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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Splashing Away!

I've been shirking my award duties. I've been recieving, but not giving. Bad blogger, bad.

From Jo at Fluidity of Time, I got the Splashy award!
This award is given to the blog that is alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive and inspiring.

The Rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog/post.
2. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash award.
6. Have F~U~N.

What a wonderful award! Thank you so much, Jo! I'm glad I inspire or amuse or whatever someone. It's good to know that someone reads every once in a while :). Here are the bloggers I'm passing this award along to:

(I apologize if any of these people have recieved this award already. I haven't back-checked to see. But they're still ones that inspire me.)
1. Mrs. Magoo Reads
2. Persnikety Snark (What a great blog name!)
3. Pure Imagination
4. Tattooed Books
5. The Neverending Shelf
6. Wrighty's Reads
7. Karin's Book Nook
8. WORD for Teens
9. Reading Extensively

Thanks, again to Jo! You're wonderful and I love your blog too!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fill-In (6)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. A cup of tea in the morning is the perfect start to the day.
2. Pictures on the walls makes a place feel like home.
3. Everything has its beauty but not everything shows it.
4. I am absolutely craving the taste of strawberries?
5. Art makes me feel cultured.
6. LOL I just noticed I forgot to put duct tape on my rain boots so my feet don't get wet.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being snowed in at home, tomorrow my plans include working (unfortunately) and Sunday, I want to watch the closing of the Olympics!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: C.J. Omololu
ISBN: 9780802786609
Publisher: Walker and Company

"From the outside, Lucy's home looks normal. Inside the front door is where the secrets begin. Towering piles of newspapers and magazines. Bags of junk flooding every inch of open space. The rotting smell permeating the air. This is what she's kept from everyone - that her mother's compulsive hoarding has reduced their lives to garbage... literally.

With just two years until graduation, Lucy finally feels like a normal life is within her grasp. Her new best friend, Kaylie, and her longtime crush, Josh, make a future seem almost possible.

Then one morning Lucy comes home to find something she never expected, something that will change her life forever. And she must ask herself - how far can she go to protect her family's secrets?"
First Lines:

"Everyone has secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others. At least that's what I told myself whenever I stood in a crowd of normal-looking people and felt like I was the only one."
Page 1

In the past few months, I've really gotten into the new tv show on A&E called Hoarders. It's such an intense show and really gives you a look into the lives of people with a problem hoarding and how it affects their lives. So when I saw this book was all about a family dealing with hoarding, I was really excited. It's just fascinating to me learning about this disorder and the people it hurts.

This book is such an emotional rollercoaster. You've got Lucy's hate towards her mother because of being blamed or judged about the state of the house, her guilt and sadness about her mother's death, her anger at her siblings for not being there (or not helping when she needs it), and her hope and happiness in finding a "normal" life away from her family. It's amazing how many emotions a person can feel in a matter of 24 hours.

At first it was a little difficult to get into Lucy's mindset - just because the decisions she makes aren't necessarily the ones I would make. But as you read along and get some of the backstory, you really start to feel her pain and her desperation. And you almost see the method in her mother's hoarding - or at least the excuses that are there and why things are the way they are.

This book is written wonderfully! I was pulled into the story immediately and it didn't let me go till I was tearing up at the ending. It's a well written book that tells a part of reality that is rarely discussed (at least until this book and the tv show have come out). I think it's important for people to understand it and this book gives wonderful insight to teens who might not otherwise get it - hence the teasing and stuff at school.

I really plan on putting this book in anyone's hands who are looking for issue driven books - because this one is a stunner. It's emotional (as I said before), but it's also hopeful and freeing almost. I'll definitely be recommending it. I really liked the cover too - it's very realistic without showing the extent of the problem. Very well thought out and the girl fits my image of her in my head very well.

