Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Wayfarer

"The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love. R. J. Anderson has artfully crafted a world of stunning magic, thrilling adventure, and delicate beauty, where a girl far from home must defeat the pervasive evil befalling her beloved faery realm."

I have just (and when I say just, I mean about ten minutes ago) finished the first one in this series and adored it! It looks like this one has a new protaganist, but still follows the same story that had been carefully laid out in Spell Hunter. Definitely can't wait!

This book comes out on June 22, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gone by Lisa McMann

"Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...."

Overall: 4/5

I'm not entirely sure what I expected from this book. I think I might have just gotten so excited that the third and final book in the Wake trilogy was finally here that I hadn't gotten past just the expectation that it would be good.

Well, that part of the expectaion was for sure not a let-down. As for other (though, somewhat non-existent) expactations, I was taken by surprise. I guess I thought it would be another Nancy Drew-type mystery/crime-solver story where Janie uses her cool super-powers to fight evil and, along the way, win the heart of ever-amazing Cabel.

But that's not how this one went at all. It focussed almost entirely on Janie and her past, current home-life, and future. There are a bunch of things revealed in this one that were hinted at in the previous books, but which I still never would have foreseen.

It was a beautiful wrap-up of what is one of my favorite series. Part of it makes me sad, but I'm not sure I would have been happy if it had ended any other way.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Happy Factor: 4/5

Other books by Lisa McMann: Wake, Fade

Monday, March 29, 2010

Update: Magic Under Glass

In this post, I discussed my disgust with Bloomsbury for their inacurate covers of both Liar by Justine Larbalestier and Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. They fixed the Liar cover, but at that point had still done nothing about Magic Under Glass.

But now (and this may be old news to some of you but it only just now came to my attention), they've released a new cover for MUG as well:

Ta da!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (13)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

Here's the weekly haul:

"Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept."

"Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves."

"For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

"Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine."

Overall: 5/5

This book made me so angry. It's set in modern-day, but where things are a little different. The world as presented by Haines is an insanely violent and cruel one, where entertainment is placed at a higher priority than human life, like we really have devolved to the point where the Romans were hundreds of years ago. Yet, there was enough the same about this world that aines describes and the current world today that I thought the whole thing slightly unrealistic. No way would something so violent and deadly be allowed in the US so legally. There were a hundred little rules that, as a Glad daughter, Lyn had to follow or face dire consequnces; none of which would ever be legal in an American court of law.

Even though I knew it was a piece of fiction, just reading about the stuff that they put this poor girl through brought out my indignant and rebellious side. Which I think indicates how well Haines manages to pull her readers into her story.

There were plenty of elements about this book that caught me by surprise, and I loved them all. Upon finishing Girl in the Arena, I immediately logged onto Goodreads and checked for any hint of a sequel. Alas, as of yet, there is none. But I still keep my hopes up.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Happy Factor: 5/5

Other books by Lise Haines: My Sisiter's Country, Small Acts of Sex and Electricity

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Clockwork Angel

"Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all."

Cassandra Clare = 'nuff said

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz

"Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.

But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who-before it's too late." -

Overall: 4/5

I'm not sure why, but I didn't really have high expectations for this one. It took me forever to finally get around to reading it, which also had a little to do with how little I remembered of the first book. I ended up paging through the Deadly Little Secret before staring this one just as a reminder of what happened and who the characters were. And I'm glad that I did, because I think I would have been totally lost if I hadn't.

In truth though, I genuinely enjoyed this book. The dialogue was funny and the emotions real. I loved how Stolarz was able to connect Camelia's passion for ceramics into the plot, and particularly how detailed she was in the actual art of ceramics. As a clay-lover myself, I was excited that I actually knew what she was talking about when she used little bits of potters' lingo in the story.

And the ending to this one was so much more satisfying than the first. Seriously, I think I would have dropped the series if she had pulled another ending like that. But now it's not an issue.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Happy Factor: 4/5

Other books by Laurie Faria Stolarz: Blue is for Nightmares Series, Deadly Little Secret

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (12)

Thanks to Kritsi from The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

Only one book this week, but it was one that I hadn't realized even existed until I saw it sitting on the library shelf. It's a less well-known author, but one of my favorites so you can just imagine how excited I was to find it!

