Thursday, 29 April 2010

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken


Brightly Woven
Alexandra Bracken

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.


Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Here is yet another book where my review just can't be coherent.

Alexandra wove such a detailed, complex world, that even though my ARC has no map, I could see things clearly in my head. Does that make sense?

Syd was never a damsel in distress either. She was smarter than you usually see in a female protag. A lot of the time, the protag. is weak and helpless, but Brightly Woven is part of the trend with strong protags. that don't need a guy to help them. Although, North does come in handy. And he's some good eye candy. ;) But even in the end, Syd still didn't *need* North.

The ending to this book was absolutely perfect, all things considered. It closed everything up tightly, but still left the option for more books in the future. Besides that, it also worked with the book. The flow was wonderful.

I also love the development of the relationship. While it wasn't always said, you could feel the tension growing between Syd and North the entire time. It was like you were there, walking with them.

My only complaint was that it was sometimes predictable. I never really minded when I was reading, it was kind of nice really. In a way, I'm glad this was there, because no book should be completely perfect.

Overall, Brightly Woven was a fantastic, beautiful story that seemed like a fairy tale. And it was certainly a tightly woven novel. I look forward to Alexandra's next work!

--Julie

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

Plain Kate
Erin Bow
[September 1, 2010]

The drizzle had broken into patches as they walked. As Drina scooped up the pale sand, Kate found herself standing in the smudge of shadow cast by the deadfall. She had never before noticed the way shadows gave things weight, made them look heavy and real and connected to the ground. Without hers...

She edged into the light.

Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the groun
d, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true: No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square. For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Tell me this doesn't sound AMAZING? And it's in RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

Personal Demons
Lisa Desrochers
[September 14, 2010]
[No cover yet]

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.


But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

Angels? Demons? WIN. Plus Lisa is amazing.

And one extra this week because it comes out next week.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Morgan Matson
[May 4, 2010]

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the acciden
t. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.



This kind of reminds me of Just One Wish with the whole road trip thing. So, I'm really intrigued and I hope I can look for it in stores this weekend!

What are all of you waiting for this week?

--Julie

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Some Blog Pimping

Hello dear readers! I know I'm failing again, but I was away all weekend and I'm still recovering from the immense amount of excitement. (Roller coasters are SCARY, guys. And I went on like 6 of them).

Anyway, today I want to high light a new blogger I'm friends with because I probably can't pump out a good review today since they take a while.

The blogger is my friend Harmony and her blog Harmony's Radiant Reads. She is a younger blogger and has only been blogging a few weeks, but I already love her blog. And I figure, what better way to promote her than to tell all of you guys?

So, go check out her blog. You'll love it, I promise!

--Julie

P.S. I'm debating doing some kind of chat for writers/aspiring writers on skype or chatzy, depending what's better for everyone. So just let me know if anyone's interested!

Author Interview: Simone Elkeles

So this is the second interview we've had on the blog and it's with Simone Elkeles, author of one of my favourite books of last year, Perfect Chemistry.


What is your definition of love? I've asked a lot of people this question and so far no two answers have been the same, which is kind of fascinating because love is such a universal thing and we've all felt it in some way. It's also a big theme in your books, so I'm curious about your answer.


To be honest, I’m not sure everyone has experienced it. Some have experienced lust or infatuation or obsession. I mean, I guess you can say we all love our parents or kids or pets or family members…or chocolate, ha ha. I’ve definitely been in love. Like crazy teenage Romeo and Juliet I’d-die-for-you love, where you can’t imagine living your life one day without that person. Every time you’re with that person, you feel excited and happy and emotional. You can look at that person and when they look at you and your eyes meet, it’s such a completely intense connection you both just “know” it’s real love and nothing can compare.

I try to capture that in my book, because it’s beautiful and scary – I admit you lose a little bit of yourself because that kind of love is so powerful it can blind you and destroy you and might not be the most healthy thing. But if it works out and stays a healthy relationship, nothing can compare.

What is the one book you wish you had written?

Lady be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips or The Hunger Games (it’s awesome!)

What are your five books you would recommend to my blog readers (whether it be all time favourites or upcoming novels we should look out for)?

If I can’t pick my books, I’d pick:

The Hunger Games

Flipped

Lady Be Good (adult romance, so it’s edgy)

Rainbow Boys

Wicked Lovely

It has to be said that your book trailers are definitely some of the best I've seen, which makes me wonder how you would feel about any of your books being turned into a movie?

My latest book trailer for Rules of Attraction really gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to see my characters come alive on the screen. I seriously broke down and cried after the filming of the “book trailer” – shot like a movie trailer – and in my opinion I think it would be amazing to see my books become movies. What could be better than teen romance movies? Nothing! I grew up watching them and still love them today. I know it’s a risk and a lot of awesome books are made into horrible movies (totally no offense but Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was an amazing book but the movie in my opinion was horrible – it didn’t do the book justice at all.)

While we're on the subject, what are three of your favourite movies?

The Cutting Edge

She’s the Man

Sixteen Candles

Recently I re-watched My Cousin Vinny and it’s hilarious I have to add it. I’ve been quoting lines from it for weeks now.

A lot of authors like to write to music or make playlists for their books, is music part of your writing process and if so, what bands/artists might be found on one of your writing playlists?

You can find playlists I created from Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction at: www.perfectchemistrythebook.com

I really like The Fray and if you live in Wisconsin or Illinois in the United States a favorite local singer/comedian is Pat McCurdy.

If you could be a character in any book, which book would you choose and why?

That is one of the toughest questions. If it were one of my books, I guess Brittany Ellis from Perfect Chemistry/Rules of Attraction because Alex is the type of guy who would respect me and take care of me and let me be independent while being my forever partner in life.




