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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer

Title: Geek Fantasy Novel
Author: E. Archer
ISBN: 9780545160407
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Released: April 1, 2011
Page #: 310
Source: ARC from the publisher (late review)

"Be careful what you wish for. Really. Wishes are bad. Very bad.
They can get you trapped in a fantasy world full of killer bunny rabbits, evil aunts, and bothersome bacteria, for example.

But you already knew that, didn't you?
Ralph, alas, does not. He's been asked to spend the summer with his strange British relatives at their old manor house in order to set up their Wi-Fi network. But there's much more to it than that, of course. It's just that nobody told Ralph. He's a gamer, sure. But this game is much stranger - and funnier - than anything manufactured by Nintendo.

So put on your suit of armor. Take out your 20-sided die. Brush up on your warcraft. Or, at the very least, open up this book.
Geek fantasy awaits!"
First Lines: (subject to change in final version)

"Wishes are dangerous.
Or at least that's what Ralph's parents had always told him. After all, why should a random fairy grant a child power out of nowhere, because, say, the child had wastefully tossed a coin into a fountain?"
Page 1

I'm not sure I knew what to expect from a book with a nerdy cover and a geeky premise. I'm just going to say that I didn't know there would be geek references that I didn't really get. But I suppose I'm okay with that.

This is the story of a boy who has recently learned that he has famous relatives in England. They invite him to stay for the summer and figure out their wi-fi situation. He agrees and doesn't realize he's signed on for the biggest adventure of his lifetime. His parents had always kept him from making wishes, but he soon finds out the reason. Wishes are dangerous!

If this book is nothing else, it's definitely clever. The cleverist of clever. I'm pretty sure every fantasy character in the history of fantasy makes an appearance. It's got bunny bombs, fairies, crazy witches, and lots of waking up in strange lands. While Ralph is staying with his cousins, he learns more about them each - and accidentally gets sucked in to each of their wishes. I think that's a pretty fun premise, don't you?

I think my favorite characters were the non-main ones. I loved the random fairies they hook up with. I loved the narrator (mostly for what you find out in the end of the book that I'm not going to give away). I loved that inanimate objects came to life and Ralph barely blinked an eyelash. Those were just the fun characters that kept this story going for me.

There is so much geeky humor, that I think just about anyone would like this story. People who are into all of the heavily geeky stuff might get more out of it than I did. I'm sure there were references to things I didn't get. But it's done well enough that I wasn't missing out. I think this one will be a fun book to recommend - mostly because of the subject. Geek humor. Can you really go wrong with that?!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Trades
Bookish Bethie
Beyond the Book
Laura's Books
WORD for Teens

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (72)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Crossed (Matched #2)
by Ally Condie
To be released: November 1, 2011

Summary from Barnesandnoble.com:
"In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever."

If you haven't read Matched, I highly recommend it. It has a bit of a strange vibe, but I fully got sucked into the story. I know a lot of people are waiting on this book... so add me to the list! I can't wait to see what happens to these very strange characters.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Out This Week Sept 25-Oct 1

There are tons of things coming out this week. I'm just posting a sample of the things I'm excited about. Make sure you get your hands on these early!

  • 10.1.11 She's With the Band by Georgia Clark
  • 9.27.11 Lost in Time (Blue Bloods #6) by Melissa de la Cruz
  • 10.1.11 If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
  • 9.27.11 The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

  • 9.29.11 The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  • 10.1.11 Reasons to Be Happy by Katrina Kittle

  • 9.27.11 The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
  • 9.29.11 Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • 9.27.11 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • 9.27.11 If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Sharp Time
by Mary O'Connell
To be released: November 08, 2011

Summary from Barnesandnoble.com:
"Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.
Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.
Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance."

I don't often find myself wishing for issue books, but this one sounds really good. And the cover is beautiful. From the summary, it sounds like there are some really good things that are addressed in the novel. I look forward to giving this one a try.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

YA Top 100

I've seen this list around the blogosphere, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Let's see how I do...

Bold = I've read it
Italic = I own it but haven't read it

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live Now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63. Melina Marchetta – Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Hm. Looks like I have some catching up to do. How did everyone else fare?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out This Week - Sept 18-24

These books are all being released this week. Which ones are you excited for?

