Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy 
by Tammara Webber

Summary: When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
My thoughts on this book are mixed. I liked it, I do think it was good - but other people seem to love it, and I just...don't. And I get why they'd like it, but I just don't see why they'd love it. This review is pretty long, so here's a tl;dr version using two pictures:

What I wanted and expected:

What I got (at least until near the end of the book):

There was something almost dull about it. There was a plot, but it didn't feel like there was much plot while reading - it felt more like the day to day life of a college student and even the dramatic things didn't have much of an impact. In the last 50-80 pages of the book, it picked up and felt - more, I guess. But up until that point...it was lacking spark or something.

It deals with sensitive subject matter and I do think it deals with it realistically and well. It frustrated me that she didn't initially report what happened to her, but so many rapes/sexual assaults do go unreported, so while it's frustrating to read about, it was realistic. I love the way the other characters react to it  - they showed all sides of it: how victim blaming can happen and why it's wrong, how people should/n't react to it, how people seem to react differently when it's someone they know as opposed to some masked stranger with a knife to your throat, how people react differently based on how promiscuous the victim has been in the past....

...Sorry, I can't explain that aspect of the book particularly well because I'm trying to be vague and not give too many spoilers away.

The romance in the book...it was sweet and one of my favourite parts of the book. Lucas was lovely, I liked the way he was with Jaqueline. His character was just a really nice guy.

I'm not explaining my thoughts on this book very well. I think the issue was that...it didn't seem like it had a focus, and because of that, I didn't really connect to it emotionally so while I was reading and liking what I was reading, I wasn't really feeling it.

Books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson deal with the topic of rape, and that issue is the focus of the story even when there's other stuff going on, the rape thing feels like the main plot line. Then there are other books where romance is the focus. But this book seemed to be kind of straddling the line between being an "issue book" and being a romance, it didn't feel like it focussed on either (and some books can pull that off and still be fantastic, but it made this one feel lacking in something) and there was so much stuff that just felt like the day-to-day college life that it lacked the power it could've had.

What I'm trying to say: I think the rape subject matter was handled well and the romance was too, but the two of them together, mixed in with all the filler stuff, it felt like the rawness of the serious stuff was kind of dulled and the spark of the romance was dimmed and I finished the book not really sure whether I'd shove it into the romance catagory or the same catagory books like Speak go into, because it dealt with both without feeling like either, but it didn't work too well being a 50-50 mix of both (The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson = a good example of a book that can straddle the line between being a romance and dealing with a serious issue and excelling at both, but this just...didn't).

But, like I said at the start of this review: I seem to be in the minority here. There's plenty of 5 star reviews of it I've seen (which is the reason I read the book in the first place), some people even say it's one of the best books they've ever read, so you may end up agreeing with them.

To sum up: it's a good book, the romance is sweet, it deals with the issue of rape really well and realistically, it just lacked the emotional impact it could've had (and should've had, given the subject matter). I didn't start really empathising with the characters until the last couple of chapters (up until that point, I had just been reading and enjoying reading the book without it making me have any sort of emotional reaction to it - there were two scenes in the whole book that really got under my skin and they were in those last chapters). 

It's worth reading, but it's not particularly memorable (and I really mean that - I forgot I had even read it until I saw "review Easy" on my to do list today...even though I finished the book last night). I'd rate it 3 or 3.5 stars out of 5.

Later.

(gifs/pictures from tumblr, the computer one is by Hyperbole and a Half and her blog is fab.)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Book Haul (138)

Happy Sunday!