The Book of Dreams by O.R. Melling

"Dana Faolan, the spunky half-faerie heroine of The Light-Bearer’s Daughter, the third book in The Chronicles, has been using her access to the land of Faerie to escape the troubles of being a teenager in a new town. But a dark, mysterious enemy is determined to sever the two worlds forever, thus dooming both. It will take all of Dana’s bravery and resourcefulness, plus the help of friends old and new, to save her two homes, especially when it becomes clear that the answer lies in an act of terrible sacrifice."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deja Vu?

"Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly fi nds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?"

"Bee’s brother, Tommy, knows everything there is to know about sharks. He also knows that his life will be cut short by cystic fibrosis. And so does Bee.

That’s why she wants to make his wish-foundation-sponsored trip to swim with a great white shark an unforgettable memory.

But wishes don’t always come true. At least, not as expected. Only when Bee takes Tommy to meet a famous shark attack survivor and hard-core surfer does Tommy have the chance to live one day to the fullest.

And in the sun-kissed ocean off a California beach, Bee discovers that she has a few secret wishes of her own. . . . "

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody

"Alyzon Whitestarr doesn't take after her musically talented father or her nocturnal, artistic mother. In fact, she’s the most normal member of a very eccentric family . . . until the day that an accident leaves her more unique than she ever could have dreamed.

Suddenly colors are more vibrant to Alyzon; her memory is flawless; but strangest of all is Alyzon’s sense of smell. Her best friend smells of a comforting sea breeze. She registers her father’s contentment as the sweet scent of caramelized sugar. But why does the cutest guy in school smell so rancid?

With Alyzon’s extrasensory perception comes intrigue and danger, as she becomes aware of the dark secrets and hidden ambitions that threaten her family. In the end, being different might be less of a blessing than a curse. . . ."

Overall: 4/5

There are so many things to say about this book, and I'm not sure where to start so I'll just dive right in. The very first thing that I noticed at the beginning was the author's writing style. It was a almost a mix between Adrienne Maria Vrettos and Barbara Kingsolver, in the aspect that Carmody seemed to add in little bits and pieces about the background of the person and their childhood/life that weren't necessary to the story but nice to read anyway. Like actually looking in on a person's life, because in real life not everything is crucial to the main story of your life. And I love it when authors are able to capture that without making it seem long and dreary.

Unfortunately, the book still seemed to go a little long. Five-hundred pages that told a great story, but sometimes took it's time getting there. I found myself skipping over a particularly long paprgraph here and there that just seemed to hold excessive detail about the setting, or maybe explaining the MCs thoughts more than once.

However, there were a couple of really interesting ideas in there that needed the extra explanations. As one of those people that likes to think about things like this, I found these especially intriguing. One idea that came up as a key point in the book was that cruelty is actually a sickness, like the flu or something, that some people get infected with and from there spread to other people. which, taking that a step farther, means that it can also be cured like any other sickness, if you find the right thing to counter it. How amazing would that be?

The other cool thing that got me thinking throughout this book was the idea that animals communicate through scent; that humans used to be able to do it too, but learned to rely too heavily on the tongue for communication and eventually repressed the ability. Doesn't that just boggle your mind?

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Happy Factor: 3/5

Other books by Isobelle Carmody: Obernewtyn, Darkfall, The Gathering, Night Gate

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Warrior Heir By Cinda Williams Chima

"Before he knew about the Roses, sixteen-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great - until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts. Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind - part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game - a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir. As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he's not just another member of Weirlind - he's one of the last of the warriors - at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, there are no limits to what they'll do to get Jack to fight for them. . . . "

Overall: 4/5

I've said before that I don't particularly connect with male protags, and that's still true. But what helped with this one was that it was told in third person rather than first, and there was just so much action that it was too good to put down anyway! There was so much going on that kept me constantly guessing; I couldn't figure out who to trust and who had ulterior motives.

Both throughout the book and particularly at the end, I was so sure that there was no good way to end this story, but Chima surprised me yet again. Not only was I completely satisfied with the ending, but I'm also counting down until I can get my hands on the next in the series.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Happy Factor: 4/5

Other books by Cinda Williams Chima: The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir, The Dragon King

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Solace and Grief

"Solace Morgan was born a vampire. Raised in foster care, she has always tried to keep her abilities secret, until an eerie encounter with a faceless man prompts her to run away. Finding others with similar gifts, Solace soon becomes caught up in a strange, more vibrant world than she ever knew existed. But when the mysterious Professor Lukin takes an interest in her friends, she is forced to start asking questions of her own. What happened to her parents? Who is Sharpsoft? And since when has there been a medieval dungeon under Hyde Park?"