  • 9/20/11 First Kill (The Slayer Chronicles #1) by Heather Brewer
  • 9/20/11 Sacrifice by Laura J. Burnes & Melinda Metz
  • 9/20/11 The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  • 9/20/11 Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things #2) by Anna Godbersen
  • 9/20/11 Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
  • 9/20/11 Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way (Monster High #3) by Lisi Harrison
  • 9/20/11 Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong
  • 9/20/11 Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan

  • 9/20/11 Game Over (Daniel X # 4) by James Patterson & Ned Rust
  • 9/20/11 Goliath (Leviathan #3) by Scott Westerfeld

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
ISBN: 9780803735521
Publisher: Dial Books
Released: March 17, 2011
Page #: 358
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Briony has a secret. Her secret killed her stepmother, destroyed her sister Rose's mind, and threatens all the children in the Swampsea. She yearns to be rid of her secret, but risks being hanged if she tells a soul; hanging's what they do to the Old Ones in the Swampsea - not the Boggy Mun or the Dead Hand, but Dark Muses, witches and the like.

When Eldric arrives - Eldric with his golden mane and lion eyes and electric energy - he refuses to believe anything dark about Briony. But he wonders what's been buried beneath Briony's memory and guilt, hidden in Rose's mangled thoughts, and whispered about by the Old Ones. And Briony wonders how Eldric can make her want to cry, especially when everyone knows, witches can't cry.

A wild, enchanted romance that is as beautifully written as it is captivating."
First Lines: (subject to change in final version)

"I've confessed everything and I'd like to be hanged.
Now, if you please.
I don't mean to be difficult, but I can't bear to tell my story."
Page 1

Halfway through this book, I seriously thought I was going to have to give a bad review. Well, not bad... but not great. But the ending really brought it all together for me and things truly started to fall into place. Pretty sure I picked up this book because of the cover... sue me. :)

This book is about a girl living in a community on the edge of a swamp. From what I could tell, it was set in a time before cars were prevalent and railroad tracks were just being laid out. But that also may be a little bit because of the back-woods nature of the area in the story. So it's about a girl who is a twin, but she is convinced that she's a witch. She's able to see and talk to all of the creatures that live in the swamp. Because she is a witch, she has done terrible things to the people closest to her. She lives realizing that she will be hanged and just wants to get it all over with. Either that or ride the new train to London and never come back.

Let me just say that this book is seriously strange. There is some serious genius in there, but I had some trouble getting used to the flow of language and some of the characters. You aren't given a plain description of anyone, really. Maybe of her father, the local religious man. And some of the outer characters. But our main people are sort of a mystery throughout the first half of the book.

I spent a lot of the book confused. Really, I did. I understood the little things that happened. I got that there were these crazy creatures in the book. But things sort of jumped around and I wasn't really sure what was being described. Of course, this could have been one of the reasons this book seems so unique. There are a lot of things going on - a lot of characters as well - and it's hard to make sense of some things. They do start to come together in the end.

Honestly, I wasn't sure how the ending was going to be. There were several possibilities - and with the strangeness of the book, I figured anything could happen. I really thought it was the perfect ending to such an odd story. And it gave me a sense of how things would be in this town from then on. I almost would be interested in a second book set in this same world. I didn't think I would be saying that when I started it.

I would recommend this book to those who are into strange fantasy. There are other things written by this author, but I don't think I've read any of them. It might be interesting to see what the rest of her books are like. But I think if you're looking for something different, this book is definitely for you.
Other Blog Reviews:

Indie Reader Houston
Katelyn's Blog
Steph Su Reads
Strong in the Broken Places
Life After Twilight
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!
Wicked Awesome Books
The Reading Date

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (70)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Desert Angel
by Charlie Price
To be released: October 25, 2011

Summary from Publisher:
"Fourteen-year-old Angel wakes up one morning at her desert trailer home to discover her mother has been murdered by a lowlife named Scotty, who has vanished. Angel has no water, no weapon, but she knows that Scotty, an expert tracker and hunter, will surface soon in order to eliminate her as a witness. She has to run, to disappear, if she is to survive and tell the world what happened. Her flight takes her through a harsh landscape to places she never expected to be, forcing her to trust others for the first time and strengthening her in ways she doesn't even anticipate . . . until it's time to take a stand."