I hope to see more from Omololu in the future! Her website is a fun place to look around - she's got a very active blog that I just followed and look forward to reading. I believe she counts for a debut author as well, so I'm adding her to my challenge list. I know she wrote a children's book before this one, but w000t for the YA debut!
Other Blog Reviews:

Books at Midnight
Pure Imagination
The Hiding Spot
YA Books Central
Manga Maniac Cafe
Reading Rocks

Again, there are more reviews out there. Seems like lots of people love this one. So take a chance on it! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan
Released: March 9, 2010

From BN.com:
"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."

I'm pretty excited about this book. After reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I've been ready to get my hands on this one. I do realize that the summary is very similar to the story from the first book, so that will be interesting to see where the story goes. Hopefully it won't be a repeat. A few advance reviews tell me it will be wonderful. :) Here's to hopin'!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (8)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted byMizB at Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading:
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
"I didn't even really like popcorn, but I ate it through the whole movie because our fingers brushed as we reached into the bucket at the same time."
Page 12
I haven't started this book yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. It gives me something to get excited about on the train ride home. Woo hoo! I've read really good reviews, so bring it on!

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Ballad
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 9780738714844
Publisher: Flux

"James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween - the day of the dead - draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul."
First Lines:

"I was used to being the hunter. If I saw something I wanted, I stalked it, smelled it, made it mine. By 'it' I mean 'him,' of course. I liked them young, talented, male."
Page 1

I've become a fast fan of pretty much anything this author has written. I read Lament a while back and absolutely loved it. Ballad is the companion novel that takes place afterward. Because I've read so much between the two books, I spent a good part of the first half of the book making sense of the relationships, friendships, who they were and where. Not in a bad way though - just because my brain wasn't catching up.

I did really like this book. It was a very interesting take on the whole fairy thing - but with keeping in the traditions of most fairy stories. I enjoyed the character of James, though I don't remember much about him from the first book (I do remember him, and I remember what happened, but I just didn't remember his humor). His light attitude kept this book from being slightly depressing at some spots. He's one of those characters I'd love to hang out with.

There are lots of movies (most, probably) where you watch and realize that there's a color palate and you can see the difference and what things are supposed to mean. I was amazed to realize that this book has a color palate as well. It was very subtle at first, but once you get toward the end, it really takes effect. It almost seems like I've watched the story instead of reading it. That's the mark of an amazingly written novel.

I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for paranormal romances - especially in the fairy stuff. This is definitely a great one - and you don't even have to read the first book to get the whole story! That's always helpful when you're looking to recommend books to someone in a library - they don't all have to be there :).

Check out the author's website . I don't see anything about another companion book, but I look forward to seeing if she does. But you can look at the stuff about Linger and get excited! I know I am.
Other Blog Reviews:

YA Books Central Blog
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Library Lounge Lizard
The Crooked Shelf
Fantastic Book Review
The Book Butterfly

Tons of reviews out there, so feel free to link yours in the comments or check out more around the blogosphere. See? It is a great book!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fill-In (5)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. Johnny Weir is apparently a figure skater. I had to look him up to find out - I'm not girly enough to watch figure skating.

2. I am absolutely in love with the 2010 Olympics. Of course, I love EVERY Olympics - it's one of my favorite things to watch. (except for figure skating (obvs.).

3. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (Apparently this is a famous quote. I didn't know that. I googled because I couldn't make heads or tails of it.)

4. I'd be happy to join you for a reading powow, if you get an urge.

5. Having sweet dreams makes for even sweeter mornings.

6. What does it take to get to the center of a tootie pop. Let's find out... one, two, three... :).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being off work (I'm on the late shift), tomorrow my plans include reading and being generally lazy and Sunday, I want to go shopping! If I can find my giftcard :/!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Title: Wish
Author: Alexandra Bullen
ISBN: 9780545139052
Publisher: Point

"For brokenhearted Olivia Larson nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical - it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses - and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again. In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, Wish asks the question, If you could have anything, what would you wish for?"
First Lines:

"Some girls are wishaholics. You know the type. Forget twinkling stars and shiny copper pennies: These girls stare at a digital clock for the better part of a morning, waiting for 11:11."
Page 1

I really enjoyed this book - from it's high school drama to the quirky wish granting seamstress. There's something very cool about an author who can weave a smidge of fantasy in with the real life stuff going on. It makes the book hard to place in a genre, but it's a joy to read.