Did you always want to be an author and aside from writing, what are some of your dream jobs? (feel free to throw logic out of the window for that one; pirates, presidents and princesses are acceptable answers.)

Unlike most authors I know, I hated reading as a teen and hated English class. I got B’s and C’s in English class most of the time. I have a master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Loyola University-Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology. I’ve never taken a creative writing class in my life. I fell in love with reading as an adult – specifically romance novels. I was so in love with them, I started writing them.

Once I started writing for “myself” and not a teacher or for a grade, I realized that I loved writing and never wanted to stop. I pretty much taught myself how to write, because they didn’t teach me how to write a book in my regular English classes. Writing is the best profession and now I can’t imagine doing anything else! Although seriously, I think I was born to be a princess (you said that was an acceptable “dream job” so I’m throwing it out there). I tell my husband all the time I think I was born to be royalty, but he just laughs in my face.

Thanks so much to Simone for answering my questions. You can find out more about her books on her website: www.simoneelkeles.net

Later.

Eight Days In Darkness by LCSW, Angela Roegner & Anita Wooldridge

Please note that this book is not YA and it does have adult content.

Eight Days In Darkness
by LCSW, Angela Roegner, Anita Wooldridge

Summary: On June 25, 1998, Anita Wooldridge was taken from her parents' home in broad daylight by a convicted rapist. For eight terrifying days, Anita was savagely beaten and raped by her captor, who locked her in a metal storage cabinet for hours at a time. With only a steadfast faith in God to comfort her, Anita refused to give up hope that she would be found.

Eight Days in Darkness chronicles the shocking events of Anita's kidnapping, including her transport across state lines, and the impressive efforts of local authorities and FBI agents which led to her rescue and the dramatic capture and conviction of her abductor. Anita's story is still used today as a case study for prospective FBI agents, and Eight Days in Darkness paints a portrait of the real-life battle between good and evil.

-Summary from Amazon


It's really difficult to review this book because of the subject matter. I'm reluctant to say it's a "good book" because of what it's about, a story about kidnap and rape is anything but "good"... it's heartbreaking and emotional and despite its size, it's a really fast paced and quick read and I would recommend it.

It's told in alternating points of view, switching effortlessly between the perspective of Anita, her kidnapper and the team of police officers that are trying to find her. I loved that aspect of the book, Anita's and her kidnappers chapters were often difficult to read because it was so shocking and awful reading what Anita had to go through and it made me so angry reading Tom's point of view, but the chapters telling her rescuers' side of the story is kind of like a light amongst all the darkness and gave me hope and reminded me that the hell she was going through wouldn't last forever because there were people working hard to find her.

I'm Agnostic, while most of the characters -- Anita and the police officers and her family -- were religious and normally that being brought into a story a lot would irritate me, but the fact this was a true story and this stuff actually happened made that aspect of it kind of inspiring... these people are real, they're not just characters and their faith helped them through this devastating thing. It almost makes me wish I believed in a set religion.

I've always had a morbid fascination with reading about real life crimes, even though they shock and horrify me, it stuns me to see the things that human beings are capable of doing to each other but on the flip side of the coin, in those darkest times the good in people shines through the brightest too.

That was definitely true for this book, it told Anita's story and the hell she had to go through -- sometimes in shocking detail -- but when I finished reading it, I didn't feel like I'd just read a real life horror story, the part that stuck with me was that she got through it.

Her ending wasn't happy, per say, because something like that leaves emotional scars and she had to deal with other things (I won't go into detail about that, you'll have to read the book for more info on the aftermath and trial and things) but she got to see her family and friends again and got away from her captor, she didn't die by his hand or have to endure anymore physical torture from him, he took a lot from her but he didn't completely take her future from her.

The part of the book affected me most of all was when they finally found her, it actually managed to make me cry and not a lot of books manage that (and I'm talking more than just a few tears, I was crying for about 20 minutes while I finished the rest of the book) and I was really surprised by that because I tried to read the rest of the book as detached as I could be because it made it easier to read what she had to go through but then when they found her I just got this flood of emotion and felt almost like I was right there with her rescuers, feeling what they were feeling in that moment.

Sorry if this review is a little scattered, it's just really difficult to review and talk about a story like this, especially considering it's a true story... it gives me a massive amount of respect for Anita and the fact that she was brave enough to share her story.

Later.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

So, I'm now reading the sequel to this book, but I wanted to put up my review of the first book.

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Twins Persephone and Penelope are of two minds about their coming-out season. Pen is excited about the social whirl. Persephone would rather be home studying magic with their beloved governess, Ally. But when Ally disappears somewhere in Kensington Palace, the girls must harness their magical skills amidst the swirl of balls and presentations to find her. This wonderfully crafted debut novel braids several very different story lines into an utterly satisfying whole. The mystery of Ally’s whereabouts mingles with a plot to control the throne of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Persephone’s strong attraction to her handsome neighbor, Lochinver, provides a romantic element that makes for twists and turns, some of which are obvious ploys, but fun nonetheless.

I extremely enjoyed this book, and I usually don't like historical-y books, but this one I enjoyed throughly and was highly anticipating the sequel. 

So, it takes place during the 1830s, a time where all some women did were learn proper etiquette, get married and have children. But the thing about Pen and Persy is that they're witches - along with trying to be proper and ladylike while trying to find suitors. 

So, of course once they're presented to the Queen and whatnot everything starts to go wrong. Their governess disappears and they desperately want to find her. The problem is, they hardly ever have any time alone to search and on top of all that Persy falls in love with Lochinver and the Queen has taken a sudden interest in them.

I think I would think myself similar to Persy because she's extremely shy and strong-willed, kind, witty. She was my favourite character out of the book.

The end of the book shocked me because I wasn't expecting what happened to happen but it was a lovely surprise.