I do want to say that I certainly wouldn't select this book based on the cover... but I really love the concept. It sounds like an exciting thriller. I can only imagine what it will be like, but I think it will be great.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

Title: The Queen of Kentucky
Author: Alecia Whitaker
ISBN: 9780316125062
Publisher: Poppy
Released: January 2, 2012
Page #: 376
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would prefer to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small-town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new 'sophisticated' clothes, and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids' table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door, Luke, says he misses 'plain old Ricki Jo."

Caught between being a country girl and a wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she really is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular."
First Lines: (subject to change in the final version)

"'When we get to high school, I want you to call me Ericka,' I say, taking off my tan leather work glove to wipe the sweat from my brow. I've been blabbing to my best friend, Luke, all day because A) talking makes the time go by faster, and B) I'm a jabber-jaw; but I might as well be talking to one of our cows."
Page 1

This is absolutely one of the cutest books I've read in a little while. OF course, I may not have been reading the right genre for cute stuff, but this one definitely wins. :) I'm also partial to a story about a Kentucky girl... as my mom's from there. Ahem... on to the book!

The story is about a girl named Ricki Jo (or Ericka for any new friends) who has decided she wants to reinvent herself at the beginning of high school. This is a little harder because she has a few old friends that don't love her new changes. She tries out for cheerleading, she's invited to the cool parties, and she begins to realize she's become part of the cool crowd. When tragedy strikes, she realizes who her real friends are and who she can count on.

I'll say it again, this book was adorable. I think I fell for Ricki Jo in the first few pages. She's such a fun and real character. She's spent her life working hard in the fields with her family and has decided to give herself a whole new image. She learns everything from teen magazines and spends her time obsessing about the boy everyone loves. Doesn't that sound like every other freshman you've ever known? I sure think so.

I loved Luke. Once you learn about his home life and his relationship with Ricki Jo, you realize just how awesome he is. There's something to be said for a friend who will stand by you no matter what is happening. He's that kinda friend. No matter what is going on with him, he'll always be there. Honestly, I was hoping Ricki Jo would get together with him instead of the jerky popular guy. Though... that's about right with real life, isn't it?

This is a little silly, but it was really nice to read a book that wasn't set in New York or some other really well known place. I haven't read anything lately that has been this unique in locale. There's something very quiet and easy about life in farm-town Kentucky. Of course, I also know this area of the country... but I think it comes across really well. It's also nice to see what constitutes a night out in backwoods places :). Yay roller skating!

I fully loved this book. It took me less than 24 hours to finish and I cannot wait to recommend it to people. I know that readers who love chick lit and realistic fic will get into this one. This is also the first book by this author - I really look forward to seeing what she has in store for the future. I'm sure it will all be wonderful. Definitely give this book a shot when it comes out in January!
Other Blog Reviews:

Okay, I don't see any reviews for this one. I'm not fully surprised as it comes out in January. But if you review this one, let me know so I can add you to the list. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

iBoy by Kevin Brooks

Title: iBoy
Author: Kevin Brooks
ISBN: 9780545317689
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: November 1, 2011
Page #: 288
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Before the attack, Tom Harvey was just an average teenager. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualized App. Fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they're having an extraordinary effect on his every thought.

Because now Tom knows, sees, and can do more than any normal boy ever could.

But with his new powers comes a choice: To avenge Lucy, the girl he loves, will he hunt down the vicious gangsters who hurt her? Will he take the law into his own electric hands and exterminate them from the South London housing projects where, by fear and violence, they rule?

Not even his mental search engine can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy's actions."
First Lines: (subject to change in the final version)

"The mobile phone that shattered my skull was a 32GB iPhone 3GS. It weighed 4.8 oz, measured 4.5 in x 2.4 in x 0.48 in, and at the time of impact was traveling at approximately 77 mph. Of course, I didn't know any of his at the time."
Page 1

I've read a few of Kevin Brooks' novels in the past and I've always found them sort of strange. He has a certain way of telling a story that is very different. Even if I'm not sure I can put my finger on the difference. This story is no exception.