The main characters in this book are very realistic. I almost feel like I've met them already. I liked following Olivia from one side of the book to the other - her entire personality gets a lift as it goes along. It's very interesting to experience her grief and loss ... and what to do with it when her sister comes back. It's a pretty cool thing to watch. And I really enjoy the guy characters in this one. They're so distinct and carefully written, I kinda wish I had known them in high school.

I've never been to San Fransisco, but this book makes me feel like I've been there. It's so well described and she talks about all the different sites and sounds of the city. I almost think this would be a great companion book to your trip there. Like you can visit all of the sites she goes to and experience all of the things Olivia does. That just makes it a really cool book. Now I wanna go there!

I'd definitely recommend this book - mostly to girls, probably. It's almost a chick lit story, but I don't think I'm going to count this one for my challenge. And I think just about any age is good on this one - it's perfect for that girl looking to get into more YA material. So, definitely pick this one up!

There's an author bio page here, and it says that she's working on a sequal to Wish! I'm so excited. The ending sets it up for another book, and I'm really glad she's decided to do that. And can I get a w000t for the debut author?? :)

Other Blog Reviews:

Steph Su Reads
The Reading Zone
Bookalicious Ramblings
Eve's Fan Garden
Pop Culture Junkie
The Compulsive Reader
There are lots of other reviews out there, so I encourage you to have a look. I think the author has done some blog tours and there's a lot of info out there about her.

Happy reading!

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

by Claudia Gray
Released March 9, 2010

Summary from Amazon.com:
"Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?"

I'm pretty excited to get my hands on this book. I read a review a few days ago that said it was the best of the Evernight books so far - which makes me even more pumped :). Hopefully I will get this one as soon as it comes out. It's just one of the great vampire series' out right now and I'm hoping for the best!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (7)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted byMizB at Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading:
Wish by Alexandra Bullen

"'Anybody who tells you to just be yourself was clearly a loser in high school.'"
Page 93
"She hadn't thought the dress was so important, but something about the look in Posey's eyes sent a flood of raw emotion washing over her body, like standing under a bitter-cold waterfall, with the sun at your back."
Page 36
Well, I'm just about halfway through this one and I'm loving it very much! It's such a great story of family and self-realization - and it even has a little ghost action thrown in! I'm enjoying it a lot so far and I look forward to finishing it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Refresh, Refresh by Danica Novgorodoff

Title: Refresh, Refresh
Author(s): Danica Novgorodoff, Benjamin Percy, James Ponsoldt
ISBN: 978159643523
Publisher: First Second

"In a small town in rural Oregan, many husbands and fathers who enrolled as Marine Reservists have been shipped off to fight in the Iraq war. Left behind, three sons, boys on the verge of becoming men themselves, struggle to grow up fast enough to fill their fathers' shoes.

After school, in a backyard boxing ring circumscribed by a garden hose, armed with homemade weapons and the fury of fatherless sons, the three friends fight. They fight to make men out of boys. They fight to make their absent fathers proud.

In the moments between their violent games, their new responsibilities at home, and their youthful escapades, Josh, Cody, and Gordon endlessly refresh, refresh their email, waiting to hear that their dads are still alive."
First Lines:

"Hit him in the face!"
Page 1
(First lines tend to lose something in translation from a graphic :).)

After typing up that summary from the book cover, I think the summary says a lot more than the book itself. I mean, there are things in the depth of the book, but you really get the entire story line from it.

I really find it awkward to review graphic novels because I'm definitely no expert. I have a coworker who really is. So really I'm not going to say anything about the art - except for the cover. It's a little... intense. I mean, I know the book is about boys who have had their fathers leave them for the war... but a bloody kid on the cover is very crazy-seeming.