The sequel, Betraying Season, is about Persy's twin sister Pen, and I'm currently reading it, like I mentioned above. 

I would highly recommend these books to anyone because they're extremely amazing!

Rating: 4/5 stars

-Deanna xx




Saturday, 24 April 2010

In My Mailbox (16) - Lanna

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

For Review:

The Named
by Marianne Curley

Summary: Imagine if you were able to change history. By altering one tiny thing you could start a chain of catastrophic events. Ethan is one of the Named, fated to stop this ever happening, although the forces of chaos have other ideas and Ethan is finding it more and more difficult to stay one step ahead. He is also a normal schoolboy, whose life is rapidly becoming far too confusing. So when Isabel arrives on the scene she is only going to make matters worse . . . or is she? This is history in the making – literally.

I actually had this one somewhere in my To Be Read pile, I think I bought it last year or something because someone recommended it to me, but I didn't really look more into it until I got this copy in the mail, it sounds really good. I love the new cover too. (This is, obviously, one of the books I now have multiple copies of - I need to figure out what to do with those, suggestions?)


Eight Days In Darkness
by LCSW, Angela Roegner, Anita Wooldridge

Summary: On June 25, 1998, Anita Wooldridge was taken from her parents' home in broad daylight by a convicted rapist. For eight terrifying days, Anita was savagely beaten and raped by her captor, who locked her in a metal storage cabinet for hours at a time. With only a steadfast faith in God to comfort her, Anita refused to give up hope that she would be found.

Eight Days in Darkness chronicles the shocking events of Anita's kidnapping, including her transport across state lines, and the impressive efforts of local authorities and FBI agents which led to her rescue and the dramatic capture and conviction of her abductor. Anita's story is still used today as a case study for prospective FBI agents, and Eight Days in Darkness paints a portrait of the real-life battle between good and evil.

I wasn't going to accept this one for review, but I read some of the preview chapters online and got kind of hooked - the subject matter is awful, but the book itself is good... the fact it's a true story is kind of horrifying.

Bought (I'll link to the summaries instead of pasting this time):


(please forgive the blurryness of the third cover, I couldn't find a decent sized one)

Knight Angels by Abra Ebner

I actually wanted this one before I saw it on Julie's Waiting on Wednesday this week (I even direct messaged the author on Twitter a few weeks ago about when it would be available on Amazon because I couldn't find it, psh. But she messaged me when it was up and I decided to get it, even though it means I need to get it shipped from the US). It sounds awesome and the cover is all kinds of wonderful.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles


And this is the part where I am internally *SQUEE*-ing with delight. I've been dying to read this one since I heard about it and even more since I saw the trailer for it. Also, on a kind of related note, there will be an interview with Simone up on Monday. ♥♥♥

At First Site by Catherine Hapka


I heard about this one ages ago and forget about it until recently, luckily I remembered it just after it was released so I don't need to wait ages for it. I've been craving some Simon RomCom's and this one sounds good. (Sort of off topic: I kind of wish they would give the RomComs different covers because the cartoon-y ones don't do the books justice, they make them look childish almost... I think the route they've taken for Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols is much better.)

Later.

Book/Movie: I Want To Read & Watch...

I don't know if Julie will be doing her Historic Saturday review/recommendation today, so I figured I'd post this instead.

There are so many books being turned into movies now, it's really awesome - granted, some of them end up not happening (Looking for Alaska, A Great & Terrible Beauty etc.) and that's why it makes me all dorky happy when they finally release trailers for the movies. A lot of the movies are ones I've read or want/plan to read, so that makes it even more awesome.

Anyway, the book/movie I'm referring to today is (trailer is below the book info):

Tomorrow When The War Began
by John Marsden

Summary: When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

I haven't read this book yet, but it's been on my wish list for a while... after seeing the trailer, it's now been bumped up on the list.

The movie trailer:


So, yay or nay @ the book and the movie? Have you read it?

Later.

Friday, 23 April 2010

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees

Summary: Violetta and Feste have come to London to rescue the holy relics taken from the church in Illyria by the evil Malvolio. Their journey has been long and their adventures many, but it is not until they meet the playwright William Shakespeare that they get to tell the entire story from beginning to end!

But where will this remarkable tale ultimately lead Violetta and her companion? And will they manage to save themselves, and the relics from the very evil intentions of Malvolio.

My feelings for this book are kind of mixed, but leaning more towards the positive side.

It took me a while -- longer than it normally would -- to get into the book. It was about 100 pages in before there was that moment where something just clicked and instead of pushing myself to read the story I found myself pulled into it and eagerly turning the pages. I think it may have something to do with the fact it was told in alternating point of views and switching from third person narrative to first person for the memories/flashbacks, so because of that, it took me longer to connect with and care about the characters but once I did, I enjoyed it a lot.

Violetta was an awesome character, she was one of those really good strong female leads and I enjoyed the stories from when she was younger and the stories of her and her parents' pasts in Illyria, they were probably my favourite parts of the book. Her relationship with Stephano was really sweet too, I would have liked to see more of that in the story.

I also had a real soft spot for Feste's character, he was sweet and funny and wonderfully weird and he was by far my favourite from the beginning, by the end of the book I found myself caring about him in the same way that Violetta does.

I like historical fiction, but I'm no expert so the way Celia writes is ideal for someone like me. She describes everything in such a way that you can really picture what she's writing without it being too over the top.

I loved how she has based the foundations of the story on Twelfth Night but has done it in a unique way, making William Shakespeare himself one of the characters and having the story revolve around the daughter of the Duke and Viola instead. I'm a fan of Shakespeare, but I admit I've yet to read Twelfth Night and I'm only familiar with the story through retellings, this book has convinced me to bump it up on my to be read pile though.

I think I would enjoy and appreciate this book more if I read it a second time through, maybe after reading the play it's inspired by.