This book is actually technically already out, but only in Australia. They're still trying to find an American publisher to take it, and I hope they find one soon. Such an intriguing cover for a vampire book!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Graphic Novels Pt 2

I was walking around my school library the other day and did a double-take. Lo and behold:

Jane Eyre, the graphic novel. Does anyone else think there's something wrong with this?

After finding it, I did a little looking around and found more:

There's one for Dracula too, but I couldn't get the image to copy. I'm sure there are plenty of others out there as well, but was too depressed to look. If you're going to read Shakespeare or Bronte or Stoker, at least havethe respect to read the stories as they were intended. I have no issue with graphic novels or authors who wish their books to be published or re-published as such. But these authors had no say in how their stories are being handled, and in many cases, rewritten.

The point of these stories being classics is less about the story they tell (after all, anyone can tell a story about tragic lovers) and more the meaning given in how it's told. And now it's all being changed because most teenagers are too lazy to read the actual book.

This is sad, guys.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (11)

Thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

Since the library is both closer and a little cheaper then buying all the books that I read, here's what I managed to snag from it this week:

"Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live."

"The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than one hundred years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom. Thirteen-year-old Leanna's entire life is thrown into chaos when The World Federation of Nations discovers her mom is part of the radical Liberty Bell Movement.

After her mother's arrest for treason, Leanna must escape as she is chased by a ruthless bounty hunter. Soon Leanna finds herself living among the Firsts, and nothing will ever be the same again. But what does The World Federation want with the daughter of a traitor? So much is uncertain. Danger hides everywhere. Fear takes over. With help from unlikely sources, Leanna learns the origin of The Liberty Bell Movement and how its members may have answers about her past-and her new reality.

As family secrets are revealed, Leanna must face startling truths about self-identity and freedom. Through time travel, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence, this exhilarating adventure asks what it means to be human and explores the sacrifices an entire society will make to find out."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Twilight Spoofs

"About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight.

Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places."

"Love between a teenage girl and a vampire can be a beautiful thing. Then again, it can get a little ugly. Just ask Stella Crow. Stella is a clumsy but otherwise ordinary girl whose life takes a radical turn the moment she meets Edweird. Though perfect on the outside, Edweird Sullen is remarkably unrefined on the inside. He also happens to be a one hundred year old vampire, trapped in the body of a teenage boy, who has yet to finish high school. Nonetheless, Stella is unconditionally smitten with him. But not everything is rosy in this gloomiest of towns. Edweird's enemies have sworn to put a tragic end to their romance. Against all odds, the bond between Stella and Edweird is *nearly* strong enough for their love to survive. Most love stories between an impossibly handsome vampire and an ungainly young woman have a magical ending. This one -- not so much."

Okay, you have to admit that it's kind of funny. I'm not sure if I would ever actually read them because I think it would ruin the original book for me a little, but I deifinitely give them an A for effort.

The thing that bugs me is that the only reason Twilight gets so much crap is because it's a love story. Think about it- Harry Potter never had to deal with this kind of thing. Harry Potter also doesn't have a large following of haters that bash on it constantly. I mean, wizards....vampires.... they're really not that different. It just shows how cynical our society has become towards the idea of true love. Anything like the kind of love expressed in Twilght obviously can't be real.....

I think there's also a little bit of the macho issue. Loving wand-wars and masses of crazy soul-eating creatures is much easier to admit to than a sappy love story.

It's pretty much next to impossible to hate these books, but admitting to liking them is a whole other issue and I hate that our world has stooped to that.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: God is in the Pancakes

"Fifteen-year-old Grace Manning is a candy striper in a nursing home, and Mr. Sands is the one patient who makes the job bearable. He keeps up with her sarcasm, teaches her to play poker . . . and one day cheerfully asks her to help him die. At first Grace says no way, but as Mr. Sands’s disease progresses, she’s not so sure. Grace tries to avoid the wrenching decision by praying for a miracle, stuffing herself with pancakes, and running away from all feelings, including the new ones she has for her best friend Eric. But Mr. Sands is getting worse, and she can’t avoid him forever."

Seriously, how can you not love a book with a title like that?