Our hero's name is Tom Harvey, but he soon begins calling himself iBoy. On his way to visit his friend July, someone calls his name from the thirtieth floor of a building and drops an iPhone on him. After weeks recovering, he starts to realize that his brain isn't working normally. Soon he realizes all of the capabilities - and all of the things he could do with them. Lucy was attacked that same night by a group of gangsters. Tom starts to give them trouble as iBoy - and he is soon labeled a vigilante.

It's an amazing story. And it's sort of written with little hints of truth - where you truly wonder if this is possible. I mean, they can't get all the pieces out of his brain without hurting him, so they fuse with his brain? Maybe. Then they start interacting with his brain and how his body functions? Hm. It's a very cool idea and I kinda wish it was possible. Of course, then it means there's a possibility of someone listening in to everything you do technologically - typing, calling, texting, etc.

I think the relationship between Lucy and Tom is the best part of this book. They are best friends in the beginning and the attacks on them almost pull them apart. But they find common ground and understand each other. There's something very organic about their friendship - it seems kinda similar to many friendships I've had in the past. I also love how things end up, but I'm not going to tell you what happens.

The most interesting part of this story for me was the setting. It's effectively the projects - Highrises that are low income families in London. And of course there's lots of gang activity. Tom has always been one to stand on the sidelines and not get involved. But when he realizes that the gangs are to blame for everything that happened, he starts to go after them in any way he can.

I think many people who love tech savvy stuff will like this book. There's something very cool about thinking what it would be like to have an iPhone in your head. Can you imagine the possibilities. So I definitely recommend it to those who can wrap their heads around that :). Now, I do caution you that there's a bit of gore and lots of mentions of rape. So I probably wouldn't recommend it to younger readers. It's a bit much, I think.

All in all, I thought this book was very clever and it definitely made me think. Hopefully others will enjoy it as well when it comes out in November. Keep an eye out for it!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Observer (not really a blog...)
Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books
Fantasy Book Review
The Book Bag
Reclusive Bibliophile
I Want to Read That
Book Couture

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
ISBN: 9780312650087
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Released: April 12, 2011
Page #: 259
Source: ARC from the publisher (Late ARC review)

"Deuce lives in an enclave, deep underground. Her friends are her family; her life revolves around training to become a Huntress, one of the elite cadres who protect the enclave.

Deuce is partnered with a mysterious Hunter named Fade, who is said to have lived in the surface world as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters - or Freaks - which seem to be growing more and more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade's long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known."
First Lines: (Subject to change in final publication)

"I was born during the second holocaust. People had told us legends of a time when human beings lived longer. I thought they were just stories. Nobody even lived to see forty in my world.
Today was my birthday. Each one added a layer of fear, and this year, it was worse."
Page 3

There are lots of things to love about this book and lots to compare it to other stories. It's a story about a girl who was born and raised in an underground community that survives each day on following the rules of the elders. Deuce is one of the Hunters in her community, so she goes out in the tunnels to search for caught meat and to fight the Freaks. In a couple of her trips out into the tunnels, she realizes that things aren't all as they seem. The elders seem to be keeping things from the citizens. Because of this, she is banished - along with her partner, Fade. She then has to learn how to survive under entirely different circumstances.

The Freaks, in my estimation, are zombies. That is never used. They are called Freaks, Eaters, and even Muties. The way they are treated in this book fully reminds me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. They are treated as the sole source of terror for each of the books. In Enclave, they are just kept at bay by death - they happily feed on whatever meat they can get their hands on. I don't know that I thought of them as zombies at first... just these mutated humans who have not adapted to the world in the story. It was well done, really.

Our main girl, Deuce, is basically a hardass. In her world, people hardly live to see 30 - so you have to make every year count. She trained to become a Huntress for her entire life. Finally she got the chance to go out and do what she's been trained for. She treats every situation like a threat and hardly ever lets her guard down. Those few times she does, bad things happen to her. She also keeps her friends at a distance - knowing that Hunters have short lifespans. Like I said, hardass.