One of the thing's I didn't particularly like about the book was that there wasn't much romance and I tend to favour books with a lot of romance in them. It's more of a personal preference than an actual flaw in the book but I started reading it expecting romance to be a bigger part of it (I'll blame that on having watched a movie retelling of Twelfth Night before reading so I was expecting a similar sort of thing). I just wanted to mention that in case there are any people like me who have a soft spot for love stories, so you won't end up disappointed by the book, there is romance there but it's not really a focus in the story.

Overall it was a good book and Celia Rees is a fantastic author, and if you're into Shakespeare or Historical Fiction then you should check it out.

Later.

Currently reading: Heist Society by Ally Carter
Then: The Named by Marianne Curley

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Our Very First Interview: Amy Brecount-White

The FABULOUS author of Forget-Her-Nots decided to be brave and answer some questions for us. Because she's just plain awesome. So let's get right to the interview!

1. How did you first find your love of flowers?
My mom alway
s planted flowers - usually bulbs and impatiens. I also had an older neighbor who had a beautiful garden filled with more "exotic" plants, such as bleeding hearts (which are amazingly easy to grow.) My mom loved visiting gardens, and although I probably whined as a kid when I had to go, that love was definitely passed on to me and my two sisters. We all love to plant stuff.


2. Did you have a play list or certain song you listened to while writing Forget-Her-Not
s?
Not really, although when I was writing the sad parts I'd listen to Adagio in G Major by Albinoni. I think it's one of the most moving pieces of music ever written. I also listened to Adam
Lambert's version of "Mad World" a lot and Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocket Full of Sunshine." I'm a big fan of Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher," too.


3. What are your five favorite books?

I'm going to cheat and also limit myself to YA. And include Jane Austen, because where would we be without Jane.

Any Jane Austen, esp. Persuasion

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare
I also love Harry Potter, esp. Book 3. I wanted more Sirius Black! [[AMEN!]]


4. Who is your favorite literary character?

Anne Elliot in Persuasion. Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities. Sirius Black in HP. Rose in Forget-Her-Nots. :-)



5. What's one book you wish you had written?

All of #3. Especially Graceling. I'd love to write high fantasy, although I'm a little intimidated by it.



6. How would you define love?

Wow. Love is opening yourself to another person completely. Love is wonderful and risky and challenging. Love has to be forgiving without becoming self-effacing. Make sense?


7. Anything you can tell us about your next novel?
Sure! It's called STRING THEORIES, and it's about the physics of relationships, a girl who gets in over her head, a stream, some dogs, and getting even.

Thanks so much for having me!


We were more than happy to have you, Amy!

You can read my review of Forget-Her-Nots here.

--Julie

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

The Knight Angels #1: Book of Love
Abra Ebner
[April 26, 2010?]

When seventeen-year-old Jane Taylor witnessed her father's death at age seven, something happened to her. Ever since, her thoughts have been consumed by death, going so far as to foresee the ever-changing deaths of those around her.

Sixteen-year-old Emily Taylor always resented her sister’s closeness with their father, who died when she was only six. Ever since she can remember, she’s had the strange ability to read minds, something her father held the key to. Left helpless, she drowns herself in a world of prescription drugs, sending her respons
ible older sister Jane – who acted as the mother her real mother refused to be – over the edge.

Seventeen-year-old Wes Green was adopted as a baby, left carelessly by parents that clearly did not love him. He moved in next door to Jane, sharing an alleyway window and finding in her a childhood friend that soon turned into his high-school crush. All summer, though, the pain that’s been wracking his body seemed to come with no explanation. He was done growing, was plenty healthy, and worked out regularly as a member of the wrestling team. When senior year starts, though, and the pain gets worse, the changes ahead of him are anything but what he expected, and far to animal for his taste.

When Max Gordon, doomed to be a teenager for the next thousand years, found himself standing above her dying body, he saw in her bright eyes something he hadn’t seen in the nearly one-hundred-years he’d spent roaming Earth. Her father was already dead, but there was a chance he could still save her from the wreck. Jane was her name, and she was only seven, but already she was all he ever wanted. It was his job to bring her back, but it was an act that could have been the biggest mistake of his life.


When four teens enter Glenwood High on an unseasonably cool day in September, no one but Max could understand the future that was ahead of them. Drawn together by blood and friendship, they each hide a dark secret that will soon help to bind them even closer.


When the one face Max hoped to never see again shows up on school grounds – his evil twin brother, Greg – he knows that coming back for Jane was the wrong thing to do. Finding that Greg already knows about Max’s attraction for Jane, Max finds he can no longer hope to leave again, afraid of what Greg will do.


Max has to protect Jane, Jane wants to be normal, Wes wants Jane to love him, and Emily just wants the voices to stop…

And Greg… he just wants everyone dead.


*epic long summary*
Anyway, I'm not sure what the release date is. Amazon already has it available, goodreads says the 26, the goodreads contest says tomorrow and I think I also saw May as the release date. Whatever the date is, it sounds like an epic book and I REALLY want to read it. Plus that cover is gorgeous.
Bright Young Things
Anna Godbersen
[October 26, 2010]
Bright Young Things is the first in an epic four-book series about three teenage girls finding their way in the glittering metropolis of New York City and the glamorous mansions of Long Island. It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. In New York, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer—true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the East End and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls will find romance, intrigue, and adventure. Just as The Luxe books brought the Gilded Age to readers of Gossip Girl, Bright Young Things will bring the Jazz Age to bestselling author Anna Godbersen’s devoted fans and to new readers alike.
(NOTE: may not be definite cover)

I really liked The Luxe series (EXCEPT FOR THE ENDING THAT ENRAGED ME) and I know Libba Bray's also writing a four book series based in the 1920's, but it doesn't release until 2012 so this series will help hold me over.