This one comes out on May 13, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Out This Week: (3/7-13)

Poisoned Honey by Beatrice Gormley- 3/9/10

Hourglass by Claudia Gray -3/9/10

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan- 3/9/10

Monday, March 8, 2010

Heir to Sevenwaters By Julit Marillier

"The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest. Human and Otherworld dwellers have existed there side by side, sharing a wary trust. Until the spring when Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters finds herself expecting another child—a new heir to Sevenwaters.

Then the family's joy turns to despair when the baby is taken from his room and something...unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there." -

Overall: 5/5

Originally I wasn't planning on posting a review about this one, mostly because it's a little outside of the usual YA reading list. But it was just too good!

If you've never read the first in this series, Daughter of the Forest, then I highly recommend it. It's one of my favorite books and one that, after finishing the fourth in the series (Heir to Sevenwaters), I'm sorely temped to pick up again despite my huge reading pile.

Heir to Sevenwaters was so full of everything I love in a book: Action, adventure, romance, and just a touch of the unusual. The main female character was strong and relatable and I loved following her around on her multiple journeys. Marillier's beautifully detailed writing has brought this story to life, and I sincerely hope this isn't the last we see of Sevenwaters.

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 2/5
Happy Factor: 5/5

Other books by Juliet Marillier: Daughter of the Forest, Wildwood Dancing, The Dark Mirror, Wolfskin, Heart's Blood

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Maibox every week!

Weekly library swag:

"Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out.... "

"Boys. 7 of them, to be exact.

Megan is used to moving from place to place -- it's typical for an army brat. But she drew the line at South Korea. She insists on staying in the States to finish her last two years of high school. So her parents made arrangements for Megan to live with their friends, the McGowans...and the McGowans' 7 sons.

Turns out, living with 7 boys might as well be a foreign country! The boys are messy. They are cliquey (who knew?). And worst of all, two of the oldest boys are H-O-T. (A problem considering they are supposed to be Megan's "brothers.") Megan is definitely in enemy territory. She needs to win over the boys' hearts without totally crushing her own.

And when Megan starts falling for one of them, sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning....
What is a girl to do?"

"When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history."

"When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes."

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Depain

"Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul."

Overall: 5/5

I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book. But let's start with the important parts: Would you get a load of that cover? So gorgeous! I would read a book with a cover like that no matter what the synopsis said. I loved how this story kept me guessing. The synopsis tells you a little, but not so much that you immediately know what's going on and which characters to like and to hate. I was constantly torn between Daniel and Jude, feeling like I was betraying one the second I felt warmly towards the other.

This book was so artfully (is that actually a word?) done. I'm highly anticipating whatever comes next, particularly if she feels the urge to continue this story!

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Happy Factor: 5/5

This is Bree Despain's first book.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Mockingjay

"Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year."


This book seriously cannot come out soon enough. Each year there always seems to be one book (or two.... or maybe three) that you look forward to above all others. Last year, for me, it was City of Glass. This year, it's Mockingjay. Just looking at the cover gives me jitters.

Team Gale? Team Peeta? I can't even decide!

This book doesn't come out until the far-off date of August 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Out This Week: (2/28-3/6)

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn- 3/1/10
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins- 3/2/10
Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill- 3/2/10
Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap- 3/2/10

Monday, March 1, 2010

To Read, Or Not to Read?

A few days before reading Fallen by Lauren Kate, I read in a couple different reviews saying that reading the synopsis of the book before-hand gives away too much of the book. So I very determinedly did not re-aquaint myself with the basis of the story before picking it up. And it made the story so much more interesting.

Whether you think the synopsis of a book gives away too much or not, it does still gives at least some away. It's supposed to, in order to draw a reader in. But when the author is writing the book, they're probably not thinking *Oh, the reader will already know this plot-point from the synopsis,* so they write the story from the view that the reader needs the explanation of what's going on.

I'm going to use Twilight as my example (please, no groaning), where the back of the book clearly states that Edward is a vampire. But half of the book is Bella figuring out what he is. If the reader already knows this right from the start, it takes some of the adventure out of figuring out the clues along-side the protaganist.

I'm not saying that you should stop reading the back or front flap of a book to see if it's the kind you woud like. Covers are revealing, but they don't tell you everything. However, if you read as many summaries of up-and-coming books in a week as I do, you're probably not going to remember all of them by the time they actually come out; you'll just remember that a particular book sounded good and that you wanted to read it.

This is why I think I've decided that I will no longer re-read the front flap of a book before I open it. It's so much more fun if you don't know what to expect.