Because she keeps people at such a distance, it comes as a surprise to her that her partner might be interested in keeping her safe and secure. And that he might even have real feelings for her. But that is all tested through deaths of friends and enemies. They work together seamlessly, so it makes sense that they want to keep each other safe. There is a tiny bit of romance in this book, but it's really out of desperation more than anything else.

Looking back on this book, I'm going to say I loved it. By the end of the story, I was truly rooting for all of the characters (and trying to see beyond some characteristics of a few of them). But let me tell you... this book is truly frightening. Of course, the fear of things that go bump in the dark is a big one for me. So of course it's scary! I really couldn't read it right before bed. That's another way it reminds me of Carrie Ryan's books.

Anyway, it stands on it's own very well... and I think I will be recommending it along. Those who are fans of the dystopian novels will definitely love this one. I was just looking on the author's website and realized there is a second book coming out sometime next year. Very exciting! I think this book stands well on it's own, but I can't wait to see where this story takes us. I'd definitely give this one a try if you're into frightening books - and zombies. :)
Other Blog Reviews:

One Librarian's Book Reviews
Small Review
The Discriminating Fangirl
Brave New Adventure
A Bookworm's Haven
Candace's Book Blog
Waking Brain Cells
Paranormal Haven

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (69)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Crave (The Clann #1)
by Melissa Darnell
To be released: October 25, 2011

Summary from GoodReads:
Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long."

This book sounds amazing. I saw one early review of it that made it sound awesome. I really think this book has some awesome potential. I look forward to reading it - and the rest of the projected trilogy. Not to mention that the cover is equal parts spooky and beautiful. I'm impressed :).

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
ISBN: 9780062026484
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Released: September 20, 2011

Page #: 422
Source: ARC from the publisher


"Chosen for an extraordinary - and fearsome - destiny, a sixteen-year-old princess becomes the heart of a revolution. Her journey from untried teen to young woman of fierce love and untold power is, simply put, epic. Lush, adventurous, and wrenching, this is the first in a trilogy for fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Tamora Pierce's Tortall books."
First Lines: (subject to change in final version)

"Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom. The Scriptura Sancta lies discarded, pages rumpled, on my bed. Bruises mark my knees from kneeling on the tiles, and the Godstone in my navel throbs. I have been praying - no, begging - that King Alejandro de Vega, my future husband, will be ugly and old and fat."
Page 1

Well, the ARC didn't have much of a summary on the back of the book (I'm sure that will change), so I'll try to give you a better sense of the story.

This book is about a girl who is the younger of two princesses who gets married off to a King in a far country. That sounds like a fairly normal scenario, except that there is something exceptional about this girl. When she was born, God blessed her on her naming day. She was given the Godstone - a stone in her navel that marks her as blessed... and it lives inside her. When she gets to her new home, she starts to realize that not all is as she thought it was. There is war looming and she is not as safe as she once thought.

I absolutely loved this book. Seriously. I know it's the start of a trilogy, but you can take this first book as a whole story. It's the journey of a girl from childhood to realizing her destiny. She starts off as soft and fat and ignorant... but she grows more than you can imagine. It's the type of journey we all wish to take - except without all of the hardships she faces.

There are a few love interests (obviously, with her new husband), but that isn't the focus at all in this story. It's more about the adventure, the fighting, the war. Our main lady is very interested in the art of war and strategy. This makes her a useful ally to the other cities and people she comes across - even if she is an unlikely advice-giver. I think that's one of my favorite things about Elisa... she's unassuming. People discount her knowledge and cleverness. She's able to do things that others wouldn't. Like, take charge of a revolution!

I'm not sure this is something that will keep people from reading it, but there is a large emphasis on religion in this book. Our main character has a direct line to God, so of course she spends a lot of time thinking about it, talking about it, and seeking out the priests. Though I appreciate that while she grows as a person, her take on religion is altered as well. She begins to question things and making her own decisions about things. It's very organic and makes for a great addition to the story. I love that she begins noticing that people continuously say that they are doing things - even if they're bad - because it's "God's will." I think that's not so different from how things happen today. I just thought it was a very interesting element in the book.