But this story is becoming more and more of a reality these days. Kids left at home - waiting to hear from their dads. I think the title is clever - Refresh - as in, refreshing your browser to see if you have new messages. Very well done. And it's a very interesting story and told in a very real, stark way.

I would recommend this book to anyone into the more meaningful graphic novels. It's a very heavy story, but it's told simply and is easily appreciated. I would probably keep it to the older teens, but not necessarily - there's just a bit of fighting and bloody bits... so it might make a difference.

ps - First Second Books rocks - check out their website.
Other Blog Reviews:

Librarilly Blonde
Comic Book Resources
Under the Radar
Comic Mix
Graphic Novel Reporter

Need by Carrie Jones

Title: Need
Author: Carrie Jones
ISBN: 9781599904535
Publisher: Bloomsbury

"Pain shoots through my head. Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain. The white world goes dark and I know what's about to happen.

Zara White suspects a freaky guy is semi-stalking her. She memorizes phobias and chants them when she's nervous. And, okay, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But moving to a shivery Maine town to stay with her grandmother is supposed to be the perfect fix - so her mom says.

Except this new plan of getting away to help Zara stay sane? Yeah, not working. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's imagination. He's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs are pointing to Zara."
First Lines:

"Everybody has fears, right? I'm into that. I collect fears like other people collect stamps, which makes me sound more like a freak than I actually am."
Page 1

There were a few things about this book that I thought were very cool. I know I mentioned in a previous review that I love it when the main character has hobbies and such that give them some depth. The character of Zara does this very, very well. It's awesome that she's so into phobias and stuff - reading the names of those is interesting and I've always thought they were fun to look at.

I also thought it was really cool that she's so into Amnesty International stuff. In a weird way, I kinda think this would bring more kids to think about being a part of it and understanding what they do by reading this book. That makes this book almost educational! Sorta.

The whole pixie thing is very interesting too - because most books go the fairy/faerie route... so I'm not used to thinking about pixies. At a few points, I was getting them confused. Things like, aren't faeries only allowed to speak the truth? And so on... But it was kinda cool to get into the lore of pixies instead. It was also fun to get the were-animals (or shifters as they were called a few times) involved in the story. Beyond werewolves, I haven't read a whole lot about other weres. But it was a fun diversion, for sure.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is into the urban fantasy (even though it takes place in backwater Maine) and the whole paranormal romance thing. I think a lot of people have read this one already, but I'm glad I finally picked it up. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Captivate - the second book in this series.

Check out the author's website.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
J. Kaye's Book Blog
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Late Bloomer Online
Kate's Book Blog
Karin's Book Nook
Dark Faerie Tales

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Fill-In (4)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!

1. Pickles smell really gross and tend to taste like they smell.
2. I've left a huge mess at home.
3. The snow is driving me batty.
4. I'm not very outgoing in nature.
5. It's 5:16 PM; that means I still have 14 minutes until I can leave work.
6. Jolly Joes (purple Mike and Ikes) are hard to find.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to not being at work :), tomorrow my plans include working then sleeping and Sunday, I want to celebrate Valentine's Day (whatever that might entail)!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

So, I'm actually doing this wednesday post on Thursday. Yesterday was snomageddon around here, so there was more reading and watching the weather than anything else. But better late than never, right?!

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins
Released: March 2, 2010

Summary from BN.com:
"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."

Doesn't this book sound like so much fun?! It comes out in just a few short weeks, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I think several people have already read ARCs of it and most of the reviews are really positive. If I remember correctly, this book also qualifies for the debut authors challenge.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

Title: Of All the Stupid Things
Author: Alexandra Diaz

ISBN: 9781606840344
Publisher: Egmont

"Tara, Pinkie, and Whitney Blaire have been friends forever... until one love affair tears them apart.

