Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dystopian Giveaway Hop! (INT)

This awesome giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & My Shelf Confessions.
The full linky list is here!

I'm a huge fan of dystopian books! I even loved them before The Hunger Games made it the new popular genre. ;) Nowadays it seems lots of debut authors are making their way via dystopia, and even mixing it up with some paranormal as well. It's a hit or miss, like any genre, and here are a few favorites of mine, but if you win, you can pick out any book that's dystopian as long as TBD ships to your country! (And it's under about $12 USD) :)

Rafflecopter below the pics :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Throne of Glass: review + cover comparison

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genres: magical/fantasy, badassness, assassins, (there's lots of ssss going on here.)
Rating: 4.4 stars
Source: TBD
Summary: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I finally finished it! A few months ago, all I saw on the blogs I follow, was Throne of Glass, the new awesome book. I eventually bought it from TBD so I could get the UK cover (which I think is way more bad-ass, see below) and while I waited for it to get here, I read the four prequel novellas.

Usually I read the ".5" books in a series either way after, or not at all. But these four are so good! I'm very glad I read them first! Celaena's adventures leading up to Throne of Glass give her a whole other dimension, insight to who she was before the salt mines. I high recommend spending the $4 to get them all, before picking up Throne of Glass. And if you've already read it? Read them anyway, and maybe the wait till the second book in the series will seem less far away...

Fantasy is my favorite genre, (sci-fi is close behind) and for the most part, this is pretty good fantasy, especially for a debut author. I'm really picky with the fantasy I read; it has to have the right balance of well written action and believable world building, complicated court politics and that dash of romance.

The world building is slight, but since 90% of the story takes place inside the castle of class, let's say the castle building is really good. The castle is beautifully described, down to the very curtains in Celaena's chambers. The four pre-novellas actually did most of the world building in my head, but I have a strong feeling we shall be leaving the castle with Celaena in the next book. Also, maps! In the beginning of the book. Any fantasy book needs maps.

The contest plot is like any contest plot...and it reminded me a whole lot of The Goblet of Fire. Also, the mysterious monster killing people and blood written on the walls...The Chamber of Secrets...this isn't a bad thing, it just kind of made me laugh! The similarities are outstanding but it's still plenty enjoyable.

Love triangle: I'm actually a fan of this particular one. Usually I hate them. I totally like Chaol more than the stupid Prince Dorian, but as far as how it's played out, it's done well and sort of equally. While there's tension between the three, with all that fun first-book-unsaid-feelings thing going on, it doesn't overwhelm the other parts of the plot. I don't really have more to say than that.

Other characters: Slightly underdeveloped and confusing. The POVs switch to a few other people's now and then so you can see what's going on behind Celaena's back, but by the end, I was still confused as to who was on who's side, and what they knew. So the supporting characters are okay.

Some books I recommend if you enjoyed this, or visa versa:
The Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
Any of Maria V. Snyder's books

Here's a small cover comparison: US/UK

The US one I initially loved, as I saw it all around Goodreads. But then when it came to stores, I looked closer and decided Celaena looked just a bit too nice and pretty with that, dare I call, touch of kindness in her eyes?...Then I stumbled upon the UK cover...It's almost otherworldly and weird and she's coming at you and you're thinking, "Oh shit, she's going to kill me." At least, that's what I thought right as I clicked the "buy now" button. :) What are your thoughts?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alice in Zombieland: review

Title: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Author: Gena Showalter
Genres: zombies, retelling, paranormal ya
Rating: 5 stars
Source: library
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

This is my 100th book read this year! :) Coincidence it almost lined up with my 100th post...

My first thought: Wow this is so great! An Alice in Wonderland zombie retelling?? Creative mesh!! Especially since I just saw live-play steampunk retelling the night before starting this. Everything was fresh in my mind.

My second thought: The setting is!!!....high school? Waitasecond. I guess I wasn't expecting that because in the summary/flap description it does not once say anything about high school. As weird as it sounds though, I got used to it and actually started to love that it did indeed take place in high school. It makes sense now, because Ali is sixteen so why shouldn't she be in school...but the original story has her going into some Wonderland otherplace. You see my train of thought went a bit teeter-tottery for a while.