And...I'll leave it at two for this week. Need to make sure I'm covered for upcoming weeks, right?

--Julie

Waiting on Wednesday... sort of.

I'm doing something a little different for my Waiting on Wednesday post this week. There are sooo many books on my wish list that aren't released yet and I'm not in the mood to choose between them so instead, this is what I'm "waiting on":

Beastly (I think this is the newest/full trailer, I've not seen this one yet and it just showed up in my youtube sub box today):


Beastly (the movie) is based on a book by the same name... I have the book, but it's still somewhere in Mount To-Be-Read, I think I'll hold off reading it until I see the movie because the people that have read it have said the movie looks very different from the book and I've found in cases like that, it's easier to like a movie if you go into it without any expectations set by the book.

I'm not Vanessa Hudgens biggest fan, I don't like her much really, but the movie looks like it could be good (they get major awesome points for using the song Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie in the trailer, one of my favourite love songs) and I'm a sucker for Beauty & The Beast retellings, it's in my top 3 fairytales/childrens movies ever (often first, but it depends on my mood when you ask me).

So, Beastly, yay or nay? (movie and the book)

Later.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Just One Wish
Janette Rallison

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 finds 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?

Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.

I can't tell you how I found this book, but the cover was adorable, the plot clicked with me, and I was able to afford it on amazon. So I went ahead and ordered it at a dirt cheap price.

I'm so insanely glad I took the leap.

This book was a very personal read as I do have a little brother about the same age as Jeremy and I'm not much younger than Annika. We're very close to just the idea of him having cancer makes my heart ache. Then the novel also sounded so adorable and hilarious and it lived up to its expectations.

You can always feel how important Jeremy and Annika are to the other and how much love there is there. Their family love is just as strong as any other love.

This wasn't just about family though. All kinds of relationships were covered from friendships, to brothers, to love and to strained family relationships. It's not just a cute, funny teen romance. It's more than that.

Truly, there are no words to describe my love of this book. I know I say this way too often, but it's true. This book was amazing and wonderful and I wish my life could follow this path, just minus the cancer & family crisis.

Read it. Read it read it read it read it. And know there will be more Janette on this blog in the future.

--Julie

P.S. I cried.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Tuck Everlasting: Book & Movie Reviews

I meant to start a monthly/whatever feature where I review books-turned-movies but always the procrastinator, that didn't happen. But I read Tuck Everlasting recently and I wanted to review both the book and the movie.

I'll start with the book:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Summary: Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem.

I really loved this book and it's quite hard to put into words exactly why I loved it but I'll give it a try.

As with all books that I really love, the characters were brilliant and the writing was really good but on top of that, the story was unique too - I've never read another book like this one and the only books I can think of that even begin to compare plot-wise (but still not quite) are more recent and Tuck Everlasting was out first, it truly was original, especially the ending.

The weird thing about reading this, for me, was that I just felt really content while reading it. With bad books I'll feel bored and with good books I'll be on an emotional roller coaster getting caught up in the action or romance or suspense of the story but with Tuck Everlasting, that didn't happen... it wasn't boring, but I was just content while reading it - this is going to sound cheesy, but it gave me that same kind of feeling I used to get when I was younger and I'd be laying on the grass with my friends in summer just looking up at the sky: just relaxed.

I said it isn't easy to explain why I loved the book and that is kind of the best I can do but it really was a great book (and it doesn't take long to read at all, the copy I have is only 139 pages long).

Now... the movie. Here is the trailer (although, I don't think the trailer does the movie justice - they kind of go OTT with the cheesy inspirational music):


The movie is really different to the book but it still had the same charm that the book did. The two main differences were Winnie's age and Miles... at least, those were the most dominant differences to me.

In the book, Winnie is almost 11 years old when she meets the Tuck's, but in the movie they've made her a little older and that age difference added a romance aspect to the story that wasn't in the book. The foundations for it were in the book, but the fact Winnie was so young and Jesse -- her would-be love interest in the book -- was 17 (well, in looks and attitude) made it impossible to turn it into a proper romance without crossing some lines that would ruin the story. The romance is the main reason that I loved the movie, Jesse and Winnie's relationship was so... innocent and sweet.

The thing with Miles is that in the book, he is much nicer, not nearly as brooding and tortured as movie Miles is - although perhaps he is in the book too, but the fact Winnie is a child makes him ease up on that a little around her. My heart broke for him in the movie and after reading the book it makes it even sadder because you see what he's like when he's being kind (book Miles was actually my favourite character).

The movie made me think in a way that the book didn't (perhaps that's because I saw the movie first though). It made me really realise that the idea of forever absolutely terrifies me. And it had me thinking about what I would do in Winnie's position - I can't really explain properly without spoiling the ending but I'll just say that if I was book Winnie, I would've done the same thing but if I was movie Winnie, I would've probably chosen differently... you'll know what I mean by that if you read/watch them (or if you already have).

It's kind of funny, my favourite parts of the book aren't in the movie and my favourite parts of the movie aren't in the book and yet I love them both.

To sum up:

Book = Awesome
Movie = Awesome

It's a really beautiful story in both mediums, you should read/watch them.

Later.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

This week I had some awesome luck, to be honest.

A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis
White Cat by Holly Black
Inside Out by Maria Snyder
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

On Monday, I got The Devil Wears Prada, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, and Shopaholic and Baby from the wonderful Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. She was cleaning out her shelves and offered to send them. The same day, I also got my copy of Inside Out that I ordered with swagbucks. I finished Inside Out and I won't even try to guesstimate when you'll see a review for it. This is a hectic week coming up!

Then I won a giveaway at Princess Bookie's during the Read-A-Thon and my prize, White Cat and A Most Improper Magick, arrived yesterday! I started White Cat today and though it's early, I really like it so far.