When a rumor starts circulating that Tara's boyfriend Brent has been sleeping with one of the guy cheerleaders, the innuendo doesn't just hurt Tara. It marks the beginning of the end for three lifelong friends. Tara's training for a marathon, but also runing from her fear of abandonment after being deserted by her father. Whitney Blaire seems to have everything, but an empty mansion and absentee parents leave this beauty looking for her own value in all the wrong places. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she's never stopped missing.

Then new-girl Riley arrives in school with her long black hair, athletic body, and her blase attitude, and suddenly Tara starts to feel things she's never felt before for a girl - and to reassess her feeling about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay - or does she just love Riley? And can her deepest friendships survive when all of the rules have changed?"
First Lines:
"Of all the stupid things he could have done, Brent Staple had to go and do that. I used to think my dad was king of stupid things, but now I don't know who is worse."
Page 3

This book was really a lot of fun. I enjoyed getting to know the three main girl characters - how their minds worked and how different they were from each other. This book is a great testament to friendships, for sure... and definitely relationships (and who it's okay to have relationships with).

The girls are a little cookie cutter. They each fit into their mold very well. But the three of them being friends, but falling out is something that we all have probably experienced through high school. I know I had friends that we just grew apart. It's nice to see a story written about girls who have had the same experiences - for whatever reason.

I would like to say one thing about the love interests in this story - you don't get much personality out of them. I mean, you know that the girls are into them... but it's almost like I have no idea what they see in them (possibly because we don't spend enough time getting into their conversations and such). And I find it interesting how the issue of lesbianism is dealt with in the story. On one hand it's handled a lot better than I would think might happen in real life... but on the other hand it's almost denied by some of the characters. I dunno. It's a weird handling of it, but probably a bit accurate. I'm not sure how true to reality those reactions are, but I'm not experiencing it... so I can't make a judgement there.

I really did enjoy this book. The characters were fun and I liked the flow of the story. I'll definitely be handing this book to girls looking for realistic fiction. Probably the older girls though, because there are a few scenes dealing with sexual stuff - nothing too graphic, but it's definitely heated.

All in all, a great debut book! I picked this one up to fulfill part of the challenge:
Other Blog Reviews:

Becky's Book Reviews
/- La Femme Readers -/
Cindy's Love of Books
The Story Siren
The Book Scout

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (6)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted byMizB at Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading:
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

"I can't help it. I've been worrying about the girls since I met them in first grade. Whitney Blaire was stuck in a tree and Tara went up to rescue her. Even though I didn't know them, I was certain they were both going to die. They came down with nothing more than a few scratches, and yet it was enough for me to realize that I never wanted to lose either one."
Page 12

I've read a few chapters into this book, and so far so good. It's written from different perspectives each chapter, so that seems to keep it fresh each time.
This book also counts for my Debut Authors Challenge, so I'm pretty amped about that :). I look forward to reading more in this one!

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Reckoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
ISBN: 9780061662836
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Published: April 6, 2010

"Chloe Saunders's life is not what you would call normal. First of all, she can't figure out how she feels about a certain antisocial werewolf or his charming brother, who just happens to be a sorcerer. Then there's the fact that she's running for her life from an evil corporation trying to kill her and her supernatural friends. And, finally, she's a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead - rotting corpses and all - without even trying. Not normal."
First Lines:

"After four nights on the run, I was finally safe, tucked into bed and enjoying the deep, dreamless sleep of the dead... until the dead decided they'd really rather have me awake."

Full disclosure: I borrowed this book from a coworker who went to ALA Midwinter a few weeks ago. She's so wonderful to let me borrow her ARC :).

Honestly, I was shocked to see that this would be the last book in the Darkest Powers series (or trilogy, I suppose). I've loved everyone one of the books including this one. Armstrong is very skilled at keeping the high level of action and adventure while continuing with a little romance and plenty of horror (you know, zombies, ghosts, werewolves and so on). I've been very impressed and I look forward to whatever her next projects will be.