The first supporting character we meet is Kat. Now, my first impression of her was not the same by the time I finished the book. Ali's meeting with her is weird, but Kat is so energetic and funny it's easy to just ignore all the underlying strangeness. But the more and more I got to know Kat, the less and less I liked her. I don't think there's anything wrong with the character herself, it's just me and her. In real life, I really despise people like her, all bouncy and gossipy all the time, so we just didn't click. This resulted in some major suspicions on my end that turned to a completely different road by the last quarter of the book. I wish my guesses had been correct (because I'm assuming she's the Cheshire in here), but as the reader, obviously things don't always go your way...

Alice (Ali) on the other hand, I hated right away, and grew to admire her by the end. She just sounded to me like an annoying sweet-sixteen-year-old who is really normal, kinda whiney and very naïve. But after the car accident (which happens in like the first chapter, don't worry) I guess I liked her a little more. When she was at school, and made friends easily with these normal girly girl people like Kat (Kat being one of them) I feared this would get too contemporary-like and not enough paranormal. I can easily say if this book were contemporary ya high school setting and plot, I would hate this book. But obviously it's not, so I loved it. Ali also has a very entertaining inner-voice that almost blends with what she actually says out loud.

Here is where the similarities to Die For Me by Amy Plum appear. Did I mention that before? Well there are some.

Family Dies.
Weapon training.
Strange Secret Group fighting.
The opposing Strange Secret fighting Group.

It's more complicated than that. The romance is very different, but lots of the story-line is the same. The actual zombie "mythology" is different, but I mean, they're still the undead, technically. (Can zombies be technical?)

Romance: There's chemistry, that part's very obvious. I really care about Ali and Cole, who I am assuming is the Hatter because he is mentioned to wearing different hats frequently. There's some squee-scenes. Quite a few actually. But when I noticed the cover saying bestselling author and I looked up her other series...well I understood why she's good at the romance aspect. It's not extremely serious or anything not PG-13 rated, but here and there I can just tell she's used to writing more.

Zombies: This is where I get opinionated, sorry. So every zombie story has to have a background, you know? Like how they started, the infection rules, and all that sciencey stuff. In here it's different than what I've read on zombies. (I will admit I've only read a handful.) I'm not buying the history that zombies are a 'manifestation of absolute evil' which is why they must be stopped. It's an unusual approach and the way spirits are mentioned in here, borderline religiously based. Barely there, but the fact that zombies are spiritually based instead of scientifically based....not sure I love it yet. There's also the fact that the opposing side is bent on capturing and researching zombies: aka the scientists.

Retelling aspect: I guess this is a trilogy? Possibly more? Don't think it's announced yet. There is a fair bit of the original story weaved in here, like seeing the white rabbit, hats, and wearing blue dresses, but I hope to see even more in the next one, Down the Zombie Hole. There is a club they go to called Hearts, I just remembered. The characters I'm able to recognize are Cheshire, Hatter, and the two Tweedles. The White Rabbit is more symbolic, and I'm pretty sure we have yet to see the Caterpillar?

Badass-ness: On a scale of 1-10, probably about a 6.6 because for most of the book, it's hinted that there's fighting and scary stuff, but it takes a while for Ali to be a part of it, and even longer till she wields a sword and punches people. As a protag, she isn't the most witty, but she has a resilient spirit and vengeance on her mind, which gives her points on the scale.

Overall Alice in Zombieland is an excellent read, so make sure to go buy it or order it from the library right away! Fans of Die For Me will definitely enjoy it, and anyone who likes the ya-paranormal, zombie, or retelling genres needs to give it a try. For me, it was one of those unexpectedly good books that made me not want to put it down for a minute.


A few minutes ago, I made a Facebook page! As I figure out how to use it...'likes' would be great! :) I don't have a cover photo yet...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 10-23-12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Stop by there, to see other blogs participating as well! :)

About a quarter done with this book...and I can already say it's AMAZING? Creative, funny, and sorta creepy so far. And Cole...swoon! Never thought the Hatter would be so cool. (At least, I think that's who he is at this point in the book?) Anyway, here are a couple teasers even though my review should be up soon.

