Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Children fighting other children to the death usually ends with the only surviving child being damaged. Just saying.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Book Trailers

When looking for a book to read, I often turn to the book trailer. More and more book trailers are being produced now, and, though some of these are old, I want to share a few that I love.

I love the tone of it :) Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Probably the best book trailer I've ever seen. Author Maggie Stiefvater did the entire thing herself! Linger

It captures the theme of the book very well. Ellen Hopkin's Fallout.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
From page 76-77

Where Frankie Avalon swoops down from a sparkling light-filled sky and plays guardian angel for Frenchy, who needs advice about beauty school. I could use some advice too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday ~ Greg Laswell

You talk about simply beautiful music? Take a listen to Greg Laswell's Comes and Goes below. Love it!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history-it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.

Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.


Alright, now, look at that massive summary. I mean, hello? It's huge. Then pick up the book. That too is huge. This has nothing to do on the impact of the book, but I simply wanted to point it out.

That being said, I picked up The Demon King because of all the hype surrounding the book. Book bloggers loved it, the reviews were great, and I happened to win an ARC of the second book, The Exiled Queen. This has been a book I've been meaning to read for some time now, and winning the ARC pushed me to reading it.

Let me say this one thing. I'm not a person who enjoys high fantasy, despite falling in love with Cashore's Graceling. The Demon King is by far high fantasy with a world filled with kings and queens and magic. Not usually my taste but I picked it up anyways.

Instantly, the characters captured my attention. Raisa, the soon to be queen, came off as snobby to me, though I may be the only one. She was sneaking about to be in love with a magician, yet, when her soldier friend returns, she decides it's alright to love them both. What? She suddenly turned into Zoey Redbird from PC Cast's House of Night series who is allowed to love any guy who comes within ten feet of her. Not a quality I like in a character.

Though I disliked Raisa, I instantly was attracted to Han. Coming from a hard life, he has so much more to him than Raisa did. The book alternates chapters between the two characters, but it left me disappointed when their lives only crossed for a short time halfway through the book and didn't reconnect.

Because the summary promises that Raisa and Han's lives collide, I would have hoped for more details, more plot, when the pair of them came together, but it was hardly anything.

Upon finishing the book, I closed it and was frustrated. What is all the hype about? I caught none of it. Nothing in the book was as interesting as claimed and it was far too long with not enough plot for me to enjoy.

Rating: D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

When a magician asks for volunteers from the audience, don't volunteer. You're about to get yourself involved in something you will later regret.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lovely Loves ~ Book Covers

So, I would like Wednesdays to become Lovely Loves in which I share, well, things I love having to do with the book world. Today's feature will be upcoming book covers that I find amazing. Take a look!

Chilling, isn't is? Or perhaps that's just me. Anyways, I love it!

Look at that font! Love how it matches the clothing on the girl.

This one only because I've seen the picture and have it under my favorites on DeviantART.

I love it! From the sideways author's name to the light colors, everything is perfect!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ HOUSE ON HOUND HILL

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The House on Hound Hill - Maggie Prince
From Page 167

The last rim of sun has gone, and the twilight is deepening. "Another hour and the dead carts'll be on the street."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday ~ Sara Barielles

For the longest time, I've been in love with Sara Barielles and this song is her absolute best besides Love Song. Take a listen to King of Anything below!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If the book is forbidden, it probably means there's something in there other people don't want you to know. If the cave is forbidden, it probably means there's something in there other people don't want you to know. If the meetings are forbidden . . . You catch my drift?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ GIFTS

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin
From page 13

"So these powers, these gifts, run in the family line, from father to son, like a snub nose might do?"
"And from mother to daughter," said Gry, as I said nothing.

Monday, September 13, 2010


If you've been reading my posts, you know I write creatively all the time. I can't write unless I'm able to completely zone out of the world around me. One of the main things that helps me do that is music, but I can't do music with lyrics. Imagine my happiness when I discovered The Vitamin String Quartet, an instrumental group that remakes pop music on the strings. Take a listen to something I never thought was possible, Poker Face by Lady Gaga on the violin.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?


I will admit, the main reason I picked up this book was because I loved S.A. Bodeen's The Compound. You can read my review here if you wish. But yes, I picked up The Gardener already in love with S.A. Bodeen's writing style and the ultimate strength and speed of her novels.