Anyway, I will probably be quiet this week because I am going to D.C. on Friday and need to pack and memorize songs and such. I will try to get some posts arranged later tonight/tomorrow afternoon to keep up with the week, but we'll see.

Again, if anybody is in the D.C. area or will be at Music in the Parks next weekend, please email the address listed on the sidebar for me so maybe we can try to arrange something!

--Julie

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Historic Saturday (11)

(A heads up that there probably won't be a Historic Saturday next week. Besides the fact I don't have any real historical in my TBR pile that is guaranteed to be read by then, I'll be out of state and internet status is unknown anyway. But if anyone is performing at Music in the Parks/lives in the Washington D.C. area, PLEASE let me know! Would love to meet some of you guys!)

This week's is mostly historical fiction. Since Greek myths are...myths, it really is just a retelling of a myth but since the Greeks believed this to be genuine history...meh!

Radiant Darkness
Emily Whitman

He smiles. "Hello." It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes. I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin. Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself. In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

I may have mentioned in my Nobody's Princess review, but I don't really like Greek mythology. But I like this story, the whole Persephone and Hades myth. It's just so interesting to think of, especially when Whitman tells it.

Whitman tells the story differently. A strong and loving mother, who loves from a far, a paradise that's not always pleasant, and then this strong, confident, handsome stranger suddenly shows up. Who wouldn't be curious?

Hades isn't truly a bad character as he is often depicted either. He just rules the dead. Can you blame the guy for being a bit pessimistic?

Truly, I loved the story. It got a bit repetitive in the middle, but Persephone was just a character I really enjoyed. She was strong and knew what she wanted. I would highly recommend it.

--Julie

Ink Exchange & Stopping Time by Melissa Marr

And so the whole "reviewing books I read ages ago but didn't review" thing continues...

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

[Note, this is a companion novel to Wicked Lovely, not the direct sequel - Fragile Eternity is the actual sequel to WL]

Summary: Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Court has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

If you read my review of Wicked Lovely, you'll know I was kind of on the fence about it. With this book, I liked it much better.

I loved the characters in this one so much more and the story was even better than Wicked Lovely.

The three main characters were brilliant, I loved Leslie and Irial and Niall - Niall and Leslie were minor characters from Wicked Lovely that I really liked and I love that we got to see more of them in this book, only as main characters.

Leslie's story is heartbreaking -- really, the relationship between all three characters is heartbreaking and it's such an unusual story in the sense that you're wishing the characters will get a happy ending but even the happy endings have their thorns, it's bittersweet no matter what happens.

Although I did like this book a lot and better than the first book, there was still a small part of me that had similar issues as I did with Wicked Lovely, in that I didn't like the ending. This book definitely worked better for me though, perhaps it was because I liked the characters much better in this one and the character I hated from Wicked Lovely wasn't really in Ink Exchange.

I think that maybe Melissa Marrs style just isn't my kind of thing because although I thoroughly enjoy reading her stories, I always have issues with the endings and that's the kind of thing that will irritate me long after I put the book down, it's like I don't get that sense of closure for the story after I finish the last page (which I explained in my Wicked Lovely review).

Stopping Time by Melissa Marr

This a free online sort of sequel to Ink Exchange (but I think it is included as an extra in the Fragile Eternity paperback?) and I was so happy when I saw Melissa had written this because I wanted to see more from those three characters. I really enjoyed it a lot. I can't say much else about what I think of it without spoiling it -- or the ending of Ink Exchange -- for you guys so I'll just leave it at that. Click HERE to find it on Harperteen (for free, although it is on some other sites too).

You should definitely check out Ink Exchange because despite my somewhat bipolar opinions of Melissa's books she is a great writer and her stories and characters have you hooked from the first page right through to the last.

Later.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

UK vs. US Book Blogs

I don’t normally do posts in response to these debates that randomly pop up on book blogs and end up causing a big drama… but, Margo (read: my laptop) is refusing to let me comment on this post, so I kind of wanted to address the issue here instead.

Go read that post, I’ll sum it up but I won’t be mentioning everything.

The person who wrote the post basically made generalizations about US book bloggers vs. UK book bloggers… and it was kind of insulting towards the US bloggers (and some of the things she said made it sound like she was speaking for all us British people, I just want to make it clear that she's not).

Here’s the thing about my blog: it’s a shared blog and it always has been.

Over the past few months the number of us posting reviews has dropped down to just myself and Julie (when before we had a few other people reviewing; some in Australia, some in Wales, some in the US).

Julie is from the US.

I’m from the UK.

And we’re not that different at all. We both participate in memes, we both post reviews (although, really, Julie has definitely been reviewing way more than me) and we both promote the blog when we can… and I like to think that neither of us are obnoxious/annoying about it.

That post kind of implied that the majority of UK blogs post quality content while the US bloggers just post memes and try to get more followers and things and that the UK bloggers don’t care about getting comments or anything like that.

I can’t speak for everybody but I started book blogging because I love talking about books and sharing my love of books with people - there have been times where I’ve stumbled across a book review and it’s made me read a book I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise and I’ve loved it… I like to think that maybe I can do that for other people too.

I’m pretty sure all book bloggers care about how many readers they have, they may not get obsessive about it or anything but it is great getting comments and it’s great seeing your follower count go up because it makes you feel like people actually like your blog and like you really are sharing something you love with other people.

I would still book blog even if I had no followers - I mean, I wasn’t even aware of all the other book blogs when I started this blog, it was honestly just because I loved talking about books and I invited my online friends who shared that love of books to blog with me.

I participate in the Waiting on Wednesday and In My Mailbox memes because they’re fun and I love reading other peoples posts for those memes - if people didn’t like reading them, they wouldn’t be so popular and those two memes have made me aware of so many brilliant books that I maybe wouldn’t have heard of had I not seen them on someones IMM or WOW post.