The one thing that bothered me about this book - because it's supposed to be the end of the story - it doesn't end! I was expecting things to wrap up just a little more than they did. A few of the mysteries and such were cleared up and fixed... but really, there's a few more series that could come out of this. Hopefully that will come later... once this book is actually published :). But I can see a whole new series as a spin from this one. There's plenty of material left.

All that to say, I really did like this book. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who is into supernatural books. It includes almost everything - making it perfect for any type of fantasy novel for any reader! ta da! I love handing this series to people. It satisfies that romance lover too. That, of course, means I really hope it's not over :). I really had problems putting this book down, and I ended up staying up way too late last night trying to finish it. Just that good!

Check out the author's website.
There's even a website made for the main character, Chloe. It's kinda fun :).
Other Blog Reviews:

I haven't found any more reviews for this book so far. If you've reviewed it, please let me know and I'll link ya in. But I've searched for a little while and I'm not coming up with anything.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Fill-In (3)

Friday Fill-In is a kinda fun meme that's hosted by Janet at the Friday Fill-In blog. Just fill in your answers!
1. I know how easy it would be to take a nap right now. But work, I must.
2. January feels like the longest month.
3. You can't help but shake your booty when you hear the Date My Avatar song from The Guild. Hi-larious!
4. Weekend of scrapbooking?!; bring it on! (I wish!)
5. Where have you looked for that missing sock?
6. I'm so excited there are so many new books now available. (I can't help but think about reading when I'm at work - I'm surrounded!!)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the Knicks game at MSG, tomorrow my plans include being lazy and probably playing Rockband and Sunday, I want to watch the Super Bowl and have steaks that my finance is making!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saving Libraries

I was sent a link this morning to a website that is trying to save New York Libraries. I figured the blog would be a great outlet to get the word out there :).

This website is specifically for NY Libraries, but I'm sure there are plenty of other states that have done the same thing. Please let me know if you have links to other "Save our Libraries" websites.

I do enjoy the section of the NY website that has pictures taken by librarians that represent what a "day in the library" is like. I may have to take some through mine and submit them.

But if you have a moment, please take a look at the information over there - especially if you live in New York!!

Here's a couple of other states:
Philadelphia (city specific, obvs.)

Do you know of more??

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
ISBN: 9780385736817
Publisher: Delacorte Press

"In Mary's world, there are simple truths.
The sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?"
First Lines:

"My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was noting but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away."
Page 1

This was another line that I just loved (I deleted the spoiler bit).
"I stand at the edge [deleted] and stare out into the Forest and wonder how it is that we are never truly prepared for death. How can we be always surrounded by it, reminded of it, knowing that one mistake can lead to infection. And yet when it comes we are not ready. We still have too many regrets."
Page 174

I would just like to emphasis one little point: EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS ONE!! Ahem. I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Let me just start by saying that I had read reviews for this one and saw how well it was going over. I was a little worried about the whole zombie aspect of the book, because it's always done so.... hokie. Ya know? It's almost funny (see: all movies about zombies)... So, this seemingly serious story about zombies seemed kinda weird.

But it was done perfectly and I was blown away! The writing was so wonderful and there was something that reminded me of Hunger Games. Maybe it was the flow of the story... or perhaps something about the way the story was told. I'm not sure. I am sure that I loved it just as much.

I am definitely classifying this book as horror. There were some parts of this story that were out and out scary. I was pulled in by the story telling that certain parts could make me actually gasp or jump. riiiidiculous. That's the sign of an incredible book. Some of the words used to describe this book: Haunting, Chilling, Deep, and much more.

All of that to say... I highly recommend this book. I can imagine just about anyone loving this one, but maybe 7th grade and up? I mean, there's lots of violence... but it's against the undead. So does that still count? I dunno. But it's a wonderful book. I've already recommended it to at least 5 of my coworkers :).
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
There are lots of other reviews out there, so I suggest taking a look. It's totally worth it.

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I know this book comes out really soon (like, tomorrow), but I'm still excited to read it:

A Match Made in High School
by Kristin Walker
Released: February 4, 2010

"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. That's until 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 dorky, very big Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes."