"Has anyone ever told you that you're the most frustrating person they've ever met, or have most of the people in your life been too polite?" -page 128

"Someone so egotistical shouldn't have been so charming." - page 130

Yep, Cole and Ali get along so far it's the hate-hate relationship, topped with some freaky hallucinations that make things even more awkward, but it's bound to get better soon. Then they can go have a zombie-hunting date together! Isn't that sweet.

All right, back to reading!

Like my pick?

-Jane :)

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! (US)

Halloween is almost upon us!! To celebrate, here is a hop devoted to spooky books! It's hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & The Diary of A Bookworm. And the complete linky is here. (Oh my, there are hundreds of them, congrats for making it down far enough to click on me!)

I don't read too many "spooky" books, cause I'm kind of a wimp, but I have read a few good ones this year. One of those was TEN (It's cooler in all caps) by Gretchen McNeil. So I'm giving away my once-read ARC for this hop. It's easy to enter; just fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and good luck!

Happy Halloween, Samhain, et cetra! :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Blogger Awards (Week #4 voting)

Hey guys! I'd love it if you could vote for me this week! :)

Live to Read

If the button doesn't work, click here. Or on my sidebar.

(I think this post earns me Shortest Post of the Month award...)

Sorry nothing else fancy, but I'm in the middle of reading a really exciting scene right now, so byees!!


Friday, October 19, 2012

The Mark of Athena: mini-review

Title: The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genres: mythology, ya adventure
Rating: 4 stars!
Source: library
Summary: Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

Warning, there are some obvious spoilers from the first two books. :)

This is probably one of the few series I'm still continuing to read from the tween section...because it totally rocks. I'm a HUGE fan of mythology, so I grab at any source to learn more about it and enjoy its crazy stories. Rick Riordan's series have a way of making learning all of that really fun for any kind of audience.

The difference between The Mark of Athena and the first two is that everyone's together and themselves again! *celebrates* Which is nice, because all those crappy losing-memory plots just rub me the wrong way. As the reader I feel like I need to shout "I know who you are and you need to remember now!! Please!! Feeling so useless here!!" So Percy and Jason are in their right minds now.

As for the plot, I think this is going to be a five-book series? It's progressing well; there's tons of action, great minor gods, and funny lines. I think my favorite god to meet was Narcissus. I was cracking up immediately upon meeting him, and the small chapter he's in is definitely a reread. Believe me, it's worth reading the book just for that part. Oh! But you still should read the rest, of course.

With so many main characters, (the seven of the prophecy, and Coach Hedge...I'm still not sure how he fits in...) it's easy to mess up writing all of their points of view and make the plot über confusing. But alas, that did not happen at all. Every three or so chapters the POV would change, and from one action scene to another, it all flows well. I felt each character gets an equal amount of screen time and they're all developing nicely.

If you remember the first two books, the cliffhangers are----- (next book) ----very annoying! At the end of this one some terrible things happen, including a Gandalf Maneuver, but there was an actual end, instead of a jaw dropping one-liner. Is that comforting?

It's a ways away, but I'm definitely looking forward to the fourth book The House of Hades getting a summary, a cover, and then finally becoming released!


PS: From the voting post a few days ago, I've decided to read (after Alice in Zombieland) Throne of Glass, Going Vintage, and then Falling Kingdoms. That should keep me busy for a bit with some library books stuck in between. Thanks for your opinions! I also added a new tab ^^^ to show which books I currently have from the library, review books, etc. to give a rough idea for which reviews will be coming. It's not in order of to-read as of yet. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop (INT)

This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & vvb32reads. The complete linky list is here. :)

You may not know this, but I LOVE Jane Austen's work. All her books are amazing in their own way and I just love love love them. I mean my alias is "Jane" so that gives a little hint of my obsession. So I love reading her books over and over, and I am pretty sure they are all FREE on Amazon Kindle shopping, so I can't really give any of them away. (But you should go download them all now.)

Since it's international and shipping is pricey, I am going to giveaway an e-book of ANY retelling/spin-off/modernization/anything relating to Jane Austen or her books. There's a handful out there. I'll put some ideas down below, but if you know of others, you can request it if you win. :) Good luck and enter in the Rafflecopter form!