Actually, I think that was mentioned in the UK vs. US Book Blogs post: "I also find that I am increasingly unaware of the books they mention."

The way she spoke about it, it was as if that were a bad thing... that is one of the things I love about book blogs, it makes me aware of books I had never even heard of before. Some of my favourite books are a result of someone in a different country recommending them and I probably wouldn't have found out about them otherwise.

She said that it's a bad thing because the books seem very American based - I want to read books that are good, where they are set doesn't matter... if I'm in the mood to read a book set in the UK then I will look up some books set in the UK and buy them, but I have no problem at all reading books set elsewhere (in fact, only one of my favourite books has a UK setting and that is Stolen by Lucy Christopher, although even then, it's mostly set in Australia with just flashbacks of the UK and British people).

We love books, right? That's why we book blog... so finding out about books we've never heard of before because someone mentions them on a blog, that shouldn't be a bad thing at all.

These two questions were asked in that post:

Do you find that you prefer reading blogs based in the same country as you?

My answer: No.

Where the blogger is from doesn’t matter to me at all and the only time I really notice the difference is when they post vlogs and I’ll hear their accent and remember they’re not from the UK or when I spot them using American terms or American spelling… otherwise, I don’t even notice.

Have you noticed a big difference between UK and US blogs?

I pretty much covered this above, but as for specific differences there is only one that I’ve noticed and that is the ARC thing.

American bloggers who receive books for review tend to get more of them and different ones than UK bloggers I’ve seen (because a lot of the books aren’t published here in the UK and US publishers aren’t big on shipping ARC’s internationally, I don‘t think).

I don’t see that as a bad thing at all though because like I said, a lot of the books aren’t even published here in the UK and I have found so many books I want to read through US bloggers mentioning them in their IMM or reviewing ARC’s.

Julie is American and I’m Scottish - she doesn’t tell me what to post and what not to post, I don’t dictate what she posts either and there still isn’t much difference in the content we contribute to the blog (hell, like I said somewhere above, Julie usually posts even more reviews than I do -- she even has her weekly Historic Saturday reviews so the American of this blog posts more “quality” content than the UK blogger does).

There are more US book bloggers than UK book bloggers. There are blogs out there that will only post memes and seem to use their blogs as a way to get free books (whether by posting about contests for extra entries or by trying to get ARC's).

The fact that there are more US bloggers than UK ones means that there will be more US blogs that are like that (especially seeing as it's kind of pointless for a UK blogger to start up a book blog for those reasons considering the majority of contests are US/Canada only and US publishers won't ship internationally).

But, just because there are more "bad" US book blogs doesn't mean they're all like that or that UK bloggers are superior in any way, the majority of book blogs I follow are run by Americans (a few are Australian or English - there could be other nationalities but I don't make a habit of going out of my way to check where the blog authors are from) and all of them post great content.

Sorry about this. I just wanted to say why I disagree with what she had said and respond to the questions she asked.

-The Scottish One.

Later.

Edit: She has posted an apology to anyone she offended with her post, before anyone gets too annoyed with her.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Seeing as I've not been reading nearly as much as I'd like to recently, I decided to go back and review some of the books I've read but haven't done reviews for yet.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
[note, I think that is the UK cover]

Summary: The clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this cool, urban 21st century faery tale.

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world, and would blind her if they knew of her Sight.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King and has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working any more, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

I have mixed feelings about this book and it's kind of difficult to explain but I'll try: a part of me loves it while another part of me hates it.

On one hand, I literally could not put it down and it did have me hooked till the end, which is always a good sign, but then on the other side... a part of me wanted to toss the book across the room when I was done.

Seth was by far my favourite character and I did love the story and although the descriptions of this whole other world alongside ours that Melissa Marr created seemed a bit much sometimes -- kind of too much description and not enough action -- it was really kind of a cool setting and spin on the whole Fae folklore thing (it's the kind of world that I would love to see turned into a movie, which I think may be happening actually).

I sometimes like Aislinn and Keenan and I'd find myself rooting for them to be together but then there would be times where they just irritated me so much and I adored Seth, he was honestly lovely, so I was kind of torn between wanting Ash and Keenan together and Ash and Seth.

For the most part, I was loving the book until near the end and the end bugged me for a few reasons:

1. There was a character in the book that I just loathed and parts of the book were in her perspective, which was irritating to read... which, I could deal with BUT! I didn't like the ending of the story much and a large part of that was because of the ending that her character got.

2. While reading the book, it often felt like there were loads and loads of unanswered questions (the specific questions have slipped my mind right now, as it was a while since I've read it but I remember the feeling) and although some questions were answered it still felt like there were loose ends and it was... unfinished almost.

Now, this may have been setting up for the sequel but I have issues with books that don't give me kind of a sense of closure by the last page, even if there will be other books in the series, I like the story arc's of the individual books to feel complete.

It really is hard to properly coherently explain my feelings on this book because I am so torn about it.

It was definitely addictive and enjoyable for the most part and it was well written with a lot of great characters and the world Melissa created was pretty awesome. It was only once I finished reading it that the more negative opinions started to surface.

I would recommend the book to other people though because I've seen a lot of people who simply adore it meaning the problem isn't something with the book so much as it just wasn't suited to my particular taste in books (and really, it's a big credit to Melissa Marr that she can write a book that has me hooked in spite of the fact there are aspects of the story that make me really not like it much).

Later.

Need Some Help?

From going to Jackson Pearce's chats every week, I've met a lot of really fantastic girls and some of them are interested in becoming bloggers. One will be putting hers up in just a week and a half! And I've offered my help to them. The world needs more good bloggers and I know these girls will be fabulous.