Purchased:
Fever by Lauren DeStefano (hardcover purchased from Strand)
Crewel by Gennifer Albin (hardcover purchased from Books of Wonder and signed)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (hardcover purchased from Books of Wonder and signed for gift)
Shine by Lauren Myracle (hardcover purchased from Strand)
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti (hardcover purchased from Strand)
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti (paperback purchased from Strand)
The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale (ebook purchased from Amazon on sale)

For Review:
The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale (ARC received for review from HarperTeen)
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (ARC received for review from HarperTeen)
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (ARC received for review from HarperTeen [duplicate])
Ironskin by Tina Connolly (hardcover received for review from Tor)
Sapphire Blue by Kersten Gier (ARC received via twitter from Macmillian)
The Bracelet by Roberta Gately (finished paperback for review from Galley Books)

So, I'm now trying to implement this rule where I won't buy books unless it's for a signing. Like, I'm actually at home for the weekend and I packed up the books for the two signings I'll be going to so I only actually buy like one. As for review books, I really won't know unless things magically become showing up at my dorm because I won't be home again until Thanksgiving/my birthday. In other words, unless it's an ebook or someone becomes super generous and starts sending books to my dorm, my book hauls are likely to dry up for a while...hopefully.

Also, I read Asunder this weekend and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. If you haven't read Incarnate, you need to GET ON THAT. Because I'm actually forcing myself not to bring it to college because I really shouldn't reread it...at least not in the next month. DURING WINTER BREAK THOUGH...

--Julie


Saturday, 27 October 2012

It's Someone's Birthday...

It's not secret that I've been a sucky blogger since going to school (but oh I have so much to TELL you at some point). However, I'm still trying to maintain being a good friend/person. Which means, I must say

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LANNA!

No, no, no, this wasn't getting past me. Totally was not forgetting.

For your present, I provide a puppy


Now, go, you know, sleep and read and be merry. 

--Julie


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan
by J.M. Barrie


Summary: One night Peter Pan flies into the home of the Darling children, and so begins a magical adventure with Peter, the fairy Tinker Bell, the lovely Wendy, and the evil Captain Hook.

Peter Pan is one of my favourite stories (I say stories, because it's not just the book I love, I love the movie versions of it, the retellings - all of it), and it's one that I don't really know how to review.

I reread it recently (while watching a movie adaption in the background) and I realised that what I love about it is the way the book makes me feel. It's not the normal sort of way a book can make me feel, where it has me sympathising or empathising with the characters, it's more like - nostalgic about life.

It's hard to explain, but only one other story has ever made me feel it in the way this does (Tuck Everlasting being the other). It's the same feeling I've always gotten on in Autumn or Winter - when the leaves are starting to fall and the ground is littered beautifully with orange and yellow, or when it's snowing at night and everything just feels softer and kind of enchanted, or the feeling I get when I walk through the woods and it's like stepping into a different world... those things always make me feel a certain way, something kind of magical (as dorky as that sounds), and Peter Pan gives me that exact same feeling. And I love that.

I love the characters too, and the story in general (there's this innocence to it that is hard to find now - it talks of love and kisses and growing up but in a way that is different, sweeter, than most other stories and that's lovely -- but there's an unexpected darkness to it as well), and the writing is lovely - but it really is the way that it makes me feel that makes me really, really adore it.

Also, if I could recommend an edition of the book to get: The Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classic one is brilliant. My best friend got it for me for Christmas last year and the quality of it, the cover, the colours, the illustrations - all of it, is just awesome. Some pictures (you can't tell from the photos, but the edges of the pages are actually silver):

Later.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Now is Good by Jenny Downham

Now is Good
(a.k.a. Before I Die)
by Jenny Downham

Summary: Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex.

id="freeText12945499024079583616">Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.
I'm kind of...underwhelmed by this book. It wasn't bad, I just didn't love it.

I'm not really a fan of "Cancer Books" - I tend to avoid them as best I can, the only exception to that has been The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (but he could probably write the phonebook and have it end up on my favourites shelf) - and this book felt just like all the other ones (and the Cancer Movies), it didn't really stand out or do anything special and seemed to have all the reasons I avoid these sorts of books (if you like these kind of stories, you'll probably like it, my aversion to cancer stories definitely had an impact on my opinion of the book).

All it did was depress me and not in a good way (I say not in a good way, like there is a "good way" to be depressed - but you know how some books can make you hurt, can break your heart, can make you feel like your emotions have been put through a shredder and handed back to you and then in the end, you love the book for that very reason? That's what I mean by "good way" - only this book didn't do that, not even close).