So, once beginning, I found it hard to stop reading. Yes, the beginning of this book was a bit slower than the other, but, because I knew the pace at which Bodeen writes, I continued to read. And continuing was not in vain. Once the action began, it didn't let up.

The girl has to be my favorite character in this novel. Mason doesn't know her name, and neither does she, and neither of them know what exactly happened to her, but this mystery surrounds her and the story and quickly develops into something greater, the source of the action.

One thing that I loved in reading The Compound was the ethics issues it addressed. The same sort of things come up in The Gardener. Is it alright to experiment on children from birth if they will be capable of continuing the human race? Not only this, but it questions our own world. How long to we have until our food supply runs out and what are we willing to do about it?

These are the questions at the core of the novel, keeping me reading, making me want to finish the book quickly. One thing I have noticed between both of Bodeen's novel is the issue of family, or, rather, dysfunctional families. Both novels had families that didn't get along completely, or didn't function as a whole.

Again, the characters are real, with real fears and desires, faults and quirks. And the situation is believable, both of which are important to the structure of the story. If there is one thing I can complain about, it is the fast paced ending that happens too quickly to read, which isn't a complaint at all.

As with the first book I read from Bodeen, I loved the epilogue. The way the entire story was wrapped up so seamlessly can only be done by a master and I must agree that Bodeen is one. Great job and I look forward to more.

Rating: A

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Trust your gut when it comes to things like leaders. Often times, the new leader can be far worse than the old. Keep your eyes open.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"-

While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life. Isn't it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.


Though I dislike comparing one book to another book simply because of the reason that all books are different because they're written by a different author, but I believe I must compare this book to another, very successful, one. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Here's the thing. Both books deal closely with suicide based upon bullying, but the approaches are different. In Thirteen Reasons Why, the girl's story is told in the past, a voice of the already dead, speaking to another person who could have saved her if they had had the chance. In By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead, the girl, the one who is bullied, tells the story from her point of view, looking forward to the day she plans upon killing herself. Two different things, as readers of both will notice as they read the book.

Through Peters' novel, each chapter opens with how many days are left until the day the Daelyn will kill herself. Having attempted before, she no longer plans to fail and is trying to plan how to make this her final attempt.

But a monkey wrench is tossed into her plans when she meets a boy who appears at the place where she waits for her mother every day. Something about him intrigues her, and, suddenly, Daelyn has a friend she shouldn't. It is this tension that makes the story so heart wrenching.

The mere thought that this young girl wants so badly to kill herself was something that kept me awake and, more importantly, kept me reading. I wanted to reach into the book and grab her and explain how much good there was in the world if she would give it a chance, despite thinking that Daelyn wasn't one to listen to things like that. Because her character was crafted so well, I hurt for Daelyn and cringed at her memories, wishing I was there to offer a comforting arm.

The book moves forward at a steady pace, despite the events being small. I can't pin down what it was that propelled this book forward, but something kept pushing me, pushing the story, prompting me to finish it in a matter of two days.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, despite the touchy topic, and look forward to reading more by this author. If you haven't noticed, this book is different from the science fiction, fantasy, dystopian I usually read, and I enjoyed it! A welcome change to the usual reading.

Rating: A

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday ~ THE GARDENER

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
From page 48

My hands trembled so much it was difficult to open the door. The girl slid into the middle and I hopped in beside her and slammed the door.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Music Monday ~ Mat Kearney

LOVE THIS SONG. Mat Kearney, Closer to Love. I heard it for the first time in the CW's Vampire Diaries and loved it ever since. Take a listen.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Orokos is a city of chaos, lashed by probability storms that re-order the world wherever they strike. It covers every inch of the rocky island that it dominates. It has stood for so long that history has forgotten it, and its citizens no longer question what exists beyond its walls. Then three of its denizens discover a map that holds the key to the secret at the heart of Orokos. But there are others, such as the Chief of the Protectorate Secret Police who would do anything to get their hands on that power...anything at all...