Here are some Goodreads lists I found: (didn't check e-book availability for everything though.)

For formatting, I can look on B&N, Amazon, or others, depending on where they're available (country) and which device you use. I'll try my best. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 10-17-12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme/event/blog hop hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine, so be sure to check back there for more blogs participating each week. :) It allows us to spotlight, or drool over an up-coming release we really can't wait to get our hands on.

by Bethany Griffin
Release: April 23rd, 2013

The cover was finally released just last week and now I'm doubly excited!!! You can read my review of Masque of the Red Death here. I loved it and I hope this second one that completes the story is just as enjoyable! I know it will be. :)

What books are you waiting on?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vote! Which book should I read/review next? (2)

Last time I did this, it went over pretty well. I obviously want to review books you want to hear about, so tell me, which one/two do you want to see me read soonest!!? :)

Three of these are the endings to great series: Fox Forever, Rise, and Requiem. I want to read them so badly, but at the same time--then they'll be over! :O

I read the four prequel shorts for Throne of Glass and they were quite enjoyable, so it looks promising!

Venom, Poison and Going Vintage are all one ones I haven't heard much about, but they look pretty fascinating. (And the covers are neat. ;))

And Falling Kingdoms looks ahhmazing, but I don't believe I've read a single review on it

I need your help deciding. Meanwhile, I'll work on some books I just got from the library. Don't worry, there's only five of them. :)

Let me know in the comments below! (love comments SO much.)


Monday, October 15, 2012

100th post + GIVEAWAY! (INT)


Just looking at my sidebar the other day and saw the number of posts, and my eyes bugged out at the number "94"!!! Now here it is, my 100th post! It's crazy. I still can't believe it. In celebration, I'm going to giveaway some ARCs that I recently acquired!! There will be TWO winners. Maybe more, depending on how many more people end up following me...US only people, I'm very sorry. But if you're internationally out of the US, then you can still enter to win a book (under about $10) of choice from The Book Depository as long as they ship to your country. :)

So that's pretty much it, my friends. I thank every one of you for reading my posts over these past few months, and I'll see ya again on my 101st post in a couple days. Live long and prosper.

Oh, and enter the Rafflecopter below! ;) Open from Oct 15th to Oct 31st!

  • Choice of ARCs for US peoples (two winners) : 

(Since my camera sucks, the green one is the last of Lauren DeStefano's Wither trilogy, Sever, coming in Feb. I have two copies.)

  • International prize, a book of winner's choice under about $12 (xe rates may vary after all) shipped from The Book Depository.

-Jane :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dearly, Beloved: review

Title: Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration #2)
Author: Lia Habel
Genres: zombie apocalypse, historical/futuristic ya fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Source: library
Summary: 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.

Wow, that's a long summary, eh? Well it is a pretty long book.

It took me a looong time to truly enjoy Dearly, Beloved. Let's say, 68% into it? It's 500 pages, and I think it's about 200 too many. There's a ton of great parts, but the sheer amount of information and characters is too overwhelming for me. The plot is complicated and full of battles, politics, ethics, pretty much everything. Everything. Fantastic, but a lot to digest and keep track of.

The story is told in rotating POVs...six or seven I believe. I'm not a fan of two POVs to begin with, never mind half a freakin dozen. This also means from the bouncing back and forth doesn't give as much of a chance to really get to know each character.

Lia Habel's strong suit is in world building. It's rich, well constructed, awesomely punk-techy and I totally love it. Every time another kind of tech is introduced, from digidiary to the sky-screen= nerdtastic. Pretty much why I read these books.

New London takes place in Central/South America, which sets it a bit apart from the usual setting, and also there's a great diverse ethnicity to the characters. 

I mentioned how long it took for me to get into the story. The pace is slow, sort of. Like not much happens as action-wise besides some. too much bouncing back and forth ideas and theorizing.


Nora and Bram's romance is sweet I guess. But it's kind of boring (aka established) and mushy. I don't think zombies are cute and cuddly like Nora seems to, so when she's all "Oh Bram is so dead and amazing; decomposing is endearing!" I'm like, "not." But hey, it's probably a sign I'm not a true zombie-fan. It's a personal preference, but I like my guys alive.