The only thing about it that was different from the other predictable cancer stories for me was the British aspect of it, because most of the cancer books or movies or whatever that I've read/seen have been American, which has a whole different feel to it. Also, I did appreciate the fact that Jenny Downham didn't sugarcoat it or try to shove a morals down the readers throat (like, often in these stories, a character will be about to lose their virginity to the wrong guy, then the writer will have them change their mind at the last minute so their first time can be when their True Love predictably shows up - but Jenny doesn't do that sort of thing).

I'm not sure if I even liked Tessa. She had little moments that I did, but overall - I just didn't enjoy being in her head. I think she may have been realistic though. If I was in her situation, I'd probably be kind of selfish and bratty and annoying too, it's understandable...it's just not the most interesting thing to read about. The story itself - predictable, in the way all these types of books are.

The romance? Mediocre. Maybe it was realistic, I don't know - it just didn't feel real while reading it, I didn't feel invested in it because the book is told in this weird way where it seemed to jump over the most interesting parts, the parts that would make me more attached to these characters. It skips over big chunks of time, which is fine except that it feels like it was skipping over the important stuff, the stuff I wanted to read about, and instead choosing to tell the more boring aspects. Like all the focus was on the dying, but we only got tiny glimpses of her living - most of it, except her cancer, it felt like we were told about the destination instead of the journey (like, we're told she's in love but shown very little of how she got there).

This review is seeming really negative. I really didn't hate it, I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5, it's just the Cancer Book thing that puts me off big time and it is possible for me to like one of those, a writer can win me over if the book is good enough, this just didn't do it. It really is just a subjective thing though, so don't let my opinion of it put you off, unless you know you're exactly like me when it comes to this subject matter. The writing was good, I think I'd probably like a different book written by Jenny Downham, this just wasn't for me.

There's a movie of the book out now, the movie seems like it could be good. And it may be one of the rare cases where I like the movie better, because I won't be stuck in Tessa's head all the time and it seems to have changed some things and like it's put more life into it. Here's the trailer, if you're interested:


Later.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City
by Theo Lawrence

Summary: Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
So I've been kind of bored with the whole dystopia sort of story for a while now, but this book managed to win me over anyway, I really enjoyed reading it.

The world was interesting, I think I would've maybe liked to know a bit more about the history of it and how the world ended up the way it did and stuff, but it wasn't too bad, even if it was lacking in some areas. I loved the whole mystic aspect of it.

The characters...I liked some of them, hated others (but a lot of them, we were supposed to hate so that's fine). Aria was a decent protagonist, I liked her--definitely more towards the end--although I did find her frustrating sometimes because things that seem so blatantly obvious to the reader takes her forever to figure out (to a certain extent, that is understandable, but it seemed really extreme with her) and I wished that she stood up for other people and herself a bit more, instead of always at the last possible moments when it's one of those gun-in-your-face kind of situations. But, like I said, I liked her more by the end of it.

The only other real issue I had with the characters were that they seemed more like...cardboard cut-out characters. Well, the ones that were weren't intended to like anyway. The good characters were written well, they were fun, likeable, had actual personality but the others - her friends in the Aries just seemed like shallow airheads and the bad guys seemed more...twirling-their-moustaches-with-an-evil-laugh kind of bad, where bad is all that they are and there's not much to them beyond that. Considering who some of the bad guys are, I'd have rather there be a bit more feeling to them than that.

But then, that may just be personal preference, I just think I would've liked Aria's character more if her family showed, I dunno, something to give a good reason for her being conflicted when she finds out certain things. And the story would've just seemed...more, if the bad guys had a bit more humanity to them.

I liked the romance. The memory loss thing made the insta-love situation not bother me and I liked Hunter and Aria together. Aside from the mystic aspect, I think that was my favourite part of the book and I was rooting for them to be together.

