Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4) - Bitterblue

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a post where you can let people know what upcoming books you're anticipating!

This week I am waiting on:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
May 1, 2012 - Dial

Not a lot has been released about the story of Bitterblue, but from GoodReads: "Bitterblue is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. This third book will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the sixteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book."

And from Cashore's website: "Bitterblue is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling (not six, as I'd written previously). As you may have gathered, the protagonist is Bitterblue. Yes, Katsa, Po and others from Graceling do appear in the book. Bitterblue will be released on May 1, 2021 in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It will be released in a few other countries/languages as well; I'll supply that information when I have it."

Why I Want It:
I loved both Graceling and Fire, both were so much fun to read and really got me started on reading more YA Fantasy novels. Bitterblue's part of the story in Graceling was really well done and ever since there was talk of a Bitterblue novel a few years ago, I have been waiting to find out when it comes out. I'm so excited that there's a date for it now, and can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read That Were Outside of My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday there is a different Top Ten topic to join in on, and you can see past and future topics on their features page. This week's topic is: Books I Read That Were Outside of My Comfort Zone.

For me, this list is more about genres and styles instead of topics. I used to be pretty predictable in the books I would read; a lot of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Elizabeth Scott, a lot of books about coming into your own as a teen. I didn't read fantasy, non-fiction, adult fiction, etc. Going back over my GoodReads lists for this post was a lot of fun, because I could remember being wary about some of these books when I picked them up to read.

Top Ten Books I Read That Were Outside of My Comfort Zone:

This was my first dystopia (not counting The Giver in 6th grade) and I had no idea what to expect from it. It wasn't my "type" of book, I didn't like sci-fi or fantasy, but man, this book got me hooked on terrible futures.

This book was recommended to me by a Children's Lit professor, so I picked it up and read the summary. It just didn't sound like something I would like. I know little of comic books and was wary of protagonists that were so into something I had no idea about. I did end up liking the book, but not the sequel.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Foreign Horror. I used to be a big chicken, sleep with a night light during high school type of person. Scary movies actually scared me. So horror fiction, especially foreign vampire fiction, sounded a bit too creepy for me. But it was really good!

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Like I said, I didn't used to read non-fiction. This was one of the first in a string of biographies & memoirs I read a few years ago. I read a whole bunch right in a row, but haven't gotten back into the genre for a while.

In the Woods by Tana French
This is the first real Mystery I read. My mom always reads mysteries, and I'd never been interested in them. I saw this book at the train station, loved the cover, and it sounded interesting. I still don't read a lot of mysteries, but I always read Tana French's books now!

I'm not a historical fiction person. I was never a history lover in school. I've always really liked books that could happen now. But I heard so many good things about this book and this author, and I am so glad that I looked past my usual issues and picked it up.

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams
A book in verse. I had to try so hard at points in this book to push myself to keep going. Not because it was bad, it was actually a really wonderful story, but because my brain just wasn't used to reading a story told in verse. I am still not a big fan of the style, but I won't completely shut them out.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I read some fantasy books as a young child, like Patricia C Wrede's Dragon books. But throughout middle school, high school, and college, I just did not read fantasy. I didn't like books that I couldn't believe actually happened, or that I couldn't imagine happening to me. I think I had an imagination problem for a while. This book was also recommended to me by the same Children's Lit professor, who said she also had trouble getting into fantasy books. I figured if someone with my same views on fantasy liked it, then I should give it a try. It was an instant favorite, and now I love reading fantasy YA.

Stitches by David Small
My first graphic novel. It was difficult at first to navigate the story without words and on many pages, without dialog. Once I found my rhythm, I really enjoyed this book and have read a few more graphic novels since.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is sort of a silly reason for being hesitant of a book, but I really never read books with male protagonists. I just felt I couldn't relate to them. I love Laurie Halse Anderson though, so I gave it a try, and realized how silly I was to ignore a whole bunch of books just because they had boys in them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Had Strong Emotions About

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday there is a different Top Ten topic to join in on, and you can see past and future topics on their features page. This week's topic is: Books I Had Strong Emotions About (good or bad). I've linked each book to its GoodReads page.

Top Ten Books I Had Strong Emotions About:

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Emotion: Anger -- So much build up and then... nothing.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Emotion: Sadness & Anger -- The poor tree just gives and gives to the neediest boy alive, but the boy never gives anything back!