Pamela is pretty messed up, recovering from the events of Dearly, Departed and I really feel for her. Nora's so brave and determined, but Pam is the best friend, and is realistically handling some PTSD via nightmares and fears of everything. Her brother is now a zombie, her dad is trying to keep his pride by overprotecting the family, and her mom is not accepting the fact that her son is dead--to the extreme. By halfway through or so, she really takes initiative and I was rooting for her big time to help herself and her family.

Michael Allister. Wow, talk about a sick minded weirdo. So awesome!! There were only a few chapters in his point of view and I especially love the one where he meets Nora for lunch, (it's much more complicated than that) his twisted views are revealed. The obsession with Nora and doing everything pretty much evil for her, it's great.

Laura fascinated me a whole bunch. She's one of the zombies in the company of, but not in league with, the bad guys. But as much as she fascinated me, she grossed me out too. Laura's covered in...plants. Flowers to be exact. She digs her fingers into her flesh and plants seeds, then waters them with injections of water...the vibe I got was the zombie equivalent to a cutter. Still not sure what to think of it, because the way she describes it is..."I like bringing life to things." We'll just leave it at that.

The Very End: OH MY GOD. SERIOUSLY?? Not a fan. It was all just so spontaneous and teenagery and might I add a tad major cheesy?? Truly sorry, but I hate things like that in young adult books.

Besides that, I look forward to the next book!


Post script: Guys, I got my Etsy shop finally up and running! I make Scrabble Tile necklaces and other kinda of jewelry, so if any of that sounds interesting, there's a link on my right sidebar! :) It's called Gems and Stems.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 10-10-12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme/event/blog hop hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine, so be sure to check back there for more blogs participating each week. :) It allows us to spotlight, or drool over an up-coming release we really can't wait to get our hands on.

I think it's weird that lots of my favorite all-time series are ones that not really anyone I know has heard of before. Like The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody (favorite series ever), and Diane Duane's Young Wizards books. Both of which have been publishing since the 80s.  What's the coolest thing though, is since they're both "fantasy" genre, you can't even tell they were written that long ago! Some books you hear them mention the new VCR and you're like oh my, what an old book. That doesn't happen in these two series, so I just like that. Besides, they're both just incredibly creative series.

Now, I do have the last two Obernewtyn books borrowed from a friend who got it from Aussie...I just have to go back and reread the series first since it's been so long. (Currently on Ashling, the third one.)

So today I'll highlight the next Wizarding book, because it's not coming out in like, FOREVER.

by Diane Duane
publication: 2013

I saw this appear on Goodreads maybe last November or so, and I literally screamed 2013?!?!?! You can't put numbers in caps, how odd. Well, I guess it would be @)!#?!?!?!?! which just looks like a swear word. Anyway. At the time that sounded so incredibly far away, but now it doesn't! Though, there still isn't a month, so maybe it's December 2013. We'll see.

I liked some books more than others in the series, and this will be book 10, making it the longest series I've ever read/still reading. I don't think this is the last one either, but that's an uneducated guess. For the ending of the last book, A Wizard of Mars...REALLY BUGGED ME. I kind of threw the book to the ground in annoyance. Now, I won't say anything because of spoilers, but if anyone reading this post has in fact read this obscure series, what did you think of it?

My favorite books in the series are: High Wizardry (#3), A Wizard Abroad (#4), Wizard's Holiday (#7) and Wizards at War (#8)

What are some books you're waiting on?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 10-9-12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Stop by there, to see other blogs participating as well! :)

I'm in the middle of Dearly, Beloved right now, and one quote just made me crack up, so I want to show you guys!

"You're a zombie. If you're not missing body parts, you're doing it wrong!"


"What is Marblanco?" Isambard asked. Yesterday you guys mentioned it, and you looked like you were talking about Chicago, or something. Atlantis."