The plot: I enjoyed it (except for the frustration over things being obvious but taking forever for Aria to figure them out). It was pretty predictable at times, I think only one or two parts actually took me by surprise.

There were a few times, too, where little inconsistencies stood out to me (like something being mentioned in one chapter, then not making sense because of something said in a later chapter - which I can't really explain without spoilers), those little things like that just left me thinking, "Huh?"...but I was too caught up in the story to be too bugged by them. (But, note: I was tired while reading, so maybe I missed things.)

Anyway, those negative things...they didn't bother me too much, they're just things I noticed (or maybe reading while sleep deprived made me read things wrong). The only thing in the book I really didn't like was the names some things were given, like TouchMe or AmuseMe or whatever (I'm guessing they were meant to be like - tablets/phones/mp3 players or something like that but I wish they'd either be give different names or just called what they were).

Sorry, this review is really kind of long and rambling, but I really enjoyed the book and I loved the way it ended and I really want to read the sequel. I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5 (4 out of 5 if we're going purely on overall enjoyability).

Later.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Book Haul (137)

Oh hey there! Definitely a more understandable load this week. I spent most my last day of ComicCon with Nicole at Paperback Princess and her family. I said a hello and goodbye to publicists I'd made friends with and attended a panel I promise I'll write about soon. I also spent a good amount of time in Artist Alley, checking out posters and prints. I'm kind of debating going back next year mostly for Artist Alley and the incredible artwork. At some point when my best friend isn't sleeping in my bed and my roommate isn't here, I'll do an updated room tour so y'all can see them.

ComicCon:
Department 19 by Will Hill
Legend poster
Bitterblue poster
Princess Jasmine print by Amy Mebberson
Beautiful Creatures movie poster

This obviously didn't all happen on Sunday, but I forgot the posters last weekend so...yeah.

Purchased:
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (finished hardcover purchased at Strand)
The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (finished paperback purchased at Strand)
Lizzie Bennet Diaries poster

For Review:
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (requested from Netgalley)

So...yeah. I now have a problem with ordering posters. I have...4 more on the way? And I've been stalking DeviantArt and tumblr for more posters/prints, mostly of princesses from Disney movies (and some not from Disney movies). I have another like...4 I plan to order as soon as they're available and the rest are building on a wishlist for after my birthday/Christmas money comes in. Unless I decide to be brave and email a link or two to family members with a "I want this" attached to it.

Anyway, how's your life? What books did you get lately?

--Julie


Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Lost Prince Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Today I have an excerpt from the lovely Julie Kagawa, who's newest book is The Lost Prince, a spinoff from the Iron Fey series about Megan's brother, Ethan.

About The Lost Prince
Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

About The Iron Fey Series
The Iron Fey saga follows half-human, half-faery Meghan Chase as she fights to claim her magical birthright.

Meghan’s journey begins in the mortal world, when her half-brother Ethan is kidnapped. The mission to rescue the innocent child draws Meghan into the Nevernever—the magical world—where the never-before-seen Iron fey are raining destruction upon traditional faeries. Meghan’s quest is fraught with unimagined dangers, unpredictable powers…and an utterly forbidden love.

Now little Ethan is all grown up—and a new breed of fey has come for him. Bound by blood to a world he despises, Ethan plunges into the Nevernever searching for answers: who are the ghostly assassins hunting him? Who controls them? And why are exiled and half-breed faeries vanishing from the mortal world?

With a vulnerable human girl to protect and an enigmatic faery ally he could never have imagined, Ethan embarks on his own Fey saga. Along the way he will encounter kin, comrades and deadly new enemies. He will discover his formidable strengths, and his deepest weaknesses—and he will fight for his life against the Forgotten.

The Lost Prince releases next Tuesday, the 23th and the next book in this series releases in November 2013. For more information, go check out 


Now, for the excerpt, I have a piece from Julie's short story, Winter's Passage, which takes place during the Iron Fey series.