All in all, I loved this book. I just have one complaint... the cover. Now, I do realize they have changed the cover for the official release... but I'm not sure it's enough of a change. See, this book takes place in, what I can figure, Arabia. Or something like it. She often talks about her dark skin giving her away... The chick on the cover of this book? Not. Dark. Skinned. Not even a little bit. Now, the UK cover hits it spot on. I think it embodies everything about the story. I just wish I had that cover to look at while I was reading - it would have kept me in the right frame of mind.

Honestly, this book took me about 24 hours to read. It's one that kept me up last night trying to finish it. It is just so compelling and you really want the best for the characters. I cannot wait for this book to be released so I can fully recommend it to everyone. I think fantasy lovers will be all over this one. There are two more books (obvs... it's a trilogy), but the next one isn't for another year. I'm already excited to see what kind of story it is.

I highly and fully recommend this book. From middle school all the way up. There are a few gory and insane things that happen... but it's not written in a way that makes it all obvious. The author does a wonderful job. This is her first book and I absolutely cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us! You won't be sorry if you give this one a try.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Bind
Cat's Thoughts
Poisoned Rationality
25 Hour Books
The Lost Entwife
YA Highway
Supernatural Snark
Madigan Reads

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. by Caissie St. Onge

Title: Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.
Author: Caissie St. Onge
ISBN: 9780375868917
Publisher: Random House/Ember
Released: May 10, 2011
Page #: 227
Source: My own copy

"For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful. She's not rich. She doesn't 'sparkle.' She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who just happen to be vampires). Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the human kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead: she's blood-intolerant.

So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her 'life,' things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one but two boys. Eli's a geeky but cute real-life boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker who just might hold the key to a possible cure for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure and fumbling first dates or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a ninety-something-year-old teen vampire to do?"
First Lines:

"'Oh my God, you guys. I am sooooo wasted. Did you see me? I was totally chugging, and now I'm, like... totally wasted!'"
Page 1

So, basically this is about a girl in high school who happens to be a vampire. There's some mean girl stuff, there's some cute boy stuff, and there's some nerdy boy-love going on. Not to mention that she's allergic to drinking blood - which complicates the whole thing and spurs on the mean girls. She also really wants to go back to being human... at whatever cost.

I have to be honest, it was really hard to get through the first 100 pages (aka half) of this book. Typically, I am able to suspend belief for vampire stories. There has to be some of that. But there were a few details about this one that made it seem weird to me. Like... she's over 90 years old and she still answers to her mom? And that she's the most awkward girl in the world? Don't you mature at all - even though your body doesn't? There was a short mention of the whole, "sucks you're stuck in a teenage mindset" thing... but I had a hard time with it. Not to mention that I just wanted to shake her most of the time.

Now, the second half of the book is a totally different story. There was love, intrigue, and a little adventure. You just have to slog your way through the beginning to get to the good stuff. You learn why her teacher has been acting strangely, how her family became the way it is, and what she hopes for the future.

One big universal thing about this book was family. She is always thinking about and worrying about her family. It comes full circle in the end, but it's definitely a running theme. Of course, if you're eternally with those people, I suppose they become the center of your world. I did enjoy the characters in her family. I wasn't much expecting a ten year old genius :).

The love interests kind of hit me as odd. The one organic relationship is with Eli - the human geek who is a little obsessed with Jane. But it's the kind of relationship that is kinda cute. Aww! Little nerds getting together. Perfect! The second guy, Timothy, is much more of a mystery to me. There's never much of an explanation why he really wants to be with Jane for the rest of their eternal lives. There's one shared interest, but it's taken too far too soon. I just wasn't so sure about that one.

All in all, it's a decent story. There are several things that I had to suspend my belief for (much more than normal), but I think there's a good story in the bones. Those readers who enjoy a humorous take on the whole vampire thing will probably get a kick out of this book. It's definitely the kind of story that doesn't take itself too seriously. So I'd recommend it on that front. I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next!
Other Blog Reviews:

Forever Young Adult
Midnight Bloom Reads
Dreaming in Books
Alexia's Books and Such
Bibliophile Support Group
BookLoons Reviews
Feathered Quill Book Reviews

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