On another topic, I'm thinking of doing a cover comparison soon. I kind of forgot I used to do them more. Anyone have ideas for some that annoyed you, or better foreign covers for any books? This isn't related to the book above. :)

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Son: review

Title: Son (The Giver Quartet #4)
Author: Lois Lowry
Genres: dystopia
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

For a while I wasn't sure I'd be able to write a review of Son because it's one of those books that leaves a good peaceful feeling, and so creating a whole constructive review outlining why exactly I liked it would kind of pop the bubble, so to say. So I'll keep it short and to the point, because it is an excellent book and deserves some recognition from me.

I reread The Giver right before reading this, because I had read on the back that we meet all the old characters. I'm glad I did, since it'd been a while and lots of things I had forgotten. But I had no patience to reread the other two, and it turned out okay. But I still recommend reading The Giver before you read Son as a refresher, and because it's a classic.

I had the book on my shelf for a few days, while I finished up Girl of Nightmares. But I picked it up to put my bookmark on the first page, just to get it ready, and of course...I couldn't help but start reading it. Before I knew it 50 pages had gone by, and I had to make myself put it down while I finished my other book. It was so hard!! From literally the first page, I was sucked right in. Lowry's dystopian world is so recognizable, from the lingo of the Claire's community, to all the character's naive way of viewing their world. As a perfect utopia.

One of my favorite things about her dystopia/utopia is that it's really not about the world. In fact, there is quite little world building outside the Communities mentioned. And the handful of times we exit one of the sheltered places, the writing gets sort of other-worldly and it's hard to keep track exactly what is going on. I like that, because it sets it apart from the rest of the genre.

I also like the almost magical aspect of these stories, with the "gifts". I think magic is not the right word, or supernatural. Almost spiritual? But that's not right either. It's something else and special. And there's more of it in here, whatever it is, with Gabe's gift. But I won't say more than that. It must have something to do with those oddly pale eyes...

Son is split into three parts. (It's a 400 pages book unlike the previous three.) The first part is when Claire is a part of the community (I can never remember if that's capitalized.) and she has her child as a Birthmother, at the age of fourteen. The span of this first part is about two or three years, and ends at the point nearish to The Giver when Jonas leaves with Gabe. Now I never really gave any thought to what would happen after that...which leads us to the second and third parts of the book. At first I was sad that she leaves her home in search of Gabe, because I like the safeness of the place. Then once the confusing start of Part Two ends, the view clears of another interesting town where Claire spends about six years at. Part Three then switches POVs between Claire, Gabe, Kira and Jonas.

Now I know that sounds a bit confusing, sorry. But it makes sense when you read it. :)

What I was most amazed at, is how much time actually passes in here. I think almost 20 years go by, from the first page to the last. And it's discovered how the other three books are so interweaved into the plot, and finally when all the pieces come together, it's incredibly intricate. I had no idea until recently that Lowry's new book was the conclusion to The Giver quartet and Son turned out to be an amazing last book. It was sad to see all those little kids we meet in the other books grown up, but finishing it left me in a peaceful mood while sipping my morning tea.

Highly recommended!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Girl of Nightmares: review

Title: Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genres: horror, ghost, paranormal romance...ish.
Rating: 5 stars!
Source: bought
Summary: It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

There are spoilers from Anna Dressed in Blood below. To see my review of the first book, click here.

Girl of Nightmares was just as exciting as I hoped for! But, I am really glad it's only these two books, not some series or trilogy; I don't know why, it's just good this way.

I didn't really know what to expect, as far as the storyline goes. When we left Anna, she had dragged the evil monster, Obeahman down the drain of the underworld, but now we learn everything's not so peachy--even considering it's Hell.

What I liked most is the gore level is like a fourth as much present. Most of the book isn't actually as terrifying as the first one and I was able to read it at night and didn't resort to stomach clutching at any moment. Now, that's not to say it isn't creepy at all. There are plenty of moments that had my pulse racing and made me look over my shoulder; but it's more of a balance. 

Also, the whole mood of Girl of Nightmares is different. Anna Dressed in Blood had this terrifying girl-who-rips-people-apart factor, as well as numerous other boogeymen. In here, Cas is  now recovering from the loss of his dead girlfriend, so it's the guilt eating him up, and having to dealing with that odd depression and frustration. Now he's been having frequent dreams of her being gruesomely tortured in Hell. And all everyone wants to say to him is let her go, Cas, she's fine and moved on. Which, of course he is in no mood to do because it's simply not true.