I've read several reviews on this one and it sounds like it's going to be hilarious. I reeeaaally could use something funny. Not to mention that this is a debut author (or, perhaps, her debut as a novelist)! Ta da! I've already ordered it for my library, so I look forward to getting my grimy lil' hands on it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted byMizB at Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

"I think about how we are so focused on the peril presented by the Forest that we forget that the rest of life can be just as dangerous. I think about how fragile we are here - like fish in a glass bowl with darkness pressing in on every side."
Page 37

I know lots of people have already read this book, but I'm finally getting around to taking their suggestion. I'm 100 pages in and I'm loving it. There's something about this story that reminds me a little of Hunger Games - maybe the kind of society or something? I dunno. But whatever it is, I'm loving it.

Oh, and I thought that quote was kinda cool. It made me stop when I read it. Very profound and could have a lot read into it. I'm impressed so far.

Monday, February 1, 2010

28 Days of Winter Escapes

There's a pretty cool giveaway going on over at HarperTeen during the month of February. They're giving away a book-a-day if you go answer a simple question each day. It's a different book every day, so you should see what's on the table!

I've got the widget over in my sidebar and you're welcome to have a look at it through there. I've also linked through this post.

So, good luck! :)

Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson

Title: Mixed Bags (Carter House Girls)
Aurhor: Melody Carlson
ISBN: 9780310714880
Publisher: Zondervan

"When her mom died, DJ had to move in with her grandmother, internationally famous '60s fashion model Katherine Carter. Now Mrs. Carter's opened a boarding home for young ladies, and DJ - who would rather wear her basketball team uniform than haute couture - is just sure they'll all be unbearable fashion snobs.

One by one, the girls arrive and begin to figure out how to fit into this new family, getting to know each other and forming friendships. There's a few aspiring divas and even a closet Christian. Before long, the Carter House girls are dating, fighting, laughing, shopping, sharing clothes, purses, shoes... and their deepest secrets. DJ may not turn into the perfect little lady her grandmother has in mind, but one thing's for certain - with all these new "sisters," her life will never be the same!"
First Lines:

"'Desiree,' called Inez as she knocked on the other side of the closed bedroom door. 'Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs.' 'The name is DJ.'"
Page 7

Well, we have another book whose first lines really don't give you the right feel of the book. Yes, the beginning was a little slow, but that sort of was the feeling throughout the whole book. I do know that this is the first of a fairly large series (I believe there are at least 6 or 7 right now, with more coming), so I'm trying to give it a little slack.

I didn't hate this book. But I didn't love it either. It was definitely a fast read (only 198 pages long!). I just think there was something about the way the characters spoke or acted that doesn't really jive with what I think of teens acting like - or what I know they act like. Perhaps in a perfect world they would be so exact... but I dunno.

There was also a really big emphasis on clothes and purses and shoes and stuff... almost to the point of being too much. I do realize that the story is about a fashion icon taking girls under her wing and teaching her ways, but it was a little over done. I don't know, it just made things feel a little less realistic in my mind.

Carlson is very big in the modern Christian fiction genre - and that's what this series is billed as. The whole first part of the story, you really didn't feel it. But in the end you're almost getting blindsided by it. I mean, the elements were there, but I wasn't expecting to be hit over the head with it for the last chapter. I'm not trying to complain about that - but the rest of the book isn't set up that way. It's shocking, almost!

I have had several girls looking for Christian fic, and I think this series is going to be perfect for them. I'll definitely be putting this book (and it's series) into their hands. Now, as for me, I don't think I'm going to be reading the rest of the series. I do have a wonder about what's going to happen to the rest of the girls, but it's almost too much for me.

But that's just my opinion... And the author does have a good website, so go look around there. She does specifically offer review copies to book bloggers, so you might want to check that out.
Other Blog Reviews:

Relz Reviewz
Seattle Pi
Novel Inspirations (Has the first chapter)
Sisters in the Savior

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