To be honest, that summary up there tells nothing about what the book is actually about. It doesn't tell you about Rail and Moa, two thieves, who come across and odd artifact from long ago science that allows them to pass through walls without a problem. It doesn't tell you that Rail and Moa, despite being told to give everything they have to the thief mistress, steal this item in hopes that no one will notice it. It doesn't tell you that the item is quickly missed and it sends Rail and Moa on a journey of a lifetime, fighting against the probability storms that literally shift anything in Orokos.

To be brief, I don't know what made me pick up this book. The cover is interesting enough. The summary is alright. The author has written other praised books. But something drew to me this book. More likely than not, it was the idea of a terrible society, a common theme I come back to again and again.

The story begins instantly, and kept me reading. Despite the lack of explanation, everything seemed to make enough sense so that I wasn't scrambling to understand. Some scenes were a bit confusing, especially ones describing the horrors that exist in Orokos because of the probability storms, but, in the end, everything formed together well and I was able to understand.

One thing that I constantly mention in my reviews is character and character development. When it comes to Chris Wooding's Storm Thief, these are done beautifully. Despite characters in many YA novels who have no flaws and live perfect lives, both Rail and Moa are conflicted in one way or the other and have struggled for years to make it by. To me, reading about a character who has faced troubles in their life is a lot more interesting than one who has had everything handed to them on a silver spoon.

Speaking of the rich, the rich, surprisingly, also play a role in this face-paced novel, a roll that I rather enjoyed because of how out of place these people seemed in a city that could take your breath away as easily as it could give breath to something inanimate. The rich were not exempt from this worry which made them all the more realistic in comparison to novels in which the rich have perfect lifestyles.

Another thing I love in books is when the book consists of multiple main characters, all of whom have an interesting role to play and ultimately come together in the resolution. Wooding did an excellent job at crafting these different personalities that all managed to work together without disrupting the flow of the book.

Overall, Storm Thief was a quick-paced novel that will appeal to both male and female readers because both male and female characters create the main roles. Wooding is an author I would love to read more from.

Rating: A

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

You see a ghost? You run. No questions asked. Ghosts will only cause misery.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


NOTE: This post will not contain spoilers for the final book, but may contain spoilers from The Hunger Games and Catching Fire because it's hard to review this book without commenting on things that happened in the other books, so if you haven't read them, please don't read this post. Again, this is SPOILER FREE FOR MOCKINGJAY.

Unlike my usual reviews, I won't include a summary of the plot because, unlike me regular reviews, this isn't a review but simply a wrap-up in order to give you my views on the third and final book in The Hunger Games series. That being said, I am turning off reader comments on this post because I don't want anything being said that will lead to spoiling a person who comes on here to view the spoiler free review.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mockingjay. Fans of the series, you know that in both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Katniss was faced with similar events. Not so true for Mockingjay which is what I loved the most. Characters only mentioned in the other books had a chance to grow and develop into the roles Suzanne Collins determined for them, which was great to see.

This is not to say there won't be laughter, tears, gasps, and cries (there will), but that is to be expected from a book of this nature. Readers of the Harry Potter series will remember their reactions to the final book in that series and can relate it to their reactions to this simply because it is the final book and reading the words THE END on the final page of a series you enjoy is always bittersweet.

Shockingly, the twists in Mockingjay didn't surprise me as much as the twists in the other books, but perhaps this was because I have grown used to the writing style. It may also be that I was reading too quickly for anything to sink in, but I truly and completely enjoyed this.

Those little paragraphs are all I can say about the novel without spoiling it for anyone. After reading, I know how important it is that no one knows what happens until they read it for themselves. The power the novel has is decreased in learning what happens and I hope everyone else will respect other's choice not to be spoiled.

In other news, for those of you who don't know, I attended a midnight release for Mockingjay at Magic Tree bookstore in Oak Park, IL, which was a lot of fun. You can view their reports (also spoiler free) from the night or view my personal pictures from the event if you would like to see the man costumes and lots of fun we had. I walked away with quite a few prizes including a Mockingjay bookmark, a couple fake tattoos, and a very cool key chain featuring the mockingjay, a lump of coal, and Peeta's pearl.

In further news, Suzanne Collins will be attending a book event at this bookstore in October, which I will also be attending and will write a full post on after the event. Until then, I offer this simple phrase to those who have read Mockingjay.

Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be, if
we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.