So, I suppose this post comes in two parts. The first part would be that I'm most definitely not the world's best blogger. I'm not even sure I'm a good blogger. I know mostly what works for us here when I do post and I know what I like on other blogs. What I don't know is what YOU guys think. What do you like to see on blogs? What are your peeves? Is there a certain kind of review style you like more than the other? Certain templates you really love?

I ask this not as a critique to our blog (I'd never make you guys do that without giving you the option to be anonymous) but so I can help these girls have the best blogs they can get. That means be completely honest on what you like to see and dislike, just no singling out any blogs unless you can't explain something you like and want to link for an example. Help me, help them.

The second part would be that I really like helping people however I can, hence why I'm taking on these girls to help them however possible. I'd also love to help any other new bloggers or people who are thinking about blogging the best I can. I can't help much with templating (Lanna does all of that), but I do want to help. Between the advice here, advice from other bloggers, and what I know, I'm hoping I can actually be helpful. So if any bloggers need help there, just email me at breakingdownslowly@gmail.com.

If you just need promotion, I'll see what I can do. I know a lot of other blogs also help out smaller/new bloggers and don't want it to get repetitive or anything. I might make a once a month feature, but it really just depends on response to this and if you guys actually want a feature like that.

And again, I'm nowhere NEAR an expert. I'm just in one of my helping moods :) But if you want my help or you want to help other bloggers, feel free to comment/email your thoughts!

--Julie

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Breaking the Spine.

Sisters Red
Jackson Pearce
[June 7, 2010]

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.


Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-
pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless.

Having some deja vu? As you well should be. Lanna used this as her WoW just last week.

I LOVED As You Wish and I'm a loyal watcher of Jackson's vlogs every week (rememberingjulie if any of you guys ever go) and was happy about a new book, but a bit iffy from what I'd heard of the plot. Me + werewolves= bad. But it's a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. I've NEVER seen one and, in general it IS a retelling. What other reasons do I need for wanting this one?

What are you all waiting on this wonderful Wednesday?

--Julie

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

SEA Trailer!

I don't really do this but...I can't figure out how to embed it on my goodreads account. And there's 300 of you here as opposed to the 40 on my goodreads.

WATCH THE AWESOME:



*Squee**Squee**Die*

--Julie

Monday, 12 April 2010

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Princess and the Hound
Mette Ivie Harrison

He is a prince and heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the forbidden animal magic.

She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from all except her hound.

In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Proud, stubborn, and bound to marry for duty, George and Beatrice will steal your heart—but will they fall in love?





I've made no secret of my fairytale retelling love. It took me a while, but I finally and happily got my hands on this book.

The Princess and the Hound was, I admit, slightly hard to get into at first. The beginning was all about the secrets and the hush, hush, and the what will happen next! Kind of thing. You didn't really learn much except the beginnings to several mysteries.

Then the story begins to unfold and it's complicated and messy but it all makes sense. Mette wrote a beautiful story here, a fairy tale all its own. In a way, it's a reversed Beauty and the Beast, but at the same time it's something so much more. You don't really see it while reading and it seems like something you might've read as a kid but can't place it.

For anyone who loves historical fiction or fairy tale retellings (though, I think generally if you like one, you like both) this is a MUST. A MUST I say.

Side Note: I fail. At life. And reviewing timely. BUT I have some exciting stuff for you guys that I'll post next week and today I got four books in the mail and four egalleys. So, I'll be stepping up my game. Promise ;)

--Julie

Sunday, 11 April 2010

In My Mailbox (14) Julie

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

I got a TON of stuff this week, so let's get right to it and I'll apologize for my lack of reviews tomorrow.

The Bought/Gifted:

Will Grayson,
Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Finished this yesterday. Review will probably be up...the week after next)
Crazy Beautiful
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (I also finished this yesterday, so review will be up right after WG, WG)
Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Grimm Brothers
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
(And most of the swag)
A SIGNED and PERSONALIZED SEA postcard from Heidi. I'd show you the signature but my address is on
that side. And technically, I got this last week but it seemed kind of silly to do an IMM for a post card.

I preordered Will Grayson, Will Grayson in early March or so as well as the fairy tales and Crazy Beautiful. The day after Will Grayson, Will Grayson relea
sed (so, this past Wednesday) the books arrived. Go UPS power!

So, with Brightly Woven. The AMAZING Anna at booknerds.net was getting rid of some ARCs she was buying copies of and she agreed to just send me her ARC (and I must admit, I think I like the coloring on the ARC better, but I haven't seen a finished one in person yet). Then I actually opened it later that night and found all those bookmarks and the Wake...thing. The Shadow Hills bookmark and Shadowed Summer bookmark are both signed too! (I may have pet and snuggled the Shadow Hills bookmark a few times...) Because of her awesomeness, you should all check out her site and all bloggers should know she does do some amazing site design (like, she's done author's websites) and is one of THE sweetest people.

The Won:


Post Secret by Frank Warren
Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman
How to Sew a Button (and other useful things your grandmother knew) by Erin Bried
David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
Tale of Two Summers by Brian Sloan
And a bottle of The Dark Divine nail polish from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf. Thanks Lauren!

Housing Works Books (@HousingWorksBks on twitter) had a follower contest and I referred Lanna to be their x-number follower so we both won books. And since I live, you know, an hour away and she lives an ocean away, I already got mine. I read through the Post Secret book and I might give David Inside Out and Tale of Two Summers to my friend, but it was a fun surprise.

So, yeah, amazing week here, right? So much swag! So many books! And I'm STILL expecting more books next week! One's an Amazon order coming from England that I hope gets here before my little trip in two weeks (I'll be in Washington D.C. area for Music in the Parks-- if anyone else is performing there, let me know!) and another uber kind blogger is sending me books. I'll brag about her amazingness next week.

What did everyone else get?

--Julie

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