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
Emotion: Disappointment -- One of the only books I put down and didn't finish.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Emotion: Anger -- Henry and Clare made me so angry... I don't usually hate characters, but I hate Henry.

Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Emotion: Confusion -- This book was all over the place with small chapters on different characters, but there was no ending to any of the stories, usually I am a big Stolarz fan!

Stitches by David Small
Emotion: Wonder -- This was one of the first graphic novels I read, and the images were so powerful, I was just in awe of this book.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Emotion: Lots of tears -- This book (and its sequel) made me cry so hard, and I hadn't expected it.

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Emotion: Wonder & Joy -- This book is just amazing, I am so excited for the sequel to come out (next week!).

A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin
Emotion: Sadness & something I can't quite name -- The power of friendship in this novel just astounds me and fills me with all sorts of emotions.

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
Emotion: Creeped out -- This book freaked me out, I had chills at times.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hold Still - Nina LaCour - 2009

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Published: 2009 - Dutton
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Read: October 20, 2011
4.5 out of 5 Stars: Overall, really liked it

Reason for Reading: This was picked up on a giant book run last winter. I don't think I've ever bought so many books at once. I liked how it sounded, and I loved the design of the book.

On GoodReads: "Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend's suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn't die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid's descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid - and Caitlin herself."

My Thoughts: I really liked this book. It was very emotional, as you would expect from a book about a girl recovering from her best friend's suicide, and it felt very true to life. I don't know what it is about emotional realistic fiction, but it gets me every time. I am so drawn to stories about people who need to get past a major conflict or major loss. I like books where you can see the characters grow from start to finish.
Nina LaCour's writing was wonderful. She did a great job of getting me inside Caitlin's head and making me feel like I was experiencing the pain and loneliness that she felt. I really just enjoyed this book all around, even the journal entries of Ingrid's that were included.

Recommended To: If you liked Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott or Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Quote From The Book: "I sort through the letters and pull out what I need for the beginning. They snap easily into place. And even though I thought I would need every letter, I finish the first sentence and realize that it’s all I have left to say.

Books Read This Year: 87 of 100

Currently Reading: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson - 2011

Published: 2011 - Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Read: October 27, 2011
5 out of 5 Stars: Loved it

Reason for Reading: I have been a fan of Maureen Johnson since I read The Bermudez Triangle a few years ago, and then proceeded to read every book she's written. I highly recommend Devilish as a fun read.

On GoodReads: "The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities."

My Thoughts: I wasn't quite sure I was going to like this book as much as Johnson's other books, mostly because I tend to dislike books with ghosts. However, this book also has Jack the Ripper, and I really like serial killer, creepy books. So this worked out really well for me. This book was super creepy, in the best way possible, and I could not stop reading. I just wanted to find out how it was going to all go down.
Johnson's writing is intelligent and funny, and her characters always remind me of real people. Rory was such a fun protagonist, this Southern girl transplanted to a London boarding school. She was was witty and smart and Johnson had me laughing out loud one minute and then gripping the book with anticipation the next. There is nothing like a good boarding school setting for a thriller, and this was done fantastically.
Maureen Johnson just announced the second title in the series will be The Madness Underneath.

Recommended To: Fans of the supernatural genre, Maureen Johnson fans, those in the mood for a good, creepy Halloween read.

Quote From The Book: "I was terrified for a few minutes that they would all be like this, but reassured myself that it probably took a certain type to become head girl. I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long, Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southerner, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death." (page 23-24)

Books Read This Year: 87 of 100

Currently Reading: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (3) - Wintertown

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a post where you can let people know what upcoming books you're anticipating!

This week I am waiting on:

WinterTown by Stephen Emond
December 5, 2011 - Little, Brown
"Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off."

Why I Want it:
It's been described as "Garden State" meets "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist." Need I say more?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Perfect Books for Halloween Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different Top Ten topic to join in on. This week's topic is: Books that are perfect for reading around Halloween. This topic was a bit difficult for me, since I didn't start reading fantasy or horror until recently.

Top Ten Books Perfect for Halloween (in no particular order):

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Being Dead by Vivian Vande Velde
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

The Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2) - Crossed - Condie

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a post where you can let people know what upcoming books you're anticipating!