I like Cas; he's very strong minded and cares a whole lot for the few people he lets through his shell. And his internal dialogue sounds true and makes me laugh. Thomas I still don't really get, but he kind of reminds me of my brother, the way he is described. His mind reading power is supercool!
For a while I was afraid Carmel was going to go away, but she proved true along the way and my worries disappeared. Though, we are introduced to Jestine, whom I rather despise. She's slightly underdeveloped, especially near the end, but that makes her more mysterious and suspicious like she's written to be. Safe to say, she has her own agenda.

The ending is tragic but inevitable the more I think about it. I am definitely not disappointed but I sure will miss Anna, and Cas and his friends a whole lot. Girl of Nightmares was an excellent ending to their stories.

Since reading this didn't fall on a Tuesday, here are some teasers I liked:

   "Are we lost? You'd admit it if we were lost, right?"
   Thomas smiles, maybe a bit nervously. "We're not lost. At least, not yet. They might have changed some of the roads around since the last time."
   "Who the hell are 'they'? Road construction squirrels? It doesn't even look like these things have been driven on for the last ten years." The trees are thick outside my window. The foliage has come back to fill in the winter spaces. We've taken too many turns now, and my sense of direction is shot. We could be going northsouth for all I know."
- page 88

   "I have to do this. I can't let her suffer there, without trying," I swallow hard and grit my teeth. "I love her."
   "She's dead."
   "That doesn't mean to me what it does to other people."
- pages 182


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 10-2-12

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Because they like lists. ;)

As a girl, naturally the books I lean towards are ones with a female narrator. They're more relatable to me and there's also way more of a selection than books with male povs--at least, in the YA genre. But every now and then I'll really get hooked on a book or series with the pov of a guy, so I thought I'd make a list. This is my first time participating in the Top Ten Tuesday meme.

Top Ten books/series with a male POV. (Not necessarily in a particular order.)

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Well duh, not much explanation here needed. It's just brilliant, and I think it's so neat how attached we get to all the characters over the span of the seven years we spend with Harry and his friends.

2. The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld - It's narrated switching back and forth between Alek and Deryn, but the story is equally about both of them. Most of Scott's books are narrated with a female pov (Uglies, Midnighters) because he thinks boys are just stupid at that age; but this is super cool, and steampunk! It's actually the first steampunk book I've ever read, so introduced me to the genre.

3. Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card - I'm sure more of his are good, but these are the only two I've read so far! Ender is a brilliant child and the way he thought fascinated me to no end!

4. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - Everything initially screams cliche, but then it takes a turn to thriller and it's unputdownable. Cas is cool without being stupid, and I like his unique way of life (even if he doesn't.)

5. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan - Even though I read these as a younger middle-grader, I still enjoy the follow up series, with appearances from Percy and co.

6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini - I finally started the last book last hands hurt within one minute of reading, because its like three inches thick. But this is a classic fantasy series with everything in it including an elven princess that needs saving.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - My first book of Maggie's, and at first I was annoyed that the point of views went back and forth between Sam and Grace, but as soon as I got to know Sam, I realized he is one of my favorite love interests in fiction. Their relationship is one of the purest I know from the books I've read.

8. The Giver by Lois Lowry - Just reread it, and remembered (and probably fully realized) how great the dystopian setting is. It's a read for all ages without doubt, and even though Jonas is so young, twelve, you can still completely connect with him and his decisions.

9. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - These books I can reread any time and still love them. They're funny, adventurous, narrated by a rather arrogant young man, and bring the meaning of fairy to the next level.

10. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud - It took my brother literally years to convince me to read these books. He isn't much of a reader to begin with, so I knew there had to be something special here. Once I got into them, I found myself laughing out loud at the constant sarcastic footnotes and read all of the books, (set in an alternate-universe London) quickly.

How do you like my selection? I highly recommend every single one! And that list was easier to compile than I had feared.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Fangs, Fur, & Fey Giveaway Hop!

This hop is hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer & Reading Lark;
check out the complete linky list here.

Sorry international people, only US this time! :P (Don't worry, I think the next one will be.)

Winner's choice of two ARCs!