-->
That night, for the first time, I dreamed of the Iron King.
The scene was eerily familiar. I stood atop a great iron tower, a hot wind stinging my face, smelling of ozone and chemicals. Before me, a huge metal throne rose into the mottled yellow sky, black iron spikes raking the clouds. Behind me, Ash’s cold, pale body was sprawled against the edge of a fountain, blood oozing slowly into the water.
Machina the Iron King stood at the top of his metal throne, long silver hair whipping in the wind. His back was to me, the numerous iron cables extending from his shoulders and spine surrounding him like glittering wings.
I took a step forward, squinting up at the silhouette on the throne. “Machina!” I called, my voice sounding weak and small in the wind. “Where’s my brother?”
The Iron King raised his head slightly, but didn’t turn around. “Your brother?”
“Yes, my brother. Ethan. You stole him and brought him here.” I kept walking, ignoring the wind that tore at my hair and clothes. Thunder boomed overhead, and the mottled yellow clouds turned black and crimson. “You wanted to lure me here,” I continued, reaching the base of the throne. “You wanted me to become your queen in exchange for Ethan. Well, here I am. Now let my brother go.”
Machina turned. Only it wasn’t the Iron King’s sharp, intelligent face that stared down at me.
It was my own.
Julie’s explanation:  
Before I ever knew there would be a story told in Ethan’s point of view, I wrote that scene in the novella WINTER’S PASSAGE, a bridge story between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Looking back now, it is an eerily foreshadowing moment in that, instead of the Iron King, Meghan dreams that she is the one responsible for her brother getting kidnapped—and indeed, in a way, it is Ethan’s connection to Meghan that compels him into the adventures he’ll face in The Lost Prince
 

Now, you see that necklace on the side there? You might be lucky enough to win one, as well as a copy of The Lost Prince. Just comment below with your email and you'll be entered to win! (This giveaway is now closed)
And be sure to check out the other stops. The next one is at Page Turners Blog on October 22.

  
About the author
Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things: how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks and that writing stories in math class is a fantastic way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate. Julie now lives in Louisville, KY, with her husband and a plethora of pets. She still laughs whenever she sees a centipede.

In addition to The Call of the Forgotten trilogy, Julie will be releasing book 2 of her Blood of Eden series, THE ETERNITY CURE, in May 2013.


--Julie

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Crewel
Gennifer Albin
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
[October 16, 2012]

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

Alright, let me start off saying that I had personal issues reading this book. I read this during the first week I'd moved into my dorms, so I was in the process of moving, meeting 5000 new people, and getting ready to start college. This means my reading process was really choppy and spread out over several days, sometimes only being able to squeeze in one chapter. Now that you guys understand the circumstances of my reading time, the actual review.

I liked Adelice. She had a really big sense of family loyalty and responsibility, which I can always admire and relate to. She managed to stay true to herself in a world that was forcing her to change. Adelice was clever and intelligent and snarky and I liked her.

A lot of the other characters were super well developed. Even characters we only see a little bit of, we got to know very well in other ways an there was always a good sense of who everyone was. I ended up really liking a lot of these other characters for who they were, whether they were good or bad. Everyone had a motive and a reason and they all did what they had to do. And there are also some very intriguing love interests, which is a happy find.

The world building wasn't quite as thorough as I would've liked, but it was pretty good. I never fully understood the concept of weaving or the rules or what Adelice and the other Spinsters were doing, though. So basically every time they were weaving, I spent most of that time being confused. I got the basic idea, but when Adelice would start talking about the physical weaving itself, it went completely over my head.

Despite this, Gennifer Albin is an excellent writer and storyteller. Gennifer's writing style was a scooch different than what I'm used to reading, so it took me a couple pages to get into, but I really enjoyed it. Her writing enabled Adelice to have a really strong, really unique voice. And when I was able to grab more than a few moments to read, I found myself totally sucked in and not wanting to put it down.

Overall, Crewel is a really excellent work with a surprising ending I certainly did not see coming. I'm really excited for not only the sequel, but to see what else Gennifer has up her sleeve.

--Julie

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Book Haul (136)

Just...yeah.


Purchased:
After edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (finished hardcover bought from Books of Wonder and signed)
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury (finished paperback bought from Strand)
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey (free ebook bought from Amazon)
Splendid by Julia Quinn (on sale ebook bought from Amazon)

Comic-Con:
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (ARC from HarperTeen)
Firelight by Kristen Callihan (finished mass market paperback from Grand Central Publishing)
Mind Games by Kiersten White (ARC from HarperTeen)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Signed ARC from Disney)
Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher (ARC from Penguin)
The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist (ARC from Penguin)
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (finished paperback bought at Barnes and Noble booth and signed)
Prodigy by Marie Lu (ARC from Penguin)
Dualed by Elise Chapman (ARC from Random House)
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (ARC from HarperTeen)
False Memory by Dan Krokos (Signed ARC from Disney)
False Sight by Dan Krokos (finished hardcover bought at Barnes and Noble booth and signed)
A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies (finished hardcover bought at Barnes and Noble booth and signed)
A Million Suns by Beth Revis (finished hardcover bought at Barnes and Noble booth and signed)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Signed ARC from HarperTeen)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (ARC for Mitali)
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (Signed ARC from Disney)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Signed paperback from Penguin)
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (Signed ARC from Penguin)
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (ARC from Penguin for...Someone)
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (ARC from Simon and Schuster)
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (Signed hardcover from Del Ray)
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Leisel Schwarz (ARC from Del Ray)
Revolution-19 by Gregg Rosenblum (ARC from HarperTeen)
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Signed ARC from Penguin)
Plus a lot of swag and some books I brought to ComicCon to get signed.

I'm...gonna go hide in a corner now.

--Julie

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What Do You Want to Know?

So, as I've mentioned, I'm going to ComicCon on Friday and Sunday. I'm definitely planning to go to a couple of YA-centric panels, but a lot of my time is dedicated to wandering around. And I'm curious what you guys want to know and see.

I want to be able to tell you guys about what goes on and any new information I get and can share, but it helps me to remember things to tell you if I know what to look for.

Do you want to hear what books publishers are pushing? What people think is the next trend? How certain authors think of work? I'll put my approximate schedule below so you guys can maybe figure out things you'd like to read about when I get back. Any time that's not designated there (or spent in line for those things) will be spent with me wandering around, mostly looking at publisher's booths, but also to see the general convention floor since this is my first convention...ever. Also, if you'll be at ComicCon either of these days and know you'll be at one of the panels/signings I'm planning to be at, feel free to come say hi! 

Friday:
  • Alex Bracken and Dan Krokos signing from 11-12
  • Passion, Power, and Paranormals! Panel from 1:30-2:30
  • Passion, Power, and Paranormals! Signing from 3:15-4:15
  • Geek Geek Revolution from 4-4:45
  • Morgan Rhodes signing at 5:30
  • Steampunk 101 from 9-10 (this is iffy and depends entirely on if I'm awake enough to handle it)
Sunday:
  •  Geek Geek Revolution: The Sequel from 12-12:45
  • Kids/YA Publisher Spotlight from 1:30-2:30
  • Caragh O'Brien signing from 3:30-4:30
So, what should I report back on? What should I look for? Any tips on the Javitz and conventions and ComicCon in particular? Anything you just want to tell me in general? I'm all ears for this!

--Julie

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

If I Lie
Corrine Jackson
Simon Pulse
[August 28, 2012]

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

I went into If I Lie knowing it'd be emotional and a tough read. However, I couldn't anticipate my own connections and heart going into this book.

Quinn was a fantastic protagonist. She wasn't perfect. She could be snarky and she could antagonize and she has a hard time forgiving. But she was a good person. Loyal and dedicated and fiercely protective of those she loved. She's been hurt and betrayed so many times in her life, she's not sure what to do or who she really is. I really related to Quinn for these reasons and I think a lot of other people can too.

The story Corrine Jackson put together was incredible and stressful and complicated but also simple and elegant and powerful. If I Lie says a lot about society and our judgements and the cultures we develop in communities. And it was just...such a different story from the norm in YA. It was something unique, something I hadn't read before. And I fell absolutely, head over heels in love with it.

This book, as I mentioned, is incredibly emotional. I read it straight through, sitting in my bed in this dorm, and had to fight not to cry since my roommate was a few feet away. Veterans and military service have been a big part of my family's life and I have a few friends who joined the military after graduation. We all know someone who's been there. It makes it so easy to connect to this story and understand all the pain and frustration and heartache, not just from Quinn, but from her whole community. It's easy to get why they're angry and upset. And then things happen I can't talk about that make you MORE EMOTIONAL and guys just so many feels I can't even what was that that happened to my heart?

As you can see, I read this recently and I'm still trying to cope with all of the feelings If I Lie gave me. It was incredible and will definitely stick with me. Corrine Jackson is, without a doubt, an author to keep an eye on.

--Julie

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved
Lia Havel
Del Ray
[September 25, 2012]


Can the living coexist with the living dead?

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.
Lia Habel is a master at the multiple perspectives. I just...so much love for that alone.

Then there's the fact that there's never a dull moment in any of Lia's novels. Always action and adventure and some new dangerous event, but not enough to overwhelm readers. There's always a really good balance. It's also realistic. You can't just introduce zombies as people and expect nothing will go wrong, you know?

Bram and Nora are as wonderful as ever, both separately and together. I really love the dynamic and chemistry between them. They both have to fight with a lot of issues that are interesting and practical. 

Lia's writing is seriously phenomenal. Anyone who can master two perspectives is talented, but Lia had a lot of them and the fit the story. I could even argue they were necessary to get the full scope of what's going on in this novel and lots of little things you don't want to miss.

I read this a while ago, so the review isn't great. But this is a seriously awesome follow up to Dearly, Departed and I can't wait for the next book!

--Julie

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Book Haul (135)

Julie: 

...Oops again?

Purchased:
Being Friends with Boys by Terra Ellan McVoy (ARC purchased from Strand)
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst (paperback purchased from Strand)
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Mar (hardcover purchased from Strand)
In the Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap (hardcover purchased from Strand)
Nightspell by Leah Cypess (hardcover purchased from Strand)
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi (ebook purchased from Amazon)
What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long (ebook purchased from Amazon)

...Other?:
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (hardcover from Egmont)
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance (ARC from Egmont)
Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ARC from Egmont)
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride (hardcover from Egmont)
Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison (ARC from Egmont)
Human .4 by Mike Lancaster (paperback from Egmont)
The Future We Left Behind by Mike Lancaster (hardcover from Egmont)

I'd say this'll stop but...ComicCon is next weekend...so yeah.

To be fair, I only paid for 5 books out of pocket this week so, yay me? The ebooks were both paid for with gift cards and the others are because I went out to dinner with fabulous Editor Alison from Egmont and we met at her office and she let me take from the shelves because she's a wonderful human being. And the Strand happened because I was showing a friend around Manhattan and how can I not take a book-lover to see the Strand?

And then...ComicCon's going to happen. I'm going Friday and Sunday because Saturday was already sold out by time I was 100% sure I could go. So next week's haul will only have Friday's books and anything that shows up in the mail. I'm not expecting anything, but I never know with the mail.

So...how's it going for you?

--Julie

Lanna:



For Review:

Darkness, Be My Friend by John Marsden
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Can't wait to read those two.

Bought:

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

I love the mini-series adaption of this, starring Kiera Knightley, but I've never read the book, decided to change that.
 

And I think that's all I got (well, I think I got a few e-books too but I can't remember which ones and it never feels like I own e-books, so I never add them to my shelfari or really include them in book hauls). Anyway, what'd you guys get this week?

Later.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Back to Home Back to Top Bloggers Heart Books. Theme ligneous by pure-essence.net. Bloggerized by Chica Blogger.