This week I am waiting on:

Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie
November 1, 2011 - Dutton

"In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than

Why I Want It: I enjoyed the first book, Matched, though I felt like it absolutely screamed "first in a series," because it was a lot of background and build up, with not a lot of action and intensity. I am really excited for this second book because I think it will have a bigger payoff and a bit more excitement. I love the premise of the story, and want to see how everything turns out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Bought For Their Covers or Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different Top Ten topic to join in on. This week's topic is: Books You Judged By Their Covers or Titles. It was a lot of fun roaming around my apartment and remembering which books I chose for these reasons.

Top Ten Books I Bought For Their Covers or Titles:
Red Riding Hood - Sarah Blakley-Cartwright: The book didn't exactly live up to its cover, which I think is just so charming, but I pretty much expected that, knowing that it was written after the screenplay. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, though!

Choker - Elizabeth Woods: I love this cover, it looks so elegant and pretty. The story was neither of these things.

Just Like That - Marsha Qualey: This is still one of my very favorite book covers, and I really loved the story as well. The colors are just so soft and it's really such a simple image, it works so well.

Tenderness - Robert Cormier: I read this book in high school and have always loved the simplicity of it. The lack of any image at all is so intriguing to me. I love the story as well.

Stolen - Lucy Christopher: I love how simple this cover and title are. The one copper butterfly and the title on the black background give no hint to how complex the story inside is. I love it!

Moonglass - Jessi Kirby: I am a sucker for the ocean. And for purple. So this cover pretty much grabbed me right away. The story is really sweet as well.

Matched - Ally Condie: The girl in the bubble is such a wonderful image, and I love that it doesn't take up the whole cover. I enjoyed the book, though it wasn't my favorite, but am really excited to see where the second in the series takes us.
Possession - Elana Johnson: The butterfly frozen in the ice cube against the pearly white background completely sucked me in. I haven't read it yet though, so I don't know if it lives up to expectations!

The Everafter - Amy Huntley: I love this image on the cover, and I love that the term Everafter makes me think of far off plays and forever. I haven't read this one yet, but it'll be coming up soon!

Then I Met My Sister - Christine Hurley Deriso: This cover is so beautiful to me. The girl enclosed behind the drawn art, her hair almost turning into the red lines on the paper. It is so lovely. I haven't read this one yet either, but am really excited to!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Notes From The Blender - Cook & Halpin - 2011

Notes From The Blender by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin

Published: 2011 - EgmontUSA
Age Group: YA
Date Read: October 17, 2011
3.5 out of 5 Stars: Enjoyed the story

Reason for Reading: I picked this book up a few months ago because a librarian I sometimes work with read it and thought it was a good, funny read.

On GoodReads: "Declan loves death metal--particularly from Finland. And video games--violent ones. And internet porn--any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway. Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She's the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested-- or it was until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she's getting a new brother--of the freaky fellow classmate variety. Declan's dad is marrying Neilly's mom. Soon. Which means they'll be moving in together."

My Thoughts: I really liked the idea of "the blender," the mix of families we sometimes end up with after divorces, remarries, deaths, etc. The two points of view, Declan and Neilly, were very distinct, and the two authors worked really well in this situation. It did take me a little while to warm up to Declan, since the sometimes vulgar and perverted teenage male mind is very foreign to me as a female. But about halfway through the book I found myself really rooting for him. It was really sweet to see how Declan and Neilly navigated their way around their new blended family, and by the end of the story Neilly's mother and Declan's father were my favorite characters in the whole story. I love YA books that include the parents and admit that yes, most teens do have some type of parent present, we don't need to come up with some device to play "hide the parents." Ultimately, I had trouble relating to both characters, though I thought they were well developed, but I think readers who have gone through similar family situations might find a stronger connection than I did and get a bit more out of the story.

Recommended To: Readers looking for some wit, a new family dynamic, and some great one liners.

Quote From The Book: "You are the coolest person I know, " Neilly said.
"You act like you don't know your own mom, " I said.
"Apparently, I don't!" Neilly said, laughing. "Knocked up, hanging out at tattoo parlors...Mom, do you want me to drop you guys off at the mall so you can hang out by the fountains and go shopping at Hot Topic?"
"Not tonight, sweetie. I have to watch your father marry a dude, remember?" (p. 217)

Books Read This Year: 84 of 100

Currently Reading: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. It's a way to share books you've received, borrowed, or bought.

The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
Stay With Me - Paul Griffin
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
Between - Jessica Warman

American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl