantastic from page one. She doesn't try to dump the information over you like a pot of freezing water and shock you into her world nor does she throw in random terms that you don't understand the meaning of until halfway through the novel. The system in her world is simple; vampires rule and the human serve them. Because Allie and her crew are Unregistered, the vampires ignore them and they have to fend for themselves. They don't have food rations or anything so everyday is literally a battle.

I loved Allie. She didn't appear to be a very nice person, and didn't seem to want to be a nice person, but took care of Stick, regardless of his uselessness. Allie was a butt-whooping, tough girl, always thinking about survival. I loved her refusal to sit down and be weak, which does make sense in her circumstances. If she was weak, she'd be dead already.

The character interaction in this story was brilliant. You could really get a sense of their different personalities and I never thought that they were just talking for the sake of dropping information. Yes, we did learn things through dialogue, but it never felt forced or like info bombing. Even though we didn't meet Zeke until halfway through the story, it was worth the wait. I love how in Julie Kawaga's books, the romance aspects never take over the plot of the story! Zeke was steady, sweet, and caring. He wasn't perfect but we love him anyway. He and Allie had similarities but the parallels between them made their romance believable. It wasn't just a "Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, let's run away and get married and love each other forever and ever and ever." Their romance had to grow. Kanin, Allie's vampire mentor, was the classic mentor figure. He was still an intriguing character and the air of mystery that surrounds him makes me want to know more.

Julie Kagawa is probably the queen of action scenes. Her pacing is so natural and so smooth that it feels immediate. There's no clunky awkward prose from her. The plot is intense and the book is just addicting. As soon as you pick it up, you know you won't be able to put it down until you're finished, and even then, the characters and the story haunt your thoughts. Overall, this was a book about survival and change. 

Julie Kagawa took two popular trends in the YA market and created something so different and so original that it's a must read for everyone, even if you don't like dystopian or vampires. Read The Immortal Rules. You won't regret it. (I think she's some kind of magician.)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (1)

A weekly recap on the blog that features books you've gotten this week hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Weirdly enough, I haven't borrowed any books from the library. That can be remedied in a few days, but wow! This must be a first for me.


(from Goodreads)

On the blog
~Reviewed Halflings

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

A weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

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

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

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

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

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

Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors. While I wasn't a huge fan of her Shiver series--it was all right--I loved The Scorpio Races. I remember a while ago on some website (I know, I'm being vague. My memory sucks.) they had a preview of the first few chapter in The Raven Boys. After I read the first chapter, I cursed the slow publishing industry for teasing me so far away from the release date. It shot up on my tbr list and I'm saving up money to pre-order it. It's in third person limited POV, which is something new to Maggie's published books, but it was great regardless. Physic families? Prep school boys? Creepy churchyards and ghost holidays? Count me in!

I'm waiting in so much anticipation. Can't September come sooner? 


P.S. On another note, I'm going to my first book launch party on Saturday. Should I take pictures? Should I mention that I'm a book blogger if I have the chance? I mean, I don't have that many followers and I don't feel like a "real book blogger", but I don't want to miss this opportunity. Any advice?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Halflings

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Review: I have a confession to make. While all the classy book bloggers are sick of the love triangle (or as I like to call it, a love angle) I still like them. Love them, even. There are a lot of angel books in the market right now and it's difficult to write one without evoking any religious opinions into a story. There was a lot of talk of Heaven and "falling", which was typical in an angel book. The halflings are exactly what they're called. They're half human and half angel.

The three halflings that help protect Nikki are called "the lost boys". They are drop dead gorgeous, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You get the gist of it. Angels. Supa hawt YA angels. While I loved the contrasting personalities each boy showed, the insta!love that blossomed between Mace and Nikki irritated me. I know a lot of people believe in love at first sight (Trust me, I've had an hour long argument with my friend about it.) but I believe that love takes time. I believe in lust at first sight and attraction or interest at first sight but I also believe that it takes time for love to grow. Nikki's relationship with one of her two love interests popped out of no where. One second he was a shady guy, the next it's all "Ohmygosh, I luuurv him." Her relationship with the bad boy character actually had to grow from something, but even then I felt like it was a little bit rushed, even if nothing happened. From the guy's POV, I guess he was just desperate. His desperation and admiration fit his characterization, so I felt like it was okay for him to act that way. (Plus, I just love him. I have a thing for fictional bad boys because in fiction they can be all sweet and sensitive too.)

The prose was amazing, though. There were a few biblical references that I know I didn't understand, but I hope they didn't mean too much to the story. Heather Burch's writing style reminded me of Cassandra Clare's; beautiful and direct. It never got too flowery where the writing outshone the storyline. 

As a character, Nikki bothered me. Of course she was beautiful. Of course she was socially awkward around boys. Of course she had a black belt and was an amazing artist. Silly me. All teenage girls are perfection in motion. One thing I did like about her was her refusal to go down without a fight. She was steadfast and brave, which I admire in any character.

Halfling's had MPS, or in normal terms, Missing Parent Syndrome. Nikki's parents were there...but they weren't actually there. What kind of caring parent lets their teenage daughter zoom around on a motorcycle without knowing where their child is? Motorcycle...I can forgive. It's a death trap in my opinion, but it's a fun death trap and Nikki must've proven to be trustworthy around her parents in the past. They never really asked Nikki where she was going or who she was with. In the story, Nikki built up her parents to be kind people. They should've been more aware of their daughter. Nikki's a pretty girl. That should just ramp up their protective levels. I know that Nikki's parents were sort of shady *wink wink* but they seemed to really care about her. In theory. I think Nikki should stop saying how much her parents care for her and make her parents act it out.

Despite all my ranting, Halfling wasn't actually a bad book. I had a great time reading it the first time through because as much as Mace pissed me off, Raven was always lurking in the shadows. This book is pure escapism for a reader, through and through. 

Rating: 3/5 stars

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Haul

Based on some recent events, I will no longer be participating in the meme IMM. If you haven't heard about it yet, click this for more information. I'll be on the lookout for a replacement meme but for now it'll just be called a book haul. I enjoy sharing my new books with you guys and seeing what you've added to your collection.

Wow, I haven't been on for a while. I'll just update the newest books I've borrowed from the library and the few books I bought for myself.

From the library:

From Netgalley: